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Book Of Saint Fittick 1901

By Thomas White Ogilvie

A History of Torry..

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TORRY, 1870.


But let us pray that our rulers remember that the world is a temple as well as a market, and that in their efforts to build up the new town and develop a great industry, the sweet retreats by hill and shore be guarded with jealous care. With wisdom and foresight the Girdleness plateau has been secured for the people, but this is only a first step. The Greyhope road, with its magnificent prospects of distant hill and neighbouring harbour, of city and sea, must stretch out through the new Torry Park, down the braes to the Bay of Nigg, and thence, skirting the Tullos Hill, join the south road to Aberdeen. Then, with the old well restored, and Tullos Hill secured as a "commonty," the ancient pilgimages, freed from the superstitions of the past, may be resumed, and the blessing of the Saint will rest upon the people.


    "When the sea winds blow, and finger the boughs like the strings of a lute,
    Then anger will sleep—lulled deep, by the song of a bird;
    And hate will be chastened to love by the West Wind's flute;
    And greed will be led by sweet Charity's hand that will guide him and gird;
    And the power of a peace upon the earth will charm the harsh tongues mute,
    When the sea winds blow.


"And so century by century the Torrians marked the changes which the energy of their neighbours, across the river, was effecting on the face of Nature. The thatched huts disappearing, the great white stone buildings gradually covering the hills that rise from the North shore, steeple and tower shooting up — the efflorescence of the growing city — a fine span cast from height to height across the Denburn Valley, the slimy tide-washed mud flats and shingle reclaimed from the ebb and flo and the waters walled in by massive quays to form deep and spacious docks, whereby the great ships might reach the city and lie scatheless of sea-storm or river flood. The fishing village benefited by the prosperity of its great neighbour, but, itself, changed little during the centuries. Conservative in habits, and mingling little with the world beyond their village and shore, except for purposes of barter, the fisher folk lived on from generation to generation, simple in their lives, unvarying in their habits, rejoicing when the boats returned low in the water, wailing in ever recurring sorrow when they came back wrack-torn with some son or father missing."

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