First meeting of 2017 for Heritage Society

David Leslie and Albert Thomson of the Freens o Reed Harlaw  present a cheque to GHS Chair Norah Radcliffe
David Leslie and Albert Thomson of the Freens o Reed Harlaw present a cheque to GHS Chair Norah Radcliffe

The Garioch Heritage Society held its first meeting of the New Year in its new premises at Loco Works Way recently.

Chair Nora Radcliffe welcomed over 100 members and friends to the new conference room at the Centre and gave her monthly update on the progress of the work to prepare the exhibition space.

The Bennachie Bailies have gifted their collection of books along with their bookcases to the Society for safe keeping and Duncan Downie has agreed to dismantle the cases and erect them in the library area at the Centre.

The Conference facility is now available for public use and the work in the cafeteria kitchen will be completed in February.

Nora then welcomed a delegation from the “Freens o Reed Harlaw” who had come to donate a diorama of the Battle of Harlaw to the GHS along with a cheque to provide a base and a perspex cover to protect and maintain it.

She then introduced Judy Whyte the speaker for the evening who had come along to give a talk about the Inverurie Dairy and its founders, the Mitchell family.

The shop was started by Elijah and Agnes Mitchell in 1928 when they bought the premises from John Philip.

It had previously been the local registrar and a tailors shop.

They changed the small shop into a grocers and the front room into a restaurant and tearoom which soon gained a reputation for its wholesome food and home bakes especially its oatcakes.

The business in Inverurie continued to grow and the tearoom was a well known restaurant which could count Royalty amongst its customers as well as a special visit from Margaret Thatcher for a plate of mince and tatties when she was on a campaign in the area.

The farms at Drimmies and Inveramsay were added to the farming side as well as a large market garden in Old Port Road.

Judy was thanked for her talk on the history of the Dairy by Jack Hendry.

The next meeting of ther Heritage Society will be held in the Conference room at Harlaw on Wednesday, February 1 at 7.30pm when Jack Hendry will give a talk on the history of the Men’s Shed and its formation in Inverurie.