You are presently on a tour of the town of  KEITH with pictures and explanatory text

This is  Page 6

Featuring - Bowling Green, Strathmill Distillery, Flood - November 2002, Seafield Park and Keith Bond No 1

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The Keith Bowling Green was a gift to the town in 1897 from William Longmore, Banker and Distiller, who also gave financial support to the building of the adjoining Longmore Hall which was built in 1873. The Bowling Green clubhouse was modernised in the late 60's and allowed indoor playing for the first time. Later a bar was added and the club are at present in consultation with a view to extending further, the club facilities. The membership is very buoyant at the moment with plenty of up and coming young players being encouraged. In the summer months the green will be full every night with young thru' to old playing on the green which has been around for 130 years. This lovely display greets you at the entrance gate.  A busy  green on a lovely summers evening is pictured here.

 

Nestling in the Strathisla valley close to the River Isla and the old railway branch line to Dufftown, lies the Strathmill Distillery, with it's clean look and immaculate buildings. There has been a distillery on this spot since around 1825 or so. In 1891 it was rebuilt and named the Glenisla - Glenlivet distillery. In 1895 it was purchased by W.A. Gilbey and Sons. and renamed Strathmill distillery. The distillery was modernised in 1967 and was once the administrative centre for Gilbey's Highland Distilleries but is now under the control of The Diageo Group. There are Customs and Excise signs warning you of the severe penalties if found stealing the ' cratur', but at one point in time, this distillery had a whisky fountain, whereby anybody visiting , could partake from the fountain, if on friendly terms with the management. View of Strathmill Stillhouse on a cold winters day and the distillery from a distance.

 

Serious flood damage occurred in November 2002. After many days of heavy rain and high winds, many places in Keith, and the surrounding area, suffered extensive flooding due to high water levels.  Many places suffered serious building and contents damage, especially around the Elgin area, where many houses and business premises were flooded. Compare the pictures  of the flooding at  the Strathmill  Distillery with the normal water levels shown in the Strathmill pictures above, especially the level of the River Isla at the small bridge. Other pictures show  rail  damage at Mulben, closure of the B9103 Boat O' Brig road for nearly 3 weeks and scenes from  Grange and  Fochabers. Further view of serious problems on the B9103 near Boat O' Brig.

 

This picture shows an empty Seafield Park on a dull  December day. This is the venue for the "Keith Show" now renamed the "Keith Country Show" . This used to be a one-day show on the second Tuesday in August with a record attendance at one show in the mid 50's of 30,000. Over the years, with a combination of falling attendances and poor weather on the day, the show has been re-scheduled  to a different day, or combination of days. Last year, 2004, it was staged on a Sunday and attracted a crowd of  around 12,000. Other attractions occasionally take place in the park, with visiting fun-fairs at the Reidhaven Square . Some pictures of  some of the preparations for the 2005 show are shown here, here  and here. The large marquee which staged, among other things a well attended Dance on the night before the show is shown here.

 

Heading towards Elgin on the A96 and just after the  "Brig O' Haughs" ,  you will see on your right some massive warehouses which are part of the complex which is Keith Bond 1. These warehouses, some 27 of them, a combination of mainly large and some small , house some of the finest malt whisky gathered together from the surrounding distilleries, locally, from Speyside and beyond. Here, the whisky matures in the warehouses, and the "Angels Share" is reflected in the darkened colour of the warehouses, which taints the buildings  in the evaporation process. Here the various blends are gathered together, in the barrel, to be eventually blended together to make among others, the famous " Chivas Regal" which is the companies top selling export brand.

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