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Foggie’s Fourteen Provosts

During its 85 years of existence Foggie had fourteen Provosts, whose details are inscribed on the Provosts’ Stone presented to the village by the last Provost, Robert ‘Bingo’ Bremner. The granite block with information plaque is located at the Point at the junction of Main Street and North Street.
These photographs show Mr & Mrs Bremner with two of their grandchildren Holly & Rowan Garrett, and the plaque.

We have not found photographs for four of the Provosts. Contributions would be very welcome:

William Auchinachie (Merchant)

1893 – August 1907

Owner of a general merchant’s business in the Square. He led a campaign to have Foggie become a Police Burgh and was elected as the first Provost, initially with title of Chief Magistrate.

Douglas Bethune Leask (Bank Agent)

12 August 1907 – November 1907

Employee of the North of Scotland Bank in Main Street, he was elected by his fellow Councillors to fill the post of Provost until the next election fell due.

Alfred Bell Whitton MB, CM (Doctor)

8 November 1907 – 24 March 1919

Served as GP for a large practice in Aberchirder and Marnoch for thirty years. An enthusiastic Volunteer, he joined up and served in the R.A.M.C. where he rose to be Lieut.-Colonel .

Joseph McKenzie (Shoemaker)

14 April 1919 – May 1921

One of several shoemakers in the village, he had a shop at 39 Main Street


Charles S Geddes (Chemist & Postmaster)

10 June 1921 – October 1926

Son of George Geddes who had moved the Post Office from South Street to its present location at 5X Main Street. Like his father he was also a pharmacist and publisher of picture postcards.

James Morrison (Grocer & Merchant)

5 November 1926 – November 1929

One of eight grocers/merchants in the town, he had a shop at 35 Main Street (which was demolished in 1971 to make way for the pensioners’ houses in Cornhill Road)

David Young (Grocer’s Assistant )

8 November 1929 – November 1932

When elected Provost he was an assistant in Stewart’s Market at 1 The Square. In 1932 he went into business as a merchant in a former shooting gallery at 67 Main Street.

William Auchinachie, Jr (Draper & Merchant)

4 November 1932 – November 1947

Succeeded his father on his death in 1907as owner of the shops at 8 & 9 the Square. He was a ken photographer and published a large number of picture postcards of Aberchirder and district.

John Gregor MA (Schoolmaster)

7 November 1947 – 26 May 1949

Appointed Headmaster of Aberchirder School in 1922 and died while still serving his term as Provost.

Auckland Robertson Smith (Master Baker)

14 June 1949 – 30 April 1962

Owned the house and bakery at 3 & 4 the Square and retired in 1955 to Hamewith, the former U F Church Manse in Cornhill Road. The bakery was then run by James and Barbara Wilson.

John Taylor (Farmer)

1 May 1962 – 7 May 1965

Farmed at Cleanhill Farm on the road to Huntly and was one of several who sold milk round the village from his horse and cart. The first Foggie Provost to have a chain of office.

Hans Hardie (Bus Operator)

7 May 1965 – 12 March 1969

Took over the motor garage at 21 Main Street from Charles Buchan in 1938 and operated a taxi business. Ran buses from 1964 until 1994 when the firm sold out to Bluebird.

James A Shand (Schoolmaster)

9 May 1969 – 5 May 1972

Head Teacher of Aberchirder School from 1962, he oversaw the move to the new building which became Aberchirder Primary School in 1969. District Councillor for Foggie from 1974 to 1984.

Robert C Bremner (Businessman)

5 May 1972 – 14 May 1975

Shopkeeper, entrepreneur and one of Foggie’s most colourful figures over several decades. A stalwart of the Town Council, he later served as District Councillor from 1984 to 1994.

Photographs of the various Town Councils are quite rare. This one, contributed by Phyllis Wright, shows her father Auckland Smith as Provost in 1955 together with councillors and Town Clerk Frank Anderson:
Back (l to r): John Taylor (Dean of Guild), Rev J C Gunn, Alex Duncan, W Farquhar, Hugh Youngson.
Front (l to r): Frank Anderson (Town Clerk), A Benton (Baillie), Auckland R Smith (Provost), Donald McKay (Baillie), Ian Dunbar (Treasurer).

On the occasion of the 1964 Bicentenary celebrations the Town Council members were photographed outside Elm Cottage, opposite the Council meeting place at 132 Main Street, home of Town Clerk Frank Anderson. Provost John Taylor is wearing the Provost’s Chain

Back (l to r): Sandy Stevenson, James Shand, Bobby Coull, Laurence Gordon, Robert Bremner.
Front (l to r): Kenny Chisholm, Alex Watt, John Taylor, Hans Hardie, Frank Anderson.

Last Town Council election 1970

There were five nominations for five vacancies, so elected were: Dr W D Black, Alex S Duncan, Gerald McDonald, Henry Thomson, Rev Edward D Walker
The other Councillors were: Dean Of Guild William J Rennie, Bailie R C Bremner, Hon. Treasurer R J McKenzie, Provost J Shand.
No photograph appears to have been taken to mark the end of the Town Council in 1975.