Good old days

Chat about football matters whether or not they relate to Peterhead FC

Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:32 pm

Never wrote 'better' -'pained' was the adjective used. ?
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:00 pm

Lest there there are some here unfamiliar with events leading to Elgin City being stripped of the 92-93 HL Championship title let me quote from Bill McAllister's book "Highland Hundred"
(Shortened version) "Elgin's motives and version of the chronolgy of events was called into question and the matter added to the agenda for the HL Management meeting 29th April, only six days after the Moray club had savoured it's night of triumph. Their fate was, in a twist of irony, to be settled at a meeting in their own ground.
The club Chairman Robin Stuart made a personal statementat te start of the meeting, intimating hisresignation on the grounds he had been misled from within his own club

End of quote

From the general view of the committee it was felt that their own chairman had effectively torpedoed any hope of Elgin gainging a favourable outcome to the meeting
My own view at the time was that the punishment for their minor indiscretion was far to severe but the knife of Marcus Brutus (Saunders) was plunged to deep to save them.
Three question of our Elgin visitors
# 1 Did Saunders sit through the meeting or leave after intimating his resignation?
# 2 Does Saunders still live in Egin or surrounding area?
# 3 If the answer to question 2 is yes. Where then was the nearest lynching tree?
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Re: Good old days

Postby BlackanWhecht » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:25 pm

Saunders - whoever he may be - is innocent.

This is a PD Board so don't get me started on the City Committee's ineptitude, the opportunism of the Cove/Caley axis of evil or the utter ignorance of procedure displayed by the HL Management Committee.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:55 pm

Sorry about that Whechter - Saunders? Where did he come from? Some African river I suppose. It shoud have read 'Stuart' of course and had already been intimated earlier - Apologies for that error -It's an age thing. Whechter! did I not make that same error before?
Strange that fixation with Saunders There's no reason for it
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Re: Good old days

Postby BlackanWhecht » Fri Nov 07, 2008 7:03 pm

Sometimes drums say strange things in bwana's head. I know they do in mine.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:37 pm

Another book segment for those within different time zones - On this occassion the now defunct Summer Welfare League is the theme. That league is such a great loss to aspiring Peterthead youngsters -An ideal stepping stone from the minor grades


The local summer Junior League, a non-affiliated ‘bogus’ association of clubs was in full swing, and providing great evening entertainment for football fans. The league would later affiliate to The Scottish Welfare Association
Stanley Henderson who had played for Peterhead in the Aberdeenshire Cup Final against Buckie Thistle, and Andy Stephen who was later Peterhead’s trainer for many years, were prominent wingers in a strong going North School FP’s team.
That FP's team was controlled by George Duncan who at that time lived in the large close / square at Ugie Street where Zip Tyres are today. I was a pupil at the North School and supported the FP’s, regularly helping George carry the kit hamper to Barclay Park. Mr Duncan was uncle to Peterhead‘s Duncan Forman our Centre forward in the Sixties
The teams left back was John (Jocky) Wiseman, one of the greatest characters ever to play football in Peterhead. A story I have long remembered was of being in the deep-sea Mission on the Saturday morning of a Club Cup Final at the ‘Rec’. George Duncan came to see Jocky who then looked after the snooker room. He told him of a young lad, Murdo McNeil, ‘a good player’ George said, ‘just out of the Army’ Murdo would be given a game at full back that afternoon.
Jock agreed with Mr Duncan’s decision thinking it was the Right-back who would be dropped. George then told him he was moving Ronnie Geddes from right back to the left and bringing in the young Murdo on the right side. Jockie lent forward from his chair and told Mr Duncan "Drop me and I’ll drop you right here."
Needless to say that never happened and it may have been some consolation to Jock when Buchanhaven Hearts beat the North School FP’s 4-0.
The following week Jock was reinstated to the team for the league decider against the same opposition. The score was reversed and Jock’s form was not put in question again. A good job to!
Recently in conversation with David Mitchell the North’s right half at the time I mentioned these games. He agreed with my recall adding that on the Friday before the first game his sister Agnes had been married.
He excused the teams poor form in part to a number of ‘North’ players, namely himself, George Sturrock and Sandy ‘Pom’ Buchan having over indulged at the wedding celebration. ‘Mother Aikens’ the Backgate pub was a good training ground in those days.
David did not blame the hangover, but rather the fact they had spent some time at the baths trying to work off the effects of the demon and this on the morning of the match. Heavy legs being the resultant effect of the swimming session.
Other North players prominent in memory are, Tommy Birkett who later signed for Peterhead. After Tom left the North the very capable Bobby Porter then replaced him. ”charg’n the goalie” was a not advisable wae Bobby Porter in goal
Halfbacks David Mitchell, and George Sturrock were North School FP players who were well capable of playing for Peterhead. Sandy ‘pom’ did play for Peterhead in the early 50’s, a strong left-sided player with a great left foot. Sandy was later said to have been a poor guide of his self. He died tragically at Hartlepool perishing in a house fire in the late 70’s.
George Sturrock is the father of former Scottish International Paul Sturrock, and presently manager of Plymouth Argyle. Billy Bradford, who played for the YMCA, had trials with Hibernian before giving many years of sterling service to Fraserburgh. He later finished his Highland League career with Peterhead. Other early North players were brothers ‘Bunts’ and ‘Buster’ Paterson, Jim Aitken, James ‘The Hort’ Geddes, Jock ‘Pombie’ McGee and the incomparable Robbie Martin. Robbie had an infectious happy personality. Ever smiling, even after the roughest of treatment.
Robbie was at times referred to as the “Miserable peasant” This name was brought on by his habitual reference to others using that description. It was all in good fun and it was said he started a club called the “The Miserable Peasants Association” In reality he was the opposite.
What was then regarded as ‘rough treatment’, would now bare little comparison with what goes on in the modern game. Feigning injury, diving, or jersey pulling was unheard of in those days. If a club had a player sent off once in a season, it was regarded as an affront.
Also in that North FP’s team was Billy Baird, a perpetual motion inside forward, an excellent old style dribbler and always a favourite with the fans.
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Re: Good old days

Postby peteroot » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:35 pm

Re Jockie remember in the Rescue one Sat. night ,being a great Gers man says " Hiv ye heard aboot McColl" "No" reply "Its better noo", when a stooshie broke oot it was : haud ma teeth: to the nearest person. Also known as Tiger Shaw when he played for FP's.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:33 am

A welcome second post from yourself Peteroot-But why not more ? Surely your experience with the local 'Caley'** would lend to some great stories.

**Not Inverness Caley but a team started by a group of Peterhead fish buyers and associated with the Caledonian Fishing and engineering company -They were in the very early days (1947) reputed to have paid their players half a crown (just over12p) per game
One of the origanal committee members was Arthur (Sappies) Buchan who later on, was first Secretary and then Vice-President of PFC. Probably Norman Collie would have been the 'mannie' in charge when you were there Peteroot
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:21 am

Some more from the Summer League daysThe YMCA team were formidable opponents. Sandy Baird an outstanding tough junior defender Sandy Birnie and speedy ball playing winger Dave Aitken, Goalkeeper Johnny Sangster and Billy Urquhart were other top players. Bruce Forsyth was a stalwart defender in a later YMCA team.
Joe Davidson who scored Peterhead’s first Highland League goal in 1931 played for that YMCA team. He was I think, still playing well beyond age of forty. Joe is the father of Peter and Ronnie Davidson who played for Buchanhaven Hearts, and Ian who played outside right for Crossies and later Hearts. Peter Anderson founder member of the boy’s Hexagon Club gives an amusing insight into how things were in those days. Peter’s father-in-law David Aitken was showing him a photo of the 1948 YMCA team, Peter asked “ Why have some of the players got collars on their jerseys and others have round laced up necks” David told him that some of them had taken the collars from their old white shirts and got their mothers to stitch them to the round neck of their green jerseys… just to make them look ‘flash‘
If I were to pick one outstanding goal-keeping display in my years of watching football, it would be that of Johnny Sangster in a junior cup-tie at the ‘Rec’ against the local Caley. Johnny played with a turban of bandages on his head after sustaining a nasty head injury in the first half.
That Caley team would soon take over from the North School FP’s as the top team. Frank Williamson, a tremendous centre half, Bobby Massie, Joe ‘Sappies’ Buchan and former pre-war Peterhead player Jimmy ‘Socks’ Emslie were prominent in that early Caley team.

The Academy FP’s were also strong at this time with George Dyce, Alec Coull a silky forward, John ‘Coco’ Coull, Jackie Allardyce, Alec Grant and Jocky Samuell.
Jocky as a young man had travelled to a Peterhead game at Dingwall as a supporter. One of the cars conveying the players was involved in an accident. It was thought everyone was all right, but when they arrived at the ground, inside right Bill Sloan felt unable to play. Jock took his place and scored in a 6-1 win over Ross County. That was in the 1936-37 season.
He kept a press cutting of the match in his wallet for the rest of his life and he let me see it on an away trip in 1998 not long before he passed away. Jock's photo appeared in the ‘Buchanie’ holding the QC won in 1997 against
Fraser burgh (8-0) --- a happy man.

Buchanhaven Hearts, always been strong before the war. Now they had to rebuild a team because many of their pre-war players like others then, had lost the best six years of their aspiring football lives.
It has been hard for me to pin down members of the first Hearts team after the war. The names I remember are, Charlie Kelman, Sonny Baird, who would become uncle to Peterhead’s John Sievwright Jr. Jim Stephen, whose father owned ‘Chowies’ grocery near the corner of Great Stuart Street. Robert ‘Bo’ Strachan, and possibly his brothers Beezer and Beemie, who had been lynch-pins in the Buchanhaven side before the war, at full back Redford Macintosh’s brother- in-; law ‘Pabbies’ so called because his full name was Peter Alec Buchan. Baker Alec Winton a diminutive, sparkling winger, another baker and tough opponent David Bruce and Alec Reid a very young left back who still lives in the family home at Skelton Street. Alec was Mr Consistency; he played over three decades with Hearts, Caley, and Cleforge (Cleveland Twist Drill).
I cannot ever recall Alec give a sub-standard performance. Another young Hearts player was joiner John Baird, now a prominent businessman in town, and a generous supporter of Peterhead FC. The Hearts team in those days had a strict selection policy; players must be of Buchanhaven stock before being considered for the team. A clannish lot, no chance of that generation ever joining the Euro. Getting them to become Blue Mogganers was difficult.

The Corinthian's were a strong team; they were unfortunately soon disbanded, having lost most of their players to play for Peterhead in Highland League. Their team was ‘run’ by left back Jockie Wiseman and included George Christie, John ‘Jew’ Buchan, John ‘Kingy’ Strachan, Bob Peacock, George Baird, Stanley Henderson, and Tom ‘The Champ’ Nicol. It was said Tom played a trial for Peterhead, scored four goals, and was never asked back. ‘Jew’ got his nickname because of a tendency to miss afternoon school (scoffi’n) now and again. On one occasion the teacher enquired why had John Buchan not returned after dinner? He was told John had gone to the harbour ‘Oh yes’ said the teacher “the wandering Jew” and so it stuck. Not at all the reason most people had thought
George ‘Dodie’ Moir was also a member of that Corinthians team, he was regarded as a quite excellent Centre Forward, but periods spent enjoying the hospitality of His Majesty’s Government stifled his progress.
Dodie was also a drummer in the local ‘Embassy’ dance band. He did from time to time participate at the Smith’s embankment boxing booths (often prostrate) the ‘shows‘ were pitched then in Charlotte Street opposite Love Lane. One of Dodie’s team mates was Jimmy Connell a tricky industrious player. Jim is the father-in-law of former Hearts and Peterhead goalkeeper Melvyn Buchan.
Among others who came from the Glasgow area were Bob Peacock and George McQueen. Similarly Frankie McManus, or Frunkie as pronounced in the local dialect, he was little over five feet tall, bow legged, a real box of tricks. Frank was a typical example of Scotland’s once famous ‘tuppeny ba’ players and was a great favourite with the Hospital Park crowds. Tommy Reynolds another from Glasgow, he first came to Peterhead in 1947; his early visits were with Codonas fair ground people. Tommy met and married local girl Helen Ritchie and settled down in Peterhead where he still lives.
The Crosse & Blackwell works team was another of the stronger sides at this time, in goal the physically imposing Peter Thomson, Bertie Cross and Eben Melville in defence and Jim Greig, Jim who would later become the factory manager.
Jimmy Daniel a classy wing-half. Outside Right Joe Buchan and inside forwards Billy Findlay and Peter Skinner, Peter’s younger brother Ian later played in Crossies most successful era and also with the 1960’s Youth club side. Alf Smith a prominent member of that Crosse and Blackwell team was later to become Governor Her Majesty’s Prison Peterhead. Alf is still a regular supporter at Balmoor, his son of the same name, was Peterhead’s left back in the seventies, before becoming a referee.
On the left wing a young Tommy Beagrie. Tom later played at left back in Crossies most successful ever side, and a quite daunting opponent. He was One of Tom’s colleagues was goalkeeper Ivor Robertson he was held in high esteem and thought by many, including myself to be well capable of playing at a higher level. He was a real stylist and had genuine all round ability, a commanding presence in the penalty area and always with a quiet unassuming manner.
Other teams were Links United, Greenhill, Prison Officers, and the Gordon's who represented the TA. The latter club was, I think Allan Proctor’s first team in the junior grade. Allan would later figure as Peterhead’s powerhouse Right- half in the middle Fifties. Other ‘Gordon’s’ players that come to mind are Abel Donaldson father of Jim ‘Skipper’ Donaldson who played in Peterhead’s 88-89-championship team, Abel’s close friend in that side was, Davie ‘Don Ameche’ Geddes, nick-named after the movie star, because of his ‘tache’
I believe there was a team then representing the large Ugie Park estate, and named Ugie Park Rangers they were 'run' by David Strachan brother of “Pops” (more about her later). The team, of which I have little memory, may have included George Forbes, George ‘Tony’ Emslie and his older brother Joe whose son, also Joe was an excellent goalkeeper for the dominant Buchanhaven Hearts team in the 60’s.
Surprisingly I have little recall of many Prison Officer players. Dodo Taylor, Georgie Stephen and from a later team Dougie Davidson and of course Boris, a giant of a man, and any players who played then will well remember ‘Boris’ I can’t remember his surname, but the way he played football ‘Karloff’ would have suited very well.
The ‘warders’ played all their games in Peterhead until about 1952. They then used the prison pitch for their home fixtures. It had a severe slope; the surface was of compacted cinders and not the normal grass, which we were all accustomed to. To the youngsters at Catto Park’s all-weather facility “eat your hearts out” you were all born too late for such a joyous experience.
Derelict rail coaches which had previously been used to transport the convicts to the Stirling Hill quarries, were now being used by the teams as changing rooms. I remember playing there, and bending down to lace my boots and noticed the ankle manacles still bolted to the floor under the seats. That, and lining up against Boris was an eerie experience for any youngster. Thoughts of ‘Humphrey Bogart’ and ‘Sing Sing’ ran through my young imaginative mind. In researching this story I have only recently discovered that ‘Boris’ was a nickname and that his name was in fact ‘Alex Campbell.’ His associates tell me he was a real gentleman off the park. ’Boris; died 7 years ago


I have recollection of Louie Ferrari playing for Peterhead ‘A’, but I can’t remember his junior team. Louie’s younger brother Ronnie also played, but that was later in another generation of players and will be covered later. The Blue Moggan Italian connection continued with Cardo Bicocch who played for Peterhead in the 50’s Cardo’s career it was said, was interrupted by the amount of time spent working in his father Victor’s shop the Kit Kat café.

The youngest of the Ferrari family was Charlie; he was in the Peterhead Academy team that did so well to reach the Final of the Scottish Schools Cup on the 10th April 1965 at Hampden Park. The team under the control of Ian Buchanan put up a great fight before going down 2-0 to Coatbridge St Patricks High.](Not 'Our Ladies High' as intimated in an earlier story segment [/b
For the record, the boys on duty in that under-18’s Final were; Cooper, Milne, Mc’Gillivray, Hendry Bagshaw, Ferrari, Anderson, Mc’Neil, Wallace, Morrison, and Robertson. Four of the team, Cooper, Bagshaw, Mc’Neil, and Robertson stepped up to the Highland League. Charlie Ferrari is now a director of Cove Rangers. (At time of writing 2002)
The Academy centre half that day was George Bagshaw who later played for Deveronvale and Peterhead, George had his young life tragically cut short in a car crash coming home from a match. His farther George played for Peterhead in the Forties, he was a reliable solid centre half, who may have made more appearances had it not been for the form of ‘Dodie’ Buchan.


Tailpiece -Louie Ferrari -I found out later by way of a photograph lent to me that Louie had played for both ‘Youth Club' and 'Academy FP’s
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:15 am

Okay viewers to this thread -I have a wee problem. As you will no doubt be aware I am copy/pasting from the original book disc. I have made the mistake of copying segments when I now think it might have been better to just let the story roll as written. I'm now getting mixed up with regard as to what has been sectioned from the story and this means I have to constantly back-check lest I be repeating parts
To avoid this problem, the next part will follow on from Peterhead winning the 1946-47 championship in a game against Caley with a goal from Percy Dickie. I apologise if some of parts coming up have already been seen. Such parts, if any, should soon have worked out and the story will then proceed as per book and which will include a large section on the local and highly popular Summer/Welfare league, when games were played at Barclay Park and later at the Hospital Park Ugie Rd
As previously explained the 'HALF TIME' section was introduced to the 'Buchanie' serialisation that the ladies might take an interest in what was up to then a predominatly a male interest story - I shall include those parts here if for no other reason than to give Peterhead ex-pats a taste of home and poignant reminder of the way things were ln the Blue-Toon so many decades ago
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:02 pm

On reflection lads -Ignore the previous post directive regards following on from the part mentioned I,E. Percy Dickie goal. - I have now decided to copy/paste the complete story in parts. I do so to allow for any desired copying of the book in it's entirety.
Par 1 will follow shortly
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:09 pm

‘Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory’
PART 1
New Years day 1946, a dull but mild afternoon just a few months after the German, and Japanese wars had ceased. Good friends Robert Sinclair, Keith Summers and myself on our New Year’s Day rounds. A glass of sweet wine or lemonade, some sweets in our pockets, then off to the next family or friend’s house.
On this day we three Port Henry Road pals are on our way from Windmill Street to Hope Street, across the train line, where the Buchanhaven Hearts Social Club rooms are now situated, continuing to Barclay Park across Raemoss Park.
On the way we’re attracted by the roar of the crowd from Recreation Park, gaining entry through the small open gate at the Buchanhaven end, we witnessed what was the final 20 minutes of a friendly match between Peterhead and Fraserburgh, the home team winning 1-0.
This was the beginning of a great passion for the game, and in particular for my hometown team, Peterhead FC.
The curtain opens, revealing my impressionable adolescent, magical football years. Some 45 years later, whilst addressing a gathering of former players at one of the club’s centenary functions, I related the same 1946 story to the company. After completing my piece I was hailed by former player Donald McKinnon. He addressed me with the following, “Hey Ritchie, Div ye see at one nuthin win ye wiz speekin aboot? Well it wiz me it scored eh goal”
Donald has now sadly passed on and I never got the opportunity to tell him how right he was. For some time later I made it my purpose to check the game out in old copies of the ‘Buchanie’ at the library. How often I was to depend on those editions in the years ahead.
Football, six years after the war-inflicted turmoil, was in the process of reorganisation. Young men were coming home from the hostilities; scarred by their experience, longing for a ‘home’ life and seeking a return to what for many in Peterhead included a Saturday afternoon at the ‘Rec.’
There was a great hunger, an insatiable clamour for the sport an expectation within a generation of young men and boys who had been deprived for six years, the opportunity to play or watch ‘The Game.’
Peterhead like other clubs were playing friendly matches all round the North East corner. Towards the spring of 46’, I recall the Brae Cup played against Fraserburgh. This competition was played only between the Buchan clubs on a home and away basis. Peterhead led 5-1 from the first leg. I travelled by service bus to the second leg, the first of my many visits to Bellslea Park. There I saw my favourites thrashed 6-0.
Fraserburgh fielded a number of displaced persons in the return game i.e. Polish servicemen from a camp near Cairnbulg. I remember being puzzled by the sight of players running on the field wearing hairnets. Looking back, typical of the ‘Puddlestinkies’ ‘aye try’n te cover something up.’ (Only jokin’ lads.)
Fraserburgh versus Peterhead played at Bellslea Park, always my favourite fixture. Intense rivalry displayed with no quarter asked or given. World War II may have ceased, but there was no truce or armistice with the ‘Blues’ and the ‘Black and Whites. Many ‘derby’ skirmishes lay ahead.
The Aberdeenshire Cup was played in the spring of 46, and Peterhead contested the final with Buckie Thistle in a two-leg contest. Peterhead went down by the odd goal in three in the first leg at Buckie. An unusual feature of the first game was that the match-winning goal was scored with two different groups of players contesting two separate footballs. ‘Twa ba Buckie’ was to be a familiar cry from the terracing for many years. Buckie fielded in their team former Don Percy Dickie.
The second leg finished 2-2, and Buckie Thistle won the County Cup, the first North competition played after the war. Percy Dickie did not play for Buckie in the second leg. He had so impressed the Peterhead board in the first leg, they travelled to Aberdeen in mid-week and signed him in preparation for the Highland League restarting in August of that year.
The Peterhead Club Chairman in 1946 was Mr James Campbell who played for the club In the Twenties. Many years later, on a long trip home from a distant fixture Mr Campbell told me of how the club was reformed after the war. He and Bill Leslie, who had a Fruit & Veg. business in Marischal Street, persuaded a number of businessmen to invest the sum of £240 each (what value today?) in an effort to put together a team after the war. There was much refurbishment required at Recreation Park, the ground having remained unused for six war years.
A squad of over twenty players was signed, a second Eleven being required to play in the Aberdeenshire League.
Memory recalls the following players: Jim Hendry (Maud),
George Christie, Frank Middleton, George Stephen (both Ellon) Dave Craighead, Peter Bowman, Sidney Cook, and Jimmy Johnstone (Boddam), Jimmy Benzie (Longside), Doug Marr (Hatton), George Anderson (Old Deer), George Christie, Bill (Cutty) Strachan, George (Doddie) Buchan (Capt) Redford McIntosh, George Stephen, George Bagshaw, Bob Peacock, Bob Baird, George Milne, Abbie Law, Peter MacFarlane (Army, Bridge of Don) Percy Dickie (Abdn.) Ian Jamieson and Jocky Cruickshank were on loan from Aberdeen, James (Pipey) Buchan and student Graham Davidson would join the squad later that year.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:17 pm

‘Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory’
PART 2
The season started with a 6-2 win over Huntly in front of a crowd of over 3000 at the Rec. The entrance fee was 1/- for adults and half that for kids and pensioners. Today’s money equivalent to the shilling charge is 5 pence; the money was paid at a small hole in the wall near the large exit gate at Queen Street.
Like many youngsters we often vied for a free view from the ‘Shute’ steps in the Raemoss playground, or from behind the wooden billboard structure situated near where the new turnstiles were soon to be erected. There was also a large elevated tank in the Railway goods-yard, which was used as a viewing point by railway workers.
The team reached the semi-final of what was a new cup competition, the Morganti Cup (later the League Cup) losing 4-2 to Elgin City in extra time at Borough Briggs. Leading 2-0 with two first-half goals from Dougie Marr. Peterhead were reduced to nine men before half time, Redford McIntosh and Jimmy Johnston sent off Elgin losing player coach Hugh Wales in the same manner being involved in the incident with Redford. Elgin scored their second goal late on taking the tie into extra time. Peterhead a man short, the legs began to go, City took control and scored two more to reach the final.
Peterhead went on to win the Qualifying Cup for the first time in the clubs history. They reached the final without conceding a goal with wins over Buckie Thistle 1-0,Huntly 2-0, Caledonian 1-0, Ross County 2-0 All but the game against Buckie played away.
There was bitterness and resentment in the town when the SFA decreed the final against Clach would be played at the ‘neutral’ ground of Telford Street Park Inverness, a ground less than a mile from Clach’s headquarters. Nevertheless over twenty buses carried the fans from Peterhead that day.
They returned home from the long journey delighted with a 3-2 victory. I was not at the final, (broken arm) but remember coming from a matinee film show at the Playhouse Queen Street. I was heading towards St Peter Street and on to Tom Townsley’s tobacconist’s shop, (George Bremner’s barber shop today). Outside the shop a mass of people were gathered, all eagerly waiting news of the Cup Final result. I had reached Bill Gordon’s furniture shop (Now Homestyle), suddenly a mighty roar surprised the shoppers, I knew then ‘we’ had won the cup, a young boy’s heart leapt, and I ran the rest of the way to look at the card in the window… just to make sure.

It was then the practice for many fans to visit Townsley’s shop after the 2nd teams Aberdeenshire League game, they would gather outside his premises waiting for the first team result to be phoned through.
George McNaught whose father had the ’chipper’ near-bye Townsley's, would cycle to the Palace Hotel and wait for the result to be phoned to Mr Stephenson the hotel owner and club director. George would return to Townsley’s shop with a piece of paper. The result would then appear in the window written in chalk on a black card. George, in spite of frequent requests, would not divulge the score. We had to wait for its dramatic appearance in the shop window. We were seldom disappointed in those early post war days. I can only once recall when the system failed and news of a 2-1 defeat at Forres was announced on the card. I walked home puzzled as to why Johnny Martin and Co couldn’t manage to score more than once against the ’Mechanics. Later that evening I left the ‘Regal’ to get my ‘Green Final’ from Fraser’s shop next door to the cinema and to then discover the score was wrong and it was 2-1 to Peterhead. I returned to my ’picters’ seat. Was it Doris Day singing “Its Magic” in the film? If not, it should have been.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:20 pm

'Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory'
Part 3
The Aberdeenshire Cup was secured that season with a 4-0 victory over Huntly at Recreation Park. The first leg ended 2-2 and was marred by the sending off of Redford McIntosh (again) and Huntly’s player coach, former Don Dave Warnock.
The Peterhead players used over both games were McKay/ Henry, Middleton, Craighead, Strachan, Buchan, Dickie, Jamieson, J Buchan, Anderson, McIntosh, and Cruickshank. The goal scores for Peterhead in both of the games, were Anderson 3, McIntosh 2, and Jamieson
I have no memory of goalkeeper McKay the goalkeeper in the first leg; I suspect he was a soldier from the Bridge of Don barracks in Aberdeen. There was at this time special dispensation for servicemen, enabling normal registration procedures to be bypassed.
The Qualifying cup success saw Peterhead drawn at home to Ayr United on Sat 25thJanuary 47. This match was the first Scottish Cup tie played at Peterhead since January 20th 1934, when Hamilton Accies won 2-0.
Ayr United was then struggling near the bottom of ‘A’ Division, as Scotland’s top flight was then known. Peterhead were top of the Highland League. My youthful exuberance did not allow any thought of defeat. How wrong could I be? Ayr united won 5-1 with a brand of football not seen by myself in the Highland League. Their centre forward Tyson scored three goals; he and former Glasgow Ranger’s player Beattie tore our defence apart.

How was it possible that Dodie, Middleton and Dickie could be treated in such cavalier fashion? I was deflated, and sorely disillusioned. Then, to emphasise my childhood naivety Aberdeen beat Ayr United 8-0 at Pittodrie in the next round.
The home team beaten by Ayr United showed three changes from the side that won the Qualifying Cup. Davie Craighead for George Stephen, Ian Jamieson replacing George Milne and George Baird for Dougie Marr.
Peterhead later went on to win their first ever Highland League championship, clinching the title with a 1-0 win against Caledonian at the Rec, Dickie scoring with a thundering 30 yard shot at the Queen St end.
Ian Jamieson was transferred to Leicester City at the end of the season for a fee of £ 6000. A curious aspect if his move was that he never once played for Aberdeen Ian did later become Chairman of Coventry City.
Because of Peterhead’s financial problems in the 80’s I wrote Ian when he was at Coventry. In our desperate situation I sought to interest his club in our goalkeeper Jim Buchan and drew his attention to the fact that Jim was the son of ‘Dodie’ with whom he had played in 1946. Jim Buchan eventually played a trial for Coventry during a short north tour by the Midlands club. The match was against Deveronvale and Jim had little opportunity to prove his ability. I received a nice letter from Ian, where he explained that because of the amount of goalkeepers on their staff, they would not be pursuing an interest in Jim. He went on to say how well he remembered his time with Peterhead, expressing disappointment at our predicament.
The 46-47 Highland League title was secured with five games still to be played. The remainder of the season was hectic with 4 games crammed into9 days. There was however an undefeated home record to be sustained. The last home fixture was against Forres Mechanics, one of only 3 teams to win against us all season The Mechanics had a large contingent of Polish displaced persons in their team. Two of those Konrad Kalpher and Alfonz Less turned senior with Celtic and St Mirren respectively. Of the game in question, they led Peterhead by 2-0 With time running out Peterhead scored at the Raemoss end, when Bill ‘Cutty’ Strachan scored a scrambled equaliser, preserving the undefeated home tag. The roar that greeted that goal was equal to any that had been experienced in the whole of the season
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 12:30 pm

'Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory
PART 4
Jimmy (Jeemser) Johnston signed for Leicester City at the end of that record-breaking season for the club. The fee paid to Peterhead was not disclosed. Jimmy, with his new club’s permission played for Peterhead against Partick Thistle in a friendly at the end of the following season, surprising the fans with a much more cultured style.
The local summer Junior League, a non-affiliated ‘bogus’ association of clubs was in full swing, and providing great evening entertainment for football fans. The league would later affiliate to The Scottish Welfare Association
Stanley Henderson who had played for Peterhead in the Aberdeenshire Cup Final against Buckie Thistle, and Andy Stephen who was later Peterhead’s trainer for many years, were prominent wingers in a strong going North School FP’s team.

North School players in early memory are David Mitchell, Murdo McNeil, Bobby Porter, Jock Wiseman, George Sturrock, Ronnie Geddes. Andy Stephen, Jimmy Lovie, Jim Angus, Jock McGee, Robbie Martin, Stanley Henderson.

That FP's team was controlled by George Duncan who at that time lived in the large close / square at Ugie Street where Zip Tyres are today. I was a pupil at the North School and supported the FP’s, regularly helping George carry the kit hamper to Barclay Park. Mr Duncan was uncle to Peterhead‘s Duncan Forman our Centre forward in the Sixties
The teams left back was John (Jocky) Wiseman, one of the greatest characters ever to play football in Peterhead. A story I have long remembered was of being in the deep-sea Mission on the Saturday morning of a Club Cup Final at the ‘Rec’. George Duncan came to see Jocky who then looked after the snooker room. He told him of a young lad, Murdo McNeil, ‘a good player’ George said, ‘just out of the Army’ Murdo would be given a game at full back that afternoon.
Jock agreed with Mr Duncan’s decision thinking it was the Right-back who would be dropped. George then told him he was moving Ronnie Geddes from right back to the left and bringing in the young Murdo on the right side. Jockie lent forward from his chair and told Mr Duncan "Drop me and I’ll drop you right here."
Needless to say that never happened and it may have been some consolation to Jock when Buchanhaven Hearts beat the North School FP’s 4-0.
The following week Jock was reinstated to the team for the league decider against the same opposition. The score was reversed and Jock’s form was not put in question again. A good job to!
Recently in conversation with David Mitchell the North’s right half at the time I mentioned these games. He agreed with my recall adding that on the Friday before the first game his sister Agnes had been married.
He excused the teams poor form in part to a number of ‘North’ players, namely himself, George Sturrock and Sandy ‘Pom’ Buchan having over indulged at the wedding celebration. ‘Mother Aikens’ the Backgate pub was a good training ground in those days.
David did not blame the hangover, but rather the fact they had spent some time at the baths trying to work off the effects of the demon and this on the morning of the match. Heavy legs being the resultant effect of the swimming session.
Other North players prominent in memory are, Tommy Birkett who later signed for Peterhead. After Tom left the North the very capable Bobby Porter then replaced him. ”charg’n the goalie” was a not advisable wae Bobby Porter in goal
Halfbacks David Mitchell, and George Sturrock were North School FP players who were well capable of playing for Peterhead. Sandy ‘pom’ did play for Peterhead in the early 50’s, a strong left-sided player with a great left foot. Sandy was later said to have been a poor guide of his self. He died tragically at Hartlepool perishing in a house fire in the late 70’s.
George Sturrock is the father of former Scottish International Paul Sturrock, and presently manager of Plymouth Argyle. Billy Bradford, who played for the YMCA, had trials with Hibernian before giving many years of sterling service to Fraserburgh. He later finished his Highland League career with Peterhead. Other early North players were brothers ‘Bunts’ and ‘Buster’ Paterson, Jim Aitken, James ‘The Hort’ Geddes, Jock ‘Pombie’ McGee and the incomparable Robbie Martin. Robbie had an infectious happy personality. Ever smiling, even after the roughest of treatment.
Robbie was at times referred to as the “Miserable peasant” This name was brought on by his habitual reference to others using that description. It was all in good fun and it was said he started a club called the “The Miserable Peasants Association” In reality
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:01 pm

'Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory'
PART 5
Also in that North FP’s team was Billy Baird, a perpetual motion inside forward, an excellent old style dribbler and always a favourite with the fans. Because of his skills he was the subject of some hefty tackling. He was never detered and could look after himself
What was then regarded as ‘rough treatment’, would now bare little comparison with what goes on in the modern game. Feigning injury, diving, or jersey pulling was unheard of in those days. If a club had a player sent off once in a season, it was regarded as an affront.

The YMCA team were formidable opponents. Sandy Baird an outstanding tough junior defender Sandy Birnie and speedy ball playing winger Dave Aitken, Goalkeeper Johnny Sangster and Billy Urquhart were other top players. Bruce Forsyth was a stalwart defender in a later YMCA team.
Joe Davidson who scored Peterhead’s first Highland League goal in 1931 played for that YMCA team. He was I think, still playing well beyond age of forty. Joe is the father of Peter and Ronnie Davidson who played for Buchanhaven Hearts, and Ian who played outside right for Crossies and later Hearts. Peter Anderson founder member of the boy’s Hexagon Club gives an amusing insight into how things were in those days. Peter’s father-in-law David Aitken was showing him a photo of the 1948 YMCA team, Peter asked “ Why have some of the players got collars on their jerseys and others have round laced up necks” David told him that some of them had taken the collars from their old white shirts and got their mothers to stitch them to the round neck of their green jerseys… just to make them look ‘flash‘ ”I remarked to Peter “these lads must have been the ’posers’ of the 1940’s “
If I were to pick one outstanding goal-keeping display in my years of watching football, it would be that of Johnny Sangster in a junior cup-tie at the ‘Rec’ against the local Caley. Johnny played with a turban of bandages on his head after sustaining a nasty head injury in the first half.
That Caley team would soon take over from the North School FP’s as the top team. Frank Williamson, a tremendous centre half, Bobby Massie, Joe ‘Sappies’ Buchan and former pre-war Peterhead player Jimmy ‘Socks’ Emslie were prominent in that early Caley team.

The Academy FP’s were also strong at this time with George Dyce, Alec Coull a silky forward, John ‘Coco’ Coull, Jackie Allardyce, Alec Grant and Jocky Samuell.
Jocky as a young man had travelled to a Peterhead game at Dingwall as a supporter. One of the cars conveying the players was involved in an accident. It was thought everyone was all right, but when they arrived at the ground, inside right Bill Sloan felt unable to play. Jock took his place and scored in a 6-1 win over Ross County. That was in the 1936-37 season.
He kept a press cutting of the match in his wallet for the rest of his life and he let me see it on an away trip in 1998 not long before he passed away. Jock's photo appeared in the ‘Buchanie’ holding the QC won in 97 ---a happy man.

Buchanhaven Hearts, always been strong before the war. Now they had to rebuild a team because many of their pre-war players like others then, had lost the best six years of their aspiring football lives.
It has been hard for me to pin down members of the first Hearts team after the war. The names I remember are, Charlie Kelman, Sonny Baird, who would become uncle to Peterhead’s John Sievwright Jr. Jim Stephen, whose father owned ‘Chowies’ grocery near the corner of Great Stuart Street. Robert ‘Bo’ Strachan, and possibly his brothers Beezer and Beemie, who had been lynch-pins in the Buchanhaven side before the war, at full back Redford Macintosh’s brother- in-; law ‘Pabbies’ so called because his full name was Peter Alec Buchan. Baker Alec Winton a diminutive, sparkling winger, another baker and tough opponent David Bruce and Alec Reid a very young left back who still lives in the family home at Skelton Street. Alec was Mr Consistency; he played over three decades with Hearts, Caley, and Cleforge (Cleveland Twist Drill).
I cannot ever recall Alec give a sub-standard performance. Another young Hearts player was joiner John Baird, now a prominent businessman in town, and a generous supporter of Peterhead FC. The Hearts team in those days had a strict selection policy; players must be of Buchanhaven stock before being considered for the team. A clannish lot, no chance of that generation ever joining the Euro. Getting them to become Blue Mogganers was difficult.
Names remembered from mthe early 50’s - George Murray, Alec Reid, Sandy Baird, George Sturrock, Ernie Buchan, Arthur Skelton, Ian Robertson, Peter Buchan, Bill Shepherd, Alec Buchan and David Aitken.

The Corinthian's were a strong team; they were unfortunately soon disbanded, having lost most of their players to play for Peterhead in Highland League. Their team was ‘run’ by left back Jockie Wiseman and included George Christie, John ‘Jew’ Buchan, John ‘Kingy’ Strachan, Bob Peacock, George Baird, Stanley Henderson, and Tom ‘The Champ’ Nicol. It was said Tom played a trial for Peterhead, scored four goals, and was never asked back. ‘Jew’ got his nickname because of a tendency to miss afternoon school (scoffi’n) now and again. On one occasion the teacher enquired why had John Buchan not returned after dinner? He was told John had gone to the harbour ‘Oh yes’ said the teacher “the wandering Jew” and so it stuck. Not at all the reason most people had thought
George ‘Dodie’ Moir was also a member of that Corinthians team, he was regarded as a quite excellent Centre Forward, but periods spent enjoying the hospitality of His Majesty’s Government stifled his progress.
Dodie was also a drummer in the local ‘Embassy’ dance band. He did from time to time participate at the Smith’s embankment boxing booths (often prostrate) the ‘shows‘ were pitched then in Charlotte Street opposite Love Lane
One of Dodie’s team mates was Jimmy Connell a tricky industrious player. Jim is the father-in-law of former Hearts and Peterhead goalkeeper Melvyn Buchan.
Among others who came from the Glasgow area were Bob Peacock and George McQueen. Similarly Frankie McManus, or Frunkie as pronounced in the local dialect, he was little over five feet tall, bow legged, a real box of tricks. Frank was a typical example of Scotland’s once famous ‘tuppeny ba’ players and was a great favourite with the Hospital Park crowds. Tommy Reynolds another from Glasgow, he first came to Peterhead in 1947; his early visits were with Codonas fair ground people. Tommy met and married local girl Helen Ritchie and settled down in Peterhead where he still lives.
The Crosse & Blackwell works team was another of the stronger sides at this time, in goal the physically imposing Peter Thomson, Bertie Cross and Eben Melville in defence and Jim Greig, Jim who would later become the factory manager.
Jimmy Daniel a classy wing-half. Outside Right Joe Buchan and inside forwards Billy Findlay and Peter Skinner, Peter’s younger brother.

Ian later played in Crossies most successful era and also with the 1960’s Youth club side. Alf Smith a prominent member of that Crosse and Blackwell team was later to become Governor Her Majesty’s Prison Peterhead. Alf is still a regular supporter at Balmoor, his son of the same name, was Peterhead’s left back in the seventies, before becoming a referee.
On the left wing a young Tommy Beagrie. Tom later played at left back in Crossies most successful ever side, and a quite daunting opponent. He was One of Tom’s colleagues was goalkeeper Ivor Robertson he was held in high esteem and thought by many, including myself to be well capable of playing at a higher level. He was a real stylist and had genuine all round ability, a commanding presence in the penalty area and always with a quiet unassuming manner.

1960's Crosse & Blackwell players included Bill Noble, Jimmy Christie, Ivor Robertson, Jim Wedderburn, Roddy McNeil, Tom Beagrie. Andrew Buchan, Jimmy Hooper, James Cordiner, John Strachan, Bill Proctor, Robbie Wallace

Jimmy Christie played at left half for a long number of seasons. He was the brother of Peterhead’s Ally Christie, and the elder son of former Peterhead pre-war full back Morton Christie. Morton had played junior for the West End in the Thirties. Story has it Morton’s team were playing the Academy FP’s and taking a hammering. When the seventh goal was conceded the ball lodged high in the stanching. Goalkeeper Tom Smith (later the ‘Rec’ grounds man) turned to retrieve the ball, and asked Morton ‘Far’s eh ba’? Morton replied “Why Tom they’re hanging them up for you now,” Or something like that!
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:13 pm

I think the story is now a liitle beyond what had been posted so far. I have had to make some minor adjustments because of photographs interspersed in the relative disc story parts.

Today's game - I agree with Left leg on another thread. The wind is a bummer and can be a leveller
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:38 pm

1Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory"
PART 6

Other Summer League teams were Links United, Greenhill, Prison Officers, and the Gordon's who represented the TA. The latter club was, I think Allan Proctor’s first team in the junior grade. Allan would later figure as Peterhead’s powerhouse Right- half in the middle Fifties. Other ‘Gordon’s’ players that come to mind are Abel Donaldson father of Jim ‘Skipper’ Donaldson who played in Peterhead’s 88-89-championship team, Abel’s close friend in that side was, Davie ‘Don Ameche’ Geddes, nick-named after the movie star, because of his ‘tache’
I believe there was then a team representing the large Ugie Park estate, and named Ugie Park Rangers they were 'run' by David Strachan brother of “Pops” (more about her later). The team, of which I have little memory, may have included George Forbes, George ‘Tony’ Emslie and his older brother Joe whose son, also Joe was an excellent goalkeeper for the dominant Buchanhaven Hearts team in the 60’s.
Surprisingly I have little recall of many Prison Officer players. Dodo Taylor, Georgie Stephen and from a later team Dougie Davidson and of course Boris, a giant of a man, and any players who played then will well remember ‘Boris’ I can’t remember his surname, but the way he played football ‘Karloff’ would have suited very well.
The ‘warders’ played all their games in Peterhead until about 1952. They then used the prison pitch for their home fixtures. It had a severe slope; the surface was of compacted cinders and not the normal grass, which we were all accustomed to. To the youngsters at Catto Park’s all-weather facility “eat your hearts out” you were all born too late for such a joyous experience.
Derelict rail coaches which had previously been used to transport the convicts to the Stirling Hill quarries, were now being used by the teams as changing rooms. I remember playing there, and bending down to lace my boots and noticed the ankle manacles still bolted to the floor under the seats. That, and lining up against Boris was an eerie experience for any youngster. Thoughts of ‘Humphrey Bogart’ and ‘Sing Sing’ ran through my young imaginative mind. In researching this story I have only recently discovered that ‘Boris’ was a nickname and that his name was in fact ‘Alex Campbell.’ His associates tell me he was a real gentleman off the park. ’Boris; died 7 years ago (1995)

I have recollection of Louie Ferrari playing for Peterhead ‘A’, but can’t remember his junior team. Louie’s younger brother Ronnie also played, but that was later in another generation of players and will be covered later. The Blue Moggan Italian connection continued with Cardo Bicocch who played for Peterhead in the 50’s Cardo’s career it was said, was interrupted by the amount of time spent working in his father Victor’s shop the Kit Kat café.
The youngest of the Ferrari family was Charlie; he was in the Peterhead Academy team that did so well to reach the Final of the Scottish Schools Cup on the 10th April 1965 at Hampden Park. The team under the control of Ian Buchanan put up a great fight before going down 2-0 to Coatbridge St Patricks High.
For the record, the boys on duty in that under-18’s Final were; Cooper, Milne, Mc’Gillivray, Hendry Bagshaw, Ferrari, Anderson, Mc’Neil, Wallace, Morrison, and Robertson. Four of the team, Cooper, Bagshaw, Mc’Neil, and Robertson stepped up to the Highland League. Charlie Ferrari is now a director of Cove Rangers.
The Academy centre half that day was George Bagshaw who later played for Deveronvale and Peterhead, George had his young life tragically cut short in a car crash coming home from a match. His farther George played for Peterhead in the Forties, he was a reliable solid centre half, who may have made more appearances had it not been for the form of ‘Dodie’ Buchan.
There was now in the late 40’s, a crop of players coming through to the junior grade that had probably never seen a game of football until after the war. One of those would have been Alec McGee a fast raiding penetrative forward; I was of the opinion he might have moved to a higher-grade. Alec lived at the bottom of the ‘Burnie Streetie’ he has since told me it was not until his first day at school when the teacher asked for his address, she corrected his Burnie Street reply and told him it was “Great Stuart Street.”
Eddie ‘Topps’ Thores, a hard working skilful halfback He was a quiet lad off the park and I think turned down the offer of signing for Peterhead.
There were some good young players who would not conform to organised team play, neither did some like the idea of changing’ to team colours. Two of those in that category, both of whom I knew very well, were Archie Gillies, and Charlie ’Chaddy’ Cameron. In any ‘chyzie up’ game (choosing sides by the toss of a coin), they were always outstanding, running with speed at defenders, displaying great close control aiding their ‘dribbling’ skills. They did however love the ball at their feet and doing it ‘their way‘. “Don’t tell me how to play” their protested reply to team tactics.
Those ‘bounce’ games are remembered as being of twenty each side. Before the game started, the players would sit on the Ugie Street Barclay Park dyke, a haze of smoke from Woodbine, Turf and if things were really bad Pasha, the smoke lingered in the air as we waited impatiently for Eric and Stanley Henderson to come with the only leather ball around. A last inhaled puff before the game commenced; some cheated and were betrayed by a slip stream of smoke from the left wing.
Not all were so keen for the game to start. Andy ‘Sugary’ McGee would be hovering around with a well thumbed and probably marked deck of playing cards. Trying his best to persuade the lads to join a game of ‘pontoons’ (blackjack). He was later a croupier in Charlie Buchan’s Regal Casino and well suited for the job. .
Other parts of the town had their own areas of play for there ‘chyzie ups’ The ‘links’ was popular with those who lived in the South and West End’s of Peterhead. Traffic was light in those days and it was common to see jackets substituted for goal post in the street, many arguments ensued as to whether the ball went over, or under the imaginary crossbar
I took part in Port Hendry Road games played with a ‘coo’s’ bladder for a ball. It was salvaged from the nearby slaughterhouse at Battery Park. There was little bounce in the bladder but we managed to kick it around for a time. David Beckham might have difficulty swerving free kicks with that ball and he might possibly not managed anything spectacular with the then normal ‘T ’panelled leather ball. The coo’s bladder did of course require a volunteer to have it inflated it by mouth. Oh the joys of those early poverty stricken post war years
Many Roanheads located young players started playing on the drying green to the left of the slaughterhouse. The area of grass was much greater than seen today. There were no houses past the first four blocks from the right of Ives Road. The railway track came from the station goods yard, hugged the rear of the bowling and putting greens under the bridge at Ugie Street and continued between the Ives Park houses and the rear of the industrial yards at Wilson Road. It continued to the rear of the four blocks mentioned, past the Battery Park houses to the rail terminal at the rear of the boat slip at Seagate. A narrow gravel path split the football playing area, and the rail line, but was included as part of the home made pitch. They tell me now of playing on a “all-weather Astroturf surface“…. What’s that? Some lunar landing place in a ‘Flash Gordon’ movie perhaps?
Prior to 1939 each area’s junior team represented different locations in a then much smaller town i.e. Longate / Orion, Roanheads / North End, Merchant St, Harbour area / South Bay Rangers and the ‘toonsers’ team was the West End, Buchanhaven was of course the Hearts. The “Wednesdays” club I always assumed to be the shop workers team, because of their half-day on a Wednesday. I have often wondered as to why there was not a team from the Queenie, surely they would have been the original ‘Arabs’ and not Dundee United.
Other players remembered at this time are brothers Davie, Jack and later Laurie Thom, Robbie Glendenning and Stanley Hood, although I’m not sure if they all played for the Ugie Park Rangers side, or maybe the JIC? (Junior Instruction Centre) David Thom told me a story involving Jimmy Spink. It seems that in the summer of 45 a team had been scrambled together by Andy Stephen to play a team at Cruden Bay. The game was played on a very uneven farm park, Jimmy was speeding down the right wing and the other forward players were haring towards the goal anticipating a cross. When Davie turned round to see if the ball was on its way Jimmy had disappeared---into a ditch running parallel to the touch line. He fell over body-swerving a cowpat. They’d never play for the Dons, but they could tell a good story.
Co-op milkman and later Cleveland machinist Jimmy Spink played and managed the Gordon’s team. Chris Rafferty, a strong left half in Jimmy’s team was a promising player at this time, He later left Peterhead, for Hull, where he worked for a branch of the Woodgers fishing company.. When he visited his hometown he never missed a chance to see Peterhead play. He is the uncle of former Peterhead and Deveronvale goalkeeper Billy Thom who had previously had a successful spell with Buchanhaven Hearts. In researching this story, I have only recently discovered that Chris died at his Hull home in 2000
Other pairs of brothers included Gordon and Tommy Stephen. They were sons of the well-known genial gentleman referee Cecil Stephen. Cecil had worked with my father before the war as a Plumber / Gas fitter. I recall seeing him being revived by Sandy Birnie and Hearts player Charlie Kelman after being gassed repairing a roadside leak at Queen Street near Recreation Park. Sadly Cecil died later suffering the same type of accident outside the North Eastern Hotel in Chapel Street. He was only 37 at the time of his untimely death 51 years ago. It is sad to think that Cecil survived six years in the army and then to succumb in such a manner. His widow Catherine is a hale and hearty 90-year-old and was delighted to give me permission to write of her much loved Cecil and is pleased that he should be remembered so many years after his passing.
Brothers, George Strachan and Goalkeeper Johnny both played for Peterhead. John gave up as a goalkeeper after sustaining a serious injury playing against Deveronvale in the Aberdeenshire Cup Final of season 51-52. After playing a trial for Peterhead his performance was reported in the ’Buchanie’ “Small for a goalkeeper, but with cat like agility, and an excellent style of gathering the ball “. Johnny continued for many years as a dominant centre half for Caley and the Euclid.
The Caley goalkeeper at this time, was the excellent Norman Cowie, Jock Anderson later followed him. Jock was originally from Inverness, and was the brother-in-law of Albert Strachan a clever scheming inside forward with the Academy FP’s and later Euclid.
Albert in turn was the brother of the irrepressible one and only Robbie Strachan. He was a great supporter of the Peterhead team and looking back, the ‘Billy Connolly’ of the team bus.
On a visit to Lossiemouth in 1968 we had left Peterhead without substitutes.
Ian Buchanan asked Robbie if he would be willing to go on in an emergency. Robbie jumped at the chance, and was named as a Sub. The fickle finger of fate then went to work. Dougal Summers was sent off, Roddy McNeil injured and had to come off. The team was 3-1 down, and Robbie trotted proudly on to play at outside right. When I saw him take up position on the wing, I said to Arthur Buchan ‘the way that left back is playing, Robbie could be in trouble’. Would you believe it? Robbie scored two goals, tap-ins set up by Ally Christie, and Pat Duncan and we managed a draw. Robbie was highly excited by the first goal, and then went absolutely berserk when the second went in.
Robbie and his young wife Rosanne lived in Threadneedle Street at the time. Every morning he would call at my workplace, Ferguson’s bakery in Merchant Street for his ‘butteries.’ When he visited on the Monday after the Lossie match he told me ‘straight faced ’ he was very disappointed with my attitude after Saturday’s game. “All the way home in the bus and you never once offered me terms “ Sadly, Robbie has now passed on. A great miss to all those who knew him.
Brian, Dougie, and Sandy ‘Blocks’ Strachan were nephews of referee Cecil Stephen, and members of the well - known ‘Karries’ football family. Dougie along with Peter Davidson would later revive the Buchanhaven Hearts in the 50’s, and they were still at the helm until the mid 90’s. It was then that an internal dispute that saw the Football and Social club committee’s fracture. Doug’s younger brother, Brian Strachan an effervescent clever ball player was until recently Chairman of Buchanhaven Hearts FC.
Associated singularly with the Hearts, Brian epitomises the dedication of Junior Football administrators. His allegiance and devotion to his much-loved ‘Hearties’ has never wavered. Committee man Alec ‘Cackles’ McLean is another in that category.
Probably the greatest gene spread to benefit Peterhead FC was from ’Big Mac’ and his Mc’Neil family offspring. Murdo, of the North School FP’S although never a Peterhead player was prominent in junior circles and his brother Chris to a lesser degree. Younger brother Roddy was the Peterhead Right back in the late 60’s. Roddy’s nephew George Watson actually played before him. George first played junior for the YMCA Youth Club and Hearts before signing for Deveronvale, George spent one season with the Banff club before coming home to the ‘Rec’. He is now one of six Directors at Peterhead Football Club plc
George’s brother Murdo who is now on the Hearts committee was Peterhead’s centre forward in the early seventies. Their cousin George McNeil was the clubs outside left for a few years, before moving south to work with the Inland Revenue. I was always very nice to George. In his first year away from home he won a Scottish Junior Cup winners medal with Cambuslang Rangers. He now lives in Southern England and has a son on the Norwich City staff. Ally Buchan was a new spar of the McNeil family, his mother Margaret’s maiden surname being Watson. During the eighties Ally was surely the jewel in manager Jim Hamilton’s crown. His football career cut short by a double leg break. The injury sustained against Keith, happened just a week before he was due to play trials for Jim McLean’s Dundee United. His injury was a major disaster for the club, and of course more especially for Ally..
I classed his forced retirement as one of my four greatest disappointments while supporting Peterhead. The others being Frank Middleton’s leg break against Motherwell, similarly the two leg breaks suffered by Gordon McIntyre at Nairn and Keith, and the much too early end of of Billy Weir playing for Peterhead.
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:45 pm

"Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory"
PART 7

During the late forties, football followers in Peterhead were to experience the ’thrill’ of a ladies team Crossie’s Dynamos ! The 40’s Spice & Soup Girls. They were skilful enough to remain undefeated, and did on one occasion win 17-0 at Turriff.
The Forties ‘Soup and Spice girls as follows
Isobel Ritchie, Mina McLean, Elsie Strachan, Lizzie Thoirs, Jessie McLean, Jessie Strachan, Edith Wallace (who loaned the photo),Nancy Souter, Mona Chalmers, Laura Watts and Jessie Taylor.

Without detracting from the other girls, it was generally accepted that Jessie ‘Pops’ Strachan was the team’s star performer. When as young boys we had a ‘chyzie-up’ on the Barclay Park hockey pitch, Jessie was not out of her depth in whatever side.
Their coach/trainer was John ‘Towny’ Davidson he was well known in local football circles and sadly like Cecil Stephen died tragically as the result an accident involving a lorry at the Railway Station goods yard.
Another mention of Cecil, brings to mind the league’s Referees. Important men of authority, some of whom, it was alleged, suffered from early cataract problems.
In their number were Cecil Jocky Sullivan, and Johnny Taylor, it was said of the latter that he left the ‘Rec’ concealed in a team’s kit hamper after a pre-war Hearts V South Bay Rangers game; there was also at this time the larger than life PC Davidson. He was a strict disciplinarian, scrupulously fair and with a style all of his own. Another referee at the time was ex RAF Sergeant Peter Mackie. He managed to put his service discipline to good use with his whistle, whilst his brother Wullie was familiar with his cry of “Racing and Football Results“.
Some time later at John M Thomson’s where I worked as a message boy, PC Davidson was the boats ‘runner’ he was an excellent storyteller. When Peter spent a little time with me in the shop’s storeroom, I listened to him with enthusiasm and in awe of his pre-war football tales.
One of the later referee’s was Bob Ledingham, Bob played it by the book. On one occasion he sent off Links United player Frank ‘Frogy’ Napier. He asked Frank’s name and the player replied “Fit are ye ask’n mi name for, ye marriet meh sister last week”
Other’s included Tommy Walker, Policeman Bob Greig, and Jim Davidson. They were the first generation of Referee’s who moved away from the shirt, pullover, and trousers tucked into the socks era of sartorial elegance. Jim is the very same local Councillor Davidson we have today. Andrew Buchan ‘ran the line’ for Peterhead before neutral linesmen were introduced. Andrew was later a winger with Crossie’s and then with Peter Davidson’s Hearts team. He turned to refereeing in a generation which included Zander Buchan, and James Grieve, Zander was the brother of ginger Joe Buchan another player with a personality giving indication of his great enjoyment playing football. Joe played for Peterhead on a few occasions. Another in the same category was Prison Officer Dougie Davidson a scheming hard working inside forward, he like Joe, also played for Peterhead on more than one occasion.
The Boddam village were always stiff opposition, especially on their own ground, they joined the League a few years after the war, having previously played in the ‘Buchan League,‘ they boasted such stalwarts as Robert ‘Toolie’ Cordiner, George ’Dooie Cook and brother Sidney, Bert Knox, Bob Craighead, brother of Peterhead’s Davie and the smile’n cavalier of the side ‘Zuel’ Stephen.
Whilst discussing their team with former player Bob Craighead, he remarked on the different characters that played then. He remembered Dodie Moir hitting a penalty kick over the bar at the sea end of Barclay Park and how the ball continued on to break Mrs Nicol’s window at 10 Ugie Park, now 89 Ugie Street. The address change came about when the collective name of Ugie Park was changed in favour of individual street names, i.e. Burns Road Raemoss Road etc.
Bob was not aware the lady he was talking about was grandmother to my wife and also to footballer Billy Bradford, Mother Nicol’ had to suffer a few broken windows, mainly from cricket balls being hit from the coconut matting strip at
Barclay Park. I suspected Louis Brinham may have been her nemesis in that respect.
Among characters about then, were Robbie Greig and ‘Cag’ Anderson, these two worthies always stood at the Buchanhaven corner of Recreation Park. Cag would ‘kick-in’ with the opposition. I once heard a fan say ‘Cag’ put the “evil eye” on Buckie Thistle. I was too young to know what he meant.
The fishing communities along the north east of Scotland had in common a need to use nicknames, usually to identify for example, one ‘Buchan’ from another.
There is no disrespect intended by the following, it should be seen as only a little light relief. The titles ‘Cag,’ 'Hort’ and ‘Champ,’ were just the tip of the nickname iceberg. Others were Sawtfish, Sleepy Robbie and brothers Spider and Tiger Youngson among many more.
In a football context the following may lend a nice ring to some imaginary Peterhead half back lines. Bully, Buller and Breezy. Nicol brothers Darko, Owks and Matty. Digger, Brownie and Toto all Donaldsons. Pinkle, Porky and Potts, Sharky, Shikkets and Skate, Kipper, Skipper, and Nipper, Zacker, Zazu and Zung. The players to be captained by the prince of all bye-names ‘Aiberdein eh Morn’ with ‘Soshie his sponge man and able lieutenant and oh yes, the crème de la crème of inside trios Boopie, Wooppie and Toupie and not forgetting the half-time tea hut ladies; Katsy Mamsie, Fykie Slessor and Babbie Scones, all aided by the Donaldson ladies Baba, Bushie and Mekky. Every one of those names along with many more a great memory of day’s gone bye.
Bushie was the mother of the other two Donaldson girls. I knew them all very well, having been brought up ‘ ben eh hoose fae Baba ’ at 13 Port Henry Road. It was not unusual for Bushie and her then younger unmarried daughters Gladys, Ina, Flora and Bunty to visit Baba whose husband Jock Green was in the Navy. I have distinct memory of Baba’s cabinet gramophone full blast playing a few of her records. The four Donaldson girls imitating the Andrews sisters with Vera Lynne’s “White cliffs of Dover. “Followed by “I’ll be with you in Apple blossom time” and finishing with an enthusiastic rendition of “Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny, how you can love’ Looking back “Oh what a lovely war! They were wonderful people in wonderful times and especially if you were too young to realise the seriousness of it all.
During periods between the air raid warning and the ‘all clear It was common for those living upstairs to gather in the down stair’s flat. On one occasion, I remember the children were put ‘down’ in the boxed-in bed, I think there was six of us packed in head to toe. Being an only child, it was great fun for me to be in such a large group.
We had been making a bit of a noise and the house owner Belle ‘Lootin’ Summers, Keithy’s granny told us “The last een sleepin’s, eh first een merriet.” The girl’s eyes closed immediately. Nowadays my grandchildren tell me they’re bored, there’s nothing to do in Peterhead.
Other characters and loyal Peterhead supporters, were window cleaner Johnny Graham, Maxie Stewart, and Jock Spence. Maxie was involved in a works accident at the harbour. His injuries meant the loss of part of a leg, he was not deterred by his disability and was a hard working supporter of the club, ‘Dally‘ Ritchie who played with the Hearts is one of his grandchildren. These three gentlemen were programme sellers in the long gone days of big crowds. I recall them operating in Queen Street, two of them near the Bowling green fountain where the crowd was queuing into Victoria Road, the other at the Hay Crescent end. Catto Bruce, well-known ‘Tattie mannie’ and his son Douglas were both great supporters of both the team and the club. Catto was always good for a bag ‘eh tatties’ and other trade prizes for the club’s Xmas raffle. He and Douglas were both founder members of the re-constituted club in the 50’s.
For the benefit of the young fans of today, “Yes” the crowds did queue in such numbers in those days. The Barclay Park Summer League crowds much greater than are mustered at Balmoor today.
Before the new turnstile frontage was built, entry money was paid at a small 15”x 15” square hole-in-the wall near the large exit gate. The operator was Mary Hutchison, and looking back I find it difficult to understand how she managed. Mary is the aunt of Sidney Hutchison who for many years operated the Hay Crescent gate and who is still a solid supporter today. Two girls who assisted Mary when the new turnstiles opened were, Winnie Buchan, Helen Ritchie and Doreen Quirrie. Doreen later married Peterhead player Jim ‘Pipey’ Buchan. The press later described Jim, as the ‘The Stanley Matthews of the North’ Winnie became the wife of ‘Dodie’ Buchan. It seemed there was more than the turnstiles click’n
In 1949 the club directors erected a plastic lettered sign above the new six-turnstile frontage and styled ‘PETERHEAD FOOTBALL CLUB.’ I thought the sign gave a professional finish to the new frontage, proudly proclaiming ‘this’ to be the home ground of the towns football club. The view of the local Feuars Managers was somewhat different they were concerned some might get the wrong idea regarding ownership of the ground. The club was promptly told to remove the sign. As a youngster I couldn’t see the sense in removing it. After all both the club and the towns Feuars Managers knew who owned the ground, what else mattered ? A little hurt pride I suppose. Were we to equate the situation then to present day, it would be noticeable that the Feuars Town House windows clearly display the name of a prominent Peterhead Law firm. It is possible that nowadays we have a more progressive and mature thinking team of Feuars Managers.
Sandy Baird from the Horse and Cart family in Ugie Road was another ‘personality.’ Although not a football fan, he liked to congregate where there was crowd of people. I gave him the job of collecting the Tea-Hut cups after half time. For his efforts, Sandy received his ‘cuppa,’ sausage roll, or was it two. I dared not ignore his plea “faggy Jim, faggy ”or I would be on the wrong end of his tongue!
There were other characters similar to Sandy but it was a long time ago, and I’m afraid the memory fades with time, and of course with their passing.
popeye
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Re: Good old days

Postby popeye » Sun Nov 09, 2008 10:59 am

'Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory'
PART 8

I played with Links United when I was sixteen. My team-mates were Jimmy Ritchie, Robbie Glendenning, Stanley Hood, Willie O’Brien, Jim Clubb, A Grant, Ian Reid, Wattie Porter, Alec Davidson..Bill Lawrie, Joe Wyness, Robbie Martin, and Sandy Strachan
After my second season, a period of self-analysis gave clear indication that I would never play for my beloved Peterhead. I decided at that young age if I couldn’t wear the 'blue' at the ‘Rec’, I would then endeavour to help my hometown club in whatever way I could. I’m now mindful of President John F Kennedy’s famous Berlin speech, and to change it a little, “Ich bin ein Blue Mogganer” and later “Ask not what your club can do for you, but what you can do for your club” A wee bit corny I know, but it summed up my feelings at the time
I was soon aware I lacked the confidence to play in a contact sport like football. I excused this mental block on having sustained five separate arm breaks in 26 months between the ages of 11 and 14. Whether that is the reason I cannot be sure. My inner self let me believe that to be the case. Bill Davidson the barber in ‘old Longate’ would put his massive hand on my head and give it a turn when he wished to change position. On one occasion he said as he turned my head ‘Every time you come in here yiv got yir airm in stukie (plaster)’. I thought, but dared not say. ‘If you turn my head like that again, it’ll be it it’s in a stukie!
The Longate brings to mind a personal horseracing story: I was working as a message boy during my school holidays. On this occasion, I came home for my dinner break. My father, always the bookie’s friend, told me of a horse belonging to ‘Churchill’’ running that day,’ a sure winner’ he said, “put your tips on it” I speculated 5/- (25pence) and only because I thought the other jockeys would let ‘Churchill’s’ horse win. My choice was added to my father’s bet 3 x three-penny doubles and a 1/-roll up. I was familiar with the jargon.
I headed for Charlie Lawson’s bookies shop ( now Downie’s Electrical shop Ellis St ). The race was broadcast on the wireless (radio). I came home at race time to hear Raymond Glendenning commentate and heard him say my chosen horse had fallen at the first ‘jump.’ Having regularly seen the exploits of Hollywood’s Mickey Rooney and desperately seeking to rescue my five shillings, I said to my father “it would maybe get up and still win“. He pooh-poohed that idea, and I have pooh-poohed gambling ever since.
The ‘old’ Longate brings memories of the many shops and tenement houses, most of which, had no internal water, making use of the ‘ootside wateries’ a ‘racing’ certainty
I had my first full time job in the Longate as message boy with grocer John M Thomson. In later years I remember having some heated family arguments trying to name all the shops from Bobby Taities (RT Milne’s) at one end, to Sutherland the butcher at the other.
The Links United lads I played with were Willie O’Brien in goal, Robbie Glendenning, Ian Reid, Wattie Porter, Jimmy Clubb, Robbie Martin, Andy Clubb, Alex ‘Bo’ Davidson, Billy Lawrie, Joe Wyness and Sandy ‘Blocks’ Strachan. Joe was one of a group of four friends who were, along with many others of our age group enthusiasts of the Rescue Hall dances, the others being Andrew Johnston, ’Big Alex Ritchie’ and myself. On the pitch, Joe had a cultured left foot and a good football brain, His solidly built frame did I think slow him down, otherwise he also might have moved to a grade beyond the Highland League. He, Andrew, Ernie Blow were, along with myself all great Hibs fans, so much so, we wrote the Easter Road club in 1951 asking for an old strip to start our own Junior League team i.e. Peterhead Hibs. We never received a reply.
Another Links favourite later on was William ‘Boopie’ Milne, a highly entertaining, and extrovert player. ‘Boopie’ once played wearing ‘toppers’ (Wellington boots). Folklore has it; the opposing goalie once saved his left topper as the ball flew elsewhere. Boopie played to the gallery, and the gallery just loved it. He was a member of the following Links Utd side :
Alec ‘Bo’ Davidson, Andy Ritchie, Ian Reid, John Cooper, Eddie Walton, George ‘Tony’ Emslie, George O’Brien
Billy Greig, William ‘Poopie’ Milne, Frank Napier, Billy Youngson,
Jackie McLean, Robbie Martin, Jimmy Hooper
Sadly he ‘Booy too has passed on. His nick-name appears on his grave side head stone
Frank Napier a crafty inside forward with Links United and later the ‘Euclid’ team also played for Peterhead a few times. George Aird started with Robbie’s Links United before moving to the Academy FP’s, George played for Peterhead on numerous occasions and spent a few seasons with Formartine United playing alongside a young Ally Shewan. Robbie Martin ran the Links team and who passed away some time ago, was an ever-popular character. When older fans speak of those days, Robbie and Jocky Wiseman’s names are sure to brought into any conversation. Such people lived for the game and they richly deserve a place in the town’s football history.
Mention of ‘Boopy’ Milne brings to mind his brother Acky Milne and his great friend Bobby Mathieson they worked unpaid for many hours at Recreation Park. Likewise, Billy Munro, (Shunner Bill) modern day equivalents are Alan Park, Bill Spence and Bruce Buchan. Bruce first came to help at the park as a schoolboy. These are the types, who in spite of whether the team is good, bad or indifferent, they can always be relied on to help out their club with supreme effort and dedication.
During the 50’s there were often late nights spent at the ground after training was over. Bob Mess, John Milne net mender ‘Plummer’ Buchan or was it Strachan, whatever. Enthralling stories of their bygone football years. Each one had a football hero from the 20’s and 30’s, ‘Middler’ ‘Petie Thomson’ ‘Aickie Henderson’ ‘Geordie Brebner‘ ‘Sodger Duthie’ all ghosts from the past brought to life in an atmosphere of thick pipe smoke in the ‘Rec’s’ home dressing room. East Enders who needs it? Keep it we had our own soccer soap opera.
John Milne had been involved a motorcycle accident when a young man. He suffered lasting injuries to his spine and wore a neck support for the rest of his life. He owned an extensive range of massage equipment and was always on call when some players were injured.
The Links United, were first formed in the late 40’s. They had John Cooper in goal, he was the father of future Peterhead goalkeeper Jack Cooper. Jack played at under-18 level for the Scotland. His two representative games were against England 2-2 and Wales 1-1. Wales included a young John Toshack in their line up.
Regrettably it seems there are no public records available, no evidence which might give account of those years, of the efforts made by such truly dedicated football people who were forever encouraging young men to play football. There were never enough places to include every player in the so-called ‘top’ teams. Robbie Martin and his like were ever around to take up the slack, and give youngsters of whatever calibre a game.
The summer junior league was producing a crop of younger players. One of the truly outstanding performers then was Jimmy (Cookies) Lovie. He started with the North School FP’s in the summer of 1949. If I had to make a choice as to who was the best all-round local player in my years as a supporter, It would have to be Jimmy. It was a great disappointment to myself that he stayed so long as a junior player, spurning many opportunities to move up.
Tom Townsley, former Falkirk, Leeds United, and Scotland player took Jimmy to Leeds for a mid-week trial match, the game was called off due to fog. Jimmy was asked to stay over and play on the Saturday. He declined and came home next day. George (Podie) Murray who played at Centre Half for Caley the former local fish-buyers team was another of whom I regretted not moving up sooner.
popeye
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 9:52 am

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