IT^ROM the middle of the
eighteenth century down to the first year of Queen Victoria's reign (1837)
there are no parochial events of much importance on record. Any noteworthy
incidents which did occur are such as can be treated, along with relative
subjects, in another part of this book. But on the occasion of the
coronation of Her Majesty Queen Victoria on the 28th June, 1838, the
villagers of Fettercairn, like those of more recent days, were not behind in
their manifestations of loyalty. Under the heading of "Fettercairn," a local
correspondent of the Montrose Standard writes as follows:—
"Our little village was not
behind in the general rejoicing on Thursday last. Although we did not follow
in the wake of some of the neighbouring towns, in founding public buildings,
the day was employed in pulling down part of our church, to make way for a
handsome steeple and additional church accommodation, about to be erected by
the munificence of several of our public-spirited proprietors. A flag was
displayed from the Forbes Arms Inn, and * the artillery of Heaven' came very
seasonably to supply the want of our ordnance department. A neat selection
of fireworks, procured by subscription, was let off about ten o'clock p.m.
from the Forbes Arms Inn, to the gratification of several hundreds who had
by that time assembled in the village, and who afterwards retired to
Fettercairn House to witness a similar display by the Lord of the Manor, Sir
John Stuart Forbes, Bart., who supplied them with a bumper of real
Fettercairn to pledge the health of 'our maiden Queen.' After three long and
loud huzzas, the whole party broke up in perfect harmony and good order."
The cost of the steeple
referred to was defrayed by Sir John Gladstone; and that of the addition to
the church by him and the other two resident heritors, viz., Sir John S.
Forbes, and Captain, - afterwards Colonel, M'Inroy.
In 1847 gaslight was
introduced into the village through the enterprise of two brothers,
Alexander and David Ross, both blacksmiths, the one at the Burn, and the
other at Stankeye. In 1852 the latter, with his family, emigrated to
Australia, like many another in that year, and the works were offered for
sale. Sir John S. Forbes and the leading householders of the village formed
themselves into-a joint-stock company with a capital of £250 in £1 shares.
They paid £150 for the plant, and carried on the business with ordinary
success. But after a few years, owing ta the cost of necessary repairs, the
high price of coal, and the consumpt of gas falling off on account of the
cheapness of paraffin, and improvement of lamps, the concern had to-be wound
up with a call upon the shareholders, and the company dissolved in 1879.
The Burn and Fettercairn
Curling Club, the oldest in the Mearns, was formed in 1848. All the resident
proprietors who founded the club are now dead and gone; but they were keen,
keen curlers, like as are now their successors. The Burn and Fettercairn
ponds, as also the beautiful expanse of ice at Fasque lake, have on many a.
happy occasion been the scene of a well-contested bonspielr and the joyous
boom of the stones as they sped their way over the ice from crampit to tee
could, on a quiet frosty day, be distinctly heard in the village of
Fettercairn, although the lake at Fasque is more than a mile distant.
Schoolboys—the curlers of the future—were all put on edge at the sound, for,
so long as they did not cross the rink, had they not the privilege of
skating and of learning from their seniors something of the mysteries of the
"roaring game" Then, too, on occasion, lady patronesses-provided curlers'
fare, hot and toothsome, from their respective mansion-houses, and sometimes
a share of the-good things came the way of an enterprising boy.
In the long and frosty winter
of 1880-1, Lord Clinton,. then at Fettercairn House, was a keen player. His
lordship wrote and composed a song, Horo, Curlers! and presented each member
with a printed copy. At his own cost, he enlarged and improved the curling
pond in Fettercairn House grounds. Of all the original members in 184& only
one survives, Mr David Prain, the unwearied secretary,. who, as a leader of
the game, has never been excelled^ Of humorous incidents on the ice, one may
be given: "Hollo! John, you've fallen through, up to the middle. Water
enough; get out and run home for your whisky!"
In 1855, the Fettercairn
District Subscription Library was instituted; and in the movement Lady
Gladstone and the late Rev. Charles Aitken, incumbent at Fasque Chapelr took
a leading part. It consisted at first of about 600 well-selected volumes.
The old and disused libraries of the Parish Church and of the Farmers' Club
were added to it, and from time to time new works of importance. The library
is now kept in the Reading Room of the Public Hall, and is open to readers
once a week.
On the 28th of July, 1858,
Miss Forbes of Fettercairn. was married to her cousin, the Hon. Charles
Trefusis, now Lord Clinton. The village was en fete. The people held
holiday, and the school children were entertained by Sir John S. Forbes.
The Fettercairn Corps of the
4th Kincardine Rifle Volunteers was started in 1859. The movement was a
popular one, and many parishioners of influence joined the local company. An
excellent Rifle Range was found at Glenburnie. It was one of the best and
safest in the country, and provided firing points up to 1000 yards.