Saturday, 14 February 2009

Urban Recon

Thanks to some kind people at work, I have started the British Computer Society’s “DigitalCre8or” Award. For a digital stills assignment, I have decided on 3 images that show the changes in Aberdeen. Trite, I know, but what the heck.

I raided Scran for some early photos of Aberdeen City centre. And went out with printouts in my pocket and tried to find where the images were taken from. I’ll head out tomorrow with the dSLR and hope to get better shots.

Market Cross1880s

Scran notes for The Market Cross c.1880:  For many years public whipping, branding and the burning of seditious literature was carried beneath its shadow. In 1842 following numerous complaints about congestion at the west end of the Castlegate, the Market Cross was moved to its present site.

Castle Street 1880s

Scran notes: View of Castle Street, Aberdeen (looking east) by George Washington Wilson … A single line of tram rails curving round into King Street dates this view to post-1874. By the end of the 19th century the appearance of the east end of Castle Street had changed completely: James Gordon's former premises had been demolished to make way for the Salvation Army Citadel which still occupies the site today.

Exchange Street c1860

Looking down an unassuming back street counting building stories on both sides of the street. The arched openings, and projecting stonework at the end of the building confirm the target. (maplink)

Aberdeen Savings Bank c1860

Scran notes: Aberdeen Savings Bank was founded in 1815 and had conducted its business in small offices until 1858,
when this building was opened, on the 1st July, in Exchange Street.

Union Bridge c1880

Scran notes of Statue of Albert, Prince Consort at Union Bridge, Aberdeen, c.1880: A lone cabbie waits at the stance under the solemn gaze of Albert, the Prince Consort, whose statue stood at the corner of Union Street and Union Terrace until 1911. After the widening of Union Bridge, the statue was moved to a site at the end of the Terrace while that of King Edward VII was erected at the junction.

Union Terrace Gardens c1880

Scran notes to Union Terrace Gardens, Aberdeen showing the Bandstand, c.1880: In 1876, Aberdeen Town Council agreed to turn the wooded bank of Corby Haugh and the bleachgreens beside the railway line into a pleasure ground for the people of Aberdeen. Work began on the laying out of Union Terrace Gardens in 1877 and the park was officially opened the following year.

The more things change, the more some things stay the same. 130-140 years after the original photo was taken, and now covered in snow, an adult and child still play in the Gardens; taxis still ply their trade; people go into shops near the Cross; and the bank … well, it is probably worth more now that it is residential.


Cathy said...

The market (mercat) cross used to be outside where markies is in the pedestrian bit...There's plenty photos of that in umpteen books about historic aberdeen...Last summer a club the boys belong to got a guided tour of various bits n bobs from the art gallery to behind the citadel...I went on it with eldest lad which was semi bad move...A friend from back in the 80s was doing the tour...He was good and didn't divulge any misdemeanours to G :o) Anyway these tours come from the art gallery and am sure they have tons of info available in there as well...I now know where the original whipping stone was (it still exists) and original gallows (still evidence of them too) Not quite at the castlegate but nearby

Cathy said...

Incidently it was aberdeen savings bank my parents opened accounts with for me and my siblings when we were kids...It was in the 70s it changed to the trustee savings bank and consequently lloyds tsb

Story Quine said...

This is very interesting, I did a similar sort of historical tour of Aberdeen for the multimedia element of my HNC - it was done on that nasty cheapo Swish, so I haven't got it now, but still got the original powerpoint. I love comparing the old pictures with the new - must at some time get them up on my own site! One image that hadn't changed on the outside was the Palace former dance hall & cinema in Bridge St. Trashed on the inside sadly. The Texaco petrol station up the top of Holburn near Garthdee has just disappeared in the last few weeks too. Any pix of the old college buildings at Ruthrieston? That's worth a comparison shot if ever.

AktoMan said...

Shame about the garage. I used that when I was driving out to Scott Sutherland's in the 80's. Hey ho.

I've nothing of Ruthrieston at all. I must have walked past it many times when I was in digs out there in my 1st and 1st/2nd year, but never 'noticed' it, let alone took a photo. Hey ho, once more.