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Peterhead Bar

Peterhead Bar was built round about 1770

Most iconic structures Peterhead Bar was built round about 1770

One of Peterhead’s most iconic structures, the building housing what we knew as the Union Bar was built round about 1770 by Alexander Elles.


One of the Baron Baillies, a respectable pillar of the community and solicitor by day, Elles was the most prolific smuggler in North East Scotland by night !

He picked the site of his house carefully so that he could have an uninterrupted view of the sea from his attic and watch out for the ‘Crooked Mary’, the most notorious smuggling lugger on the coast, his cellar was built especially to hide contraband in (mainly brandy & rum), he was even known to hide smuggled goods (tea) in the Town house itself (buried under the floor apparently)

Anyone familiar with the geography surrounding the Union Bar will know that it used to back on to Flying Gig Wynd, home of the Flying Gig Inn, the favourite smuggler’s hangout in Peterhead, just a coincidence ??

Alexander Elles died in 1791 and left an estate of £15000, an absolute fortune for the day, smuggling must have been a profitable business indeed !

The building’s exciting history was added to during WW2 when the Norwegian Secret Service used the basement of the building as a base for their operation in the North Sea.

Credit by Kenny Bruce


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Peterhead Bar
Peterhead Bar was built round about 1770

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undersea telegraph cable

Undersea telegraph cable, which had been laid in 1868/1869

The Norwegian – Scottish undersea telegraph cable

If you happened to be strolling along the seashore in town of Peterhead.

You might just notice what look like a couple of old steel cables sticking out of the sand, these old cables are in fact the remains of the Norwegian – Scottish undersea telegraph cable, which had been laid in 1868/1869.

The building you can see on the right of the postcard is the Telegraph Station, where the first news of the Russian Revolution in 1917 was received and transmitted to the rest of the world.

More modern communication methods became normal in the 1920’s and the building was utilized as a small house, until it was demolished in the 1960’s.

undersea telegraph cable
undersea telegraph cable
undersea telegraph cable

I’m still fascinated to this day when I see these old pieces of cable.

To think that news of one of the most momentous events of the 20th century was first relayed to the rest of the world by them, via our small town on the remote NE coast of Scotland.

Credit by Kenny Bruce

Scottish government’s the 4 phases plan.

Scottish government

What are the four phases of the Scottish government’s plan?

Phase 1 – (yesterday) early learning and childcare and schools open for Primary 1-3 pupils and senior phase pupils for essential practical work. Limited increase in the provision for vulnerable children.

Care homes opening to facilitate meaningful contact between relatives/ friends and residents.

Phase 2 – (unlikely before 15 March) – More school reopening – Non-contact outdoor group sports for 12-17 year olds. Socialising rules eased, to allow outdoor meetings of 4 people from 2 households.

Phase 3 – (at least three weeks later – possibly 5 April) Stay-at-Home requirement removed.

Third and final phase of schools reopening if required. Places of worship can open on a restricted numbers basis.

Essential retailers list expanded slightly and click-and-collect resumes for non-essential retail.

Phase 4 – possibly 26 April) Limited other easing within Level 4, including permitting non-essential work in people’s homes. Return to variable Levels approach.

This will enable the graduated opening up of economic and social activity.

Numbers who can meet outdoors set to be increased next month

The first minister emphasises how she hopes more pupils will return to school in Scotland from 15 March.

This will involve getting the remainder of primary school pupils and more senior phase secondary pupils back into the classroom for at least part of their learning.

Ms Sturgeon adds that she also hopes to restart outdoors non contact group sports for 12-17 year olds in this phase.

And it is hoped the limit on outdoor mixing between households will be increased from four people from a maximum of two households.


The reopening of Scotland‘s economy – including shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and hairdressers – is expected to start in the last week of April, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Scotland's economy

FM said there would be a “progressive easing” of restrictions before then, with four people from two households allowed to meet outdoors from 15 March.

All primary and more secondary school pupils could return from that date.

It is hoped to lift the stay at home restriction on 5 April.

Ms Sturgeon said it would be necessary to “rely very heavily” on restrictions to suppress the virus for “a bit longer”.

new funds to support businesses

Three new funds to support businesses uniquely affected by the COVID-19.

New funds to support businesses uniquely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will launch this week.

From today, local authorities will start to approach brewers, travel agents and indoor football centres inviting them to claim grants of £10,000 or £25,000. A higher payment of £30,000 will be available to the largest brewers.

Councils will brief around 400 eligible businesses on their potential entitlement and ask them to provide supporting information and bank account details. Owners do not need to apply, or contact the local authority.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:

“We started 2021 in a way none of us envisaged nor wanted, with additional measures in place to limit the spread of the new strain of COVID-19, protect our NHS and save lives.

“These funds recognise the unprecedented challenges that brewers, travel agents and indoor football centres have experienced since March as a result of necessary restrictions.

“We are acutely aware that this support can never compensate for the full impact on business, but we must work within the resources that are available to us, and we continue to respond to the evolving economic challenges arising from the pandemic.”

The Scottish Government has allocated £3 billion in business support since the start of the pandemic on top of support available through the UK Government.

Grants available:

• £10,000 for premises which have a rateable value of up to and including £18,000
• £25,000 for premises which have a rateable value of £18,001 or above
• £30,000 for brewers only operating a property with a rateable value of over £51,000 or production over 5,000HL in 2019

More information on the Brewers Support Fund

More information on Support for Travel Agents

More information on Support for Indoor Football Centres

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