Old Aberdeen History in Photos & Film

Aberdeen Scotland UK

Aberdeen is Scotland’s third most populous city. Found where the Rivers Dee and Don meet the North Sea, the port city is a key part of the offshore petroleum industry.

The videos of Aberdeen past and present reflect its magnificent grey stone buildings which gave rise to its colloquial name ‘the Granite City’. 

Victorian and Edwardian Aberdeen

Old Photographs of Aberdeen in Scotland

Published to YouTube on 22 Apr 2017 by tourscotland.

This is a lovely collection on old photographs of the city of Aberdeen, in Aberdeenshire.

The traditional industries here were fishing, paper-making, shipbuilding, and textiles.

Old Photographs Of Bieldside 

Published to YouTube on 2 Sep 2019 by Tourscotland.

Bieldside is a suburb to the west of Aberdeen, in Aberdeenshire. This video collates fascinating old photos of the area.

The railway station at Bieldside was opened in 1897. The middle of the 19th century Cults Mill is near Bieldside. There was a ferry across the River Dee at Bieldside.

A Famous Resident of Bieldside

Ruth Sylvia Roche, Baroness Fermoy, was born in Bieldside on 2 October 1908. 

Friend and confidante of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Baroness Fermoy was the daughter of Colonel William Smith Gill and his wife Ruth, and the maternal grandmother of Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Showing early promise as a pianist, Baroness Fermoy studied under Alfred Cortot at the Paris Conservatoire in the 1920s. 

Her musical career was cut short when she married the wealthy and much older Maurice Roche, 4th Baron Fermoy, in 1931. They went on to have three children together. 

Maurice Roche died on 8 July 1955.

The following year, the Queen Mother, a widow who preferred the appointment of widows to her household, appointed Lady Fermoy an Extra Woman of the Bedchamber. 

After four years, Lady Fermoy was promoted to Woman of the Bedchamber. She held the post for 33 years.

Meanwhile Lady Fermoy’s younger daughter, Frances, married John Spencer, Viscount Althorp (1924–1992), and became Frances Spencer, Viscountess Althorp. The Spencers had five children; the fourth was Diana, whose Royal marriage in 1981 made her the Princess of Wales.

It was reported that Lady Fermoy was not on speaking terms with Diana in her later years.

Lady Fermoy died at her home at 36 Eaton Square, London,on 6 July 1993. She was 84 years old.

Old Photos And Films of Places In Aberdeen

Days Gone By At George Street

Discover what George Street looked like in the old days.

Published to youTube on 15 Feb 2014 by James Thornton.

Aberdeen Cinema Tour

This is a fascinating visual tour taking us through the history of cinemas in Aberdeen.

There is an introduction adding the names of the cinemas to the screen. This then leads into a montage of old photos.

Published to YouTube on 8 Oct 2016 by Iain Robb.

Codonas Amusement Park

 Old newsreel shows what the Codonas Amusement Park used to look like.

Published to YouTube on 30 May 2011 by Johanan Codona.

Aberdeen Beach

There’s lots of fun to be had by young and old!

Published to YouTube on 7 Feb 2014 by James Thornton.

Aberdeen In The 1930s

Aberdeen Dialect of the 1920s

Here’s a fascinating 78 rpm 12-inch shellac record which brings you the authentic Aberdeen Scotland dialect Dialect of the 1920s or 1930s.

Created by The British Drama League, this record features the voice of John Oliphant of Fife, Scotland.

Published to YouTube on 21 Nov 2016 by videocurios.

Union Street in Aberdeen (1930s)

A great montage of 1930s photographs, set to music.

Published to youTube on 3 Nov 2014 by cigaretteheid.

Aberdeen In The 1940s

Aberdeen City Centre and Docks (1949)

This is a fascinating clip of busy street scenes in the centre of Aberdeen in 1949.

The clip is from The Scottish Screen Archive collection. 

If you want to watch this 1.5 minute film, you can view it here.

(Published to YouTube on 1 Feb 2010 by The National Library of Scotland, but without permission to share).

Aberdeen (1940s/50s)

A great look at neighbourhoods and businesses in Aberdeen.

Published to YouTube on 28 Jul 2013 by cigaretteheid.

Aberdeen Scotland (1940s/50s)

Published to YouTube on 22 Nov 2016 by Allan Shanklan.

Aberdeen In The 1950s

Aberdeen (1950s)

Published to YouTube on 16 Sep 2011 by Rustylug.

Aberdeen in the 1950s.

Aberdeen and Scotland (1950s)

Published to YouTube on 28 Jul 2014 by HuntleyFilmArchives.

Aberdeen and Scotland. Amateur home movie.

High angled shot of a stone bridge over a river with green fields on either side. Two women and a man (wearing beret) eating a picnic in field.  Man is in background. Runs to canvas tent where towels are drying on a rope. Car ferry crossing river and moving away from camera. Man and two women are at the campsite. Country surroundings, mountains, loch, castle, pebble beaches. Loch and village in distance.  A harbour is also seen. A single funnelled boat moving from left to right with the coast (green) in background. Picnic – man is eating a banana, women are tidying their hair. In the harbour there are boats and ferries. Beautiful garden with rose bushes and sea in the background. Sandy beach, mountains in the background, blue sky, a woman walking towards camera. Man walking in the field. Loading and departure of car ferry (‘Lochalsh’).

Panning shot of large crowd (many sitting on the grass).  Uniformed (kilts) bandsmen relaxing. Instruments, including bagpipes and drums, on the ground.

Loading ship/ferry with full hessian sacks. Large ships in harbour. Crowded sandy beach – lots of windbreaks, everyone is fully clothed. Dark shot of trawlers. Shots of the harbour from moving boat/ferry. Lifting van off ferry. Church on a sunny day. Front of large stationary boat (‘St. Ninian’) in the harbour. Bus moving left to right on the causeway. Mountains, loch/sea, blue sky. Heathland, stone circles, probably Brodgar on Orkney.  Excavated stone structures, probably Skara Brae. Wide sandy beach with tide out. Sailors cleaning the deck of a large boat at sea (gets very dark). Dramatic coastline. Men loading peat on to trailer attached to a red tractor.

The University of Aberdeen

The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s

Published to YouTube on 10 Feb 2016 by School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition.

The Aberdeen Children of the 1950s refers to a long running project by the University of Aberdeen.

12,150 people born in Aberdeen between 1950 and 1956 were selected for the project. When they were in primary school, they took reading and maths tests as part of the study.

The original goal of the study was to discover the causes of learning disabilities. The children’s test results were linked to other school records and to birth records in the Aberdeen Maternity and Neonatal Databank.

In the late 1990s, the participants were traced by university researchers. 81% of the cohort was still living in Scotland, and 73% were still living in Grampian.

A postal questionnaire was sent, and over 7,000 of the Children of the 1950s replied. They provided information about their current health, as well as a wide range of other topics.

Further information was then added from current medical records.

Today the collected data from the Children of the 1950s is used to investigate a wide variety of questions. Access to the data is given by application to the steering committee. The participants’ information is shared anonymously with researchers and used in a data Safe Haven.

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Christmas was outlawed in Scotland until the 1950s (2017)

Published to YouTube on 8 Dec 2017 by the University of Aberdeen.

Did you know that Christmas was outlawed in Scotland until the 1950s?  Professor Bill Naphy from the University of Aberdeen’s History Department explains why.

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The Fishtrade Of Aberdeen

Aberdeen Trawlermen Past & Present

Published to YouTube on 14 Feb 2016 by Dougie Brechin.

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The Fishtrade People (20th Century)

Published to YouTube on 31 Jul 2019 by mike sheran.

A montage of photographs showing the work and social lives of fish trade people in Aberdeen through the 20th century.

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Thanks to Graham Hobster(Pixabay) for the featured photo used at the top of this page.