Day 5: 15 August 2019 – Exploring Alford
While exploring Alford one of the places on my list was the Alford Valley Railway Museum. When we got there it was closed for business. I must say I was very disappointed. I was looking forward to visit and ride on the train. I took some photos of the grounds although there was not much to see.
Alford Valley Railway Museum
The construction of the Alford Valley Railway began in 1856 and the line opened in 1859. It ran in a westerly direction from Kintore, a station on the line from Aberdeen to Inverness. The line served Kemnay Quarry and three other granite quarries in the area.
The current station building is on the site of the original granite structure which was demolished after British Rail closed the line. The passenger platform is the original. A small railway museum is housed in the railway station building. The original locomotive shed was situated to the east of the station but this has also now been demolished. To the west of the station the granite carriage shed of the previous railway is now used by the Alford Valley Railway.
Alford Millennium Sculpture Garden
In 1998 at the instigation of Alford and District Rotary Club an adhoc committee consisting of representatives from all the local voluntary organizations was established. Their purpose was to create a lasting memorial to the start of the new millennium. Suggestions was made and they decided on a sculpture garden.
The land was provided by Aberdeenshire Council and the artist Louise Gardner did the layout of the garden and also created the sculptures. A local quarrying company was asked to provide pieces of Corrennie Granite which they kindly donated and conveyed to the Scottish Sculpture Workshop at Lumsden.
The garden was officially opened on 25 October 2003.
The largest stone shows a family group whit the man leading his wife and child into the new millennium. The man looking back to the second stone where domestic animals represent agriculture on which Alford was founded. When the railway reached the Village it became the natural gathering point for livestock and produce from surrounding farms destined for markets in the south.
The various animals and birds on the third Stone represent nature on which all of life depends.
Children at Alford Academy were asked to create clay shields displaying some aspect of Alford or its surroundings that appealed to them. The shields, also, were taken to Lumsden where the Workshop used them to form molds for the castings of the bronzes which can be seen set into the pavement.
Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.
Till next time, safe travels and keep dreaming.
Have a fabulous day.