Horse and horseman, Benachie (Bennachie?), 1914
Benachie sawmill, 1914. Unknown horseman taking logs to mill.
Photo courtesy of Norman Christie. Norman’s father, Frank moved from Fochaber to Birkhall in Deeside in 1927 as sawmiller for the estate. He was there from 1927 until 1937. He then moved to Balmoral as sawmiller working on a water driven mill.
Abbie Gordon, Banchory, remembers that the FC leased Altcailleoch (spelling) in the 1930s which would have included Birkhall. The FC did operate a sawmill there and a shed is still on site. The area was returned to the estate in the early 1970s.
This horse is built like a Suffolk Punch draught horse, though its colour would be too dark for that breed. Both it's body length and hoof size, however, seem to indicate a Clydesdale, the usual breed for this task. Can any horse experts give their views?
Bennachie covers quite a large area and the exact location of this mill at Oyne is unknown. Mills were very portable in the early days and dismantled and set up where ever larger areas of timber were being felled. It was usually easier to take the mill to the timber than the other way round. Abbie Gordon, Banchory, mentions the fact that his great grandparents were married in 1876 at Bennachie Sawmill, Keig and that his great grandfather was a labourer who may have worked in the mill.
Does anyone have any other stories or ideas about the possible locations of the Benachie or Bennachie Saw Mill (also see picture no 599).
Picture added on 30 June 2010