Are you a Taylor or an Elder from the Broch?

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Joe Allan, 94 Franklin Place, Westwood, East Kilbride, G75 8LS, has written to the Fraserburgh Herald with a plea for news of family members, quoting names and occasions over the past 100 years or more.

Sometimes letters seeking such information contain in themselves lots of interesting local history, and therefore although there was insufficient space in this week’s Fraserburgh Herald to publish his letter in full, we are glad to do so on line.

Mr Allan writes: Firstly my cousin Robert Taylor, who, prior to marriage, lived at 3 Duke Lane, in the Broch, near to the harbour. His father was our Uncle George, and his mother was Aunt Nessie on our maternal side.

The young ladies attending the dances in the Dalrymple and Jubilee Halls considered him an eligible bachelor.

His nickname was ‘The Duke’ = all this some time ago.

Following WW2, his maternal grandparents, Mr and Mrs J. Elder moved from Elgin to live in the ground floor of the family home; his maternal grandfather, James Taylor was already in residence. His doocot was not to the liking of Granny Elder.

Uncle George, his father, was a fisherman owning the boat Jessie West, line fishing for mackerel. As is the custom in the Broch he had a nickname, Coodles. Robert followed in his father’s footsteps, becoming a fisher loon, a part of the three-man crew.

Possibly having a boat of his own later, Robert with a friend who would be his best man came down to Pollockshaws Road in Glasgow where we were then living with our parents. This to sample the joys and delights of the Big City, to sample its many attractions. At that time his uncles Jamie and Robbie lived in the city.

Bachelor days came to an end and he married an attractive Broch quine, Jess Masson, who, prior to marriage, worked in Memsie Post Office. Their bridesmaid was the younger sister of the bride and their best man was the best friend of the ‘groom, his name is not remembered but his nickname was Chippets, due to an ear injury while at school. Not a fisher loon but worked then at the Toolies. A close school friend of Jean Masson was a girl whose name was Marie(?) Bicocchi. The family had and still have a thriving food business.

Jean and Robert had two sons, James and Stephen(?), one followed his father in the fishing industry and the other worked ashore, last known address in Marconi Road.

My other cousin is or was Sandra Elder who lived with her parents, Mr and Mrs Leonard Elder, and sister Leonora, in what was then a flat above the Alexandra Hotel in High Street. Our maternal Uncle Len served in the RAF during WW2. Returning to civvy street he was an active member of the RBL and a Freemason, resuming employment with the Scottish Legal Insurance Co.

Aunt Mary, maiden name Watson, was a Sandhaven woman. Sandra married Phimister Brown, a solicitor from a local family firm. Their home was in the house Witch Hill which was destroyed by fire. No lives were lost and there were no injuries. They had two children who may now have had children of their own so we would also like to make contact with the Taylor relatives living in and around Fraserburgh.

Why then are we so keen to communicate with them? Well, it is a family matter and relative to WW1.

Pte Joseph Kimberley Elder, 1st Bn The Gordon Highlanders, was an Elgin loon who on the morning of his 18th birthday in February 1918 enlisted in the regiment; he did not wait to be conscripted. Posted to France in August he was killed in action on October 1918 close to the village of Romeries in Northern France, and is buried in the military cemetery there.

Over the years quite a lot of information has been gathered about Kimby, as Granny Elder called him, in his brief life. We would like to pass the information gathered on to all of his surviving relatives.

Should anyone wish to communicate with me they are invited to do so at the following address: J.E. Allan, 94 Franklin Place, Westwood, East Kilbride, G75 8LS, or by telephone 01355 225845.

Calls or emails to my sister in North Dakota would also be welcome: telephone 001 701 430 3175. Her email address is

PS - As a memory jogger, Leonora Elder married Harold Bell, connected with Tyrie Farm, possibly living for a time in Aberdeen, and owned or managed a hotel in Portsoy.