Man behind mystery comes forward

Malcolm Stewart with some of his yellow plastic ducks!
Malcolm Stewart with some of his yellow plastic ducks!

A St Combs man has come forward as the person behind the mystery of yellow ducks popping up in Fraseburgh.

In the April 30 edition of the Fraserburgh Herald, we featured a story about yellow plastic ducks appearing - as if from nowhere - in and around the Broch.

The mystery has become something of a craze, with a page even being set up on Facebook to allow Broch residents to post pictures of themselves beside the ducks.

Shortly after appearing in the paper, the man who came up with the idea contacted the Herald to reveal his identity: Malcolm Stewart of St Combs.

Malcolm fell ill last October when he was diagnosed with heart problems.

It was while he was sitting in his house, looking out of the window, that the idea came to Malcolm to do something fun that his children and grandchildren could remember him by, long after he had gone.

So the father of four set about nailing scores of plastic ducks to unusual places - including fences, trees, friends’ sheds, at junctions and on golf courses.

Malcolm bought the first 100 plastic ducks online via Ebay which were distributed around the Broch and the surrounding villages - before purchasing another 100.

It is while he was out and about with his job as a property inspector with Aberdeenshire Council that he places many of the small plastic ducks.

Malcolm even kept the fun project a secret from his family, including his wife.

Speaking to the Herald, the St Combs resident said he never had fund-raising in mind when he came up with the idea - but just wanted to make people smile after a ‘long, cold, miserable winter’.

Malcolm has a son and a daughter in the North-east as well as two daughters and grandchildren in England.

Commenting, Malcolm said: “I’m chuffed with it because people have taken it on and started fund-raising because of it which is fantastic.

“I’d love it if someone else took up the idea and started adopting fish, owls, plastic fruit and do their bit!

“My wife and son thought I was quackers but now they think it’s a fantastic idea,” adding that he is delighted the project has made people laugh and talk to eachother.