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Brae Farm
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Brae Farm

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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Brae Farm
Historic Photographs
Brae Farm
This photograph was taken in 1951 by James Kellas and looks east showing, on the left, the rear of Brae Farm, located on Morningside Road, and part of 142 Morningside Avenue on the right.

There was originally a Brae Farm to the north west of this location that can be seen the Ordnance Survey map published in 1869 (Aberdeen Sheet LXXV.14). Just to the north of the old farm on the map is a single Aberdeen Water Works reservoir.

An article from The Leopard magazine by Diane Morgan (October/November 1985) explains that in 1885 an Aberdeen Corporation Water Act was passed to empower the Town Council to take eight million gallons daily from the River Dee and to build a second reservoir at Mannofield. This was to keep up with the city's rapid population increase.

To carry out the expansion, the council acquired the land adjoining the initial reservoir including the first Brae Farmhouse and its steadings. They then became known as Reservoir Cottage and Reservoir House and served as the home of the inspector of the water works. A relatively early inspector was called William Clark. On 28th February 1898 he died at the cottage aged 64. He was buried in the John Knox Churchyard (Aberdeen Weekly Journal, 02/03/1898, p.4).

Clark was likely succeeded as waterworks inspector by James Forsyth. The Forsyth family lived at the cottage well into the 20th century. James was married to Margaret (née Jaffray), who died after him on 28th July 1945, aged 85. Their second son, Sapper John Forsyth, died aged 26 at Oldmill Military Hospital on 20th April 1917. He was buried at Springback Cemetery.

The reservoirs continue to play a vital role in supplying water to Aberdeen. The cottage and house however were demolished in the late 20th century and replaced by modern water treatment buildings.

As shown on the 1901 OS map, sometime shortly after the passing of the 1885 act the Brae Farm we can see in this picture was built to the south east, where Morningside Road met Auchinyell Bridge. To the east, Aberdeenshire County Cricket Ground was also built around the same time.

This later Brae Farm was the home to the Kinnaird family for the first half of the 20th century. The heads of the family were Frank Kinnaird and Margaret Amelia Smith.

Their son Lance-Corporal A. G. Kinnaird, of the Royal Scots, was reported as a prisoner of war in Germany in June 1918. Prior to the war he had worked with the Clydesdale Bank (Evening Express, 03/06/1918 p.3).

Frank's eldest daughter, Jessie Sinclair, married James Smith Mathieson at Ruthrieston U.F. Church on 7th September 1927 (Evening Express, 08/09/1927, p.6).

A younger daughter, Edith Kinnaird, married a man from Portsmouth called Andrew Livingstone in July 1936. The marriage took place in Ruthrieston West Church and the reception was at the Caledonian Hotel (Press & Journal, 06/06/1936 p.8).

Daughters Amelia Elizabeth and Margaret Kinnaird both left Brae Farm in the 1920s (1924 and 1920, respectively) to reunite with fiancés who had travelled ahead to Canada.

Frank Kinnaird died on 12th August 1950, aged 84.

At some point during the 1930s-1950s the residential streets we know today, Morningside Avenue, Terrace and Place were constructed between the reservoir and the new farmstead. These streets take their name from Morningside Farm to the east. As can be seen in this photograph, the farm stood into the 1950s. It was eventually demolished when Morningside Avenue was extended to meet Morningside Road. The newer bungalows can be distinguished by their tiled, rather than slated roofs.
Housing, Farms, Reservoirs
James G. Kellas
Aberdeen Local Studies
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