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A snapshot into our huge industrial past from mills to textile factories, granite polishers to combworks

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Aberdeen was famous for far more than just oil or fishing!  Our earliest industries focused on textiles and grain mills.  We have Scotland's oldest iron-frame mill still left in the crumbling Broadfords, and Scotland's first ironworks in what used to be McKinnon's of Spring Garden.

Beginning just above Jack's Brae, we walk through Rosemount, Gilcomston and the Lochlands, which includes the Gilcomston tannery, meal/corn/lint mills, brewery, distillery, C & E Morton's jam factory, now replaced by the iconic Rosemount Square.  We then cross the underground rivers of Gilcomston and Denburn, essential water courses for industry, and look at the completely forgotten site of J Wright & Son's granite polishing works - the latter supplied some of the most fantastic funerary memorials now in Glasgow Necropolis and Dean Cemetery Edinburgh.  Broadfords looms large in our story, with the unlucky founder, Scott Brown, who went bankrupt within a few years, his successor, John Maberley, who introduced the first steam-powered looms, and Richards, who ran bleachworks in Rubislaw, and the factory's sad end and uncertain future.  We look at the meat processing industry in Hutcheon Street, the home of the "Killin' Hoose", and the Combworks of Rowell & Stewart, remaining only as fancy flats at Mounthooly. Finishing off in Gallowgate, we squeeze in the Porthill Thread Mill, McKinnon's Ironworks and Soapy Ogoston's Candle & Soap Works.  A whirlwind tour encompassing only a tiny fraction of our lost industries.  

Start: Outside Bon-Accord Free Church, Rosemount Viaduct, near Rosemount Square
End:  The Soap Factory Business Centre, Gallowgate
Length: TBA
Terrain: pavements only

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Hidden Aberdeen Tours (founded 2011) is wholly owned by Dr Fiona-Jane Brown as a sole-trading operation which occasionally works with contractors.

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Phone: 07572 582198
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