Hamish Mackenzie was a cobbler who lived in Culvardie, Nethy Bridge. His earlier trade was as a coachman for the Manse. He was born in Dorback and died late 1940’s Hamish worked for D.E. (Dundee and Equitable) the shoe shop in Grantown
Lindsay Buchanan Explore Abernethy Visitor Centre Alastair McCook (2007).
Hamish’s peat moss is located about half a mile beyond the current pylon line.
Haemack used to cut peat from the moss and either barrow it back or carry it back a bag at a time. Today the moss is very hard to locate and it is covered with very deep heather.
Poem by Ian M. McAlastair the minister of Abernethy Haemack’s Peat Moss
The path to Haemack’s peat moss twines through the forest where old pines house the elfin crested tits and aloft the crossbill sits stripping fir cones with his beak which, if truth old legends speak, was twisted by the tug and strain when he strove, but strove in vain, to pull the nails out and set free our saviour suffering on the tree.
Now the light wind sways and stirs the grey-green rugged junipers, and the bee, with folded wing sucks honey from the nectarous ling.
A timid doe with dappled hide bounds across the rutted ride and capers rocket through the wood shattering the cool, green quietude., Go further on and cross the ride cut through the forest, straight and wide, where the tall pylons’ lengthening line grows statelier in the sun’s decline, striding majestical always, from Duack to the darkening Braes.
Then through the forest’s depth once more the path winds narrower than before, fringed with deep heather, overcast by low-hung branches, ’till at last a low green rig and ancient tree, a mound of smouldering peats, and we, the long walk ended, gaze across the grass-grown, green deserted moss.
It’s many a year since Haemack drove, coachman at the manse, and hove the dry peats to the well built stack or through the forest and hurled them back, or later, older grown, still hardy wrought as a cobbler in Culvardie.
And now he moulders, free from toil, deep in the Kirk-Yards teeming soil. But sometimes in the scented dusk men see him leaning on his tusk the day’s darg done, a gentle shand haunting the moss his own hands made.
And courting couples, startled, hear, when not a living soul is near his laden barrow’s slow advance bumping and creeking towards the manse, and grue at thigs beyond their ken, whispering “old haemack walks again”.
A woodland path was once regularly used by Hamish, to get to his peat moss, to cut peat for the fire. The path is still used today and is part of the Explore Abernethy Puggy line and King’s road mill trails in Dell Woodland.
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