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  • Anyone in Aberdeen?

    My great-grandfather, Hugh Alexander, was a carpenter there before emigrating to America in the early 1900's. I am also a carpenter, and the last of the line. I am not looking for genealogical research, just would like to chat with people in "the old country" that I have heard about since I was young! Yes - the pipes always make my blood move!
    Any questions I can answer about current conditions here in New York State, will be answered. Thank you for your interest!
    Ralph Alexander

  • #2
    Hi Ralph

    Welcome to the boards !!

    I am not in Aberdeen but my parents were born there and moved
    to England the year before I was born.

    I go back there every year and really enjoy it.

    Kanga is in Aberdeen but haven't seen her posting lately.

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    • #3
      Hello Aable! I live about 35 miles west of Aberdeen, although I am currently about 4500 miles south of there!

      My mother (maiden name Margaret Alexander) was born and raised just south of Aberdeen, in Portlethen. Her father, John Bruce Alexander was born near Oldmeldrum in 1899.

      I know you don't want genealogical information, but I thought I'd just slip that in, cousin!

      So, what would you like to know about Aberdeen & environs? I'll be happy to correspond with you as time allows.

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      • #4
        Thank you.....

        ...Babz and Neil for your responses. I am replying here because I cannot get the email icon below your names to give me anything but the "blue screen of death"! A good Celtic color,it is, and I've been told that Bill Gates is of Scottish descent, but I still don't much like him.
        Regarding Aberdeen; all I would like to know about the city and its people could fall under the subject heading of "just plain everyday life" for the average man or woman there;i.e., what is the weather like (here it is "wait an hour and it will change")...how is the overall economy....are the streets safe....are the politicians worth a hoot....what about the schools...price of bread/gas/housing....or anything else you think important, and would like to compare to its corresponding in western New York. Do you think this theme could be of mutual interest? Do you have a better idea - you probably do; Scots are the world's best inventors, right...!
        I'll check back in a few days, in case someone replies.
        Thanks again,
        Ralph Alexander

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        • #5
          Wait an hour and the weather will change?

          Aberdeen usually doesn't enjoy such prolonged periods of settled weather! Though I do remember once in 1976...

          Like many parts of Scotland, Aberdeen has four seasons and they can usually all be experienced in the course of a single day. I remember the comedy trio "Scotland The What?" had a song which started off "January's ayways been course and weet in Aberdeen. February what a sotter, half o Bucksburn underwater." And so on it went to describe the rest of the year in like vein. Being on the coast, Aberdeen rarely gets the best of the weather: The North Sea brings cold, damp and fog too often for my liking. It's one of the reasons I live inland from Aberdeen, the weather is so much better. The east coast of Scotland is much dryer than the west, giving it warmer Summers and colder Winters.

          If you're not aware of it Aberdeen was built on agriculture and fishing but these days it is a bustling oil city. Most of Scotland's oil & gas industry is based in and supported from Aberdeen. Aberdeen Airport has more helicopter flights than any other civil airport in the World. (The oil industry is also the reason why I'm currently 4500 miles from home.)

          The presence of the oil business means Aberdeen has low unemployment and high property prices. One thing being an oilfield city does not mean for Aberdeen is cheap fuel. Scotland has the highest fuel prices in Europe, thanks to our London-based government and their scandalous fuel taxes which seem designed to discourage people from driving cars in London but have the knock-on effect of pricing rural motorists off the road.

          Aberdeen had the third and fifth universities established in Scotland and it is a proud boast of the city that it had two universities at a time when the whole of England also had only two! Those two universities later merged to form the University of Aberdeen but now there is a new second university in the city (RGU). The first university was established in Aberdeen 1498!

          That's enough for now I think.

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          • #6
            Neil....

            ...thank you very much for your informative response. It brings to my mind the great novel "You Can't Go Home Again" by the American author Thomas Wolfe (not to be confused with Tom Wolfe, another author from the US).
            When the oil and gas are all gone, what will remain of Aberdeen, I wonder? And a shame it is, too, that a man cannot both live and work in a place that he loves!
            Interesting city, Aberdeen - based upon agriculture and fishing, yet still having had an educational system that London must have envied! Why do you suppose this curious situation came to pass?
            Gasoline here in Rochester was $1.479 per gallon for Mobil unleaded regular, when I filled up yesterday - I'm not bragging or complaining, just stating a truth. It was less than $1.00 per gallon a couple of years ago. If general airline service isn't back to normal soon, gasoline costs will drop some more. The US must have cheap energy costs just to function, because of the poor situation here with the railroads and mass transportation.
            Enough for now...hope to here from you, Neil (and maybe some others) again. Oh, by the way - the weather here today went from 70F and sunny to rainy and 50F in about two hours...guess we're slowing down!
            Ralph

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            • #7
              Hi Ralph,

              As I would assess you have already surmised, Neil is a wealth of knowledge and Babz as well.

              I must give you credit, as over the years I've been on this board, you have asked some of the most intelligent questions.

              I live near San Diego where average petrol prices have averaged over $1.80 (quite reasonable compared to our European counterparts, mind you).

              Where exactly in NY are you? How do you believe the terrorist attacks have affected you personally?

              Neil; for you... What did you think of Tony Blair's strong speech regarding war efforts?

              Ralph, I'm so glad you are not deterred from visiting the UK. It is one of the most incredible countries in the world. Trust me, you shall not be disappointed!
              Di (aka ^..^ ~ Willy)

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              • #8
                Hi Ralph, I have no info for you as I have never been to Aberdeen. That will change some day! My Grandmother always said some of her family immigrated from thet area of Scotland. I hope you and all New Yorkers are doing ok, I know many of us here in the West have been sending support, money, blood, prayers!

                Are you planning a trip to Scotland? If you are, you will love it! If not, think about it, it is the best place I have ever been!

                Welcome to the boards, I hope you make a lot of friends here, there are some great pals hanging around!


                Come to the Dark Side, we have cookies!

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                • #9
                  Thanks, Willy and Kathyv....

                  ...for your kind words and thoughts. I reside about 300 miles from New York City, and so haven't been physically injured by the actions there, if that is what you mean.
                  I am a veteran of the Vietnam War, and at 56 cannot reenlist in any branch of the armed forces here, but I still have made application to the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, which may take me. I only want to help the Coast Guard protect our US/Canadian border against possible terrorist infiltration.
                  I do plan a trip to the isles sometime next year, or the one after; in fact, I renewed my passport just two weeks ago. The situation is too uncertain now to set a definite date. I have no fear of travel (I am a Celt), and nothing but contempt for terrorists, especially of the mohammedan variety (lower case intentional)!
                  Where in Scotland are you folks?
                  Ralph

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                  • #10
                    I'm not at home so I can't say with certainty, but the price of petrol (gasoline) in the Aberdeen area is around $4.50 per US gallon.

                    The agriculture is still there, although the main mart has moved a little to the north west, to the town of Inverurie. Similarly, the fishing fleet has moved north to Peterhead, both about an hour's drive from Aberdeen. Aberdeen proved too expensive for them with all the oil money sloshing around.

                    The oil will be around for at least another 50 years in my estimation and there is a large skills base which now provides expertise around the world, just as Texans and the like did in Aberdeen 20+ years ago. In the international oil & gas business the main expatriate nationalities are Scots, New Zealanders, Australians, Trinidadians, Canadians, South Africans, Americans(US), English & French, probably in that order as a percentage of their home country populations.

                    When the oil finally runs out and the skills move on, I'm not sure what will become of Aberdeen. Aberdonians have always been traders so I am sure trade will continue. I don't know if the agricultural mart or the main fishing fleet will return as they are now well established in their respective locations. Even if they stay where they are, Aberdeen will still be the main centre for retail trade so all those fisher folk and farmers will still spend their money in Aberdeen.

                    Aberdeen does have a strong educational tradition, as I indicated earlier, and has been a centre of research for many years. There are research institutes for marine biology and agriculture, and there is a lot of medical research carried out under the auspices of the main teaching hospital. MRI scanning was developed at Aberdeen and I'm sure there will be many more advances in future.

                    It'll be a major blow to the local economy when the oil industry runs down, but Aberdeen will manage.

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                    • #11
                      For Willy

                      Di,
                      I'm sorry I missed your question earlier.

                      I am no great fan of TB so I'll be diplomatic and say only that he "does" sincerity very well.

                      The following is a bit right wing for my taste, but this URL gives an interesting take on TB's recent speech. And, yes, the references are to George Orwell's 1984. For those who don't know, Airstrip One is the name of the island of Great Britain in 1984, and Goldstein is the fictitious enemy of the state used by Big Brother as an excuse to clamp down on all dissent.

                      http://www.antiwar.com/goldstein/g100801.html

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