You are presently on a tour of the town of  KEITH with pictures and explanatory text

This is  Page 4

Featuring - Strathisla Distillery, Keith Town Station, Police Station, Lorry Park and Playhouse Cinema

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Keith, and the surrounding area, is famous for distilleries. Founded in 1785 by George Taylor, none so famous as Strathisla Distillery, which is home to the famous " Chivas Regal" known around the world as a premium whisky. This distillery used to be known locally as the "Milton" and was originally a cattle feed plant. In 1821 William Longmore purchased the distillery and was responsible for the twin pagodas, that you see today, which were added in 1870. The giant Canadian firm of Seagrams became owners of Strathisla in 1950. A well, which supplies the water for the distillery, is incorporated in the visitors car park directly opposite the distillery buildings. Tours of the operations, with a guide, are conducted during the holiday period - April to October. Office facilities were once part of the operations, but have now moved to the Head Office in Paisley.

Keith Town Station lies at the very heart of Keith, close to the A96, on your right, just before a sharp right hand bend leading on to the Union Bridge as you travel North towards Elgin and Inverness. This replica station, which is a near perfect copy of the original, was built here in 2002/2003. The line originally ran through from Keith Junction to Dufftown and Speyside, but now terminates just below the old yellow distant signal, which can just be seen at the end of the platform. The line, from Keith Town Station, which now stops at Dufftown, 10 miles away, is privately owned by the Keith and Dufftown  Railway Association, who run trains during the holiday season. The new station was opened on 20th September 2003. This sign greets you on arrival, at  the entrance off the A96, down to Keith Town Station and the Car Park. This is an experimental picture here.

The Police Station was built in 1893. The first thing to check is that "Old Nick" is still on the roof guarding the prisoners in the cells. "Old Nick" was stolen some years ago and mysteriously re-appeared back on top of the roof where he always was. No prisoners are lodged here now, as they are transported to Elgin if arrested in the area. In fact this part of the building that you see, is not used as a Police Station at all now. Check the fancy lettering and stone work above the door. Must have taken some amount of man hours to produce this lovely masonry work. The actual working Police Station is to the left of the picture albeit part of the same building.

Situated at the end of Bridge Street, and offering plenty of space for vehicles, this lorry park, in this picture on the left, looks well patronised over the week-end. No facilities of any kind exist at the park. No Toilets, no fuelling, no water and no Cafe. Plenty of these facilities exist nearby, but throughout the week very few vehicles use the park. Only local traffic use the facility on a regular basis. A large sign in Regent Square in Fife-Keith directs you to the Lorry Park here in Bridge Street. Around the time of the Keith Country Show the Lorry Park can become decidedly busy with the funfair operators and locals competing for parking spaces.

    

Built in 1935 in the space of 10 weeks the Playhouse Cinema  was for many many years a venue of entertainment, with films and concerts, but eventually finished up as a furniture store. Pictures show the demolition process around March 2002, when sadly the building, which had been neglected and was not a true reflection of it's former glory, was reduced to rubble. The gap site which was created is now earmarked for a private house, and in January 2005 construction has begun. Many a concert was staged in the Playhouse, which for a long time was under the control of Caledonian Associated Cinema's. Another demolition image here. Charity concerts eventually raised enough money to allow a bungalow to be built at the far end of Balloch Road to house disabled ex-servicemen or women.

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