Inverallochy and Cairnbulg

The villages of Inverallochy and Cairnbulg were originally separated by a burn but over the years they have grown and coalesced so that to the outsider the boundary between one village and the other is impossible to discern. Summers (1988) states that the burn defining the boundary between the villages, the Strype, now runs in a pipe underground. According to Taylor (n.d.), and confirmed by Summers (op. cit.) the villagers are aware of the boundary and remain two separate communities, each with its own village hall, and with distinct customs.

In common with many of the villages in Buchan the settlements possess a confusing combination of local names that do not appear in gazetteers: The Seatown of Inverallochy is locally known as Cotton, and in the past, the inhabitants of the neighbouring village of St Combs, either unaware of the subtle distinction between Inverallochy and Cairnbulg, or ignoring it as an irrelevance, referred to the whole settlement by the name of Wheelick, though currently this name is almost forgotten (Summers, op. cit.)

By the middle of the 19th century the religious revivals had led to the development of the Temperance Movement followed enthusiastically by many of the inhabitants of the villages, and by the end of the century the fishermen of Inverallochy, when not following the herring fishery, occupied their leisure time mostly with religion and golf. In contrast the Cairnbulg fishermen did not engage in the frivolous pursuit of golf, instead, they concentrated on fishing locally using their yoles, small, single-masted, open boats, behaviour regarded by their neighbours as simply money-grubbing.

The two villages hold annual Temperance Walks, headed by fife bands, Inverallochy holding its walk on Christmas Day, Cairnbulg on New Year's Day. The walks involve a procession around the village, followed by a walk to the neighbouring village of St Combs.

(Revision date: Tuesday 3rd April 2012)