hopeman book

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£14 + p&p




This book on the history of Hopeman charts two centuries of life in a fishing village which is described as “a gem of the Moray coast”.

During Hopeman’s bicentennial year in 2005, countless photographs, documents and life stories were brought together for an exhibition in the village which was visited by HRH Prince Andrew.

Soon after these celebrations, lifelong resident John McPherson realised that unless the collection of memories was recorded in some form, future generations might never learn of the village’s proud history.

“We really didn’t want the 200-year milestone to pass without doing something,” said Mr McPherson, a retired marine consultant who is a member of Hopeman Community Association.

So with the help of his entire community, he compiled the book, ‘Hopeman 1805-2005’, which includes a detailed history of the village, enhanced by stories from people who lived there during the heyday of the fishing industry.

The book records many of the businesses set up in Hopeman over the years, studies the ‘Houpman tongue’, with a glossary of words and terms prevalent on the Moray coast, and lists many of the fishing boats which plied their trade from the port.

Tales emerge from one of Hopeman’s historic landmarks, the ‘Black Sheddie’ at the foot of Harbour Street, which has been a meeting place for fishermen for as long as the village has been in existence.

The writer even explores the old railway line which ran through Hopeman and its neighbours, Burghead and Cummingston,

And Mr McPherson’s own recollections of growing up in Hopeman in the 1950s offer a revealing insight into the sounds, sights and smells of the village, and highlight how much it has changed over the years.

Many pictures from the past century are reproduced, along with articles and photographs which appeared in ‘The Northern Scot’ and ‘Courant’ newspapers over the years.

Hopeman fisher girls

This photograph, capturing Hopeman fisher girls Jessie Cormack, Bella Ralph, Isa McAuley and Maggie Ralph gutting and packing herring at Great Yarmouth, was taken in 1932.

Hopeman Fishers bus run

The fishermen’s run was an annual bus outing laid on in Hopeman as a treat for the village’s hard-working crews. This contingent are ready for the off at the bowling green in 1953 and all of their names along with T names are included within the book.

Hopeman steam drifter embrace

The Hopeman steam drifter, ‘Embrace’, was reported in ‘The Northern Scot’ in October, 1931 to have made record earnings that year.

Hopeman railway station

John McPherson’s book on Hopeman’s history includes this picture of the railway station which served the coastal line through the village between 1892 and 1957.

Hopeman Daniel Ralph ship chandlers

‘Hopeman 1805-2005’ features all the shops and businesses to have flourished in the village over the years. This one, of Daniel Ralph’s ship chandlers’ store next to the bridge on Harbour Street, dates back to around 1920.

harbour street hopeman

Maybe not too much has changed in Hopeman’s ‘main drag’ of Harbour Street since this photo was taken in the 1870s.