Category Archives: History

Ashie Brebner: Secret Howff builder, 1935-2018

Sad news came this week that Allister ‘Ashie’ Brebner, the last surviving member of the group who built the legendary ‘Secret Howff’ in the Cairngorms, has died. Ashie had only recently written an excellent memoir of his exploits in the … Continue reading

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Book review: Beyond the Secret Howff, by Ashie Brebner

The Secret Howff is such a part of Cairngorm lore that it’s difficult to remember that until relatively recently so few people knew anything about it other than it existed… somewhere. Now Ashie Brebner, the last remaining member of the … Continue reading

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Going beyond the Secret Howff

Anyone who has been to the Secret Howff, and many who have just heard of it, will know the name Ashie Brebner. The last remaining builder of the legendary howff, Ashie has finally decided to tell his story. Published by … Continue reading

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Crystals on show at Braemar Castle

If you’ve ever wondered what a Cairngorm crystal looks like in the flesh – so to speak – there’s a display of the raw and finished stones at Braemar Castle this season. Roy Starkey, author of  Crystal Mountains (reviewed here) … Continue reading

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Jean’s Hut – a lost Cairngorm bothy

Of all the ‘lost’ bothies of the Cairngorms,  Jean’s Hut seems one of  the one most brought up in folk’s recollections. Not one I was ever at myself, although it didn’t finally disappear until the ’80s, but there are some … Continue reading

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Plans announced for Derry Lodge development

(Since this post was first written, a planning application for the development has been lodged with Aberdeenshire Council. The application can be seen in full here. According to Murray Hamilton, Director of Planning and Rural Development at the Cairngorms National Park … Continue reading

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Reviewed: Old Deeside Ways, by Ian Murray

It’s been out a few months now, but I only recently came across Old Deeside Ways, the latest book by Ian Murray in his fascinating series of books on the oral history of the Cairngorms and Deeside. Notable for their … Continue reading

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