A project has been launched to capture the experiences of those involved with Aberdeen’s granite industry.
The Granite Oral History Project aims to reveal the first-hand memories of people who worked in, or were families associated with the granite industry.
The granite industry has a fantastic reputation for hard work, skilled craftsmanship and engineering expertise.
And by capturing the real-life stories behind Aberdeen’s granite industry, the project will bring a human element to the ubiquitous material.
Aberdeen City Heritage Trust’s vision is that by telling these stories, the city’s history will be better understood, preserved, and celebrated.
The Trust would particularly like to hear from those with first-hand experience of granite quarrying, processing, tooling, carving, and memorial work.
Whether you were a quarryman, settmaker, stonecutter, polisher or building mason, the work was tough and often dangerous.
The Trust also wants to hear from businesses, and people involved in the administration and distribution of granite and its associated trades.
The Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett said: “The City of Aberdeen is known around the world for a great many wonderful things, one of which is granite.
“It is why Aberdeen is often referred to as the ‘Granite City’ or the ‘Silver City’, due to the reflective elements found in the grey granite.
“The oral history project is a great way to capture the experiences and stories of those who worked in the industry in their own words.
“I would encourage anyone who has an interesting story to tell to share it with the Trust.
“It can help provide a fascinating insight in industrial and social terms for us now and for future generations.”
And Douglas Campbell, Project Officer, Aberdeen City Heritage Trust said: “There is still a lot to learn about the granite industry.
“We want to make sure we capture a record now, which can be used to inform our understanding and research of this great industry in the future.”
Howard Mitchell, of the Oral History Society, will help capture and record the memories which will be held in the Archives, Gallery and Museums department at Aberdeen City Council.
The idea is that these can be used to inform research and help develop future exhibitions.
Granite has helped define the character of Aberdeen and the towns and villages in Aberdeenshire.
Quarrying began in the 18th century with the industry reaching its heyday in the 19th century.
Rubislaw Quarry for example, was opened in 1740 and work continued at the site for over 200 years until it closed in 1970.
An estimated six million tonnes of granite was quarried from the site.
Last year Sport Aberdeen started stand-up paddle boarding sessions for local residents in the water which has since filled the giant hole.
Granite has been used to pave streets, form harbours and embankments, and to construct buildings and memorials.
Iconic Aberdeen buildings such as The Music Hall, Woolmanhill Hospital and Provost Skene’s House were all built using Rubislaw granite.
Marischal College, the second-largest granite building in the world, is built from the same quarried stone.
The rock was exported both globally and throughout the UK, giving Aberdeen its world-famous moniker as the ‘Granite City’.
It was used in buildings in cities such as London and Paris. The Paris Opera House and Brisbane Council Chamber was built with the material.
In 1811, Aberdeen workers cut and dressed 1,200 pieces of granite by hand to make the balustrade for Waterloo Bridge.
Elsewhere, landmarks such as the State Capitol Building in Austin, Texas were built using granite from Rubislaw in the late 1800s.
And it also features in the Houses of Parliament building.
For information on the project, contact the Trust by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aberdeen City Heritage Trust is supported by Aberdeen City Council and Historic Environment Scotland.