Ye're Deid

Poet's Corner
Bard & Monarch
Thrummy Cap
In Memory
The Antiquary
Ye're Deid
Laddies & Haddies
Shetland Connection
In my own words

Post Wold War II Portlethen, Downies and Findon together formed communities that refused to be extinguished in face of the modern notions of town and country planners. For most outside observers it didn’t seem to be worthwhile making the effort to keep these small villages alive by upgrading the roads, introducing running water and proper sewerage systems. After all, the white fishing industry that had kept these villages alive had gone into terminal decline by then. As the author Peter Anson had observed in 1929; “Every year or so another of old fishermen of Portlethen dies and is buried in the kirkyard overlooking the sea. And as young men take their place it would seem that here….the fishermen will disappear in the course of time.” 

The planners had built around 50 new houses (Burnside Gardens) in the vicinity of Portlethen Station and it appears that the name of Portlethen had been reserved for the new town with Portlethen Village being more commonly referred to as “Old Portlethen”. These planners envisaged a time when the cliff top villages would disappear and the new township would quietly take their place. However the residents of the fishing villages stood their ground and fought for the cause to remain where they were and their fight was a successful one with improved roads, proper piped water and sewerage outfalls occurring in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. From that point onwards the villages have gone from strength to strength and are today a sought after location to stay. This poem was found at the head of a 1962 Evening Express article about these villages.


Ye're Deid! 

“Ye’re Deid!”, they said, but we widnae lie doon:

Findon, Portlethen and Downies-toun.

Owre far tae fess watter, an’ sewers an’ a road,

Jist rax doon the shutters an’ shift yer abode.


There’s braw Cooncil hooses at Burnside biggin’

Inland whaur the gales winna shoogle the riggin’;

“Ye’re Deid!”, they said, but we widnae lie doon

At Findon, Portlethen and Downies-toun.


We’ve gotten wir watter an’ sewers an’ a road,

An’ a bonnie bus shelter to keep us a’ snod.

“Ye’re Deid!”, they said, but we widnae lie doon

At Findon, Portlethen and Downies-toun.