My name is Ian Kenn, and I was born in Aberdeen in January 1960. The first three months of my life were spent at 67 Portlethen Village before we moved up the hill and across the road a wee bit to number 43. My brother, Ron was born in 1962 and sister, Patricia arrived in 1964. My parents, John and Anne Kenn, still stay in the same house today but it’s now known as 1 Craigmarn Road after the numbering of houses in the village was controversially changed in 1977.
I went to Portlethen Primary School in 1965, which at that time was more commonly known as Portlethen Junior Secondary School - back in the 1960's both primary and secondary pupils attended the same school. After my primary school years it was off to Mackie Academy, Stonehaven in 1972 where I spent my “formative” years. I left school in 1977.
On leaving school I joined the oil industry where I still work today. At that time I was joining a myriad of other “North Sea Tigers” who had moved into the area on the back of the oil boom, an oil boom that was breathing new life into Portlethen and the surrounding villages after decades of decline.
Initially I followed the well worn path to the rigs and spent most of the 1980’s working offshore in the North Sea before hanging up my Redwing Boots in 1990 and heading back to the beach for office life. I’ve been shore based since then although I often travel to some of the more “exotic” countries in the world which satisfies my two vices – curiosity and wanderlust.
I met my wife Jacky in 1983 although it was a further eight years before we married. With Jacky I inherited stepsons, Ray and Andrew, and now I have more grandkids than you can shake a stick at (not sure if I’m allowed to say that nowadays). In 1987 we moved to the village of Downies where we still live today.
With family links to Portlethen through many generations and a father who worked in the small and fast disappearing inshore fishing industry my allegiance to the new oil industry was a case of “gamekeeper turned poacher”, to turn a well known cliché on its head and confuse everyone. I hope to redress the balance and become gamekeeper once again by sharing some of the stories, anecdotes and history of Portlethen’s past along with some other peripheral bits and bobs.
I retain an interest in the local area and our coastal region and my hobbies include sea fishing, although my expertise and experience relates more to lobster fishing than angling. From mid-May to mid-September I can often be seen beating a well worn path from my house down to Downies Haven and Cammachmore Bay to fish a handful of creels from the rocks at low tide. Additionally I often take trips out in the family boat from Portlethen Shore to do a spot of line fishing or “ripping” particularly if the mackerel are on and I need to replenish some bait for my creels.
I’m particularly interested in any old information, photographs or data that relates to Portlethen and the surrounding area. There are a few blanks in the “Portlethen story” that I’d love to fill in, be it about fishing, farming, archaeology, architecture, land owners, characters, the war years, education, church, shops, pubs, or even the Webb chicken. Or maybe a story on here isn’t quite right or needs additional or updated information? If so please get in touch with me - see contact details at the end of the site.
Alternatively I can often be found in the local pub (The Neuk) on a Friday night – buy me a pint and we can maybe put Portlethen’s world to rights, and if not why not just buy me a pint anyway!