The Sailor Mannie of Oldmeldrum
This dapper gentleman is a bit of a man of mystery, and I love a good mystery. I’ve driven by him many times on my way through Oldmeldrum, off to explore on Bennachie, or in pursuit of some Pictish stone or ruin. I decided to stop and take a closer look one day, hoping to find a plaque or something, but to no avail. He posed for a portrait, and I bid him adieu. I scoured the internet for clues, and the facts are few. The statue is affectionately known as The Sailor Mannie is protected as a Category C listed building. He was apparently knocked over by a vehicle but earlier this year was lovingly put back up again, on a new plinth.
I sent an email to the Grampian Transport Museum requesting permission to share an old photo I found online. Peter Donaldson graciously responded to my message and filled in a few gaps for me: “There was a famous postman in this area called 'Postie' Andrew Lawson. He lived at Craigievar and was a nut for anything technical! He wanted a self-propelled vehicle and built himself a steam tricycle,(called the Craigievar Express!) and our museum is the proud owner of this historic vehicle. He was amazed by the new electricity world and he built his own water powered dynamo and was one of the first people in the area to light his house by electricity. The statue was purchased by Postie Lawson…for 5s[hilling] in the early 1900's. It stood outside the schoolhouse at Craigievar where he lived. Postie was also a professional photographer…After his death in 1938, his son took [the statue] to Oldmeldrum where he was bank manager.”
A popular story about the origins of the statue says that it was originally created for the widow of a sailor after he was drowned at sea. I don’t know if this is true or not but it is a very sweet origin story ❤️
Thank you to Grampian Transport Museum for sending me an additional photo, and granting me permission to repost both! Visit their website here: http://www.gtm.org.uk/