Published: 14/10/2012 07:43 - Updated: 12/10/2012 17:07

Postal vote for Speyside community call

Auchnarrow folk did not want name change
Auchnarrow folk did not want name change

THEY may be small in number, but residents living in a Moray hamlet were loud of voice as they successfully defeated a bid to change the identity of their community.

A vote that could have potentially switched the name of Auchnarrow to Knockandhu failed by a significant margin on Wednesday night, as the wider public refused to back the proposal.

‘The Northern Scot’ reported last week that a large majority of those in the hamlet, which is located near Glenlivet and contains around 20 homes, had been angered by a campaign to replace the Auchnarrow roadsigns with others reading Knockandhu.

And the issue came to a head on Wednesday this week, when the Glenlivet and Inveravon Community Association called a special meeting in the Braes of Glenlivet Hall to gauge public opinion.

Anyone living in the area covered by the association was allowed to vote, but the proposed change failed to attract the backing it needed.

To counter the motion forwarded by Ballindalloch resident John Shewan, to change the name Auchnarrow to Knockandhu, residents living in the hamlet pitched their own proposal.

They said that Moray Council should organise a postal vote over whether the change of name should be permitted, and only people living or owning homes in Auchnarrow should be allowed to cast a ballot.

This motion attracted the support of 22 people, while six voted in favour of Mr Shewan’s proposal.

Auchnarrow resident Sue Crombie said residents will be delighted by the result.

"Democracy prevails," she said.

"All in all, it went better than we thought it would and we are very pleased about that.

"Among the voters in favour of our proposal were a number of other residents from the area – it was not just the people living in Auchnarrow, but it was people from other parts of Glenlivet."

A previous application to change Auchnarrow’s road signs to Knockandhu was raised in 2004, but failed.

Ms Crombie now hopes that Moray Council will take a vote of Auchnarrow residents at some point in the future.

"But whether the council does that or not, we need to have an end to this because it’s happened before. It needs to be finalised," she added.

Mr Shewan proposed to change the signs in Auchnarrow, claiming that the name ‘Auchnarrow’ should never have been used in the first place and in fact ‘Knockandhu’ was the area’s correct name.

In a letter to the community, Mr Shewan said that in 2004, it was said at a community association meeting that the correct name for the hamlet was Knockandhu and not Auchnarrow.

"Since then, more and more people are using the name ‘Auchnarrow’, and this should not be allowed to continue, or we will lose the correct name forever," he wrote.

"All I want is for the signs to be changed to the correct name."

Residents, however, said they had documentation to prove that Auchnarrow is the hamlet’s property identity.

Farmer Alex Garrick told ‘The Scot’ that his birth certificate, from 67 years ago, states his birthplace as Roseneath, Auchnarrow.

Long-time Auchnarrow resident Hazel Grant also said Auchnarrow is mentioned on her in-laws’ marriage certificate from 1939.

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