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Clavie photo donated to Burghead school


By Alistair Whitfield


Burghead Primary has been presented with a photograph of the village's famous Clavie by local photographer Michael Ross.

Pictured (from left) Lesley Maclennan, Dan Ralph, Donald Tolmie and Michael Ross with pupils from Burghead Primary.
Fraser Ralph is holding the photo.
Pictured (from left) Lesley Maclennan, Dan Ralph, Donald Tolmie and Michael Ross with pupils from Burghead Primary. Fraser Ralph is holding the photo.

The shot, which was captured at this year's fiery spectacle in January, will now go on display at the entrance to the school.

Clavie King Dan Ralph and members of the Clavie Crew also attended a special assembly to unveil the photograph .

Acting head teacher Lesley Maclennan led the assembly and Dan’s grandson Fraser recited a poem about the Clavie written by Mary Harding.

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"Up the Clavie, borne on high

Fire under a winter sky

In windy darkness, the red sparks fly.

Fire ahead, folk behind,

Earlier ages spring to mind

Wild voices on a wild wind."

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The pupils had scores of questions, including asking Michael how he managed to get so close to take his photo.

They also wanted to know more about the Clavie's traditions.

The youngsters learned that the Clavie is a 100kg barrel filled with wood and tar.

Mounted on a large post, it is then paraded through the streets of Burghead before being allowed to burn out upon the summit of Doorie Hill.

Many people believe that receiving blackened staves from the barrel brings luck for the coming year.

For that reason pieces are sent to expat Brochers worldwide.

They also learned that the event is a celebration of the ancient Scots Hogmanay, which falls on January 11.

Written records date to 1689, but even then it was being referred to as an old tradition.

Mrs Maclennan said: "The pupils are all very proud of the Clavie tradition and how it makes Burghead unique.

"Now they have a permanent reminderof the ancient tradition in the entrance of the school.

"Many thanks to Michael and the Claive Crew for their generous gift."



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