Chronology of Duthie Park

1881

The ground is formally handed over to the Town Council on 21 August; the Earl of Aberdeen cuts the first turf.


1882

Celtic cross memorial to the Gordon Highlanders’ Egyptian Campaign is erected (Date on memorial).


1883

Official opening of Duthie Park performed by Princess Beatrice on 27 September; the day is declared a public holiday with great celebrations throughout the City. The model yachting pond (smaller than today) with adjacent small circular pond by Riverside Drive, the three linked ponds with rockwork, islands, stone-shelter and cast-iron bridge, the Temperance foundtain, ‘the mound’ with flagstaff, the east Polmuir gate lodge and north-west lodge, boundary walls, gates and railings, rockery and rootery are in place; other developments include a further open shelter or ‘verandah’ opposite the Riverside Drive entrance, and the Duthie fountain, erected shortly after the Park opens.


1885 (30 March)

Miss Duthie dies, aged 67.


1893

The bandstand is erected; death of William McKelvie.


1897

An old summerhouse incorporating stones from the old Tolbooth and the north transept of St. Nicholas is presented to the Park by former Dean of Guild, Alexander Walker (the building formerly stood in his garden at 25 Dee street). The building is positioned against the Riverside Drive Wall, by the west end of the model yachting pond.


1898

The Hygeia memorial to  Elizabeth Crombie Duthie is placed in the Park; the second Gordon Highlanders’ memorial is erected.


1899

The Town Council resolves to erect a Palm House or Winter Garden (this building is demolished following extensive gale damage in 1969 and replaced by the present Winter Gardens). The first cricket/tennis pavilion is erected (the building is altered in 1922).


1903

The early 18th-century fountain-house at Fountainhall is taken from its original site and rebuilt in Duthie Park.


1905

The McGrigor obelisk is relocated from the courtyard of Marischal College, Aberdeen, to Duthie Park.


1907

Model yachting commences on the south-east pond.


1922

The old cricket/tennis pavilion is remodelled and extended to accommodate bowlers; the bowling green and five blase tennis courts are formed.


1927

The south-east pond is enlarged to provide improved facilities for model yachting.


1928

The glasshouses in the Arthurseat House Walled Garden are demolished. A new range of glasshouses, forcing houses etc., are erected on the north side of the old Palm House/Winter Garden and connected to the building.


1935

Demolition of Arthurseat House


1938

A strip of ground along the west side of the Park is lost to the road widening. This work necessitates the demolition of the north-west lodge which is rebuild at/as No 72 Rubislaw Den South, Aberdeen; the present west lodge is erected on a new site 91.3m (100 yards) south of the old building. Alex McBean is appointed Parks Superintendent.


1939

The new Bridge of Dee or ‘King George VI Bridge’ is commenced and opened by the King and Queen on 10 March 1941; development of Kincorth ‘satellite’ housing estate on south side of the River Dee.


1948

The remaining walls of the Arthurseat House walled garden are removed; the area is levelled for a ‘children’s playfield and playground’.


1959

Arrol Winning is appointed Parks Director. A severe gale destroys the flagpole; the Council decide not to replace it.


1961

A 3-phase programme for building new workshops in the Park commences; arrangements are made for the introduction of a putting green on the east side of the Park.


1962

For safety reasons, the south-west entrance at the junction of Great Southern Road and Riverside Drive is closed to vehicles; the verandah or shelter by Riverside Drive east gate is demolished.


1965

The Parks Department becomes responsible for the management of Allenvale Cemetery, which is acquired from Aberforth Holdings Limited (famous violinist Scott Skinner is buried in the cemetery).


1967

David Welch is appointed Director of Leisure and Recreation


1969

The old Palm house or winter Garden is demolished following extensive gale damage.


1970

Construction of the new Winter Gardens commences phased over a period of approximately 10 years.


1970s

Various architectural artefacts, sculptural monuments and items of historical interest are salvaged from City redevelopment schemes and located in the Park.


1971

Park Manager, Tom Brayshaw, retires.


1972

The Duthie Park restaurant is opened


1981

Duthie Park Centenary Parade commemorating the cutting of the first turf; the City re-enacts the procession at the Park’s official opening in 1883; the day is finished with a fireworks display.


1979-82

The mound is considerably extended by the addition of almost 200,000 tons of rubble and debris taken from various city sites; six Clydesdale horses are operating in the Park hauling plant loads.


1987

A new Japanese garden designed by Takashi Sawano is laid out in the central court of the Winter Garden.


1990

The Duthie Park Trust takes over management of the park


1992

David Welch is appointed Chief Executive of the Royal Parks, London (he had become a private sector consultant a few years prior to this).


1996

The bandstand, Hygeia monument and McGrigor obelisk undergo repair.


1998

Aberdeen Arts and Recreation Department regain management of the Park.


2001

Northsound 21 years celebration concert.

 

2002

Renaming of the Winter gardens ‘David Welch Winter Gardens’.


2003

Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations/ Visit by Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. ‘Free at the Dee’ concert.


2004

Princess Anne officially opens David Welch Winter Gardens


2005

Friends of Duthie Park set up. ‘Free at the Dee’ concert.


2006

Opera and Ballet big screen events.


2007

Bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Park restoration.


2008

Re-submitted bid to Heritage Lottery Fund for Park restoration. 125 Year celebrations.


2010

Friends of Duthie Park website relaunched.

2013

Duthie Park officially ‘reopened’ following the restoration.

2014

New Friends website relaunched courtesy of AVC Media.

Leave a Reply