It was with sadness that the members of The Doric Board learnt of the death of one of the stalwarts of North-East culture on 29th July 2021. Sandy May of Longside in Aberdeenshire, recently awarded an MBE in recognition of his work with groups promoting the songs, history and culture of our area, was known throughout the region for his tireless work, all of it given voluntarily. For many years Sandy, along with his wife Vi, was the driving force behind the Buchan Heritage Society, holding the position of Chairman for some 17 years. He was also Chairman of the Buchan Field Club and an active member of the Royal Celtic Society.

In 1985 a collection of glass photographic plates was found in a blocked-up cupboard in a farmhouse in Belhelvie. Views of country life in Aberdeenshire, these were taken between 1890 and 1920 by professional photographer James Morrison and had been long forgotten. Donated to the Buchan Heritage Society, Sandy was instrumental in obtaining Lottery Funding to have the plates cleaned, catalogued and digitised. The Morrison Collection now forms one of the most important records of farming life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Sandy’s passing will be a great loss to many, but especially to his wife Vi, daughter Pauline and son Stuart.

Alexander ‘Sandy’ May (1945-2021)