The Area - The Brora Website

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The Area

Brora is a village on the East Coast of the County of Sutherland in the North of Scotland.Sutherland is a vast county but sparsely populated.

At the beginning of this Century Brora was a thriving industrial village. Industry included crofting, boat building, fishing, salt mining, fish curing, lemonade factory, distillery, wool mill, coal, bricks, briquettes and a stone quarry. Stone from the quarry was used in the construction of London Bridge, which was reconstructed in Arizona and is a present day tourist attraction. The stone was also used to build Liverpool Cathedral and Dunrobin Castle. The first electricity in the north was generated from a plant in the Wool Mill, thus earning the village nickname of "The Electric City". In 1940 the Government opened a Radio Receiving Station which brought employment and new blood to the area. In 1951 the Coal Pit won the News of the World cup for best output.

Sadly by 1974 most of the industry had disappeared. The Wool Mill and Distillery survived. There is currently a new distillery Or rather addon to the existing one under construction. See gallery here The Radio Station closed in 1986. New industry came such as a smoked salmon processing and a Bakery but these were not viable and closed down. The distillery still makes very fine malt called Clynelish. A new mill has been built on the outskirts of the village to replace the existing one, giving hope to the local community of employment in the future. Sadly the new Mill has closed and hunter of Brora is no more. Shops and offices are the other main employers.

We live in a peaceful environment with very little crime. The community is still a caring society, so the trend is good. Sport in the village was always abundant with golf, fishing, sea fishing, football badminton, billiards, and tennis being available and also bowls,see the Bowling Clubs Homepage on this site.

Mining was first said to have started in 1529 as an open cast pit by just digging the coal straight out of the earth where it was exposed at the surface,even now along the shoreline around Brora and Loth about 5 miles north ,you can still find coal seams exposed on the surface.There were about three large shafts over the years with the new Fascally shaft 250 ft deep sunk around the 19th century,there were around 15 or 20 small ones in the earlier years,but now there is no real evidence of coal mining unless you know where to look for it.The mine was one of the most northerly and oldest in Europe it is now sadly closed demolished and filled in.

In the earlier years the coal was used for the production of salt which was traded all around the coastal area called the Moray Firth.The salt pans were developed in 1598.

The Clynelish Whisky Distillery was built in 1819 by the Duke Of Sutherland so that the local crofters would not be selling their grain to illegal whisky makers.

Tourists are a help to the local economy with the 1 main hotel The Royal Marine attracting fishers and golfers to the area.

We do not have a lot of local food shops,just a Spar,Nissa the name seems to change every year and C.O.O.P

We have a train station and bus service but most people rely on their cars for transport even although petrol is very expensive in this area even though you can see a few oil rigs on our doorstep.

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