I have spent the last few months getting to know Morayshire properly. I have been on every road, A, B, and including single tracks with passing places. If you could call some of them roads. I have visited every corner of Morayshire, and it frightens me. Look at an Ordinance Survey map of Moray, and you would think it is made up of Distilleries joined loosely by terrible roads. It is worse when you go and see it, because it dawns on you that that, is all it is. The rest is wasted empty space.
What to do about it? Let me firstly take Fochabers and Dufftown as examples. In Fochabers, Christies Nurseries own, or did own, many of the local shops and attractions. In Dufftown the distilleries play their own game, and Dufftown is left to stagnate. Struggling to fill their existing shops at present while Elgin, for example, slaps up houses left right and centre. When there was ample work, it was frowned upon for distilleries to invest locally, ‘stepping on the toes of others’, but that does not apply at present. They have their visitor attractions which they are welcome to, but the community has nothing, and they take all the profits from the region, and so there is no money to invest.
There are millions of square acres in and around Moray suitable for building on, but locals ‘object’. Do they think if someone wants to build in Lhanbryde that I can object. Take Dallas for example. (I know Dallas Dhu is outwith Dallas, but that makes no difference) The distilleries have taken for over a century in many areas, and paid good wages to their workers, but where is the investment in other things. Profit making investment as well, with the right managers, and there are plenty of those looking for jobs. More money. We don’t mind if it helps. Community centres, Post Offices, proper Shops, better roads, skill jobs to service the new thriving community and we’ll all visit. (Each Other) (Who has been to Dallas who does not live there? You’ll miss Kellas it’s so small, but build houses along the way, improve the road ten fold and you have another community)
The whisky industry does nothing useful that I have ever seen, but governments swear by it. Make it work for us, and then maybe I’ll agree, but not before. Moray would have been better without it.
“They shall all leave their cities and go live in the country.” Holy Bible. God knows there is enough of it, but distilleries hog ours. I spent the first twenty seven years of my life in the country, and thoroughly can recommend it. Unless you have to use the Elgin to Dallas road at present. Eight miles should take twelve minutes at most. Not forty five. Space giving ‘Open Plan’ is possible with investment and quality linking roads.