DUFFTOWN.

Forbes Mackenzie’s Act. – This act so much lauded by some and derided by others, has been the cause of some little annoyance to not a few of the young folks in this place, in consequence of its interference with a ball which is to be got up by the Mechanics in Dufftown. The hall where meetings of the kind were wont to be held, being licensed, it was found impossible, according to the act, to have the door open after eleven o’clock, and this was deemed somewhat early for the lovers of dancing to separate, various speculations were entered into as to how the difficulty could be best removed; some proposed to pay whatever fine should be imposed, others urged to withdrawal of the license. But to both propositions Mr Innes, (the licensate of the hall) was inexorable, and had we have been moved to tears on witnessing the blank and disappointed faces that were to be seen, when this announcement was made. But where there is a will there generally is found a way, and the disappointment which was but of short duration, gave way to the opposite feeling of satisfaction, when Mrs Mitchell kindly consented to allow them the use of her hall for the night, so that by this time the imaginations of so score or two in the village, are bizzing with reels, stratspeys, crinoline, and ribbons, and may be expected to continue in the same excited state until the eventful 26th of December, when they will expect to meet with a realization of their dreams.

You can read here about the effect and thoughts of this act in Scotland in Tait’s Edinburgh Magazine, January 1856.

News article from 1856

GMT or Dufftown time?(1890)

With the Forbes Mackenzie’s Act in place, Pubs were not allowed to sell alcohol after 10pm. In 1890 this led to a rather strange case.  A publican in Dufftown was charged with selling drink after ten o’clock to several persons. He denied the charge on the ground that the town clock, on whose time-keeping the authorities lodged the complaint, was fast, and that according to Greenwich time, the legal hour for selling drink had not expired when the parties were supplied. The publican had credible and most reliable witnesses in the persons of Provost Symon and Mr Wood, a watchmaker, who stated that the Dufftown clock was kept fast on purpose to accommodate strangers. The case was dismissed because Greenwich time was the only time recognised by the Act.


Edinburgh Evening News, Thursday 17 July 1890, Important to publicans and their patrons.