Castle to celebrate laird’s 100th birthday

Captain Farquharson is a regular visitor to the castle
Captain Farquharson is a regular visitor to the castle

The 100th birthday of a Deeside laird will be marked by the community this week.

Braemar Castle, the seat of Clan Farquharson, will celebrate the landmark occasion for Captain Alwyne Farquharson, 16th laird of Invercauld, on Wednesday.

He has been chief of Clan Farquharson for 70 years.

For the past 11 years, the castle has been operated as a visitor attraction by the community of Braemar for the benefit of the village.

Simon Blackett, chair of Braemar Community Limited and former factor of Invercauld Estate, said: “We’re not sure if May 1st will make Captain Farquharson the oldest Clan Chief in Scotland but think it very likely.

“The laird won’t be able to join us on the day, but we will have a community party and birthday cake to celebrate.”

Braemar’s oldest inhabitant, Zan Grant, will cut the cake on Captain Farquharson’s behalf.

Zan worked as his secretary when he first became laird in the 1940s and is now 92.

Since the community took over the running of the castle, visitor numbers have steadily grown and now an ambitious programme of work is being developed.

Castle manager Georgina Errington said: “Captain Farquharson is a regular visitor to the castle and is very supportive of the community effort.

“We’re going to have cake for everyone all day and will cut a special birthday cake at 3.30pm in the castle dining room. We know many people will want to be part of the celebration.”

Local Councillor Geva Blackett said: “Captain Farquharson commands respect wherever he goes. His energy and commitment to Invercauld and Braemar, to Ballater Highland Games and to our beautiful countryside is phenomenal. I know I am not alone in wishing him a very happy birthday on this auspicious day.”