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Blue Lamp landlord Sandy Brown to be remembered with new book

Javier Buron and Andrea Baggio from arts group Bridge of Dub. Picture by Chris Sumner.
Javier Buron and Andrea Baggio from arts group Bridge of Dub. Picture by Chris Sumner.

A commemorative book has been released in honour of the “legendary” landlord of Aberdeen pub The Blue Lamp.

Featuring short stories, poems and anecdotes from some of Sandy Brown’s customers, Behind The Bar was created to offer a lasting tribute to him.

Created by “underground” art collective Bridge Of Dub, all profits from the 108-page publication will be donated to cancer support charity Friends Of Anchor.

Mr Brown died in April aged 74, shortly after the venue closed temporarily in line with coronavirus restrictions.

The Blue Lamp‘s late owner Sandy Brown.
The Blue Lamp‘s late owner Sandy Brown.

His passion for live entertainment helped him cement The Blue Lamp as a key destination for lovers of jazz, blues, folk and comedy.

It also led to the development of a close-knit community of pub regulars, who all had fond things to say about Mr Brown.

Andrea Baggio, Bridge Of Dub chairman, wanted to capture the sentiment with the project.

“After the news that Sandy passed away, I saw people posting online saying ‘I remember this time I was at The Blue Lamp’ or ‘I remember the time I met Sandy’,” he said.

“At some point I realised we should find a way to keep all of these stories and feelings.

“We wanted some way to have them written down in black and white.”

Fellow artist Javier Buron, the group’s treasurer, said: “Before Sandy died all of the bars had to shut, which meant The Blue Lamp closed and he didn’t know if it was ever going to open again. It was very sad.

“At the beginning of the project it was very difficult to find people who wanted to express their feelings about it so we could publish them.

“We had to push and try again and again, and we extended the deadline a few times.

“But we did get a good amount of entries.

“The quality is really high and I think people will really enjoy the book.”

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Mr Baggio added: “The work was really challenging but we’ve learned a lot from this experience.

“We’re very thankful to have had everyone’s support and contributions.”

Friends of Anchor director Sarah-Jane Hogg said: “Sandy’s incredible legacy will live on in many ways, and Behind the Bar shows the wealth of admiration and respect people had for the man himself and what he did for the music scene.

“The collective at Bridge of Dub have done a wonderful job pulling together this book, and we were especially grateful to be told that any profits will be gifted to Friends of Anchor.

“As the charity’s operating costs are fully covered, every penny will go directly to the cause, helping to support oncology and haematology patients right here in the north-east.”

The Blue Lamp reopened last month, now with Mr Brown’s grandson Lewis and long-serving employee Paddy Buchanan at the helm.

Behind The Bar is available to buy for £10 at The Blue Lamp and Candle Close Gallery, both on Gallowgate.

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