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Banchory Violin Trail celebrates the town’s music heritage and supports local businesses and artists

Learn more about Banchory's music heritage thanks to Banchory Violin Trail
Learn more about Banchory's music heritage thanks to Banchory Violin Trail

Celebrating the town’s musical heritage, the Banchory Violin Trail showcases violins embellished by talented Aberdeenshire artists, on show in  12 local businesses.

The violins represent Banchory’s musical roots – the north-east town is the birthplace of James Scott Skinner who is considered to be one of the greatest violinists and composers of Scottish traditional music.

Corinne Ogilvie, who helped to organise the event, said: “The trail was really inspired by Scott Skinner – also known as The Strathspey King – who was born in Banchory in 1843.”

Organised by Banchory & District Initiative, the trail aims to “energise” the town, encourage locals – and visitors – to venture out and to support local businesses as well as artists.

Banchory Violin Trail
Bonnie Banchory by Jan Leatham, all photos by Deeside Photographics

The violins can be seen when individual businesses are open and they will be on display until September 27.

Corinne added: “The idea was to work collaboratively with local businesses and artists to create something of interest to invite people to come back into town.

“The art is really accessible – most of the venues are in the town centre.”

To guide visitors through the town, Banchory & District Initiative created a trail map to showcase where each violin is located. You can see the Banchory Violin Trail map below. Locals can also pick up the map in all participating venues.

banchory violin trail.

Supporting local businesses

J.G. Ross Bakery, Banchory Lodge Hotel, Copper & Grey, Scott Skinner’s Restaurant & Bar, and FOLD at The Barn are some of the venues taking part in the art and music trail.

Corinne said: “We appealed for local business through Banchory Business Association to come forward and sponsor one of the artists.

“They funded the artworks for the trail, which is something we’re very grateful for because a lot of the local businesses had a difficult year as well. So it was really great of them to come on board and show their support for this project.

“They supported the artists, but also encouraged visitors to come to our town and explore the various shops and cafes we have here in Banchory.”

Banchory Violin Trail
Violin by Lucy Brydon

The Barn’s marketing manager Dawn Hawkins, said the arts venue was “delighted” to be part of the Banchory Violin Trail.

She said: “The violin trail relates back to our local heritage, landscape and folklore and brings a sense of community with it.

“It’s lovely to see a buzz about Banchory again after such a long period of lockdown.

“The violin displayed in the window of FOLD is by artist Astrid Björklund.”

Views from Scolty Hill by Jodie Bews

Artists inspired by landscape, heritage and folklore

Inspired by themes relating to local heritage, landscape, wildlife as well as folklore, each violin is a unique work of art.

Corrine said: “We appealed for local artists to get involved in the trail. They were given a design brief but we left the scope quite open to create a piece about what Banchory meant to them.”

Beverley Black, whose violin is displayed in J.G. Ross Bakery, said: “My violin reflects the local beauty spot of  Crathes Castle which is irresistible to an artist.

“I have painted it many times in all seasons and the changes through the season are depicted in the paintings on the violin.”

Banchory Violin Trail
Mapping Banchory Station by Iris Walker-Reid

Artist Iris Walker-Reid was inspired by old photographs and maps of Banchory Railway Station and The Deeside Line.

She said: “I used the pattern from the wood of the violin as contour lines of old maps and decorated the neck with train lines to connect the strings to the railway lines. I then reflected the ornate station canopy around the sides of the violin.”

Iris’ violin can be seen at book store Yeadon’s of Banchory.

“The artists have really embraced a diverse group of topics,” said Corinne.

“We hope people will come, walk around Banchory and learn more about the history. It’s a great day out for families.”

After the trail has concluded on September 27, all 12 violins will be auctioned off. The funds raised will be split between the artist and the town to be used for other creative projects.

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