At least 100 people took to the streets of a north-east fishing community yesterday to help keep alive one of their oldest traditions.
The Christmas temperance walk has been held annually in Inverallochy for more than 150 years, beginning in 1842 at a time when alcohol abuse was rife in the country.
The walk was a symbolic protest against the evils of drink and at the time members of the band leading the procession were required to sign a temperance pledge before taking part.
But recently, the message of abstinence from alcohol has become more muted and the event is instead recognised as a celebration of the Buchan village itself.
The parade is led by Inverallochy’s flute band who place a wreath at the war memorial each year.
The walk winds from the local community hall to the neighbouring village of Cairnbulg and on to nearby St Combs.
The event is the first of three traditional marches through nearby coastal villages, with similar events taking place in Cairnbulg and St Combs on January 1 and 2 respectively.
Local councillor Brian Topping said yesterday’s walk was a “fantastic” sign that traditions were not being lost in the north-east.
“I’ve been to a few of the walks over the years,” he added.
“People come out of their houses to follow them and use them to meet up. It’s really good.”
Several years ago the walks were under threat because of a lack of uptake in flute playing, before local volunteers began offering their time to teach youngsters the melodies.
Mr Topping added: “It really is a fantastic tradition.
“The amount of kids that are active at these things is vitally important in keeping traditions alive, when they might otherwise go to the wayside.
“It’s a testimony – the hours that these people give up every week for these walks. There’s even families where the grandparents pass down the skills for it.
“For the villages, these walks really are tremendous.”