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Gallery: Are you in these photos of 1980s Easter fun in the north-east?

Revisit the joy of Easters past in these photos from our archive from the 80s, 90s and beyond.

1984:  Angie (right), brother Lee (10) and sister Melanie (8) of 24 Corthan Drive, Aberdeen, at Woolworths in Aberdeen. Image: DC Thomson
1984: Angie (right), brother Lee (10) and sister Melanie (8) of 24 Corthan Drive, Aberdeen, at Woolworths in Aberdeen. Image: DC Thomson

There are few things cuter than the joyful faces of kids hunting for Easter eggs.

Faces which will soon be covered in chocolate, not to mention those sticky, gooey hands which quickly become a biohazard and may be wiped on adult jeans, if adult not on red alert.

Royal touch

It seems we have Queen Victoria to thank once again for making Easter fun for kids, the way she did with Christmas.

Easter egg hunts and giving eggs to children originated in Germany in the seventeenth century.

Illustrations of easter eggs
The Victorian era saw Easter eggs become artificial, and more and more elaborate. Image: Amoret Tanner Collection/Shutterstock.

Victoria’s mother, Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, laid on egg hunts for her daughter, and the young Victoria enthusiastically helped the tradition to grow in this country.

From eggs to art form

During her reign, manufacturers began making the artificial Easter egg into an art form, as well as introducing goodies such as toys and sweets inside.

As for the origins of the tradition, some say the eggs are symbolic of the stone being rolled away from Jesus’s tomb prior to His resurrection, but others say it has no religious significance.

Roll that egg!

A man with a tray of eggs with a child

1987. Assistant gardener at the Duthie Park Mr William Bruce, 3 Oriel Terrace, Culter, gives three-year-old Tendai Sondayi, 3e Kerloch Place, Torry, an egg at the annual Easter egg rolling competition held by Aberdeen City District Council.

What a whopper!

A boy with a giant easter egg with "happy easter" written on it

1986. Little James Milligan can hardly believe his eyes as he contemplates a two-foot-high, 10lb chocolate Easter egg in Woolworth’s store in Union Street, Aberdeen. The giant treat was donated by the store to the Burnside Centre for Handicapped Children at Mastrick.

Duthie Park winners

easter in Aberdeen's duthie park in the north-east of scotland

1988. Under-8 competitors in the Easter Egg Competition at Duthie Park. The winner was  five year old Andrew Melville from Cove, seated, with behind David (5) and Lynzy (3) McAvoy, and standing Dominic Davidson (8), Louise Patterson (5) and Emma Whitton (6), all from Aberdeen. They’re seen here with judge Margaret Miller, leisure and recreation department, and compere Dave McDonald.

Inverurie cutie

A young girl lying in the grass with an easter egg

1988. Here four year old Kirsty Miller of Inverurie considers which is more beautiful, the crocus or the egg?

We suspect the egg might have had the edge.

Beautiful Banchory bonnet

An elderly woman in a wheelchair with an easter bonnet on

1988. Miss Elsie Mitchell swept the board at Hillside House Nursing Home in Banchory, taking first prize in the Easter bonnet parade.

Painting an egg is tricky…

A boy sitting cross-legged painting an egg for easter in the north-east of scotland

1991. Steven Symon is a picture of concentration as he draws a design on his egg.

Hard-boiled eggs are also yummy

A little girl with a tray of eggs

1987. Three-year-old Melanie Gray of Bridge of Don, would rather eat her hard-boiled egg than roll it.
She was taking part in an ‘Eggstra’l Easter holiday attraction for children organised by Aberdeen City’s leisure and recreation department at Duthie Park.
Sporting their best Easter bonnets, hundreds of children decorated the eggs and rolled them down the park slope.
More than 500 eggs, donated by Homestead Eggs, were specially boiled for the occasion.

Easter is for pets too

A baby holding an egg with a dog next to her with a walkman

1989. That egg isn’t safe!

Labrador Vanya eyes up one-year -old Jonathan Milne of Milltimber’s egg on Easter fun day in Duthie Park.

Seriously, is that a Walkman Vanya’s wearing?

Easter joy at Woolies

Children in a shop with a gaint easter egg

1984. “That’s eggsactly what I want for Easter,” says seven-year-old Angie Beaton.

But Angie (right), brother Lee (10) and sister Melanie (8) of  Aberdeen, had to make do with something a little smaller.

The giant 25lb egg was one of 250 from Rowntree Mackintosh in Woolworths stores all over Britain which were donated to charity.

Sticky hands and faces

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Paula Duguid (left), Elgin, and Gillian Clark, Cove, contented themselves with a creme egg each while admiring this stunning whopper.

And are creme eggs really smaller and not as good as they were then?  It seems so.

In 2015, five years after Kraft purchased Cadburys, they changed the recipe and lowered the number of eggs in each pack from six to five. The amount of dairy used in the chocolate was also lowered, lessening the fudgy, smooth texture of the shell.

Bonny bonnets unite the generations

1986. The oldest competitor in the Woodside Congregational Church Easter egg and bonnet competition was 78 year old Mrs Jean Barker of Bucksburn, seen here with one of the younger members of the congregation nine-month-old Lesley Smith.

Easter bonnet parade in Aberdeen

1988. Little Jenna Beattie (3) was one of the youngsters who stole the show during the Easter Bonnet Parade at Aberdeen’s St Nicholas Centre on Saturday.

Jenna took second place in the traditional bonnet section, and also won a prize for her nursery in the city’s Ferryhill area.

Easter at the Waldorf School

1989. Roween Suess (3), is a study in concentration as she paints her Easter egg during the Waldorf School’s open day.

At that time, the school was in the Gallowgate and had 110 pupils aged three to 14.

It was one of four in Scotland at the time following the principles of the Austrian philosopher and scientist Rudolf Steiner.

Student Easter fun

1988. Joining the fun at the Aberdeen Students’ Charities Campaign Easter Egg and Spoon race outside Marks and Spencer in the city were students Judith Hetherington, Aberdeen; Joanna Bycroft, Aboyne; Liz Ross, Aberdeen; Johanna Wilson, Aberdeen; Nicky Lamb, Aberdeen, and Linda Mackenzie, Aberdeen.

Not sure what Dracula has to do with it, Judith, but you do you anyway.

Haddo House Easter memories

Emma and Dylan Yeats with an egg they found during the Easter egg hunt. at Haddo in 2007. Image: Gordon Lennox/DC Thomson.

Who could think of Easter in the north-east of Scotland without thinking of the famous egg hunt at Haddo Country Park?

The annual event has been running since 1983, and has entertained generations of young and eager egg-hunters celebrating in the (usually ) lovely spring weather.

It’s been run with the help of the Ellon Rotary Club for the past 20 years, and there are more than 80 volunteers anually who make it the success it is.

Laura Hughson models an Easter bonnet among the daffodils at Haddo in 2007. Image: Gordon Lennox/DC Thomson

The Rotary Egg Hunt at Haddo generates thousands of pounds every year, which funds Oldmeldrum and Ellon’s Community Grant Award schemes, as well as major charities like Charlie House and Clan.

As well as regular eggs, the unique event also includes the hiding of wooden Ukranian eggs.

There are egg-rolling competitions, charity stalls, and prizes for best-decorated eggs.

You can get tickets for this year’s event at Haddo on and searching for “Rotary Charity Egg Hunt”. 

Simon Belshaw with his collection of eggs in 2008. Image: Chris Sumner/DC Thomson.

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Eggscellent trails being held across the north and north-east this Easter