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The Muckle Spate

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In August 1829,

After days quite fair and fine,

The sun had gone, and there instead,

The dark clouds gathered overhead.


A mighty storm was on its way,

Heading for the River Spey,

And then the rain began to pour,

Like it would last for evermore.


The sky was black, the lightning flashed,

While overhead the thunder crashed,

The storm that followed was so great,

That it’s been named ‘The Muckle Spate’.


It left the North-East in a mess,

Montrose, across to Inverness,

Then from the Spey it took a turn,

And thundered down Knockando Burn.


The raging torrent, in its wrath,

Had Millhowe Woolmill in its path,

The water’s power destroyed the wood,

And where the Miller’s house had stood.


Destroying bridges, gates and sheds,

The carding mill was ripped to shreds,

And picked up by the river’s flow,

The remains lay on the banks below.


But after this disastrous flood,

Amongst the wreckage and the mud

Where horses, pigs and sheep would fall,

The ‘Muckle Spate’ had drowned them all.


Amidst this scene of devastation

That would take years of ‘RESTORATION’,

A mile downstream , it soon was found

Knockando Mill had stood its ground.


Hard though it tried, the Muckle Spate,

Which left the place in such a state,

Had failed to split the Mill in two,

The end result was ‘No Can Do’ !  


Written by Douglas Forsyth




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