- Written by Peter Burnett Peter Burnett
This snippet concerns the origins of the Aikey Fair, or Aikey Brae Fair.
But on the event of the first Aikey fair, which must have been in the early 1800s, the tinker lady who brought her wares dropped them while crossing the Ugie, and laid them out on the grass to dry, thus offering the locals a chance to browse them. This led to the development of the fair as a venue for people to purchase trinkets, baskets, pegs and tinwares.
This is a travellers' tale, and appropriate for Aikey Brae was one of the places that travellers met, and they convened there at the same time each year. The locals must have in the majority come from Old Deer, but by the 1900s, people were coming from 10 or 20 miles around to the fair, which was a great place to see, buy and sell horses. Fairs, rides and stalls were another 20th Century addition.
The last fair was held at Aikey in 1946, but the fairs are caught in the song Aikey Brae, the first verse of which goes as follows:
'Twas on a Sunday mornin fair,
The sun was bricht, the sky was clear;
Three pals o mine they did appear,
And says, "We'll gang tae Aikey."
Says I, "I'll be there, niver fear,
And I'll stand yes aa a bottle o beer,
For I'm sellin the clip [colt] and the auld grey mare,
On Wednesday first at Aikey Brae."
For at Aikey Brae, Aikey Brae,
There's been a horse market for mony's a day,
But listen and hear what I hiv tae say,
On the day we gaed tae Aikey.