Aberdeen Tramps And Ither Weel Kent Fowk

Welcome to Aberdeen Tramps and Ither Weel Kent Fowk! Make yourself comfy on that park bench, grab your bottle of Buckfast and find out who's hot and who's not in the ever-changing world of the vomit encrusted streets of Aberdeen!

Street Entertainers will be recognised at last!
Religious Fanatics outside Markies will know someone is listening!
And our colourful tramps will no longer be forgotten!

Join me in my fond remeniscence of The Granite City's most colourful characters and street entertainers - for I'm sure you'll all agree a good political rant or a singing tramp is as worthy of a cheering crowd as the best buskers...

Monday, January 31, 2005

Mrs Cardigans

Mrs Cardigans is often seen about town.

She is old, has dirty grey hair in a ponytail. She walks along crouched over. She wears bandages on her ankles. She gurns.

And she always appears to be wearing at least five cardigans.

Somone once told me she was a prostitute...

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Monday, January 31, 2005 | 17 comments

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Places to Spot Aberdeen Tramps And Ither Weel Kent Fowk

Places to Spot Aberdeen Tramps and Ither Weel Kent Fowk 1

Ootside Markies. Once home to the Reggae Busker and Squeak. Relaxing spot for The White Heather Wifie. Ranting spot for the Religious Ranters. Nice place to see carol singing, university drummers and all sorts of other entertainments. Needs a web cam!

Places to Spot Aberdeen Tramps and Ither Weel Kent Fowk 2

The Castlegate. Has a webcam! Has some dodgy pubs! Has HISTORY!!! I have yet to spot the ghosts of any of our city's past hangings or executions but I have spotted many of the other kind of spirit. Usually being consumed by tramps.

Places to Spot Aberdeen Tramps and Ither Weel Kent Fowk 3

The Bus Station. Yes! You have a lovely collection of spoons there sir. No thanks, I'm ok for Buckfast, cheers! Oh. Here is my bus. Cheerio then! :)

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Saturday, January 22, 2005 | 1 comments

Monday, January 17, 2005

Propane Pete

Aberdeen University used to collect what I can only describe as "Characters." And I'm not particularly talking about the lecturers or the students...

Next to the Auld Toon Cafe (excellent pies!)in about 1993, where the Union Shop is now, there was a shop. It was never open. Indeed, it didn't appear to actually sell anything. The shop window was full of begonias though.

The Begonia Shop now.

And in the doorway of the Begonia Shop stood Propane Pete. As with many of the "characters" round Old Aberdeen, he was rumoured to have been an ex soil science student. My sincerest apologies to the Aberdeen Universtiy Soil Science department. It was not me that labelled you this way.

Propane Pete, or as he was also known, Butane Billy, was a sniffer of substances. See the wit of his name there? Glue... Mr Sheen... You name it. He also used to beg for money. He started off the usual way. *sniffffffff* *puts hand out for money* *sniiiiifffffff* *Puts hand out for money*

He was part of the High Street furniture. However. Things began to get interesting! Oh yes indeed.

For Propane Pete then began to use PROPS.

It started off with some drumsticks he'd picked up from somewhere. He'd bang them together or against the window of the Begonia Shop in a not totally unpleasing way. *ratatatta tat* *snifffffff* *hand out for money*

Then came the trumpet. It was a battered old thing. Like the kind of thing you'd polish and the Genii of the Trumpet would come out and obey your every command. I recall he only ever managed to get one note out of it. Nevertheless it was most entertaining.

*Toooooooottt!* *sniffffff* *Hand out for money* *toooooooot* *hand out for money*

Occasionally he'd just stamp about for money. Possibly this was dancing. I'm not sure. One time he chased some random guy up the street crying "That man is a paedophile!!!" Then he realised he'd left his solvent of choice behind and stopped mid-street with a look of panic on his face. He slunk back to his spot and went back to sniffing and begging.

Sadly, the time came when the Union Shop's opening forced him away from his spot of choice.

I'm delighted to report that his entertaining career was not at this point over! For but a couple of years ago I spotted him up Harriet Street (round the back of Boots and the Bon Accord Centre). And he had a NEW PROP!

He had an old fashioned gramophone. AND he had an old 78 of THE CHARLESTON!!!

And boy did he dance... I'm just so sad I can't portray his skills at the Charleston merely by typing into a blog. Suffice to say it was *shuffle* *scamper* *skip* *sniiiffffff* *hand out for money* *big grin* *flap* *point at crowd* *wink* *shuffle* *skip* *sniiiifffff*

You get the idea.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Monday, January 17, 2005 | 4 comments

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


And after the post about "Kilt," I feel it is now appropriate to mention "Legs."

Again, not a tramp, busker or loony... Just someone who walks about Aberdeen.

Driving up Holburn Street after a particularly good shopping trip at ASDA's I'll often see a stunning blonde.

And, yes, I am a woman. But this blonde has the hair and legs Caprice would be jealous of.

Cut-off denim hotpants, denim jacket, hair blowing in the wind. A slight swagger. You stare. You gawp. You fight the urge not to slow down.

You overtake.

You gasp. It's a BLOKE! Yes. A bloke that looks like a reject from an 80's metal band. But what legs!

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | 2 comments

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Local Hero #2 - The Graffiti Guerilla

Spotting the Graffiti Guerilla's work accross Aberdeen has become something of a local past time. It appears to have begun in May 2004 with clubs and pubs being targetted. But other work, surely by the same artist, has provided much amusement.

For example, the old petrol station on Holburn Street which closed down a few years ago only to be boarded up. First the words "BARRATT" which had been pasted onto the boarding (presumeably the land has been bought by Barratt Housing) became (seemingly overnight) "BRAT ART."

Then "Decorate This Eyesore" and "Fill this blank space with adverts for pubs and clubs" appeared. I quite enjoyed the stencilled upright Hoover that appeared soon after.

Finally "BRAT ART" changed to "FART." I regret not taking photographs.

Perhaps this article from the local press last August encapsulates the whole splendid shenanigans!

Next Story | Previous Story | Back to list

16:00 - 20 August 2004
The Granite City's guerrilla graffiti artist has struck again.

In May buildings across Aberdeen city centre were daubed with slogans and images.

Now the spray can-wielding vandal has made a comeback.

The latest target is the unoccupied former HMV store in Union Street.

A punctuation-free, stencilled message on the boarded-up front of the building states:

"I heard today that graffiti is very expensive to remove all I have to say about this is does it not cost a lot of money to pay people who clean up urine vomit and flyers."

The words "Autumn/ Winter" are also sprayed across the shopfront.

In May public buildings and nightclubs were vandalised with slogans, mostly accompanied by the signature stamp Club Art.

The senior museum assistant at Aberdeen Art Gallery complained to the police after black paint was sprayed outside the building. The words "Life's too short to paint still lives" were sprayed on the disabled entrance.

The phrase: "Kill clubs not seals" was daubed across Aberdeen City Council's headquarters at St Nicholas House.

On the same day, the police were called by a Priory nightclub worker who discovered 3-4 inch-high (10cm) black and white slogans on the front of the Belmont Street venue.

The newly opened Monkey House bar on Union Street had "This should've been a museum" emblazoned across it.

Anyone with information can call police on 0845 6005700 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Some excellent photos here. Not sure how many of them belong to the Graffitti Guerrilla guy but it's worth a look.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Tuesday, January 11, 2005 | 3 comments

Monday, January 10, 2005

Local Hero # 1 - Peter Dow

And so we come to the first of Aberdeen's Weel Kent Fowk I'm going to cover I feel can come under the heading of "Local Hero."

You've probably seen him making his political stance in and around Aberdeen's city centre with his TA uniform and sandwich board. He's been chucked out of Uni, gently guided away from the Queen, made it onto the BBC's news pages and is a recognisable sight to anyone who doesn't walk about town with their eyes shut.

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls... I'm talking about none other than Aberdeen's very own "Scottish National Standard Bearer," Peter Dow.

Peter has been standing about putting forth his political viewpoints in all weathers for what seems like years. I first encountered him at Aberdeen University when he thrust a leaflet into my hand proclaiming:

Fred West - "PLUMBER"
Beverly Allet - "NURSE"

Presumeably he was suggesting that the university principle of the time, the said Maxwell Irvine, was some sort of mass murderer. I really wish I'd kept it now, but at the time, i was told just to throw it away and that this was just part of a long running campaign by Mr Dow against the university bosses and the uni itself.

I have no opinion of my own on the matter - I only know that local rumour tells that after Dow's thesis had him fail his degree there were numerous appeals. The final appeal being the review of his thesis by the university principle. Who failed it. This began a long drawn out battle between the University and Mr Dow - resulting in his being thrown out of the University and eventually being banned from University grounds. So I have been told.

This didn't stop his adventurous nature however, as he was soon found campaigning on the streets of aberdeen against such subjects as... Police Brutality... Good Queen Liz being an enemy... um. Freedom. um... er... and generally fighting the good fight!

In his own words (from his yahoo profile) "Campaigner for justice, freedom and democracy. Republican socialist. Scientist, engineer and like to D.I.Y. "

Imagine my excitement when I found Mr Dow's web page! You can visit it here.

It features an excellent cry of "Freedom!" which just about made me faint. I honestly thought William Wallace had invaded my flat. There are some marvellous photos of Mr Down caught in the act of fighting the good fight. Also there are some inexplicable music samples which I'm not sure tie in with the subject matter.

I think the blogging medium would suit Mr Dow well. I know I, for one, would follow his Campaigning Career and daily movements.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Monday, January 10, 2005 | 29 comments

Sunday, January 09, 2005


Not a tramp.
Not a busker.
Not a religious ranter and raver.

I think perhaps I need a new category of "people you see walking about Aberdeen." I've seen him round Queens Cross but my boss's daughter saw him at the top of Union Street. She asked questions her father couldn't answer.

Anyway. On to why he is on here.

From the waist up he wears a white shirt, tie, suit jacket and a meek expression. I think he looks a bit like Jeffrey Archer.

From the waist DOWN. He wears a kilt. Not a normal kilt like would get a good Scottish-lass's heart pumping. Not even a nice 21st Century Kilt like what celebrities wear. No.

A kilt like a Japanese School Girl. By which I mean it only just covers his bottom so he can show off his lovely legs to the world. He walks with a jaunty sway.

Apart from that he appears totally normal.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Sunday, January 09, 2005 | 15 comments

Sunday, January 02, 2005

The Aye-Aye Wifie Of King Street

The Aye-Aye Wifie Of King Street is surely in a league of her own!

For she has appeared in the local press... yes! Well. She was mentioned in the Gaudie back when I was at Aberdeen University and one of these people that have a comments page had a good old bitch about her a couple of years ago.

Most encounters with the Aye-Aye Wifie of King Street go like this:

Walking up King Street around Merkland you'll see a wee wifie walking towards you, fag in hand. Getting closer she will make eye contact and smile. "What a friendly auld wifie!" you find yourself thinking.

You meet in the street and she says "Aye-Aye!"

You smile.

"Aye-Aye! I just need 10 pee fur a packet o' fags and a bottle o' Irn Bru!"

The Aye-Aye Wifie of King Street has such simple and admirable needs.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Sunday, January 02, 2005 | 24 comments