Former water treatment works supervisor dies

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A Deeside man who was responsible for ensuring Aberdeen and its surroundings had clean water to drink for nearly 37 years, has died at the age of 69.

Edward David Gardyne, who had been ill for around 18 months, worked at the Invercannie Water Treatment Works from 1960 to his retirement in 1997, acting as supervisor from 1968.

Since his retirement, he had designed and installed hundreds of small water treatment plants throughout the North-east and beyond to help people with private water supplies to ensure their water was safe to drink.

According to his son Ed, he also prevented many ladies in the North-east ending up with a blue tinge when they washed their hair due to acidic water dissolving copper pipes!

Mr Gardyne, who celebrated his golden wedding anniversary to Wilma last December, was a skilled fishing rod maker, with a lifelong passion for fresh water fishing and had a huge knowledge of the subject.

According to Mr Gardyne (jnr), his father was born in the Forest of Birse in October 1941 into a tough but resourceful country family. His father was from the Strachan area and his mother was from Balmedie. His great-grandfather David was gamekeeper to Gladstone at Fasque.

His early life was filled with fresh air and in the Forest of Birse he quickly gained an interest in freshwater fishing.

In 1947, the family moved to Ballogie and in the late 1950s, he joined fishing tackle maker, Sharps of Aberdeen. The rod-making skills he learned during this time stayed with him for the rest of his life and it was whilst working at Sharps that he met his future wife, Wilma, whom he married in December 1960, when he was 19 and she, 17.

He yearned to return to the country and following his apprenticeship, Mr Gardyne continued the family tradition by becoming a gamekeeper at an estate in Strathdon.

The job was not what he anticipated so the post was short-lived, especially after he almost killed himself by turning a tractor over and into the River Don.

The young couple moved over to a flat (The Garret), in his parents’ house in Kincardine O’Neil and he undertook building work with Doddy Grant, of Banchory. In later years, he could still point out some large houses in Banchory which he had been involved in building.

Mr Gardyne, who went to Ballogie School and Banchory Academy, had four children - Ed, Aileen, Gordon and Stephen, and 11 granchildren.

In 1962, he applied for a job at Invercannie Water Treatment Works and after beginning work, he quickly learnt a lot of new skills under the supervision of experienced old timers like Jimmy McCondich and Norman Massie. At the age of 27, he was promoted to works supervisor, which made his family extremely proud. In the late 60s and early 70s, Mr Gardyne was experimenting with solar power, capturing methane and wind-generated electricity long before the term ‘renewable energy’ was coined.

Another highlight in his life was his invitation to a Royal garden party at Balmoral in 2002 following his assistance with the water treatment system on the Queen’s estate. He was buried at Birse Kirk, beside Aboyne.