Happy memories for Terry

Terry Donaldson with the painting of the cottage at Inverey
Terry Donaldson with the painting of the cottage at Inverey

A recent story in the Piper about a restored cottage on Deeside brought back fond memories for a retired Lumphanan man.

Terry Donaldson popped the question to girlfriend Lillian during her birthday weekend at Muir of Inverey back in 1964.

The painting was done by a local artist during the war

The painting was done by a local artist during the war

The old bothy, situated mid-way between Braemar and Linn of Dee, was renovated by the Cairngorm Club and used as a base for hill climbing and ski-ing activities.

When Terry, 87, read our article last month about a derelict croft, Downie’s Cottage, near Braemar being restored, he couldn’t help but recall his times at Muir of Inverey.

He said: “Many is the happy weekend I and later my family spent there.

“From parties on a Friday night before a busy weekend on the hills to sing-songs and story-telling when the weather was not so good.

“I remember our crowd held a birthday party for Lillian on February 28th, 1964. That evening Lillian and I had a walk up the riverside and I proposed to her.

“The following September were were married. We didn’t see the Muir for quite some time after that.”

Terry is a former member of the Aberdeen-based Cairngorm Club, which restored and extended the cottage at Inverey.

Lillian, who died nearly five years ago, was also a member and love blossomed when the pair met on a club outing to Lochnagar.

At the summit, she was unaware she was standing on an overhanging snow cornice and Terry spotted that it was in danger of crumbling and warned her to step back.

Terry, a retired BT engineer, recalled: “She would have fallen five or six hundred feet.

“When she recovered, she ran over and thanked me for saving her life, so to speak.”

His wife’s ashes are scattered at the spot where he proposed and Terry occasionally visits to pay his respects.

Recently, Terry, who has a son and a daughter, was returning from a shopping trip to Ballater and called in past a friend who runs an antique business in Dinnet. He explained: “I had a browse and in the back shop, lying on a bench, was an old painting of a cottage with trees and snow-covered mountains in the background.

“It looked slightly familiar and I asked my friend where it was and he said ‘Oh, it’s Muir of Inverey”.

Terry’s friend gave him the painting, the work of a local artist during the war, and it now has pride of place in his living room.