DEE BEAT by JOANNA DICK Outreach Officer

Susan from the Kincardine O'Neil shop.
Susan from the Kincardine O'Neil shop.

In 2013 the Dee District Salmon Fishery Board (DDSFB) celebrated its 150th anniversary. To mark this occasion local artist Mel Shand was commissioned to create a book that celebrates the river and people who work along it.

Mel spent 18 months travelling the 88-mile length of the river, from the Linn of Dee to Aberdeen Harbour, interviewing and photographing 73 people who work on and around the Dee, including 50 fishing ghillies.

Jim Turnbull.

Jim Turnbull.

Each subject was photographed at their favourite spot by or near the river and they were asked similar questions, including their favourite fly, favourite tipple and best advice they have ever been given.

The resulting book - A Portrait of the River Dee - is full of photographs, lively text, warmth and humour and celebrates North-east culture and rural life.

The characters interviewed provide some extremely interesting and entertaining anecdotes, alongside beautiful photography along the length of the River Dee. 

The foreword has been written by the Duke of Rothesay and states the book is “not simply a celebration of the inestimable history of one of Scotland’s and the U.K.’s most important river systems and the people who live with it and by it, but that it helps to remind us of the fragility of Nature’s gifts and how much our own lives and those of future generations depend on maintaining and protecting them.”

Colin Espie by the River Dee.

Colin Espie by the River Dee.

The beautifully bound hard-backed book, which is designed to look like a traditional game book, is available now from Mel Shand priced £25. You can contact Mel through her website (www.melshand.com) or by email (melshand.artist@gmail.com).

A percentage of the proceeds from sales of the book will be donated to the River Dee Trust, the community charity that carries out research to inform practical restoration projects to improve the river for future generations.

Captions:

Susan from the Kincardine O’Neil shop.

Jim Turnbull.

Colin Espie by the river.