Homecoming 2009 was a national initiative marking the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. The themes of Homecoming were Whisky, Golf, Great Scottish Minds and Innovations and Ancestry.
As part of the Homecoming 2009 celebrations Fochabers Heritage launched the William Marshall Heritage Trail, a musical journey from Fochabers to Scalan, celebrating the life and achievements of William Marshall (1748-1833).
Marshall was born in the old village of Fochabers to a poor and unremarkable family.
He started his working life, as did most people in the village, in the employ of Alexander, the 4th Duke of Gordon, at Gordon Castle. While butler at the castle he learned the basics of astronomy, mechanics, horology, architecture and falconry.
He later became factor on the Duke’s lands of the Cabrach, Glen Rinnes, Auchindoune, Strathavon and Glen Livet.
Marshall was a highly regarded clock maker, and his astronomical clock (now in a private collection) ranks as one of the finest in Britain. One of his long case clocks is the centerpiece of the William Marshall Exhibition in Fochabers Folk Museum.
However, he is best remembered for his music. His lovely melodies, lively jigs, reels and beautifully crafted Strathspeys will always be played and appreciated by those who love the traditional fiddle music of Scotland.
Old Spey Bridge, Fochabers