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Doors Open Day 12th Sept 2009


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Aberdeen City

Aberdeen Arts Centre (former North Church)

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

33 King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AA

Aberdeen Arts Centre (former North Church) - Image 1The former church, designed by John Smith, was converted to an arts centre by the City Council in 1963. In 1998 the voluntary organisation, Aberdeen Arts Centre Association, formed a limited company, Castlegate Arts Ltd to take over the management of the Centre.

Architect: John Smith

Building Date: 1829-30

On Doors Open Day there will be tours of the building and an all day programme of live music.

Image © Scran

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Aberdeen Maritime Museum

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12.09.09 (10.00-12.00, 13.00-16.00)

Shiprow, Aberdeen, AB11 5BY

Aberdeen Maritime Museum - Image 1For Doors Open Day there is an opportunity to take part in guided tours of the Lloyds Library in Provost Ross's House. The collection of Lloyd's Registers dates back to 1768 and includes the top secret World War II volumes. There is also a photograph collection including rarely seem images from Aberdeen's past.

Architect: Aberdeen City Architects Department

Building Date: 1997

Tours every half hour (max 8 people per tour).

Image © Scran

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Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Foresterhill Hospital, Foresterhill Road/Cornhill Road, Aberdeen

The Society was founded in 1789, originally as the Aberdeen Medical Society. In its early years its members continuously pressed for a proper University Medical School. It was here in 1920 that Professor Matthew Hay set out his scheme for the co-ordination of Aberdeen Hospitals and clinical University Departments on a common site. This led to the modern hospital and medical school complex at Foresterhill.

On Doors Open Day the foyer, Council Chamber and lecture hall can be seen along with much material associated with the development of medicine in Aberdeen.

Access is from the road that runs through the hospital site from Foresterhill Road to Cornhill Road. Steps lead up to the entrance from the car park to the west of the building that bridges-over this road.

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Aberdeen RNLI Lifeboats

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Waterloo Quay, Aberdeen, AB11

The lifeboat station is entered from the eastern end of Waterloo Quay at the corner with York Place.

Doors Open Day provides an opportunity to visit the inshore lifeboat and the larger all-weather lifeboat and the ground floor of the inshore lifeboat shed.

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Advocates Library

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Concert Court, Off Broad Street - Between the Town House & Town H, Aberdeen, AB10 1BS

The Society of Advocates in Aberdeen has been in existence for more than 450 years.

The Society's present building was sited to take advantage of promimity to the new Peddie and Kinear Sheriff Court House. Unremarkable from the outside, it is the decoration of the interior that is of interest. Most of the ground floor is now used as an extension to the Sheriff Court.

Architect: James Matthews

Building Date: 1869

On the first floor there is one of the finest private law libraries in the country with the original decorative scheme by Arthur Clyne. Notice also the stained glass window on the staircase by Cottier & Co.

No wheelchair access.

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BBC Broadcasting House

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12.09.09 (Various)

Beechgrove Terrace, Aberdeen, AB15 5ZT

BBC Aberdeen was established in October 1923 as BBC Scotland's second centre. The original Beechgrove House was demolished in July 2000 to make way for the current building.

At Doors Open Day you will see the news studio, picture edit suite and radio studio as well as having the opportunity to watch a television camera demonstration.

Architect: Halliday Fraser Munro

Building Date: 2000

BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Bookings should be made online through doorsopenaberdeen@bbc.co.uk.

Tour times: 11.00, 11.30, 12.00, 12.30, 14.00, 14.30, and 15.00.

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Carillon

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Enter via St Nicholas' Church, Aberdeen, AB11 5BU

Carillon - Image 1The Municipal Carillon of Aberdeen is in the tower of the mediaeval St Nicholas' Church and is the largest in the British Isles. There are 48 bells, making up four octaves, and all were cast by Gillet and Johnston of Croydon. The carillon is played every Sunday from 10.30-10.55.

On Doors Open Day there will be recitals at: 10.15, 11.30, 12.45, 14.00 and 15.15.

Image © Scran

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Central Fire Station

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.30)

Mounthooly Way, Aberdeen, AB24 3ER

There will be tours of the building, a display of modern and historic vehicles and other displays and demonstrations, including the spectacular chip pan fire demonstration!

Architect: Grampian Regional Council Architects

Building Date: 1997

Visitors are reminded that the fire station remains operational on Doors Open Day. Children must be accompanied by adults.

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Church of St John the Evangelist

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

St John's Place, off Crown Terrace, Aberdeen, AB11 6HE

The church has been recently extensively restored. Of particular interest inside are the great east window, the Comper reredos and the 16th century font.

Architect: Thomas Mackenzie

Building Date: 1849-51

A historical exhibition will be provided for visitors on Doors Open Day.

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Grampian Police Headquarters

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Queen Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1ZA

The building occupies a site which has a long associaton with policing in the City, as it is partially located on the ground where Victorian police buildings stood. The current HQ building was first occupied in 1972 by the former Aberdeen City Police. After local government reorganisation in 1975 the newly created Grampian Police assumed occupancy. The building has changed little over the years and has internal links to both the District and Sheriff Court facilities.

Building Date: 1972

To view the building on Doors Open Day, it is essential to book in advance. To reserve a place on a tour please telephone 01224 305062 weekdays between 9am and 5pm from Tuesday 2nd September to Friday 11th September.

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Kirk of St Nicholas

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12.09.09 (10:00 - 16:00)

Union Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5BU

Kirk of St Nicholas - Image 1

Known as the 'Mither Kirk' is was founded around 1150 and was one of the largest mediaeval Burgh Kirks in Scotland. The late 12th century transept, known as Collison's Aisle, still survives. and since 1990 has contained a chapel, created in thanksgiveing for 25 years of the oil industry and as a memorial to those who have lost their lives.

For many years St Nicholas's consists of two separate churches: West Nicholas is the work of James Gibb, an Aberdonian and the architect of such buildings as St Martin in the Fields, London. West Nicholas was built after his death 1752-55 and retains its original interior.

East St Nicholas was built by Archibald Simpson in 1835-37. It was gutted by fire and rebuilt in 1875-7 by William Smith who also built the current central tower and spire. The East Kirk is currently closed following an archaeological excavation, the first phase of the remodelling of the interior. St Mary's Chapel, beneath the East Kirk, is included in Doors Open Day this year.

Architect: Archibald Simpson, William Smith, James Gibb

Building Date: 1150-1877

Image © Scran

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Masonic Temple

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

85 Crown Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6EX

Masonic Temple - Image 1One of the finest, if not actually the finest, purpose-built building devoted entirely to Freemasonry within the Scottish Constitution. A series of magnificent, richly ornamented interior spaces ensures this building remains a Doors Open Day favourite.

Architect: Jenkins and Marr

Building Date: 1910

Vistors will be able to attend conducted tours as well as the opportunity to wander freely in the company of members in attendance.

Wheelchair access ground floor only.

Image © Scran

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National Hyperbaric Centre

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12.09.09 (Various)

123 Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB16 5SA

Perhaps best known for the treatment of decompression sickness, "the bends", this unique facility provides a range of services to the subsea industry.

Architect: GRM Kennedy and Partners

Building Date: 1987

Access only as part of a guided tour.

Tour times: 10.00, 11.00 and 12.00

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Old Town House

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

High Street, Old Aberdeen, AB24

Remodelled and put to a variety of uses over the years, this historic building has been completely renovated and now acts as a "gateway to the University of Aberdeen" for prospective students as well as providing meeting facilities for local organisations. The old police cells on the ground floor remain!

Architect: George Jaffrey

Building Date: 1788

Disabled access to ground floor only.

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Peacock Visual Arts

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12.09.09 (10:00 - 16:00)

21 Castle Street, (Pend off Castle Street), Aberdeen, AB11 5BQ

Founded in 1974, this year Peacock celebrates 35 years of providing a place where professional artists and keeen amateurs alike can come to make work and develop their skills. A registered educational charity supported by Aberdeen City Council and the Scottish Arts Council, Peacocks has the widest range of visual arts production facilities openly available in Scotland.

On Doors Open Day visitors can view the current exhibitions and look around the production workshops including printmaking, digital/video and photography.

Wheelchair access to ground floor only.

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Quaker Meeting House

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

98 Crown Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6HJ

The meeting house is the only building in Scotland built as a Quaker Meeting House and remains used for this purpose today. It features the plain simplicity of a typical Quaker Meeting House with an elders' bench.

Building Date: 1903

Visitors will be able to view the full-scale photographs of two panels of the 1970's Quaker tapestry relating to Quaker history in the north east of Scotland.

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Robert Gordon's College (Auld Hoose)

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Schoolhill, Aberdeen, AB10 1FR

The 'Auld Hoose', the oldest part of the College, founded in 1729 by Robert Gordon (1668-1732), a prosperous merchant of Aberdeen and Danzig (modern Gdansk). Over the front door is a statue of Robert Gordon by John Cheere of London. Although there have been many internal alterations, the central stone staircase remains as does the first floor Governors' room with its fine panelled walls. The macRobert hall, on the west side of the quad is also included in the open day.

Architect: William Adam

Building Date: 1732

Tours will take place on the hour every hour. Exhibition and music.

No wheelchair access.

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Sheriff Court House

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1WP

Sheriff Court House - Image 1Enter by main Sheriff Court entrance, two doors along from the Town House. The Sheriff Court House was built as an integral part of the Town House. The Court accommondation was competely refurbished in the early 1990's and at this time, the glass-roofed atrium was formed.

Building Date: 1868-74

Tours every 30 minutes: Two historic court rooms, the court cells and the atrium are included in the tours. Again this year, there will be a mock trial in one of the court rooms.

Image © Scran (construction in 1867)

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St Andrew's Cathedral

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12.09.09 (10.00-12.00 and 12.30-16.00)

King Street, Aberdeen, AB24 5AX

St Andrew's Cathedral - Image 1

The Church, Archibald Simpson's first civic commission, was created the Cathedral of the United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney in 1914. The building considerably altered and enhanced by Sir Ninian Comper during the years 1939-45, contains the national memorial to Samuel Seabury, consecrated first Bishop of America in Long Acre, Aberdeen on 14 November 1784.

Interesting roof heraldry depicts the American States and the Jacobite supporters of the Episcopal Church.

Architect: Archibald Simpson, Ninian Comper

Building Date: 1816

There will be an recital of choral music by William Byrd and others given by the group Cantamus Hodie between 12.00 and 12.30. Doors Open Day visitors are invited to attend and are aksed to remain seated during the recital.

Image © Scran

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St James the Less

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Holburn Junction, Aberdeen, AB10

Externally the stump of a tower was the result of the loss of a legacy when the congregation chose to move from the Church of England to the Scottish Episcopal Church. Fine stained glass inside.

Architect: Arthur Clyne

Building Date: 1887

Exhibition and music.

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St Machar's Cathedral - The Chanonry

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12.09.09 (10:00-16:00)

Chanonry, Old Aberdeen, AB24 1RQ

St Machar's Cathedral - The Chanonry - Image 1

There has been a church on this site beside the Don since the 6th century, when as legend has it, St Machar was commanded to find a spot where the river curved in the shape of a shepherd's crook.

Inside there is a notable heraldic oak ceiling with the coats of arms of European monarchs and Scottish nobles and bishops.

Building Date: 1370

On Doors Open Day tthe bell tower will be open and bell ringers will be giving demonstrations. There will be the opportunity for members of the public to have a go. There will also be a programme of live music.

Disabled access except bell tower and charter room.

Image © Scran

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St Marys Cathedral

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12.09.09 (10.00-16:00)

Huntly Street, Aberdeen, AB10

The church (it was not then a cathedral) was opened with a service of dedication in 1860. At the time a shortage of funds prevented the completion of the tower which was left only 60 feet high, rather lower than the ridge of the church roof. The belfry and spire were finally completed in 1877 to the design of Alexander Elliss partner R G Wilson, and at 200 feet the spire is the tallest in the City.

Architect: Alexander Ellis

Building Date: 1860

Historical information available.

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St Peter's Church

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Justice Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5H_

The church is hidden away off the Castlegate: from an elegant arched gateway incorporated into a tenement a pend leads into the delightful Chapel Court. The faade onto the court dates from Harry Leith's 1817 extension to the church.

Architect: James Massie

Building Date: 1804

Visitors on Doors Open Day will be able to visit the even more secluded walled garden at the rear of the priest's house.

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Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in Healthcare

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12.09.09 (13.00-16.00)

Foresterhill Hospital , Aberdeen

This striking. timber-clad building is designed to mazimise natural daylight and ventilation, to reduce solar gain and provide a state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility at the heart of the Foresterhill health campus.

Architect: Bennetts Associates

Building Date: 2009

The building is located immediately south of the car park in front of the entrance to the Institute of Medical Sciences.

Guided tours.

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Synagogue

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13.09.09 (10.00-15.00)

74 Dee Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6DS

In 1945 this Georgian terraced house was acquired by the Aberdeen Hebrew Congregation for use as a synagogue and it remains as such to this day. The principal ground floor room has been adapted and furnished along similar lines to those found in all Orthodox synagogues.

THE SYNAGOGUE IS BEING USED FOR WORSHIP ON SATURDAY AND IS NOT OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. DOORS OPEN DAY FOR THIS VENUE ALONE IS SUNDAY

13 SEPTEMBER.

Building Date: pre-1822

Guided tours.

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The Tolbooth

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1EL

The Tolbooth - Image 1

The Victorian Faxcade conceals a much older building behind. The Tolbooth was built as the Town's prison, court house and toll collection point.

Building Date: 17C

For Doors Open Day this year there is an historical re-enactment set in 1593. The crew of the Aberdeen ship The Susanna have been accused of being pirates and heretics in Spain. Some were hanged, some burned at the stake and a few escaped back to Aberdeen. Meet the crew as they recount their take to the City's magistrates at 11.00, 12.00, 13.00 and 14.00.

Image © Scran

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Town House

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1LP

Town House - Image 1The Town House was built to a competition-winning design by the Edinburgh architectural firm of Peddie & Kinnear. Its great tower was for decades the most prominent landmark in the City. The interior is just as impressive and Doors Open Day provides an opportunity to see the principal public rooms

Architect: Peddie and Kinnear

Building Date: 1867-73

The main staircase and the prinipal rooms will be open again this year. The spectacular interior is always a Door Open Day highlight.

The Granite City Chorus, a 35 strong barbership ensemble, will perform at 11.30 and 12.30 for 25 minutes.

Image © Scran

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University of Aberdeen: Special Libraries and Archives

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12.09.09 (Various)

King's College, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX

University of Aberdeen: Special Libraries and Archives - Image 1

Enter from the Old Senate Room, which is accessible from King's College Conference Centre car park or from the O'Dell Memorial Garden behind Elphinstone Hall.

Over the last 500 years Aberdeen University has accumulated some of the Country's most important cultural treasures, which combine great scholarly importance with outstanding beauty and immediate popular appeal. On Doors Open Day visitors will get a behind the scenes tour of the archives and rare book stacks.

Please note that access is only possible as part of a guided tour.

Tour times 10.00, 11.00, 12.00 and 13.00.

Image © Scran

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University of Aberdeen: Institute of Medical Sciences

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12.09.09 (Tours only)

Ashgrove Road West, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD

The University of Aberdeen's Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) accommodates over 400 scientists and research staff working on cutting edge molecular and cell biology research. The building was the winning design in a competition. The central atrium, the dramatically located conference room and a selection of laboraties can be viewed during two guided tours.

Architect: David Murray Associates

Building Date: 1996

Music will be played in the atruim by University music students. Wheelchair access possible except level 7.

Please note access to the Institute of Medical Sciences will only be possible as part of the guided tours at 11.00 and 12.45.

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Zoology Museum and Natural History Centre

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12.09.09 (10.00-16.00)

Zoology Building, corner of St Machar Drive / Tillydrone Avenue, Aberdeen, AB24 2TZ

Zoology Museum and Natural History Centre - Image 1The Zoology Museum is the only one in the region and boasts one of the largest collections in Scotland, covering animals of the world, including whales.

Architect: Mackie Ramsay and Taylor

Building Date: 1969

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Managed to visit the Masonic Temple last year - Amazing, Pity the Tivoli Theatre aint on the list anymore - Also well worth a gander! Need to try check out a few more I've yet to see this time around!

It all seems to have gone very quiet regarding the Tivoli since the new ownership.

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It all seems to have gone very quiet regarding the Tivoli since the new ownership.

Yeah, I knew I should have gone to see The Tivoli at last year's Open Doors Day. Damn. Didn't realise that it would be taken off the list after being bought (understandable though).

Now it'll probably take forever until they sort out the cash/paperwork/logistics of the refurbishment, then another year or so to get it done (If it gets done that is).

Hope so though, I've never been inside the damn place!

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What buildings which are not on that list would people like to visit or get a tour of?

I'd love a tour round the broadford works on maberly street. Would be interesting to find out what happened in each of the buildings, what the towers were used for and a bit of history about the place. I know a little but I'd like to know more. Something about that place really fascinates me.

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I think in a lot of listed building's it's just the shell that's listed to "preserve the character of the area". It allows the inside to be modernised without losing the exterior.

It tends to happen more often if a listed building is fire or flood damaged, rather than just being gutted cause somebody fanies a new office that looks ancient.

How I know these things I have no idea.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I fancy a look at the Masonic Temple, Old Town House, Quaker Meeting House, the Synagogue and The Tolbooth.

There's tons of buildings around Aberdeen I want to have a snoop around in. I can't think of any off the top of my head like. Though I do want to have a look inside Amadeus. See if it's as totally fucked as I hear it is.

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I was at St.Machar's Cathredral which was ace. A church I've always been fascinated by, so it was good to have some additional information by the folk there. Some nifty wee stuff in the upper rooms. And got to ring a church bell :D

Also seen the Old Town House, Masonic Lodge, St.Mary's Church and a wee nosey in the Quaker's building.

Hopped on board the free bus a couple of times which was interesting in itself too!

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