Skip to main content

Encyclopaedia of the North East

W - Wash house to whisky

A large printed capital letter W with ladles, distillery equipment, a sword, clothes irons and a washing dolly.

wash-house n 
A building set aside for the cleaning of laundry. 

Today the wash-house is known as a 'laundrette'. Modern fabrics and technology have contributed to the passing of the steam filled communal rooms where traditionally women toiled elbow deep in boiling water scrubbing and starching heavy fabrics.


whisky n 
A type of spirit obtained by distilling the mash of cereals usually barley.

As I geed our the Brig o Dee 
I met Geordie Buchan; 
I took aff his hied, and drank his bleed 
An left his body standing

"A Bottle of Whisky", Notes on the Folklore of North East Scotland, Rev. Walter Gregor 1881 

Smuggling was common in Buchan and throughout the whole country. In fact, the country folk had no other means of raising money with which to pay their rents and the lairds were quite alive to that fact
Stories of the Buchan Cottars Before the Year 'One', W. Littlejohn, 1929

W - Wash house to whisky