Many thanks to Wester Elchies Fishings for facilitating this camera's location and to the Spey Fishery Board for capitally funding its installation.
Situated in northeastern Scotland, the River Spey holds the distinction of being the second longest and fastest flowing river in the country. Its significance extends to both salmon fishing and whisky production. The river exhibits dynamic characteristics, with its course frequently changing due to gradual processes of deposition and erosion caused by regular flow, as well as rapid shifts during spate events. The Spey is prone to rapid spates due to its extensive catchment area in mountainous regions, which are susceptible to rainfall and snow-melt.
Traditionally, the river has played a vital role in supporting various local industries, including salmon fishing and shipbuilding. Garmouth, at one point, held the title of Britain's shipbuilding capital, utilizing timber from the surrounding forests of Aviemore and Aberlour, which was transported down the river to construct wooden-hulled ships. Anglers recognize the Spey for its exceptional salmon and trout fishing, employing a distinctive technique known as the "Spey cast." This method involves using a double-handed fly rod to execute a cast that keeps the fly and line away from the bushes and trees lining the banks behind the angler. The Spey is credited as the birthplace of this casting style.Speyside, the region along the river, boasts a significant concentration of distilleries producing whisky, surpassing any other region in Scotland. The area's prominence in whisky production can be attributed to its proximity to barley farms, the presence of the River Spey, and its nearness to the port of Garmouth. The Scotland's Malt Whisky Trail, established in the early 1980s, is a tourism initiative that showcases seven operational distilleries in Speyside, along with a historic distillery and the Speyside Cooperage.The County of Moray is traversed by the Speyside Way, a long-distance footpath that follows the river's course. Notably, the River Spey exhibits an unusual characteristic where its velocity increases as it approaches the sea, owing to its broadly convex long-profile. Although the Spey doesn't meander, significant bank movements occur frequently. To reinforce the banks south of Fochabers, a high earth barrier has been constructed. However, the force of the river has breached this barrier on several occasions, resulting in the erosion of a substantial portion of Garmouth Golf Course, sections of the surrounding wall of Gordon Castle, segments of the Speyside Way, and portions of the B9104 road.The Spey railway bridge, now exclusively for pedestrians since 2010, was initially positioned over the main flow of the river. However, prior to its completion, the river altered its course, causing the bridge to align with one end of the waterway. In shot is
The Victoria Bridge is a slender suspension footbridge featuring a lattice truss walkway suspended from wire rope cables with a diameter of 2 inches (5.1 cm). These cables are supported by tapering, latticed iron pylons adorned with ball and spike finials. The bridge spans 287 feet (87 m) between its supporting towers. Previously, a ferry served as the means of crossing the Spey at Aberlour.James Fleming, a local philanthropist and notable figure as a banker, county councillor, Provost, and founder of Aberlour distillery, recognized the necessity for a safer pedestrian footbridge across the perilous and fast-flowing waters. Prior to his passing in June 1895, Fleming included a bequest in his Will: "I leave a sum of five hundred pounds for the purpose of erecting a steel wire footbridge over the river Spey at Aberlour, at a place as near as possible to the mouth of the burn of Ruthrie [Lour Burn] so as to connect the village of Charlestown with the parish of Knockando, if the Proprietor of Elchies will consent thereto and if they obtain his consent I direct my Trustees to expend the said sum accordingly, but in the event of the Proprietor declining or not giving his consent within three years after my death then the said sum to fall into and form part of the residue of my means and estate."Securing permission from the Proprietor proved challenging. A scathing criticism published in 1899 revealed the strong sentiments held by many local inhabitants: "The Laird of Elchies is making a bold bid to become the most unpopular proprietor on Speyside. He has refused to grant a site for a bridge pier on the west side of the Spey. A respectful letter was addressed to him by three gentlemen representing the parish Councils of Aberlour, Knockando, and the Police Commissioners of the village of Aberlour. The laird of Elchies not only refused to grant a site for the pier, but he did so in language not likely to add to his popularity. It will be remembered that a short time ago two men lost their lives at the ferry by the boat capsizing. That fatal accident in itself ought to have been sufficient to remove any objection which might linger in the mind of the Laird of Elchies, but human life does not appear to count for much with that young man."Eventually, permission was obtained, and on Christmas Eve 1901, the Banffshire Journal & General Advertiser reported: "We believe that Aberlour people are to have the bridge across the Spey at last. Mr. Grant of Elchies exhibited the plan of the bridge to some gentlemen in the village before he left for London... It is to cost about £1,000 and will be erected, it is expected, next spring or early summer. Messrs. Abernethy & Co., Aberdeen, are the engineers. Besides the £500 left by the late Mr. Fleming, it is generally believed that Mrs. Fleming most generously is giving the balance of extra cost. Mr. Grant of Elchies is taking charge of the whole matter."The prospect of the bridge being realized evoked heartfelt appreciation, as expressed in the article: "The thanks of the people of Aberlour and the inhabitants on both sides of the river will be heartily given to the kind lady who has had the wishes of her late husband so amply fulfilled.