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Angus farm grieve Chae Bruce

Angus farm grieve Chae Bruce

Chae Bruce, who died at the weekend, was one of the old-style Angus farm grieves. Men who commanded the staff under them with a skill and a knowledge far beyond the education they had received.

One shrewd Angus farmer remarked that, with the right grieves, he could have farmed the whole of Angus.

Mr Bruce was born and brought up on his family farm of Glencairn in Aberdeenshire. He was one of nine in the family and staying at home to farm was not an option.

After a couple of moves on local farms, he and his wife Mary moved in 1952 to East Seaton, Arbroath, then farmed by the Norrie family.

Initially he was employed as foreman, but with the departure of the farm grieve he was given the chance to take over.

As the cropping on the farm intensified with large acreages of carrots being grown, so Mr Bruce’s responsibilities increased.

Up to 150 casual workers could be employed in the carrot topping shed and keeping that number and the regular farm staff organised was no small task.

East Seaton changed hands in 1985, with the Porter family taking over. Mr Bruce continued as farm grieve.

Willie Porter described him as “quite an exceptional man”.

“He was always thinking and planning ahead. That is what made him such a good organiser,” he said.

Mr Bruce’s lengthy service on East Seaton saw him awarded a long-service medal from the Royal Highland Society.

Unlike many of his generation who had initially worked with horses, Mr Bruce enjoyed the changes and challenges of mechanisation.

Farming and his family were his life and he also had a lifelong fondness for Aberdeen FC where he would tell everyone that the best match he ever saw was the Dons against Bayern Munich in the European Cup Winners’ Cup.

Mr Bruce’s wife, Mary, died in 1993 but he is survived by three sons, two daughters, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

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