The Story of ‘The Register’

Moira Dennis, the Administrator at Logie Primary School, explains how The Register came to be

The chance discovery of the Admission Register at Logie Primary School, listing every child who entered the school between 1881 and 1979, inspired the school’s administrator, Moira Dennis, to search for the stories behind some of the names. The tales that were told reflect the evolution of a rural community, charting changes in healthcare and education, in the role of women at home and in employment, in transport, travel and farming and in personal ambitions.  The Register is illustrated with portraits of the storytellers at their childhood homes, taken by Paul Heartfield, a professional photographer whose daughter attends Logie Primary today. The Register is a celebration of the school’s past and the people who formed the community around it.   


It was Lenny Nicol's family who really inspired The Register. The farm his family worked, Sleughwhite, is on the cover of the book, lit from the inside by the photographer Paul Heartfield, but normally standing empty and abandoned, the door barred to keep out sheep, the steadings long since fallen out of use. Very near my home, it's a place I'd wanted to know more about, and just after starting work at Logie Primary last year, the opportunity came my way.

I discovered the Admission Register on a shelf in the school office. It listed the names of every child who had entered the school between 1881 and 1979 - and as I opened it, the name 'Sleighwhite' (as it was spelt by the school) leapt off the page. I immediately wanted to know more about the Lachlan Nicol who had lived there, listed as having joined the school in 1898, and by the time I'd turned a few more pages, finding dozens of very local place names and familiar surnames, I wanted to know more about many others, too. I put a notice in the Forres Gazette, hoping to hear from anyone who might find their name or the name of an ancestor in the register. How had their lives turned out?

Margaret McKenzie and Barbara Souter, Cothall Cottages The Register Paul Heartfield photography
Margaret McKenzie was the first to make contact, although she tells me now that she wasn't sure her memories of Logie School in the 1930s and '40s would be of any interest. Her daughter Lynn said they would be, and so did her neighbour, but I'm not convinced that she yet knows how pleased I was that she did, eventually, agree to get in touch. It was a sign that my spur-of-the-moment idea might actually work. 
And then came more: Margaret's sister Barbara, Andy Watt and his niece Zinnia, Robert Hope with his mother Peggie Lawrence's story, John Ross with his memories of growing up at Logie Home Farm, now Logie Steading, Kirsty Love and Mary Geddie.  Bit by bit I built up a picture, not just of the school as it once was, but of the broader community, the social changes seen in Dunphail over nearly a century.   I approached others who had been to the school, and was never worried that they wouldn't have a story: everybody does. 
The Register

Reading the register is just a pleasure in itself.  I love the careful script, the varying styles of handwriting, the occasional ink blot and crossing out, reminding me of predecessors who didn't have a delete button to cover their tracks.  It's lovely to turn pages that people have turned before, now that records are kept online. More than all that, though, I love the many insights it offers into life in Dunphail over the decades. It's irresistible to run your finger down the page and  start to trace the history of this place. Scott Taylor, whose name is on the very last page, grew up as the son of the Logie gamekeeper: right at the front, I found the child of a 19th-century Logie gamekeeper, a thread to bind the pages together. 

Scott Taylor, The Register
I spent  many late-night hours browsing ScotlandsPeople, the archive of the National Records of Scotland, a fabulous resource for anyone interested in family or social history. Not everyone knew their family tales: while Lenny Nicol was happy to tell me what he and his wife Linda knew about his grandfather Lachlan, it wasn't very much. As in most families, so much had not been passed down, with questions either unasked or unanswered. ScotlandsPeople was the key to other doors, too: it helped me find out what had happened to a six-year-old girl at Logie who had died after just a few weeks, and - in a spine-tingling moment - led me to a descendant of hers, still living in Forres. The step from 2022 to 1916 was surprisingly short. I sometimes found myself worrying about how people had managed the disasters that had befallen their families and realised that the register is deceptive: the list of names, so regularly placed, implies somehow that all were equal. The reality, of course, was that life was busy dealing very different hands to the children in that book. 
Profits from the sale of The Register will go direct to Logie Primary, but this project has always been more than a way of raising money. I wanted to pull together old friends of Logie Primary and keep them with us as we continue with our school's own story. The tales that were told are a celebration of the community around us and a way of acknowledging the people who shaped the place in which we live and learn. Thank you to everyone who chose to share their memories with me. 
Moira Dennis, May 2022. Photographs taken from 'The Register' and are by Paul Heartfield

How to Buy a Copy of 'The Register'


At Logie Steading: Logie Steading Bookshop and Logie Steading Art Gallery (open every day, 10am to 5pm)

In Forres High Street: R&R Urquhart (open Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm)

This beautiful hardback book filled with photography is £20, and all profits go to Logie Primary School Fund to support their ethos of 'No Child Left Behind'.

Thank you

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The Story of ‘The Register’

Terms & Conditions for fishing on Logie Estate

  1. Fishing on the river is restricted to 2 rods per beat and is to be by fly only. All fishing is from the right bank. By arrangement with the neighbouring estate there is no left bank fishing on the Relugas Middle and Top beats.
  2. The fishing is split into two 2 rod beats, Logie and Relugas, with Relugas sub divided into Middle and Top.  Beats can be taken together or separately. Logie is fished Monday to Saturday, Relugas Middle on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Relugas Top on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Beats change at midnight.
  3. Fishermen must contact Logie Estate office on 01309 611300 a day or so before arrival to organise being shown onto the river. A map of pools, beats and access routes will be provided.
  4. Bio-security is important to the future of the river and anglers are asked to observe protection measures. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Conservation Code will be strictly observed. To summarise: All fish caught up to 14th May inclusive must be released. From 15th May, all salmon over 9 lbs / 4 kg / 28 inches / 72 cm are to be returned.  Below that measurement at least 70% of salmon and 50% of grilse caught should be released and a maximum of 1 salmon and / or 2 grilse per rod per week may be retained. In September all fish are to be returned. No gaffs or tailers are allowed.
  5. The Findhorn District Fishery Board Bio-security measures will be strictly observed and all fishermen in the party must sign the Bio-security Declaration. (Also available at
  6. The Estate recommends that barbless hooks are used, fishermen are in possession of a disgorger and that knotless nets are used. All possible care should be taken when returning fish to the river, they should be handled as little, and gently, as possible and should not be removed from the water.
  7. The catch should be reported at the end of each day of fishing to Logie Estate Office on 01309 611300. If the office is closed, please leave a message on the answering machine with the date, weight and pool. Please also report a nil catch day.
  8. Dogs are allowed on the river but must be kept strictly under control at all times. The Estate reserves the right to ask tenants to remove dogs if they are considered to be out of control.
  9. Rod, line and fly size are dependent on prevailing weather and water conditions and personal choice. In general, maximum rod length needed is 13ft with a size 8 or 9 line, usually floating. Fly sizes range from 6 – 8 in the spring down to 12 or less in summer low water.
  10. Safety must be considered at all times. All beats have a variety of pools with some suitable for most heights of water. Little wading is necessary and river paths are good however the fishing is within the Findhorn gorge, access to some of the pools is quite steep and a degree of rock scrambling is often necessary when playing and landing fish. Please be aware that a reasonable level of fitness and mobility is required. A buoyancy aid for each rod is provided and should be collected from Logie Estate Office on arrival, and returned to the Estate Office (or to the outbuilding opposite if office is closed) on departure. Logie Estate strongly recommends that buoyancy aids are worn when fishing and not doing so is entirely at fishermen’s own risk. Please pay attention at all times, avoid slips and falls, wear appropriate footwear, look out for overhead electricity lines, watch the weather and pay attention to livestock. Take extra care if fishing alone.
  11. Anglers need to supply or hire their own equipment (except buoyancy aids, which are provided).
  12. Ghillieing/tuition is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. A half day ghillieing/tuition is approx. 3 hours, full day approx. 6 hours. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. Rates do not include discretionary tips.
  13. Rod, Reel & Line hire is available by on a first come, first served basis. This must be booked in advance with the Estate Office and is subject to availability. Please contact the estate office or check our website for current rates. A rod, reel and line set is for one person and is subject to a fully refundable damage deposit of £100.
  14. Aside from fishermen, others, including rafters and kayakers, enjoy this stretch of river and mutual respect and consideration is expected.
  15. Bookings are confirmed when initial payment is received. Subsequent changes in dates or number or rods are entirely subject to the Estate’s discretion and to availability. Change of dates, if accepted, incur an administration fee. In the event of a cancellation the tenant must advise Logie Estate immediately, whereupon Logie will endeavour to re-let. If a new tenant can be found the deposit will be returned less any expenses incurred for advertising, office costs, etc., and less any shortfalls in discounted list price. Until such time as a vacancy has been re-let the hirer is responsible for making any further payment by the due dates. Failure to do so may mean that the hirer forfeits any refund if the dates are re-let. If it is not possible to re-let, all payments are still payable by the due date(s). It is unlikely that a refund can be made for a late cancellation. Logie Estate recommends that fishermen take out relevant cancellation insurance.
  16. Subletting fishing is only allowed with Logie Estate’s permission.
  17. Logie Estate reserves the right to immediately withdraw fishing without compensation from anyone who breaks these or associated conditions, or flouts normal standards of behaviour or fishing etiquette.