Way back in 1986, the old Aberdeen and Northern Marts building in Alford, Aberdeenshire had been in existence since 1906. As the local, Auction Centre, it had functioned as the centre of activity for the village and for the surrounding countryside. A place to buy, sell, meet people, exchange news and gossip. It was always the hub of comings and goings but in 1986, the Company that owned the building and land: Aberdeen and Northern Marts Ltd., began a process of rationalising their operations.
All local auction centres around the whole of the North East of Scotland were to be closed and centralised at a brand new centre in Inverurie. In this planned fate, the Alford Mart was to be sold off like all the others. Allegedly the land was earmarked to be used for a supermarket. Fortunately, a group of local farmers and enthusiasts were determined that the Old Marts should survive for the benefit of the local community and after many meetings and many fund raising events, the present Museum opened to the public on the 20th March, 1991.
The museum aims to preserve and educate people about the traditional way of lifeof the people of the North East lived for hundreds of years, a way of life that is now dying out due to globalisation.
Of course, such a brief explanation hardly conveys the herculean efforts that were required to bring the museum into its current state. It took 7 hard years to bring the old building back to life - and with a fine compliment of exhibits. All those involved in the venture were volunteers - and that is still the case today. The Museum is run entirely on a volunteer basis.