Talk:Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
My home town- Aberdeen, Scotland This quiet fishing village was completely transformed by the discovery of Oil in the North Sea in the 1970s. It became the 'Oil Capitol of Europe' and American accents were as common as the lilting tone of the native Aberdonian. American foodshops opened selling 'exotic' wares such as Pumpkin Pie, Bisquick and Root Beer. Aberdeen in the 1970s even had a taco and burrito stand selling fast food long before the rest of Britain had been introduced to these delights!
The words, 'Roughneck' and 'Roustabout' became everyday speak as the employment opportunities to make big bucks opened up to the ordinary citizen. In 1975 Oil Rigs Santa Fe, Penrod 71 and 40's Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta employed many Aberdonians, flying them in their Orange survival suits via Lerwick to the platforms. These unskilled workers made huge sums of money, staying two weeks at a time on board. Work was hard with 12 hour shifts but the food was a reward in itself. Enormous rib eye steaks, whole gateaux, a banquet of every delight and eat as much as you wanted was the oder of the day.
The explosion on the Piper Alpha July 6 1988 killed 167 men with only 59 survivors. We knew a survivor who had heard noises and men running about frantically and sirens blaring. He came out of his cabin and started climbing down to sea level with others where they stepped onto a boat which left just before the explosion. The sea was on fire and there were men screaming in the water-the boat went back to pick up as meny as it could-there were only a handful who lived.
Another friend was a Policeman at the time, charged with the difficult task of telling relatives their husband/son was dead. It had been a horrible day when he knocked at the door of yets another victim's wife. the reaction, however was not typical. She jumped with joy shouting for her young son excaiming, "Daddy's dead!" and celebrating the fact. She had been told to pack their bags and get out before he returned as he was to move another woman in. The 'grieving wife' was later to get £1million in compensation.
The disaster brought stricter controls on safety.
Today the operations are phasing out and Aberdeen is left with Astronomical house prices as a legacy of the oil era.