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Magician's monument to be moved

Residents in Macduff are opposed to a plan to move a monument which was bequeathed by a famous magician from its location on Duff Street to the new maritime garden at a cost of £20,000.

Residents in Macduff are opposed to a plan to move a monument which was bequeathed by a famous magician from its location on Duff Street to the new maritime garden at a cost of £20,000.

Walford Bodie, who was known as the Electrical Wizard of the North, performed to tens of thousands in Edwardian London before he retired to the town.

The Aberdeen-born magician bequeathed the public fountain to his adopted hometown in 1909.

Bodie enthusiasts in the community claim that the plans go against the wishes of their famous resident who built the fountain in the harbour to provide water for fishermen and thirsty locals.

During the 1960s the fountain was moved from the busy harbour to a rarely-visited side street.

Locals have called for the monument to be returned to its original location, but Banff and Macduff Community Council has applied to relocate the fountain to a site at the town's Crook O'Ness Street.

Chris Earl, a Bodie enthusiast, told Scotland on Sunday: "From being in pride of place at Macduff Harbour, the fountain was basically just slapped down on some concrete in a side street where nobody goes and forgotten about.

"I was delighted when I heard there were plans to move it to a more suitable location, but I was amazed they weren't going to return it to the harbourside where it belongs."

Ian Page, chairman of Banff and Macduff Community Council, said the waterfront was not appropriate: "It is still a working harbour and there is a lot of activity there.

"We think the maritime garden is the right location as it is a nice open space with a good view over the harbour."

Bodie used the new technology of electricity to create exciting stage shows at the turn of the 20th century and Charlie Chaplin and Houdini were amongst his fans.

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