Chapter 17



The newspapers, local and national, gave quite a coverage to this awakening by the Spirit of God.

Local papers reported the ebb and flow of the blessing in the lives of the people.

By and large they gave an accurate account of the events that took place in their towns and villages.


One national paper carried the statement that pipes, tobacco, tobacco pouches and cigarettes were placed in a given spot in the middle of the villages of Cairnbulg and Inverall­ochy.  The articles concerned were then set alight in bonfire style and the converts sang hymns and prayed, but as far as I have endeavoured to trace this event, I have been unable to find anyone to corroborate it.


In the Christian press coverage was given to the revival and reports show that Professors and Ministers had to acknow­ledge that it was "of God".


I am indebted to the editors of the papers concerned for access to their back numbers and for permission to quote freely from them.



Jock Troup's Interview with the Glasgow Herald

30th December, 1921

This interview was conducted in Dundee where Jock was having great meetings.

"Having a grand time in Dundee with many cases of wonderful experiences of salvation.  Keep the Rev. John Harper's prayer before you, 'God have mercy on Scotland'. Since Troup came to Dundee

last weekend, meetings have been held in the Old Steeple Church, while prayer meetings are held daily in the Y.M.C.A. which attract over 200. During the weekend well over 100 converts have been recorded including a man associated with the Communist Party. We are told that the fishing communities of Fifeshire, particularly St. Monance and Cellardyke are affected. The feature in Dundee is the way in which the different ministers have c<roperated."


Another extract from the Glasgow Herald of December 1921 goes as follows :­

"The prairie fire of religious revival is raging along the coasts from Wick to Peterhead. It was kindled by a torch lit at Yarmouth and Lowestoft. It is filling the Kirks and emptying the pubs. 'We came back with nae muckle siller, but with saved souls,' is the frequent remark made. Is there any new message? 1 asked. 'No, just the old, old story, but the preaching has power.' They speak affectionately of Jock and Douglas meaning their leaders. Jock Troup a herring cooper from Wick and the Rev. A. Douglas Brown a Baptist minister from London. While having dinner one Sunday aboard a herring drifter Jock Troup said, 'We're going to have a revival, we must pray and then go out and get it.' This they did, they knelt on the floor of the cabin and cried to God, then went ashore and held the first of many open-air meetings in Yarmouth. It is obvious that PRAYER AND CONFIDENCE ARE THE WEAPONS WITH WHICH THIS BATTLE IS BEING FOUGHT.

Meetings started in the open-air, then the churches opened their door and hundreds professed salvation. 'It won't last long,' they said, but the fisherfolks are home from East Anglia and in every port they are spreading the message. The churches have been revived. It is indeed for the Noel h East a . Bonnie Bairn' time as the Covenanters would say."


The above articles are reproduced by kind permission of the Editor of the Glasgow Herald.

Peoples Journal of 10th December, 1921­

"At testimony meetings these weather-hardened fishermen speak of 'The Great Captain', call Christ 'The Skipper' or of 'Having the Pilot on board' because they are bound for the . Port of Heaven'.

The chart is the Bible, so with such a CHART and such a CAPTAIN,

'We canna' gang rang., they say. The songs sung are old favour­ites, such as 'Old Hundredth, Will your Anchor hold in the Storms of Life?, and When the Roll is called up Yonder',

A stirring incident took place at the Monument in Broad Street, Peterhead, when 34 people threw themselves on a muddy road crying for Christ to save them. At an indoor meeting later in the Salvation Army, 40 knelt at the penitent form. The testimonies were tremendous.                     There was the hardened character who threatened his wife with a razor, who got converted arid then his wife followed him. Then there was the wayward girl."


Peoples Journal of 17th December 1921.

"People are thronging the streets going to Church, nine out of ten can be counted on being bound for a place of worship. They are not the conventional type of Churchgoer. With them religion is part of themselves, not to be confused with the donning of fine raiment. So one discovers them in the garb of their calling, the men in blue jerseys and caps, the women in shawls, but there are well-dressed people sprinkled amongst them, which shows that the movement is not confined to only the fisher class. Where the church should hold 500, a 1000 or more contrive to find an entry and the doorway is blocked with others who would fain get in.


There is no waiting .for the fixed hour for the beginning. Prayer is offered spontaneously -without a break, the worship switches again into hymn choruses. Voluntary testimonies are frankly and eagerly made by young converts." Tales of drink and gambling, of domestic unhappiness, of soured existence, flow from the lips of men and women who passionately" plead with the unconverted. The messages are simple. there is insistence on one point - the acceptance of Christ as the only road to salvation.


Figures in tens and twenties move down the aisles of places of worship to prostrate themselves at the stool of repentance. More come to increase the number of motionless figures at the front. It is an experience that sends a thrill through you veins. The people refuse to leave the building, and once more the singing breaks out, as full-throated as ever.

The villages along the Moray Coast are moved by the revival. Each centre is sending out groups of God-fearing sturdy fishermen as day missionaries to the immediate neighbourhood, which in turn follows the same course. By cycle and foot without regard to weather they make their pilgrimage. They are triumphant heroes of the Cross of Christ with its meaning and message. Everywhere at home and in the streets there is joyous singing of hymns such as . At the cross where I first saw the Light'.

'We are not revolting against the churches', says Jock 'But the Almighty is.' The ministers have left the Bible to a new theology which is not based on the Bible. God has lowly and humble instruments .to .guide people back to the truth which is in Christ. It is a revelation to hear the songs sung in the Spirit."


The above extracts are reproduced by kind permission of the Editor of the Peoples Journal.



Buchan Observer - Peterhead - 29-11-21

"Religion of an evangelical nature has always appealed to fisher­folks. At Yarmouth meetings of an evangelical nature were held on a large scale and there were at least 1500 converts. On returning to Peterhead a number of young converts held an open-air meeting with a view of continuing the good work. On a cold November night young fishermen converts were singing and preaching for several hours."


Buchan Observer - 6-12-21

"Religious Revival still continues to spread in Peterhead. The movement has been taken up with great enthusiasm by the Salvation Army. During the past week open-airs have been held every night, and young fishermen and fishergirls have given personal testimony to the experience of salvation. A stimulus has been given to the revival through a united effort by the Congregational and United Free Churches having a Campaign by an evangelist named Mr. John Moor."


Buchan Observer - 20th December 1921

"There are I believe deeper truths in this revival movement than meets the eye of the casual observer for men and women, young and old have been swept off their feet in 1000' s as the movement has swept up the seaboard of the Aberdeenshire Coast. Life has been radically changed, and the old valuations are gone. Something big and overwhelming has happened to them, and we stand by and gaze wonderingly and perhaps half CONTEMPTUOUSLY at the PHENOMENON

and ask ourselves, 'What is it, what is the power that has changed our ordinary PLACID and quiet living neighbours into praising, praying, prophesying evangelists?' I have met them personally and collectively and can say it is not EMOTION. One thing has impress­ed me and that is that the gatherings are mostly acts of praise.

I wish it well, and will be delighted if the march continues and turns the cold critics into convinced supporters and admiring friends. "


The above extracts are reproduced by kind permission of the Editor of the Buchan Observer.



Northern Ensign, Wick, of 30th November 1921­

During the weekend services were conducted by local Salvation Army Corps, when a number of Pultney fishermen who were converted at Yarmouth lately addressed both open-air and inside meetings at Zion Hall. On Monday and Tuesday open-air meetings were held and a number professed salvation."            


Northern Ensign of 7th December, 1921.

"The air is electric with revival enthusiasm these days. A re­markable awakening has taken place particularly amongst the fisher­folks, many of whom once believed as they say in having a good

time, and who were outstanding characters. They have abandoned their old way of life, and have .identified themselves with Christian Service particularly the Salvation Army. I have been present at several open-air meetings at the Market Place and at one inside meeting in Zion Hall and ~ave been greatly impressed by the amount of spiritual fervour manifested. Unlettered lads spoke in homely

language telling of their change of heart. 9ne said his chum had declared it was like a 'Flu' and was spreading. Another convert said he had joined the ship of salvation. It was. not an eight-man crew craft, it was not a small packet, but a ship that could take all onboard. Another said he was once full up of dancing, pictures, drink, gambling and several other things, now he was full up of salvation."


Northern Ensign of 14th December,. 1921.

"The revival INAUGURATED in Wick by the local fishing commun­ity at Yarmouth continues to be held twice .a day, afternoon and night in the Salvation Army Hall. Evening Service on Sunday was held in Rifle Hall which was not sufficient to accommodate all who wanted to attend. Staff Captain Rohu of Aberdeen gave the address. The converts already registered number over 400."


Northern Ensign of 2lst December, 1921.                   .

"The meetings in the Salvation Army Hall continue with marked success with many wonderful conversions taking place. Several fish­ermen converts have left for West Coast fishing. On boat, the Mizpah is manned entirely by men who have professed Christianity, and their departure last week for the Stornoway fishing was a scene of great interest at the harbour. The boat sailed with the Salvat­ion Army flag flying from her masthead and the crew and their friends sang revival hymns. It was really a scene unexampled in the history of the Port of Wick.

The boat was stormbound at Scrabster and the crew went to Thurso Salvation Army and held meetings where a number professed conversion.

The meetings continue in Zion Salvation Army Hall, and the work shows no sign of abatement. Of late the parents of young fisher­men have been following their offspring into the Narrow Way;


The above extracts are reproduced by kind permission of the Editor of the John O' Groats Journal.



The Railway Signal, Magazine of the Railway Mission.


"David Cordiner does not mention his experiences at Peterhead very often - he is afraid lest people think he is a somebody, when he knows, 'Jesus did it all'.

He was in the fishing fleet at Yarmouth along with Jock Troup when the revival broke out there.

He had to bear the hardships of the poor fishing that was exper­ienced when the fleet went out day after day and often returned with hardly a fish.   

Jock Troup heard the voice of God in the trouble and began open-air meetings, at which David stood as a listener. David had been converted some two years previously, but had never come right out for God. One night, however, he faced the matter, and he felt within him a great deliverance had come. Now he could take part in the meetings, and began by bringing his mates and the fishergirls to the meetings, and many were saved. Soon the boats turned home once more to Scotland, and when he reached Peterhead, and went home to his father's house, he felt a heavy burden of responsibility upon his soul.


One Saturday night he was compelled to go along to the corner where the men usually gathered. He had never preached before, and had neither heads nor tails to his address; but the Lord filled his mouth with words, and soon a crowd gathered. For nearly two hours David held on his burning appeal. That night seven men came out and knelt down on the stones of the street, confessing their sin and committing themselves to the Saviour. Next day, Sunday, was a day usually spent mostly in prayer. When night came, he went forth again to the street, and again a crowd gather­ed. The night was cold, and after a time a march was formed, and the crowd went into the Salvation Army Hall. Here a great scene was witnessed, when over twenty anxious souls sought the Saviour.


For six weeks meetings went on every night, David bearing the greater share of the work, but others also came to help, and hun­dreds professed decision for Christ. Some news of this movement reached us in Glasgow, and on the first Saturday of the New Year of 1922, I went to Falkirk for the weekend, to help Mr. Currie, of the Town Mission, who was Chairman of our Newton St. Boswells Branch at one time. At Larbert I met a friend who said to me, 'Have you heard that David Cordiner has come to Falkirk?' I said, 'No.' 'Well he is to take part in the meetings at the Town Mission this weekend.' I was delighted to hear it, and went on the Falkirk with keen expectations. Mr. Currie met me, and told me about David Cordiner's arrival, and that he had come without being asked, and

that, whilst he would take part in the meetings, I must also take part. We went to the Mission Hall and knelt down in the vestry to pray. While we were kneeling, the door opened, and someone knelt

down near me, and I knew it was David Cordiner. When we got up from our knees, I shook hands with this serious-faced young man. I said, 'You will take the meeting tonight?' 'No, you must fulfil your programme,' he said."


Extract from the Railway Signal, Magazine of the Railway Mission', via the late Mr. David Cordiner.


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