Controversy erupts over moving of magician’s monument

January 20th, 2009 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General

At the turn of the century — erm, not the most recent one — a magician harnessed a new form of technology and conducted electrifying performances with it. (Gah. Two puns in one sentence. Sorry.) Now, a town is struggling with the placement of a historic fountain bequeathed by, and honoring, that magician.

Walford Bodie, known as the Wizard of the North, inspired Harry Houdini and Charlie Chaplin during his Edwardian-age performances. The Aberdeen, Scotland-born magician adopted Macduff as his hometown upon his retirement. In that town, just up the A947 from Aberdeen, Bodie erected and gifted a fountain, which was built near a harbor so that fisherman and thirsty locals could refresh themselves. Nowadays, ew. But then, generous sentiment.

In 1960, the fountain was moved to some back street location, far away from its originally intended location. Now, town leaders want to move the fountain to a more prominent location: a newly-created maritime garden. But Brodie enthusiasts insist that the fountain should be moved back to its original home.

Both sides have something in common: They want to put the fountain in a more prominent place. But who’s right? Where should it go?

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