The Quilietti Family

The story of a Scots Italian family

GIULIANOTTI, Alberto 1934-2022


THIS page we will dedicate to Alberto Giulianotti, son of Adamo Peter Giulianotti and Maggie Jane Keith.   This branch of the Giulianotti family were from the Borgotora area of Parma in Italy, moving at first to Aberdeen in Scotland before settling in Peterhead.


TERESA MARIA GIULIANOTTI is Alberto’s daughter and has very kindly given us some information about her family. Since her correspondence we have found that her father has recently died in May 2022.


Peterhead is situated on the North East coast of Scotland and many of her buildings are built of the red granite for which the Aberdeen area is world famous.   It was for many years the main herring fishing port on the east coast  of Scotland and she traded with the industries in the Baltic regions as well as America .

For many centuries Peterhead traded as a sub port of Aberdeen but in the year 1832 she was made independent .   For many decades Greenland became the chief seat of the Peterhead Trade but of course now this has all been eradicated.

In the 1870s when the great Italian exodus happened, after the Unification of Italy, many Italians made their way to Scotland.  It would not have been an easy transition.  The language barrier in itself would have been very difficult and also the differences between the languages in the various areas of Scotland herself.  Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness all have their unique brogue and sometimes her own inhabitants could hardly understand each other.

Peterhead from the air

Peterhead sits at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. It is often referred to as ‘The Blue Toon’ and people who were born there as  Blue Tooners. More correctly they are called Bloomogganners, supposedly from the blue worsted stockings that the fishermen originally wore in Peterhead Peterhead is the most easterly town on the Scottish mainland is situated about 33 miles north-east of Aberdeen . This remote corner of Scotland is not so well known as the Highlands and Islands, but possesses its own unique charm with its towering cliffs, golden beaches, gently rolling countryside, quiet historic villages and surging seas, a quiet corner of the realm where the pace of life is just that much slower. As recent archaeological excavations suggest the town dates back into Pre-historic times. The ancient name of the parish of Peterhead was Peter Ugie (Latin Inverugy Petri) and is found in old charters, formerly to be of much greater extent than at present.

1888 Peterhead prison was opened Scotland ‘s first and only convict prison. Until the opening of the prison, Scots convicts were transported to England to serve their sentences. The prison was served by a unique railway line, the only state owned passenger carrying railway in its day, unfortunately this no longer exists, today the old rail line is used by walkers who can follow the route all the way to Aberdeen . Initial excavations around the prison unearthed interesting findings for Granite was not the first stone to be quarried in this area. Just a few hundred metres away from Stirling Hill was the then undiscovered site of a vast flint working which men of the Neolithic age, some 4000 years ago, had worked for as long as 300 years, bringing forth flint which, until recent years, had been thought to have been imported to Scotland from England and Ireland, the deposit being unique in Scotland, there being no other land deposits of flint in the country.

From 1888 the harbour facilities were greatly improved with the building of a series of huge breakwaters, the largest 900m in length, to create a vast “harbour of refuge” encompassing the whole of Peterhead Bay. The boom and bust in the whaling industry was mirrored in the herring fishery. At the peak of the herring boom in 1890, Peterhead’s fleet numbered some 580 vessels. When the herring stocks began to dwindle, the fleet turned its attention to white fish and after the First World War several trains left the town each day carrying fish to southern markets. By 1987 Peterhead was Europe’s largest white fish port, with over 400 boats landing nearly 120,000 tonnes at Europe’s biggest fish market, measuring nearly 400m from end to end. Over the past years external economic circumstances have brought questions of confidence and image into sharp focus. The crisis in the fishing industry, downsizing of RAF Buchan and threats to Peterhead Prison have dented business confidence and brought insecurity to the community which seems quite ironic particularly because of the oil revenues sustained since the 1970’s and Peterhead being an important base for serving the oil industry, but Peterhead still has a lot to offer.

‘Sunny Peterhead” on a typical afternoon

TERESA MARIA GIULIANOTTI tells us this story – but since then her father has died 2022

The Giulianotti family were mainly from Valdena and Borgotora. Many families from this area left Italy and this time and there is much social interaction between them when they arrived in Scotland.  The Brattesani, Zaccarine and Zanre families were also from the same area in Italy.

“My father is the son of Adam Peter Giulianotti and Maggie Jane Keith

DAD also has a sister who lives in Canada her name is Nellie Giulianotti.

They are both still living.  My father and I still live in Peterhead. Dad’s  grandparents were Peter Giulianotti and Elizabeta Landini.   They are buried in Peterhead Cemetery alongside 3 of their infant children.

My father’s name is ALBERTO GIULIANOTTI and he married Agnes Christie Dow of Aberdeen.   . They have 5 children,

  • Stewart Dow is the son of my mother’s first marriage.
  • Teresa Maria Giulianotti – born in the year 1960
  • Albert Peter Giulianotti  – born 1962
  • Twins, Dennis and Derek Giulianotti both  – born 1963
My father worked for his father in Aberdeen at their Ice Cream Factory.   It was called Holburn Ices and he progressed to become the Managing Director of the Company.   He worked here for most of his adult  life until it closed down in the 1980’s.  His father Adamo Peter died in 1965.  His mum Maggie Jane Keith died on 21st October 1972.  They both resided at 414 King Street, Aberdeen and it was here that I, Teresa, was born on 2nd November 1960. Although I was born here we lived at 105 Bon Accord Street, Aberdeen.
My auntie Nellie married Bert Pratt and they moved to Canada in 1964.   She was recently back home in Peterhead and she has still many fond memories of 22 Chapel Street. 
After my great grandfather Peter died my great grandmother came to live at 105 Bon Accord Street in Aberdeen.


 My father has a lot of fond memories because he often as a child stayed with his grandmother there.   This was later to become our family home.   Looking back on our memories of the family I think a lot of our family lived in this very large town house at one time or another.

Elisabeta Landini also attended my auntie Nellie’s wedding and my father was a teenager at that time.

Attilio Giulianotti was my grandfather’s brother.   He married Vittoria Bellini.  They lived at 105 Forest Avenue and owned and ran the Rendevous Cafe which was next door to their house.  They have one daughter Sylvia whom I believe is still living up in Deeside.

I know  my father could tell you a thousand and one stories about the Giulianotti  family and their origins.   He and his sister have visited relatives who are still alive  in Borgotora at the family homes over the last 20 years.  I hope someday that my travels will take me to the roots of our family as well.  My daughter has been and has told me lots of stories about Borgotora


The Holborn Cafe was a swinging spot in the 1960s but in fact its roots were many years before that. The Guilianotti family established the business at 53 Holburn Street in 1928. Attilio Guilianotti learned his trade as a master confectioner in London before moving to the Granite City. The family were credited with first introducing knickerbocker glories to Aberdeen.

The business changed hands in 1955 when Gloria Calicanti bought the cafe after marrying into the family. Gloria ran the cafe with husband Alberto, and it became a busy meeting place for pupils of nearby schools where they would meet and do a bit socialising into the bargain

The shop closed in 1990 when Gloria and Alberto retired.

At the time, Gloria said she would miss meeting her customers and the young teenagers romancing over ice cream sundaes. She added: “I’ve seen generations of Aberdonians grow up through working in the shop.”

I  have recently had the first 2 grandchildren in my side of the family and I hope to pass on this family  information to them, just as my father and his father did before. 

I am  sure their are still a lot of people remember my father from the ice-cream factory days , when the factory used to be in Jacks Brae in Rosemount, Aberdeen.

The thing my father always remembers about his grandmother and grandfather was they were a hard working family that came from humble beginnings and this strange country they came to in the beginning wasn’t always kind to them, but they made their home here, and I am so glad they did because the very town they came to in the beginning has become home for me, my father and my daughter now,  we have all ended up living here in Sunny Peterhead and we absolutely love it now.

Peterhead is in a part of North-East Scotland called Buchan where the language tends to be different from any other that you may of heard in Scotland a lot of the words come from the Doric a language known to the North-East, below is a sample of some of the words and dialect used today.

Gey GrippyMean,watches the pennies
NickumMischievous, rather than bad
NippetTight “His troosers are gey nippet”

19 Responses to “GIULIANOTTI, Alberto 1934-2022”

  1. Susan Evans says:

    I was reminiscing today about the ice cream of my childhood – Holburn ice cream & telling my husband about it. He suggested that it was most likely an Italian family as so many Italians settled in Scotland, & of course because it was delicious ice cream 🙂

    I was wondering if it was Holburn Ices that made the `Panda Pops’ ice lollies that I loved so much as a wee girl – I remember they were sold at some of the cafes down at the Beach Boulevard. Anyway thank you for the information here it’s nice to know a wee bit of the history behind tha local ice cream of my childhood. What a pity there are now so few small family businesses like this anymore.

  2. Susan fraser says:

    I sooooo remember Holburn ices on Holburn street.
    My gran used to take me there every Sunday through the back to cafe area for a knickerbocker glory.
    I also remember panda pops , our ice cream van in garthdee used to sell them too over 40 years ago .
    Van was owned by a Victor Tortelini .
    I agree that they could quite easily have been same ice cream as Holburn ices.
    I so wish we could still buy that ice cream
    If anyone could make it they would make a fortune .😉😍

  3. Helen says:

    Great Comment Susan. Thanks for adding. Great to hear from folks who remember the days, the names and the stories Helen


    MY RELATIVES USED TO OWN HOLBURN ICES GIULIANOTTI BROTHERS LTD i also worked there and made the ICE CREAM me my brothers and sisters always worked there during all our school holidays as well it was an ICE CREAM factory .that also supplied the supermarket giant SAINSBUYS With soft scoop ice cream ..


    my relatives also owned the rendezvous cafe and the holburn cafe in ABERDEEN

  6. Helen says:

    Hello Albert nice to meet you. I am sure we must be distant cousins. Thanks for leaving reply. I will e.mail you directly

  7. Kenneth Wood says:

    I remember as a small child – about 4 years old I reckon going with my Grandfather on his favoriite walk.We would leave Grampian Road in Torry and the first stop was the old fish market on Market Street as Grandad wsh a retired skipper. I think his last vessel was the M.V. Fenmore. From there we sometimes went for a haircut in a barbers opposite the old employment exchange (the buroo) then finally up to the Holburn Cafe for an ice cream. I still reckon it was the best icecream I’ve ever had. My Grandad LOVED Holburn Ice Cream . I also went to the Market Cafe which was owned by the Zanre’s, the West End Soda Fountain in Rose Street ( another Zanre I think) and the Rondezvous Cafe. Happy Days.

  8. Denise says:

    I remember when i was young a boy same age as me lived in union grove went to gordons college and his relatives had the holburn cafe he would be 58 years old

  9. ian & elaine milne says:

    wow, I remember all these places. From knickerbocker in polystyrene cups, to ice cream floats after a night at the Odeon cinema at Holburn Ices. And king street when me and wife worked at her mum & dads shop on king street (A&C Smart). Great memories .

  10. Stuart McCall says:

    Denise.the you lad whom lived on Union Grove was my school friend Vittorio Bichoci..sorry about the spelling.
    We often helped out or hindered his parents as they ran the Holborn ices shop and cafe.
    Our first cat Smokie came from there as his mum lived in the downstairs store and she had kittens there.
    Smokie came home with me to Granton place in an Ice cream box..

  11. Charles Alexander says:

    Hi, i worked for Holburn Ices at the bottom of Jacks Brae, crca end quarter 1978, i was in between jobs and waiting to join the RN. I delivered ice cream to hotel and restaurants in and around Aberdeen there was also the ice cream cakes packed in dry ice i took to the bus station to be delivered all round the Aberdeenshire region by Alexander’s buses

  12. you must have left just before i left school and started in jacks brae in sept 1978

  13. ref charles you must remmber my father Albert [still alive] tony [still alive] Attilio [dead] and Harry battensby [Dead]

  14. Francis Farquharson says:

    Ah, Holburn Ices. My uncle and aunt lived at 14 Union Grove and, whenever we visited them from Thurso, the treat was mock chops from the Ashvale chippie (in Ashvale place) and ice cream from Holburn Ices. Sliders for the children and oysters for the grown ups. So disappointed on a visit in 2000 to see that it was no more.

  15. Fernando Miranda Moscatelli says:

    Hello, I’m Fernando Miranda Moscatelli from GIULIANOTTI Moscatelli Bergamaschi line. My maternal grandmother was Maria Domenica Giulianotti, daughter of Antonio Giulianotti and Elizabeta Landini. I would like to get in touch with more people in my family line, they can find me on facebook as or by my

  16. norman watt mbe says:

    i am from Aberdeen but during the war my mother took me to live with my grandmother Mrs Christina Weir, 15 Rose Street, Peterhead. the family opposte were the Ferraris who had the chip shop opposite on Rose Street. My best pal was Rico who eventually went to work with Holborn Ices. in a few weeks I will be 81 and hoping to do a memory lane bucket list in.
    Aberdeen and Peterhead. The family names were Albert, Sandy who played the accordion, the sisters names I forget although Ann or Mary springs to mind. I remember the people of
    Peterhead very angry when the italian men were incaecerated in cluding Old Man Ferrari, the only name I knew him by. Hopefully when i am in aberdeen next month I can come in and introduce myself.

  17. Emily Giulianotti says:

    Hello, I have happened to stumble across this website quite recently in trying to discover more of my family. My father is Dennis Giulianotti, Son of Alberto Giulianotti. It is lovely to see my family heritage down to the names and hope to continue this legacy as long as possible. Me and my father have moved away from Peterhead now but we are going strong with our name. I heared so many stories growing up of the ice cream factory and the areas around Aberdeen. Thank you for this website and its records.

  18. Helen says:

    Thanks for leaving your comment. Would love to add you to this page if you would like to send me a couple of photos of you and your dad and anything else. that would be great. Helen

  19. Helen says:

    Thank you of leaving this comment Norman. It is always great to hear these first-hand recollections of an era now gone.

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