Two newly time-served coopers were doused in flour, treacle and feathers as part of the centuries-old 'Blackening' initiation ritual, which marks the end of their four years of training.

Kyle Cooper, 20, and Callum Lawson, 21, knew the bizarre event was going to happen due to its inclusion in the programme of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival but were unable to escape their workmates.


Picture: Frank van Paridon

The ritual for the two apprentices at Speyside Cooperage in Craigellachie, Moray, acts as a coming-of-age ceremony dating back to the 14th century and usually happens when an apprentice completes their four years of training.