“Johnshaven Eye” makes a comeback

The “EYE” will open again soon

Good news from the recent meeting of the Community Council is that the “EYE”, closed for 18 months, will soon reopen to take its singular look on the world of Benholm and Johnshaven.

Under its original name, the “Johnshaven Eye”, the news sheet of the Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council first saw the light of day on 16 November 1978. Since than, with two gaps in 1989/90 and 1995/97 and under nine editorships it appeared in various formats until Allen Smith took over as editor in the summer of 2002, giving the 80th issue a new and much glossier look. However, after seven years in the chair, Allen decided to take a sabbatical to research Scottish history and there has been no “EYE” since Christmas 2009.

Now, though, his researches complete, Allen is ready to pick up his idiosyncratic pen again and hopes to have the 107th issue out in the summer. Of course, the success of any newsletter is determined by its content and Allen will be looking at ways of making his editorial task easier by encouraging individuals and groups in the community to submit contributions on a regular basis.

Present at the meeting in the Village Hall was Mrs Jackie Fernandez, Head Teacher of the Primary School and, before outlining the many activities which the pupils are currently involved in, including a variety of after-school clubs, she was congratulated by the community councillors on the positive results of the recent inspection carried out by HM inspectors and who then went on to say that they would do all they could to support the school.

A representative from Grampian Police Force was also present and, while he reported that at the moment crime was not a problem in Johnshaven, he encouraged householders to take steps to ensure the security of their property since opportunist criminals were always ready to take a chance and there had been one small theft in the village in the previous week.

A good deal of the councillors’ time was involved in following up the issue of conservation and how to ensure that the outstanding characteristics of Johnshaven’s Conservation Area are preserved. As was pointed out the village is already well served in this respect since the late John Simm’s, “Johnshaven, A Case For Conservation”, describes in detail Johnshaven’s rich architectural heritage. This information, it was agreed, however, needs to be readily accessible but whether full digitalisation and availability on the web is the way forward is still open to debate.

Before breaking off for a couple of months the Community Council tied up a number of loose ends. It was reported that, with no objections having been made to the proposed installation of rock armour at Fore Street, the work is anticipated to begin in June as planned and be completed within a month. Restoration of the school steps from Main Street to Seaview Terrace has been accomplished and paid for and it was agreed to repair or renew the wooden frame of the “Welcome” sign at the top of Golden Acre.

The Community Council will next meet in the Village Hall on Wednesday, August 10 at 7 p.m.

Bowling Club

On a wild and windy afternoon when a heavy shower of hail brought a temporary halt to proceedings and the President’s hat had to be rescued as it flew off towards the North Sea, there was almost a full turnout of members for the Bowling Club’s triples competition on Sunday.

Despite the difficult conditions there was some very fine bowling and some tight matches on display, none more so than in the nine-end semi-finals.

In one of those, losing a count of four at the fourth end did not help Twig O’Brien, Bill Webster and Bill Inglis who trailed Alan Black, Alan Robbie and Margaret Innes by four shots, 10-6, at the seventh. Three shots followed by a single, brought them level, however, and at the extra end another count of three saw them ease into the final by 13 shots to 10.

With experienced Jim McCallum skipping current ladies champion Bett Beedie and Donald Dundas, the 2009 green champion, the good money would almost certainly have been on his rink to get the better of that of Isabell Inglis, Fred Innes and Eck O’Brien.

Good money would have turned to bad, though, because right from the outset the underdogs held the upper hand, allowed their opponents only two ends, and finished thoroughly deserved winners by 10 shots to 6.

It was unfortunate that, as sometimes does happen, the eleven-end final did not produce the close encounter that might have been expected. Isabell, Fred and Eck started off confidently with a single followed by a four and, although Twig, and the two Bills responded with two shots, as well as they played and fought, they just could not stop the relentless push towards the title of their opponents who won the next five ends to lead by 14 shots, 16-2.

Twig O’Brien, Bill Webster and Bill Inglis did restore some pride with a count of three at the ninth but it was too little and too late to stop Isabell Inglis, Fred Innes and Eck O’Brien, with a single at the tenth, from becoming convincing 2011 Triples champions by 17 shots to 5.

Despite a distinct chill in the air there was an excellent turnout at Friday’s hat night which was won by Jim McCallum and Fred Innes by 18 shots. Hat nights continue on Fridays at 7 p.m. and points nights on Tuesdays at the same time and all are welcome.

Just a reminder that the first of the season’s prize bingo nights in the Community Clubroom at Wairds Park, to be organised by the Carpet Bowling Fund, takes place tomorrow, Saturday at 6.30 for 7 p.m. Admission £1.50 which includes refreshments and two bingo books. Extra books 25p each. Raffle. All welcome.

Mearns Coastal Church

With the week-long General Assembly about to begin in Edinburgh, the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster outlined to the congregation in Johnshaven Church on Sunday morning the democratic structure of the Church of Scotland and encouraged them to pray for the Moderator and the Commissioners that, through their deliberations and an openness to the Holy Spirit, there will be a renewal of vision within the national Church.

In his intimations the Rev Dempster thanked the Guild and those who had helped raise £176 for Christian Aid at the concert in the Village Hall on Friday night. He also reminded those present that the next meeting of the Bible Study Group will be held at Tom and Marja Dalziel’s St Cyrus home on Monday, May 30 at 7 p.m.The organist was Mrs Helen Doig.

This Sunday there will be only one service in Mearns Coastal and that will be a family service in St Cyrus Church at 11 a.m. It will be followed by a time of fellowship and refreshment.

A reminder, too, that Mearns Coastal’s annual coffee morning and plant sale will be held in the St Cyrus Public Hall tomorrow, Saturday, between 10 and 11.30 a.m. Cake and candy, books, bric-a-brac, etc. All welcome.

Mearns Coastal Church Guild

A very good attendance in the Village Hall on Friday night enjoyed the delightful performances of the Brownies, Guides and pupils of the Primary School in a concert organised by the Guild which raised £176 for Christian Aid and the organisers wish to thank all who supported the event.

Horticultural Society

The Horticultural Society’s plant sale drew a steady stream of customers through the doors of the Village Hall on Saturday afternoon, many of whom took the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant chat over a cup of tea or coffee. Helped by a cake and candy stall and a raffle the event raised a wonderful £434 and the Society wish to thank all who gave it their support.

Next on the Society’s agenda is the Garden Competition at the end of July and it is soon followed by the annual Flower Show in the Village Hall on Saturday, August 27.

By now committee members will have been round their districts with schedules for the Flower Show but these are readily available by contacting Society Secretary, Morag Smith on 360020.

Games Club

Don’t forget the Games Club’s prize bingo and presentation of trophies in the Village Hall tonight, Friday, at 6.30 for 7 p.m. Admission £1.50 which includes refreshments and two bingo books. Extra books 25p each. Raffle. All welcome.

I’m a Celebrity..

Don’t forget, either, “I’m a Celebrity Shakespearean Character - Get Me Out of Here!” interactive show in the Village Hall tomorrow night (Saturday) at 7.30 p.m. and suitable for ages from 12 and upwards. Tickets, £9 and £7 concessions available from the Johnshaven Stores or by phoning 01561 361956.