Mearns Connections Festival

The Mearns Connections Festival, at the Grassic Gibbon Centre,this year celebrates its seventh anniversary since starting in 2009.

The Festival’s have done much to raise the profile of Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Joan Eardley and Robert Burns and establish their very tangible connections with the Mearns.

This year the Festival theme the ‘Castles of the Mearns’ highlights the extraordinary number of Castles in the Mearns, which shows the political and economical importance of the Mearns in Scotland’s history.

The Festival opens with a dinner on Friday, August 7 with guest speaker Jane Geddes, Professor of History of Art at Aberdeen University. Musical entertainment will be provided by husband and wife accordionist Wayne Robertson and fiddler/violinist Claire Telford.

On Saturday, August 8 the popular Ballad Bus sets off from the Centre at 10.30 am to travel around the Castles in the Mearns. The bus will travel between Inverbervie, Fettercairn, Laurencekirk, St Cyrus and other places in-between. This will be an educational and entertaining trip around the Mearns with local personalities and musicians to entertain along the way. A booklet will also be available on the bus with photographs and information about the Castles in the Mearns. On Saturday evening at 7.30pm the Festival continues with an evening with one of Scotland’s most respected actresses, Eileen McCallum in conversation with the Mearns favourite host, Jim Brown. Eileen has appeared on television as Meg Menzies in Grassic Gibbon’s short story Smeddum and is also remembered from The Steamie and Take the Highroad.

The evening also consists of a Stovie Supper and a short presentation and book signing by Andy Hall on his latest book Scotland’s Still Light. There will also be a special auction with items signed by Ewan McGregor and a raffle with a variety of specially signed items. All proceeds from the book sale, auction and raffle will be donated to the Eileen McCallum Trust for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Tickets for all events are available from the Grassic Gibbon Centre on 01561 361668 or by emailing