OFF WITH THE OLD AND ON WITH THE NEW

WITH the threat of global warming in evidence more by its absence than its presence, around 100 souls braved the freezing cold and icy streets on Hogmanay to reach the harbour and welcome in the New Year to the now traditional ringing of the "Chapel" bell.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 8th January 2010, 11:15 am

The large and jolly crowd joined enthusiastically in the countdown, the talking clock ensuring that 2010 was ushered in bang on time. Once good wishes had been exchanged few lingered long before all made their way home, no doubt to continue the revelries in warmer surroundings.

Later in the day President, Alan Robbie, welcomed 16 members of the Bowling Club to their annual New Year's Day outing, transferred on this occasion to the Village Hall because repairs to the concrete base of the outdoor carpet were unfinished, although the severe weather would have forced the event indoors in any case. Those bowlers with no previous experience of playing indoors soon adapted to the demands of a short mat and small bowls and a most enjoyable and competitive ten ends were completed. The afternoon concluded with a fine spread which, to the obvious delight of all, included the elusive clootie dumpling.

On Saturday night over 70 attended a ceilidh in the Village Hall where, to the music of the Tangleha' Ceilidh Band, the floor was rarely short of dancers. While not exactly replacing the old style New Year's dance, last held in 1999 and which followed a different format, the ceilidh was a very welcome addition to the social calendar and was considered by all concerned to have been a great success and the Village Hall committee will benefit from the proceeds of the raffle.

The streets and pavements continued to be dangerous for those attending Sunday morning's service in Johnshaven Church where locum minister, Mr Gordon Anderson, in his first sermon of the new decade, encouraged the congregation to leave behind the baggage of the old year and, with clean hearts and minds move in to the new purposefully and in faith.

Looking now at things to come, this Sunday's church services are at the usual times of 10 a.m. in St Cyrus Church and 11 30. a.m. in Johnshaven Church and in the evening the annual Fireworks Spectacular will take place at the harbour with the fireworks display timed to begin at 7.30 p.m.

On Monday, January 11 Mearns Coastal Guild begin the second half of their session in the Church Hall at 2.30 p.m. when the speaker will be Captain Robbie Middleton from Newtonhill and all interested are welcome to attend. At seven o'clock the same evening the Bridge Club will get the cards out again and on Tuesday night the carpet bowlers hope to get their postponed Christmas Pairs competition under way at 7 p.m.

The Community Council get back into harness in the Village Hall (small) on Wednesday, January 13 at 7 p.m. and items for the agenda should be in the hands of the Chair, Chris Greene, Ceol-na-Mara, Back Road by Monday, January 11.

How well do you remember 2009?

Sometimes it is easier to remember national events than local ones. Below are 20 questions to test your knowledge of events in Benholm and Johnshaven in 2009.

Can you name the company who got the New Year off to a bang at the annual Fireworks Spectacular?

When he retired in February, how many years had the Rev George Hastie spent as minister of Mearns Coastal Parish Church?

Who became Headmaster of Lathallan Independent School in February?

Who provided the music at the ceilidh in aid of church funds in February?

Can you name the firm of contractors who carried out the waste water project at Wairds Park in March?

Name the Johnshaven woman who, in April, received a silver badge in honour of her 40 years service to the Benholm and Johnshaven Lifeboat Guild.

Who threw the first jack at the 25th opening of the bowling green in April?

What is the name of the parent and toddler group which started at Wairds Park in April?

Which local musical group performed at this year's Yellow's on the Broom Festival in May?

Who did Johnshaven Athletic F.C. appoint their new manager in June?

In what position did Johnshaven Bowling Club finish in the Kincardineshire Bowling League?

Who unfurled the Bowling Club's new flag in July?

Who was the winner of the Flower Cup at the Horticultural Society's 50th Flower Show in August?

What was the name of the art and crafts exhibition held in Benholm Kirk in September?

Who won the Sandy Pittendreigh Trophy for Endeavour at the putters end-of season presentations in October?

Why did Donald and Fiona Dundas have double cause for celebration at the Bowling Club's presentation of trophies in October?

Whose life in music was portrayed in the cabaret presentation of "A Funny Valentine" in November?

Who was elected the new President of the Horticultural Society in November?

Which primary school provided the choir for the Mill of Benholm's Christmas Fair in December?

Who has been the Interim Moderator during the vacancy for Mearns Coastal Parish Church?

As always, this is a genuine quiz with a real prize for anyone with all the correct answers – on a postcard to 26 Castle Street.

Answers to Sporting Quiz

David Millar is the Scottish cyclist who has just had a lifetime ban from competing in future Commonwealth Games lifted.

The Scottish golfer who won his first European Tour title by securing the South African Open is Richie Ramsay.

Ding Junhui is the snooker player who won 276 pies in the Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship to go along with his 100,000 first prize.

Martin Laird is Scotland's leading professional golfer for 2009.

FIFA's women's Player of the Year, for the fourth consecutive time, is Marta of Brazil.

Former F1 world champion Michael Schumacher has recently signed for the Mercedes Benz team.

It was Graeme Hogg who met a more physical response from Craig Levein during a pre-season friendly match against Raith Rovers in 1994.

Kauto Star has won the King George VI Steeple Chase four years in a row.

Peter MacDonald of St Johnstone was the footballer who scored both his, and the season's, first hat trick in the SPL .

By scoring 20 points for Glasgow against Edinburgh Dan Parks became the first rugby player in Magner's League history to score 1000 points.

Memories

Ten years ago there was a very warm and happy scene around the former "Chapel" on Hogmanay when a crowd of around 200 gathered to welcome and hear Mr Roy Souter, MBE, ring the restored bell to herald the new millennium. Most had gathered at four different points in the village to take part in a candlelight procession before converging at the Christmas tree at the bottom of the New Road. The candles created a very pretty setting for the performance of a choir and the reading by Frances Grossett of an appropriate verse from Tennyson's "In Memoriam." After everyone had sung "Auld Lang Syne", piper, Douglas Beattie, played "Flower of Scotland" and the memorable celebrations ended with the serving of hot drinks.