Round the Rurals and Clubs

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Stonehaven and District Floral Art Club

Stonehaven and District Floral Art Club pulled off a remarkable coup recently at Dundee’s “The year of Food and Drink Scotland” Show by scooping the prestigious George Gibson Trophy.

Considering the vast number of entries from Horticultural Societies based all over Scotland they were competing against the likes of gigantic dahlia heads, six-foot long carrots and leeks, homebakes, and craft, not to mention stiff opposition from other flower clubs.

Their magnificent 20-feet entry was the brainchild of Jo Goldsworthy, a long-serving member, demonstrator and tutor of the club. Jo, together with her team of Aileen Pyper, Donalda Mackintosh, Lin Anderson and Ruby Buchanan, created a wonderful display leading them on a path of discovery showcasing Food and Drink Scotland. There were displays showing fishing, agriculture, and dairy, as well as a grouse moor picnic area including drinks such as whisky, gin and of course the ubiquitous Irn Bru.The crowning glory was the mouth watering display of cakes and Scottish goodies all created from flowers which won a Gold award in the Floral Art section. The team are agreed that the long hours of preparation were worthwhile and the trophy will now be on show at their meetings, held on the third Wednesday of each month in the Invercarron Resource Centre. Phone 07851218173 for information.

Mearns Ladies Probus Club

Anne Black welcomed everyone back to the Mearns Ladies Probus Club’s second year in the Crown Hotel and to the seven new members. She handed over the badge of office to the new President Mrs Marian Finlayson.

Mrs Finlayson welcomed the speaker for the morning, Joe Wishart who was to speak about his time with the Montrose Operatic Society.

Joe spoke with real passion and enthusiasm about his experiences as a member of an amateur group putting on musicals over many years in Montrose. Joe had many leading roles and sang a few lines from well known songs from shows like Oklahoma and Hello Dolly. His singing voice was simply outstanding and worthy of any professional.

As with all amateur groups, raising funds was an essential component and in between the main shows cabaret shows were put on called showstoppers which were enjoyed by many.

Joe thoroughly enjoyed his time as a member of the Society. Mrs Black gave the vote of thanks by thanking Joe for a fun-packed talk.

Tewel WRI

President Mary Tennent welcomed members to the opening meeting of the session. After reading of the minutes and dealing with business, Mary introduced Mrs Carol Kinghorn, Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, who gave a most interesting insight into her work as the representative for the area.

There is much more to it than anyone would imagine. Mrs Kinghorn judged the competitions - Two Fruit Scones: 1. Pat Cooper, 2= Aileen Pyper and Julia Christian. Flower of the Month: Julia Christian. After a lovely cup of tea, Mary closed the meeting.

Laurencekirk Senior Citizens

Laurencekirk Senior Citizens had their first meeting back after the summer break.

President Mrs Barnett welcomed a good turnout of members. Wayne Robertson and Bill Somerville gave a good selection of music and songs. Next meeting is on Wednesday October 14. Alastair Salter will be entertaining. All welcome.

Marykirk WI

Our President Mrs O Henry welcomed everyone to the first meeting after the summer break. Tributes were made to three former members who will be sadly missed by us all. Our speaker this month was Mr Peter Myles who gave a very amusing and interesting talk on his experiences when he, and his sheep, were involved in the filming of new movie version of Sunset Song. He illustrated his talk with photographs which helped give us an insight into the procedures involved in a days filming and of the antics of the sheep who, at one point, decided to visit a local shop. Miss F Roberts gave the vote of thanks.

Competitions - Old Kitchen Utensil: 1. M Stewart, 2. A Rushbridge. Flower of the month: 1. H Murray, 2. O Henry.

Tomato chutney: 1. M Elder, 2. K Masson

Stonehaven Town Partnership Monthly News – September 2015

The All Weather facility was officially opened on September 12 by Jamie Hepburn the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health accompanied by the Provost of Aberdeenshire Councillor Hamish Vernal. The official handover from the contractors to the new management committee will take place on September 25.

The Court Building sub group held a public meeting on August 20 which was attended by groups with an interest in becoming potential tenants of the Court Building and some local residents to find out about the work that STP has been doing over the last few months and how they can get involved with the project.

Davy Jones from the Consultation Institute ran three sessions about public consultation on Friday September 11 and Saturday September 12. STP organised these sessions to ensure that when public consultation is required, “Best Practice” is followed. The development day sessions were open for the public and other community groups to attend. The sessions were very informative and covered a wide range of topics, although it was unfortunate that not many people attended them. Course material is available on request.

The Stonehaven Town Centre Improvement Group met on September 17 to discuss the next steps the group should take. A lot of work has been carried out over the last couple of months by local residents, businesses and Aberdeenshire Council to improve the Town Centre. As part of STP’s involvement in the group costs of a cherry picker and labour to clear out gutters and roofs in the town centre will be supplied to Aberdeenshire Council so that residents and businesses can then be contacted to see if they are interested in getting the work done.

The Land Train will be operating on weekends only in September and October finishing on the last weekend of the October holidays, times and costs can be found on the Facebook page We are always looking for suitably qualified drivers and people with an interest in Stonehaven to become storytellers on the train. Please contact if you are interested!

STP has been granted £1,500 from Foundation Scotland’s Asda Carrier Bag Community Grants Programme to buy equipment for the Land Train. Further information can be found on our website If you have any queries or would like to help with any of the projects please e mail:

Laurencekirk Inner Wheel

After a break over the Summer, ladies from the Inner Wheel Club of Laurencekirk and District resumed their monthly meetings at the Panmure Arms Hotel, Edzell.

President Gladys Johnston welcomed back members, before introducing Rotary Senior Vice President - Jim Brown, who was representing Rotary President Alan Smith. Jim spoke of President Alan’s philosophy for projects in the community and promoting Rotary in the district. He delivered some of his talk in verse which proved highly entertaining for the members.

Rotary continue to organise joint events with Inner Wheel as well as organising fundraising events locally. Amongst those planned for the year ahead is the ever popular Eddie Rose Concert. This year the concert will be held on Friday October 30.

The Rotary Club have provided 14 shelter boxes for International Aid and provide immediate response to International disasters. Their very successful sponsored cycle event in June raised £4100 for Prostate Cancer- an amazing 1/7th of the total raised by the 70 Rotary clubs in Scotland. In conclusion, Jim suggested that Rotarians who take themselves too seriously should be avoided and that the motto of service above self should be adhered to.

Ending his speech on a light hearted note, Vice President Jim recited, “The Folly of Fettercairn”, a humorous tale about the Arch at Fettercairn.

Association President for the Inner Wheel Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland for 2015- 2016 is Montrose member Trish Douglas.

This year President Trish intimated that Inner Wheel has raised charities at home and abroad in excess of one million 300 hundred thousand pounds (£1,300,000)

She was also quoted as saying, “The International Inner Wheel theme this year is “Unique and United”. We are UNIQUE as we are one of the world’s largest women’s voluntary service organisations, working across 104 countries. We are UNITED in our aims and wishes to improve the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves at home and abroad.”

Inner Wheel members have moved quickly to raise funds for overseas disasters that occurred earlier this year and £20,700 has now been raised for the Nepal Earthquake Disaster.

President Trish has chosen Parkinson’s UK for her charity this year and it is to be hoped that she will be supported both locally and nationally for this very worthwhile cause.

Stonehaven Rotary Club

The speaker at last week’s meeting was Robbie Middleton, a past president of Portlethen Rotary Club. The title of his presentation was Uganda 1997-2015 and he spoke about how first he and subsequently Portlethen Rotary Club had become involved in what is called the Bubaare school project. Robbie’s daughter had been doing a gap year with Project Trust in the area in 1997 and he had gone out to visit her. This was after the fall of Idi Amin and Rotary International was helping to rebuild a new Uganda.

The aim of the project was to build a school and a safe haven for the street children and this was achieved through the generosity of the Budge Trust set up by Bill and Lorraine Budge which is administered jointly through Portlethen Rotary Club, Rotary District 1010 and the Rotary Club of Kabale Town. A former street child called Saturday James had the good fortune to be adopted by the Budges and he is currently President of the Rotary Club of Kabale Town. He founded the Amazing Love school and the number of children who live there has grown over the years from 320 to 1250.

Street children are orphans or are abandoned by poor parents. When they are found they are given the name of the day of the week on which they were found—which explains Saturday James’s unusual first name! The current project involves building new dormitories with running water and toilets.

Rotary District 1010 hopes to get more Rotary Clubs involved in the ongoing support for this project and there will be a presentation to Rotarians attending the annual district Conference at Aviemore at the end of October. Vote of thanks was by Rotarian Douglas Knox who had invited Robbie to speak.

The fundraising golf day organised by Stonehaven Rotary Club took place on Friday September 18 at Stonehaven Golf Club. 21 teams took part, the weather was fine and all the players enjoyed their day. A number of the golfers in the club took part in the competition, many others had sponsored holes, donated raffle prizes and were involved with the administration of the event on the day itself The event raised £2,900 net for charity and President Frank Budd thanked Rotarian Denis Daun who had been the main organiser of the day, supported by a small committee of Rotarians.

Inverbervie Probus Club

Scott O’Hara, a naturalist based at the Scottish Wildlife Trust Centre in Montrose, was the guest speaker at Bervie Probus.

In his illustrated talk Scott very capably described the layout, history and ownership of the 1,000 hectare Montrose Estuary at the mouth of the South Esk. The daily tides bring in a rich mixture of nutrients which attract tens of thousands of migratory birds every year. 750 hectares of the mud flats and the Visitor’s Centre are owned by the Trust.

The estuary was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1974. In 1981 it was designated a Local Nature Reserve. Both of these accolades have contributed to the importance and success of the site and visitor centre.

Birds come from round the world including up to 70,000 Pink-footed geese at any one time in October, all the way from Iceland and Greenland; Knots migrating from Siberia to West Africa; Sedge Warblers that also return to the Basin in late spring after wintering in West Africa. Also 400 pairs of breeding Eider, sea ducks which feed on whole muscles, crabs and sea urchins. There are Redshank which eat up to 40,000 little shrimp per day, Shelduck which feed on the Hydrobia (mud snails) found in the mud. Oystercatchers ( which have never been recorded eating oysters but feed on cockles and muscles), Lapwings, Curlew, Godwits, Dunlin and Peregrine Falcons, not to mention the increasing numbers of Whooper Swans and Mute Swans. All attracted by the plentiful supply of food from the mudflats, saltmarsh and adjacent farmland.

In addition, Otters have been seen but it is not yet confirmed that they have been breeding. However, they keep the wild mink under control.

It is not surprising therefore to find that the visitor centre attracted over 3,000 fascinated school children last year helping them understand nature conservation.

After a number of interesting and challenging questions from members, including how do you actually manage to count so many birds at any one time?, Past President John Mackenzie proposed the vote of thanks to a well versed presenter who was passionate about his subject.

Catterline WRI

President Mrs K Irvine welcomed members to the September Meeting. Mrs Irvine then introduced Sandra Lennox who gave a craft demonstration on how to make a needle case. Sandra then encouraged members to take part and make their own. A very enjoyable evening was had and there was a lot of lovely needle cases by the end of the evening. Monthly competitions - Button necklace: 1. Mrs A Meston, 2. Mrs K Irvine, 3. Mrs E Meston, 4. Mrs E Abernethy. Foliage arrangement: 1. Mrs E Meston, 2. Mrs A Gauld, 3. Mrs K Irvine. After teas were served Mrs A Meston gave the vote of thanks. The next meeting will be held in Catterline Primary School on October 15 at 7.30pm and the talk will be on Scottish Wildlife Trust. All welcome.