Round the rurals and clubs

All of the contestants of the Rotary's Young Chef competition with the judges
All of the contestants of the Rotary's Young Chef competition with the judges

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Stonehaven Bridge Club

Joint winners - Heather Nisbet (left) and Isla Davies (right)

Joint winners - Heather Nisbet (left) and Isla Davies (right)

North/South 1st Mrs G Junnier & Mr J Medlock +260pts 2nd Mr S Annand & Mrs P Kemp +130 3rd Mrs C Medlock & Mrs C Harrison -250

East/West 1st Mrs M Curnow & Mr J Clowes +1100pts 2nd Mrs V Davies & Mrs S Powada +610 3rd=Mrs P Walton & Mr G Shanks zero 3rd=Mrs C Masterton & Mr A Mearns zero


Week 6 North/South 1st Margaret McLauchlan/Shiela Cooper 2nd Amy Ruxton/Cathy Aitken

Members who regularly get together at the home of the Overseas Organiser- Margaret Maclean - and sew knitted squares, jumpers, and teddies for the Association International Charity School in a Bag.

Members who regularly get together at the home of the Overseas Organiser- Margaret Maclean - and sew knitted squares, jumpers, and teddies for the Association International Charity School in a Bag.

East/West 1st Keddie & Isobel Law 2nd Anita Watters/Edith Argo

Gourdon swi

OCTOBER 2015 - President, Mrs Sheila Lownie welcomed members and guests to the Birthday Party. With treats from all members and the cake made by Mrs Lownie, members were entertained by the ladies of Tewel SWI The evening was concluded with a fun card game and vote of thanks from President Mrs Sheila Lownie. Winners of the competitions of ‘a sewn oven mitt’ and ‘coleslaw were 1st Mrs Sheila Lownie and 2nd Mrs Morag Rees.

NOVEMBER 2015 - Minutes of both September and October meetings were read and approved before welcoming Ruth and Aileen from Aberdeen Cyrenians, who gave a very interesting and in depth talk of the work involved within homeless people within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire which was a real eye opener. The ladies then judged the competitions.

Winners were: No Cook Traybake – 1st Mrs Diane Dunbar, 2nd Mrs Joyce Inglis, 3rd Mrs Sheila Lownie

Jar of Mixed Berry Jam – 1st Mrs Sheila Lownie, 2nd Mrs Morag Rees, 3rd Mrs Diane Dunbar

After a fine piece and cuppie Mrs Morag Rees thanked the ladies from Aberdeen Cyrenians and members for attending. Next Meeting is the Christmas Meal to be held at the George Hotel, Montrose.

Portlethen SWRI Christmas Party

Monday 14th December - 6.30 pm (note earlier time) Portlethen Academy Community Wing. Please bring a contribution for the buffet and a wrapped gift to the value of £5 for the Secret Santa.


The first meeting for the month of November was held in the Crown Inn, Laurencekirk with President Malcolm McCoig chairing the meeting.

Malcolm also was the speaker for this meeting and his subject was Chic Murray, the well-known late Comedian and actor born in Greenock in 1921, he was educated there at both primary and secondary schools.

On leaving school, he was 6ft 3” tall and had become a talented musician, playing the piano, guitar, banjo and mandolin. He was also a talented singer with a strong voice, and he could also yodel.

With all these gifts, he was destined for the stage, but was also a keen footballer.

However, a serious injury to his foot resulted in a few bones being broken, leaving him with an awkward gait when walking.

This problem was later to see him dismissed from National Service, along with other problems in his feet.

He had appeared in his teenage years with a local group on stage known as the Whinhill Billies, Whinhill being a local hill near Greenock.

He was to meet his stage partner – and who also became his wife Maidie Dickson an actress who came to Greenock looking for lodgings and was appearing locally.

She was only 5 foot or so tall, and with Chic being 6ft 3” they appeared as “The Tall Droll with the Small Doll” where she would play the accordion for a short time, then he would tell a few jokes and anecdotes to their audience.

They took their act all round Scotland to various theatres and venues and then into England.

They were billed to appear in the Royal Variety Show in 1956, but this was cancelled by the Queen because of the Suez War and Crisis.

Later he was to make appearances in films such as Gregory’s Girl and also Casino Royale – which was a spoof James Bond Movie and also included Orson Wells and David Niven.

He also appeared in Liverpool as Bill Shankley the Liverpool Football Club Manager in a play entitled “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.

His last TV appearance was in the disastrous BBCs Hogmanay Show from the Gleneagles Hotel.

Because of discontent and production problems – especially the Camera work – the show was a complete flop and has not been repeated in that format since.

Chic died in January 1985, and a blue plaque has been mounted on the wall of the house in Greenock where he was born.

Malcolm then showed a video of Chic and Maidie taken at various venues with tributes from Billy Connelly and Johnnie Beattie to remind us of this unique character, with his very much individual style of wit and delivery.

A vote of thanks was given on behalf of the members by retired Secretary Sandy Dunn.

Maryculter WRI

Elaine Brainwood welcomed the company and acted as card master at the basket whist held at our November meeting . A friendly happy evening resulted in prizes being awarded to Ladies 1st P Dunn 2nd P Paterson Cons. R Cameron, Gents 1st J Thomson 2nd J Bisset Cons D Carmicheal. The evening was rounded off with a welcome cup of tea and raffle.

Muchalls WRI

Mrs Barclay welcomed all to our November meeting. We started with the rural song. Mrs Barclay welcomed Brian and Batrbara. they gave a very interesting display of flower arrangements. We were then given a carnation, greenery and greet tape to try to do a buttonhole.

These were then judged for our competition.

1. Mrs Stephen 2. Mrs Marr 3. Mrs Durward. Tea followed.

Mrs Rattray gave vote of thanks and the raffle was drawn before the meeting finished with the national anthem.

Stonehaven Rotary Club

The speaker at last week’s meeting was Rotarian Jim Henderson who spoke about the National Memorial Arboretum, illustrating his presentation with photos, which he had taken on his visits there. The NMA is not in a city but in a comparatively remote part of the countryside just outside the town of Alrewas near Burton-upon-Trent. When first proposed it was thought that around 80,000 people would visit every year.

Today the visitor centre is undergoing major refurbishment to cope with over 300,000 visitors every year. When first proposed it was thought that around 80,000 people would visit every year. Today the visitor centre is undergoing major refurbishment to cope with over 300,000 visitors every year.

Covering some 150 acres, the National Memorial Arboretum has been a special place honouring those who have served, and continue to serve in many different ways since planting began in 1997. The 30,000 trees and the more than 300 dedicated memorials on the site - new ones are being added regularly - make the Arboretum a living tribute that will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifices made by the Armed Forces and civil services of this country. The focus isn’t totally military. There is a large area devoted to Police who have fallen while on duty, as well as other areas devoted to the Fire and Rescue and Ambulance services.

National charities representing those who have died in particular circumstances, including children, are also to be found in the Arboretum grounds. Nearly all the plots were designed in partnership and consultation so that every group could feel a sense of ownership of the memorial to which they had contributed.

The centrepiece is the Armed Services Memorial which carries the names of 15,000 service personnel who have fallen since the Second World War and there is space for 15,000 more – war and conflict is not ended. There is also a split on the south side of the outer wall and on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month this split allows the suns rays to beam through the doorway and fall on the central plinth. The vote of thanks was by Peter Newell.

As the date of last week’s meeting was the 11th November, the club observed a 2 minute silence, led by Jim Henderson, before lunch was served.

On Wednesday evening of last week, the local club round organized by Stonehaven Rotary Club as part of this year’s Rotary Young Chef competition took place in the Home Economics department at Mackie Academy.

After planning and cooking a two-course meal for two people in a specified period of time, the pupils had to present their dishes for judging. The three judges, all of whom have professional experience in catering were Bruce Lawrence and Mark Bannerman from Entiér Limited, along with Club President Frank Budd. Also in attendance taking numerous Photographs for Entiér Limited was Tom Clark. Entiér is Scotland’s largest independent contract catering and support services company.

Created in 2008, they provide catering, housekeeping, maintenance and hospitality services to the oil and gas, education and business sectors as well as catering for corporate events, private functions and weddings. Points were awarded by the judges in a range of categories and when all the marks were added up, it was announced that there were joint winners -Isla Davies and last year’s UK finalist Heather Nisbet - who go forward to the District round of this progressive competition early in 2016.

Inner Wheel Club of Laurencekirk and District

The speaker at the October meeting was Maureen Paterson from Arbroath who makes Designer Handbags from recycled materials. As Mrs Paterson talked the ladies through the design process with the use of templates, she told amusing tales of how every bag had started out.

Among some of the places that the material had come from were - a closing down sale at Robertson Furniture Shop in Dundee, curtains from the Bank of Scotland in Covent Garden, interior design pattern books and a gift of a length of Arbroath Smokie Tartan. At the end of the talk the ladies were given the opportunity to purchase some of the handbags with the proceeds going to Maureen’s chosen charities. One of the groups that she supported was Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band.

Talking to the members in November was retired Nurse Midwife, Margaret Muirie from Auchenblae. Her talk was entitled, “A Nursing Life”. Margaret took the ladies on a journey of 50 years through some of her experiences in nursing.

When she started her nurse training in Belfast in 1964 she had to live in hospital accommodation sharing rooms with other nurses. The young nurses had to be in by 9.30pm with lights out at 10.30pm. They were not allowed boyfriends and were expected to attend church on a Sunday.

There was a very strict regime at this time and requests for days off had to be “in Writing”, as well as letters of apologies sent to Matron for any misdemeanours.

Later places of employment for Mrs Muirie were Ayrshire Central Hospital (where she trained in midwifery), Ferguslea Park in Paisley as a community midwife and the William Smilie Hospital in Lanark where she became known as “Sister Two to a bed”.

After periods spent working in Arduthie Hospital and Inverness, Margaret moved back to Northern Ireland with her GP husband as Nurse Practice Manager.

She then recounted some amusing tales of life as a GP’s wife, as well as some of the interesting gifts such as kippers, prawns and cod which she had been given from patients!!!.

On coming to Auchenblae in 1997 she was coaxed out of “retirement” for a further 15 years as District Nurse and Midwife before she finally retired after nearly fifty years in the profession.

Kathleen Murray proposed the vote of thanks for entertaining the members with her amusing talk.

Also visiting the club in November was District Chairman Heather Sheerin from Inverness. She too, had been a nurse and was keen to reminisce with the speaker about past experiences. Heather had already presented each club in District 1 with a beautiful quilt which, as a keen “quilter”, she had made herself. The Laurencekirk and District Club have chosen to raffle squares to win their quilt, with the proceeds going to Heather’s charity - Chest, Heart and Stroke. She intimated that she had chosen this charity after a close friend had been affected by a stroke.

Pictured are some of our members who regularly get together at the home of the Overseas Organiser- Margaret Maclean - and sew knitted squares, jumpers, and teddies for the Association International Charity “School in a Bag”.

Stonehaven Town Partnership

Stonehaven Town Partnership (STP), in preparation for their AGM on 24th November 2015, have been looking back at the projects they have undertaken or facilitated in the past two years.

These projects include helping to set up the Stonehaven Town Hall Trust and the reopening of the successful Tolbooth Museum, the redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth ll Caravan Park, and establishing the all-weather pitch and the Stonehaven Land Train.

Taken together, these successes have attracted a total inward investment into Stonehaven of £3.03 million. In addition, it is estimated that these and other projects develop direct annual revenues to the town in the region of £60,000, over and above the money spent by the users, tourists and visitors they attract.

When taken with ongoing projects such as illuminations for the harbour, town centre improvements, year round opening of the Bervie Braes, preventing the permanent closure of the Beach Toilets and the proposed regeneration of the old Gas Works site and the Court House, it can be seen that STP continues to work tirelessly for and on behalf of Stonehaven and its population.

Anyone wishing to contribute or add value to these and future projects is welcome to join with STP at their AGM on 24th November 2015 at 7.00pm at the Invercarron Resource Centre.

Information about the Partnership can be found at Contact details: Wynne Edwards Communications Director