Station celebrates gold

A short column this month as there’s not a lot to update you on as we’ve all been enjoying a well deserved break over the festive period.

One very nice surprise over the last two months has been the award, to Stonehaven station, of a Gold Medal for best kept station in Scotland.

Stonehaven and Huntly were the only two gold medals awarded north of the border and this is a lovely pat on the back to the station staff, who were also assessed on quality of service, and Horizon members, Jean Gordon and Allan Cairnduff, who take care of the flowers there.

January has led us gently into 2012 and, unlike 2011, Horizon members have been able to make a few forays out to lift some of the litter deposited in the strangest of places after the December storms.

It’s good to see the days getting longer and the bulbs all showing through. At this time we tend to forget what we’ve put where and then suddenly they appear and it’s a wonderful surprise. We do,of course, keep records of all our planting plans but inevitably they are on my laptop and not with us when we’re in town.

An area of planting we are watching with interest are the two beds at the Cowie Layby, which we planted with 4,000 crocus bulbs last Autumn. These were bought by the very generous donation of the Carnegy family in memory of their mum, Mary. In years to come they will offer a wonderful show at the entrance to the town and what better way to be remembered every spring. Look out for them as you drive past, under the Stonehaven sign.

It’s gratifying to see that our new sustainable plants in the Market Square are flourishing, despite the weather, and giving a welcome boost of colour to what is otherwise a dull time of the year.

The plants are interspersed with bulbs and pansies so the format will change a little as time goes on and then come summer we’ll add some bedding plants to maintain the floral effect in the centre of the town. As always,your feedback on the changes is welcome so do stop us if you see a Blue Jacket and let us know what you think of this new layout.

Planning is going on behind the scenes and the big project to revamp the Craws Nest is within sight of the finishing line and will be going ahead over the summer. This should create a lot of interest and fun for everyone.

Trevor Bradley and Allan Cairnduff have worked tirelessly on this and now the rest of the members are getting involved in whatever way we can to bring it to fruition. The funding and planning are all in place and now we just have to finish the artwork and wait for the right weather to install everything.

We have one or two other exciting plans up our sleeves for 2012 involving the railway station and the Market Square but its early days yet and all will be revealed in time. Watch this space!

Meanwhile as it’s a new year we would like to extend an invitation to anyone who may want to join us on a Tuesday when we’re out and about. Please feel free to contact myself or any other member that you see out and about in a Blue Jacket.

Newcomers of any age and ability are always welcome. No expertise is necessary other than a pride in your town, enjoyment of the outdoors and the company of others.

Contact details are as follows

Rosemary Clark 01569 765322 or email

Mary Jackson 01569 764182 email

Or stop any of our members in the street they will be happy to give you the information you need.