Volunteers needed for community garden work

Community Garden

Volunteer gardeners are urgently required to help keep in trim the Community Garden on the former railway line between Herd Crescent and Golden Acre.

Instigated by the Community Council and laid out with professional and voluntary support in 2002 as one of the BBC Beechgrove Garden’s special projects, the landscaped garden, once completed, was catching to the eye to all who came down the New Road. Disappointingly, however, it was not very long before the plants and shrubs were lost in a wilderness of weeds almost, it seemed, to the point of no return.

Painstakingly, though, by working one afternoon a week over a period of about 18 months and overseen by Green Gym supervisor, Hazel Davidson, a small but enthusiastic band of volunteers, laying bark over a membrane, weeding and replanting succeeded in saving the garden to such an extent that the group were recommended for a BTCV sustainability award and attended a ceremony at Edinburgh’s Royal Botanical Gardens in 2005.

Now well established as an arresting feature at the entrance to the village, the charming appearance of the Community Garden was clearly not achieved without much toil and perhaps even, on occasions, tears but to keep it this way regular maintenance is still crucially required.

This can only be done by volunteers and at present they are very thin on the ground and so any help in keeping the garden weeded, pruned and rubbish free would be very much appreciated. No experience or special skills are necessary and those who have been at it for some time will happily point out where the weeds are!

The group meets at the benches between 10 a.m. 12 noon (ish) every two weeks from April to November on Friday mornings to coincide with the Saturday’s green bag collection the next day.

The first get together for 2011 is today, Friday, but if that is a bit short notice for some, then why not make Friday, April 15 a diary date. All that is needed is to turn up and bring along, if you have them, gloves, trowel and “snips.” The gardening is not really arduous but it is rewarding and there is also the opportunity of meeting old friends and making new ones.

Worth noting, too: if it rains there is no gardening.

Mearns Coastal Church

Three new members were admitted to Mearns Coastal Parish Church during the family service in St Cyrus Church on Sunday morning. The service was followed by the Annual Stated Meeting and a time of fellowship and refreshment.

This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10 a.m. in Johnshaven Church and 11.30 a.m. in St Cyrus Church.

Mearns Coastal Church Guild

President, Mrs Jean Cook, welcomed members to the Annual General Meeting of the Guild in the Church Hall on Monday afternoon and introduced the parish minister, the Rev Colin Dempster, who gave an interesting and enlightening talk on the various stages of his life leading up to his entry into the ministry before moving on to show a film featuring his time as minister of Tayport.

The Bible reading was given by Sylvia Laidlaw and the vote of thanks by Christine Murray.

Office-bearers and committee for 2011-12 were elected as follows: President, Jean Cook; Vice-President, Christine Murray; Secretary, Isabel Blease, Assistant Secretary, Maureen James. Committee: Sylvia Laidlaw, Maisie Murray, Jean Stephen. Project Convener, Isabel Blease.

Matters of the Environment

Regular, or even occasional, strollers along the old coast road will be pleased to know that once again they will be able to follow the former railway line from the start of the “double dykes” to the Birnie Road.

Since the demise of the “Bervie Express” in 1966 and the lifting of the track soon afterwards, this short section of the line made possible what was to become a popular circular walk to the ancient Benholm right-of-way. At least that was the case until the laying of a pipe as part of the controversial installation of a new waste water system in 2005 disturbed the ground to such an extent that gorse gradually took over a stretch of about 100 yards, making walking along it impossible.

Last Tuesday, though, due to the initiative of SHARK, the manager of the St Cyrus Nature Reserve, Therese Alampo, and a group of helpers cleared the gorse making the path, now closer to the fence, once again perfectly passable and, happily, just before birds begin nesting.

SHARK are also delighted to report that the new tractor which they recently bought to carry out the fortnightly green bag collections is now fully operational and that eight of their members attended a familiarisation session at the Mill End garage on Sunday morning: there are still opportunities for volunteers to drive the tractor on Saturday mornings.

Don’t forget, too, that the first of the green bag collections takes place tomorrow, Saturday, morning between 10 a.m. and noon. There will also be an open day at the compost site at Wairds Park for old and new volunteers when it is intended to tidy up the site and clear the garden.

SHARK are also keen to make it known that they now have compost available for local gardeners. Contact organiser, Rebecca Chambers, in regard to this or any other matters relevant to SHARK on 01561 362120.

Bridge Club

After drawing for partners and playing nine hands in the Village Hall on Monday night, the members of the Bridge Club sat down to some fine Christmas fare, rather out of season perhaps, but most enjoyable nevertheless. The final bids made in what had been a good season for the Club with three tables regularly in action and sometimes four, the cards and cloths were packed safely away ready to be brought out again on Monday, October 3.

Masonic Lodge

Lodge St John No 119 was represented at the Provincial Grand Lodge of Kincardineshire’s annual Divine Service in Bervie Church on Sunday morning. Led by a piper, the brethern marched in procession to the church where, in the absence of the minister, the service was conducted by Church of Scotland Lay Reader, Mr Steve Coles. The organist was Mr Brian Hirst.

Community Council

The 34th Annual General Meeting of the Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council will be held in the Village Hall on Wednesday, April 13 at 7 p.m. to hear the annual report, approve the audited annual statement of accounts, elect members to the Community Council, elect the office-bearers of the Community Council and appoint an auditor.

There is one vacancy on the Community Council and nomination papers are available from the Secretary, Niall Young, “Skerryvore”, Seaview Terrace. The regular monthly meeting of the Council will follow the AGM.

Primary School

The Primary School end a busy term with a service in Johnshaven Church today, Friday at 10 a.m.


Twenty years ago the Primary School’s Easter service was conducted by the Interim Moderator, the Rev Alex. Robertson. The readings were given by Claire Adam and Christopher Watt while Claire and Kathleen Smith played a recorder duet, “Waterwheel.”

Miss Mitchell’s class presented a musical play, “The Scarecrow” and Mrs Johnson’s class sang “Growing” and performed “This is what we call the Johnshaven Blues” which was a new way of learning about percussion instruments. Mr Robertson delivered a talk to the children prior to the instrument ensemble playing “Hopscotch” and “Marching Song.” The organist was Mrs Lever and a closing offering was taken in aid of Dr Barnardo’s Homes.