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Ballater & crathie Community magazine no. 74 summer 2014 ÂŁ1 Donation


Inside Your Summer Eagle:

Your SummerEagle is here to brighten, enlighten and entertain you. We hope it finds you in the mood for a bright and exciting summer in Ballater.



Aberdeenshire Council 24&30 A Normal Sort of Day


Ballater, Balmoral,

Local Groups Ballater Halls Indoor Bowling Club: 9 Ballater Films: 16 Ballater Masonic: 11

Crathie & Aboyne Delta


Balmoral Scythe


Bathtime Blues


Cambus O May Crane

Ballater Songsters: 8


Library News: 15


Local Access Forum: 13

Crathie Pages

Forbes Family in Wartime 51

Ballater (RD) Ltd: 11 Ballater RHS: 10

Marie Curie Fundraising Group: 14

Lindsay Gordon History


Rotary Club: 12

National Park Update



Pottering About


Upper Deeside Music: 11

Schoolhouse Again


V&A Halls Trust: 46

The Best Job Ever


Victoria Week: 43

The Green Lady of Birkhall 56 Warning for Hillwalkers 17 World War 1 Research


Handy to have Advertisers Index: 63



Full page: £100; Half page: £50; Quarter page: £25; Eighth page: £12

Thanks are due to Joan Richard for her generous donation to the Ballater Eagle

Discounts on 4 issue series copy can be changed each issue contact Faye Swan at or Tel 55345

Donations are gratefully received, and acknowledged. You can also put money into our tins in the Library or Yules Newsagents.

The Eagle Diary you know What’s Going On June

Every Mon Every Tue Every Wed Sat 7 Sun 8 Mon 9 Sun 15 Thu 19 Sat 21 Tue 24 Thu 26 Sat 28

Coffee Morning at Crathie Church, 10-12.30pm Jazzercise, Albert Hall, 9-10.30am Badminton Club, Crathie Kirk Hall, 7.30pm BRHS Plant Sale on the Green, 9.30am to 12 noon Craft and Vintage Market, Victoria Hall, free entry, 11-4pm 16th NE Classic Commercial Vehicle Run stops in village 12-1.30pm Ballater School Occasional Day Ballater and Crathie Community Council, Mike Sheridan Room, 7pm Bike Balmoral Father’s Day Focus Craft Fair, Victoria Hall, 10.30-4.30pm Ballater Films Movie Quiz II (the sequel!), Deeside Inn, 7 for 7.30pm Floral Art Workshop “Leaf Manipulation” Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Ballater Films presents Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy (tbc), Mike Sheridan Room, 3pm Night ascent of Lochnagar with Balmoral Rangers. Book: 013397 55059 Marie Curie Cancer Care Blooming Great Tea Party, Albert Hall, 2-5pm Royal Deeside Partnership – Growing Your Community Assets, Mike Sheridan Room, 6.30pm with refreshments The Big Vote Card Game, Mike Sheridan Room, 6.30pm with refreshments St Kentigern’s Church Summer Fayre, Victoria Hall, 2pm Bingo in aid of the Pipe Band, Barrel function room, 7.30pm

Every Mon Wed 2 Fri 4 Sat 5 Sat 12 w/b 14 Mon 14 Fri 18 Sun 20 Sat 26 Sun 27 Mon 28

Coffee Morning at Crathie Church, 10-12.30pm Ballater Business Association meeting at Glen Lui Hotel, 7.30pm Ballater School term ends Upper Deeside Music AGM, Glenmuick Church Hall, 10.30am Ballater Films presents Muppets Most Wanted (tbc), Mike Sheridan Room, 3pm BVW Programme Brochure 2014 published and available from many local outlets Ballater and Crathie Community Council AGM, Crathie Church Hall, 7pm Marie Curie Cancer Care Golf Event, Balmoral Golf Course, 12 noon Focus Craft Fair, Victoria Hall, 10.30-4.30pm Bingo in aid of the Rifle Club, Barrel function room, 7.30pm Closing date for entries for the BVW Scarecrow Trail Map Simunye Simunye from Aberdeen Youth Festival (Zimbabwean based arts and theatre group, Victoria Hall, 7.30pm


Are Your Dates Here?

For inclusion in this FREE section of the Eagle, please contact Cat Houston on 55243, 07805 731401 (texts welcome) or

Every Mon Fri 1 Fri 8 Sat 9-17 Sat 9 Sun 10 Mon 11 Tues 12 Thu 14 Sat 16 Sat16/17 Sun 17 Tues 19 Sun 24 Sat 30


Coffee Morning at Crathie Church, 10-12.30pm Copy and advertising date for Autumn Eagle BVW Box Office opens 10am-5pm, Ballater Victoria Week, Box Office open daily (except Thurs) Ballater Films/BVW feature for Crathie Opportunity Holidays, film tba, Albert Hall and Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm BVW Vehicle Parade and Sunday Fayre, Bridge St and Church Green, from 1pm Mad Ferrets Band, Deeside Inn, 9pm BVW Pet Show, Church Green, 1pm Guild Ladies’ Strawberry Tea, Glenmuick Church Hall, 2.30-4pm Ballater Highland Games, Monatrie Park Ballater Angling Club Car Boot Sale, Church Green, 10.30am BRHS Annual Show, Victoria Hall BVW Duck Race, Royal Bridge, River Dee, 11am Victoria’s Got Talent, Victoria Hall, 7.30pm, entry by donation, includes BVW Scarecrow Comp winners announcement Ballater School term begins Focus Craft Fair, Victoria Hall, 10.30-4.30pm Bingo in aid of the Rifle Club, Barrel function room, 7.30pm

Sun 28


Focus Craft Fair, Victoria Hall, 10.30-4.30pm

Post Office Opening Hours

Mon, Tues, Wed: 9am - 5.30pm Thursday - 9am - 12.30pm Friday - 9am - 5.30pm Saturday - 9am - 12.30pm

Ballater Library Opening Hours Sun, Mon & Wed: Closed Tuesday: 10am-1pm, 6.30-8pm Thursday: 2-4pm, 6.30-8pm Friday: 2-5pm Saturday: 10am-12noon

Contact the Eagle

Hand in to the Library  Post to Ballater Eagle, c/o Ballater Library, Ballater, AB35 5QB

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Over the winter months, there has been much going on in Ballater. A new building, formally named Park House, has been constructed at the caravan site to house administrative offices for running the site, and for Ballater (Royal Deeside) Ltd. and Deeside Donside Development Partnership. In the V&A Halls complex, a Community Function Suite with modern kitchen and toilet facilities has been created in the Albert Hall, and there is the possibility that the Bluebird bus garage will be converted into a Cooperative supermarket. In addition, some members of the local History Group, expertly marshalled and mustered by Alistair Cassie, have been assembling, on a site adjacent to the Monaltrie apartments, a refurbished Scotch Derrick crane last used many years ago in the quarries at Tullich. This will be a talking point, and photo-opportunity for visitors and residents alike for some time, I’m sure. All of these things must surely point to a village which is looking to the future, and to providing improved facilities for residents and visitors alike. Ballater has a wonderful core of people willing to “do something” to help make our village an even better and more interesting place to live, and it is to be hoped that the community appreciates the time given and effort expended by them on its behalf. On the other hand, there is considerable concern within the community about the proposals to site a replacement bus garage at the eastern entrance to the village. Only time will tell what the outcome will be there! Meanwhile, Ballater was for some weeks the base for filming “Sunset Song”, that classic work by Lewis Grassick Gibbon, and a number of local people volunteered their services as extras, with a view to indulging their fantasies of becoming recognized stars of the silver screen (well, recognized in Ballater anyway!!) I hope that they enjoyed what must have been an exciting experience. The weather was not particularly kind for filming, but I’m sure that the end result will be eagerly awaited by film buffs in the village. Looking forward, Victoria Week and the Highland Games are on the horizon, with the Games celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1864. I hope that all our readers enjoy a warm, pleasant summer, recharging the batteries ready for whatever life throws at them in the coming months.

Ian Hay

Portrait: Eilidh Gow

Letter from the Editor


Local Group News

A round-up of news from our local groups Got something to say about your group – get in touch

Ballater Songsters by Sheila Rumbles

This wonderful and enthusiastic group have been singing together for over 14 years. Among our numerous engagements we have particularly enjoyed performing during  Victoria Week. Unfortunately, the years roll on for all of us and the stress levels imposed in the preparation for that particular event were becoming too intense. It is therefore with great sadness and regret that we shall not be giving a concert this coming August. We would like to warmly thank all our faithful followers who have supported us throughout the years.  You have all helped to make that annual  concert a grand occasion which has raised substantial sums of money for many worthy causes.  However, we have not completely retired and shall be continuing to offer entertainment to various groups around Aberdeenshire. Once again, on behalf of my singers, a huge “Thank you” to everyone.


by Aileen Barbour Our guest speaker in February was Claire Cameron who gave an informative demonstration on Sign Language. Claire uses the British Sign Language (BSL) and explained different aids that are used to help deaf people. She then handed out leaflets and members were shown how to do simple greetings. Claire was asked to judge the monthly competition which was “4 Peppermint Creams” 1st Thelma Cooper 2nd Diane Wright 3rd Sheena Fraser 4th Liz Emslie. President Anne Richardson welcomed members and guests to our Open Evening in March. Mar y Munro and Sheena Blackhall, in other words

“Twa Doric Quines”, entertained us with songs, recitations and very amusing stories which everyone enjoyed. We had two competitions, Sheena Blackhall was asked to judge a Doric Poem entitled “Mither” 1st Frances Johnstone 2nd Betty Wilson 3rd Margaret Finnie 4th Diane Wright. The second competition, “Small Mother’s Day Basket of Flowers” was judged by Dorothy Smith of Lumphanan WRI 1st Sheena Fraser 2nd Frances Johnstone 3rd Aileen Barbour 4th Thelma Cooper. On 16th April, 2014 Ballater WRI held their business meeting. President Anne Richardson

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welcomed members and representatives from Tarland WRI who conducted the business meeting. Anne thanked the outgoing committee for their support during her time in office as President and also thanked members for attending meetings and making Ballater a welcoming institute. Annette Brown thanked the President and outgoing committee for all their hard work and giving members a varied programme. Tarland WRI entertained us with a poem, two quizzes and gave us all a task to decorate an Easter Egg which was good fun and the winners were 1st Jude Cooper 2nd Sheena Fraser 3rd Diane Wright 4th Margaret Cameron. The new committee was announced comprising President- Margaret Finnie, Vice President - Mary Munro, Secretary - Diane Wright, Treasurer Sheena Fraser, Press Secretary - Aileen Barbour, Magazine Secretary - Margaret Cameron, Raffle - Pat Fraser. Committee - Thelma Cooper and Jan


Ballater Halls Indoor Bowling Club


Sunday Lunch

by Sheila Rumbles


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Williams. Our guests from Tarland WRI judged the two competitions. Competition 1 - “3 Cheese Scones” 1st Frances Johnstone 2nd Thelma Cooper 3rd Diane Wright 4th Liz Emslie. Competition 2 - Mary McPherson Quaich “Baby Bootees” 1st Sheena Fraser 2nd Thelma Cooper 3rd Margaret Finnie 4th Diane Wright. Veronica Houston presented the Mary McPherson Quaich to Sheena Fraser. Anne Richardson presented the remaining trophies - Marjorie Gordon Cup - “3 Sweet Mincemeat Pies” - Frances Johnstone, Evie Murray Rose Bowl - “Jar of Apple Jelly” - Liz Emslie. For most points over the season 1st Frances Johnstone - Lady Pagent Quaich 2nd Sheena Fraser - Lady Pagent Cup 3rd Diane Wright - Iris James Cup. Anne closed the meeting and hoped we would enjoy the coming months until we meet again in September.


Our Winter/Spring Indoor Bowling in the Victoria Halls had its Fun/Closing day for the season on Wednesday 16th April 2014. A good time was had by all. We have had a few new members this year round and hopefully we can maintain that progress when our next session begins on Tuesday 23rd September, 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Come along and join our happy group. Tuition can be given for beginners, who may be assured of a warm welcome.

Ballater Royal Horticultural Society

by Elizabeth Wilson

The Society’s Mini Bulb Show on 7th April attracted an excellent turnout in the Daffodil classes along with some splendid Amaryllis flowers and beautiful Spring floral arrangements which made up for the lack of Cyclamens and Hyacinths. It’s always difficult to estimate the time when bulbs will flower and be at their best. Many entrants spoke of taking their exhibits into a warm room and exposing them to as much light as possible in the hope of getting the flowers to open. Thanks must go to Margaret Glennie and the Speaker for the evening, Lesley Glasser, for judging the exhibits. The show was followed by an illustrated talk on “Pelargoniums”. Lesley portrayed her passion and enthusiasm for Pelargoniums (note NOT Geraniums!) in a light-hearted manner and, despite it being too early in the year to see

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examples of the various species in flower, she told us of the delightful aromas the scented leaf varieties have - chocolate, peppermint, cinnamon, orange and lemon to name but a few! There’s an incentive to plant some if ever there was! May’s meeting, the last of the season, will have taken place by the time this goes to print. Mark Paterson will talk about his time working at the Eden Project. Although many of you may have been to this impressive attraction, it should be interesting to discover more about its evolution, exhibits and upkeep. Remember our Annual Plant Sale takes place at The Hut on the Green on Saturday 7th June, 9.30 am – 12.00 noon. Donations of plants and home produce are vital if we are to surpass last year’s sum of just over £1000. Please come along and bag a bargain. Our outing this year takes place on Wednesday 30th July. Mary-Ann Crichton Maitland has kindly agreed to show us round her stunning, awe-inspiring garden at Daluaine, Rhynie. After lunch at the Kildrummy Inn we will then visit Tillypronie, where Head Gardener, Michael Rattray, will guide us around this much loved local garden. Tea will be served there after the tour. Let us hope for as good a day weather-wise as we had when we visited Glamis last year. The Annual Exhibition and Flower Show on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th August will be here before we know it! HRH Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, has kindly donated a “Summer Flowers” Afternoon Tea Set For Two as our principal raffle prize. This will be displayed in Rowan Antiques a few weeks before the Show. Raffle tickets costing £1 each may also be purchased there or at the Plant Sale. This Show has taken place in the village for almost 140 years and its future depends on entries from both adults and children. Please support this traditional event. Remember that schedules are available from the Library or Rowan Antiques. A cordial welcome is always extended to our members. Refreshments are served after each meeting giving the chance to put more questions to the speaker and catch up with friends. Visitors can attend a single meeting at a cost of £3.

Upper Deeside Music by Maura Erskine & Margaret Glennie

Our Spring programme has continued with a performance by the Williams Duo –trumpet and organ. This was a most stimulating and varied programme. The combination of instruments was quite remarkable and was very well received. In April the Lorimer String Quartet gave a recital. The musicians had all been members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. They gave a lovely concert including works by Haydn, Frank Bridge, Dvorak and some Scottish composers. The Scottish Reed Trio’s concert in May saw a return to the Darroch Learg Hotel with the opportunity to meet together for dinner afterwards. Our Victoria Week concert will be given by the Albanach Duo – two guitars – on 15 August in St Kentigern’s at 7.30 – with music that will appeal to all. Just a reminder about the AGM – Glenmuick Church Hall , 10.30 am Saturday 5 July – all welcome.

Ballater (Royal Deeside) by Jack Coull We are now established in the fine new office block at the Caravan Park jointly with BCE and have named the new building Park House. We were honoured by a visit on 28 April by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay. The photograph, by John Holley, shows the Duke at a tree planting ceremony to mark the official opening, speaking to Double Sandy, Alexander Alexander, who is 100 years old and was one of the staff at the Caravan Park when it was originally opened in the 1950s.The visit went extremely well and all to whom the Duke spoke were delighted. The weather could not have been better. A great deal of work has been involved in the move from Bank House, sorting and transferring files, some 18 years old, shredding those no longer


required. The move has dominated the past few weeks but still left time for several important meetings on the future of the Old School. One of these included a visit to the building armed with torches and guided by members of the committee who had been pupils there themselves. Further progress is being made towards the provision of a Heritage Centre.

Ballater Masonic

Lodge by Doug Bruce Ballater’s Ancient Masonic Lodge of St Nathalan of Tullich-in-Mar, No259, is to celebrate its 200th year in continual existence since its founding in 1815, the year of the Napoleonic Wars. One of our founder members was William Farquharson of Monaltrie, the nephew of Francis Farquharson who founded the town of Ballater. Distinguished members included Col. Alexander Haldane Farquharson of Invercauld, and Ballater silversmith William Robb.

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In 1919 Lodge Royal Braemar was founded in Braemar but became dormant after the Second World War. Some of the then Braemar members affiliated to St Nathalan in Ballater. However Lodge Royal Braemar has been resurrected at Newmachar where it still meets. The Lodge of St Nathalan of Tullich-in-Mar, would be pleased to have sight of anything that relates to Freemasonary in the Upper Deeside area, and, with the owner’s permission would like to take photographs of any such item of interest, for display in the Lodge, as part of the 200 years (2015) celebration of Freemasonary in Upper Deeside. Contact with the Lodge can be made in the first instance by Emailing,

Rotary Update by Mike Powell

Spring is barely with us and we are thinking about summer – but it will hopefully be arriving by the time readers get this edition. Usually the early months of the year are a quiet time for the Rotary Club of Aboyne and Upper Deeside, but not this year. We have recently organised and hosted the primary schools quiz for our area, and this year we are also hosting the area finals. The young musician of the year competition at the academy went well and seventeen talented youngsters entertained a large audience. The winner of the junior section was Lee Taylor on the bagpipes and the runner up was Ellie McLaren who played a medley of traditional tunes on the fiddle. The winner of the senior section was S4 student Ian Leahy who played Allegro Appassionato by Camille Saint-Saens on the cello. The runner up in the senior section was Callum Cruickshank who played accordion and piano. He also accompanied Ellie McLaren for her performance. Ian Leahy, pictured, was performing for the first year in the senior section having been runner up in the junior section last year.

A young photographer competition was also run, in conjunction with the Academy on the theme of “Life on Deeside”. Prizes were awarded for junior and senior sections. The Club are also supporting the “Step Out for Stroke” event in Aboyne These are just a selection of what we get up to. We are also planning to attend seven local highland games and shows that will help us raise funds, including our involvement in the Ballater Games where we look forward to meeting residents and visitors. The money you generously help us to raise each year all goes to worthy causes locally and internationally, including support for the development of young people. As many of you will know the Club meets twice a month at the Glen Lui Hotel - very well served by Susan and her staff, - and twice a month at the Boat Inn in Aboyne. New members are always welcome, so if you would like to know more about what we do, and how to join, or if you would just like to come along to one of our meetings as a guest, please contact me; Mike Powell on 013398 86369 or mike. Ian Leahy, winner of the Young Musician of the Year - Senior Section

Local Access Panel Seeks Volunteers 13 by Ruth Sim

Access Panels are groups of local volunteers, including disabled people, who come together to improve access in their local communities. West Aberdeenshire Access Panel covers the Marr area (Braemar to Banchory, Torphins, Lumphanan, up through Alford to Huntly) and is looking for more volunteers. The panel works in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council Planning Ser vice examining plans or any relevant applications to pubs, hotels, factories, offices, medical centres or schools etc., in fact anywhere that members of the public go for employment or services. This does not just mean access to buildings. Access Panels are increasingly concerned with ‘physical access’ in the fullest sense, including roads, employment, education, transport, the countryside and leisure and recreation. There are Panels in nearly every local authority area across Scotland. Access Panels help their communities in lots

of ways. They create a better physical environment for all by assisting local authorities, public bodies and designers meet their statutory obligations. They promote full social inclusion, empowering all members of the community and by keeping access issues to the fore. The panel is a Charity and meets on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at Bonty Court Aboyne at 1.30pm. Volunteers with personal experience of disability, carers, and those with an interest in access for disabled people are most welcome. You do not need to have prior knowledge of disability issues, as training will be given and you will get your travel expenses. The panel also takes up local issues of access to buildings and services and we give our comments on changes to services such as the Blue Badge Scheme and to speed limits etc. If you would like to help with the panel’s work please contact: Ruth Sim Tel 013397 56029


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Marie Curie Cancer Care Upper Deeside Fundraising Group

Our new group has gone from strength to strength and to date we have raised £1276.33.This money goes to help fund Marie Curie nurses who have been trained in end of life care and not just for cancer, but any terminal illness. The money stays in the North-east. Every £20 pays for 1 hour’s nursing care. Our first event was held at the Bothy. The fundraising team would like to thank Colin and Karen Bruce, who kindly donated their morning’s takings and raised £327.15. We are extremely

grateful for the opportunity we were given and would like to thank everyone who attended. The second event was held at McEwen’s of Perth. The home bakes, bottle stall and raffle raised a magnificent £645.00. Grateful thanks to the owners, to Yvonne MacDonald and her very helpful and enthusiastic staff for making this event such a success. Also thanks to Jonno Tosh for playing his pipes outside the shop. The Great Daffodil Appeal flower pins raised £304.18 in the area. The Blooming Great Tea Party will be held

by Sabine Muir

at the Albert Hall on Saturday 21st June from 2-5pm. We will serve teas with home baking, a bottle stall and a raffle. We are looking for helpers and bakers for the event, so if you could spare a couple of hours or would like to drop off some baking, bottles or raffles, please get in touch with Sabine, Dr Stanley Ewen, Val Norton or Aileen Barbour. Our next big event will appeal to all golfing enthusiasts. They are invited to participate in a round of golf on the Balmoral golf course on Friday 18th July from 12 noon till 4pm. It will be in teams of four or individuals. The price for this is £35 per person, with high tea included. Contact Sabine Muir on 55916 to register or pop into Ballater Library to obtain further information. If anyone would like to join the Marie Curie Cancer Care Upper Deeside Fundraising Group, please get in touch. We are especially looking for people from the Crathie and Braemar area to join us in our fundraising efforts.

Natasha Lloyd

Medical Herbalist Bsc (Hons)

07770 894412 Tuesdays: at the back of the Hair Loft, Netherly Place, Ballater. Please ring for an appointment.

Library News

by Sabine Muir and Faye Swan We are pleased to announce that we have been able to acquire moveable shelving with Planning Gain money. This will enable us to have more room for events, nursery visits, baby rhyme times, craft club and meetings. The shelving should be in place before the Eagle goes to print. We’re very excited about this. We will be having two Homecoming events as part of the Aboyne and Deeside Festival:

Building Ballater

Thursday 31st July from 10am-12 noon. This craft event is for children of all ages. They will be invited to build a model of Ballater from photographs, using recycled materials. Please bring some materials (boxes, tubes, bits and bobs) if you have any. The model village will be displayed in the library during Victoria Week.

Who Are You?

Family History Drop-In event - Friday 1st August from 2-5pm. This is a chance to find out who your ancestors were, using our various family history databases and books available in the branch.

Junior Craft Club

Our Junior Craft Club has been well attended to date. We’d like to thank Thelma van Tienen, who has done wonders helping the Juniors create some beautiful craft work. Some of it can be seen on the Library’s Facebook page. There is a waiting list for children to join. We also had an Easter Crafts session

Bookbug Rhymetimes

Every Tuesday at 11am. We have Rhymetime sessions every Tuesday at 11am, for babies and the under threes. Please come along and join in the fun.

Knit and Natter Group

Every Tuesday from 7pm-9pm. Please join us and bring your knitting, crochet or needlework.

Computer lessons

Basic lessons for beginners can be arranged by request. All welcome, just call to ask about times.

FRASER & MULLIGAN Your local solicitor and estate agent

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Ballater Films is ready to spread its wings and soar into summer following a particularly fantastic and successful spring. A V&A Halls fundraiser in March saw a very happy crowd turn out for Sunshine on Leith. Ticketholders got a real treat, with a fine spread laid on by Bell Macaulay and her halls volunteers, and over £800 was raised for the cause. If you’d like to use Ballater Films to host a special event for your group or charity, get in touch. The Lego Movie on Easter Saturday was our first sell-out and a simply awesome event. By the time the Eagle goes to press filmgoers will have had the opportunity to see the multiaward winning 12 Years a Slave. Our next feature is the magical animation Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy (U) in mid-June (date tbc). We’ve recently introduced a family ticket for our younger-certificated films. For £20 five people, including one or two adults, can see a film, representing a saving of £5. We also have plans to introduce a £20 stampable season ticket, where five standard features can be enjoyed for the price of four. Watch this space and let us know if you have any ideas for making Ballater Films work better for you. We hope to show Muppets Most Wanted (U) in early July to kickstart the school hols, and a blockbuster is promised for Saturday August 9th when Ballater Films will again assist Crathie Opportunity Holidays in raising funds when they host the opening evening event for Ballater Victoria Week 2014. Flick is yet to be decided (after the biopic Grace was pulled from distribution) but hall hire for this event is being sponsored by DP Opticians. Our first fundraiser for Ballater Films itself, The Movie Quiz at the Deeside Inn

Ballater Films

by Ade Scripps Front of house, Ian Hay and chief projectionist Adrian Scripps welcome the hordes to Sunshine on Leith


back in March, raised a stonking £195 and was so much fun we’re going to repeat the experience with The Movie Quiz II (the sequel!) on Thursday June 19th, also at the Deeside Inn. Price is £3 per person with a max of five in a team, there will be fun themed rounds including pictures, audio and sound clips, plus popcorn and raffle. A top night guaranteed for all. Arrive 7pm to secure your table and refreshments. Start 7.30pm. We plan to host a Family Film Quiz in October too, so the kids can get in on the act. A final word of thanks for Alan and Mary Yule and all their staff at Yules Newsagents. They have sold tickets for every film event since Ballater Films started (a task that gets more onerous as more people hear about our fabulous events!) and we could not do half as well without their support. It is appreciated. For details about all our activities see our website at www.ballaterfilms. If you would like to be included in our emailing list for Ballater Films contact to be added. We look forward to welcoming you to the movies soon.

Walkers warned of tick danger Tick Munros - don’t let Munros tick you. Ticking off the Munros is a hugely popular hobby – and healthy too. But walkers and climbers are being urged to make sure that a Munro is the only tick they come home with from their trip. Heather Morning, the Mountain Safety Advisor with The Mountaineering Council of Scotland, is advising hill-goers to check themselves carefully after a day on the hill to ensure they haven’t picked up any unwanted guests. Ticks are small arthropods (related to spiders & scorpions) and are common in vegetated areas in the Scottish hills. They are particularly suited to mild damp climates and therefore thrive on the west coast mountain regions of Scotland. Aside from being a nuisance, ticks carry diseases, including Lyme Disease which can be extremely serious if not diagnosed early. Worryingly, after the mild winter of 2014, the wee beasties seem to be out in force. Heather said: “Last weekend we enjoyed a camping trip over in Moidart in the most stunning weather. Relaxing at the camp site after a day on the hill, we noticed

several ticks on our feet and during the following week found several latched onto our bodies even though we had thoroughly checked ourselves when we got home. The dog didn’t escape either; we have been removing engorged ticks from her for several days now.” Heather recommends that hill walkers are vigilant and take some simple precautions such as tucking trousers into socks or wearing gaiters when on the hill. It’s also well worth taking a good look at yourself when you return home to spot the ticks before they latch on. From experience, they seem to appear even a few days later. If you find one attached to you, remove with a tick hook. If in doubt seek advice from your doctor. If you’ve never had a tick, check out this sixminute video clip to see what they look like and how to safely remove them: hillwalking-essential-video

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3 Braemar Road, Ballater Telephone: 013397 55699 By Appointment to H.R.H.The Prince Of Wales The Duke Of Rothesay Picture Framer Celicall Crafts, Ballater

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Cairngorms National Park Authority by Katrina Farquhar

It has yet again been a busy few months since the Spring Eagle and now that’s us on to summer. I’m delighted that Ballater, Crathie, Braemar and Strathdon have all been awarded orchard trees from the CNPA to mark the 10th anniversary of the national park. There was a huge interest in the scheme and I was delighted to help with the decision as to where the orchards should be planted. A Scottish Scenic Route initiative is in the process of judging at the moment and two places in the park have been shortlisted - Corgarff and Glenshee. It would be great if both are successful. A large audience attended a screening of Wild Thing at the Theatre in Aboyne. This film is supporting children getting out and about into the countryside. Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust has also now gained planning permission for altering the Seven Bridges walk from the Bridge

of Muick towards Ballater, taking walkers and cyclists off the road and making it safer. The CNPA Board all attended a meeting with the Minister of The Environment and Climate Change, Paul Wheelhouse, when he answered a large range of questions. He also assured us of his commitment to national parks and announced the appointment of Paul Easto to the Board of the CNPA. Paul is a director of Wilderness Scotland, an adventure tourism business based in the park, and we shall all look forward to working with him. Of course I can’t have a piece in the Eagle without giving you details of a walk. In March I had spent the morning visiting constituents and went in past Mum and Dad for my lunch. It was a beautiful day so suggested to Mum we could go for a short walk. We went over to Gairnside and parked just opposite Braenalion. There is a land rover track           Open 7 Days 12-2pm and 5pm-11pm

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winding up Geallaig Hill and I had often wondered how far it went. Walk decided, off we set Mum and I with Doddie her dog. The initial part is pretty steep and as is my usual on walks, peching quickly started! The view however is spectacular, especially looking over to Tullich and Sleach. We kept going and then you get to the stage you want to reach the top. It is like being a child again, - “Are we nearly there yet?” - or “Once we reach that bit, it looks like the top!” Well this went on for an hour and we even walked through some snow. Eventually however we did reach the top and saw just a wee bit further on, a cairn, so of course we had to walk over to it. To our surprise it wasn’t a cairn but a well-built stone circle with a pillar of cement in the middle about five feet high and threads in the middle for screwing something into it. Of course my mind was now working overtime and I had no idea what this was. On my return home, my husband gleefully advised me that he knew what it was for. It turns out these structures are called triangulation

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stations, sometimes informally a trig, a fixed surveying point erected by Ordnance Survey. The process began in 1935 with instruments and materials carried up hills on foot in all kinds of weather to assist in the creation of the British national grid reference system which then became the basis of the Ordnance Survey’s new maps. There were several hundred primary trig points and then approximately six thousand secondary trig points to allow for finer detail over short distances. So not only a great walk but I learnt something as well! The views from the top are amazing looking up Deeside, towards Lochnagar, up Gairnside and over to Morven - quite stunning and worth the effort. We walked down the same track and the only word of warning is that some parts are a bit shingly and you have to be careful not to slip. The walk took just over two hours and we were at a leisurely pace as always.

La Mangiatoia Ristorante & Pizzeria

Strathgirnoc Farmhouse South Deeside Road Ballater Tel. 013397 56227 Mobile: 07506951506 Email: Web:

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Balmoral S c ot t i S h h o m e

to t h e

R oya l F a m i ly

Open daily from 1st April until 31st July 2014 Exhibitions, Gardens, Castle Ballroom, Audio Guide, CafĂŠ and Shop. For further information telephone: 01339 742 534

Balmoral Events

by Glynn Jones

Please note that Booking is essential for all the following events. Phone 013397 55059

Saturday 21st June - Night Ascent of Lochnagar Celebrate the sunrise on the longest day of the year. A night time ascent to witness the sunrise from the summit of Lochnagar. A very good level of fitness is required. Spaces on this walk are very limited. The walk is also very weather dependant. We will spend some time at the summit, so lots of spare warm clothes and a warm drink are highly recommended. Meeting point: Crathie Tourist Information Centre. Time: Midnight- 9am Cost : £20 per person Distance: 10Kms (6 miles), ascent 550m (Strenuous mountain walk) Thursday 17th July - Nature Explorers - Children’s Event Join the Balmoral Rangers, for exciting nature activities, storytelling and games. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick Visitor Centre Time: 2.00pm - 4.00pm Cost: Free

Time: 10am- 3pm Distance: 12 Km. No ascent

21 Cost: Free

Thursday 31st of July - Nature Explorers - Children’s Event Join the Balmoral Rangers, for exciting nature activities, storytelling and games. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick Visitor Centre Time: 2-4pm Cost: Free Thursday 7th August - Nature Explorers - Children’s Event Join the Balmoral Rangers, for exciting nature activities, storytelling and games. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick Visitor Centre Time: 2-4pm Cost: Free


Thursday 24th of July - Nature Explorers Children’s Event Join the Balmoral Rangers, for exciting nature activities, storytelling and games. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick Visitor Centre Time: 2.00pm - 4.00pm Cost: Free


Monday 28th July- Caledonian Pine Woodland Celebration Walk A full day’s walk through some of the most magnificent woodlands in Scotland. Learn about the wildlife and management of this iconic habitat. The event is organised as part of the Cairngorms Caledonian Forest Celebration Week. The walk takes place mainly on good vehicle tracks but some uneven and wet ground may be encountered. Keiloch to Crathie, with transport provided back to start point. Meeting point: Keiloch car park

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Thursday 14th August Nature Explorers Children’s Event Join the Balmoral Rangers, for exciting nature activities, storytelling and games. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick Visitor Centre Time: 2-4pm Cost: Free Friday 15th of August - Night hunters and their prey! Get up close and personal with bats and moths. Come and dispel all your fears of these intriguing animals. We will also be among lots of people all over the British Isles recording the moths we find to contribute to this year’s national ‘Moth Night’ survey. Children aged under 16 must be accompanied. Free event organised by Aberdeenshire Council & Balmoral Estate Ranger Services as part of Ballater Victoria Week. Bring outdoor clothing suited to weather,

stout footwear & torch; sunglasses/wide-brimmed hat (to shield eyes from moth trap light) & midge repellent recommended. Meeting place: Sluivannachie car park Ballater Time: 8:00pm- late Cost: Free

Sunday 14th of September The townships of Upper Glen Muick Come and explore the abandoned townships of Upper Glen Muick. Visit abandoned houses, corn kilns and still houses and learn how people survived in this harsh environment over two hundred years ago. A rough mountain walk, off path, with several steep and boggy sections. A good level of fitness is required. Event organised as part of Scottish Archaeology Month. Meeting point: Spittal of Glen Muick visitor centre. Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm Cost: Free Distance: 8kms, ascent 290m

Brian Smith Funeral Services Ltd The only family run and owned funeral director in Aboyne, Banchory and Peterculter

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans Available 317 North Deeside Road, Peterculter Tel: 01224 732530 Huntly Road, Aboyne Tel: 013398 86625 85A High Street, Banchory Tel: 01330 825400

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The Best Job Ever


by Fiona Lees

I moved to Ballater from Fife almost 4 years ago, and have had a few jobs since then, but I can honestly say that working in Ballater Post Office has been a real joy. Everyone has a smile and a kind word. Marney, my daughter and I are now in our 5th month and enjoying every minute. People in Ballater are so friendly and we have found the community spirit amazing. We have had to “learn as we go” and are very grateful to customers who have guided us, shown patience and forgiven our mistakes. The Post Office seems to be a real hub of the community. People come in to do so many things I did not know could be done in Ballater – banking, road tax, premium bonds, insurance, savings - the list goes on. We are not just stamps and parcels. Recently, we had a visit from Ballater Nursery. The children came in to buy stamps and to post

Mother’s Day cards. All of them were very well behaved and a real credit to parents and teachers. We hope to have some photographs on display soon. Marney ran the 10k Balmoral Run in April to raise money for the Archie Foundation. Our customers and friends raised £230 in donations and sponsorship, and we cannot thank you all enough. We have made many new friends here, and the kindness and support of our customers have made working in Ballater Post Office “the best job ever”. I will be very sad if the Post Office moves over to a supermarket counter – that would be the end of an era, but one in which we are very proud to have played a small part.

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Aberdeenshire Council A new area manager has been appointed for Aberdeenshire’s Marr area, ahead of the retirement of the current area manager from the post. Les Allan will soon retire after 14 years as Marr Area Manager. Janelle Clark, the council’s Housing Strategy Manager for the last 11 years, will step into the role after a handover period. The area manager post plays an important role in the council’s efforts to work with local communities, and other partner organisations, to deliver a high standard of services and meet key objectives. The area manager also works closely with local councillors and manages the operation of the local area committee. The planning department in Aberdeenshire Council has been updating the website and initially there were a few problems but by the time you are reading this everything should be working well and make things easier to find particular applications. If however you are having problems please do get in touch. The Renewable Heat Initiative (RHI) is a government scheme which rewards people for generating and using heat from renewable sources such as air-source and ground-source heat pumps, solar (thermal) panels generating hot water and


by Katrina Farquhar

wood-fuel boilers. The scheme was first proposed in 2009 and was designed to replace the system of grants in use at the time. The RHI has been in operation for commercial and industrial properties since November 2011, but the scheme for domestic properties was delayed. Although the capital costs of these installations can be high, the repayments from the domestic RHI should repay this investment, with continued savings over the high costs of fossil fuels such as oil or LPG and electric heating. Payments are based on a property’s estimated heat use and are paid quarterly over seven years. Aberdeenshire Council has long been an advocate of renewable heat as a means of reducing both the authority’s and the region’s CO2 emissions. Wood fuel in

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general maintenance inside and out, gutter cleaning, garden tidying, chimney sweep, etc.

Strathgirnoc Farmhouse South Deeside Road Ballater Tel. 013397 56227 Mobile 07506951506


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particular is promoted by the council as beneficial to both the environment and the local economy. For advice on the domestic RHI, home energy efficiency and other government schemes such as the Green Deal, contact Home Energy Scotland free on 0808 808 2282 or visit theEnergy Saving Trust Website. The extra seasonal garden waste recycling point at the roads depot Ballater will operate again this year from April 19th until November 8th every Saturday from 8-11am. New waste services are being rolled out throughout Aberdeenshire at the moment. It will be autumn before Deeside is changed but Donside will be moving to the new service in May. We will see a totally new service of a recycling, food waste and general waste bin. On one week we will get general waste and food waste collected then the following it will be recycling and food waste. Every household will get this service including all rural areas. However glass will have to be recycled at recycling points in villages by everyone. Every household will receive letters advising of the changes. The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 (the Act), came into force on 1 April 2014. The Act is aimed at resolving disputes between neighbours over the height of garden hedges. The legislation is intended to provide a solution to problems caused by hedges which grow over two metres tall, and block out light. The legislation will give homeowners and occupiers of domestic properties a right to apply to a local authority for a high hedge notice, and empowers local authorities to enforce decisions made in relation to high hedges in their local area. There remains however an expectation that neighbours should take all reasonable steps to resolve the issue themselves. There may be occasions when this isn’t possible. In those situations, the Act will allow, upon the paying of an appropriate fee, owners or residents of domestic properties to make an application to their local authority to intervene, and if the hedge is a barrier to light, then action can be taken. If you have an enquiry relating to High Hedges please contact highhedges@

Tall Tales


I saw a stinky tiger lion With lots and lots of toes He was eating lots of pies While trying to compose. No, you never, you never. I did. I saw a big fat giant With some twenty carat gold He was eating stinky cheese With lots and lots of mould. No, you never, you never. I did. I saw a humongous child With yellow and red skin He was raking through A big, big, big, big dustbin. No, you never, you never. I did. by Jozef Pawukiewicz (age 8)

Allan Milne Joiners

63 Golf Road, Ballater, AB35 5RU Tel: 013397 55861 Mob: 07811774942

E-mail: Established 1984

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A Normal Sort of Day

Friday November 22 2013 was a normal sort of day. I was at home, preparing a presentation due to be given that evening while my wife, Natalia, an anaesthetist based at ARI, had a day off and was to go into Aberdeen for a couple of hours. I was in a telephone conference with the CNPA when she and our son set off but she left a note asking me to pick up Sasha from our child-minder at 12.30; she would be back for a late lunch. A normal day. I put Sasha to bed at about 1.00 and went on with the presentation. The ring at the door at about 2.30 was a distraction but also a break from the computer. Two policemen stood outside. My immediate thought was that I had done something which required me to assist with enquiries and rather think I asked them whether I had been naughty. No, they said, may we come in? Then I remembered that I had given a witness statement about a stolen vehicle and decided that was the issue. Even when we went through to the sitting room and they asked me to sit down, the real reason for the visit didn’t occur to me. And it only slowly sank in when one of them said, gently, that there had been an accident at Garlogie. There was then the drive to A&E trying to remember how to get to ARI without going through Garlogie as the road was still closed; the incredible kindness of the staff at A&E; seeing Natalia before they took her to theatre; the long wait until she was taken to Intensive Care sometime after midnight; the shock of the staff in that unit as she had been working there the previous week. No one really knows for sure how the accident happened, despite careful investigation but Natalia emerged with various broken bones, bruising and contusions and, most worryingly, with serious brain injury. She was in intensive care for some three weeks and then was transferred to the neurological ward. The process of healing has been long; she cannot move nor does she yet respond in any meaningful way. But towards the end of April she was strong enough to transfer again, to Woodend and the start nd

by Peter Argyle

of intensive rehabilitation. Through all of this I have been deeply touched by the kindness and care shown by so many people; by the police officer in charge of the incident; by the staff in intensive care and in the ward; by the people who have written and telephoned or stopped me in the street; by the countless offers of help I have received from friends, colleagues, neighbours. To all of them, a heart-felt thank you from Sasha and from me. There is no prognosis but general agreement that the road to recovery for Natalia will be long and difficult; helping her along that road is a priority for me but my part in it is limited at this stage. Our son is also a priority – and he is doing well although he hasn’t seen his mother for over six months – which makes attending evening meetings very difficult. Apart from those evening meetings, I am attending to everything within my roles as councillor and board member of the CNPA and am more than happy to assist or support in any way that I can. So thank you all and please do get in touch if I can help.

Counting Blessings

by Betty Wilson

I don’t like being 92 – the rot begins to show! Where the energy has gone, I really do not know. I wake up in the morning, as stiff as stiff can be, My head, and neck, and shoulders don’t belong to me. My aching back and wonky hips would rather stay in bed, Get-up-and-go has left me, it has got up and fled! My little legs won’t go because they’re either numb or sore, My toe nails are like talons, I can’t reach them anymore. I have my wheels with seat attached when to the shops I go To get my weekly messages, with painful steps and slow. All because of 92 – it really would be fine If I could change the figures, and go back to 29. Looking on the bright side, it is quite plain to see That many people in the world are far worse off than me. I do not have Alzheimers, Angina or Arthritis, Anorexia, Asthma, or indeed Appendicitis. And that is just the As, there’s much more I haven’t got, I can find a thousand reasons to be happy with my lot. So far, no floods or power cuts, no wars or riots here, Much we can be thankful for, not so much to fear. For friends and relatives who care, for laughter and for fun, Thank the Lord for everything, God bless us every one.

amy muir


Digital Image Restoration Slide and Negative Scanning Instant Photo Printing Passport Photos Film Developing VHS & Cinefilm to DVD Photo Shoots Portraits/Weddings Cards, Prints and Postcards Camera Accessories

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Cairngorms National Park by Grant Moir

This year marks the 100 anniversary of John Muir’s death. Often seen as the Father of National Parks he was an exceptional naturalist, explorer, mountaineer, botanist, writer and proud Scot. He continues to be an inspiration to all who love and seek to conserve our wild places (also probably the main reason most conservationists have beards!). His influence in America was extraordinary, he had the ear of President Theodore Roosevelt who visited him to Yosemite and together they laid the foundation of Roosevelt’s innovative conservation programs. During his presidency Roosevelt signed into existence five national parks, 18 national monuments, 55 national bird sanctuaries and wildlife refuges, and 150 national forests John Muir lived in a simpler time, but in our digital and fast paced world how do we inspire the young people of today to have a passion for nature and the wild places? How do we encourage a th

young mind to engage with nature and want to make a difference? Last month, the successful Cairngorms Nature Festival was about getting people of all ages out enjoying nature and encouraging them to experience the unique environment of the Park first hand. Events ran across the whole Park and the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve was the main hub in Deeside, with a fun-packed day of activities from dawn chorus walks to mud pie making. Thanks to all those partner organisations that helped to make it happen and to all those that attended. Later this year we are undertaking a roadshow in the key cities around this Park to reach people who live on the doorstep of this area. Hopefully this will inspire them about nature and encourage them to visit the Cairngorms National Park and take an interest in this outstanding place of beauty.

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Managing Director Peter Henderson Email:

This month sees Aboyne Academy pupils joining the 2014 Cairngorms National Park Junior Ranger scheme. This inspirational programme is managed by rangers and gives the pupils hands-on experience of looking after our Park through conservation tasks and outdoor activities. It aims to develop positive, cooperative and social skills, and to encourage the active citizenship of young people. At the end of the five days the participants graduate as Junior Rangers and achieve the John Muir Discover y Award, with the opportunity to do a follow-on course to build on and develop their knowledge. There is the potential to then participate in International Camps and Exchanges and even act as Youth Ambassadors for the Cairngorms National Park.


This programme, along with the Cairngorm Outdoor Adventure Programme, offers an experience and sense of achievement. The future of the Cairngorms National Park lies in the hands of those who live and work here and those who visit. We can’t all be as influential as John Muir perhaps, but we all have a responsibility to look after this outstanding place for nature. John Muir left a lasting legacy because of his personal drive and beliefs, we need individuals like him to inspire a passion for National Parks in our young people today. I hope the Cairngorms Nature campaign or the Junior R anger and Outdoor Adventure Programme will inspire such an individual to carry the passion to the next generation.

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Aberdeenshire Council by Geva Blackett

Aboyne Academy confirms that 80% of students who leave the school, leave the area and don’t return. While it is good for young people to go out and explore the wider world, it is a potential sociological disaster if none of them return. Whose children will fill our schools; look after our increasingly ageing population; what happens to the support offered by extended families? The lack of affordable housing lies at the root of this haemorrhage. Unless you live here, how can you understand how unique the communities of Upper Deeside and Donside are – or how remote we are? We have to PROVE there is a need for more affordable housing. Everyone who lives in private rented accommodation and – really importantly, a tied house - should be on the Housing List (you just don’t know what the future holds). If your house is tied to employment, what happens when

you want to retire, but you don’t want to move away from your friends and the community you have grown to love? When young people reach 16 years of age, they should be encouraged to put their names on the list – instead of believing the mantra “You will never get a house here” which is drummed in from the age of about 14! So please encourage your friends, your family, your children, your grandchildren to go to www. and put themselves on the housing list as soon as possible! So we can show the real demand For communities to really have the power to shape their futures, housing is crucial and that is why I am extremely active in pulling together those who can make community ownership happen for US! There will shortly be an Event hosted by the Royal Deeside Partnership (the umbrella organisation for Ballater Royal Deeside, Braemar Community Ltd and Mid Deeside Ltd) at which

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examples of existing community housing ownership will be given. Then workshops will take place to help the individual communities focus on how they might want to progress this initiative, and assistance will be given to draw up a ‘map’ of how to deliver. Of course community consultation will be key before any definite decisions are made but we have to start the ball rolling. You may also be aware that there is a recruitment crisis in Aberdeenshire. Young teachers cannot afford housing because as we all know, a mix of oil money and 2nd home ownership has forced up the cost of housing. Engineer recruitment is also a problem for the council, and while jobs are unfilled, vital services don’t get delivered! Recently I met with the Head of the Council’s Human Resources and we had an idea… If some of those second home owners in our communities could be persuaded to rent their houses (short term) to the council, we could house the teachers and the engineers - and the owners would get some rent for their property and know the house was being kept warm for when they wanted to use it. This idea is now being discussed at high level in the council – but once again, I am going to ask YOU to help! Alastair Cassie (55396) is going to collate a list of seldom used properties to hand over to the council – if you know of one (or more) PLEASE let him know! If you know who the owner is, all well and good  –  but if you don’t, that’s not a problem- we can find out. With people living in these houses – albeit short term – the shops will find themselves busier. So please help Alastair to help me to help the council to help Ballater! Many of you will know Les Allan, the Marr Area Manager for many years, is retiring in June. Les has been an endless source of patience, funding advice and information. He will be greatly missed by many and I am sure everyone wishes him a long and happy retirement. He leaves big shoes to fill of course. Janelle Clark, who has been selected as his successor, has been employed by Aberdeenshire Council for a good number of years, most recently as the Housing


Strategy Manager. I suggested to her she might like to attend a community council meeting and start to meet the people and hear the issues. Hopefully we will have a Ballater date in the autumn – which gives her a few months to start to fill those big shoes! I hope you all have a really great summer – and please contact me anytime if you need help or advice.


Tel: 013397 55997 Mobile: 07821 746756 email: web:

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Pupils have been working hard learning about and enjoying life to the full. Thank you for all your comments and photos!



Caitli at th e P7 n Abi – R - I didn’ st t reall We g ot to y wan houg good k t t n ht h o The P7 pupils at Ballater recently Iona- at we all m w people to go but it I reall from w ix as re e d y like other u Caitli hosted the annual P7 Country Dance d all t p. nL– schoo ally good h I . H ls and e f e a danc el m nnah evening. Around 85 P7s from 7 it was Ciara - It wasn’ ore confid es e t n n of the Aboyne Network primary again I met a fe scary like t about go . I w peo ing to schools attended the event. The Louis ple I a thought it e- It w would the academ m loo S a k be y s nice ing fo ophie event has been held for around r ward . Jonas - I admired to see pe to se thirty years as a way of giving the ople in - I like a rea e in g Katie lly nic d mee their - It w P7 pupils from all the Aboyne as re ting lots o e skir t wit posh cloth ally g e s. ood a f differen h cats on Academy feeder primaries an tp it. nd i m et a lo eople opportunity to meet before they t of n ice pe ople make the move to Aboyne in August. With

Aboyne Network Country Dance

music provided by The Eddie Esson Band and the evening run by PE teacher Mrs Munro the P7s reported that they had very much enjoyed themselves and the opportunity to meet potential new class mates. We hope this is a tradition we are going to be able to continue but with a re-organisation of Specialist Teachers within Aberdeenshire Council it may be more difficult to organise and prepare for in the future.


r School Ballater School Talent Show

The pupils of Ballater School Pupil Council have recently hosted a talent show as a fund raiser for their chosen charity this year. Their charity is Morning Star Children’s Centre in South Africa which is a centre for 140 children who have the HIV/ Aids infection. The children come to the centre to receive medicine, nutritious meals, clothing and lessons. The Pupil Council decided a talent show would be a fun activity and hopefully would raise lots of money to help the South African children. Auditions were held back in February/March and the talent show final was held on Friday 2nd May in front of an audience of children and parents. The fourteen acts took to the stage on front of judge, Pandy Arthur and the event compere was Brad Arthur. The audience was entertained with a selection of singers, dancers, gymnastics, instrumental acts, poetry recitals. The winners were Sahil Panwar, Thomas Petrie, Hannah Thom and Katie Hendry. Well done to all the youngsters who entered the show. It was obvious lots of hard work had gone into all the acts. Thank you also to Pandy and Brad Arthur and to the Pupil Council for planning and organising the event. Donations to the Morning Star Children’s Centre can still be made at the school office.

Activity Time

With the builders having finally moved out we are at last able to run Activities again at Ballater School. The sessions run weekly on a Thursday afternoon and offer all pupils from P1 to P7 the opportunity to try something new and learn new skills both practical and social. with a different adult and with a different group of children. This term there are eight activities: running, knitting, tennis, eco art, craft, athletics, clay, gardening and hockey. An important part of activities ks. n a d b i y t is that we are able to welcome helpers g u b a ig ils s n, we are making p craft, it is messy p u from the wider community to assist e p ft is lots of fu piggy banks in h t t a e r school staff with the groups. We h c Whahe paper mache in eally fun making t g. n li b ib r already have quite a few helpers r T ses and d Lexi P6- 5 – I think it is push pas ies. P o n d this term but if anybody thinks o o is t d d w it ho Ma learning to learn at Activ . e . r n n a they would like to be involved u u f e f d w y o go reall port ckey , this is d different we would be delighted to hear 5 – In ho nnis is a good s eally healthy! s P r e y e w v lo r f a H te an ild re r – I think e nice w children ivities a from you. Feedback from Myles P5 Some of the Act are growing som ork with other – w e 5 o w P t g n t a e in g pupils after only two sessions g n e e e M rd w e when 5 - In ga this term has been very positive and Jasmin P I think it is nic – Lizzie P5 I have been told it is the part of the week that many o. o t s adult children look forward to most!


Ballater History Group - World War I Research by John Burrows

The Ballater History Group is researching the dead of the First World War named on our memorial with a view to recording each story and producing a narrative and pictorial record. If you are related at all to the any of the following, could you please make contact with John Burrows ( at 15 Pannanich Road, telephone 53244) to share your information. Obviously any mementoes if offered up for inclusion will only be borrowed or copied and duly returned. (See the list of names opposite) To give Eagle readers a flavour, let me tell you what we know about a lad of uncertain age who was the son of John and Jane BEGG of Little Mill, Glenmuick. His name was Alexander Begg, and it seems he was born at Birse but his recorded age on the Scottish War Memorials at time of death is “?8”. He was obviously a keen By appointment to HM the Queen Purveyor of Meat and Poultry

loon as he was a 1914 enlistee getting his initial regimental number of 3018 on being signed up with the 7th (Deeside Highland) Territorial Force BN, Gordons. He sailed for France with the 7th Gordons on 2nd May 1915 landing at Boulogne on 3rd May 1915. He was awarded the 1914 -1915 Star. Prior to March 1917 (actual date unknown) he was transferred to the 4th (City of Aberdeen) TF BN Gordons and in March of 1917 his regimental number was changed to 202629. Then on 23rd April 1917 he was killed in action at Arras and was put to rest at Brown’s Copse Cemetery, Roeux, France Plot II Row F Grave 36. As mentioned earlier he was posthumously awarded the 1914-1915 Star, then the 1914 - 1920 War Medal and the WW1 Victory Medal.

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Lt. Col.Geo. J.HAYNES Lt. James HARVEY

Maj. John PROCTOR Lt. (Capt) William YOUNG

Capt. Gordon J. RENNIE R.S.M. Scott BARTLEMAN

Co.Sgt Maj Donald COUTTS Pte John COUTTS (Crathie Pte Robert Edward COUTTS Pvt Angus STEWART

L/Cpl Henry COUTTS Pte Edward COUTTS Pte John COUTTS (Glengirnaig Post Office) Sgt. James SPENCE Sgt. Arthur STEWART Cpl William A.GOLDIE Cpl. George H. LEDINGHAM

L/Cpl William ANDERSON

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L/Cpl Robert ROSS Pvt. James A. ROSS Pte Alexander BEGG Pte William CAMERON Pte Allan Mackenzie COPLAND Pte Peter Ferris DAVIDSON Pte Walter DAVIDSON Pte David DONALD Pte Robert DUGUID Gunner John FARQUHARSON Pte Peter S.FARQUHARSON Pte William FERRIER (FERRIES) Pte Robert GIBSON Pte James GRANT Pte John MARR Pte Gordon M. MICHIE Pte Charles Campbell MORGAN Pte Frederick MORRICE Pte Arthur Farquhar MORRISON Pte William MORRISON Pte George NAUGHTON Pte Alexander McLean PATERSON Pte Davis A.PORTER Pte Andrew REID Gnr. William RETTIE Dvr John M ROBERTSON Dvr John K.K. ROBERTSON Pvr Charles SKENE Pvt Gordon SPENCE Pvt Alex STEPHEN Pvt James W. STRATH Pvt Adam STURTON Pvt George WHYTE

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To get an idea of his final day, I have looked at the 51st Highland Division ’ s report of 23rd April as the 4th Battalion of the Gordons were transferred to 154th Brigade in 51st (Highland) Division. “The Battle of Arras began at 05:30 on 9th April and the Brigade had been involved from the start with the first phase having been concluded 11-12th April with the division being relieved, but three days later they were back in the line and then on the 23rd, the division took part in the attack on Roeux and the chemical works between Fampoux and Plouvain with jump off time 04:45. It appears that initial success was met by determined counter attacks in what has been described as “the most savage infantry that the Division took part in”, with both sides fighting to a standstill. On the night of 24-25th April (with the exception of the 6th Seaforths who could not be extracted) the Divi-

sion was relieved by the 34th Division. During the month of April they lost 214 officers and 4,382 other ranks killed, wounded and missing. An account of the day given by Robert Lindsay Mackay talks of this being a “Black Monday” and typically underplays the heroism “Our attack was a failure. The barrage was too fast and of the wrong nature and our men were mown down by guns and by M.G. fire. All the officers except Tobermory, A.G.Cameron and S.G.Mitchell were either killed or wounded. A.G. got 500 yards forward and into a gun pit with a few men, where I found him next morning.....” You will note the surname Ross appears on the list. This group of men, along with Lt. James Harvey are proving to be a difficult group to identify so any help from readers will be greatly appreciated - however small. Thank you for whatever you submit.

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Crathie News

by Karen Garioch

Parish of Crathie & Braemar

Our service programme is now back to normal after the alternate services over the winter with the Braemar church service at 09.45am and the Crathie church service at 11.30am on Sundays. Our churches are also now open to visitors Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1pm to 4pm where you can learn all about the history of both the church and life in the Victorian era. The annual church sale of work will be held in Braemar this year with a date in August being advertised later on in the season. Crathie Monday Morning Cafe

The Crathie Monday morning café has started again for this year from 10am to 12.30pm in the Kirk Hall. We look forward to welcoming back our loyal friends who support us year after year and also to meeting new friends. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers for the wonderful

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home baking they do every week and for those who give up their Monday mornings to help out. If you haven’t been before, why not bring along some friends and join us for some tasty home bakes and a good old fashioned chin wag! Crathie Book Club

The book club has not managed to meet up this year but hopefully a gathering will be organised in the near future. If anyone has any queries meantime, please contact Karen on 013397 42344. Crathie Badminton Club

At the beginning of the year, we started a Badminton club at Crathie Kirk hall on a Wednesday evening from 7pm onwards. This has proved so popular that we now play also on a Friday evening from 7.30pm. Anyone is welcome whatever their standard. It is great fun and also good exercise! For more details please contact Karen on 013397 42344 or Allan on 013397 55061. Crathie Opportunity Holidays

Crathie Opportunity Holidays would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in becoming a Friend of COH. This could involve helping out at some of our events, or joining the team who host our coffee mornings for guests, or just a bit of gardening. If you would like to join us, please contact Maggie MacAlpine on 013397 42100.


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Crathie School News

We have had a really good term at Crathie School where we have been learning about our local environment, Fairtrade and working on our Eco School projects. Morgan (P6) has written a report on our orchard planting and Caribbean day. See the photo overleaf of Rowan Addy receiving her award for winning the Cairngorm National Park orchard art design competition. She is pictured with Head Teacher Mrs Field. Lewis (P5) has written about our recent Bingo Night fundraiser. In just one week at Crathie we celebrated World Book Day by sharing our favourite stories, Unicef Day of Change and had some Caribbean themed fun with the mums and toddlers! We have been working in new reading groups and taking on the Times Table challenge. The children have also been writing spring poems. This term we are learning more about the

UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child, planning our own Commonwealth Games and learning more about Scottish animals and plants in our “Really Wild� project! These are some of the things we have been enjoying recently.

Anim The als b The irds ar e sin lamb Wat g s chin are pra ing and g an Natu n flyin cing im g (Mor re is ful als mak and dan . l of c gan e life. s me h ing. P6) appy .

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“Really Wild” project

We have been searching for signs of wildcats, pine martins and otters. We found an otter footprint and some otter pooh so we set up a camera trap and now we have some otter pictures. We have been catching lots of animals and birds on our camera traps which we have laid around the local area. We are planning to make a film with the pictures we have taken.

Childrens News

Sun Spring is sun, Spring is colourful, Spring is happy, Spring is fun. Class Collaborative Poem

Crathie Bingo Night

On Tuesday 22 April we had a bingo night at the church hall at 6:30 to raise money for the school. It was all organised by the parents and community. There was tea and home baking at the break with Easter eggs and biscuits and Easter themed cakes. We played 6 games of bingo, lots of people won egggciting prizes! At the end of the bingo there was a raffle there were lots of prizes to win like wine and yummy Easter eggs. We raised over £600, everyone enjoyed themselves. IT WAS FUN! By Lewis P5

Da Sno ffodil wdr s ar Flowe rs ops e y Ros are ellow. Spr es a white ing re n . is b ice. r (Eu ight . an P3)

I liked planting our orchard. I like painting animals and birds and flowers. I am good at my number work and the 3 times table. I like going swimming. I like playing with the bubble rocket. I am good at my maths and my ten times table. At school I like feeding the birds. I like taking pictures of animals. I am really happy because I have 4 rosettes for my horse riding. I like it because I race. My horses are called Holly and Max. Max is big. Holly is little. Riding is amazing.

Josh P1 Emilie P3 Curtis P4 Rowan A P1 Rowan F P1 Euan P3 Fraser P1 Zara P1 Islay P2

Caribbean Day

On Thursday 6th of March we had an amazing Caribbean day. We all dressed up in bright colours and we had all made funny looking hats to wear. The mums and toddlers came too and we all had a Caribbean lunch. Our topic was Fair-trade and we made fruit smoothies and fruit salad for the Caribbean day. Lewis, Kirk and I presented our Fair-trade projects to let people know how we can help by choosing Fair-trade goods. We all danced to a Caribbean version of the song “5 monkeys jumping on the bed�. I was giving out banana and a pineapple smoothies and Kirk was giving out the fruit salad. The dancing was active fun. All together the afternoon was a funky, refreshing and a very healthy afternoon! We designed our own hats! Morgan P6 J

Crathie School Orchard

by Morgan P6, with Rowan A and Rowan F P1

Some people from the Cairngorm National Park came to our school. They came to help us plant our orchard. First of all we picked out our tree. The choices were apple, crab apple and pear. We picked an apple tree. Then we dug a hole for a tree. In my group Rowan A, Rowan F were raking the mole hills. I was digging the hole and putting the stake in, then we planted the tree. We put a buckle around tree and the stake to protect it from the wind and then we put the clear plastic cover around the tree. After that we put the plastic black cover, over the ground to stop the weeds getting any water. Now we just have to wait for the fruit!

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Spring Bud is my buddy. Worms are so muddy. Spring is a joy. I am a boy! (Kirk P6)

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Other News from Crathie Crathie Opportunity Holidays

Just before the First World War destroyed a generation and divided Europe for almost a century, an Aberdeenshire farmer in Belhelvie, Thomas Mitchell, wrote down his thoughts on how to live a good life as a series of essays to be delivered to the Mutual Improvement Society of Newburgh. These essays have now been published in book form and all Royalties from sales of the book will go to Crathie Opportunity Holidays. The book is entitled “Essays on Life by Thomas Mitchell, Farmer” and is published by Vagabond Voices at £8.95. Copies are available from COH direct and from Deeside Books, Ballater. Crathie Opportunity Holidays would still be delighted to hear from anyone interested in becoming a Friend of COH. This could involve helping out at some of our events, or joining the team who host our coffee mornings for guests, or


just a bit of gardening. These are not onerous tasks and Friends come along when they can. If you like to join us, please phone Maggie MacAlpine on 013397 42100. We will be hosting a Sunday lunch and auction at Balmoral in November and further details of this event will follow in due course. As always, thank you to all our local friends and supporters.


Lunch served 12-2pm Evening meals 5pm-9pm En-suite accommodation Children welcome Local real ales In the Good Beer Guide 2013 Bridge Square, Ballater 013397 55376


Evacuees at Crathie This photograph, supplied by Sandy Fraser, is of 2 evacuees at Crathie School during World War II, receiving coats which had belonged to Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. The taller one is Betty Murphy who lived with the Frasers at Balnacroft, while the other is Isa Kelly who lived at Easter Balmoral with the Keirs

The Ballater Eagle – An Ode

by Lionel Mann

The Ballater Eagle soars over the Grampians, A colourful raptor of news it is said, The only bird of prey with a diary, Dates, news, reports and a letter from the “Ed”.

Dinnet, Tulloch and Abergeldie Castle Scarecrows, Pottering and Floral Art. The Dalmochie lumberjack, Indoor Bowls, Even Besom Jamie played his part.

Contacts, group news and Library stories. Advertisements, even police reports, Everything from Crathie to the Cambus. Rotarian updates and a plethora of allsorts!

Walking Festivals and cycling events, The Victoria & Albert Hall, Council, Post Office and the National Park This erudite Eagle finds room for all.

Feedback from the Brownies and the Schools. Ballater and Crathie children have their say, Victoria Week and the Highland Games, That iconic Hill race on that testing brae!

The Ballater Eagle flies into our lives, Full of fun, news and information, Delivered to each household and subscriber, Received with interest and appreciation! Thank you!

(Editor’s Note: Lionel, who lives in Bedfordshire, has been a regular subscriber to the Ballater Eagle for many years.)

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Victoria Week

by Cat Houston

BVW 2014 looks set to be a corker with lots of new events and twists on old ones. This year has seen lots of new volunteers and supporting businesses join the team that makes BVW happen, so we’re all really excited about what August 9-17th has in store. See our new-look website at for updates and details on the latest programme.


We’ve had some exciting developments with the Duck Race…Back in March, Crathie’s Royal Lochnagar Distillery (Diageo) kindly awarded BVW £250 from its Local Citizen Fund, which enabled us to buy more ducks (adding the new colours of purple and dark blue to the mix) to use in the Duck Race, which this year is scheduled to take place by the Royal Bridge in Ballater on Sunday August 17 at 11am. Just as exciting is the “adoption” of each of the now eight duck colours by individual local groups, who will help sell the race tickets in order to raise money for their particular group, charity or cause.


The colours have been allotted as follows: Pink – CLAN Cancer Support Red – Charitable Chiels (for BVW) Purple – V&A Halls Redevelopment Light Blue – Deeside Cats Protection Dark Blue – Ballater School Parent Council Green – Ballater Royal Horticultural Society White – St Kentigern’s Church’s White Ducks of Peace The black Ninja ducks will remain under the wing of BVW as they are just too dangerous to be let loose. Consequently we hope that duck race tickets in all colours will be available to buy across the village from someone you know at least a month or so before BVW as well as in the Box Office during the week itself (tickets of each colour will be kept back so that there will be some available to buy when the BVW Box Office opens on August 8). The ticket price will remain the same at £2.50 each, with a top prize of £250. All you need to do now is pick your team! See website or contact us for more details. Thanks to our cash prize sponsors the Charitable Chiels, Visit Ballater and India on the Green.


Even more exciting than that is the news that the Right Reverend Dr Robert Gillies, Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church for Aberdeen and Orkney (aka Bishop Bob) has agreed to wade into the waters of the Dee and bless the ducks before they take off on their adventure down the river. BVW is delighted to have the duck race made divine in this way and is sure Ballater will make Bishop Bob very welcome. Scarecrows

It’s time to get your thinking caps on. The Ballater Victoria Week Scarecrow Competition has produced some fantastic creations over the past three years and every year they get better. Homes, businesses and groups from across the village get together (and compete with each other!) to put on the most fabulous displays during Victoria Week and around £400 is raised every year for local good causes through Scarecrow Map Trail sales. There is no theme, so we have seen ET, Jaws, and Eliza Doolittle; Humpty Dumpty, choir boys and dog surgeons; The Stig, Spongebob and a stag solicitor. Perhaps this year your scarecrow could reflect Scotland’s Year of Homecoming, the impending Independence vote, or the Commonwealth Games… Either way, BVW is looking forward to seeing what the creative folks of Ballater come up with, and to help you enter, we’ve included the Scarecrow Competition entry form in this edition of the Eagle. Extra forms are also available across the village in Rowan Antiques, Bean For Coffee, and Ballater Library. There are cash prizes for the house category winners, thanks to Wee Jim Landscapes, Carol Downie and Edward Emslie House Furnishers, and a shield for the year for the Business winner (also thanks to Carol Downie). Ballater Highland Games has also added a trophy, more details on that soon… Deadline this year to enter is Sunday July 27, more details on the form.


BVW was bowled over by the response to its Design a Tartan Competition, the winner of which was announced in April. We had over 30 entries, and some very creative designs came forward. Ultimately judges Cllr Geva Blackett, Moira Bruce of The Silver Thistle and BVW’s Ian Wisely plumped for a purple, black and yellow design by nine-year-old Lizzie Scripps. We are a little embarrassed that the winner was to be found so close to the BVW camp but can only say her parents were not involved in the judging, which was also done blind! Big thanks to all those who took part and to our judges. Lizzie’s design is now in development so that we can get it registered and used in print and fabric, but an example of how it could look is pictured below. If you would like to know more about BVW 2014 or get involved in helping events happen, or perhaps sponsor a prize or event, see our website at, email, find us on Facebook or call 013397 55243.

Be Amused. Well done to Lizzie Scripps and her winning tartan design

What the registered tartan might look like once its made into material...

In conjunction with Ballater Royal Horticultural Society

Ballater Victoria Week Scarecrow Competition Entry Form 2014

Make a scarecrow on any theme and display it outside your Home, Business or Society venue during Victoria Week (9-17 August 2014). Entry is free. Maps with voting forms will be sold from the Box Office and folk will get the chance to explore the village and vote on their favourites. The three category winners will be announced at the Victoria’s Got Talent Show on Aug 17th; entry to that event is by donation. Cash prizes of £100, £50, £25 for the Home Category winners! Business shield trophy!

Closing date for entries to be included on the Map is Sunday 27 July. Name ..................................................................................................... Address ................................................................................................. Email ..................................................................................................... Tel No ................................................................................................... Scarecrow Name .................................................................................. Location ................................................................................................ Category: Home ....... Business ....... Society ....... (please tick) Post or hand in to 17 Hawthorn Place, Ballater, AB35 5QH For further details or to enter online go to: email:

Cash Prizes Kindly Sponsored by: 1st Wee Jim Landscapes 2nd Carol Downie Unisex Hair Stylist 3rd Edward Emslie House Furnishers Thank you!


46 Victoria and Albert Halls (Ballater)

Trust by Bell Macaulay

Were you an “extra” in the local filming of “Sunset Song”? If so, you will be aware that the Halls were used as casting location, costume store, make-up room and more! Ballater residents clearly hide their talents under numerous bushels – I scarcely recognised some folks! All this added to a very busy time for the Halls, with bookings at an all-time high – Faye Swan who takes our bookings keeps the on-line calendar updated – take a look at The new Victoria & Albert Halls (Ballater) Trust held its inaugural meeting on Friday 9th May, following an Open Day which gave the community an opportunity to learn future plans by Aberdeenshire Council and the Cairngorms National Park Authority, as well as information from a wide range of local groups - no-one should be bored in Ballater! Did you know that by September we will all have the opportunity to recycle food waste, with special containers being supplied by the Council? A stovie reception was held in the early evening for all those who had helped us achieve Stage 1 of

our refurbishment plans. The project succeeded with the support, both practical and financial, of a veritable army. Refurbishment Group chairman Ian Hay gave the audience a potted history of the project from its inception in 2009 and thanked funders, project team members and local workmen all of whom took great pride in providing the community with the smart Albert Hall Function Suite which is now very well used. This did not come cheap. Funding for the project came from a patchwork of sources – Aberdeenshire Council and the CNPA were more than generous with their support, giving £71,000 and £32,000 respectively. User groups, local organisations and individuals made up the rest, and their encouragement is much appreciated. The final cost was just over £195,000. The inaugural meeting of the new Trust was facilitated by Brian Wood, vice-convenor of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Over 1,000 leaflets had been distributed round the community, explaining the aims of the Trust,

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and asking for nominations of potential trustees to share the work of looking after the building and promoting its future The old Trust and Development Association will now dissolve, with all assets being transferred, opening the door to bigger funding applications in the future. Following a potted history of the Halls, Lesley Davidson and Nick Mardall explained the legal position, and the benefits of the new Trust which is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation, and brings us very much up to date. Gordon Riddler, member of the Refurbishment Group explained the skills required to manage the halls effectively, and encouraged everyone to help recruit suitable trustees by nominating someone, or by signing up themselves! The refurbishment group will now be looking to the future, and at what the next stage of the refurbishment will be. One thing is certain, it will require strong community support behind it. We all want to ensure a sustainable future for this iconic building which gives the community so much.

G.A. Lindsay Gordon – A History and Eulogy by Duncan L. Macrae Lindsay Gordon, who passed away at his home Ballochrosk in Boat of Garten in May last year aged 91, was the great nephew of Alexander Gordon, the man who gifted the Victoria & Albert Hall to Ballater. Lindsay was born in Aberdeen, but by the time he was two, he was living in Karachi where his father George was manager of the Standard Chartered Bank. George, the penultimate of nine children of a tenant farmer on the Balmoral Estate, left for China at the beginning of the 20th century, and relocated to Karachi with his wife Frances Aymer. Lindsay was educated at Fettes College in Edinburgh and became head boy of Kimmerhame House. He was a talented sportsman and excelled academically, but to his lasting regret he failed to win a place at Oxford. At the age of 17, he went

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to Germany and France to further his studies and in 1939 heard Hitler address vast crowds in Hamburg. With the outbreak of war imminent, he attempted to join the French Foreign Legion! He then returned to Edinburgh, still too young to volunteer, and began to study for accountancy, but soon gravitated to Sandhurst where he trained as a gentleman-cadet. On passing out, he was gazetted to the Royal Scots Greys, but not being immediately required, he kicked his heels for several months awaiting their call. Keen to be in the action, he found his own way out to North Africa, and joined a squadron of the Duke of Wellington

48 Infantry. After 8 months of continuous

hand-to-hand fighting in Tunisia, the battle was finally won and Tunis fell on 7th May 1943. Lindsay was invalided out of the army, and returned to Edinburgh, happy to have been awarded the Military Cross, but less happy to have lost his right arm. Lindsay’s father George had died in Karachi when Lindsay was only a few years old, while his mother died in Edinburgh a few weeks prior to his return from the hostilities in North Africa, so he returned home to an empty house and war-time rationing. It was July 1943 – he was 21 years old. In the face of such adversity, he taught himself to write again, this time left-handed, and returned to accountancy. He qualified in Glasgow in 1946, and married Christine Rowland in 1954. They were blessed with 4 children, but Christine died at the age of 39 after only 13 years together. Alongside bringing up four children and working as a partner in Arthur Young McLelland Moore, he undertook voluntary work for the Scout

Association, served as President of the Old Fettesian Association and audited the school accounts at Fettes. He also did a short stint teaching evening classes in accountancy at Napier College, served as chairman of the New Club and sat on the board of Western General Hospital. That he had any spare – let alone recreational – time is astonishing, but such time as he did have, he made good use of. He taught his sons how to rugby tackle in the back garden using sacks of leaves, he continued to fish using a specially designed harness, and played golf. Indeed he achieved local notoriety when scoring an eagle on the 7th hole of his beloved Boat of Garten course. Gardening was also a great joy and he continued to garden indoors and out right up until the end.

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My personal recollections of Lindsay Gordon I was very fortunate to meet with Lindsay on a number of occasions over the years. His widowed sister Christian, who was born in Karachi, also lived in Boat of Garten. (See Postscript below) She had married James Gibson who was professor of pathology at Hong Kong University and my wife and I were close friends with them for many years. James always used to introduce Christian as “my Pakistani wife”. When Hugh Craigie and George Beaton completed phase I of the restoration and renovations to the Halls in 1987 (Albert Hall, Kitchen and Supper Room) they invited Her Majesty the Queen to perform the opening ceremony. When phase II was completed in 1992 (Victoria Hall, basement toilets and the now re-named Beaton Craigie Room), I, as chairman of the Halls at the time, had a hard act to follow. Luckily, I knew Lindsay, and who other than the great-nephew of Alexander Gordon would have been a better choice to re-open our re-furbished halls? In addition to performing the ceremony, he made a substantial donation towards the restoration costs involved, and always, when in Ballater, visited the Halls to see how things were going. Woe betide me if all was not in order. Lindsay Gordon had a very positive attitude towards life’s trials, of which he had more than his fair share, coupled with his qualities of generosity, kindness, loyalty, discretion – and a sense of the ridiculous – which made him a magnet for many. He lived his life primarily in the service of others, and his was a shoulder that many leant on. His advice was always wise. . Incidently, Lindsay and Christian Gordon’s aunt owned and operated “the Jungle”, now the Deeside Hotel in Braemar Road, a hostelry well remembered by some of the more elderly Ballater residents. Postscript:- Christian Farquharson Aymer Gibson (nee Gordon) died aged 90, in Edinburgh on 13th December 2013. My wife Audrey and I were privileged to attend the memorial service in St. Columba’s Church, Boat of Garten on 10th January of this year.

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Bath-time Blues

This nicht, near the hinner-end o’ January, coorse wins are howlin roon the hoose, an icy blasts o’ sleet are batterin the windaes like bullets fae a gun, bit I’m fine an warm, up tae my neck in bubbles an foam in a het bath. Bliss! Syne, throwe the steam comes my Faither’s voice, “Ower muckle watter taks a’ the gweedness oot o’ a body!” Faither wis brocht up in a time fan a body wis mair or less shewn intae yer semmit for the winter, wi nane o’ the luxuries o’ a bathroom – nae on the craft onywey. A gweed wash-doon fae heid tae fit wis a that wis nott! The widden “Hoosie” by the fir widdie hid tae dae as a “convenience” an the chuntie aneth the bed files nott in the dead o’ nicht. Even fan I wis a bairn, Inverdene Cottage by the Dee boasted nae sic luxury as a bathroom. We jist hid a lean-tae toilet attached tae the front porch. It wis as cauld as death, an ye hid tae navigate the piles o’ logs brocht in for the fire, an wipe the slorachs aff the seat efter Granda hid been there! Setterday nicht wis “Syrup o’ Figs” nicht tae gae yer guts a clean. Syne, Sunday nicht, afore the squeel wik, the muckle hip-bath wis trailed fae the wash-hoose tae the clootie rug afore the fire, syne filled wi het watter, an jelps o’ cauld watter tae queel it doon. My little sister aye hid her bath first, syne mair watter wis jist added for me! I eased tae mutter in her lug “Dinna you dare piddle in the watter – I’ve tae ging in there efter ye!” Files, I wid bribe her wi a sweetie! It wis fine, thon bath in front o’ an open fire, wi the flames lickin the seet at the back o’ the lum, the wireless bumming awa by faither’s cheer, an Granda’s rick fae his pipe yoamin tae the reef. Efter a gweed scrub-doon fae Mither, it wis fine tae get yer liberty bodice an flannel goonie on, warmed as they were on the fender by the fire. Sae, bath-time wis nae hardship really – it wis jist the wey o’ things back then. The big hoose, Inverdene, did hae a big bathroom, an Mither lookit efter auld Madgie as the years drave on an she grew frail wi the years. As I grew aulder, I wis lat intae the big hoose ilka wik tae hae a real bath. That wis sheer luxury – stretchin

by Mary Munro

richt oot in the muckle fite-enamel bath instead o’ sittin, knees tae yer chest in the hip-bath afore the fire. I fairly thocht I wis livin the high life! Summer time, we a went tae the Lang Peel in the Dee fan it wis warm weather, an a dook in the ice-cauld Dee gared ye gasp, bit made yer skin tingle an glow wi health, efter a roch dry-off on the river bank. I sweir we were as clean an healthy as fowk nooadays, even wi their showers, Jacuzzis an funcy bathrooms, bit I’m nae oot tae deeve fowk aboot “The Good Auld Days”, an I’m nae pinin for the days o’ fireside baths. Ye jist lived in the times an,forbye, we were young an swack, takin a’thin in yer stride. Nooadays, there’s naethin better on a cauld winter’s nicht than lyin dwaumin awa amun scented bubbles, waitin for the electric blanket tae heat up! Maybe we’re saft noo, compared tae childhood days, bit I’m nae carin a docken. A bit o’ heat is gweed for aulder beens, an I for ane, like it fine!

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The Ballater Forbes Family in Wartime by Willma Sim


Charles Forbes was a young man who left his family in Ballater and travelled to the other end of the world – to New Zealand - to make a better life for himself. But the Great War began in 1914, and he and his brother William enlisted in the New Zealand forces, ending up fighting in the trenches. It was there that he lost his young life, picked off by a sniper. That is why he is remembered in the war memorials of both Ballater and Invercargill. Ballater at the beginning of the 20th century did not hold many work opportunities for young men. Charles and William Forbes were more than eager to take up the government’s offer of a free passage to New

Zealand’s south island to a place called Invercargill which lay at approximately the same latitude south as Ballater did north. They were to be given land to farm. Their younger brother Alex, my father, would have gone with them had it not been for an accident he had had

Marie Chapman

with his bike. His broken leg was not set properly and so he had to wear a special boot all his life. Just think, I might have been born in New Zealand if my dad had gone with his brothers. I have always felt so much at home in that country where I visited my cousins when I grew up. (William survived the war and returned to Invercargill to marry and raise a family.) As a child I used to stand and read the names on Ballater War Memorial in front of the church, and wonder who these men were. Now, in my 80s, I feel I know my uncle Charles a little, and mourn his passing even though he died long before I was born. The group photograph shows the Forbes family with Charles (on the left) and William superimposed in their New Zealand uniforms. My grandmother Williamina, whose namesake I am, is on the right of the photograph, with my father Alexander seated next to her.

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The Balmoral Scythe

Do you remember the Balmoral Scythe Tree? A scythe tree is not a species of tree; it is a tree with a scythe grown into it. The story of how the scythe got there is usually the same for all the trees containing a scythe, although there are some variations. In America there are several scythe trees in different places, some going back to the American Civil War and more recently to World War I. There, they are well looked after and regarded as war memorials. However, the story of this particular tree is closer to home. In November 1952 I started work on Balmoral Estate in the forestry department. I had only been there a few weeks and we were working near the castle. The foreman was Willie Urquhart and he called me over to have a look at a tree. He told me it was a scythe tree and proceeded to tell me the story of how the scythe came to be there. It was some time during the First World War and a young man had been cutting grass with a scythe in the area when he was informed that he had been called up to the army. So he had hung the scythe up in the tree and placed his piece bag at the foot of it. He said he would leave it all there until he came back – but he never did come back. As the years passed the tree grew round the scythe and, by the time I saw it, the end where the handle had been attached was still visible. I remember very little about the tree itself except that it was a broadleaf. Being winter it had no leaves on it so it would have been difficult for me to identify what kind of tree it was. When I was told the story, no mention was made of who he was or the date on which it happened. If the story is true, he would have been a conscript, and as conscription did not start until January 1916 he could have been called up any time after that, depending on his age.

by David Houston

I stayed at Balmoral for 12 years and as far as I remember I did not go back to look at it again. About a year ago I returned and tried to find it but with no success. I decided to have another look this year but prior to my return to where the tree was, I was informed that the tree no longer existed. This was rather disappointing but I decided to have a look round the area anyway. The tree was in a small wooded area behind Garden Cottage. Where exactly was not obvious to me as it was over 60 years since I saw it last. It had possibly been removed as part of a clean-up of the wood and had likely been in poor condition and past its “fell-by” date. So now there is no tangible evidence of its existence, except for the testimony of those who have seen it, while others have suggested that it is still there. If there is anyone out there who can shed any light on who the soldier in the story was, what regiment he was in or when it happened, feel free to let me know through the Eagle.

Could the answer lie at Balmoral War Memorial?



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On Sunday 4th May 2014 after 16 months of hard labour the volunteers involved in the rescue and renovation of an old and rare hand cranked Scotch Derrick Crane re-erected it on a site next to the Clan shop at the entrance to the village. The crane was recovered in a totally derelict condition from Cambus o May quarry with kind permission of the Forestry Commission. The main objective was to restore the crane for historical and educational interest but a secondary aim was to provide an added visitor attraction within the village of Ballater. The quarries at Cambus were vital to the economy of this area and employed considerable

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numbers of local men extracting and shaping the granite blocks, in an extremely harsh environment, which were then used to build most of the houses and prominent buildings in Ballater. The dressed stones were also delivered to many other parts of the countr y being loaded initially on to horse drawn bogies and later steam lorries and delivered to a specially constr ucted railway siding at Cambus o May station. The quarries were in operation from approximately 1850 until 1940. The new structural timbers in larch were sponsored by James Jones Ltd and financial assistance was made available from Aberdeenshire Council and The Cairngorms National Park. A sign board will shortly be erected which gives the history of the crane and is illustrated with some old photographs of working life in the quarries. The full story can be followed on www. or from The Ballater Local History Group at


The Green Lady of Birkhall

Have you ever seen the Green Lady of Birkhall as you drive along the South Deeside road at night? The house of Birkhall, originally Sterin from the nearby Stepping Stones, in Gaelic “stirean”, was built by Rachel Gordon of Abergeldie and her husband Charles in 1715. This pendicle of Abergeldie was originally a rectangular Ha’ House. Before the house was built, a family of Gordons lived in an earlier dwelling. They were wealthy – according to one version of local legend they had discovered buried treasure. Others said the powers of darkness had provided the money for services rendered. When Rachel and Charles died, their son James, reputed to have contact with the local witches coven led by Colin Massie, inherited. While he was bad tempered and unpopular, his younger brother Alexander was good tempered, good looking and popular. The relationship

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was not improved when the elder brother gambled away the money and had to rely on his brother for support. Earlier, both men had been courting a wealthy heiress on Donside, a noted beauty. Auburn haired, she always wore green gowns, the colour of the fairies. She married Alexander and in due course a son John was born. Relationships between the brothers became even worse. James made up his mind he would have Margaret and her money, so one night of storm when Alexander was coming home on horseback James hid by the river. He pulled Alexander from his horse, hit him on the head and held him under the water. Eventually the body was found but everyone was afraid to accuse James, even though he was suspected. James then made advances to Margaret, without success. The next move was to do away with the boy, the son and heir. When the child was asleep James smothered him and buried the body. The distraught Margaret accused James of murder and in a rage he hit her. She fell, banging her head on the stone fireplace. She died soon after. Unfortunately, the incident had been seen by the servants. James fled before he could be apprehended and was never heard of again. At night, Margaret, “ The Green Lady ”, wanders around the area of her home, looking for her child. It is said that at times of a full-moon she meets her husband and they search together. Keep a look-out as you go along the road!

Ballater, Balmoral, Crathie & Alpha Delta by John Holley

The pictured lapel/tie pins were recently found in the depths of the now closed world famous Bow Street Police Station, London. They relate to the equally famous Central London police station, Cannon Row, ‘AD’, Alpha Delta, the Headquarters of the Metropolitan Police’s ‘A’ or Whitehall Division. Cannon Row Police Station formed part of the original Scotland Yard building on the Victoria Embankment, Westminster, SW1. designed by the famous Scottish architect Norman Shaw in 1898. Cannon Row’s policing responsibilities included some of London’s most important buildings and their occupants that included 10, Downing Street, Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace, Clarence House, No 1 Carlton Gardens etc etc. Somewhat surprisingly, the station was also responsible for the protection of the Monarch and members of the Royal Family when resident at Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, Birkhall House, Castle of Mey, Holyrood House and Royal Lodge, Windsor. Above all, Cannon Row officers were experts in managing large public order events that


included Trooping The Colour, State Opening of Parliament, Remembrance Sunday and major political marches and demonstrations that descended on Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Parliament Square. From the early1900s until the early 1980s a small group officers from Cannon Row spent up to 3 months of the year at Balmoral Castle for the summer Court and had very strong links with the village and residents of Ballater and the surrounding area. These rare examples of the Cannon Row, ‘AD’ lapel/tie pins were presented to the Ballater Local History Group as a memory of the fond and happy relationship that ‘Alpha Delta’ had with Ballater and its residents by myself a retired Cannon Row Police Constable.


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Schoolhouse Home Again! by Cathy Low

It’s been a particularly busy couple of months for us here at Schoolhouse. We returned recently from Sri Lanka, where we had taken a group of 7 student teachers from Dundee. The students did a brilliant job teaching English in schools, in a special education unit, a non-formal education project for street children, and in children’s homes.  They also taught Scottish dancing and Scottish songs and rhymes  - the tropical landscape fairly buzzing with hearty renditions of old favourites such as Ally Bally Bee, 3 craws and ‘ye canna shove yer granny aff a bus!’ The education department over there thought it would mean a lot to the children if they received a certificate from us, so we duly produced several hundred which the children were indeed genuinely proud and delighted to receive.  The day after our mammoth certificate handing out ceremonies, we woke to see on Facebook that we ourselves had been awarded a certificate of our very own!  It was our turn to feel proud as we had just received the award from Dundee University for ‘Best Volunteering Organisation 2014’.  So back to Ballater and the Schoolhouse B&B has been full to bursting.  As Ballater folk will well know, there have been film stars in town, and I was especially grateful for the opportunity to host some of the crew working on Sunset Song - a book, and TV series which had a huge influence on my 14-year old self.  We also had a large youth group staying in the middle of it all, so the film stars were replaced by a gang of noisy, giggling utterly wonderful young people. Now, as the weeks rush by, I’m preparing once again to head east for the Schoolhouse summer projects.  In February, we held the fundraising event - a BIG Ballater Night Out. We have now spent all the money raised that night!  Half the money will pay for the dental materials we ordered this afternoon, and which will be used on a dental project with 8 dental students from Edinburgh

and Newcastle, and the other half will allow us to take not one but two local young people with us to English Camp in Sri Lanka in July. Elizabeth Hazely, well known in the village as one of the ‘Hazely girls’, who has just completed her first year studying Sports Science at Edinburgh University and Beatrice Reader, an 18-year-old school leaver from Strachan share the Schoolhouse Award for 2014.  We were sorry that two of our older local applicants had to withdraw at the last moment due to work commitments.  Next year, we hope to be able to take more young (and not-so young) Deesiders with us on a volunteering and skills development journey. For now though, I look at beautiful Ballater and thank my lucky stars that I’m here to see this glorious month of May - at home.  It’ll soon be time for another fundraiser - watch this space - fun and games ahead! Established 1998

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Pottering About...


by Stella Potter

Being an occasional wedding celebrant I meet ver y diverse couples who all have ideas of where and how they want their wedding to be. From the wonderful Mar Lodge and Glen Tanar Ballroom - I’ve learnt to ignore the myriad of glass-eyed stuffed animal heads on the walls! - through intact or ruined castles, hotels, pubs to even the Australian couple who wanted to marry outdoors on the Balmoral Estate in midwinter. I did have to send that particular couple an email reminding them that it would be winter here. They knew, and that one was most definitely a white wedding. But I think the loveliest combination of couple, family and local circumstances yet, stemmed from an email from a Glasgow couple in early January. They were looking at marrying in the Glen Lui Hotel this April. It was a very refreshing change from some folk who ask me so

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far ahead I don’t even have a diary for that year. We arranged to meet at my home and I sent detailed instructions as I’m aware I’m not easy to find via satnav, especially as my front door does not face the road that is my address. It turned out the bride’s sister owns the house opposite me and all they had to do was cross the road and hop over the wall to my door. Once settled by the fire with a cuppa I was curious. I asked this lovely couple why they had chosen the Glen Lui. They told me that the bride’s grandmother grew up in the house before it was a hotel. It was a place which had clearly meant so much to her, and although she was no longer with us, the ripples of the family connection had radiated down the generations. How could I resist? Their eyes shining, they told me how much they love Ballater. They escape the city and come and stay as often as possible. They even

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have a Ballater routine of going to the butcher’s every day to supplement their exploring the area on foot and bicycles. The tranquillity, fabulously fresh air and stunning scenery keep them returning trip after trip. They wanted to keep everything as local as possible, which was another refreshing change. That weekend they booked the Glen Lui, local photographer Amy Muir and me. Despite from proposal to wedding being just a few weeks, they were a relaxed couple and fabulous to work with. Returning home from work a couple of weeks later I noticed this cheery young woman just off for a run from the cottage opposite. Now knowing she was the bride’s sister we had a wee streetchat as Ballater folk do. It was the first time I’d ever discussed a wedding with a lycra clad young woman on the street whilst wearing my Caring uniform. Very pleasant it was too. The great day arrived. Just as I was leaving with my trusty wedding bag with script, fountain pen, spare ink, back-up handfasting material and tissues - the latter usually needed for the groom! - a group of scrubbed up folk spilled out from the cottage opposite. We exchanged cheery waves and a few pleasantries. I met up with Amy and ran through the likely photo opportunities. The bride wasn’t late, which was another refreshing change, and the intimate ceremony went like clockwork, with tears and laughter in equal measure. This wedding was a lesson in how it can be beautifully done without costing a fortune, or months and months of planning, and have such wonderful resonance and thoughtfulness. The bride’s Grandmother not only walked in the family’s hearts that day, but doubtless every time they hit the road to stay in our little corner of paradise.


I’m sure you good readers will join me in wishing Alison and Iain a long, loving, fulfilled and happy marriage, and I thank them for allowing me to share their story.

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Toast to a Nonegenarian In the middle of July, one of the founders of Ballater Eagle is due to celebrate her ninetieth birthday. Dr. Sheila Sedgwick has held the post of honorar y treasurer since the beginning, and has never failed to produce an article for each of the 74 issues so far. She is well known in Ballater and Crathie for her long years of service to the Community Council, her work as an elder and lay reader for the Church of Scotland, and her active involvement in Ballater’s Local History Society to mention but three of her wide ranging activities. Happy birthday Sheila, and many more of these! Age is just a number, never mind arthritic knees! Remember when you battled on the national hockey side? No one could get past you, however hard they tried. Lives were all disrupted as they’d never been before, You went abroad to do your bit to finish off the War. Many years of teaching, lectures near and far, Getting married, settling with the chemist in Braemar. Working hard with heart and soul for the community, Rewarded for your service with a shiny M.B.E. Checking archives, writing books, documents to sort. No time for housework, days are far too short. In Victoria Week, locals stay in at night, Lest the witch of Glen Girnoc should give them a fright! Age brings its problems, to walk is a pain, But everyone knows there’s naught wrong with your brain!

by Betty Wilson

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Advertisers Index Alexandra Hotel Allan Milne Joiner Alpine Tree Care Amy Muir Angel Dust Atholl Countrywear Balmoral Estate Bill Barclay Kiltmaker Bill Yule Brian Smith Funeral Services Ltd Carnelian Celicall Crafts Classic Abode Garden Services C.S.M. Aerials C.S.M. Handyman Cyberdyne Systems Darroch Learg Hotel Davidsons Chemists Deeside Deli & Garden Shop Deeside Inn Deeside Tree Care D P Opticians Edward J Emslie Forbes Duguid Fraser & Mulligan G N Electical Glen Lui Hotel Graham Stuart H M Sheridan Ltd Highland Yurts

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Tam deer e Glen shee in This ta Cam by Ian eron at the me deer wa

s S wander pittal of Gl reared by a sh enshee ed abo epherd ,a u ski-slop ’s es at th t from the Sp nd as it grew wife e Cairn ittal all The de well the wa older it er y up to p a r t i c u soon became . the lar day a touri s t i n a when t t 1 t r 9 a 6 c 8 tion, an , it ha he bu actuall s stopped. L d been sharin d, on this y climb g my lu ed up ooking for m bus to ore foo nch give me the steps of the tou d it this ph ring oto.

Hilton Presentation to Ballater School

The staff at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch have raised £1,118 for Ballater Primary School. The money will be used to upgrade the playground and make it more inviting for the children. Our photograph shows the cheque being presented to Head Teacher Louise Duckworth and some of the children by Paul Leitch and two members of staff from Hilton Grand Vacations.

The Ballater & Crathie Eagle is made possible by:

Advertising, Donations, Sponsorship, Fundraising, “Awards for All” Lottery funding, and Cairngorms Leader + European Funding. Thank you to everyone who supports us. We deliver FREE from Crathie to Cambus O’May. Thanks to Friends of the Eagle for delivering to some outlying areas.

Ballater & Crathie Eagle, Issue 74, Summer 2014  

The Ballater & Crathie Eagle is published quarterly and delivered free in the Ballater and Crathie area. Copies of the current issue are ava...

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