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Ballater & crathie Community magazine

One Man and His Dog at Balmoral Page 27

no. 63 autumn 2011 £1 where sold

Ladies visit Glenbervie Page 8

The Ballater & Crathie Eagle is made possible by:

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

‘Auchtavan’ by Paul Mackie. See the original picture in The Bothy

Stunning creations from the BRHS Annual Show Page 54


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The McEwan Gallery

George Melvin Rennie Evening sun, Linn of Dee

Annual Exhibition: Mon-Sat 11am to 5pm, Sun 2 to 5pm Tel: 013397 55429 200 metres off A93 on A939 E: dot@mcewangallery.com www.mcewangallery.com

Domestic & Commercial Crown Thinning & Reduction Dismantling & Felling Hedge Pruning & Maintenance Dangerous Tree Control Stump Grinding & Removal

Professional Tree Surgeon N.P.T.C. Qualified

Fully Insured

Free Estimates

call: 013398 80823 e: deesidetreecare@gmx.co.uk

m: 07786 756078 w: www.deesidetreecare.co.uk


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BRHS Annual Exhibition and Flower Show

Diary

The dates you need

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Contact us:

All the ways YOU can contribute

The Crathie Pages Distillery news and more

Victoria Week 2011 Were you amused?

Lizzie’s Tea Party

Money raised and a Cat got shaved

Local Hero

Stand up, Ian Munro

Davidsons Chemists Retail Pharmacy and Veterinary Chemist Group Delivering Quality Healthcare since 1897

PRESCRIPTIONS COSMETICS PHOTOGRAPHIC Over-the-Counter MEDICINES & ADVICE

H M Sheridan Ltd 11 Bridge Street Ballater Tel: 013397 55218 Fax: 013397 56042 email: info@hmsheridan.co.uk

By royal appointment to H.R.H. The Queen and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Butcher Poulterer and Game Dealer Established 1963

Local Beef, Lamb, Pork and Game Shop Online at www.hmsheridan.co.uk Local Deliveries Free

10 Bridge Street, Ballater Tel: 013397 55409

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Pottering About

In honour of sheds and Shetland

Knock Castle

Sheila Sedgwick on a bloody history

Childhood Memories From local author, Mary Munro

Quarry Questing

The Cambus Quarries, by Ian Cameron

Caterers at Ballater Golf Club Outside Catering of Hog Roast, Rotisseries & Barbecues

Ballater Boules: 11 Ballater Learning Centre: 53 Ballater Old School: 32 Ballater (RD) Ltd: 20

Ballater Royal Horticultural Society: 9 Balmoral Estate Events: 33

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Charitable Chiels: 11 CLAN: 24

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Training Development Help for young people

Local Groups:

Ballater RHS Floral Art Group: 8

36 42

Community Council: 14 Deeside Management Organisation: 13 Deeside & Donside Development Project: 19 Police: 35 Rotary Club: 16 SWRI: 9

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Victoria and Albert Halls: 22 VSA: 27

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Advertising:

Mon - Fri 9am - 5.30pm Sat 9am - 5pm

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Inside Your Autumn Eagle:

Full page: £60; Half page: £30; Quarter page: £20; Eighth page: £10 Book and pay for 4 issues: series discount of 10% - copy can be changed each issue

Donations:

Donations are gratefully received, and acknowledged. You can also put money into our tins in the Library or Yules Newsagents. A big “Thank You” this issue to Sandy Donald


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Eagle Eyes...

Ballater Learning Centre by Nick Mardall

Sat 10-18 Sun 11 Mon 12 Tue 13 Wed 14 Thu 15 Thu 15 Sat 17 Sat 17-25 Mon 19 Wed 21 Thu 22 Sat 24 Sun 25 Mon 26 Tue 27 Thu 29

September North East Open Studios, www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk Ballater School Junior Races and Fun Day, Monaltrie Park, 12 noon Community Council Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7pm CLAN Walking Group, meet CLAN Centre, 1.30pm Deeside Sessions, Moorfield House Hotel, Braemar, p13 Deeside Sessions, The Kildrummy Inn, Strathdon Floral Art Group, Our World of Flowers with Rena Cross, from Aberdeen, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Morven Hill Race, Dinnet, 1pm www.deesiderunners.com Active Aboyne Outdoor Activities Festival www.activeaboyne.co.uk Committee Training Event – Beaton Craigie Room, 6.30pm, p12 SWRI, Aileen Asher, Glass Engraving, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Deeside Sessions, Scottish Music at Coilacriech Inn, 8pm Guild Coffee Morning and Sales Table, Glenmuick Church Hall, 10.30am-12 Deeside Sessions, The Lodge on the Loch in Aboyne, 2-5pm Ballater Post Office closed Ballater Halls Indoor Bowling Club restarts, 2-4pm and 7-9pm Deeside Sessions, Loch Kinord Hotel, Dinnet, 8pm

Sun 2 Wed 5 Fri 7 Mon 10 Mon 17 Wed19 Thu 20 Mon 24

October UDM, Piano Concerto, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm Ballater Business Association, 7.30pm www.ballatercommunity.com Ballater School Harvest Concerts Ballater School mid-term holiday begins Community Council Meeting, Crathie Church Hall, 7pm Copy date for items for Christmas Eagle. SWRI, speaker to be confirmed, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Floral Art Group AGM followed by a demonstration by Sonia Wolfe- Murray, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Ballater School term begins

Since the Ballater One Voice Our Future Community Action Plan process of 2009 there has been an aspiration for a learning centre in the village. A Ballater Learning Partnership group was formed at that time, including members of the community, Aberdeenshire Council and representatives from the learning institutions such as Aberdeen and Robert Gordon Universities. This partnership undertook survey work which clearly identified a need for a learning facility to serve Upper Deeside. An appropriate space to house the centre had to be identified, with several suggestions put forward. One area under review was located within the Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls, and the Halls Committee was keen to look at their usage and how a Learning Centre could fit with the current uses of the building, and the needs of the community. Since the closure of the Day Centre, the Beaton Craigie Room is very much under-utilised, and has been suggested as one possible option. As a result, funding, support and assistance have been sought in order to set the ball rolling. We are seeking a short term work placement to help support us with this work. If anyone knows of a student or graduate, relative or colleague who would be interested in improving their CV please ask them to get in touch. We think it would be good work experience, and would contribute greatly to getting the background work completed for the Learning Centre. The work would start with a review of information already gathered, and discussion with a wide range of organisations and individuals who might be interested in linking up or becoming involved. Locally, the type of vocational and recreational courses which would

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benefit and interest the community will need to be identified, and possible numbers evaluated. This would lead to preparation of curriculum options, and formation of a Business Plan, identification of, and application for funding. Throughout the process, the community will need to be involved and updated on progress. We expect this work to be ongoing through autumn and anticipate making funding applications in winter or spring time. Any work placement can fit within that time period and can be long or short term. We are flexible and able to provide office support and expenses. If this challenge appeals to you, or you know anyone who might be interested, please contact Nick Mardall by email at nick.dddp@ btconnect.com

Morven Veterinary Practice Opening Hours: Monday 2pm - 6pm Tuesday 10am - 2pm Wednesday 10am - 5pm Thursday Closed Friday 2pm - 5pm

Tel. 013397 - 55134 24 Golf Rd Ballater Aberdeenshire AB35 5RS


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I had never seen before. It was heavy, - very, very heavy, - but quite soft and we could break it down to a powder easily. We trailed samples home, and even the chemistry teacher could not tell us what it was. Some sort of ‘spar’ we were told. Just as well there was no ‘open all hours’ shop chain then or we really would have been confused!

...so you know What’s Going On

The mystery mineral was barium sulphate, or barytes to the mining fraternity, or barite to our North American friends. Barytes is used as the barium meal in medicine, it is used to give golf balls their weight, it is added to rubber in tyres, it is used in paint, it is used to caulk boats and most importantly, barytes is the main constituent of ‘drilling mud’. And, by the 1970s, with North Sea oil getting into its stride, barytes was suddenly one very sought after commodity.

Graham Stuart

ATHOLL COUNTRYWEAR For Quality Ladies’ and Men’s Clothing Accessories & Shoes Fine Gifts 13 Bridge Street, Ballater AB35 5QP

Tel: 013397 53810 Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm

Plumbing & Heating Engineers Bathrooms Boiler Replacements Pressurised Systems

Oil Fired, Solid Fuel or Underfloor Central Heating

Sat 29 Sun 30 Sun 30

Royal Cairns Walk, Crathie Car Park, 10am-4pm, tel. 55059 New Boules season starts 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park UDM, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm

Wed 2 Mon 7 Sat 12

November Ballater Business Association, 7.30pm, www.ballatercommunity.com BRHS Annual General Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Three Lochs Walk, Spittal of Glen Muick, 10am-5pm, tel. 55059

Sun 13 Mon 14 Wed 16 Thu 24 Sun 27

Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park Community Council Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7pm SWRI, Flower Arranging, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Floral Art Group Christmas Charity Evening with Gill Garrow, Elgin, Victoria Hall, 7.30pm Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park

Sun 4 Mon 5

December UDM, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm Christmas Coffee Morning at Crathie Kirk Hall, 10am-12.30pm

Sun 11 Sat 24 Mon 26 Tue 27

Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park Ballater Post Office closes 12.30pm Ballater Post Office closed Ballater Post Office closed

Are Your Dates Here?

Tel: 013397 55627 / Fax: 56342 Mobile: 07836 562946 Est. 1975

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For inclusion in this FREE section of the Eagle, please contact Cat Houston on 55243, 07968 941359 (texts welcome) or catrionahouston@yahoo.co.uk


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Letter from our Editor

and ers, school inter d t a a e k c rR ren ba turning to w of Dea ls t, child y

ad pas etai Week ghts are alre ges show d ch proit a i r o t ic hi pa us, so hou With V rawing in, t The Diar y d societies w er months. ngly numero nd help n, a wint hts d prisi bs an lage. the nig s in the vil various clu do over the lved are sur organisatio e e e o o i t t h v ver activi dates for t with things become in erest in som take o k l t g o o y n n f t t i i i t m r un star ople ll take an ounge sm, co e comm for pe i p of y eir enthusia nd they u o r vide th portunities ever yone w eating. g a ee a p see . Th The o hoped that the village b xcellent to s toria Week onder ful to hers to offer c e f i e w b o o s V s a a ge t g art is to the he nection, it wnd organisin for events, w will encoura p e e k ever to this ng a t con deas ight of ems l e In tha ity for r unni d exciting i ess. Perhaps h t ain it nces in sibil succ w an its fina gle are the m eliver y of respon ith their ne ted on their g n i w d e a w i a bined e congratul lp next year. as been rev ign of the E e to ensure and while h b m s e i e e t h o l t i uce d r ot i d h e e d r n w a ort a am mean rinting an freely of th y £1 to prod which is n le p p u s e p i l r p i r a T e h , e a v g y e i h l e l t ag sn s. W le g ll a ous The E costs. Obvi local peop h issue cost there is sti local shop to keep , eac help sing, ins in sing many increa nditure, as . Even then by adverti collection t tions would g reducing d e r e in a e r of exp arterly issu is is cover laced in ou itional don or conside e next time f u h p d t q y d s f t s a p th , on help ssi each jor part o donati n the rocks” nt the nece issue. Perha ew coins to y a b m p e e h “o af . th ev nu in eac eeside ing in y take uld pr means entirel gle is by no el which wo er of pages nsider popp azine on D b g the Ea ome at a lev en the num ou might co munity ma Hay y v c m Ian , e n o i n c r i t r o t s , n e ou n o b i u t int r ollec of the our pr an Eagle c istence x e e d e e s you ntinu the co ensure

By Popular Demand!

Ballater Library Opening Hours:

Sunday & Monday: Closed Tuesday: 10am-1pm, 6.30pm-8pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 2--4pm, 6.30pm-8pm Friday: 2-5pm Saturday: 10am-12noon

cool slowly in order to remove all hardness. The tools were heated up again and shaped and sharpened by hammer blows on the anvil. The final heating was followed by rubbing the sharpened edge on the smiddy floor to reveal ‘the temper colours’. On the bright steel the colours could be seen moving slowly down the tool to the cutting edge. The art was to arrest the desired colour the correct distance from the tip by placing the tool upright in a wooden box containing a small amount of water. I asked Charlie how he knew when everything was just right. “Quite simple” said he. “You wait till the temper colour is straw, then when it is the length of an ear of corn from the tip of the tool you quench it in that water box.” As easy as that, yet a skill that few mastered or retained. It is interesting though to see how Charlie used agricultural terms of colour and dimensions, no metrics or inches, just the length of an ear of corn. Charlie learnt his trade in these quarries before the First World War, and when I knew him in the 1970s he was the only blacksmith on Deeside left with that skill. Just beyond the smiddy was a very solid magazine that had held the black gunpowder, and I can remember the mortar and pestle that were used to prepare the charges still being there. We examined the quarries individually, our friend keeping his secrets till last. It so happened that the quarry nearest Ballater was the special one. As you entered, there was an almost complete crane attached to massive granite blocks. The rails that had carried the stones on bogies were still there and you could trace where the bogies had dumped the discarded cuttings over the tip. It was all so real. The quarriers had built a substantial bothie against the quarry wall so it did not take a lot of imagination to visualise the last act here, as the players had left all their props behind.

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But the best was still to come. What had really excited our little friend was the righthand wall of this quarry. The ground around us was reverting to the heather that the quarriers had stripped away, and young firs and birches were reclaiming their hill. That wall, however, had a mineral vein running vertically through it, sandwiched between the great granite blocks in a similar fashion to the ones in the Pass of Ballater. That vein was neither lead- nor tungsten-bearing, but I recognised fluorspar, except it was not green, as at Abergairn, but an azure/violet colour. We were well acquainted with fluorine from Abergairn: that was the mineral we ground down, sprinkled on a coal shovel and heated on the fire. At a quite low temperature, the powder would issue brilliant coloured sparks that jumped off the shovel, just like fireworks. The real surprise was the main constituent of that vein. It was a scaly, pink material that

Wee Jim Landscapes

James Anderson Bridgefoot, Glenmuick, Ballater Aberdeenshire AB35 5SN

Firewood Available Call for details Tel: 013397 55997 Mobile: 07821 746756 Email:

weejim03@live.co.uk


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Quarry Questing

The Cambus Quarries by Ian Cameron

One of our little friends lived in a house at Cambus o’ May. One Monday, he came to school in a great excitement: he had gone up to the quarries that weekend and had seen wonderful things. We must all have an expedition there next Saturday. Saturday came, a fine day, and three of us biked to the Cambus quarries. The quarry road was no longer used, but it had been well made and had carried Ballater’s granite building stone by horse and cart, traction engine and motor truck from the early 1800s till the late 1940s. As we approached the actual quarry, we could see that it consisted of many individual quarries on the hillside, at all different levels. When you entered any particular level, the great scale of the workings struck you: the granite was cut clean up to 80 feet. The quarry floor then

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was still littered with cranes, winches and air pipe, but high above us, noisy ravens and silent hawks had found the most ideal nesting places. Turning around, the view of the Dee valley ranged from Lochnagar, looking nearer than usual, to Pannanich Hotel perched on its hill across the river, with, in the foreground, the mid-day train panting up the track to Ballater, a banner of smoke marking its progress. The cranes used, and indeed developed in the North East of Scotland granite quarries, were of the Scotch derrick design, built mainly by Henderson the Engineers in King Street, Aberdeen. Originally manually operated, they were later provided with steam power, then, as the cranes appeared in civil engineering work everywhere from hydro-electric dams to the very top of the towers of the Forth Road Bridge, electricity became the power of choice. Although ultimately developed as a civil engineering tool, this crane was actually invented by one Thomas Derrick, an Elizabethan hangman, who built his device to help mass produce his 3000 executions at Tyburn, London. Two derrick cranes, one steam, the other manual are shown in a Washington Wilson photo of the construction of Ballater Bridge in the 1880s. We found the remains of the blacksmith’s shop, still complete in those days, with its bellows and forge. Many years later, my friend, Charlie Clark, the Bridge of Gairn blacksmith, told me that when he came to leave school, his three elder brothers were already working in his father’s smiddy with the result that he was sent to serve his apprenticeship at the Cambus quarry. There he learnt how to sharpen and temper the stone masons’ tools. He went on to explain this skill. First the blunt tools had to be heated in the forge and left to

Keep in touch with a Subscription UK: £10.00 EC: £12.00 Overseas: £16.00 For the rates above, four issues will be posted. A subscription can be a very welcome gift to farflung friends and relatives. Simply provide the name & address to whom the issues should be sent, with a cheque or postal order for ‘Ballater Eagle’ for the relevant amount and drop off your request to the Library. Betty, our Subscriptions person will do the rest. Easy!

Ways to contact the Eagle:

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ballater.eagle@btopenworld.com

Contributions of any kind on PC disc (Word format) always welcome.

How to contact our Representatives:

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Scottish Parliament: Dennis Robertson MSP e-mail: dennis.robertson.msp@ scottish.parliament.uk

Tel: 0791 955 7152 (mobile)

Westminster: Sir Robert Smith MP Tel: 01330 820330, Fax: 01330 820338, e-mail: robert.smith.mp@parliament.uk

Aberdeenshire Council: Peter Argyle: Tel: 013398 81180 e-mail: cllr.p.argyle@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Rosemary Bruce: Tel: 013398 89318 e-mail: cllr.r.bruce@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Marcus Humphrey: Tel: 013398 85332 email: cllr.m.humphrey@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Cairngorms National Park: Katrina Farquhar email: info@katrinafarquhar.co.uk Tel: 013398 81 006

Eagle Who’s Who & Where

Editor: Ian Hay  55941 Treasurer: Dr. Sheila Sedgwick  55292 Secretary: Betty Wilson  55791 Advertising Manager: Faye Swan  55345 Distribution: Andy and Julie Bloor Diary Secretary & Typing: Cat Houston  55243 Design: Ollie Ross  42300, Stella Potter  55969 & Cat Houston  55243 Email us at: ballater.eagle@btopenworld.com Eagle Online by Tom Potter: www.ballaterscotland.com/eagle

If you would like a large print version of the Eagle, please contact Ballater Library on 55628.


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Local Group News BRHS Floral Art Group

by Mildred Coull The months of June and July with their summer deluges of heavy showers have not dampened the enthusiasm of the Group.

Workshop

Looking back, the June workshop with Mary Wright was, perhaps prophetically, entitled ‘Creating Waves’. Maybe we’ll blame Mary for the downpours this summer!! The workshop required us to have scissors, tape, ribbon and gerbera boxes, the last causing some puzzlement. The evening turned out to be a great success. The lively chat and laughter over the many challenges encountered (peeling double-sided carpet tape for one) and the noise and hilarity must have made people in the Station Square imagine a party was in progress. The measuring and cutting of the gerbera boxes was the practical start of the evening; a collection of delightful and decorative table centres was the finish. Well done Mary and the merry band of creative ladies.

Visit

The summer garden visit on 21 July was an afternoon outing to Glenbervie House,

ROY MITCHELL JOINER 76 Golf Road Ballater TELEPHONE:(013397) 55378 MOBILE: 07792 117963

Drumlithie near Stonehaven. Twenty-three members were welcomed by Mrs Jill Macphie who pointed out the beautiful white Scottish baronial house set in magnificent gardens. The tour of the garden was led by Sally, one of the two resident gardeners. As we meandered along the paths and over ornamental bridges, she pointed out to us the many beautiful trees, plants and flowers. The weather was kind to us, with no rain, and everyone was delighted by the exotic plants in a fine example of a Victorian conservatory. The mingling scents of jasmine, bougainvillea, geraniums, agapanthus and fuchsias were heady and a great pleasure to experience in our cold northern climate. The afternoon ended with an excellent tea served indoors with delicious home made cakes and biscuits. Kathleen thanked Mrs Macphie and Sally on our behalf and the outing was voted a great success.

AGM Our AGM on 20 October will be followed by a demonstration of flower arranging given by a talented local lady, Mrs Sonia Wolfe-Murray. Tickets for our annual Christmas fund raising event in the Victoria Hall on 24 November will be available from then onwards. This year we are supporting the Sandpiper Trust and the Community bus. Our Christmas demonstration is always hugely popular and we hope to welcome a large audience to enjoy the demonstration by Gill Garrow from Elgin, thus supporting these worthwhile causes. The Chairwoman, Kathleen McCulloch, and the committee are always delighted to welcome new members to this thriving and friendly club and we look forward to the start of the new season, enjoying the beauty and variety of plants and flowers.

You played and imagined, fell out and fell in again, till the sun sank in a red glow behind Lochnagar. Weary then, you trailed home, to sleep the sweet sleep of a child, cleansing and unbroken, where no fears or worries bothered.

Mary at the signing of her new book “Bovaglie’s Bairn”, pictured by Amy Muir

We even had a cinema in our village – a palace of dreams! You would come out after seeing a Doris Day film with the magic still in your head. For a while, you felt like the film star, but Father soon brought you back to earth as he clouted you up the stairs for being late. That wasn’t considered child abuse then – just an occasional, necessary dunt to keep you in line! We paddled in the river on hot days in a warm, beastified lagoon off the river , called “The Dooker”. It was fine to puddle about in your old gym shoes, as the heat haze shimmered on the blue hills above. At about ten, it was an unwritten law that you graduated up the river to the long, deep stretch called “The Lang Peel”. You taught yourself to swim after a fashion, for the nearest swimming pool was forty miles away. It was sheer bliss on a hot, June day, after sweating in a stuffy classroom, to dump your bag in a broom bush on the Golf Course and head like lemmings for the water, No modesty to bother you, just vest and pants were fine, and the memories are clear and clean, for we managed to play together in

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comparative harmony. No place is Shangrela – and the realities of life sank in more as the years drove on and real childhood had to end. Incidents of cruelty to animals and humans alike filtered into your psyche and you had to accept that life was not always good for all people, even here in a sheltered village. I do remember so clearly watching newsreel footage of Concentration Camps after World War II. Stunned into disbelief, we came out to our safe little world, realising the evil that can exist in a blighted world. Childhood comes to an end when realities set in! Whiles we see childhood through rosecoloured specs and tend to forget the inevitable bad days, but I do believe I was truly blessed to have a good family and memories of carefree days close to Nature – a life as it was meant to be lived. That is all anyone really needs.

Philipp N. Stellmach Plumbing & Heating Engineer

6 Craigview Place, Ballater, AB35 5PJ Telephone:

013397 55565 Mobile:

07801 947528 Email:

philipp.stellmach@btconnect.com


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My first bike was one made up by Father from parts of old cycles discarded on the rubbish tip down the Tullich road, and my trusty steed stood me in good stead for many years, till one fateful evening, in my over-exuberance to finish a paper round, I was knocked on to the roof of a car, and my poor old bike was left a mangled wreck beneath the wheels. Mam and Dad scrimped and scraped to buy me a new bike and I could near feel my heart burst with pride as I soared down the Darroch braes, open-mouthed and yelling with the sheer joy of speed and the feeling of just being alive. You could feel the wind in your hair and who cared if a beastie or two landed in your open mouth. We survived! My poor Mother could ill-afford music lessons, but still she bought an old, ebonyblack piano with keys like nicotine-stained fingers, and she paid out five guineas a quarter to Mr. Thornton for the lessons. Not for me

really, when the open air called. I would sit laboriously picking out “Weel may the keel row”, while two or three of my cronies hodged and pressed snotty noses against the window panes, hissing sotto-voce “Hurry up, we’re off to the Woodyard”. It wasn’t long before the keel was left to row itself and I escaped the house, knowing full well that Mam’s ire would be waiting for me later, but who cared! For now the lure of the Woodyard beckoned. This was a neglected bit of wasteland across the street – a virtual Adventure Playground, full of pollen-heavy long grasses, stinging nettles and even dockens to cool the itchy stings. There were piles of old wood, bits of corrugated iron and rusty cans – great for making dens and conjuring up imaginary meals like mince from tansy heads or chocolate pudding from mud and water. The “piece de resistance” was a forlorn old car, half hidden in the undergrowth, tyreless and windowless, just an ideal tool to act out any childhood fantasy.

H.P.S. (Aberdeen) Ltd Integrated Building / Landscaping Services and Supplies Chanaich Lodge Provost Craig Road Ballater Aberdeenshire AB35 5NN

Tel: 01339 756336 Fax: 01339 755893 Mobiles: 07710 469563 07850 653160

Managing Director Peter Henderson Email: peter.hps@btconnect.com

Ballater SWRI

by Aileen Barbour On the 1 June, our President Anne Richardson welcomed members to the Glenaden Hotel, to the deferred meal which had to be cancelled due to the terrible weather in December. Betty Wilson said grace and members enjoyed a lovely meal. John Young provided the musical entertainment and Neil Henderson dressed up as a cowboy and helped with the raffle which caused much hilarity. Vote of thanks was given by Veronica Houston. The President closed the evening and looked forward to seeing us all when the new season starts on the 21 September. On 28 July, members were invited to view the gardens at Birkhall. Our guide Mary Wright was very informative and the members had a most enjoyable afternoon.

BRHS

by Jim Clark

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As I’m writing this on 30 July, I can’t believe that this is the third hot sunny day we’ve had this week. After the hard winter of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, which did a lot of damage to our garden shrubs and trees, spring dawned with a mild dry April, which encouraged us to get on with the tidying up and planting in the hope that we would have a good summer as promised by the Met Office - but not so! The Ballater Royal Horticultural Society had a successful 135th Annual Exhibition and Flower Show in August, despite the wet and cold summer we have experienced. This year we liaised with the Primary School to encourage more entries in the Children’s section, and the effort most certainly paid


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off. The local Brownies and R ainbows were also involved in this project. The prize for the Best Garden in the village (Alec Copeland Rose Bowl) is now in its third year. Thanks to all who entered; the winners were Hazel and Gordon Bruce of Braemar Road. In conjunction with Victoria Week, the first Scarecrow Competition was held and was thoroughly enjoyed by locals, visitors and its 35 participants. See page 54 and the back page for photos of just a few of this year’s entries to the Annual Show. Over the last year we enjoyed a varied programme of illustrated talks finishing with an Open Night in May where we had a successful General Knowledge quiz evening accompanied by wine and nibbles. The new schedule is currently being prepared for the coming winter and our members are looking forward to the AGM on Monday 7th November. New members

C.S.M. Handyman J.Lanigan All the little jobs you can’t get any1 to do

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

Strathgirnoc Farmhouse South Deeside Road Ballater Tel. 013397 56227 Mobile 07506951506 Email: C-S-M_Aerials@hotmail.co.uk

are very welcome. The Society is always on the lookout for Guest Speakers; any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks must go to Mairi Burgess for her unstinting support and work over the past few years. Mairi has decided to step down as secretary at the AGM due to other commitments. This position along with that of Treasurer needs to be filled for the Society to continue. Anyone interested in joining the committee and taking on these roles should contact me (tel: 55106). Thanks must also go to the members of the Society who planted up the tubs in front of the Church, War Memorial and Station Square; these are being regularly watered and maintained. On a sad note I would like to mention the death of John Skinner who only recently joined our committee and was a new and enthusiastic member of the Society. To finish on a happy note, several members enjoyed an outing to the garden at Birkhall at the end of July. The weather was glorious as were the varied sections of the garden including the herbaceous borders, the stumpery and “Hobbit-type” summerhouse. Not all of us see Willow herb as a weed! I would like to thank HRH The Duke of Rothesay for allowing us to visit and those who organised this for making it so memorable Thanks too must go to the staff who provided

Firewood

Childhood Memories

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by Mary Munro

I was brought up in the east end of our village by the river, some might say the poorer end of the village in terms of possessions, but we were never deprived of wholesome, homemade foods and had clothes for all seasons – you just put on or took off layers to suit the weather. Who needed designer labels or Nike trainers? We had cut-me-downs and Clark’s sandals, and I don’t remember eating beef burgers or pizzas. Summers you flew free as the swallows that wheeled and dived over the roof-tops. Skipping games, ball games and team games were organised on the streets in the balmy spring evenings when the clear air sang with the high voices of children who were like the animals who had been wintered inside and then were let loose to run and jump with joy after the confines of a harsh winter.

Oh, to be ten – with the clear-eyed optimism of youth, before the inevitable complexities of hormones and career options befuddle the head. The watchword for me, thinking on my childhood, is not money or position in life, but FREEDOM, born of security and a life close to the god of Nature among our hills. Memories are like a series of snap-shots – some clear-cut and sharp, others faded and hazy – some better perhaps resigned to history, for life is not always a bowl of cherries. I’m glad I had childhood when I did, for we had a freedom of movement and expression, and a sense of adventure often denied to children nowadays, where our wider society often dictates a more repressive regime, one of being wrapped in a stifling cocoon of cotton-wool.

the

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46 From an early age the beauty of Deeside entranced me. I loved taking photos but music and singing took me to new places and the camera took a back seat. My love of hiking and cosy campfire chats in beautiful Deeside ignited the flame again and I was soon clicking away at the sunrises and sunsets of Scotland. I was fortunate to be mentored by Joe Cornish, one of the world’s leading landscape photographers. Soon I was commissioned by the tourist industry producing up to date visions and vistas of Deeside. Readers may know some of my work from a Balmoral 2009 calendar or seen some at The Bothy and No.46 in Ballater or on the web at www.paulmackiephotography.co.uk Initially doing wedding and portraiture

Paul’s Passion

by Paul Mackie

photography as favours for friends, I found myself enthralled with photographing people. I think great people pics are about rapport and good relationships; you should have fun with your photographer. Two years ago, at Glas Allt Sheil, Local Humanist Celebrant, Stella Potter, married me to my beautiful wife, friend and photo assistant, Sarah. Ultimately, we wish to move out to Ballater and settle in to a new life where we can focus on a new lifestyle, perhaps open a studio and a campsite with a twist. We dream about it, talk about where and when and one day we will… In the meantime I will continue to spend as much time working and playing in this area as possible.

Charitable Chiels by Derek Mutch

The Chiels had another successful Golf day in June and we raised over £35,000. Many thanks to all those who helped make it such a great day. Once again special thanks to Lindsay Barclay who seems to have more enthusiasm and energy each year. We will be making a donation of £20,000 to the Euan McDonald research centre for Motor Neurone Disease and the rest, as always, will go to local charities and worthy causes. The Chiels were very proud to have been nominated for the Queen’s award for voluntary organisations but alas we were unsuccessful. It was a great honour to be nominated in the first place. June was a busy month for the Chiels and we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a marquee dinner/dance in the grounds of the golf club. We were entertained by the band Flites and joined by some guests who have helped us over the years. It was a great night and here’s to the next ten years! We are very keen to keep the momentum going and add to our total of over £300,000 raised so far. On behalf of all the Ballater Charitable Chiels, I would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the years. There are too many to mention!!

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Fun, Fresh Air & Friendship

11

by John Holley

The ‘Ballater Boules Challenge’ begins its 7th season on Sunday 30 October 2011 at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park. Meetings will begin at 10.30am, and continue fortnightly through to April 1 2012. As always, our players will enjoy fun, fresh air and friendship - guaranteed! If you are interested in sampling one or more of these ingredients, then why not join us? The game is extremely simple and can be played immediately, without any previous experience whatsoever. Teams are made up of two players, gent/ gent, lady/lady or lady/gent. If you haven’t got a partner, no problem, we will provide one for you. Absolutely no equipment is required, as boules are provided and within minutes you will feel a part of the fun atmosphere. This really is your opportunity to make the winter months slip by a little easier, so don’t miss out! One sensible piece of advice is always to wrap up warm as we ‘go for it’ whatever the weather. Meeting dates will be displayed in Alistair Cassie’s Emporium and Yule’s newsagents in Bridge Street, and they are also displayed in the Eagle Diary at the front of this edition. Come on! Join us! We don’t bite!

Cindy Adams PG Dip (Coun)

Person Centred Counsellor 1 Netherley Place Tel: 07969 495399


12 Committee Skills Training

V&A Halls, Ballater

Ballater Post Of f ice

An evening training session will be held in Ballater on Monday 19 September in the Beaton/Craigie Room from 6.30 to 9pm, covering: • • • • • • •

Role of the Committee Role of the Committee Member Roles of the Office Bearers Before, during and after a meeting Financial record keeping Legal responsibilities Recruitment and retention

The course is aimed at new, existing and potential committee members of all kinds of voluntary organisations and community groups. The cost will be £7.50 per person (concession available). This training is being offered on behalf of Ballater One Voice Our Future, in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council Community Learning & Development and Aberdeenshire CVS Training Initiative. To book, please contact Deeside Community Education Centre on 013398 86222.

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irascible man and he distrusted any Gordon, young or old. Arrangements were made for a meeting by the Baron of Braichlie, as a neutral party. Finally the lad went to call on his future father-in–law. The character and temper of old Forbes were well known: he had the reputation of lashing out at people. The interview took place but did not seem to be going in favour of the young lad. The old man lashed out at the suitor with his sheathed sword. Off flew the scabbard and off too came the head of the young Gordon. Tradition says the old man commented “They wanted a wedding, now they can have a funeral”. The fate of the girl is not recorded, except that her ghost is reputed to wander round the Strathgirnoc area searching for her lost lover! Forbes went into hiding, fearful of reprisals but still determined to continue the feud against the Gordons. More bloodshed was to come. The seven remaining Gordon sons were one day casting peats. Totally unaware of danger, they were attacked by a band of men led by Forbes of Strathgirnoc and his henchman, Wattie McGrory. Their heads were cut off and stuck on their flauchter (peat-cutting) spades. A Knock servant arrived at the peat moss with food for the seven young men and was met by the grisly sight. He rushed back to tell Alexander of the fate of his sons. The old man was at the top of the spiral stone stair in the Castle. Whether he had a heart attack or was just overcome by grief we will never know, but he fell down the stone stair and broke his neck. That really was the end of that family of Gordon. The Forbeses had triumphed. Old Alexander Gordon had no heirs to carry on the family name. The feudal superior and law administrator for the area was “Black Alister” Gordon of Abergeldie, Baron Baillie of the area, who had also a family interest in the atrocity. Representative of justice, he hanged Forbes at his

45

own house of Strathgirnoc and took over the property, granting it to another Gordon. It is said that a clump of rowan trees marked the spot. Nothing of the original Strathgirnoc remains. A later building occupies a similar site, but a few scattered stones may date back to the period of conflict. The castle of Knock was later occupied, according to tradition, by a lady called Graham, but there seems to be little documentary evidence. There is evidence of a fire. The castle is now a splendid ruin, rousing particularly evocative memories when seen by moonlight. Strathgirnoc has gone, a more modern house standing further back. Go to the ruins of Knock Castle. Go by moonlight. The ghost of Alexander Gordon may be there, cursing the name of Forbes that put an end to his family. So may the young Forbes beauty, searching for her lost lover. It was a bloodthirsty age.

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The outstanding late 16th or early 17th century castle ruins on Deeside are those of Knock – (Cnoc – a hill), hence a castle on a hill. On the north side of the South Deeside Road (B976) west of Bridgend of Muick, a substantial ruin stands proudly on land that was not originally as thickly afforested as at present. Knock, a Durward stronghold or simple fort, existed in the time of Wallace and Bruce. The Durwards also had a stronghold at Abergairn. James the Gross, High Chancellor to James V gave the lands of Knock to a brother of Abergeldie. Family feuds spanned the generations, and they were particularly bitter between the Gordons of Knock and the Forbes of Strathgirnoc, further complicated by the fact that Strathgirnoc, at the foot of Creag Phiobaidh (the Hill of the Piper),

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Knock Castle

by Sheila Sedgwick

was a ‘buffer’ area lying between the Gordon property of Knock and the Gordon castle of

picture by Juergen Hoss

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Abergeldie. The situation was even worse when Henry Gordon of Knock was killed in a Forbes raid. He was succeeded by his brother Alister or Alexander who repaired or rebuilt Knock Castle around 1600, the ruins of which we see today. It was obviously prepared for defence purposes against the Forbes. There were more localised differences, such as access to a peat moss for their tenants and the “poinding” of stock. Animosities continued. However, human nature being what it is, in spite of all the hatred and bloodshed, Francis, the third of old Alexander’s eight sons, fell in love with the only daughter of Forbes of Strathgirnoc. She was a noted beauty, her father’s only daughter, and she could have married well. Her father had planned for her to marry a young relation, Forbes of Skellater on Donside, to continue the family name, but it seems the lady was not in agreement with her father’s wishes. Old Forbes was a very

Booming Ballater

by John Carnie 13 Deeside Management Organisation It has been a mixed summer weather wise, but in terms of visitor numbers and spend, it appears to be a good summer for tourism businesses. We are hearing from businesses in the area, and particularly those that are members of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms that figures are good and visitor numbers are higher  than last year. In Ballater, hotels are reporting good trade and cafes packed. At one point in July there were 7 quality foreign coaches in the main car park at one time. The Ballater figures are not necessarily repeated throughout the whole Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms area from Banchory to Braemar and Strathdon, but do point to a positive trend. Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms has carried out a large number of marketing campaigns over recent months and these have been free to take part in for tourism businesses which are members. We are hoping that the positive visitor figures have been a result to some extent of these marketing campaigns and initiatives - not just for our members - but for all tourism businesses. Our list of What’s On events has over 800 listings for the area and there is no shortage of things to do for visitors. We are now into our third year of the Deeside Sessions and this is the main summer cultural showcase for Scottish Traditional music in the Royal Deeside area.   It also gives visitors something to do in the evenings. Recent sessions in the Coilacriech, Deeside Inn, Loch Kinord and Potarch Hotels have been packed. It is great to see foreign visitors mixing with locals in these and other venues. Some of the area’s ( and Scotland’s) top musicians are playing in Ballater and Royal Deeside

this summer to celebrate the heritage of Scottish traditional music. Live music sessions are taking place in various pubs and hotels in Royal Deeside as part of the special two & a half month programme through to the and of September. Organised by Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, the sessions are of informal music which are open to all, with most of the musicians coming from the Deeside area such as renowned fiddlers Paul Anderson and David Anderson. All the remaining dates are included in the Diary: We want to have your photos and experiences of the Deeside Sessions 2011. Please post them on the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms Facebook page www.facebook.com/DiscoverRoyalDeeside  or visit www.discoverroyaldeeside.com/deeside-sessions/ 

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Ballater & Crathie Community Council By Graham Adams

Local retailers

Last autumn’s communities survey that we conducted revealed considerable concern that the numerous independent retailers should be actively supported by residents, as they were potentially vulnerable for example, to increases in business rates. This matter has been given much attention, mainly by BBA. An even larger number of responses were received from people who wanted access locally to a bigger range of daily goods at more competitive prices. Indeed, some even proposed a new supermarket. In reality, we don’t see this as a realistic prospect in Ballater, as the population is too small. Our preferred approach would be to try to get better service aimed at the needs of local

people from existing retailers, particularly the Co-op. Specifically, we are suggesting that the amount of competition between the two branches should be reduced by having less overlap between the ranges they stock. This would enable the overall range of stocks to be increased, in line with what people in the Ballater area need. We have attempted to establish a sensible and functioning dialogue with the Co-op senior management on this and general stocking issues, but after 2 months, have received little promise of any really effective action. We have therefore passed our request for resolution to the CEO of the Co-operative Group Ltd. We await a response – and will continue to pursue Co-op head office until we get some satisfactory Co-op-eration!

Best kept village?

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Again, in response to many comments from the community, we are trying to encourage everyone to help to keep Ballater tidy. We think that Ballater should be back at the top of the “Best Kept Village” league again! You may have seen Phil Swan’s appeal for volunteers to help with litter pickup in the Deeside Piper recently, and the big “thank you” to Ian Munro in this Eagle. We are looking for people to volunteer a couple of hours per week, initially to hit the “litter hot spots”. We may not like Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to end the village orderlies in the summer months (to provide supplementary support to Ian Munro) – but the reality is that we, the residents, are left with the responsibility for the results of this change.

seat to concentrate on my other activities. Recently I spent an afternoon clearing out my big shed. You know how sheds get; packed to the gunnels because you don’t have anywhere else obvious to put those useful things you don’t use very often. Sometimes I even wonder if stuff breeds in storage… Now that’s all well and good if the shed is just storage, but I needed mine to sleep in as extra visitors meant giving up my bedroom. Not as daft as it sounds as my big shed was designed as an outside room with sofa bed and fitted carpet – how posh am I?! Box after box, with an occasional trug for light relief, piled up on the patio. Two tents that had been dry for months were painstakingly folded into their bags. Table, camping chairs, plant pots, garden tools and the camping stove joined the eclectic throng and the curtains - oh yes, curtains too! - were removed and popped in the wash. Most of the assorted containers were stowed away to breed in another shed. The windows were washed and the whole shed thoroughly hoovered. A grand afternoon’s work. Later that evening a friend phoned and in conversation asked me what I’d been up to. When I answered “hoovering the shed” she replied “very funny, Stella, what were you really doing today?” It took a while to convince her that hoovering the shed was actually exactly what I’d done… We’ve also had some grand holidays recently. In May I went back to Shetland with my eldest and other friends. I was told the weather in May is usually glorious and certainly gales were very unusual. This time our journey north was calm, picturesque and hugely enjoyable. Ho hum, it was actually lulling us into a false sense of security. Once there it was cold, wet and very windy. You may remember that the last time I went we had an awful ferry journey home in force zillion gales. You may also remember the appalling gale

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we had in May. Well, that was the night we returned. Huge seas with much rolling, rocking and crashing. To make it more interesting, we were travelling with a friend who uses a wheelchair. We were the ship’s entertainment as my eldest and I battled to manoeuvre the wheelchair on a wildly rolling deck. When the floor went up we put the brakes on and held on tight, and when it went down it took both of us all our strength to stop it from running away from us. Luckily we all have a sense of humour and our laughter was infectious. It took us a few days to recover from that journey home. My Shetland friends tell me that the islands are telling me something: ‘Don’t leave, Stella!’ We have become mightily fed up of miserable wet camping in Scotland, and my eldest and I were mind-numbingly bored at Centreparcs last year, despite the youngest and her pals having a ball. So this summer my daughters and I packed our new passports and ventured to Mallorca in search of warmth and sunshine. We had that in glorious abundance. My daughters took the heat in their stride, but I have noticed that the older I become the less able I am to deal with it. In my younger days I’d be the Englishwoman with the mad dogs out in full sun, soaking it up with huge enjoyment and no discomfort. How times have changed. ‘I think I’d better sit in the shade for a while’ was my seeming constant refrain. It’s not so bad when you can dunk in water - to my mind even better if I can ‘chunky dunk’, being far too rotund for skinny dipping! - but spending all the time by the pool or beach precludes any exploring. Some folk are just never happy eh? I hope whatever you did over the summer you had fun, and have recharged the batteries for the coming winter…


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Pottering about by Stella Potter

As I sit at my kitchen table and type about my life and thoughts thereof I don’t have much of a perspective as to how you good readers take my sometimes quirky, and hopefully occasionally witty, ramblings. However, a few weeks ago I met Justine at Gairnsheil Lodge where I was wearing my Humanist hat to marry a lovely couple. Although we had never met, she greeted me very warmly and told me she felt she knew me having read my Eagle columns. It was a delightfully heart-warming moment. I knew that I was doing something right. As you know, I’ve been involved with the Eagle since its conception. As a group exercise it has felt, over the years, rather like bringing up a child. As a personal exercise it has been hugely positive, and in its own way, life-affirming. I wrote my very first article as a desperate last-minute filler – if I recall

correctly it was about the very bizarre experience of watching the seminal ‘Life of Brian’ on Christmas Day on an Israeli Kibbutz… dubbed into French and subtitled in Hebrew! The then Editor, Sabine, encouraged me to write another article. So I did. With her support I improved my writing skills, learned from my mistakes and gained enough confidence to independently take off to train for Humanist Celebrancy where writing skills are essential. Just as the Eagle nurtured me into writing, it is also nurturing our new designers: Karen, who produced the last 2 issues, and Ollie and Cat who have done such a grand job with this one. It is wonderful to see more - and younger! - folk joining the Eagle team, and I hope we can nurture their skills in the same way as mine were. And it is good to be able to take more of a back

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FRASER & MULLIGAN B&CCC (cont)

We have a choice – we can either live with the rubbish left by litter louts or we can do something about it and how we choose in some part defines the kind of people we are. We on the B&CCC don’t mind how people approach this problem, whether by “volunteering” to participate in the programme we are trying to start, by stopping themselves and others from careless discard of litter, or just by a small DIY effort in your own street (as we know that a number of people are already doing). We do, however, appeal to everybody to accept the responsibility for the state of our environment. Contact your Community Council – all our contact details are on the website: www.ballaterandcrathie.org.uk

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16

Rotary Update

The Club has moved into another new year with David Allan handing over to our new President, Gordon Riddler, well known to many in Ballater. At the Lodge on the Loch at Aboyne, this meant another celebration evening, which, with Gordon being a retired geologist who specialised in the mining of minerals, included a guest appearance of four of Snow White’s dwarfs singing and waddling their way across the room, a “Spot the Gordons” sketch, stretching from the popular, if ancient, comic space hero to a popular alcoholic beverage, and a reworded, full room rendition of “A Gordon For Me”. We are now enjoying another year of ser vice to the community with fun and fellowship under Gordon’s guidance.

Aboyne Van Hire

by Ron Drever

Unfortunately however, due to various reasons, including health in some cases, we have had four members leave the Club at the start of our new year, Ian Murray and Alan Russell from Ballater, and Eric Sinclair and Harold Barber from Aboyne. Ian and Harold were founder members of the Club. Together with Eric, they are also Past Presidents who served the Club well over many years. Alan had joined more recently but had already made a significant contribution. All were popular members of the Club, and we all thank them for their service to Rotary and the local community over the years.

International Fellowship Exchange In July, the Club hosted five Canadian Rotarians and their partners over a three day period, as part of the Canadians visit to various Clubs in our District. They arrived on a Monday in dreich Scottish weather and attended our Club Meeting. The following two days were however gloriously sunny and warm, giving us an opportunity to show Upper Deeside to the full. They thoroughly enjoyed visits to Balmoral and Glen Muick, golfing in Ballater, and a final night BBQ.

Fundraising

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Our Annual Charity Golf Day in June raised a total approaching £3,300, from which a cheque for £800 was presented to Aboyne Golf Club for their selected charity, in recognition of the club allowing us the use of the course. The remaining proceeds were donated to the local charity Horseback UK. All who took part enjoyed a great day’s golf and hospitality.

and nets, and twelve rackets were bought but the popularity of the game lasted only until 1906 when the tables were cut down to make four tables for the whist club which had been formed in 1903. A stamp was ordered to mark the library books as it had been found that some unscrupulous borrowers were scraping off the labels previously used. The soldiers from the Guards of Honour were refused use of the rooms unless an officer was present owing to the untidy state they left them in. A photographer was allowed to use one of the Hall windows when the King came on his visits to Balmoral but only on condition he stood well back and did not intrude upon the royal party. The various windows were let either by seat or by window, with privileged tickets for the royal household and Mrs Gordon, the Jungle. In 1908 Colonel Boyce was allowed to store his ambulance free of charge in the basement on condition that the Town Council be responsible for its maintenance and disinfection. A request was made to allow roller skating in the Victoria Hall but after much inquiry it was discovered that only a maple floor would withstand such use, so permission was refused. Societies which did use the Halls during these years included the Dramatic Society, the Boys’ Brigade, the Good Templars, the Musical Association and a dancing class. Father Meany, the Catholic priest from Glengairn, applied to hold services in the Albert Hall but was refused as the Trustees were only permitted to allow Protestant observances. In 1914 the Trustees agreed to introduce electric lighting into the premises. Mr Barnett wanted an independent engineer to advise on the procedure but he was overruled and Messrs T. C. Smith of Aberdeen were given the contract. As war was looming it was also agreed to allow the Red Cross the use of

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the Victoria Hall as a hospital during the coming hostilities. The electrification was completed by July 1915. There was a fire causing damage to the amount of £19.0.8d (£19.03) in the billiard room in 1915 but play continued throughout the war. Mr Duguid died in this year and an excerpt from the minutes recording the Trustees’ appreciation of his long service to the Halls was sent to his widow. In 1919 the Red Cross gave up the hospital and the Trustees resumed control of the buildings. Also in 1919 Mr Barnett retired after 28 years as a Trustee, for 23 of which he served as President. His resignation was necessarily accepted, as the Trustees noted in a parenthesis, because “he had removed to reside in the neighbourhood of Ellon”. Mr Middleton was appointed President and the Trustees looked forward to recovery after the war.

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40 The Victoria and Albert Halls the Edwardian Years

The Halls were redecorated in 1901 in shades of salmon and pink with blue scrollwork. The material used was a new paint called Duresco, deemed to be of a superior and longer lasting finish than traditional distemper and so worth the extra cost. The titles “Victoria Hall 1895” and “Gordon Institute” were cut above the respective doors and the worn out letters on the tablet on the Albert Memorial Hall were re-cut. Mrs Gordon, the Jungle (Deeside Hotel), suggested that a tablet with the donor’s name be placed somewhere on the buildings and this was agreed. Mrs Gordon, the Jungle, (always described thus when mentioned in the minutes) had some sway with the Trustees, being granted free access to the Halls when they were closed for the departure of the King. She

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was also allowed the use of the Hall benches and flags free of charge when her daughter was married and the Hall flag was flown that day. When the King came in 1901 the new bunting was employed to great effect by the Secretary, Mr Riach, with the assistance of Mr. Glashan, one of the Trustees. The first years of the new century saw a dispute with the Railway Company over who owned the lanes between the properties. The Railway Company was accused of placing stones so as to block off the east and north lanes and Mr Barnett undertook to have them removed if they were seen to be obstructing the access to the Post Office and Halls. Eventually the lanes were adopted by the town council and any claim by the GNS Railway Company to the roads was deemed “inept”. Robert Cameron, the Hall-keeper, died in 1903 and a successor was appointed from a list of some 50 applicants. However, no man seemed to keep the job for long and a great deal of the Trustees’ time was spent in interviewing and appointing keepers. One man lasted only three months having been found “not very steady” and accused of bringing drink on to the premises. In 1904 there was a fight between the keeper and John Harper. Although Mr Harper claimed that the keeper had him by the throat and almost on the floor, he was found to be the guilty party and debarred from the rooms. There was also difficulty in finding suitable boys as assistants, not many over 14 applying and those under 14 only being able to work shorter hours. The game of ping-pong was introduced to the Albert Hall in 1902 after much consideration of the rules and hours of play. Two tables

The Team winners were the Wood Group, with Veitchi Homes the runners up. Our thanks go to our hole sponsors, including the Inver Hotel from Crathie, and the Green Inn, the Glen Lui Hotel, the Deeside Hotel, HM Sheridan Butchers, Murray Deeside Fishing, Emslie House Furnishings and George Strachan from Ballater, and those who donated prizes, including La Mangiatoia Restaurant, GJB Accountancy, and The Co-operative, from Ballater. At the time of writing, the Club is preparing for its attendance at the Aboyne, Ballater, Lonach and Braemar Highland Games, and the Tarland Show as usual, with our “Roll the Dice for Whisky” Stall, including our famous bells and horns! Hope to have your support yet again!

Community service Our annual sponsored Fun Run in Aboyne in May was again well attended, with a good turnout of runners and walkers from Aboyne Primary. Together with our BBQ, a total of around £1500 was raised, of which £750 was given to the school for their own nominated Charities. Thanks to all adults and children who took part on the day. We have given a donation to the Aboyne After School Club, and have provided a trophy to be presented to the winner of a . new local dancing competition at the time of the Lonach Gathering for youngsters unable to compete at the Gathering itself. We have of course a longstanding connection with the Gathering by way of attending with our whisky stall.

Vocational At the final of the Primary Schools Quiz, our representatives Tarland did extremely

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well, but Oldmeldrum were the eventual winners. We h a v e c o n t i n u e d to be involved in many different ways with Aboyne Academy, and were pleased to be able to maintain our annual sponsorship of their annual prizegiving. The Aboyne Academy pupils sponsored to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) event have now had their summer weeks of leadership training including all types of activities. We look forward to their eventual visit to a Club Meeting to tell us how they enjoyed the experience and meeting all the challenges presented to them.

International service We have agreed to donate £500 to Medicins Sans Frontieres to help with relief of the famine crisis in East Africa. We have also given our annual donation to the

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Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own charity which sponsors charitable activities internationally.

Engaging our community If you have visited our stall during the Games, you will have seen that we were keen to engage with you to provide more information about Rotary in general and ourselves in particular, showing how we are all about fun, fellowship, fundraising, and community service. In addition, we are proposing to run informal social gatherings locally for small groups to spread the message a little better about who we are, what we do, and how we do it, particularly as we now meet twice a month in Ballater to enable better coverage of Upper Deeside.

Hopefully we can also then meet those of you who may be interested in finding out a bit more and, who knows, see Rotary as something you too could be a big part of, and by means of which you could serve our community. Have a look at us on www.rotary-ribi.org where you simply type in “Aboyne” and press “GO”.

Find out more If you would like to find out more about Rotary, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Ron Drever at High Trees, Morven Way, or telephone 013397 56224. We meet on the first and third Mondays (and usually any fifth Monday) of each month at the Boat Inn, Aboyne, 6 for 6.30pm, and on the second and fourth Mondays at the Glen Lui Hotel, Ballater, 6.30 for 7pm.

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this type of training. A grant of 40% will apply for training courses which are directly related to enhancing land management in the Park. Topics will be similar to those attracting the 60% funding rate and applicants should be aged 16 or over. Most training delivered under these options is likely to carry a qualification accredited by organisations such as LANTRA, and NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council). We cannot fund training that is a statutory requirement, nor can we support basic first aid courses and refresher courses. We will support advanced level courses in these subjects. We would be happy to help you to identify appropriate training courses and trainers.

Wider community We shall be putting together a programme

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for a number of day long training events for each of the 3 years of the current training project. These events will be relevant to land based businesses and to the wider community and will be based on the following 4 themes: • sustainability and climate change • a special Park • respect the Park • Park awareness. It’s your Park and your training project. If you would like more information on the training project or if you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to see delivered within the Park, then please get in touch with Fiona Morris, Land Management Training and Support Officer, Cairngorms National Park Authority, 14 The Square, Grantown on Spey, PH26 3HG. Tel. 01479 873535. Email: training@cairngorms.co.uk.

Deeside Books

Quality Books Bought & Sold Antiquarian, second hand & a good selection of new Scottish books and bestsellers Books by local authors available to order from www.deesidebooks.com Children’s books, toys & puzzles, jewellery, silk scarves & ties, gifts, cards, gift wrap & gift vouchers

Open: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm Sun 12-5pm 18-20 Bridge Street Ballater Tel. 013397 54080 Email: deesidebk@aol.com

Deeside & Donside Development Project

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by Nick Mardall

The project continues to work with groups from the BOVOF process as well as with groups in Braemar and Strathdon. The learning centre work in Ballater continues to progress although we have struggled to find a university student to help with the preparation and business planning work. We have been reluctant to pay for consultants but it remains an option we may pursue if we can’t find a local volunteer to help. We have been successful in receiving funds but will require further money to match those already won.

September meetings If anyone knows of someone who may be willing to get involved, please let me know as we would provide support, office space and expenses. It would be good experience on a young person’s CV. The meeting with Scotia Homes and Invercauld Estate regarding the development of the H1 plot next to Monaltrie Park is in September. We hope to understand where the developers are with the site and know where the timescale for starting the work might be. In September the consultation begins for the Cairngorms National Park Plan 2012-17 and the Main Issues Report for the Cairngorms Local Development Plan. The public consultation will start on 19th September and run to 9th December. It is important if there is disagreement that H1 is the only requirement for affordable housing in Ballater, this is raised in the consultation. Working with the self build

group as part of the housing partnership, we are also trying to identify other possible sites. This will try to ensure that new appropriate housing for Ballater is not tied only with H1. If people would like me to raise concerns or issues with the National Park Authority on any housing issues please don’t hesitate to contact me (details on the next page).

Braemar update Work on Braemar Castle is now moving with potential funding for the castle and we are also seeking help to promote and manage the facility.

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20 The community hydro scheme near Braemar is approaching a planning application stage but is waiting for final funding approval.

Forestry project

The Dalmochie Forestry Project is now looking at an option to purchase the ground on which to restore the site. The Ballater Historic Forestry Project Association will then be able to decide the best level of restoration for the original logging camp. It is anticipated that the site could help visitor numbers in Ballater by developing this site for the benefit of the community. Once again I would ask folk to contact me if they have any project they would like to pursue Nick.dddp@btconnect.com or tel; 013397 53775.

Ballater (RD) Ltd

by Gillian Sinclair

BRD has remained active on a number of fronts, two of which are reported below.

‘Drop-in’ day

BRD organised a Community ‘Drop-in’ Day in the Victoria Hall on Saturday 16 July. Some sixteen groups working for the benefit of Ballater residents were present. Residents of Ballater were able to call in at the Hall to find out what the groups were doing and to discuss future plans. Discussions ranged from serious questions about the future of Ballater Old School through to a request that something be done to stop vehicles looking for a way through to the A93 getting caught up in the Nicol Court cul-de-sac. The Victoria Week committee used the opportunity to launch its new-look brochure. About 120 people called in at some point

with an enhanced rate of support for people in the 20-25 age group.

Support for the young In particular, the Park is focusing on developing young people (aged 20-25) already in employment in businesses directly involved in the management of land (farms, crofts, estates, angling, forestry). Self employed individuals are included. Individuals must have been in the employment of the business for 3 months or more. Applications should outline a training programme that develops the young person’s skills and abilities and must be for a minimum of 2 training events in a period of less than one year. Training topics should be directly related to land management in the Park that are not available through alternative schemes such as the Modern Apprenticeship. Subject matter might include management and leadership for

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land managers, ecological and habitat survey, monitoring and low carbon land management, soil management, pest control, management of woodlands and wetlands, fencing, grassland management, renewable energy, deer and larder management. This list is not exhaustive. This type of training will attract a grant of 60%.

Businesses & communities Much of the training required by land based businesses is of a technical nature or skills based, such as trailer driving, machinery use or national governing body qualifications for the outdoor education sector. We can offer a grant of 25% for this type of training for those aged 16 or over who are employed in a land based business. Community groups could attract funding of 40% for

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National Park Training Development by Fiona Morris

Land Management Training Do you work for or operate a land based business such as a farm, estate, golf course, in forestry, angling, horticulture or in outdoor education, or are you a member of a community group based within the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park? Could you or your organisation benefit from training to improve your knowledge and skills to make you or your organisation more effective or efficient? Did you know that the Cairngorms National Park Authority has grant funding available through the Land Management Training Programme to assist businesses and people like you undertake training? The Cairngorms National Park Authority has committed £80,000 for each of the next 3

years to training for land based businesses in the National Park. Match funding has been sourced from the Cairngorms Local Action Group and the European Social Fund, adding up to approximately £620,000 for training for the next 3 years. The overall aim is to encourage investment in young people and to provide a better trained /better qualified workforce with more opportunity for job retention within the Park. The intention is to help local businesses to become more efficient and effective and therefore more competitive. All of this has the potential to create vibrant communities and to encourage young people to stay and work in the Park, creating a sustainable future for the area. To help achieve this, we’ve introduced different rates of support for different types of training,

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during the day – roughly what was expected. This is a good number for the size of the community and shows people are interested in what the groups are trying to do. One disappointment, however, was that once again few people aged between 25 and 45 took the opportunity to find out what is happening. Of course, many people in this age group are working or looking after their families but without their input it can be difficult to work out what is the best way forward. Most of the groups taking part in the Community day were locally based but there were some outside groups including the Cairngorms National Park and Marr Area Partnership. Jura Consultants and the Groves-Raines Architects attended from Edinburgh displaying some suggested uses for Ballater Old School. The groups taking part were, V&A Halls, Ballater Library, Ballater Victoria Week, Ballater Community Website, K&D Befriending, Ballater (RD) Ltd, Ballater Business Association, Marr Area Partnership, Cairngorms National Park, BOVOF, Ballater Old School Options Appraisal, Deeside Donside Development Project, Ballater & Crathie Community Council, Deeside and Cairngorms DMO, Ballater Historic Forestry Project, and Ballater RHS. Hopefully, all the groups and residents who took part found it a useful day.

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sunshine, high winds, rain and snow, which was both challenging and exhilarating, only two of the walks had to be modified for safety reasons. By the end of the week all were feeling a great sense of achievement. Members of the Probus walking group provided the backbone of helpers throughout the week. Rangers from Aberdeenshire and the Balmoral Estate along with Alan Melrose, a professional guide, led the more challenging routes. The evening programme was geared to have something of interest for everyone. The annual dinner took place in the Golf Club midweek. The grand finale was a traditional Ceilidh, held in the Victoria Hall on the Friday night, when Douglas Burke and Rob McCombie kept feet tapping and arms swinging in time to the music. In addition, Ballater Pipe Band also gave a rousing performance during the interval.

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Walking Festival 2011 The week began on Saturday 21 May with the welcome reception in the Albert Hall, where the walkers linked up with old friends and also new ones taking part for the first time. They enjoyed a drink and finger buffet. Around 90 walkers from Australia, Holland and across the UK experienced a successful programme of graded walks - easy, moderate and strenuous/long each day, beginning on 22 May and finishing on 27 May. D e s p i t e a m i x t u r e o f w e a t h e r,

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22 Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls

The Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls sit at the centre of our community life in Ballater, and many groups of all ages pursue leisure activities and hold meetings there throughout the year. With the Cairngorms National Park Authority, and Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service as tenants, they also form a very useful hub in the heart of the village. The Halls Trustees and Halls Development Association are working together to ensure that the buildings are kept in a good state of repair in the short term, and long-term plans are in hand to refurbish the entire complex. With the help of CVS Aberdeenshire, both are working towards forming a new management body which will be better able

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Police Page

by Bell Macaulay

to access external funding for the larger sums we will require in due course. The Association is also planning to sign up to the Keystone Award Scheme which provides a guide to best practice in running community facilities and monitors progress. This will help us ensure we are doing the best we can for our wonderful community resource.

Winter warmth

Preparations are in hand to ensure that Halls users are warm and comfortable throughout the cold weather. Lessons were learnt from the last two severe winters – trace heating has been installed to minimise the risks of frozen pipes, our very helpful electrician Alan Fraser has sourced some replacement heaters for the two large halls, and some work is to be carried out on the roofs and flashings to prevent further leaks. Payment for this work will come from our operating account, which was boosted by £1,300 raised at the recent Emerald Isle Dance Team event from the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Our grateful thanks are due to all those who sold tickets, and helped at the event, and especially to Hilton Craigendarroch who provided a meal for all the youngsters.

Plans

Our longer term plans are also moving ahead. Quotations have been received for an asbestos survey, and a decision has been taken. The survey will go ahead in the next few weeks providing essential information prior to work on the building. We are very lucky to have recruited Isla Imrie to help us identify possible sources of funding for this and for professional assistance to manage the next stage

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by Constable Steve Lafferty

Combating Anti-Social Behaviour Over the summer months local officers have been involved in joint patrols along with the Aberdeenshire Council Ranger service to tackle issues of Anti-Social behaviour at a number of beauty spots in the Deeside area. For many years issues have been reported to the Police in various areas along the Dee in relation to littering, loud music and ‘inappropriate camping’. Whilst we recognise that only a minority are responsible for these issues, it was felt prudent to try to tackle them for the benefit of all. The areas concerned are Clunie Flats, Braemar, Cambus O’May, Ballater, the river bank at Aboyne and Potarch Bridge amongst others. All of these areas are popular with locals and tourists alike. The message is simple, if you are using these areas to camp, party or otherwise enjoy, please be responsible, considerate for others, and tidy up. Police and Rangers found several instances of glass bottles, numerous ‘Camp Fires’, discarded disposable BBQs and general litter in all of these areas. Initially the Rangers service and the Police engaged with users of these areas and provided them with suitable advice.

penchant for loud music, it will most likely disturb someone...Keep the volume down. Fires and the countryside don’t mix (especially when we get dry periods). Please refrain from having a fire, but if you must, use a previously used fire site and keep it small and under control. Please also refrain from damaging fences or living trees for fuel. Be aware that if you are on private land, you may be committing an offence if you do not have permission from the landowner to have a fire. If using disposable BBQs, don’t place them directly onto the grass. A large stone, area of gravel or sand will prevent the ground being damaged, and take the remains with you when you leave. These simple measures will help preserve our beauty spots for the benefit of all. Persons responsible for offences such as those mentioned above can be issued with fixed penalty tickets and in some instances reported to the Procurator Fiscal. As always if you wish advice or to report a crime, contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or pop into the office. If you wish to report a crime anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

People are generally aware these days of the outdoor access code which exists, but it must be pointed out that there are conditions to unrestricted access to the countryside.

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British Legion is 90

Origins of the Poppy Day Appeal by Margaret Ramsey

2011 is the 90th Anniversary of the British Legion (Scotland). Before the 1914 -18 war the needs of former Servicemen were met by their own units. All were independent of each other and lacked a unity of purpose. The one national figure with sufficient status to unite the different factions was Field Marshal Earl Haig who had been campaigning across the country to raise money for the War’s orphans, widows and wounded. In October 1920 the various organisations met in Edinburgh under Earl Haig’s chairmanship. He outlined the advantages of a single organisation and stressed that the Government would not listen to claims put forward by any organisation unless it was proved that they were the unanimous voice of the Ex-service community. In March 1921 the representatives of the various organisations agreed to form a united body. This was the birth of the British Legion, a purely Scottish organisation. Later that year in London, Field Marshal Haig oversaw the creation of another British Legion. It was then that our forebears took the title British Legion (Scotland). The Legion celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1971when it was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix by the Queen. Today, the Royal British Legion safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served and are serving in the Armed Services. It is one of the United Kingdom’s largest organisations. The objectives of the Legion include: Promoting the welfare of both serving and exService men and women and their dependants, and relieving hardship where it exists;

Raising and distributing money for these purposes. The British Legion is recognised as custodian of Remembrance, and is best known for the annual Poppy Day Appeal which was first held on 11th November 1921. Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of Remembrance? Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War 1 took place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France. The poppy was the only thing that grew in the aftermath of the complete devastation. Colonel John McRae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed Forces, deeply moved by what he saw, wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ which inspired Moina Bell Michael, an American lady, to suggest that the wearing of a poppy would be the way to keep faith. Approximately 40 million poppies, 38,000 wreaths and 350,000 remembrance crosses are distributed each year. The funds raised help the Royal British Legion in its work of providing:

- Residential and convalescent homes for ex-Service personnel; - War pensions advice and assistance; - A welfare service; - Training and employment for ex-Service men and women; - Pilgrimages for widows and relatives to war graves; - Financial assistance for needy, permanently incapacitated persons and widows.

which will be insulation of the entire building. Monies raised for this aspect are held in a ring-fenced account – the May Sale raised a magnificent £2,456.83, with members of Ladies Probus holding a Silent Auction which brought in £2,610.88. We are always delighted when Halls users organise fundraisers for the Halls, and we are hoping to have a Fundraising thermometer outside the Halls soon to recognise those who have contributed, and to monitor progress!

Thank you, Eileen We are sorry to report that Eileen Collins, who has handled all the Halls bookings over the last six years, has decided to retire at the end of August - our grateful thanks go to her for all her hard work over the years. We are exploring all the options for handling bookings, possibly with the Library acting as a “post box” for the supply and receipt of booking forms and a central Bookings Book held there, but if you have any queries, please direct them to me, and I will ensure that information goes out to everyone as soon as possible.

Future films? We are always looking for other services we could provide for the community. Many people have suggested that a facility for showing films – whether through a film club or as regular film shows – would be supported. Nick Mardall, Deeside Donside Development Project Manager, is helping us gather information and costings – watch this space! Plans for a Learning Centre for Upper Deeside have been under discussion for some time, and one suggestion has been that the under-utilised Beaton Craigie Room might provide a suitable location for courses, whilst giving the Halls an extra income long term. Much work has to be done to put together a

23

case for this, but we are working with Nick Mardall to move this forward. In the meantime, we are continuing with our fund-raising 300+ Club. August draw winners - number 04 John Brodie £75, number 72 Bob McAra £50, number 272 Alistair Cassie £40, number 70 Marion White £30. 26th November – a celebration of Scotland with St Andrews Night event - Watch out for information and tickets soon! Do you have any ideas for fundraisers? We would love to hear from you. Why not come along to one of our monthly Halls meetings where you would be made most welcome! For information regarding dates of meetings, please contact me on 013397 55745 or Email marybellmacaulay@btinternet.com

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24 CLAN in the Community, based here in Ballater, continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the continued generous support of many local people. The shop is open Mon-Sat 10-4, and locals and visitors alike enjoy browsing, and finding a bargain. Upstairs, the Drop-In Centre is well-used, sometimes to find out specific information from our library but most often just for a chat over a cuppa. TLC abounds, and the therapy room provides a safe haven from the world, providing treatments which help lift the spirits and provide a welcome morale boost. These are funded by donations. Outside the Centre, there’s lots going on too. Second Chancers, the support group for those who have, at some time, had a diagnosis

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CLAN News

by Linda Drever

of cancer, meets on the last Wednesday of each month. Ballater Golf Club kindly allows the group to use the Upstairs Meeting Room, which has a stunning view over the golf course and always inspires. On the second Tuesday afternoon of the month, a small group goes for a gentle stroll of approximately 2 miles. The walks are open to anyone who in any way has been affected by cancer, and are generally led by a professional walking guide, who is supersensitive to each person’s capabilities on that particular day. Cairngorms National Park, through their Walking To Health initiative, provides funding which allows us to have a minibus available to take us a short way out of the village for our walks. Fundraising, (or Fun-raising), is a significant part of what goes on too, with events like quizzes, strawberry teas, coffee mornings, ‘bag-packs’, etc. going on regularly throughout the year plus additional one-off events. Perhaps our biggest event is now the CLAN Tartan Trek™ held in May and growing year on year. Many, many volunteers ‘work’ to enable all these activities to happen successfully, but most importantly, we have lots of fun doing it. Would you consider donating a couple of hours, (even as a one-off), to help with an event? Do you have a skill or an unusual fundraising idea you could share with us? No contribution is too small to be appreciated. As they say, “mony a mickle maks a muckle”, and it all contributes to the support services we are able to offer locally. If you want to find out more just drop in, or call the Centre on 013397 56318. Don’t forget the 3rd CLAN Tartan Trek™ – plenty of time to get fit!!!

Balmoral Estate Autumn Events by Glyn Jones Saturday 29th October Cairns walk Experience the autumn splendour of the Balmoral Woods. A walk linking some of the historical cairns on the Estate, with spectacular views of Deeside. Organised to celebrate The International Year of Forests. Meeting point: Crathie car park. Time: 10-4pm. Distance: 10kms (6 miles), Ascent 250m. Cost: Free. Booking essential – 013397 55059. Saturday 12th November Three Lochs Walk Visit Loch Muick, the Dubh Loch and Loch Buidhe all in one spectacular mountain day. A rough mountain walk, across heather moorland. Hill walking gear and a good level of fitness required. Meeting point: The Spittal

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of Glen Muick visitor centre. Time: 10-5pm. Distance: 9Kms (5.5 miles) Ascent 300m. Cost: £5. Booking essential – 013397 55059. Sunday 11th December International Mountain Day Winter Ascent. Climb a winter peak with the Balmoral Rangers. A high winter walk, the exact route will be decided on the morning of the walk and will mainly depend on weather conditions. A good level of fitness required. Meeting point: Glen Muick Visitor Centre. Time: 9:30 – 3:30pm. Cost: £5. Booking Essential– 013397 55059.

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he has become our sole, permanent village orderly, and he can be seen at any time walking the streets and picking up discarded rubbish of all sorts, often in his own time. Many people in Ballater admire his good work and his happy disposition, and Ballater and Crathie Community Council would like

to add their tribute to this young man for his outstanding service. Through his efforts, he has inspired us to try to keep the streets, parks and byways of Ballater as clean as possible. We have therefore launched an appeal for the community to rally around and join with him, and by our combined efforts, we can improve the natural beauty of this wonderful place.

Ballater Old School

Crathie News

In the previous edition of the Eagle it was reported that BRD and the North-East of Scotland Preservation Trust had commissioned an Options Appraisal Study to look into possible viable uses for the Old School site. The study is due to finish in September. As part of the study the consultants (Jura Consultants and Groves-Raines Architects) were at the Community ‘Drop-in’ Day held on July 16th in the Victoria Hall (see Page 20). They presented three options that they had been considering and wanted the views of local people as to which option was preferred, and suggestions for possible improvements. In all three options, the grounds of the Old School are to be used for building affordable housing. The main question to be answered is - ‘How best to use the main Old School buildings?’ The main building is ‘listed’ and has some fine Victoria features. The three options for re-use of the site put forward were: Option 1: - conversion to private housing Option 2: - mixed use office accommodation and training/learning centre Option 3: - mixed use office accommodation and artists’ studios Other possibilities being considered by Jura Consultants include the provision of a dentists’ surgery (or other medical/healthrelated ‘outreach’ facilities) and the use of part of the main building as an interpretation/visitor centre for the Cairngorms National Park. The proposals created a lot of interest at the Community Day and the consultants were constantly in discussion with visitors. It is hoped that the final report will be published on the internet and anyone wishing to read it should obtain details from Gillian at BRD, telephone 013397 55467.

Royal Lochnagar

by Mike Franklin

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by Marion Macintyre

Donald Renwick, Site Operations Manager & Malts Brand Ambassador at Royal Lochnagar Distillery, retired in June after 30 years service with the company which he joined on 1 June 1981 as an electrical engineer at the White Horse bottling plant in Borron Street, Glasgow, and over the next 12 years worked in bottling halls in Glasgow and Perth. In 1993 he moved to the Moray area and began work at Burghead and Roseisle Maltings as maintenance manager. After two years he moved to Moray House in Elgin as a production engineer looking after the North and Islay Group.  Donald ventured into distillery management in 1998 when he moved to Islay to run Lagavulin Distillery. He spent seven happy

years on the island but family commitments forced a return to the mainland. and he came to Royal Lochnagar in October 2005, where as well as being the distillery manager he was also the course director for the Malt Advocate Course. Donald has enjoyed working in the distilleries and alongside the Malts Team and has had the opportunity to travel extensively in Europe and Japan promoting the Company brands. He now looks forward to continuing his career out-with Diageo, and pursuing his interests such as hill walking (is well through the Munro list!) and travelling the world. He and his wife Maureen are looking forward to moving back into their home in Forres which has been totally refurbished and upgraded,

Ballater’s New:

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit

Fresh Daily. Wholefoods & Spices Pickles & Chutneys Homemade Jams & Marmalade Homemade in store: Sauces Quiches, Tarts, Salads, Cakes Soups, Sandwiches Smoked Salmon Monday - Saturday

Fabulous Fresh Flowers

Bunches to Bouquets. Handcooked Crisps Cheeses & Biscuits Olives Antipasto Charcuterie Picnic Hampers Buffets catered for

47 Bridge Street, Ballater. 013397 55741


26

though Donald still has a few ‘projects’ there! Returning to Royal Lochnagar to replace Donald as manager after 7 years away is Andrew Millsopp, who is no stranger to the area, having previously lived and worked at the distillery under Mike Nicolson and David Hardy.  Andrew is originally from County Down in Northern Ireland and has worked for Diageo since 1998.

while with his wife Lorna and their 2 year old daughter Ciara!!

are so lucky to live in Ballater, among such a generous bunch of folk.

Coffee at the Kirk

During this time he has worked across the company in breweries for Guinness in Ireland, in Packaging at Leven at Fife, Grain Distilling at Port Dundas in Glasgow and has even made Irish whiskey at Bushmills in County Antrim!

The Coffee Ladies of Crathie Kirk will continue to run their ever popular coffee mornings in September and October. Come along to Crathie Church Hall on a Monday morning between 10am and 12.30pm where you will be welcomed with tempting home bakes, tea and coffee. After a well earned break, the ladies will be back with a one-off Christmas Coffee Morning, so make a note in your diary to come along on Monday 5 December - winter weather permitting!

On moving back to Royal Lochnagar, Andrew has now clocked up 19 of the 28 distilleries in the group including Oban, Glenkinchie and Dalwhinnie and is looking forward to staying in the one place for a

The Group continues to meet on a monthly basis to discuss a wide variety of titles, and welcomed a new member, Karen, who joined for the June meeting when

Crathie Book Group

DARROCH LEARG Dinner 7pm - 9pm Sunday Lunch 12:30 - 2pm A Red Star Hotel An AA Inspector’s Choice Hotel Also recommended in the Good Food Guide, and Scotland the Best



Royal Deeside’s Award Winning Highland Retreat Darroch Learg, Braemar Road, Ballater AB35 5UX Telephone 013397-55443 www.darrochlearg.co.uk

People have been really positive about my new look and have said some really nice things! I may just keep it, though with the summer we’ve been having I may have to dig out some winter hats again!

Local Hero 31

by Martin Holroyd

We are in many ways a very lucky community here in Ballater. We are very well served by all our Local Council employees, but I would like to comment on one outstanding member of this group of persons. I refer to Ian Munro, originally from Monymusk, he moved to Ballater after his father Gillespie retired as dominie of the school there. The family became a great part of our community, and were always involved at the very centre of Ballater activities. Gillespie passed away some years ago but Ian’s mother Mary is such a wonderful character and her language skills, poetry and work for the history group here are worthy of mention. Ian was  employed by the Council some time ago and among his many duties,

The Deeside Hotel & Garden Restaurant Recommended in the Good Hotel Guide 2011

Dinner

6 – 8.30 pm daily

Early evening special

6 -7 pm

2 course menu

£15.50

45 Braemar Road, Ballater. 013397 55420


30

Lizzie’s Tea Party for Diabetes UK by Cat Houston

In late May, Lizzie, 6, who has type 1 diabetes, hosted a Tea Party in Hawthorn Place, Ballater to raise funds for Diabetes UK. Over £700 was raised on the day itself (although more came later, see next column). There was a pot in the marquee into which visitors could put whatever donation they wished to give. Every penny given at the Tea Party goes to the Diabetes UK Grampian Voluntary Group, based in Aberdeen, which does great work helping out families in the area who are affected by diabetes, both Type 1 and 2. As always tea and cakes, many of them donated by friends and family, were served in the marquee. We also had a bouncy castle,

face painting and nail art. Cath from Pannanich Way in the village, whose seven-year-old twin girls Louise and Katie both have Type 1, had a knitted toys stall, which raised £260 by itself. Many thanks to Sarah-Jane Cowan from the Hair Loft in Ballater, who did an absolutely sterling job on shaving my head to raise more funds, and to everyone else who helped out on the day. Update: The final total stood at £1,034.70, which includes £195 raised on a JustGiving site, which goes straight to Diabetes UK, the national charity. The response to the Tea Party and the head shave has been just amazing. We

STATION Popular Informal Restaurant in the Old Royal Station

Open daily from 10am Station Square, Ballater AB35 5PB Telephone 013397 55050

the “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was the subject of discussion. This resulted in a lively meeting, the overall verdict being that, despite some flaws, it had been a very worthwhile read. July saw the group tackling “Ghost Light” by Joseph O’Connor which provoked a range of reactions, from those who loved it to those who found it confusing and annoying and a few shades in between! At the time of writing, the group is reading “Notes on a Scandal” by Zoe Heller.

One Man & His Dog The finals of the television programme “One Man and His Dog” were held beside Balmoral Castle, this year celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show. The 150 Blackfaced ewe hoggs were provided by Ronald Finnie from The Bush. Shearing had to be postponed until after the event or the sheep would have been too feisty and difficult to control. The contestants and their dogs, from all over the U.K. were brilliant, the sheep looked good and were well behaved, while the scenery with the castle in the background was magnificent. The programme will be shown on BBC TV in December.

Crathie Bowling Club The Crathie bowlers will resume their winter programme in October and will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7pm in Crathie New Hall. Members as always, are happy to welcome new faces – no previous experience necessary!

VSA

Aberdeenshire

27

by Chris Cairns

VSA have 5 Carers’ Centres in Aberdeenshire, the nearest to Ballater being the one in Aboyne. VSA Carers’ Centres are committed to promoting a greater awareness of carers and their needs. Although based in Aboyne, the Carers Support and Development worker works with carers throughout Deeside A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who would be unable to manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction, or disability. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. VSA carers services are open to all carers. We provide one-to-one support as well as support groups, opportunities for meeting other carers socially, and for training. We offer an advisory service to carers including income maximisation and benefits, community care and respite provision. We organise regular carers events which raise the profile of carers issues and lead to a greater awareness in the local community. We may be contacted at VSA Carers’ Centre, Office 9, Aboyne Business Centre, Huntly Road, Aboyne AB34 5HE, where our office hours are 9 – 1.30pm on Monday, and 9 to 3.30pm on Thursday and Friday. Telephone: 013398 87291, or email Chris.Cairns@vsa.org.uk

Carnelian

“Feel Good Factor”

Lynn Park

Massage Therapist

Swedish Remedial Massage Thermo Auricular Therapy 1 Netherley Place, Ballater. Mobile 07793354249


28

Victoria Week 2011

Ballater simply buzzed during the second week of August as crowds flocked to over 40 events laid on as part of this year’s Victoria Week. Day Events Coordinator Adrian Scripps said: “We had 10 new events put forward for this year and they all went down a storm, especially the scarecrow competition! The response from locals, businesses, organisations and visitors has been just tremendous. “The positive vibe in the village and the lovely messages of support we’ve received tells us that people want this event to continue in the same vein. This spectacular showcase for the village came together through the efforts of a small but dedicated committee and many of them filled the roles of three or four people this year! This is a great learning curve for those involved but not sustainable in the long term, so if you enjoyed any part of the week this year, please, please, please put yourself forward to help it happen again next year. It’s a silver jubilee for VW, and a Diamond for HM, so the challenge is on to make it even bigger and better…!” If you have any ideas for how Ballater Victoria Week’s 25th year can be appropriately celebrated then the committee wants to hear them. As well as coming up with fresh ideas, it is hoped that Victoria Weeks from times past will also provide some inspiration for the Julibee event. Perhaps you have some memories to share? Get in touch using the contacts below. For updates and lots more photos head online to www.ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, or you can find Ballater Victoria Week on Facebook (Community Organisation, and please say you “like” it!). If you have any feedback you can contact the committee by email at info@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, call secretary Val Norton on 013397 55018 or come to the VW AGM meeting at the Victoria Halls (MS Room) on Wednesday November 16th, 7.30pm. Here’s a selection of just a few of the fun VW events captured on film in 2011...

...plenty to amuse!

29


28

Victoria Week 2011

Ballater simply buzzed during the second week of August as crowds flocked to over 40 events laid on as part of this year’s Victoria Week. Day Events Coordinator Adrian Scripps said: “We had 10 new events put forward for this year and they all went down a storm, especially the scarecrow competition! The response from locals, businesses, organisations and visitors has been just tremendous. “The positive vibe in the village and the lovely messages of support we’ve received tells us that people want this event to continue in the same vein. This spectacular showcase for the village came together through the efforts of a small but dedicated committee and many of them filled the roles of three or four people this year! This is a great learning curve for those involved but not sustainable in the long term, so if you enjoyed any part of the week this year, please, please, please put yourself forward to help it happen again next year. It’s a silver jubilee for VW, and a Diamond for HM, so the challenge is on to make it even bigger and better…!” If you have any ideas for how Ballater Victoria Week’s 25th year can be appropriately celebrated then the committee wants to hear them. As well as coming up with fresh ideas, it is hoped that Victoria Weeks from times past will also provide some inspiration for the Julibee event. Perhaps you have some memories to share? Get in touch using the contacts below. For updates and lots more photos head online to www.ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, or you can find Ballater Victoria Week on Facebook (Community Organisation, and please say you “like” it!). If you have any feedback you can contact the committee by email at info@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, call secretary Val Norton on 013397 55018 or come to the VW AGM meeting at the Victoria Halls (MS Room) on Wednesday November 16th, 7.30pm. Here’s a selection of just a few of the fun VW events captured on film in 2011...

...plenty to amuse!

29


30

Lizzie’s Tea Party for Diabetes UK by Cat Houston

In late May, Lizzie, 6, who has type 1 diabetes, hosted a Tea Party in Hawthorn Place, Ballater to raise funds for Diabetes UK. Over £700 was raised on the day itself (although more came later, see next column). There was a pot in the marquee into which visitors could put whatever donation they wished to give. Every penny given at the Tea Party goes to the Diabetes UK Grampian Voluntary Group, based in Aberdeen, which does great work helping out families in the area who are affected by diabetes, both Type 1 and 2. As always tea and cakes, many of them donated by friends and family, were served in the marquee. We also had a bouncy castle,

face painting and nail art. Cath from Pannanich Way in the village, whose seven-year-old twin girls Louise and Katie both have Type 1, had a knitted toys stall, which raised £260 by itself. Many thanks to Sarah-Jane Cowan from the Hair Loft in Ballater, who did an absolutely sterling job on shaving my head to raise more funds, and to everyone else who helped out on the day. Update: The final total stood at £1,034.70, which includes £195 raised on a JustGiving site, which goes straight to Diabetes UK, the national charity. The response to the Tea Party and the head shave has been just amazing. We

STATION Popular Informal Restaurant in the Old Royal Station

Open daily from 10am Station Square, Ballater AB35 5PB Telephone 013397 55050

the “Half of a Yellow Sun” by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was the subject of discussion. This resulted in a lively meeting, the overall verdict being that, despite some flaws, it had been a very worthwhile read. July saw the group tackling “Ghost Light” by Joseph O’Connor which provoked a range of reactions, from those who loved it to those who found it confusing and annoying and a few shades in between! At the time of writing, the group is reading “Notes on a Scandal” by Zoe Heller.

One Man & His Dog The finals of the television programme “One Man and His Dog” were held beside Balmoral Castle, this year celebrating the 35th anniversary of the show. The 150 Blackfaced ewe hoggs were provided by Ronald Finnie from The Bush. Shearing had to be postponed until after the event or the sheep would have been too feisty and difficult to control. The contestants and their dogs, from all over the U.K. were brilliant, the sheep looked good and were well behaved, while the scenery with the castle in the background was magnificent. The programme will be shown on BBC TV in December.

Crathie Bowling Club The Crathie bowlers will resume their winter programme in October and will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7pm in Crathie New Hall. Members as always, are happy to welcome new faces – no previous experience necessary!

VSA

Aberdeenshire

27

by Chris Cairns

VSA have 5 Carers’ Centres in Aberdeenshire, the nearest to Ballater being the one in Aboyne. VSA Carers’ Centres are committed to promoting a greater awareness of carers and their needs. Although based in Aboyne, the Carers Support and Development worker works with carers throughout Deeside A carer is someone who, without payment, provides help and support to a partner, child, relative, friend or neighbour, who would be unable to manage without their help. This could be due to age, physical or mental illness, addiction, or disability. Carers come from all walks of life, all cultures and can be of any age. VSA carers services are open to all carers. We provide one-to-one support as well as support groups, opportunities for meeting other carers socially, and for training. We offer an advisory service to carers including income maximisation and benefits, community care and respite provision. We organise regular carers events which raise the profile of carers issues and lead to a greater awareness in the local community. We may be contacted at VSA Carers’ Centre, Office 9, Aboyne Business Centre, Huntly Road, Aboyne AB34 5HE, where our office hours are 9 – 1.30pm on Monday, and 9 to 3.30pm on Thursday and Friday. Telephone: 013398 87291, or email Chris.Cairns@vsa.org.uk

Carnelian

“Feel Good Factor”

Lynn Park

Massage Therapist

Swedish Remedial Massage Thermo Auricular Therapy 1 Netherley Place, Ballater. Mobile 07793354249


26

though Donald still has a few ‘projects’ there! Returning to Royal Lochnagar to replace Donald as manager after 7 years away is Andrew Millsopp, who is no stranger to the area, having previously lived and worked at the distillery under Mike Nicolson and David Hardy.  Andrew is originally from County Down in Northern Ireland and has worked for Diageo since 1998.

while with his wife Lorna and their 2 year old daughter Ciara!!

are so lucky to live in Ballater, among such a generous bunch of folk.

Coffee at the Kirk

During this time he has worked across the company in breweries for Guinness in Ireland, in Packaging at Leven at Fife, Grain Distilling at Port Dundas in Glasgow and has even made Irish whiskey at Bushmills in County Antrim!

The Coffee Ladies of Crathie Kirk will continue to run their ever popular coffee mornings in September and October. Come along to Crathie Church Hall on a Monday morning between 10am and 12.30pm where you will be welcomed with tempting home bakes, tea and coffee. After a well earned break, the ladies will be back with a one-off Christmas Coffee Morning, so make a note in your diary to come along on Monday 5 December - winter weather permitting!

On moving back to Royal Lochnagar, Andrew has now clocked up 19 of the 28 distilleries in the group including Oban, Glenkinchie and Dalwhinnie and is looking forward to staying in the one place for a

The Group continues to meet on a monthly basis to discuss a wide variety of titles, and welcomed a new member, Karen, who joined for the June meeting when

Crathie Book Group

DARROCH LEARG Dinner 7pm - 9pm Sunday Lunch 12:30 - 2pm A Red Star Hotel An AA Inspector’s Choice Hotel Also recommended in the Good Food Guide, and Scotland the Best



Royal Deeside’s Award Winning Highland Retreat Darroch Learg, Braemar Road, Ballater AB35 5UX Telephone 013397-55443 www.darrochlearg.co.uk

People have been really positive about my new look and have said some really nice things! I may just keep it, though with the summer we’ve been having I may have to dig out some winter hats again!

Local Hero 31

by Martin Holroyd

We are in many ways a very lucky community here in Ballater. We are very well served by all our Local Council employees, but I would like to comment on one outstanding member of this group of persons. I refer to Ian Munro, originally from Monymusk, he moved to Ballater after his father Gillespie retired as dominie of the school there. The family became a great part of our community, and were always involved at the very centre of Ballater activities. Gillespie passed away some years ago but Ian’s mother Mary is such a wonderful character and her language skills, poetry and work for the history group here are worthy of mention. Ian was  employed by the Council some time ago and among his many duties,

The Deeside Hotel & Garden Restaurant Recommended in the Good Hotel Guide 2011

Dinner

6 – 8.30 pm daily

Early evening special

6 -7 pm

2 course menu

£15.50

45 Braemar Road, Ballater. 013397 55420


32

he has become our sole, permanent village orderly, and he can be seen at any time walking the streets and picking up discarded rubbish of all sorts, often in his own time. Many people in Ballater admire his good work and his happy disposition, and Ballater and Crathie Community Council would like

to add their tribute to this young man for his outstanding service. Through his efforts, he has inspired us to try to keep the streets, parks and byways of Ballater as clean as possible. We have therefore launched an appeal for the community to rally around and join with him, and by our combined efforts, we can improve the natural beauty of this wonderful place.

Ballater Old School

Crathie News

In the previous edition of the Eagle it was reported that BRD and the North-East of Scotland Preservation Trust had commissioned an Options Appraisal Study to look into possible viable uses for the Old School site. The study is due to finish in September. As part of the study the consultants (Jura Consultants and Groves-Raines Architects) were at the Community ‘Drop-in’ Day held on July 16th in the Victoria Hall (see Page 20). They presented three options that they had been considering and wanted the views of local people as to which option was preferred, and suggestions for possible improvements. In all three options, the grounds of the Old School are to be used for building affordable housing. The main question to be answered is - ‘How best to use the main Old School buildings?’ The main building is ‘listed’ and has some fine Victoria features. The three options for re-use of the site put forward were: Option 1: - conversion to private housing Option 2: - mixed use office accommodation and training/learning centre Option 3: - mixed use office accommodation and artists’ studios Other possibilities being considered by Jura Consultants include the provision of a dentists’ surgery (or other medical/healthrelated ‘outreach’ facilities) and the use of part of the main building as an interpretation/visitor centre for the Cairngorms National Park. The proposals created a lot of interest at the Community Day and the consultants were constantly in discussion with visitors. It is hoped that the final report will be published on the internet and anyone wishing to read it should obtain details from Gillian at BRD, telephone 013397 55467.

Royal Lochnagar

by Mike Franklin

25

by Marion Macintyre

Donald Renwick, Site Operations Manager & Malts Brand Ambassador at Royal Lochnagar Distillery, retired in June after 30 years service with the company which he joined on 1 June 1981 as an electrical engineer at the White Horse bottling plant in Borron Street, Glasgow, and over the next 12 years worked in bottling halls in Glasgow and Perth. In 1993 he moved to the Moray area and began work at Burghead and Roseisle Maltings as maintenance manager. After two years he moved to Moray House in Elgin as a production engineer looking after the North and Islay Group.  Donald ventured into distillery management in 1998 when he moved to Islay to run Lagavulin Distillery. He spent seven happy

years on the island but family commitments forced a return to the mainland. and he came to Royal Lochnagar in October 2005, where as well as being the distillery manager he was also the course director for the Malt Advocate Course. Donald has enjoyed working in the distilleries and alongside the Malts Team and has had the opportunity to travel extensively in Europe and Japan promoting the Company brands. He now looks forward to continuing his career out-with Diageo, and pursuing his interests such as hill walking (is well through the Munro list!) and travelling the world. He and his wife Maureen are looking forward to moving back into their home in Forres which has been totally refurbished and upgraded,

Ballater’s New:

Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit

Fresh Daily. Wholefoods & Spices Pickles & Chutneys Homemade Jams & Marmalade Homemade in store: Sauces Quiches, Tarts, Salads, Cakes Soups, Sandwiches Smoked Salmon Monday - Saturday

Fabulous Fresh Flowers

Bunches to Bouquets. Handcooked Crisps Cheeses & Biscuits Olives Antipasto Charcuterie Picnic Hampers Buffets catered for

47 Bridge Street, Ballater. 013397 55741


24 CLAN in the Community, based here in Ballater, continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the continued generous support of many local people. The shop is open Mon-Sat 10-4, and locals and visitors alike enjoy browsing, and finding a bargain. Upstairs, the Drop-In Centre is well-used, sometimes to find out specific information from our library but most often just for a chat over a cuppa. TLC abounds, and the therapy room provides a safe haven from the world, providing treatments which help lift the spirits and provide a welcome morale boost. These are funded by donations. Outside the Centre, there’s lots going on too. Second Chancers, the support group for those who have, at some time, had a diagnosis

Physiotherapy Osteopathy Sports & Remedial Massage Aboyne Physiotherapy offers a wide range of treatments to help with back and neck pain, sports injuries, muscular and joint pain, stroke rehabilitation. A GP referral is not a requirement for private physiotherapy. Patients are very welcome to self refer. Charleston Buildings, Ballater Road Aboyne, AB34 5HN (013398) 86874 www.aboynephysiotherapy.co.uk

CLAN News

by Linda Drever

of cancer, meets on the last Wednesday of each month. Ballater Golf Club kindly allows the group to use the Upstairs Meeting Room, which has a stunning view over the golf course and always inspires. On the second Tuesday afternoon of the month, a small group goes for a gentle stroll of approximately 2 miles. The walks are open to anyone who in any way has been affected by cancer, and are generally led by a professional walking guide, who is supersensitive to each person’s capabilities on that particular day. Cairngorms National Park, through their Walking To Health initiative, provides funding which allows us to have a minibus available to take us a short way out of the village for our walks. Fundraising, (or Fun-raising), is a significant part of what goes on too, with events like quizzes, strawberry teas, coffee mornings, ‘bag-packs’, etc. going on regularly throughout the year plus additional one-off events. Perhaps our biggest event is now the CLAN Tartan Trek™ held in May and growing year on year. Many, many volunteers ‘work’ to enable all these activities to happen successfully, but most importantly, we have lots of fun doing it. Would you consider donating a couple of hours, (even as a one-off), to help with an event? Do you have a skill or an unusual fundraising idea you could share with us? No contribution is too small to be appreciated. As they say, “mony a mickle maks a muckle”, and it all contributes to the support services we are able to offer locally. If you want to find out more just drop in, or call the Centre on 013397 56318. Don’t forget the 3rd CLAN Tartan Trek™ – plenty of time to get fit!!!

Balmoral Estate Autumn Events by Glyn Jones Saturday 29th October Cairns walk Experience the autumn splendour of the Balmoral Woods. A walk linking some of the historical cairns on the Estate, with spectacular views of Deeside. Organised to celebrate The International Year of Forests. Meeting point: Crathie car park. Time: 10-4pm. Distance: 10kms (6 miles), Ascent 250m. Cost: Free. Booking essential – 013397 55059. Saturday 12th November Three Lochs Walk Visit Loch Muick, the Dubh Loch and Loch Buidhe all in one spectacular mountain day. A rough mountain walk, across heather moorland. Hill walking gear and a good level of fitness required. Meeting point: The Spittal

33

of Glen Muick visitor centre. Time: 10-5pm. Distance: 9Kms (5.5 miles) Ascent 300m. Cost: £5. Booking essential – 013397 55059. Sunday 11th December International Mountain Day Winter Ascent. Climb a winter peak with the Balmoral Rangers. A high winter walk, the exact route will be decided on the morning of the walk and will mainly depend on weather conditions. A good level of fitness required. Meeting point: Glen Muick Visitor Centre. Time: 9:30 – 3:30pm. Cost: £5. Booking Essential– 013397 55059.

STUART ESSON PLUMBING & HEATING ENGINEER TEL: 013397 56378 MOBILE: 07786 543100

LOCAL EXPERIENCED AWARD WINNING KNOWLEDGEABLE INDUSTRIOUS EFFICIENT


34

British Legion is 90

Origins of the Poppy Day Appeal by Margaret Ramsey

2011 is the 90th Anniversary of the British Legion (Scotland). Before the 1914 -18 war the needs of former Servicemen were met by their own units. All were independent of each other and lacked a unity of purpose. The one national figure with sufficient status to unite the different factions was Field Marshal Earl Haig who had been campaigning across the country to raise money for the War’s orphans, widows and wounded. In October 1920 the various organisations met in Edinburgh under Earl Haig’s chairmanship. He outlined the advantages of a single organisation and stressed that the Government would not listen to claims put forward by any organisation unless it was proved that they were the unanimous voice of the Ex-service community. In March 1921 the representatives of the various organisations agreed to form a united body. This was the birth of the British Legion, a purely Scottish organisation. Later that year in London, Field Marshal Haig oversaw the creation of another British Legion. It was then that our forebears took the title British Legion (Scotland). The Legion celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1971when it was granted the ‘Royal’ prefix by the Queen. Today, the Royal British Legion safeguards the welfare, interests and memory of those who have served and are serving in the Armed Services. It is one of the United Kingdom’s largest organisations. The objectives of the Legion include: Promoting the welfare of both serving and exService men and women and their dependants, and relieving hardship where it exists;

Raising and distributing money for these purposes. The British Legion is recognised as custodian of Remembrance, and is best known for the annual Poppy Day Appeal which was first held on 11th November 1921. Why was the poppy chosen as the symbol of Remembrance? Some of the bloodiest fighting of World War 1 took place in the Flanders and Picardy regions of Belgium and Northern France. The poppy was the only thing that grew in the aftermath of the complete devastation. Colonel John McRae, a doctor serving there with the Canadian Armed Forces, deeply moved by what he saw, wrote the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ which inspired Moina Bell Michael, an American lady, to suggest that the wearing of a poppy would be the way to keep faith. Approximately 40 million poppies, 38,000 wreaths and 350,000 remembrance crosses are distributed each year. The funds raised help the Royal British Legion in its work of providing:

- Residential and convalescent homes for ex-Service personnel; - War pensions advice and assistance; - A welfare service; - Training and employment for ex-Service men and women; - Pilgrimages for widows and relatives to war graves; - Financial assistance for needy, permanently incapacitated persons and widows.

which will be insulation of the entire building. Monies raised for this aspect are held in a ring-fenced account – the May Sale raised a magnificent £2,456.83, with members of Ladies Probus holding a Silent Auction which brought in £2,610.88. We are always delighted when Halls users organise fundraisers for the Halls, and we are hoping to have a Fundraising thermometer outside the Halls soon to recognise those who have contributed, and to monitor progress!

Thank you, Eileen We are sorry to report that Eileen Collins, who has handled all the Halls bookings over the last six years, has decided to retire at the end of August - our grateful thanks go to her for all her hard work over the years. We are exploring all the options for handling bookings, possibly with the Library acting as a “post box” for the supply and receipt of booking forms and a central Bookings Book held there, but if you have any queries, please direct them to me, and I will ensure that information goes out to everyone as soon as possible.

Future films? We are always looking for other services we could provide for the community. Many people have suggested that a facility for showing films – whether through a film club or as regular film shows – would be supported. Nick Mardall, Deeside Donside Development Project Manager, is helping us gather information and costings – watch this space! Plans for a Learning Centre for Upper Deeside have been under discussion for some time, and one suggestion has been that the under-utilised Beaton Craigie Room might provide a suitable location for courses, whilst giving the Halls an extra income long term. Much work has to be done to put together a

23

case for this, but we are working with Nick Mardall to move this forward. In the meantime, we are continuing with our fund-raising 300+ Club. August draw winners - number 04 John Brodie £75, number 72 Bob McAra £50, number 272 Alistair Cassie £40, number 70 Marion White £30. 26th November – a celebration of Scotland with St Andrews Night event - Watch out for information and tickets soon! Do you have any ideas for fundraisers? We would love to hear from you. Why not come along to one of our monthly Halls meetings where you would be made most welcome! For information regarding dates of meetings, please contact me on 013397 55745 or Email marybellmacaulay@btinternet.com

Old Cine Film Reels & Slides to DVD: Excellent Results Reasonable Cost and No VAT! Do before they fade away! Local Interest DVDs (e.g. “Braemar”, “Royal Deeside - Its Land & People”) & More!

by Bob Thomson (Established 1969) Tel: 013397 41214 Kindrochit Drive, Braemar AB35 5YW


22 Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls

The Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls sit at the centre of our community life in Ballater, and many groups of all ages pursue leisure activities and hold meetings there throughout the year. With the Cairngorms National Park Authority, and Aberdeenshire Library and Information Service as tenants, they also form a very useful hub in the heart of the village. The Halls Trustees and Halls Development Association are working together to ensure that the buildings are kept in a good state of repair in the short term, and long-term plans are in hand to refurbish the entire complex. With the help of CVS Aberdeenshire, both are working towards forming a new management body which will be better able

Invercauld Lodges Self-Catering Accommodation Prices from: £50/night & £350/week 12a Invercauld Road BALLATER AB35 5RP Tel: 013397 55015

Police Page

by Bell Macaulay

to access external funding for the larger sums we will require in due course. The Association is also planning to sign up to the Keystone Award Scheme which provides a guide to best practice in running community facilities and monitors progress. This will help us ensure we are doing the best we can for our wonderful community resource.

Winter warmth

Preparations are in hand to ensure that Halls users are warm and comfortable throughout the cold weather. Lessons were learnt from the last two severe winters – trace heating has been installed to minimise the risks of frozen pipes, our very helpful electrician Alan Fraser has sourced some replacement heaters for the two large halls, and some work is to be carried out on the roofs and flashings to prevent further leaks. Payment for this work will come from our operating account, which was boosted by £1,300 raised at the recent Emerald Isle Dance Team event from the Aberdeen International Youth Festival. Our grateful thanks are due to all those who sold tickets, and helped at the event, and especially to Hilton Craigendarroch who provided a meal for all the youngsters.

Plans

Our longer term plans are also moving ahead. Quotations have been received for an asbestos survey, and a decision has been taken. The survey will go ahead in the next few weeks providing essential information prior to work on the building. We are very lucky to have recruited Isla Imrie to help us identify possible sources of funding for this and for professional assistance to manage the next stage

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by Constable Steve Lafferty

Combating Anti-Social Behaviour Over the summer months local officers have been involved in joint patrols along with the Aberdeenshire Council Ranger service to tackle issues of Anti-Social behaviour at a number of beauty spots in the Deeside area. For many years issues have been reported to the Police in various areas along the Dee in relation to littering, loud music and ‘inappropriate camping’. Whilst we recognise that only a minority are responsible for these issues, it was felt prudent to try to tackle them for the benefit of all. The areas concerned are Clunie Flats, Braemar, Cambus O’May, Ballater, the river bank at Aboyne and Potarch Bridge amongst others. All of these areas are popular with locals and tourists alike. The message is simple, if you are using these areas to camp, party or otherwise enjoy, please be responsible, considerate for others, and tidy up. Police and Rangers found several instances of glass bottles, numerous ‘Camp Fires’, discarded disposable BBQs and general litter in all of these areas. Initially the Rangers service and the Police engaged with users of these areas and provided them with suitable advice.

penchant for loud music, it will most likely disturb someone...Keep the volume down. Fires and the countryside don’t mix (especially when we get dry periods). Please refrain from having a fire, but if you must, use a previously used fire site and keep it small and under control. Please also refrain from damaging fences or living trees for fuel. Be aware that if you are on private land, you may be committing an offence if you do not have permission from the landowner to have a fire. If using disposable BBQs, don’t place them directly onto the grass. A large stone, area of gravel or sand will prevent the ground being damaged, and take the remains with you when you leave. These simple measures will help preserve our beauty spots for the benefit of all. Persons responsible for offences such as those mentioned above can be issued with fixed penalty tickets and in some instances reported to the Procurator Fiscal. As always if you wish advice or to report a crime, contact Grampian Police on 0845 600 5 700 or pop into the office. If you wish to report a crime anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

People are generally aware these days of the outdoor access code which exists, but it must be pointed out that there are conditions to unrestricted access to the countryside.

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National Park Training Development by Fiona Morris

Land Management Training Do you work for or operate a land based business such as a farm, estate, golf course, in forestry, angling, horticulture or in outdoor education, or are you a member of a community group based within the boundaries of the Cairngorms National Park? Could you or your organisation benefit from training to improve your knowledge and skills to make you or your organisation more effective or efficient? Did you know that the Cairngorms National Park Authority has grant funding available through the Land Management Training Programme to assist businesses and people like you undertake training? The Cairngorms National Park Authority has committed £80,000 for each of the next 3

years to training for land based businesses in the National Park. Match funding has been sourced from the Cairngorms Local Action Group and the European Social Fund, adding up to approximately £620,000 for training for the next 3 years. The overall aim is to encourage investment in young people and to provide a better trained /better qualified workforce with more opportunity for job retention within the Park. The intention is to help local businesses to become more efficient and effective and therefore more competitive. All of this has the potential to create vibrant communities and to encourage young people to stay and work in the Park, creating a sustainable future for the area. To help achieve this, we’ve introduced different rates of support for different types of training,

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during the day – roughly what was expected. This is a good number for the size of the community and shows people are interested in what the groups are trying to do. One disappointment, however, was that once again few people aged between 25 and 45 took the opportunity to find out what is happening. Of course, many people in this age group are working or looking after their families but without their input it can be difficult to work out what is the best way forward. Most of the groups taking part in the Community day were locally based but there were some outside groups including the Cairngorms National Park and Marr Area Partnership. Jura Consultants and the Groves-Raines Architects attended from Edinburgh displaying some suggested uses for Ballater Old School. The groups taking part were, V&A Halls, Ballater Library, Ballater Victoria Week, Ballater Community Website, K&D Befriending, Ballater (RD) Ltd, Ballater Business Association, Marr Area Partnership, Cairngorms National Park, BOVOF, Ballater Old School Options Appraisal, Deeside Donside Development Project, Ballater & Crathie Community Council, Deeside and Cairngorms DMO, Ballater Historic Forestry Project, and Ballater RHS. Hopefully, all the groups and residents who took part found it a useful day.

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sunshine, high winds, rain and snow, which was both challenging and exhilarating, only two of the walks had to be modified for safety reasons. By the end of the week all were feeling a great sense of achievement. Members of the Probus walking group provided the backbone of helpers throughout the week. Rangers from Aberdeenshire and the Balmoral Estate along with Alan Melrose, a professional guide, led the more challenging routes. The evening programme was geared to have something of interest for everyone. The annual dinner took place in the Golf Club midweek. The grand finale was a traditional Ceilidh, held in the Victoria Hall on the Friday night, when Douglas Burke and Rob McCombie kept feet tapping and arms swinging in time to the music. In addition, Ballater Pipe Band also gave a rousing performance during the interval.

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Walking Festival 2011 The week began on Saturday 21 May with the welcome reception in the Albert Hall, where the walkers linked up with old friends and also new ones taking part for the first time. They enjoyed a drink and finger buffet. Around 90 walkers from Australia, Holland and across the UK experienced a successful programme of graded walks - easy, moderate and strenuous/long each day, beginning on 22 May and finishing on 27 May. D e s p i t e a m i x t u r e o f w e a t h e r,

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Victoria Week 2011

Ballater simply buzzed during the second week of August as crowds flocked to over 40 events laid on as part of this year’s Victoria Week. Day Events Coordinator Adrian Scripps said: “We had 10 new events put forward for this year and they all went down a storm, especially the scarecrow competition! The response from locals, businesses, organisations and visitors has been just tremendous. “The positive vibe in the village and the lovely messages of support we’ve received tells us that people want this event to continue in the same vein. This spectacular showcase for the village came together through the efforts of a small but dedicated committee and many of them filled the roles of three or four people this year! This is a great learning curve for those involved but not sustainable in the long term, so if you enjoyed any part of the week this year, please, please, please put yourself forward to help it happen again next year. It’s a silver jubilee for VW, and a Diamond for HM, so the challenge is on to make it even bigger and better…!” If you have any ideas for how Ballater Victoria Week’s 25th year can be appropriately celebrated then the committee wants to hear them. As well as coming up with fresh ideas, it is hoped that Victoria Weeks from times past will also provide some inspiration for the Julibee event. Perhaps you have some memories to share? Get in touch using the contacts below. For updates and lots more photos head online to www.ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, or you can find Ballater Victoria Week on Facebook (Community Organisation, and please say you “like” it!). If you have any feedback you can contact the committee by email at info@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk, call secretary Val Norton on 013397 55018 or come to the VW AGM meeting at the Victoria Halls (MS Room) on Wednesday November 16th, 7.30pm. Here’s a selection of just a few of the fun VW events captured on film in 2011...

...plenty to amuse!

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20 The community hydro scheme near Braemar is approaching a planning application stage but is waiting for final funding approval.

Forestry project

The Dalmochie Forestry Project is now looking at an option to purchase the ground on which to restore the site. The Ballater Historic Forestry Project Association will then be able to decide the best level of restoration for the original logging camp. It is anticipated that the site could help visitor numbers in Ballater by developing this site for the benefit of the community. Once again I would ask folk to contact me if they have any project they would like to pursue Nick.dddp@btconnect.com or tel; 013397 53775.

Ballater (RD) Ltd

by Gillian Sinclair

BRD has remained active on a number of fronts, two of which are reported below.

‘Drop-in’ day

BRD organised a Community ‘Drop-in’ Day in the Victoria Hall on Saturday 16 July. Some sixteen groups working for the benefit of Ballater residents were present. Residents of Ballater were able to call in at the Hall to find out what the groups were doing and to discuss future plans. Discussions ranged from serious questions about the future of Ballater Old School through to a request that something be done to stop vehicles looking for a way through to the A93 getting caught up in the Nicol Court cul-de-sac. The Victoria Week committee used the opportunity to launch its new-look brochure. About 120 people called in at some point

with an enhanced rate of support for people in the 20-25 age group.

Support for the young In particular, the Park is focusing on developing young people (aged 20-25) already in employment in businesses directly involved in the management of land (farms, crofts, estates, angling, forestry). Self employed individuals are included. Individuals must have been in the employment of the business for 3 months or more. Applications should outline a training programme that develops the young person’s skills and abilities and must be for a minimum of 2 training events in a period of less than one year. Training topics should be directly related to land management in the Park that are not available through alternative schemes such as the Modern Apprenticeship. Subject matter might include management and leadership for

37

land managers, ecological and habitat survey, monitoring and low carbon land management, soil management, pest control, management of woodlands and wetlands, fencing, grassland management, renewable energy, deer and larder management. This list is not exhaustive. This type of training will attract a grant of 60%.

Businesses & communities Much of the training required by land based businesses is of a technical nature or skills based, such as trailer driving, machinery use or national governing body qualifications for the outdoor education sector. We can offer a grant of 25% for this type of training for those aged 16 or over who are employed in a land based business. Community groups could attract funding of 40% for

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The outstanding late 16th or early 17th century castle ruins on Deeside are those of Knock – (Cnoc – a hill), hence a castle on a hill. On the north side of the South Deeside Road (B976) west of Bridgend of Muick, a substantial ruin stands proudly on land that was not originally as thickly afforested as at present. Knock, a Durward stronghold or simple fort, existed in the time of Wallace and Bruce. The Durwards also had a stronghold at Abergairn. James the Gross, High Chancellor to James V gave the lands of Knock to a brother of Abergeldie. Family feuds spanned the generations, and they were particularly bitter between the Gordons of Knock and the Forbes of Strathgirnoc, further complicated by the fact that Strathgirnoc, at the foot of Creag Phiobaidh (the Hill of the Piper),

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Knock Castle

by Sheila Sedgwick

was a ‘buffer’ area lying between the Gordon property of Knock and the Gordon castle of

picture by Juergen Hoss

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Abergeldie. The situation was even worse when Henry Gordon of Knock was killed in a Forbes raid. He was succeeded by his brother Alister or Alexander who repaired or rebuilt Knock Castle around 1600, the ruins of which we see today. It was obviously prepared for defence purposes against the Forbes. There were more localised differences, such as access to a peat moss for their tenants and the “poinding” of stock. Animosities continued. However, human nature being what it is, in spite of all the hatred and bloodshed, Francis, the third of old Alexander’s eight sons, fell in love with the only daughter of Forbes of Strathgirnoc. She was a noted beauty, her father’s only daughter, and she could have married well. Her father had planned for her to marry a young relation, Forbes of Skellater on Donside, to continue the family name, but it seems the lady was not in agreement with her father’s wishes. Old Forbes was a very

Booming Ballater

by John Carnie 13 Deeside Management Organisation It has been a mixed summer weather wise, but in terms of visitor numbers and spend, it appears to be a good summer for tourism businesses. We are hearing from businesses in the area, and particularly those that are members of Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms that figures are good and visitor numbers are higher  than last year. In Ballater, hotels are reporting good trade and cafes packed. At one point in July there were 7 quality foreign coaches in the main car park at one time. The Ballater figures are not necessarily repeated throughout the whole Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms area from Banchory to Braemar and Strathdon, but do point to a positive trend. Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms has carried out a large number of marketing campaigns over recent months and these have been free to take part in for tourism businesses which are members. We are hoping that the positive visitor figures have been a result to some extent of these marketing campaigns and initiatives - not just for our members - but for all tourism businesses. Our list of What’s On events has over 800 listings for the area and there is no shortage of things to do for visitors. We are now into our third year of the Deeside Sessions and this is the main summer cultural showcase for Scottish Traditional music in the Royal Deeside area.   It also gives visitors something to do in the evenings. Recent sessions in the Coilacriech, Deeside Inn, Loch Kinord and Potarch Hotels have been packed. It is great to see foreign visitors mixing with locals in these and other venues. Some of the area’s ( and Scotland’s) top musicians are playing in Ballater and Royal Deeside

this summer to celebrate the heritage of Scottish traditional music. Live music sessions are taking place in various pubs and hotels in Royal Deeside as part of the special two & a half month programme through to the and of September. Organised by Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms, the sessions are of informal music which are open to all, with most of the musicians coming from the Deeside area such as renowned fiddlers Paul Anderson and David Anderson. All the remaining dates are included in the Diary: We want to have your photos and experiences of the Deeside Sessions 2011. Please post them on the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms Facebook page www.facebook.com/DiscoverRoyalDeeside  or visit www.discoverroyaldeeside.com/deeside-sessions/ 

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this type of training. A grant of 40% will apply for training courses which are directly related to enhancing land management in the Park. Topics will be similar to those attracting the 60% funding rate and applicants should be aged 16 or over. Most training delivered under these options is likely to carry a qualification accredited by organisations such as LANTRA, and NPTC (National Proficiency Tests Council). We cannot fund training that is a statutory requirement, nor can we support basic first aid courses and refresher courses. We will support advanced level courses in these subjects. We would be happy to help you to identify appropriate training courses and trainers.

Wider community We shall be putting together a programme

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for a number of day long training events for each of the 3 years of the current training project. These events will be relevant to land based businesses and to the wider community and will be based on the following 4 themes: • sustainability and climate change • a special Park • respect the Park • Park awareness. It’s your Park and your training project. If you would like more information on the training project or if you have a suggestion for a topic you would like to see delivered within the Park, then please get in touch with Fiona Morris, Land Management Training and Support Officer, Cairngorms National Park Authority, 14 The Square, Grantown on Spey, PH26 3HG. Tel. 01479 873535. Email: training@cairngorms.co.uk.

Deeside Books

Quality Books Bought & Sold Antiquarian, second hand & a good selection of new Scottish books and bestsellers Books by local authors available to order from www.deesidebooks.com Children’s books, toys & puzzles, jewellery, silk scarves & ties, gifts, cards, gift wrap & gift vouchers

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Deeside & Donside Development Project

19

by Nick Mardall

The project continues to work with groups from the BOVOF process as well as with groups in Braemar and Strathdon. The learning centre work in Ballater continues to progress although we have struggled to find a university student to help with the preparation and business planning work. We have been reluctant to pay for consultants but it remains an option we may pursue if we can’t find a local volunteer to help. We have been successful in receiving funds but will require further money to match those already won.

September meetings If anyone knows of someone who may be willing to get involved, please let me know as we would provide support, office space and expenses. It would be good experience on a young person’s CV. The meeting with Scotia Homes and Invercauld Estate regarding the development of the H1 plot next to Monaltrie Park is in September. We hope to understand where the developers are with the site and know where the timescale for starting the work might be. In September the consultation begins for the Cairngorms National Park Plan 2012-17 and the Main Issues Report for the Cairngorms Local Development Plan. The public consultation will start on 19th September and run to 9th December. It is important if there is disagreement that H1 is the only requirement for affordable housing in Ballater, this is raised in the consultation. Working with the self build

group as part of the housing partnership, we are also trying to identify other possible sites. This will try to ensure that new appropriate housing for Ballater is not tied only with H1. If people would like me to raise concerns or issues with the National Park Authority on any housing issues please don’t hesitate to contact me (details on the next page).

Braemar update Work on Braemar Castle is now moving with potential funding for the castle and we are also seeking help to promote and manage the facility.

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12 Committee Skills Training

V&A Halls, Ballater

Ballater Post Of f ice

An evening training session will be held in Ballater on Monday 19 September in the Beaton/Craigie Room from 6.30 to 9pm, covering: • • • • • • •

Role of the Committee Role of the Committee Member Roles of the Office Bearers Before, during and after a meeting Financial record keeping Legal responsibilities Recruitment and retention

The course is aimed at new, existing and potential committee members of all kinds of voluntary organisations and community groups. The cost will be £7.50 per person (concession available). This training is being offered on behalf of Ballater One Voice Our Future, in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council Community Learning & Development and Aberdeenshire CVS Training Initiative. To book, please contact Deeside Community Education Centre on 013398 86222.

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irascible man and he distrusted any Gordon, young or old. Arrangements were made for a meeting by the Baron of Braichlie, as a neutral party. Finally the lad went to call on his future father-in–law. The character and temper of old Forbes were well known: he had the reputation of lashing out at people. The interview took place but did not seem to be going in favour of the young lad. The old man lashed out at the suitor with his sheathed sword. Off flew the scabbard and off too came the head of the young Gordon. Tradition says the old man commented “They wanted a wedding, now they can have a funeral”. The fate of the girl is not recorded, except that her ghost is reputed to wander round the Strathgirnoc area searching for her lost lover! Forbes went into hiding, fearful of reprisals but still determined to continue the feud against the Gordons. More bloodshed was to come. The seven remaining Gordon sons were one day casting peats. Totally unaware of danger, they were attacked by a band of men led by Forbes of Strathgirnoc and his henchman, Wattie McGrory. Their heads were cut off and stuck on their flauchter (peat-cutting) spades. A Knock servant arrived at the peat moss with food for the seven young men and was met by the grisly sight. He rushed back to tell Alexander of the fate of his sons. The old man was at the top of the spiral stone stair in the Castle. Whether he had a heart attack or was just overcome by grief we will never know, but he fell down the stone stair and broke his neck. That really was the end of that family of Gordon. The Forbeses had triumphed. Old Alexander Gordon had no heirs to carry on the family name. The feudal superior and law administrator for the area was “Black Alister” Gordon of Abergeldie, Baron Baillie of the area, who had also a family interest in the atrocity. Representative of justice, he hanged Forbes at his

45

own house of Strathgirnoc and took over the property, granting it to another Gordon. It is said that a clump of rowan trees marked the spot. Nothing of the original Strathgirnoc remains. A later building occupies a similar site, but a few scattered stones may date back to the period of conflict. The castle of Knock was later occupied, according to tradition, by a lady called Graham, but there seems to be little documentary evidence. There is evidence of a fire. The castle is now a splendid ruin, rousing particularly evocative memories when seen by moonlight. Strathgirnoc has gone, a more modern house standing further back. Go to the ruins of Knock Castle. Go by moonlight. The ghost of Alexander Gordon may be there, cursing the name of Forbes that put an end to his family. So may the young Forbes beauty, searching for her lost lover. It was a bloodthirsty age.

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Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own charity which sponsors charitable activities internationally.

Engaging our community If you have visited our stall during the Games, you will have seen that we were keen to engage with you to provide more information about Rotary in general and ourselves in particular, showing how we are all about fun, fellowship, fundraising, and community service. In addition, we are proposing to run informal social gatherings locally for small groups to spread the message a little better about who we are, what we do, and how we do it, particularly as we now meet twice a month in Ballater to enable better coverage of Upper Deeside.

Hopefully we can also then meet those of you who may be interested in finding out a bit more and, who knows, see Rotary as something you too could be a big part of, and by means of which you could serve our community. Have a look at us on www.rotary-ribi.org where you simply type in “Aboyne” and press “GO”.

Find out more If you would like to find out more about Rotary, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact Ron Drever at High Trees, Morven Way, or telephone 013397 56224. We meet on the first and third Mondays (and usually any fifth Monday) of each month at the Boat Inn, Aboyne, 6 for 6.30pm, and on the second and fourth Mondays at the Glen Lui Hotel, Ballater, 6.30 for 7pm.

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40 The Victoria and Albert Halls the Edwardian Years

The Halls were redecorated in 1901 in shades of salmon and pink with blue scrollwork. The material used was a new paint called Duresco, deemed to be of a superior and longer lasting finish than traditional distemper and so worth the extra cost. The titles “Victoria Hall 1895” and “Gordon Institute” were cut above the respective doors and the worn out letters on the tablet on the Albert Memorial Hall were re-cut. Mrs Gordon, the Jungle (Deeside Hotel), suggested that a tablet with the donor’s name be placed somewhere on the buildings and this was agreed. Mrs Gordon, the Jungle, (always described thus when mentioned in the minutes) had some sway with the Trustees, being granted free access to the Halls when they were closed for the departure of the King. She

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was also allowed the use of the Hall benches and flags free of charge when her daughter was married and the Hall flag was flown that day. When the King came in 1901 the new bunting was employed to great effect by the Secretary, Mr Riach, with the assistance of Mr. Glashan, one of the Trustees. The first years of the new century saw a dispute with the Railway Company over who owned the lanes between the properties. The Railway Company was accused of placing stones so as to block off the east and north lanes and Mr Barnett undertook to have them removed if they were seen to be obstructing the access to the Post Office and Halls. Eventually the lanes were adopted by the town council and any claim by the GNS Railway Company to the roads was deemed “inept”. Robert Cameron, the Hall-keeper, died in 1903 and a successor was appointed from a list of some 50 applicants. However, no man seemed to keep the job for long and a great deal of the Trustees’ time was spent in interviewing and appointing keepers. One man lasted only three months having been found “not very steady” and accused of bringing drink on to the premises. In 1904 there was a fight between the keeper and John Harper. Although Mr Harper claimed that the keeper had him by the throat and almost on the floor, he was found to be the guilty party and debarred from the rooms. There was also difficulty in finding suitable boys as assistants, not many over 14 applying and those under 14 only being able to work shorter hours. The game of ping-pong was introduced to the Albert Hall in 1902 after much consideration of the rules and hours of play. Two tables

The Team winners were the Wood Group, with Veitchi Homes the runners up. Our thanks go to our hole sponsors, including the Inver Hotel from Crathie, and the Green Inn, the Glen Lui Hotel, the Deeside Hotel, HM Sheridan Butchers, Murray Deeside Fishing, Emslie House Furnishings and George Strachan from Ballater, and those who donated prizes, including La Mangiatoia Restaurant, GJB Accountancy, and The Co-operative, from Ballater. At the time of writing, the Club is preparing for its attendance at the Aboyne, Ballater, Lonach and Braemar Highland Games, and the Tarland Show as usual, with our “Roll the Dice for Whisky” Stall, including our famous bells and horns! Hope to have your support yet again!

Community service Our annual sponsored Fun Run in Aboyne in May was again well attended, with a good turnout of runners and walkers from Aboyne Primary. Together with our BBQ, a total of around £1500 was raised, of which £750 was given to the school for their own nominated Charities. Thanks to all adults and children who took part on the day. We have given a donation to the Aboyne After School Club, and have provided a trophy to be presented to the winner of a . new local dancing competition at the time of the Lonach Gathering for youngsters unable to compete at the Gathering itself. We have of course a longstanding connection with the Gathering by way of attending with our whisky stall.

Vocational At the final of the Primary Schools Quiz, our representatives Tarland did extremely

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well, but Oldmeldrum were the eventual winners. We h a v e c o n t i n u e d to be involved in many different ways with Aboyne Academy, and were pleased to be able to maintain our annual sponsorship of their annual prizegiving. The Aboyne Academy pupils sponsored to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) event have now had their summer weeks of leadership training including all types of activities. We look forward to their eventual visit to a Club Meeting to tell us how they enjoyed the experience and meeting all the challenges presented to them.

International service We have agreed to donate £500 to Medicins Sans Frontieres to help with relief of the famine crisis in East Africa. We have also given our annual donation to the

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46 From an early age the beauty of Deeside entranced me. I loved taking photos but music and singing took me to new places and the camera took a back seat. My love of hiking and cosy campfire chats in beautiful Deeside ignited the flame again and I was soon clicking away at the sunrises and sunsets of Scotland. I was fortunate to be mentored by Joe Cornish, one of the world’s leading landscape photographers. Soon I was commissioned by the tourist industry producing up to date visions and vistas of Deeside. Readers may know some of my work from a Balmoral 2009 calendar or seen some at The Bothy and No.46 in Ballater or on the web at www.paulmackiephotography.co.uk Initially doing wedding and portraiture

Paul’s Passion

by Paul Mackie

photography as favours for friends, I found myself enthralled with photographing people. I think great people pics are about rapport and good relationships; you should have fun with your photographer. Two years ago, at Glas Allt Sheil, Local Humanist Celebrant, Stella Potter, married me to my beautiful wife, friend and photo assistant, Sarah. Ultimately, we wish to move out to Ballater and settle in to a new life where we can focus on a new lifestyle, perhaps open a studio and a campsite with a twist. We dream about it, talk about where and when and one day we will… In the meantime I will continue to spend as much time working and playing in this area as possible.

Charitable Chiels by Derek Mutch

The Chiels had another successful Golf day in June and we raised over £35,000. Many thanks to all those who helped make it such a great day. Once again special thanks to Lindsay Barclay who seems to have more enthusiasm and energy each year. We will be making a donation of £20,000 to the Euan McDonald research centre for Motor Neurone Disease and the rest, as always, will go to local charities and worthy causes. The Chiels were very proud to have been nominated for the Queen’s award for voluntary organisations but alas we were unsuccessful. It was a great honour to be nominated in the first place. June was a busy month for the Chiels and we celebrated our tenth anniversary with a marquee dinner/dance in the grounds of the golf club. We were entertained by the band Flites and joined by some guests who have helped us over the years. It was a great night and here’s to the next ten years! We are very keen to keep the momentum going and add to our total of over £300,000 raised so far. On behalf of all the Ballater Charitable Chiels, I would like to thank everyone who has helped us over the years. There are too many to mention!!

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Fun, Fresh Air & Friendship

11

by John Holley

The ‘Ballater Boules Challenge’ begins its 7th season on Sunday 30 October 2011 at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park. Meetings will begin at 10.30am, and continue fortnightly through to April 1 2012. As always, our players will enjoy fun, fresh air and friendship - guaranteed! If you are interested in sampling one or more of these ingredients, then why not join us? The game is extremely simple and can be played immediately, without any previous experience whatsoever. Teams are made up of two players, gent/ gent, lady/lady or lady/gent. If you haven’t got a partner, no problem, we will provide one for you. Absolutely no equipment is required, as boules are provided and within minutes you will feel a part of the fun atmosphere. This really is your opportunity to make the winter months slip by a little easier, so don’t miss out! One sensible piece of advice is always to wrap up warm as we ‘go for it’ whatever the weather. Meeting dates will be displayed in Alistair Cassie’s Emporium and Yule’s newsagents in Bridge Street, and they are also displayed in the Eagle Diary at the front of this edition. Come on! Join us! We don’t bite!

Cindy Adams PG Dip (Coun)

Person Centred Counsellor 1 Netherley Place Tel: 07969 495399


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Rotary Update

The Club has moved into another new year with David Allan handing over to our new President, Gordon Riddler, well known to many in Ballater. At the Lodge on the Loch at Aboyne, this meant another celebration evening, which, with Gordon being a retired geologist who specialised in the mining of minerals, included a guest appearance of four of Snow White’s dwarfs singing and waddling their way across the room, a “Spot the Gordons” sketch, stretching from the popular, if ancient, comic space hero to a popular alcoholic beverage, and a reworded, full room rendition of “A Gordon For Me”. We are now enjoying another year of ser vice to the community with fun and fellowship under Gordon’s guidance.

Aboyne Van Hire

by Ron Drever

Unfortunately however, due to various reasons, including health in some cases, we have had four members leave the Club at the start of our new year, Ian Murray and Alan Russell from Ballater, and Eric Sinclair and Harold Barber from Aboyne. Ian and Harold were founder members of the Club. Together with Eric, they are also Past Presidents who served the Club well over many years. Alan had joined more recently but had already made a significant contribution. All were popular members of the Club, and we all thank them for their service to Rotary and the local community over the years.

International Fellowship Exchange In July, the Club hosted five Canadian Rotarians and their partners over a three day period, as part of the Canadians visit to various Clubs in our District. They arrived on a Monday in dreich Scottish weather and attended our Club Meeting. The following two days were however gloriously sunny and warm, giving us an opportunity to show Upper Deeside to the full. They thoroughly enjoyed visits to Balmoral and Glen Muick, golfing in Ballater, and a final night BBQ.

Fundraising

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Our Annual Charity Golf Day in June raised a total approaching £3,300, from which a cheque for £800 was presented to Aboyne Golf Club for their selected charity, in recognition of the club allowing us the use of the course. The remaining proceeds were donated to the local charity Horseback UK. All who took part enjoyed a great day’s golf and hospitality.

and nets, and twelve rackets were bought but the popularity of the game lasted only until 1906 when the tables were cut down to make four tables for the whist club which had been formed in 1903. A stamp was ordered to mark the library books as it had been found that some unscrupulous borrowers were scraping off the labels previously used. The soldiers from the Guards of Honour were refused use of the rooms unless an officer was present owing to the untidy state they left them in. A photographer was allowed to use one of the Hall windows when the King came on his visits to Balmoral but only on condition he stood well back and did not intrude upon the royal party. The various windows were let either by seat or by window, with privileged tickets for the royal household and Mrs Gordon, the Jungle. In 1908 Colonel Boyce was allowed to store his ambulance free of charge in the basement on condition that the Town Council be responsible for its maintenance and disinfection. A request was made to allow roller skating in the Victoria Hall but after much inquiry it was discovered that only a maple floor would withstand such use, so permission was refused. Societies which did use the Halls during these years included the Dramatic Society, the Boys’ Brigade, the Good Templars, the Musical Association and a dancing class. Father Meany, the Catholic priest from Glengairn, applied to hold services in the Albert Hall but was refused as the Trustees were only permitted to allow Protestant observances. In 1914 the Trustees agreed to introduce electric lighting into the premises. Mr Barnett wanted an independent engineer to advise on the procedure but he was overruled and Messrs T. C. Smith of Aberdeen were given the contract. As war was looming it was also agreed to allow the Red Cross the use of

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the Victoria Hall as a hospital during the coming hostilities. The electrification was completed by July 1915. There was a fire causing damage to the amount of £19.0.8d (£19.03) in the billiard room in 1915 but play continued throughout the war. Mr Duguid died in this year and an excerpt from the minutes recording the Trustees’ appreciation of his long service to the Halls was sent to his widow. In 1919 the Red Cross gave up the hospital and the Trustees resumed control of the buildings. Also in 1919 Mr Barnett retired after 28 years as a Trustee, for 23 of which he served as President. His resignation was necessarily accepted, as the Trustees noted in a parenthesis, because “he had removed to reside in the neighbourhood of Ellon”. Mr Middleton was appointed President and the Trustees looked forward to recovery after the war.

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Pottering about by Stella Potter

As I sit at my kitchen table and type about my life and thoughts thereof I don’t have much of a perspective as to how you good readers take my sometimes quirky, and hopefully occasionally witty, ramblings. However, a few weeks ago I met Justine at Gairnsheil Lodge where I was wearing my Humanist hat to marry a lovely couple. Although we had never met, she greeted me very warmly and told me she felt she knew me having read my Eagle columns. It was a delightfully heart-warming moment. I knew that I was doing something right. As you know, I’ve been involved with the Eagle since its conception. As a group exercise it has felt, over the years, rather like bringing up a child. As a personal exercise it has been hugely positive, and in its own way, life-affirming. I wrote my very first article as a desperate last-minute filler – if I recall

correctly it was about the very bizarre experience of watching the seminal ‘Life of Brian’ on Christmas Day on an Israeli Kibbutz… dubbed into French and subtitled in Hebrew! The then Editor, Sabine, encouraged me to write another article. So I did. With her support I improved my writing skills, learned from my mistakes and gained enough confidence to independently take off to train for Humanist Celebrancy where writing skills are essential. Just as the Eagle nurtured me into writing, it is also nurturing our new designers: Karen, who produced the last 2 issues, and Ollie and Cat who have done such a grand job with this one. It is wonderful to see more - and younger! - folk joining the Eagle team, and I hope we can nurture their skills in the same way as mine were. And it is good to be able to take more of a back

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FRASER & MULLIGAN B&CCC (cont)

We have a choice – we can either live with the rubbish left by litter louts or we can do something about it and how we choose in some part defines the kind of people we are. We on the B&CCC don’t mind how people approach this problem, whether by “volunteering” to participate in the programme we are trying to start, by stopping themselves and others from careless discard of litter, or just by a small DIY effort in your own street (as we know that a number of people are already doing). We do, however, appeal to everybody to accept the responsibility for the state of our environment. Contact your Community Council – all our contact details are on the website: www.ballaterandcrathie.org.uk

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off. The local Brownies and R ainbows were also involved in this project. The prize for the Best Garden in the village (Alec Copeland Rose Bowl) is now in its third year. Thanks to all who entered; the winners were Hazel and Gordon Bruce of Braemar Road. In conjunction with Victoria Week, the first Scarecrow Competition was held and was thoroughly enjoyed by locals, visitors and its 35 participants. See page 54 and the back page for photos of just a few of this year’s entries to the Annual Show. Over the last year we enjoyed a varied programme of illustrated talks finishing with an Open Night in May where we had a successful General Knowledge quiz evening accompanied by wine and nibbles. The new schedule is currently being prepared for the coming winter and our members are looking forward to the AGM on Monday 7th November. New members

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are very welcome. The Society is always on the lookout for Guest Speakers; any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks must go to Mairi Burgess for her unstinting support and work over the past few years. Mairi has decided to step down as secretary at the AGM due to other commitments. This position along with that of Treasurer needs to be filled for the Society to continue. Anyone interested in joining the committee and taking on these roles should contact me (tel: 55106). Thanks must also go to the members of the Society who planted up the tubs in front of the Church, War Memorial and Station Square; these are being regularly watered and maintained. On a sad note I would like to mention the death of John Skinner who only recently joined our committee and was a new and enthusiastic member of the Society. To finish on a happy note, several members enjoyed an outing to the garden at Birkhall at the end of July. The weather was glorious as were the varied sections of the garden including the herbaceous borders, the stumpery and “Hobbit-type” summerhouse. Not all of us see Willow herb as a weed! I would like to thank HRH The Duke of Rothesay for allowing us to visit and those who organised this for making it so memorable Thanks too must go to the staff who provided

Firewood

Childhood Memories

47

by Mary Munro

I was brought up in the east end of our village by the river, some might say the poorer end of the village in terms of possessions, but we were never deprived of wholesome, homemade foods and had clothes for all seasons – you just put on or took off layers to suit the weather. Who needed designer labels or Nike trainers? We had cut-me-downs and Clark’s sandals, and I don’t remember eating beef burgers or pizzas. Summers you flew free as the swallows that wheeled and dived over the roof-tops. Skipping games, ball games and team games were organised on the streets in the balmy spring evenings when the clear air sang with the high voices of children who were like the animals who had been wintered inside and then were let loose to run and jump with joy after the confines of a harsh winter.

Oh, to be ten – with the clear-eyed optimism of youth, before the inevitable complexities of hormones and career options befuddle the head. The watchword for me, thinking on my childhood, is not money or position in life, but FREEDOM, born of security and a life close to the god of Nature among our hills. Memories are like a series of snap-shots – some clear-cut and sharp, others faded and hazy – some better perhaps resigned to history, for life is not always a bowl of cherries. I’m glad I had childhood when I did, for we had a freedom of movement and expression, and a sense of adventure often denied to children nowadays, where our wider society often dictates a more repressive regime, one of being wrapped in a stifling cocoon of cotton-wool.

the

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14

Ballater & Crathie Community Council By Graham Adams

Local retailers

Last autumn’s communities survey that we conducted revealed considerable concern that the numerous independent retailers should be actively supported by residents, as they were potentially vulnerable for example, to increases in business rates. This matter has been given much attention, mainly by BBA. An even larger number of responses were received from people who wanted access locally to a bigger range of daily goods at more competitive prices. Indeed, some even proposed a new supermarket. In reality, we don’t see this as a realistic prospect in Ballater, as the population is too small. Our preferred approach would be to try to get better service aimed at the needs of local

people from existing retailers, particularly the Co-op. Specifically, we are suggesting that the amount of competition between the two branches should be reduced by having less overlap between the ranges they stock. This would enable the overall range of stocks to be increased, in line with what people in the Ballater area need. We have attempted to establish a sensible and functioning dialogue with the Co-op senior management on this and general stocking issues, but after 2 months, have received little promise of any really effective action. We have therefore passed our request for resolution to the CEO of the Co-operative Group Ltd. We await a response – and will continue to pursue Co-op head office until we get some satisfactory Co-op-eration!

Best kept village?

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Again, in response to many comments from the community, we are trying to encourage everyone to help to keep Ballater tidy. We think that Ballater should be back at the top of the “Best Kept Village” league again! You may have seen Phil Swan’s appeal for volunteers to help with litter pickup in the Deeside Piper recently, and the big “thank you” to Ian Munro in this Eagle. We are looking for people to volunteer a couple of hours per week, initially to hit the “litter hot spots”. We may not like Aberdeenshire Council’s decision to end the village orderlies in the summer months (to provide supplementary support to Ian Munro) – but the reality is that we, the residents, are left with the responsibility for the results of this change.

seat to concentrate on my other activities. Recently I spent an afternoon clearing out my big shed. You know how sheds get; packed to the gunnels because you don’t have anywhere else obvious to put those useful things you don’t use very often. Sometimes I even wonder if stuff breeds in storage… Now that’s all well and good if the shed is just storage, but I needed mine to sleep in as extra visitors meant giving up my bedroom. Not as daft as it sounds as my big shed was designed as an outside room with sofa bed and fitted carpet – how posh am I?! Box after box, with an occasional trug for light relief, piled up on the patio. Two tents that had been dry for months were painstakingly folded into their bags. Table, camping chairs, plant pots, garden tools and the camping stove joined the eclectic throng and the curtains - oh yes, curtains too! - were removed and popped in the wash. Most of the assorted containers were stowed away to breed in another shed. The windows were washed and the whole shed thoroughly hoovered. A grand afternoon’s work. Later that evening a friend phoned and in conversation asked me what I’d been up to. When I answered “hoovering the shed” she replied “very funny, Stella, what were you really doing today?” It took a while to convince her that hoovering the shed was actually exactly what I’d done… We’ve also had some grand holidays recently. In May I went back to Shetland with my eldest and other friends. I was told the weather in May is usually glorious and certainly gales were very unusual. This time our journey north was calm, picturesque and hugely enjoyable. Ho hum, it was actually lulling us into a false sense of security. Once there it was cold, wet and very windy. You may remember that the last time I went we had an awful ferry journey home in force zillion gales. You may also remember the appalling gale

43

we had in May. Well, that was the night we returned. Huge seas with much rolling, rocking and crashing. To make it more interesting, we were travelling with a friend who uses a wheelchair. We were the ship’s entertainment as my eldest and I battled to manoeuvre the wheelchair on a wildly rolling deck. When the floor went up we put the brakes on and held on tight, and when it went down it took both of us all our strength to stop it from running away from us. Luckily we all have a sense of humour and our laughter was infectious. It took us a few days to recover from that journey home. My Shetland friends tell me that the islands are telling me something: ‘Don’t leave, Stella!’ We have become mightily fed up of miserable wet camping in Scotland, and my eldest and I were mind-numbingly bored at Centreparcs last year, despite the youngest and her pals having a ball. So this summer my daughters and I packed our new passports and ventured to Mallorca in search of warmth and sunshine. We had that in glorious abundance. My daughters took the heat in their stride, but I have noticed that the older I become the less able I am to deal with it. In my younger days I’d be the Englishwoman with the mad dogs out in full sun, soaking it up with huge enjoyment and no discomfort. How times have changed. ‘I think I’d better sit in the shade for a while’ was my seeming constant refrain. It’s not so bad when you can dunk in water - to my mind even better if I can ‘chunky dunk’, being far too rotund for skinny dipping! - but spending all the time by the pool or beach precludes any exploring. Some folk are just never happy eh? I hope whatever you did over the summer you had fun, and have recharged the batteries for the coming winter…


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My first bike was one made up by Father from parts of old cycles discarded on the rubbish tip down the Tullich road, and my trusty steed stood me in good stead for many years, till one fateful evening, in my over-exuberance to finish a paper round, I was knocked on to the roof of a car, and my poor old bike was left a mangled wreck beneath the wheels. Mam and Dad scrimped and scraped to buy me a new bike and I could near feel my heart burst with pride as I soared down the Darroch braes, open-mouthed and yelling with the sheer joy of speed and the feeling of just being alive. You could feel the wind in your hair and who cared if a beastie or two landed in your open mouth. We survived! My poor Mother could ill-afford music lessons, but still she bought an old, ebonyblack piano with keys like nicotine-stained fingers, and she paid out five guineas a quarter to Mr. Thornton for the lessons. Not for me

really, when the open air called. I would sit laboriously picking out “Weel may the keel row”, while two or three of my cronies hodged and pressed snotty noses against the window panes, hissing sotto-voce “Hurry up, we’re off to the Woodyard”. It wasn’t long before the keel was left to row itself and I escaped the house, knowing full well that Mam’s ire would be waiting for me later, but who cared! For now the lure of the Woodyard beckoned. This was a neglected bit of wasteland across the street – a virtual Adventure Playground, full of pollen-heavy long grasses, stinging nettles and even dockens to cool the itchy stings. There were piles of old wood, bits of corrugated iron and rusty cans – great for making dens and conjuring up imaginary meals like mince from tansy heads or chocolate pudding from mud and water. The “piece de resistance” was a forlorn old car, half hidden in the undergrowth, tyreless and windowless, just an ideal tool to act out any childhood fantasy.

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Ballater SWRI

by Aileen Barbour On the 1 June, our President Anne Richardson welcomed members to the Glenaden Hotel, to the deferred meal which had to be cancelled due to the terrible weather in December. Betty Wilson said grace and members enjoyed a lovely meal. John Young provided the musical entertainment and Neil Henderson dressed up as a cowboy and helped with the raffle which caused much hilarity. Vote of thanks was given by Veronica Houston. The President closed the evening and looked forward to seeing us all when the new season starts on the 21 September. On 28 July, members were invited to view the gardens at Birkhall. Our guide Mary Wright was very informative and the members had a most enjoyable afternoon.

BRHS

by Jim Clark

9

As I’m writing this on 30 July, I can’t believe that this is the third hot sunny day we’ve had this week. After the hard winter of heavy snow and freezing temperatures, which did a lot of damage to our garden shrubs and trees, spring dawned with a mild dry April, which encouraged us to get on with the tidying up and planting in the hope that we would have a good summer as promised by the Met Office - but not so! The Ballater Royal Horticultural Society had a successful 135th Annual Exhibition and Flower Show in August, despite the wet and cold summer we have experienced. This year we liaised with the Primary School to encourage more entries in the Children’s section, and the effort most certainly paid


8

Local Group News BRHS Floral Art Group

by Mildred Coull The months of June and July with their summer deluges of heavy showers have not dampened the enthusiasm of the Group.

Workshop

Looking back, the June workshop with Mary Wright was, perhaps prophetically, entitled ‘Creating Waves’. Maybe we’ll blame Mary for the downpours this summer!! The workshop required us to have scissors, tape, ribbon and gerbera boxes, the last causing some puzzlement. The evening turned out to be a great success. The lively chat and laughter over the many challenges encountered (peeling double-sided carpet tape for one) and the noise and hilarity must have made people in the Station Square imagine a party was in progress. The measuring and cutting of the gerbera boxes was the practical start of the evening; a collection of delightful and decorative table centres was the finish. Well done Mary and the merry band of creative ladies.

Visit

The summer garden visit on 21 July was an afternoon outing to Glenbervie House,

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Drumlithie near Stonehaven. Twenty-three members were welcomed by Mrs Jill Macphie who pointed out the beautiful white Scottish baronial house set in magnificent gardens. The tour of the garden was led by Sally, one of the two resident gardeners. As we meandered along the paths and over ornamental bridges, she pointed out to us the many beautiful trees, plants and flowers. The weather was kind to us, with no rain, and everyone was delighted by the exotic plants in a fine example of a Victorian conservatory. The mingling scents of jasmine, bougainvillea, geraniums, agapanthus and fuchsias were heady and a great pleasure to experience in our cold northern climate. The afternoon ended with an excellent tea served indoors with delicious home made cakes and biscuits. Kathleen thanked Mrs Macphie and Sally on our behalf and the outing was voted a great success.

AGM Our AGM on 20 October will be followed by a demonstration of flower arranging given by a talented local lady, Mrs Sonia Wolfe-Murray. Tickets for our annual Christmas fund raising event in the Victoria Hall on 24 November will be available from then onwards. This year we are supporting the Sandpiper Trust and the Community bus. Our Christmas demonstration is always hugely popular and we hope to welcome a large audience to enjoy the demonstration by Gill Garrow from Elgin, thus supporting these worthwhile causes. The Chairwoman, Kathleen McCulloch, and the committee are always delighted to welcome new members to this thriving and friendly club and we look forward to the start of the new season, enjoying the beauty and variety of plants and flowers.

You played and imagined, fell out and fell in again, till the sun sank in a red glow behind Lochnagar. Weary then, you trailed home, to sleep the sweet sleep of a child, cleansing and unbroken, where no fears or worries bothered.

Mary at the signing of her new book “Bovaglie’s Bairn”, pictured by Amy Muir

We even had a cinema in our village – a palace of dreams! You would come out after seeing a Doris Day film with the magic still in your head. For a while, you felt like the film star, but Father soon brought you back to earth as he clouted you up the stairs for being late. That wasn’t considered child abuse then – just an occasional, necessary dunt to keep you in line! We paddled in the river on hot days in a warm, beastified lagoon off the river , called “The Dooker”. It was fine to puddle about in your old gym shoes, as the heat haze shimmered on the blue hills above. At about ten, it was an unwritten law that you graduated up the river to the long, deep stretch called “The Lang Peel”. You taught yourself to swim after a fashion, for the nearest swimming pool was forty miles away. It was sheer bliss on a hot, June day, after sweating in a stuffy classroom, to dump your bag in a broom bush on the Golf Course and head like lemmings for the water, No modesty to bother you, just vest and pants were fine, and the memories are clear and clean, for we managed to play together in

49

comparative harmony. No place is Shangrela – and the realities of life sank in more as the years drove on and real childhood had to end. Incidents of cruelty to animals and humans alike filtered into your psyche and you had to accept that life was not always good for all people, even here in a sheltered village. I do remember so clearly watching newsreel footage of Concentration Camps after World War II. Stunned into disbelief, we came out to our safe little world, realising the evil that can exist in a blighted world. Childhood comes to an end when realities set in! Whiles we see childhood through rosecoloured specs and tend to forget the inevitable bad days, but I do believe I was truly blessed to have a good family and memories of carefree days close to Nature – a life as it was meant to be lived. That is all anyone really needs.

Philipp N. Stellmach Plumbing & Heating Engineer

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philipp.stellmach@btconnect.com


50

Quarry Questing

The Cambus Quarries by Ian Cameron

One of our little friends lived in a house at Cambus o’ May. One Monday, he came to school in a great excitement: he had gone up to the quarries that weekend and had seen wonderful things. We must all have an expedition there next Saturday. Saturday came, a fine day, and three of us biked to the Cambus quarries. The quarry road was no longer used, but it had been well made and had carried Ballater’s granite building stone by horse and cart, traction engine and motor truck from the early 1800s till the late 1940s. As we approached the actual quarry, we could see that it consisted of many individual quarries on the hillside, at all different levels. When you entered any particular level, the great scale of the workings struck you: the granite was cut clean up to 80 feet. The quarry floor then

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was still littered with cranes, winches and air pipe, but high above us, noisy ravens and silent hawks had found the most ideal nesting places. Turning around, the view of the Dee valley ranged from Lochnagar, looking nearer than usual, to Pannanich Hotel perched on its hill across the river, with, in the foreground, the mid-day train panting up the track to Ballater, a banner of smoke marking its progress. The cranes used, and indeed developed in the North East of Scotland granite quarries, were of the Scotch derrick design, built mainly by Henderson the Engineers in King Street, Aberdeen. Originally manually operated, they were later provided with steam power, then, as the cranes appeared in civil engineering work everywhere from hydro-electric dams to the very top of the towers of the Forth Road Bridge, electricity became the power of choice. Although ultimately developed as a civil engineering tool, this crane was actually invented by one Thomas Derrick, an Elizabethan hangman, who built his device to help mass produce his 3000 executions at Tyburn, London. Two derrick cranes, one steam, the other manual are shown in a Washington Wilson photo of the construction of Ballater Bridge in the 1880s. We found the remains of the blacksmith’s shop, still complete in those days, with its bellows and forge. Many years later, my friend, Charlie Clark, the Bridge of Gairn blacksmith, told me that when he came to leave school, his three elder brothers were already working in his father’s smiddy with the result that he was sent to serve his apprenticeship at the Cambus quarry. There he learnt how to sharpen and temper the stone masons’ tools. He went on to explain this skill. First the blunt tools had to be heated in the forge and left to

Keep in touch with a Subscription UK: £10.00 EC: £12.00 Overseas: £16.00 For the rates above, four issues will be posted. A subscription can be a very welcome gift to farflung friends and relatives. Simply provide the name & address to whom the issues should be sent, with a cheque or postal order for ‘Ballater Eagle’ for the relevant amount and drop off your request to the Library. Betty, our Subscriptions person will do the rest. Easy!

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Contributions of any kind on PC disc (Word format) always welcome.

How to contact our Representatives:

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Scottish Parliament: Dennis Robertson MSP e-mail: dennis.robertson.msp@ scottish.parliament.uk

Tel: 0791 955 7152 (mobile)

Westminster: Sir Robert Smith MP Tel: 01330 820330, Fax: 01330 820338, e-mail: robert.smith.mp@parliament.uk

Aberdeenshire Council: Peter Argyle: Tel: 013398 81180 e-mail: cllr.p.argyle@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Rosemary Bruce: Tel: 013398 89318 e-mail: cllr.r.bruce@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Marcus Humphrey: Tel: 013398 85332 email: cllr.m.humphrey@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Cairngorms National Park: Katrina Farquhar email: info@katrinafarquhar.co.uk Tel: 013398 81 006

Eagle Who’s Who & Where

Editor: Ian Hay  55941 Treasurer: Dr. Sheila Sedgwick  55292 Secretary: Betty Wilson  55791 Advertising Manager: Faye Swan  55345 Distribution: Andy and Julie Bloor Diary Secretary & Typing: Cat Houston  55243 Design: Ollie Ross  42300, Stella Potter  55969 & Cat Houston  55243 Email us at: ballater.eagle@btopenworld.com Eagle Online by Tom Potter: www.ballaterscotland.com/eagle

If you would like a large print version of the Eagle, please contact Ballater Library on 55628.


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Letter from our Editor

and ers, school inter d t a a e k c rR ren ba turning to w of Dea ls t, child y

ad pas etai Week ghts are alre ges show d ch proit a i r o t ic hi pa us, so hou With V rawing in, t The Diar y d societies w er months. ngly numero nd help n, a wint hts d prisi bs an lage. the nig s in the vil various clu do over the lved are sur organisatio e e e o o i t t h v ver activi dates for t with things become in erest in som take o k l t g o o y n n f t t i i i t m r un star ople ll take an ounge sm, co e comm for pe i p of y eir enthusia nd they u o r vide th portunities ever yone w eating. g a ee a p see . Th The o hoped that the village b xcellent to s toria Week onder ful to hers to offer c e f i e w b o o s V s a a ge t g art is to the he nection, it wnd organisin for events, w will encoura p e e k ever to this ng a t con deas ight of ems l e In tha ity for r unni d exciting i ess. Perhaps h t ain it nces in sibil succ w an its fina gle are the m eliver y of respon ith their ne ted on their g n i w d e a w i a bined e congratul lp next year. as been rev ign of the E e to ensure and while h b m s e i e e t h o l t i uce d r ot i d h e e d r n w a ort a am mean rinting an freely of th y £1 to prod which is n le p p u s e p i l r p i r a T e h , e a v g y e i h l e l t ag sn s. W le g ll a ous The E costs. Obvi local peop h issue cost there is sti local shop to keep , eac help sing, ins in sing many increa nditure, as . Even then by adverti collection t tions would g reducing d e r e in a e r of exp arterly issu is is cover laced in ou itional don or conside e next time f u h p d t q y d s f t s a p th , on help ssi each jor part o donati n the rocks” nt the nece issue. Perha ew coins to y a b m p e e h “o af . th ev nu in eac eeside ing in y take uld pr means entirel gle is by no el which wo er of pages nsider popp azine on D b g the Ea ome at a lev en the num ou might co munity ma Hay y v c m Ian , e n o i n c r i t r o t s , n e ou n o b i u t int r ollec of the our pr an Eagle c istence x e e d e e s you ntinu the co ensure

By Popular Demand!

Ballater Library Opening Hours:

Sunday & Monday: Closed Tuesday: 10am-1pm, 6.30pm-8pm Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 2--4pm, 6.30pm-8pm Friday: 2-5pm Saturday: 10am-12noon

cool slowly in order to remove all hardness. The tools were heated up again and shaped and sharpened by hammer blows on the anvil. The final heating was followed by rubbing the sharpened edge on the smiddy floor to reveal ‘the temper colours’. On the bright steel the colours could be seen moving slowly down the tool to the cutting edge. The art was to arrest the desired colour the correct distance from the tip by placing the tool upright in a wooden box containing a small amount of water. I asked Charlie how he knew when everything was just right. “Quite simple” said he. “You wait till the temper colour is straw, then when it is the length of an ear of corn from the tip of the tool you quench it in that water box.” As easy as that, yet a skill that few mastered or retained. It is interesting though to see how Charlie used agricultural terms of colour and dimensions, no metrics or inches, just the length of an ear of corn. Charlie learnt his trade in these quarries before the First World War, and when I knew him in the 1970s he was the only blacksmith on Deeside left with that skill. Just beyond the smiddy was a very solid magazine that had held the black gunpowder, and I can remember the mortar and pestle that were used to prepare the charges still being there. We examined the quarries individually, our friend keeping his secrets till last. It so happened that the quarry nearest Ballater was the special one. As you entered, there was an almost complete crane attached to massive granite blocks. The rails that had carried the stones on bogies were still there and you could trace where the bogies had dumped the discarded cuttings over the tip. It was all so real. The quarriers had built a substantial bothie against the quarry wall so it did not take a lot of imagination to visualise the last act here, as the players had left all their props behind.

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But the best was still to come. What had really excited our little friend was the righthand wall of this quarry. The ground around us was reverting to the heather that the quarriers had stripped away, and young firs and birches were reclaiming their hill. That wall, however, had a mineral vein running vertically through it, sandwiched between the great granite blocks in a similar fashion to the ones in the Pass of Ballater. That vein was neither lead- nor tungsten-bearing, but I recognised fluorspar, except it was not green, as at Abergairn, but an azure/violet colour. We were well acquainted with fluorine from Abergairn: that was the mineral we ground down, sprinkled on a coal shovel and heated on the fire. At a quite low temperature, the powder would issue brilliant coloured sparks that jumped off the shovel, just like fireworks. The real surprise was the main constituent of that vein. It was a scaly, pink material that

Wee Jim Landscapes

James Anderson Bridgefoot, Glenmuick, Ballater Aberdeenshire AB35 5SN

Firewood Available Call for details Tel: 013397 55997 Mobile: 07821 746756 Email:

weejim03@live.co.uk


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I had never seen before. It was heavy, - very, very heavy, - but quite soft and we could break it down to a powder easily. We trailed samples home, and even the chemistry teacher could not tell us what it was. Some sort of ‘spar’ we were told. Just as well there was no ‘open all hours’ shop chain then or we really would have been confused!

...so you know What’s Going On

The mystery mineral was barium sulphate, or barytes to the mining fraternity, or barite to our North American friends. Barytes is used as the barium meal in medicine, it is used to give golf balls their weight, it is added to rubber in tyres, it is used in paint, it is used to caulk boats and most importantly, barytes is the main constituent of ‘drilling mud’. And, by the 1970s, with North Sea oil getting into its stride, barytes was suddenly one very sought after commodity.

Graham Stuart

ATHOLL COUNTRYWEAR For Quality Ladies’ and Men’s Clothing Accessories & Shoes Fine Gifts 13 Bridge Street, Ballater AB35 5QP

Tel: 013397 53810 Open: Monday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm

Plumbing & Heating Engineers Bathrooms Boiler Replacements Pressurised Systems

Oil Fired, Solid Fuel or Underfloor Central Heating

Sat 29 Sun 30 Sun 30

Royal Cairns Walk, Crathie Car Park, 10am-4pm, tel. 55059 New Boules season starts 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park UDM, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm

Wed 2 Mon 7 Sat 12

November Ballater Business Association, 7.30pm, www.ballatercommunity.com BRHS Annual General Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Three Lochs Walk, Spittal of Glen Muick, 10am-5pm, tel. 55059

Sun 13 Mon 14 Wed 16 Thu 24 Sun 27

Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park Community Council Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7pm SWRI, Flower Arranging, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Floral Art Group Christmas Charity Evening with Gill Garrow, Elgin, Victoria Hall, 7.30pm Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park

Sun 4 Mon 5

December UDM, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm Christmas Coffee Morning at Crathie Kirk Hall, 10am-12.30pm

Sun 11 Sat 24 Mon 26 Tue 27

Boules, 10.30am at the Pavilion, Monaltrie Park Ballater Post Office closes 12.30pm Ballater Post Office closed Ballater Post Office closed

Are Your Dates Here?

Tel: 013397 55627 / Fax: 56342 Mobile: 07836 562946 Est. 1975

5

For inclusion in this FREE section of the Eagle, please contact Cat Houston on 55243, 07968 941359 (texts welcome) or catrionahouston@yahoo.co.uk


4

Eagle Eyes...

Ballater Learning Centre by Nick Mardall

Sat 10-18 Sun 11 Mon 12 Tue 13 Wed 14 Thu 15 Thu 15 Sat 17 Sat 17-25 Mon 19 Wed 21 Thu 22 Sat 24 Sun 25 Mon 26 Tue 27 Thu 29

September North East Open Studios, www.northeastopenstudios.co.uk Ballater School Junior Races and Fun Day, Monaltrie Park, 12 noon Community Council Meeting, Mike Sheridan Room, 7pm CLAN Walking Group, meet CLAN Centre, 1.30pm Deeside Sessions, Moorfield House Hotel, Braemar, p13 Deeside Sessions, The Kildrummy Inn, Strathdon Floral Art Group, Our World of Flowers with Rena Cross, from Aberdeen, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Morven Hill Race, Dinnet, 1pm www.deesiderunners.com Active Aboyne Outdoor Activities Festival www.activeaboyne.co.uk Committee Training Event – Beaton Craigie Room, 6.30pm, p12 SWRI, Aileen Asher, Glass Engraving, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Deeside Sessions, Scottish Music at Coilacriech Inn, 8pm Guild Coffee Morning and Sales Table, Glenmuick Church Hall, 10.30am-12 Deeside Sessions, The Lodge on the Loch in Aboyne, 2-5pm Ballater Post Office closed Ballater Halls Indoor Bowling Club restarts, 2-4pm and 7-9pm Deeside Sessions, Loch Kinord Hotel, Dinnet, 8pm

Sun 2 Wed 5 Fri 7 Mon 10 Mon 17 Wed19 Thu 20 Mon 24

October UDM, Piano Concerto, Darroch Learg, 4.30pm Ballater Business Association, 7.30pm www.ballatercommunity.com Ballater School Harvest Concerts Ballater School mid-term holiday begins Community Council Meeting, Crathie Church Hall, 7pm Copy date for items for Christmas Eagle. SWRI, speaker to be confirmed, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Floral Art Group AGM followed by a demonstration by Sonia Wolfe- Murray, Mike Sheridan Room, 7.30pm Ballater School term begins

Since the Ballater One Voice Our Future Community Action Plan process of 2009 there has been an aspiration for a learning centre in the village. A Ballater Learning Partnership group was formed at that time, including members of the community, Aberdeenshire Council and representatives from the learning institutions such as Aberdeen and Robert Gordon Universities. This partnership undertook survey work which clearly identified a need for a learning facility to serve Upper Deeside. An appropriate space to house the centre had to be identified, with several suggestions put forward. One area under review was located within the Victoria and Albert Memorial Halls, and the Halls Committee was keen to look at their usage and how a Learning Centre could fit with the current uses of the building, and the needs of the community. Since the closure of the Day Centre, the Beaton Craigie Room is very much under-utilised, and has been suggested as one possible option. As a result, funding, support and assistance have been sought in order to set the ball rolling. We are seeking a short term work placement to help support us with this work. If anyone knows of a student or graduate, relative or colleague who would be interested in improving their CV please ask them to get in touch. We think it would be good work experience, and would contribute greatly to getting the background work completed for the Learning Centre. The work would start with a review of information already gathered, and discussion with a wide range of organisations and individuals who might be interested in linking up or becoming involved. Locally, the type of vocational and recreational courses which would

53

benefit and interest the community will need to be identified, and possible numbers evaluated. This would lead to preparation of curriculum options, and formation of a Business Plan, identification of, and application for funding. Throughout the process, the community will need to be involved and updated on progress. We expect this work to be ongoing through autumn and anticipate making funding applications in winter or spring time. Any work placement can fit within that time period and can be long or short term. We are flexible and able to provide office support and expenses. If this challenge appeals to you, or you know anyone who might be interested, please contact Nick Mardall by email at nick.dddp@ btconnect.com

Morven Veterinary Practice Opening Hours: Monday 2pm - 6pm Tuesday 10am - 2pm Wednesday 10am - 5pm Thursday Closed Friday 2pm - 5pm

Tel. 013397 - 55134 24 Golf Rd Ballater Aberdeenshire AB35 5RS


54

BRHS Annual Exhibition and Flower Show

Diary

The dates you need

4-5

Contact us:

All the ways YOU can contribute

The Crathie Pages Distillery news and more

Victoria Week 2011 Were you amused?

Lizzie’s Tea Party

Money raised and a Cat got shaved

Local Hero

Stand up, Ian Munro

Davidsons Chemists Retail Pharmacy and Veterinary Chemist Group Delivering Quality Healthcare since 1897

PRESCRIPTIONS COSMETICS PHOTOGRAPHIC Over-the-Counter MEDICINES & ADVICE

H M Sheridan Ltd 11 Bridge Street Ballater Tel: 013397 55218 Fax: 013397 56042 email: info@hmsheridan.co.uk

By royal appointment to H.R.H. The Queen and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales

Butcher Poulterer and Game Dealer Established 1963

Local Beef, Lamb, Pork and Game Shop Online at www.hmsheridan.co.uk Local Deliveries Free

10 Bridge Street, Ballater Tel: 013397 55409

7 25 28

Pottering About

In honour of sheds and Shetland

Knock Castle

Sheila Sedgwick on a bloody history

Childhood Memories From local author, Mary Munro

Quarry Questing

The Cambus Quarries, by Ian Cameron

Caterers at Ballater Golf Club Outside Catering of Hog Roast, Rotisseries & Barbecues

Ballater Boules: 11 Ballater Learning Centre: 53 Ballater Old School: 32 Ballater (RD) Ltd: 20

Ballater Royal Horticultural Society: 9 Balmoral Estate Events: 33

30

Charitable Chiels: 11 CLAN: 24

31

Training Development Help for young people

Local Groups:

Ballater RHS Floral Art Group: 8

36 42

Community Council: 14 Deeside Management Organisation: 13 Deeside & Donside Development Project: 19 Police: 35 Rotary Club: 16 SWRI: 9

44

Victoria and Albert Halls: 22 VSA: 27

47 50

Advertising:

Mon - Fri 9am - 5.30pm Sat 9am - 5pm

3

Inside Your Autumn Eagle:

Full page: £60; Half page: £30; Quarter page: £20; Eighth page: £10 Book and pay for 4 issues: series discount of 10% - copy can be changed each issue

Donations:

Donations are gratefully received, and acknowledged. You can also put money into our tins in the Library or Yules Newsagents. A big “Thank You” this issue to Sandy Donald


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The McEwan Gallery

George Melvin Rennie Evening sun, Linn of Dee

Annual Exhibition: Mon-Sat 11am to 5pm, Sun 2 to 5pm Tel: 013397 55429 200 metres off A93 on A939 E: dot@mcewangallery.com www.mcewangallery.com

Domestic & Commercial Crown Thinning & Reduction Dismantling & Felling Hedge Pruning & Maintenance Dangerous Tree Control Stump Grinding & Removal

Professional Tree Surgeon N.P.T.C. Qualified

Fully Insured

Free Estimates

call: 013398 80823 e: deesidetreecare@gmx.co.uk

m: 07786 756078 w: www.deesidetreecare.co.uk


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Ballater & crathie Community magazine

One Man and His Dog at Balmoral Page 27

no. 63 autumn 2011 £1 where sold

Ladies visit Glenbervie Page 8

The Ballater & Crathie Eagle is made possible by:

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

‘Auchtavan’ by Paul Mackie. See the original picture in The Bothy

Stunning creations from the BRHS Annual Show Page 54

Ballater & Crathie Eagle, Issue 63, Autumn 2011  

A colourful and vibrant, informative magazine presenting local views and events in the picturesque community of Ballater, Royal Deeside in t...