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THE SOUTH DEESIDE VIEW Spring 2012 CONTENTS 1

Plant Sale & Daffodil Tea

2

Youth activities

3

Youth activities

4

Lairhillock School

5

Lairhillock School football Banchory-Devenick School

6

Clubs and Societies

7

Leisure activities

8

Community Halls Local Facilities

9

Driving for the Disabled

10

Maryculter-Cookney Church

11

St Ternan’s Church St Mary’s Chapel Solstice Plant Sale

12

News from Blairs Museum

13

Nature Notes Home deliveries

14

As we go to press, we’re basking in unprecedented March temperatures and wondering what happened to winter...hopefully it’s not still to come! Meanwhile an impressive array of spring flowers is brightening up the countryside and we can only hope this is the year of the famous ‘barbecue summer’. This issue is once again packed with contributions from individuals and organisations across our area. Together with our loyal advertisers and band of ‘deliverers’, this is what makes South Deeside View possible - a big thanks to you all. Once again, we are always on the lookout for new material that you - the readers - would like to see. It is after all ‘your’ newsletter, so please feel free to contact Hazel or Pam at any time with your ideas (contact details on the back page). All phone numbers are Aberdeen listed (01224) unless otherwise indicated. The back page, with its Events Calendar and list of useful contacts, is arranged for handy reference. Other contact information is at the end of each section. We look forward to seeing you all at our Annual Plant Sale and Coffee Morning on May 19 (see below for more details). In the meantime, we urgently need plant pots of any size - if you can help, contact Rob Winmill on 01569 730308.

Horses help Heroes Broadband/Representation

15

Representation MP/MSP/ Councillor

16

Community Council

17

Community Council

18

Councillors

19

Advertisements

20

Handy contacts and Events

Friends of Guiding Maryculter Annual Daffodil Tea Saturday 12th May 10.30 to 12.30 Corbie Hall, Maryculter Adults £3, children/concessions £1.50 Cake & candy, toys, books, raffles

ANNUAL PLANT SALE and COFFEE MORNING Saturday May 19, from 10.30 till noon at Corbie Hall, Maryculter We are holding a sale of garden plants: herbaceous, rockery, herbs, salad vegetables, annuals and bushes - all grown by enthusiastic local amateur gardeners. Coffee, tea, juice and home baking will also be available. Please let us know if you can offer any donations or assistance on the day - all contributions welcome! If you can help with supplies, contact Rob Winmill (plants), Tel: 01569 730308 or Pam Robertson (coffee morning), Tel: 863887.


YOUTH ACTIVITIES Maryculter Babies and Toddlers

Maryculter Brownies

The girls of 1st Maryculter Brownies have been working hard this term on their Environment Badge, as part of their Thinking Day Challenge. They wanted to try and save the world. They have also been working on a Chocolate Challenge Badge and have been having lots of fun with that. They also sent and received postcards from Brownies around the world to celebrate Thinking Day on February 22nd.

We meet in Maryculter Church Hall, on Thursday mornings all year from 10am until noon. Anyone looking after children between birth and 3 years is very welcome to join us for a cuppa and chat, whilst the tots play with our stock of toys and games. We're always on the lookout for new members so please tell friends, neighbours and those new to the area. Julia Currie, Tel: 862200, E-mail: julia.currie8@gmail.com Lee Ross, Tel: 07929 071183, E-mail: leeross@gmail.com

Pictured below, the girls are looking forward to getting out and about when the nights get lighter and also taking part in a special campfire in Templars Park in June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. They are working towards a special badge for that, as well as special badges for the 2012 London Olympics.

South Deeside Under Fives From 0 to 5 – making learning come alive! The South Deeside Under Fives is a community-led charity providing independent childcare for children from birth to five years. Meeting at Maryculter Community Hall (next to the Old Mill Inn), it offers three programmes as outlined below.

We are currently operating a waiting list with priority being given to girls moving up from the Rainbows. For more information on the Brownies, contact our leader Lynn, ‘Elf Owl’, on Tel: 01330 825936 or e-mail lynnmurphy100@hotmail.co.uk

We have now been up and running for well over a year and our group goes from strength to strength. We’ve received some great support from Lottery Funding, which has allowed us to update and upgrade a lot of our toys and equipment, as well as much needed support from private businesses such as Union Square and Handmade Burger Company for our healthy living project – ‘We love our life, We love our food’. This has allowed us to provide a healthy lunch for the Rising Fives and healthy snacks for the 2’s group. We also have a raised bed in the outdoor play area, which will allow the children to experience growing and eating their own veg. We’ve also been very fortunate to receive continued support from the Community Council who, along with the charities board at Shell Brent Bravo, provided funding for two ‘walkodiles’. Two new additions to the group are teddy mascots – ‘Ben’ the bear and ‘Tango’ the rabbit. They have both settled in well and Ben has even had a little adventure to South Africa visiting a nursery out there with Tanya, one of the committee mums.

Save our Brownies, 1st Maryculter Brownies needs you!

Baby & Toddler Group Meets on Monday mornings - £3.75 per session. For children from 0–3 years. Adults relax over a coffee whilst children make their first friends. An experienced play leader leads children through active play, songs and stories.

1st Maryculter Brownies are looking for adults aged between 18 and 65 who are interested in coming along to help us as leaders. Without additional helpers we are at real risk of having to close this popular unit. Do you have an hour and a half to spare each week and need something to do? We are a lively but friendly bunch of 24, 7 to 10 year olds and we would love to hear from you. If you are interested, full training and support is given. Contact: Lynn Murphy – District Commissioner Tel: 01330 825936 E-mail: maryculterbrownies@yahoo.co.uk

Two’s Group Meets on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings - £8 per session. For children aged 2 years until they go to nursery. Tots are left in the capable hands of experienced play leaders who support the children in learning through play in a small, friendly group. Activities include crafts, bug hunting, bubbles in the garden and walks around the local countryside. Rising Fives Group Meets on Tuesday lunchtimes, 12 noon to 2pm - £8 per session. For ante-pre and pre-school children. A gentle introduction to spending more time away from their adults prior to school. Children are provided with a healthy lunch as part of our healthy living programme followed by fun activities including cooking, painting or sports. More information at Mobile: 07966 163953 or E-mail: info@south-deeside-under-fives.co.uk The South Deeside Under Fives is a member of the Scottish Preschool Play Association - Charity No. SC017421 www.south-deeside-under-fives.co.uk

‘Tango’ & ‘Ben’ - mascots for the South Deeside Under 5s! 2


YOUTH ACTIVITIES Maryculter Rainbows

was given by Malcolm from the Model Aircraft Club leading to the Beavers gaining their Air Activities badge. New members always welcome. Contact: Kathleen Paterson, Beaver Leader Tel: 868676

Rainbows are 25 years old this year! We have been celebrating by doing a Rainbow challenge badge, looking at a different colour each week. We have made yellow mobiles, tie-dyed blue t-shirts and played green bingo. We’ve taken part in a postcard exchange with other units around the world and enjoyed seeing where they live and learning about their cultures. We are looking forward to our annual fundraising Daffodil Tea – come along for coffee and tasty cakes – and to our County Campfire to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We’ll be going all sporty in the summer term as we tackle On Your Marks… a challenge based on the Olympics and Paralympics. Girls aged 5-7 meet in Corbie Hall on Thursdays from 4.155.15pm. We are full at the moment but are always happy to add girls to our waiting list. Contact Kate Martin at katedorcas1@aol.com, Tel: 739843

1st Maryculter Cubs The Cub pack continues to have an active programme in and around Maryculter with as many activities as possible taking advantage of what the local area has to offer. During the autumn term we have had a camp at Templars’ Park, a cross country cycling tour in the Kingcausie Estate and several forays into the woods although this year we did not get the winter conditions that make a night hike so special. We also held the traditional Scout Hut sleepover to coincide with the Remembrance Sunday service at the kirk. The Lent term has had several outings including ‘Tubing’ at the Garthdee Ski Centre, night orienteering in Templars’ Park and a visit to Stonehaven Police Station. Another trip, which was a first for Maryculter Cubs, was a visit to ‘Pets at Home’ where we were shown a variety of different pets and were told how best to look after them. This has helped to qualify the Cubs for their Animal Welfare badge. Looking forward to next term we will be making the annual overnight trip to Muir Cottage near Braemar again after the Easter break and we have another couple of sailing events at Loch of Skene planned for the summer months so we will be hoping for better luck than last year when both events were cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Maryculter Cubs meet at the Maryculter Scout Hut on Mondays between 6.15 and 7.45pm. The pack is currently close to capacity and we will give priority to boys wanting to move up from Maryculter Beavers but if anyone wants more information they should contact one of the following: David Kirk tel: 869006, David Burslem tel: 732819, Bill Caffyn tel: 734080.

Maryculter Guides This term the Guides have been working on a challenge all about the USA and the Girl Scouts. They have been making crafts and have had a cookout where they toasted marshmallows and made smores. Some girls made chipmunks, which are not as drastic as they sound - you cut a chocolate cupcake in half, insert a chocolate button, wrap in tin foil and place in the warm embers of the fire to melt. We also made popcorn on the open fire. Some of the Guides took part in a fun day in Newtonhill with around 50 other Rainbows, Brownies and Guides to celebrate World Thinking Day. A good day was had by all playing games, making crafts and learning about the history of Guiding around the world. We ended the day around the campfire and remade our Promise to Guiding. After Easter we will be preparing for camp in May, which is at a Guide Campsite at Ladenford, Forfar. We will also join the rest of the country to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and plan to have a royal cookout, and complete another challenge all about the UK and the Queen. This will lead us up to the end of term when we hope to have our own Olympic Games Night. We meet on Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm in the Maryculter Community (Corbie) Hall and are always on the lookout for new members. Contact Morag Lister on Tel:07849 315203, E-mail: moraglister@yahoo.co.uk

1st Maryculter Scouts & Explorer Scouts Meeting at the Scout Hut each Friday (7.15-9.15pm) evening, the troop continues to flourish. An evening at the ice rink in Aberdeen proved that football is not the only sport the Scouts excel at! After a shaky start they were soon whizzing around the ice and most importantly - no injuries. Camping has been limited so far this year but a camp in Glen Tanar is planned and summer camp will be somewhere local possibly the Moray Firth/Spey Bay area. A must for the menu this year will be sticky toffee pud, after a demo by one of our parents showed the Scouts how it’s done. Some of the older Scouts, who have turned 14, have stayed with us and formed an Explorer unit. This is the next age group in scouting, for boys and girls aged 14 to 18. Numbers are low but we hope the next batch of 14-year-olds will also stick around and join the new unit. New members would also be most welcome - you don't have to have been a Scout to join the Explorers. The Explorer programme is a more ambitious version of the Scout programme and aims to give more responsibility to the members to run their own activities. New members are always welcome. Call Les Paterson 868676 for more info or visit the District website http:// www.deesidescouts.org.uk and look for the Maryculter page – it’s by far the best!

Maryculter Beavers We meet every Tuesday in the Scout Hut from 5.30 to 7pm. Usually noisy and mischievous, the Beavers were silenced recently when PC Warden visited with his enormous Alsatian police dog. No second tellings were needed to get them to remain quiet and still with their hands behind their backs! Other helpers have included Leona, who demonstrated gymnastics and Emma who demonstrated Kupso martial arts - all as part of the Beavers obtaining their fitness challenge badge. Another impressive demonstration 3


PRIMARY

SCHOOLS life with and without Fair Trade prices for his family’s coffee beans. They have made cabins using shoeboxes and recycled materials as part of their work on The Titanic and had great fun recording jingles for an Ollie Enterprise task. P4-6 took part in the K’Nex Challenge and Callum Davis and Aidan Dempsey now go forward to the next stage of the competition. P5 thoroughly enjoyed their two-day Victorian Experience and now have a much greater understanding of what it would have been like to go to school during the Victorian era. Mr Fraser was a very authentic Victorian teacher who transformed the classroom with a range of artefacts. P6-7 spent a morning having a guided tour of the Royal Northern Spring Show at Thainstone Centre. They saw sheep and cattle from the catwalk as well as a live auction of pedigree bulls. They also saw different breeds of horses and ponies being put through their paces. They even got a glimpse of HRH Princess Anne which linked well with their topic on the Diamond Jubilee!

Lairhillock Mrs Avril Tulloch very kindly judged our Scots Poetry Competition in January and winners were chosen from each class as follows: P1-2 Isla Thomson, Rasmus Feld and Seumas Morrison P2-3 Joseph McIntosh, Ellen Thomson and Antoine Guinebault P3-4 Carl Saunders, Craig Strachan and Katie McIntosh P5 Struan Kirk, Lauren Grinyer and Louise Carmichael P6-7 Sasha Coutts, Mena Collin and Alexandria Reid Our cross country team completed the Primary Schools Cross Country Series event at Inverurie. Struan Kirk and Louise Carmichael came first in their races and Matthew Paterson gained a third place. Health and wellbeing continues to be a major part of the work in school. Weekly cooking sessions have focused on pastamaking. Nursery children took part in a Child Smile workshop that taught them how to brush their teeth correctly. Deaf Awareness Workshops have been delivered to the whole school. P5 pupils participated in the Grow Well Choices which is a healthy lifestyle programme developed and delivered in partnership with NHS Grampian. P5-7 successfully completed Level 1 of the St John’s Ambulance First Aider Scheme. The school’s Police Liaison Officer delivered a workshop on Internet Safety to P6-7 pupils.

Work on developing our school grounds will commence during the summer thanks to the news that our application to Awards for All has been successful. The school has received £10,000 towards further developing outdoor learning opportunities for all the children and we hope that the local community will also be able to benefit from this. The Community Council has very kindly provided the school with trees from the Woodland Trust’s Community Tree Pack which is part of the Jubilee Woods Project. The project aims to plant 6 million trees in celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Silver birch, rowan, blackthorn, hazel, hawthorn and oak trees have been planted.

The Rights Respecting Pupil Council decided to use the £214 raised at the Suitcase Sale to sponsor a child in a developing country. Yefrin Martinez Obando is 12 years old and lives in Nicaragua with his family. Yefrin’s father is a peasant farmer and they live in a house made of adobe with a tile and slate roof. Photographs have been received of Yefrin and his mother, and the children plan to send photographs back so that we can begin to build a relationship with the family. ‘Tom’ our cuddly dog from nursery has travelled to South Africa with Caleb Heath and we are eagerly awaiting his return to find out about life in that part of the world. World Book Day saw characters from all sorts of books appearing in school and the costumes were extremely creative. During Science and Technology Week, the whole school visited Satrosphere with each class taking part in a workshop. Banchory-Devenick School joined us to watch the performance ‘When the Oil Ran Out’ performed by Hopscotch Theatre Company.

The nursery children (pictured above) have been outside wearing the new outdoor clothes and wellington boots bought with money received from the North East Forest Education Initiative grant scheme, which supports projects that promote the use of the outdoors as a learning and development resource. We were able to purchase 30 sets of waterproof jackets with hoods, waterproof trousers and 30 pairs of wellington boots. This means that the weather won’t stop the children from taking part in outdoor learning activities!

P1-2 children have developed their understanding of life in the 1940s as a direct result of the wealth of artefacts brought to school by parents. They have been recreating a 1940s style kitchen and living area. On a completely different note, Robert Anderson’s lambs paid the school a visit much to the excitement of everyone! P2-3 pupils have written a script for their movie based on Early Man and we are very grateful to parents who have assisted with costumes. P3-4 created Fair Trade storyboards comparing a little boy’s

Marian Youngson, Head Teacher Tel: 01569 732520 E-mail: marian.youngson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk 4


Lairhillock School Football

Banchory-Devenick

Every year school football loses its best players and, with the exception of the game’s greatest teams, it happens to almost every other club in the world. Players develop their skills and seek to improve and often, the only way to do this is to relocate to another team or indeed country.

Banchory-Devenick School pupils held a sponsored read on World Book Day. The children have now collected all their sponsor money and we look forward to presenting a cheque to Portlethen Rotary Club’s Lifestraw Project at our Easter Service. Lifestraw is a portable water filter which contains no chemicals and filters 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. Children in Africa can use the Lifestraw to filter water to drink on their way to school, instead of having to carry a supply of clean water for the day.

In the case of school football, players really do outgrow their situation and we can only hope that they continue to develop the skills that have been enthusiastically learned. This year however, the graduation to secondary school not only took a fine crop of talent from Lairhillock School but the services of our Head Coach. Following twelve years of devoted service, initially with Netherley, Stephen Davies decided that, with no boys still in primary education and no more planned, it was time to hang up his whistle and pass on the training bibs.

This term our primary 6/7 class has enjoyed studying World War 2. One of the highlights was a visit from a pupil’s great granddad who shared some of his experiences while serving in the war. Another highlight was a visit to the Gordon Highlanders’ Museum in Aberdeen. The children were interested to learn about the conditions of the soldiers, by dressing up in a soldier’s uniform and handling the heavy equipment which they had to carry. Some of the children enjoyed it so much they have asked their parents to take them back for another visit.

You will no doubt have enjoyed reading Stephen’s reports in these pages and unsurprisingly he had no shortage of willing volunteers eager to follow in his footsteps. Experiencing the game’s highs and lows was reward enough, according to Stephen, but we could not let him go quietly and he was presented with a small token at the Lairhillock School end of year assembly in June.

A trip has been organised for all our P1-5 pupils to Drum Castle early in the summer term. This will link with the current P4/5 class topic ‘The Magic Castle’ and P1/2/3 topic ‘Fairytales’, which have stimulated lots of interesting learning activities and wonderful displays of work in the classrooms.

However, the new coaching team knows that the best ‘thank you’ we can give Stephen is to carry on his good work, something we strive to do with enthusiasm and respect.

A theatre group performance in school of Jack and the Beanstalk brightened up a dark January day and was enjoyed by all the children.

A D C Collin Our primary 6 pupils enjoyed competing in the annual Euroquiz at Portlethen Academy and a primary 7 team is entering the annual schools rotary quiz. Our Parent Council is busy planning and organising a Jubilee Fair on Saturday 26th May from 2-4pm. You are welcome to join us for tea/coffee and a range of interesting stalls. There will also be fun activities for children. Joyce Hill, Head Teacher, Tel: 875237 E-mail: joyce.hill@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Nature classes Award-winning weekly nature classes for two to five year olds to discover nature and play outdoors. Monday and Friday sessions

Gardens of Scotland Blairwood House garden will once again be open by appointment from 18th June till 31st August. The ½ acre garden is now 13 years old and sits easily in the surrounding countryside, providing colour over a long season. There are herbaceous borders, a small herb garden, pebble mosaics and a sunken patio area. Admissions: £4.00 (for charity) Contact: Ilse Elders, South Deeside Road, Blairs AB12 5YQ. Tel: 868301, Email: ilse.elders@yahoo.co.uk.

Birthday parties Toast marshmallows, build dens, climb trees and stomp in mud…outdoor birthday fun for two to ten-year-olds! Contact Mandy Tulloch on 07929 465680 or visit www.mudpieadventures.co.uk for more information 5


CLUBS AND SOCIETIES Maryculter WRI

Glendale Football Club

Meetings are on the second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm in Corbie Hall, Maryculter between August and May. The speaker on April 11 will outline the work of Aboyne Horseback UK and our season ends on May 9 with the AGM and a Bring and Buy Sale. New members and visitors are always welcome. Sheila Bissett, Tel: 01569 731708

It is now mid-March, the sun is shining, the days growing longer and peoples’ memories fading of what winter was actually like from a ‘footballing point of view’. There were actually a large number of Saturdays without football at Corbie Park – when deep Friday night/Saturday morning frosts put paid to a suitable playing surface. However, as I write this spiel, the team is playing well – ‘at last’ I hear some say! After a very shaky start to the season, when as you will recall a large squad of players were assembled (some new and some old familiar faces), the problem faced by the management team was trying to figure out our best starting eleven. But as anyone in footballing circles will know, those less committed to the cause eventually start drifting away leaving a hard core of players willing to fight for a regular starting place – long may it continue. With ten league games still to play and on current form, things are looking favourable for a reasonably high-placed league placing – all this despite the fact that the team could not ‘buy a win’ at the start of the season. Matches are at Corbie Park, Maryculter on alternate Saturdays and we train on Tuesday evenings.

Netherley WRI We meet on the third Monday of each month between August and May at 7.30pm in Lairhillock School. On April 16 there will be a demonstration on felted landscapes, with ‘Herbalife’ the subject on May 21. We are a small but keen group and welcome new members. Janet Ross, Tel: 732101

Friendship Club Our winter session ends with a Basket Whist evening on April 20 at the Corbie Hall, Maryculter so if you want to share the fun, please contact one of us beforehand. The programme of summer outings on the first Thursday of the month between May and September is now ready and will include visiting Discovery Point, Dundee and the Knockando Woollen Mill. If you are of retirement age, why don’t you join us? Contacts: Anne, Tel: 732071 and Peggy, Tel: 734888

Jim Grant Tel: 867512

Dee Vale Ladies Football Club

Cookney Bowling Club

Dee Vale Ladies FC have just kicked off the 2012 Season in SWFL Division 2 North. Over the winter break we made five new signings to strengthen the squad. Pre-season training has gone well with a strong performance at the Moray Cup, losing out in a semifinal penalty shoot out, followed by two convincing victories over Buchan Youth and Forfar. The opening league game of the season saw a hard fought 1-1 draw with a strong Moray Ladies side. Fixtures for the first half of the 2012 season are: 8 April League Cup Round 2 Moray - Dee Vale 15 April Dee Vale - Aberdeen Res 22 April Dee ladies - Dee Vale 6 May Dee Vale - Stonehaven 13 May Scottish Cup Round 1 Murieston FC - Dee Vale 20 May Buchan Youth - Dee Vale 27 May Dee Vale - Turiff United 17 June Aberdeen Dev - Dee Vale All home matches are played on Sundays at Corbie Park, Maryculter, 2pm kick-off (supporters welcome!) followed by hospitality at the Holburn Bar. For more information on joining the squad, sponsorship opportunities etc please contact deevalelfc@yahoo.co.uk Rhoda Paterson

The carpet bowls season gives way to outdoor bowls at the end of April, but keen indoor bowlers will regroup at Cookney Hall at 7.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays from mid September. New members welcome. Arthur Durward, Tel: 319701

6


LEISURE ACTIVITIES

Drum Castle The castle, tearoom and shop will be open from April 1 to September 30 from Thursday to Monday from 11am to 4.45pm. The Garden of Historic Roses opens daily between April 1 and the end of October.

Yoga classes at Blairs If you are interested in practising hatha yoga in a small group (max. 6 people per class) please contact Ilse Elders on 868301. There are a few places in the Tuesday evening and Thursday evening classes. The level of teaching is on an intermediate level. I have been a registered teacher with Yoga Scotland since 1988.

Head gardener Diana Robertson is looking for volunteers to staff the garden kiosk for two hour shifts – either singly or in pairs, and training will be given. Please contact her to learn more about this most sociable way of volunteering in a delightful setting. E-mail: drobertson@nts.org.uk, Tel: 01330 811406

Fitness Pilates The class runs in the Corbie Hall, Maryculter on Mondays from 6 to 7pm. People with physical problems will be directed to classes run by Physiotherapists, such as the advert on this page. Individuals are welcome to attend for a trial session, and should contact: Fiona Halliday Tel: 01330 824679

Special events at weekends include: 7th July: 'Romancing the Rose': an evening walk amongst roses: tickets £6 including refreshments. Booking essential. 8th July: Scotland's Gardens: open day with tai chi and garden poetry; silent book auction; teas in the garden 11am to 5pm. Garden entry £4/concessions £2. www.nts.org.uk

Mearns Reading Group We began six years ago and take turns to host the six-weekly get-together in our own homes. Newtonhill Library provides a book list and we take turns in selecting a title and providing a synopsis. Healthy discussion follows our own readings. Why not join us at our next meeting on Tuesday April 24? At present there are 10 members who are fully committed to having a good blether together with tea/coffee and a tasty piece. Oh, and improving our literary knowledge! E-mail: ericmuriel_hargreaves@hotmail.com, Tel: 01569 730302 or Sheila, Tel: 01569 731608

SOLVEIG DAHLE SMITH Cert. Pilates. Inst. MAPPI Experienced physiotherapist MCSP

PILATES CLASSES PETERCULTER SPORTS CENTRE Monday & Tuesday afternoons Tuesday & Thursday evenings CAMPHILL SCHOOL MURTLE Wednesday evenings CULTS CHURCH Friday mornings

Dog Training Weekly class on Wednesday evenings in Cookney Hall. Yvonne Reid, Tel: 865249

Aberdeen Aeromodellers Club The club owns a 6.5 acre grass flying field at Hare Moss, Banchory-Devenick and is permitted to fly from 9am to 7pm on weekdays, and 10am to 7pm at weekends. Details of forthcoming events can be found on their website (also on the back page). E-mail: information@aamfc.co.uk Website best accessed using Google: aamfc.org

Contact details solveig@pilatesaberdeen.com www.pilatesaberdeen.com 01224 861421

Dingle Dell

Storybook Glen Maryculter’s 28 acre playground populated by nursery rhyme and make-believe characters is open from 10am to 6pm daily. There is currently a 50% sale in the gift shop and garden centre to make way for new stock. Tel: 732941, www.storybookglenaberdeen.co.uk.

Gift and Garden Centre Storybook Glen, Maryculter, Aberdeen Tel: 01224 732941 OPEN ALL YEAR, SEVEN DAYS A WEEK Garden equipment Good quality hardy plants Children’s toys and gifts, pet food Large selection of cards and candles Large free car park

No entry charge for visiting the garden centre

50% off everything NOW! 7


Recycling Point There is a new set of recycling bins for glass, paper, cardboard, cans and aerosols just inside the entrance of the Deeside Holiday Park, to the west of the Old Mill Inn at Maryculter, which is open to the public day and night. Any other items should be taken to the Redcloak Recycling Centre, Stonehaven just beyond the Academy by the rugby pitch.

Corbie Park and Community Hall, Maryculter The hall continues to serve the community well and is used regularly by a variety of groups. Having had no increase in hire rates for a number of years, the committee had to edge them up at the start of 2012 to compensate for ever-increasing costs.

Seasonal extra garden waste recycling Wednesdays, April 25 to November 7, Asda car park, Portlethen from 2-5pm Saturdays, April 21 to November, Asda car park, Portlethen from 8am till 11am and Bettridge Centre, Newtonhill from 8am till noon. www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/waste

A new boiler has been installed and should be more efficient in providing heat to the hall and hot water for showers. The weather has been favourable this year so our grass cover is excellent as we exit the winter period. Unfortunately someone has driven over the grass when it was frosted and left tyre marks - but no lasting damage we hope.

Display boards Editor Hazel keeps a set of Marley Hayley display boards available for local use, in return for a small donation to the South Deeside Under Fives. There are 8 boards, each 94 x 62cm with a green baize surface and joining fixtures, and must be collected and returned by the borrower. See back page for contact address.

There is always maintenance to be done in the hall and on the field and the committee is very grateful for those who give of their time to help out. We would be very pleased to welcome other community-spirited people to help with DIY, pitch maintenance or other aspects of the committee work.

Templars Park This 45-acre Scout Campsite in Maryculter is undergoing a planned programme of improvements as part of the ÂŁ500,000 Step Forward Project. The Campfire Circle in its sheltered woodland site has been beautifully renovated with five tiers of wooden seating and is ready for use this season. A new toilet and shower block is planned as well as installation of equipment for several new activities. Groups outwith the Scouts and Guides may be able to use these facilities, but probably only through the week due to Child Protection policies. Their website is being further developed as well: www.templarspark.org.uk E-mail: annforbookings@hotmail.co.uk or Tel: 874925

By the time this is published we should be on Facebook! See if you can find us and be our friend (thanks to Maryculter Guides for setting up our page). Enquiries and bookings in the first instance to Carol Masson, Tel: 733583.

Friends of Cookney Hall The hall continues to be well used for regular carpet bowling, dog training and dancing sessions. Fundraising events organized by the Friends, including a tractor-pulling race night, the New Year family dance and a superb Burns Supper were very well attended and supported by local businesses. These have raised money which will be put to good use when the hall closes for refurbishment after the Local Elections on May 3. We hope this will take only a month to complete.

MARYCULTER COMMUNITY HALL AND CORBIE PLAYING FIELD by the Old Mill Inn An ideal venue for Children’s Parties, Meetings, Ceilidhs, Coffee Mornings, Concerts, Dance and Exercise Classes Available afternoons, evenings and weekends. Facilities include Kitchen with Cooker, Microwave, Kettle/Urn, Crockery and Cutlery Tables and chairs for 80 people, Toilets

Our next fundraiser is a Spring Fling dance on April 21. Tickets for this and other events can be obtained from the committee and Joyce Murison, Tel: 01569 731236 Contact Willie Angus tel: 01569 730123 or E-mail: wgangus@ukgateway.net to book the hall for events. If you would like to get involved with Friends of Cookney Hall, please contact me for further details. Bob McKinney, Tel: 01569 730706, E-mail: bob8930@sky.com

Disabled entrance to Hall. The Changing Rooms and Showers are separate and can accommodate 2 teams of 15. For further information or to book an event Please contact Booking Secretary Carol Masson Telephone 733583 8


Maryculter Driving for the Disabled

Maryculter Driving for the Disabled Group is an independent charity. Our aim is to give the opportunity of driving a horse-pulled carriage to any disabled person, to aid their balance, co-ordination and self confidence as well as having fun. Our 2012 driving season starts on 2nd May at 1pm at Maryculter Home Farm, weather permitting. These Wednesday sessions continue throughout the year and are made possible by our extensive team of volunteers.

NORTH BURNSIDE KENNELS AND CATTERY

The majority of sessions are from Home Farm apart from two that are through the Maryculter Woods where we are based at the Maryculter Scout Hut. The last day of the season on 26th September is our BBQ where we invite another driving group for a cone driving competition and treasure hunt, a fun day for all with prizes presented to the winners. Last year our friends from the Garioch Group joined us.

“where part of your family becomes part of ours” Tel 01224 733474 Netherley Road, Burnside, Maryculter

Our annual fundraising event at Stonehaven Plainstones was a great success and a special thank you to everyone who supported us and helped on the day. Make a note in your diary for this year’s event on Saturday 1st September, 9am till noon. The Corbie Hall was again the venue for our Christmas/ AGM meal and was enjoyed by all. Thanks to Santa and all the helpers and the generous donations of raffle prizes. We are always looking for new helpers and tea ladies/gentlemen You don't need to know anything about horses, we provide ongoing training, but if you do that's a bonus. Volunteers must be aged 12 or over. There is no upper age limit.

MARYCULTER CARRIAGE DRIVING CENTRE

If you would like to volunteer or have further information about the Group’s activities please contact: George Masson (Chairman) Tel: 733583 Caroline McTaggart (Secretary) Tel: 734093

Learn the art and tradition of carriage driving Arrive in a horse-drawn carriage for your wedding Enjoy a farm tour and riverside drive Visit our unique carriage collection Bring disabled friends for a drive Let us take you for a drive to mark a special occasion

We also need volunteers to join a team of local ladies who serve teas and supply ‘fine pieces’ to the disabled drivers, carers and helpers who attend our weekly sessions at Home Farm, Maryculter. If you could spare a couple of hours twice over the summer season we would love to hear from you. You are assured of a warm welcome and you would enjoy a fun afternoon. Please contact Carol on 733583.

We can do all this and much more with our experienced horses and ponies. We also have a self-contained flat overlooking the River Dee - ideal for business visits or short breaks. Jane and Ewan MacInnes, Home Farm, Maryculter Tel: 01224 732710 and 07889 340362 Email: homefarmmcdc@lineone.net

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Banchory-Devenick and Maryculter/Cookney Parish Church of Scotland Welcoming: We warmly welcome everyone with open arms, friendly smiles, gentleness and respect.

Maryculter Church Worship Services Worship services are currently held at MaryculterCookney Church every Sunday morning at 10.30am. Everyone is welcome. These services follow a traditional reformed style with bible readings, sermon and of course praise. Families are welcome and there is ‘church family time’ near the start of the service after which young children may leave to do fun activities (supervised) in the ‘Happy Lounge’.

Worshipping: We worship the living God in Spirit and in truth wth joy and love in our hearts. We honour Him for who He is and what He has done for us in Christ.

The Meeting Place

Witnessing: We witness by the way we live our lives sharing the Good news of Jesus Christ by loving, supporting and encouraging people in our community and beyond.

Contemporary worship led by our praise band from 5pm. A chance to meet with one another, meet new friends and meet with God. Very informal relaxed atmosphere, families welcome. Maryculter-Cookney Church Hall from 4.30pm, next one Sunday 29th April. Continuing on last Sunday evening each month.

Our website is currently being updated. We look forward to sharing all that is going on in our church with you there when the update is complete. www.bdmc-parish.org.uk Minister:

Easter Services Sunday 1st April 10.30am Palm Sunday Service Wednesday 4th April 7.30pm The Passion Film Friday 6th April 7.30pm Good Friday Service Easter Sunday 8th April - 8am Early Morning Worship in Peace Garden - 9am Easter breakfast in the hall - 10.30am Morning Worship Service including celebration of Holy Communion All at Maryculter-Cookney Parish Church

Rev Dr Heather M Peacock Tel: 730150 E-mail: hmpeacock@btinternet.com Church Office: Tel: 735983 E-mail: thechurchoffice@tiscali.co.uk

Youth Cafe

We will be running a Holiday Club for primary school children in the first week of the school holidays. There will be stories, games, songs, crafts and lots of fun. Mon 2nd to Fri 6th July 10am - 12 noon. Watch out for the invitation and registration forms coming home from school.

P7-S6 - all welcome. Every Thursday 7-9pm in Maryculter Church Hall; Food, fun and friendship. Youth Alpha will be available again during 2012. By popular demand an Activity Weekend Away to Compass Christian Centre in Glenshee is planned for June 2012. Don’t miss out! Contact Dianne Brown, Tel:734687

Banchory Devenick and Maryculter-Cookney Parish Church of Scotland, Scottish Charity number: SCO 13648 CCL 573608

Community Coffee Enjoy a fabulous Fair Trade Coffee and fine piece. Every 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday 10-12 noon in Maryculter Church Hall. Everyone welcome.

The Guild We meet on the first Monday of the month from September through to November and from February to May, at 7:30pm. New members are sure of a warm welcome and enjoy good company, interesting speakers and a light supper. Contact Sheila Bissett, Tel: 01569 731708

Booking of Halls and grounds Contact Anne Massie Tel: 732071 You do not need to be a member of the Church to join in our services and activities, and you can be sure of a warm welcome to all of them. 10


St Mary’s Chapel, Blairs Mass is held every Sunday morning at 9am to which all are invited. We will celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on 7th April. Deacon Peter Macdonald Tel: 780351

Plant Sale and Guild Coffee Morning

ST TERNAN’S SCOTTISH EPISCOPAL CHURCH MUCHALLS (Charity No. SC023264) St. Ternan’s is the northern-most Scottish Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Brechin. We are part of the worldwide Anglican communion. The church is located in the North Kincardine Community Council area, to the west of the A90 about a mile from Muchalls Village on the Causey Mounth where the road branches off to Cookney and Netherley.

‘Solstice Nurseries - Growing Plants and People’ Solstice Nurseries is having a plant sale on Saturday 26th May between 10.30am and 1pm to give people in our neighbourhood an opportunity to come to our wholesale nursery and buy plants directly from us, the growers. We are a social firm (that is a ‘not for profit’ organisation) which operates commercially providing garden maintenance, and a wholesale nursery that sells heathers, herbaceous, shrubs and alpine plants to the retail market. This is a superb opportunity to support our organisation, which works with adults who are recovering from mental health issues and preparing for employment. Admission is by donation for Solstice funds; we will have a raffle and, of course, sell plants. The local Guild has kindly agreed to come and share this event by selling refreshments and home bakes for their funds – great value! They will also have a couple of fundraising stalls. We are located at Banchory and Leggart Estate (the policies) and nestled in a beautiful secluded site at Drumduan Walled Garden. The main entrance is best found from the South Deeside Road, about one mile from Leggart Terrace heading out of town, and will be signposted on the day. We hope that you will come to support this event and get to know us.

The closing date for applications for a new Priest in Charge was 29th February 2012 so hopefully by the time this goes to print we may have been successful. Reverend Maggie Jackson of St. James the Great in Stonehaven continues as our Interim Pastor assisting during the vacancy. At present we are continuing to operate with the Ministry team as follows: George Masson John Usher

Tel. 733583 Tel. 01569 731608

The church is open every day from 10am until 3pm. You are welcome to join us in worship at the 10.30am Family Eucharist on Sundays. Weekly services are held on major Saint Days and are advertised on the church notice boards and in the magazine. Our new Community Meeting Room with kitchen and toilet facilities is available for use by anyone in the community for classes, dance classes, children’s parties, craft groups, meetings etc. The meeting room can accommodate up to 30 people and is fitted with a loop system for the hard of hearing and the entrance is wheelchair friendly. To book the facility contact Sheila on 01569 731608 or Audrey on 01569 730600 – a donation of £4 per hour is suggested.

The Muchalls Bistro Great food and relaxed dining serving lunches and dinners

We held a very successful Burns Supper in Cookney Hall on 4th February and future social events include the annual Garden Fete on 16th June in the Church grounds. We will also have a presence at the Skateraw Fair in June and the Muchalls Gala in August. We will be holding a Quiz Night with Cheese and Wine in Skateraw Hall on 15th September and another Musical Concert in the Church on Friday 21st September, featuring among others the Kilwhang Bellringers and the Ballater Songsters.

Tel: 01569 730393 Only 200 metres off the A90 Follow the road sign to Muchalls Closed Monday and Tuesday See sample menus on the website www.themuchallsbistro.co.uk

Please contact any of the above Ministry Team for help or information on marriages, baptisms, funerals, pastoral visiting etc.

Chef / proprietor Hermann Schmid

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building full of students and staff without a Fire Service to respond could have been tragic – lives might have been lost. The students at Blairs during the 19th Century were mainly from Scotland. But interestingly at the time of the 1845 incident at least one student from Trinidad, Michel Maxwell Philip (pictured), was a student at Blairs.

News from Blairs Museum by Ian Forbes I have recently been using my Aberdeen Libraries card to access online sources. The Libraries database includes a number of UK and Scottish national and NE Scotland local newspaper archives for which there would otherwise be a cost to access electronically. During my research I have uncovered some interesting stories about Blairs which have appeared in the press over the years. For example, on Wednesday 29 January 1845, The Aberdeen Journal reported: “FIRE – Last week, a fire accidentally broke out in the Catholic College of Blairs, in this neighbourhood, but was fortunately discovered in time to prevent any serious damage to the building. The alarm was given in a most singular and somewhat unaccountable manner. One of the servant maids, while in bed, heard a bell ring, and conceiving it to come from a sick room, rose, but found all quiet there. On returning to her apartment, however, she found the house on fire in another quarter. She immediately gave the alarm; and assistance being procured, the fire was speedily extinguished. The whole house being buried in sleep at the time the bell was heard to ring, it is supposed to have been caused by some rat or other vermin running along the wire.” So in 1845 it would appear Blairs College was saved by a rat! Reading a later report, this time in The Aberdeen Weekly Journal, I discovered that another fire at Blairs was reported on Monday 13 January 1879: “FIRE AT BLAIRS COLLEGE FARM STEADING – About half-past five o’clock on Saturday morning fire was discovered in one of the byres of the farm steading attached to Blairs College. The fire was discovered in some straw piled up in a corner of the byre, but who had lit it, and how long it had been lit, no one about the place could tell. The lowing of the cattle attracted the attention of one of the servants who entered the byre and found that one of the cows had calved by fright. Having carried out the young calf he gave the alarm to the people about the place, and the fire was got under control before damage to any considerable extent was occasioned, though one of the cows was severely burned on the udder. No one belonging to the establishment had been in the byre for several hours before the fire was discovered, and the only way in which it can be conjectured to have occurred was through some tramp having gone in overnight and probably slept in the place, and then lit his pipe before leaving. The dog belonging to the farm was barking loudly about an hour before the fire was discovered, and the sound of the footsteps of some person running down the avenue it was thought were heard about that time. The buildings at Blairs are so attached that had the fire not been promptly discovered and extinguished the result might have been very serious indeed.” At Blairs today smoke detectors trigger fire alarms, which will go off whether or not anyone is in the building at the time, and the Fire Service will be on site from their base in Aberdeen within minutes. If either of the 19th Century fires reported above had been more serious the consequences in a

In an intriguing historical footnote: like some other early students at Blairs, Maxwell Philip was not thinking of the Catholic priesthood and was eventually called to The Bar in London – the top student in his year. Returning to Trinidad he rose to high office as Solicitor General and was responsible for the legislation amalgamating Trinidad with Tobago. Regrettably, Maxwell Philip was debarred from holding the most senior legal position in his country, that of Attorney General, because he was Creole (mixed race). But Michel Maxwell Philip never forgot Blairs and his Scottish education. During a court case in far-off Trinidad, he translated the proceedings for a Spanish speaking client. Asked by the judge where he had learned to speak Spanish, he replied: “On the banks of the River Dee in Scotland”. In the 19th Century, as today, many important items of Scottish Catholic heritage were kept at Blairs. Held at Blairs since 1831, the world renowned memorial portrait of Mary Queen of Scots is just one artefact which Michel Maxwell Philip would have known as a boy – and which fortunately survived the threat posed by those 19th Century fires.

The Honourable Maxwell Philip Q.C. Photograph – Fr. A. de Verteuil

Blairs Museum is open every Saturday, Sunday or local holiday Monday between 2 and 5 pm from the beginning of April until the end of October. We are also open by arrangement at any other time throughout the year so if you have visitors or you belong to a group looking for something interesting to do, please contact us. Blairs Museum, South Deeside Road, Blairs, AB12 5YQ Tel: 863767, Email: manager@blairsmuseum.com Website: www.blairsmuseum.com

Blairs College circa 1860 12


Nature Notes An adult oystercatcher roosting on the bus stop in March last year.

Bus stops and birds There’s a bus stop on the Netherley Road, not far from my house. Thousands of cars pass it every day but it’s rarely used except by a pair of oystercatchers who roost on its roof every spring and summer. These black and white wading birds with long orange beaks arrive at night in mid February, making their noisy piping-like call. For me it’s a real sign that spring is here. They were late last year, arriving on 3 March after one of the coldest winters in decades. Their first few weeks of Netherley life were pretty dull. They foraged for earthworms in nearby grass fields, occasionally chased off intruders, perched on fence posts and roosted on the bus shelter. But things got going after Willie Angus ploughed his nearby fields at the end of April! How did the birds know when this was going to happen? They didn’t start nesting until several days after he had ploughed as the ground still had to be seeded. More than that, they cleverly nested in a tyre track. The nest was a minimalist affair of scraping a few stones together into a small pile. It took less than a day and was only 30 metres away from the Netherley road. Then the really uninteresting behaviour began – incubation! Little happened for 25 days. The bird on the nest faced the sun and was very conspicuous in a bare earth field. You can’t tell the difference between sexes in oystercatchers but one parent would keep the eggs warm for several hours whilst the other one foraged occasionally and stood around a lot. Then, with no obvious signs to me, they would swap places. Roosting on the bus shelter must have been lonely during those evenings! As the month passed, the barley began to shoot up to hide the nesting bird in a sea of green. I had become used to checking their positions when driving past, then on 25 May things seemed to have changed - both parents were in different places. That evening as cars and lorries whizzed through my telescope, I spied three fluffy poms poms grubbing around for worms. A nearby noise suddenly scared them and they dived under their parent’s wings. A few minutes later they popped back out and were alert and full of energy. Amazing given they were encased in eggs earlier that day. Their tenacity didn’t stop there. The next afternoon the adults flew over the fence into the next field and called to the chicks. The tots dutifully followed but had to manoeuvre a 1.5 metre deep ditch. It took half an hour but all three managed to scramble down and up. Not bad for being only 10cm tall! The next fortnight was pretty noisy. The chicks spent their time eating whilst the adults panicked at every possible predator, piping loudly for minutes at a time. Even rabbits set them off. The chicks by this time were dull, fluffy versions of and the same size as their parents. Then it suddenly went quiet. Around mid June they all flew off to the coast to join a large flock to feed on mussels rather than oysters as their name suggests. Making the time to watch nature on a regular basis is fun. Spring is the perfect time of year as animals are often so busy nesting they are unaware of people. You don’t even need to go outside – watch over a cup of coffee and just write what you see on your kitchen calendar. Once you’ve watched one year you’ll want to do a second as a comparison, then maybe a third! We have a good history of watching things in this area. Aberdeen University holds the record for one of the longest running field experiments in the world – a study on Orkney fulmars that started in 1950. Get children involved too and you might inspire ecologists of the future! Happy watching! Mandy Tulloch

Strangely, the very next day the shelter was replaced with a curved-roof shelter that the birds have roosted on only once this year.

Home Deliveries Vegetables, eggs (and fruit in season) from Neil Gammie, Fernieflatt Farm, Kinneff on Tuesdays and Fridays. Orders must be in the day before delivery. Tel: 01569 750374 or 07790 558880 E-mail: fernieflat@amserve.com Fish George Fairweather delivers west of the B979 road on Thursday afternoons and east of the road on Friday from 11am. Phone orders ahead and establish approximate timing. Tel: 07974 311326 Coal J.H. Roberts of Auchenblae deliver orders in our area on Monday mornings. Tel: 01561 320335

Fruit and Vegetables The organic farm shop at Lorienen, Bridge of Muchalls is open on Wednesdays from 12.30 to 6pm and on Saturdays from 9.30 to 5pm Paul van Midden Tel /Fax: 01569 731746 / 739137 www.lembasorganics.co.uk

GP HEATING & PLUMBING Central heating Boiler servicing Kitchens Bathrooms Woodstoves 20 years’ experience, No job too big or too small Gas Safe registered - 217539 GRAEME PATERSON PETERCULTER MOBILE: 07774 929357 EMAIL: gpaterson01@btinternet.com 13


HORSES HELP HEROES

Broadband

by Jane MacInnes, Maryculter Carriage Driving Centre

Following the article in the last SDV, 68 local broadband users responded and the information provided shows that around 65% have a speed of less than 2MBps, and some have no broadband at all. With the help of Councillor Ian Mollison pleas went out to the Scottish Government, ASCEF, and even the chairman of BT was contacted. Together with the NKRCC we submitted our comments to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee in Holyrood. Two months ago Ian Shand, the BT Head of Scottish affairs, and two local BT Open Reach managers answered questions at the January meeting of NKRCC. Meantime BT had announced that the Cults, Bieldside, Culter, Stonehaven, Kincorth and Portlethen exchanges will be upgraded from 8MBps to 20MBPS in the first half of 2012, but no mention about upgrading Newtonhill. Aberdeenshire is planning to spend £18 million over the next 3 years to provide a better broadband infrastructure in the Shire, and are planning to go out to tender in Autumn 2012 for this work. Meantime we were advised in the meeting with BT that we should keep complaining to our internet providers (such as BT, TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky, Ifb, etc) as only the providers can instruct BT Open Reach to do something about it. There is an improvement on the market which can be easily installed at home, called an accelerator or I-Plate. This has increased broadband reception for us and others in the area, and can be bought via the internet for about £6. http://www.bt.com/accelerator

Under the umbrella of the Help for Heroes charity, ‘Horses Help Heroes’ is a campaign to raise money to deliver practical support to seriously wounded members of the British armed forces. A fundraising challenge took place last summer which caught our attention, and husband Ewan and I were inspired to offer our services to help. The challenge was the inspiration of a lady called `Jacks` El Tawil, a Wiltshire-based paramedic who has worked in many of the war zones, and also has a passion for horses. The idea was to drive pairs of horses from Land`s End to John o` Groats - 1,000 miles in 10 days - to raise a million pounds, pulling a replica of a WW1 ambulance and driven as much as possible by a team of wounded soldiers. This meant driving non stop, changing horses regularly, in itself quite a logistical challenge, finding suitable places to change over and keep the carriage moving. We joined up with them in Tyndrum, and met the crew who were arriving off the night run. We took our team of four 16hh bays whom are all fit and up for anything! I took our two team leaders, Sox and Torridon, and together with assistant Anne Thwaite and a lovely young doctor who had been wounded in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb, drove 16 miles along the beautiful Glen Lochy. On the side of Loch Awe, Ewan was waiting with the horse box, and we swopped to his pair, Roma and Sylvester. With assistant Gordon and a soldier who had suffered severe injuries when his vehicle was blown up by a roadside bomb in Warren Point, when he suffered severe injuries including the loss of a leg, they drove 18 miles along the Pass of Brander over the Connel bridge to Benderloch. On arrival they were greeted by a piper and a huge crowd, including a busload of folk from BLESMA (British Limbless Ex-Serviceman`s Association) who had come from Crieff to see the ambulance arrive.

Kees Witte, E-mail: monearn@btconnect.com

Richard Baker, MSP I have had many conversations about the poor broadband coverage in the area. Working as a secondary teacher, I know too well the disadvantages that this creates. The Community Council has already pointed out that 15-18 year olds in the area have not been able to access material provided and supported by external partners, including video or web conferencing. Younger learners are missing out too.

The next pair of horses hitched up whilst we parked up for the night, courtesy of a good driving friend we have over there. The next morning we boxed up and met up with the crew in Inverness. Again, crowds of folk were there, and willingly popping money into cans for the cause. I hitched up and took them over the Kessock Bridge and on up the very busy A9. Again Ewan took over – and carried on to the Cromarty Firth and on up to Alness.

In recent years schools have been making increasing use of the national intranet ‘Glow’. By accessing Glow, learners can use teacher produced resources online at home, complete homework assignments and share ideas with fellow learners and teachers, all within a safe environment. (See www.ltscotland.org.uk). Glow has proved particularly valuable during periods of prolonged snow closure and revision periods. In addition, it has helped pupils who are off school for health reasons to keep up with their studies. However, Glow is of course not available to homes without an adequate broadband connection. Our Regional MSP, Richard Baker, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, has been pushing the Scottish Government to prioritise plans for greater access to high speed broadband in this area and elsewhere. Not only is this vital to support education, but it is of course essential for the numerous small and medium sized businesses in the area. For the sake of our young people as learners and as future employees, we continue to seek a speedy solution to this issue.

We played only a very small part in the amazing feat, doing 54 miles out of the 1000. There were 21 horses in all who had taken part, and numerous volunteers and kind folk who helped with food and shelter for the horses. Also there were several horseboxes who kept the horses moving ahead to be in position for the stages. There were times like coming over Shap when four horses were required to provide the power for the hills. Escorts were provided at all times front and rear which kept us all safe in the traffic. They were driven and manned by servicemen, and to see the way these guys got about on their prosthetic legs was quite amazing. We have since done a few talks with slide show about our experiences, and so long as we can `rattle a can` for the cause, are willing to do a few more. We both really felt it was a worthwhile cause to be able to help with, and a great way of using our horses for the benefit of others. As for the horses, they just loved the `open and unknown` road, and enjoyed every minute of it!

Sent by Alison Evison, Candidate for N. Kincardine on behalf of Richard Baker, Regional MSP

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One of the biggest benefits of superfast broadband will be to the farming community, as farmers cannot make their returns without access to superfast broadband. By ensuring that even remote rural areas have fast broadband, we will be increasing productivity in every sector. That is why the Scottish Government is determined to ensure that remote rural areas are not at the end of the queue.

REPRESENTATION Sir Robert Smith MP Thursday May 3 is an important date for anyone concerned about local services and their community. It is the date of the next local elections in which we choose who will represent our community on Aberdeenshire Council. For the first time since 1995 these elections will be held on their own and not combined with polling day for the Scottish Parliament. This does mean there is likely to be less coverage in the media of the fact that an election is taking place, so please spread the word to your neighbours and friends. On the positive side it does mean that the focus of coverage can be on the local issues that those elected will have to deal with. I hope you will take the opportunity to find out about your local candidates.

When it comes to funding announcements for broadband in the months ahead, I am optimistic that the north-east will be in a strong position to benefit from the money available and deliver a better service to homes and businesses in Aberdeen South and North Kincardine and across the whole region.

Councillor Paul Melling When elected as a councillor for Aberdeenshire nine years ago, I never expected to take on the responsibility of becoming Kincardine and Mearns Area Chairman. The diversity of committee papers to deal with including Infrastructure, Education, Social Work, Housing, Planning etc is very wide. These include the informed comments provided by thirteen Community Councils, distilled from discussions at their meetings, who let us know what they want to achieve for our area.

A whole range of services is delivered by Aberdeenshire Council. Schools, nurseries, playgroups, leisure services, community care, planning, buses, road repairs and refuse collection are amongst the many services your vote could influence. If you have any views, try and check if any of the candidates share them. You have the opportunity to rank your candidates in the order of the preference you would like to see them elected. In the end four councillors will represent your local ward so it is well worth using your preferences to help shape the team that will represent you. In many ways our councillors have more direct impact on our day-to-day life than those elected to other tiers of Government, so do not forget to put Thursday May 3 in your diary and make sure you have your say.

That is why I am very pleased with the results that the Scottish Parliament reporter has just announced regarding the Local Development Plan. He made very few changes to the Kincardine and Mearns area. This is what I hoped we would achieve by listening to our communities and incorporating it into your Plan ‘The People’s Plan’.

Maureen Watt MSP The SNP Government recently passed a budget that contained significant funding for improving broadband provision, particularly in rural areas that are often not seen as viable for investment by private companies.

It has been a great pleasure to have served you all and I am very pleased with the liaison among the three local Community Councils in North Kincardine, which helped us all in the development of the new Local Development Plan. With the trust that has developed between us, I hope it will serve us all very well in the future.

The goal of this funding is to deliver world class connectivity in Scotland by 2020, with major improvements by 2015. These improvements to Scottish broadband are necessary and essential to the future of Scotland’s economy. Under what is planned, Scotland will be broken up into three areas: black, white and grey. The black areas are invested, tendered and procured by the private sector while the white areas are covered by the government. The grey areas are places like Deeside Corridor, which are not quite close enough to a black area and therefore not guaranteed to be covered by the private sector investment, but neither could it be described as a white area. Key to changing areas like the Deeside Corridor from grey areas to black ones is getting their participation rates up. If we manage that, we will minimise the numbers in the white areas and maximise the numbers in the black ones.

Kincardine & Deeside Befriending We all want to be happy in our old age, yet hundreds of people spend their days isolated from other people and cut off from their local communities. You can make a difference by making a donation or by giving a couple of hours of your time every week or fortnight to visit an older person. Just get in get in touch with Kincardine & Deeside Befriending on 01569 765714 or 07816 958839 or visit www.kdbefriending.org.uk. 15


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individuals who live there from different backgrounds and religious and political persuasions to express their views and have a hearing. NKRCC writes in support and against the issues for the community after hearing ‘the voice’ of the community whether it is an entirely ‘local’ issue or whether it pertains to everyone in the area. In addition to the Community Councillors, each meeting is well represented by members of the public who just want to hear about ‘what is going on’ or to say what they think. Elected representatives from Aberdeenshire Cllrs. Ian Mollison, Carl Nelson and Paul Melling attending regularly and provide guidance and insight. Guest attendees include the local MSP, BT, the local Police, representatives from the Roads Authority and many others. NKRCC needs your help. Come along and express your views on all of the local issues. Talk to your local representative so they can express your views. Become a Community Councillor. Please participate. It is your right and your duty if you like to live in this community.

Words from the Chairman Our Community is into another important year. The issues are remarkably similar to 2011 and some matters do not appear to have moved forward at all! Perhaps the financial climate continues to distract both government and industry from action? The oil and gas industry however continues to thrive providing direct employment and a spin-off for many services. The possibility of the Local Development Plan and Strategic Development Plan for our area being in place is now closer however. Whether this system will be better or worse only time will tell. These Plans should help to give certainty as to which planning applications are likely to succeed and where development is likely to take place in the near term. Elsick, a community within our community and a new town is now going to happen. The scale is less clear. The questions remain. Housing generally and the expansion of residential accommodation is a subject for vigorous debate. It will continue to be so in a rural area where many of the people live so they are not in the town. Despite the locally expressed views against windfarms and wind turbines, the Scottish Government continues to be a strong supporter and more applications are encouraged by ‘brokers’ looking to exploit the opportunities with landowners. Some landowners have insufficient incentive to farm, preferring to leave fields under grass. Meanwhile our roads are busier with the many vehicles which bring the food to our supermarkets and shops, burning the fuel which the scientists tell us will affect our climate in the future. On the subject of roads we do not appear to be getting the AWPR quite yet. The Scottish Government appears to think it is a foregone conclusion. Some locals disagree! While nobody expects that the trucks will stop pounding down the cobbled streets of Aberdeen and the narrow lanes of our rural community, it had been hoped that some traffic might be soon reduced on the commuting routes in the area taking many to their places of work! Not apparently any time soon. The communities are being built but not always the road network and support services. What services are essential and what merely desirable? Who will pay - the taxpayer or the developer? Services have to be maintained. The alarming number of potholes on our rural roads has of course increased with reports that individuals have become so concerned that they have used their own tarmac in some places to patch up the problems. Well at least if you are reluctant to drive to work then you can work from your home office. Perhaps this is the case if you have broadband. Yes I mean any broadband. Despite the Scottish Government’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee statements on the matter, there remain areas in our community which have no broadband at all or at such a slow speed that it is not possible to communicate with your friends far less run a business! So why live in our community at all? Well, because it has still got more to offer than anywhere else! Because we are close to the city we have many benefits, but we have the pressure of development on our area like any other close to a thriving city. That is our privilege. NKRCC continues to be a theatre for hearing new ideas as well as complaints. It continues to support the democratic rights of all of the

Robin Baxter, chairman, E-mail:chair@nkrcc.org

Three more community councillors are needed from the AGM in June, one to represent Banchory-Devenick and two for Maryculter. Please contact the secretary or an existing community councillor to discuss your interest and come along to the monthly meetings.

300 Club The sales team of community councillors have excelled themselves with a record 410 of the £5 tickets purchased locally. To maintain a return of around 40%, we have added four more £25 cash prizes this year, in addition to those listed on your ticket. This leaves £1,200 available for good causes in our area so we invite clubs, groups and societies to apply for financial assistance. Since last September grants have been awarded towards the Maryculter Senior Citizens Christmas party, to the Friends of Cookney Hall for a new vacuum cleaner and start-up funds for the Youth Café Holiday Club. Cash prize winners since last September are; S. Astell, Maryculter; A D Bayliss, Maryculter, D. Birch, Banchory-Devenick; A. Black, Maryculter; R. Brunton, Banchory-Devenick; W. Donald, Netherley; E. Lester-Smith, Netherley; M.Love, Blairs; M. Marr, Newtonhill; A Ward, Banchory-Devenick; C. Masson, Maryculter; B. Mitchell, Banchory-Devenick; E. McNeill, Banchory-Devenick; K. Ness, Banchory-Devenick; M. Macpherson, Stonehaven; K. Napier, Maryculter; E. Paterson, Maryculter; C. Smith, Maryculter; B. Smart, Netherley; S. Stott, Maryculter; S Wardlaw, Netherley and T. Winmill, Netherley.

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cost to consumers of these machines. In turn, that awareness and concern is widespread precisely when Holyrood seems determined to drive such proposals through regardless of their efficiency, effects, costs or the views of the voters – and Westminster isn’t far behind in that determination. The danger seems to be that these machines could spread like a rash, dotted all over the countryside, rather than concentrated in acceptably uninhabited areas like Forestry Commission land. Lairhillock - 70 houses - Refused by the Council and also refused on appeal as clearly contrary to both old and new Local Plans. In the judgement from that appeal, the Reporter did make a favourable comment on the proposal, which may well ensure that it will resurface at some point. Meanwhile, the new LDP Inquiry has refused to write the proposal into the Plan and the Shire Council reiterates, in respect of this and other Netherley housing developments, that the school... ‘was not intended to attract development... (or)....to become the centre for a new settlement..’ Elsick New Town - Approved in the LDP, this was originally for 4,045 houses up to 2023, probably rising to 6,000 by 2030. We then heard that 8,000 might be the final number and later that it could be 9,000. Whatever the figure, so much depends on the demand – builders don’t build if they can’t sell – which in turn depends on national and (especially) local economic conditions. The planning application for Phase 1 – 800 houses near Newtonhill – is now before the Council and building is anticipated to start in 2013. The Reporters’ comments from the LDP Inquiry are revealing in that they are very sceptical about the anticipated annual building rate. Against the intended 1845 houses by 2016, the Reporters’ estimate is 600, and by 2023, only 2,000 houses against the target of 4,045. And finally...a reminder that, under the (relatively) new planning system, anyone wishing to make a representation about a planning application has only 14 days in which to do so. Applications are only advertised in the Leader but you can generally also find them listed on the NKRCC website. Comprehensive details, though, are posted on the Shire Council website. Robin Winmill, Planning Officer e-mail:rwinmill@nkrcc.org.uk

Planning Notes Local Development Plan (LDP) - Final report from the Public Inquiry now published (all 900-odd pages available on the Shire Council website) and its recommendations are now, as a formality, being discussed by all 6 Shire Area Committees and will be adopted by the end of April. ‘As a formality’ implies a rubber-stamp process, which is broadly true as the new system specifies that only in very exceptional circumstances can the Council deviate from what a Reporter recommends following a Local Plan Inquiry. The main Inquiry recommendation of interest to us is that Elsick New Town has been approved, despite delayed delivery (see also below). Some minor modifications are proposed: housing at Inverurie, a slight change to the Planning Gain policy etc. On a local note, all the developers who hoped to get their housing proposals added to the plan - Lairhillock 70, Woodlands 5, Rothnick 12, Stripeside 150 etc had their suggestions rejected. The applications may still come forward of course but would be contrary to the Plan. Strategic Development Plan (SDP) - This covers the city region (the old Grampian region) through to 2035. It will supercede the existing Structure Plan and will incorporate the new LDP discussed above. The Strategic Plan was put out for consultation in October and that consultation period ended in January. NKRCC submitted comments and these can be seen on our website (nkrcc.org). The general tenor of those comments centred around the very high housing allocation for both Shire and City for the next 20-plus years. (Note: what is written in the SDP now is not set in tablets of stone for all time as there will be regular Plan reviews.) Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) - The new Planning System was introduced two years ago to speed the process up and make things easier for both planners and applicants. In February, PDRs for householders - where one doesn’t need planning permission and doesn’t need to pay for it! - were belatedly added. (Some PDRs already existed; e.g. for farmers’ sheds or barns and for telephone masts less than 15 metres high.) From February, access ramps, sheds, garages, decking, flues, fences, heat pumps and some house extensions will be covered by PDRs and will no longer need planning permission (except in conservation areas). Now more than ever, the message is that the first thing to do is to chat to a planning officer about your proposal. For those wishing to see the detail, Google ‘Circular 1 /2012 PDRs’. File is 2.7MB. Meikle Carewe – 12 Wind Turbines - It seems that, as was required by conditions imposed on the grant of planning permission, a solution to the radar interference problem has not yet been found. That condition stated that development cannot start until the radar solution is in place. Wind Turbines elsewhere - The surprising grant of permission for Meikle Carewe (at appeal, after the Council’s refusal) appears to have prompted a rash of related projects nearby. Two separate turbines were recently proposed in Netherley valley and now an anemometer mast – presumably ready for a whole group of turbines – near Muirskie. All are within a mile or so of MC. Mere coincidence? You decide. It is ironic that all these wind turbine proposals crop up at the very point when public concern has never been greater about the

NKRCC Website: www.nkrcc.org.uk Secretary: Bob McKinney, Lakhipara, South Cookney, Stonehaven, AB39 3RX Tel: 01569 730706 E-mail: bob8930@aol.com Notice boards: by Banchory-Devenick School, East and West Maryculter, Cookney Hall and Maryculter Community Hall, where you will find agendas, minutes and how to contact your local community councillors. Meetings: on the third Monday of each month (except July) at 7.30pm in Maryculter Community Hall. 17


REPRESENTATION Councillor Ian Mollison

Councillor Carl Nelson

When I was elected in 2007, an experienced councillor told me that planning was a no-win situation for councillors. No matter what my decision, I would disappoint someone. If I approved an application, I would disappoint the objectors. If I refused an application, I would disappoint the applicant.

I thought you would be interested in a number of people I have met recently. The first was Richard who told me he couldn’t find work in Paisley where there were few job opportunities. He decided to apply for a job in the catering trade in Aberdeenshire that would last ten months, and was successful. He is a happy man now. The second person I spoke to was Alexis. She has a permanent job in Aberdeenshire and commutes from Dundee! She thinks Aberdeenshire is a great place to live and work in. Her intention is to find herself a house and remain here. Richard and Alexis are only two of many people who are prepared to travel to find work, and what better place to come to than Aberdeenshire where there are, fortunately, numerous job opportunities.

Today, there are developers who are bitterly disappointed and others who are very happy. Equally there will be residents in the North Kincardine rural area who share these emotions. That’s because we have finally reached the end of the saga on our planning blueprint for the coming years; the new Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan. As I write this, the decisions from the Scottish Government’s Reporters have just been announced. Overall the Reporters have backed what councillors recommended. Indeed the outcome is a ringing endorsement. And so it should be, after all the consultations that took place.

I recently attended the Learning Disability Partnership Conference in Inverurie and met a number of people with learning disabilities and their carers. It was a completely new experience for me to hear about their hopes and aspirations for the future. I was particularly impressed by Fiona who has already done a great deal in her young life. She is so enthusiastic about what she would like to achieve that her poor mum can hardly keep up with her. I wish them both well.

Of particular interest was whether the Chapelton of Elsick development would get the Reporters’ backing or would they go for Banchory and Leggart coupled with swathes of more housing in Portlethen and Newtonhill. Many in the development industry opposed the Elsick plans in favour of their own. The Reporters concluded that Banchory and Leggart would not be the best location for a new settlement as it would “effectively function as a dormitory suburb of Aberdeen as opposed to becoming a self-sustaining new town.” On the other hand the Reporters felt that “Elsick would create a sustainable mixed community of a scale sufficient to meet its own infrastructure needs.” It was also described by Reporters as “the most significant single proposal in the proposed plan.” However they do recognise it will not be without challenges given the magnitude of infrastructure required. Other decisions locally include approval for the modest development at Kirkton of Maryculter but refusal for the proposals at Lairhillock.

What a pleasure it was for me to be introduced to Princess Anne when she visited the Pitscurry Environmental Project at Pitcaple. Her Royal Highness took a keen interest in all of the activities undertaken by the handicapped people working there. Yes, I have been meeting a wide range of interesting people recently. Finally, as I write this on Mothering Sunday all mums will be pleased to read: God could not be everywhere, And therefore he made Mothers.

Finally, on a different note, Thursday 3 May sees the council elections take place. It will be up to residents to choose who will represent them on Aberdeenshire Council. I have thoroughly enjoyed my five years and have always looked forward to the meetings of the North Kincardine Rural Community Council. Residents are blessed with hard-working community councillors and I hope I have been of some assistance to them – and you - in that time.

BOOKING OF HALLS AND GROUNDS Maryculter Community (Corbie) Hall and Field C.Masson, Tel: 733583 carol.masson@btinternet.com Maryculter Church Hall and Glebe Field Anne Massie’ Tel: 732071 Cookney Hall Willie Angus, Tel:01569 730123 wgangus@ukgateway.net Lairhillock School Marian Youngson, Tel: 01569 732520 St Ternan’s Church Community Room Sheila, Tel: 01569 731608 or Audrey, Tel: 01569 730600

Each of the four councillors for North Kincardine Ward, our MP and MSP were invited to contribute up to 300 words. 18


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The Poachers Pocket - Lunch & Bar Suppers o p e n f or Lu n c h e s 12 n o o n u ntil 2.30 p m Su p p e rs 6.30 p m l a st ord ers 9.00 p m Gourmet Evenings – the last Sunday of each month Murder Mystery Evening – Friday 13th April Call now to make your reservations 01224 732124 email conferences@maryculterhousehotel.com www.maryculterhousehotel.com

Netherley, Near Stonehaven, AB39 3QS Tel: (01569) 730001 Fax: (01569) 731175 Email: info@lairhillock.co.uk Web: www.lairhillock.co.uk

FOR YOUR RENEWABLE ENERGY NEEDS Ground Source Heat Pumps Under Floor Heating Heat Recovery Central Vacuum Systems Paragon Systems (Scotland) Ltd offers a free design and quotation package for supply only or supply and installation on receipt of drawings. Phone: 01224 735536 today to discuss your requirements.

THE LAIRHILLOCK INN IS OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR TEA/COFFEE, LUNCHES AND EVENING MEALS LOOK ON OUR WEBSITE FOR MENUS & OPENING TIMES

e-mail: info@paragon-systems.co.uk Visit our web-site ~ www.paragon-systems.co.uk Paragon Systems (Scotland) Ltd, Corbie Cottage, Maryculter, Aberdeen AB12 5FT Other products/services include: Bore-holes/Insulation/UFH Electrical Works

19


REPRESENTATION

EVENTS CALENDAR April Monday Wed. Monday Monday Monday Friday

MP Sir Robert Smith Tel: 01330 820330 E-mail: robert.smith.mp@parliament.uk MSP Maureen Watt Tel: 01224 697182 Fax: 01224 695397 E-mail:maureen.watt.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

2 Church Guild business meeting 11 Maryculter WRI: Aboyne Horseback UK 16 School term begins 16 Community Council 16 Netherley WRI: Felted landscapes 20 Friendship Club Basket Whist Corbie Hall 7.30pm Monday 23 Maureen Watt, public surgery 1pm - 2pm Cookney Hall May Wed. 9 Maryculter WRI: Business Meeting and ‘Bring and Buy’ Saturday 12 Friends of Guiding ‘Daffodil Tea’ 10.30-12.30 Corbie Hall Saturday 19 SDV Plant Sale and Coffee Morning 10.30am-12 noon Corbie Hall Monday 21 Community Council Monday 21 Netherley WRI: AGM + Herbalife Saturday 26 Solstice Nurseries Plant Sale 10.30am-1pm Saturday 26 Jubilee Fair 2-4pm Banchory-Devenick School Sunday 27 The Meeting Place, Maryculter Church Hall, 4.30pm. Pentecostal Celebration! June Saturday 2 Scottish Model Helicopter National Championships (Heli Nats) Hare Moss, Banchory-Devenick Sunday 3 “ “ Saturday 16 St Ternan’s Church Fete Monday 18 Community Council AGM Friday 29 School term ends August Wed. 8 Maryculter WRI Monday 20 Community Council Monday 20 Netherley WRI Sunday 26 The Meeting Place, Maryculter Church Hall, 4.30pm September Saturday 1 Driving for the Disabled sale Plainstones, Stonehaven 9am-12 noon Wed. 12 Maryculter WRI Monday 17 Community Council Monday 17 Netherley WRI

COUNCILLORS Alastair Bews Tel: 01224 784594 33 Bruntland Court, Portlethen E-mail: cllr.a.bews@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Paul Melling Tel: 01224 784534 51 Broomfield Road, Portlethen E-mail: cllr.p.melling@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Ian Mollison Tel: 01569 739087 11 Greystone Place, Newtonhill, Stonehaven AB39 3UL E-mail:cllr.i.mollison@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Carl Nelson Tel: 01569 730733 21 Dunnyfell Road, Muchalls, Stonehaven AB39 3RP E-mail: cllr.c.nelson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Aberdeenshire Council Viewmount, Arduthie Road, Stonehaven. www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk AB39 2DQ

POLICE Emergencies All non-emergencies Crimestoppers Drugs Information Line

Tel: 999 or 112 Tel: 0845 600 5700 Tel: 0800 555 111 Tel: 0800 371553

SERVICES Bluebird buses No. 103 Aberdeen to Laurencekirk via BanchoryDevenick and Netherley No. 204 Aberdeen to Strachan via Maryculter and Blairs Tel: 212266 or 591381 E-mail:Public.transport@aberdeenshire.gov.uk Dial a Trip Bus service with tail lift for concession card and taxi card holders. Tel: 01569 765765

Editors:

Library The mobile van visits fortnightly on Thursdays: Kirkton of Maryculter at 9am By former Maryculter East School at 9.20am Banchory-Devenick crossroads at 10.10am Library Service Tel: 01651 872707

Pam Robertson Tel: 863887 2 Little Banchory Mews, Banchory-Devenick AB12 5XS pambyers@btinternet.com Hazel Witte Tel: 732738 Monearn, Maryculter AB12 5GT witte@btconnect.com

Window cleaning Martin Pilley Tel: 01261 815411

Please send copy for the Autumn issue of YOUR NEWSLETTER by August 19 20


South Deeside View - Spring 2012