Aberchirder Coat-of-Arms

The Foggie Gossip

April 2007 Edition


It is with much sadness that we report the passing of another of Foggie’s characters.  The funeral of Jimmy Shaw (1946-2007) took place on Saturday 7 April at a standing room only church service at Urray, Ross-shire.

The congregation of three hundred included over sixty of his acquaintances from Foggie as well as many of the fishing fraternity he had worked with over the years.  Those who attended report that the event was a happy celebration, with one of the neighbouring lairds having the congregation chuckling with stories of Jimmy’s work as a ghillie,

It was Jimmy’s father Bill, who lived at Ord and later moved to Aberchirder and Bridge of Marnoch, who gave Jimmy his love of the ghillie’s life.  The young Jimmy spent many years as a digger driver with Aberchirder builder Leslie Anderson before moving to become a ghillie at Marnoch Lodge and then north to Conon Mains almost twenty years ago.

While in Foggie he was a player and manager for St Marnan’s FC, and a popular musical entertainer who was a prominent performer at the musical evenings in the Commercial Hotel hall in the 1970s.  He often simultaneously played an old broken down accordion and mouth organ – referred to by his colleagues as “sook an’ bla’” - as well as singing.

Perhaps Jimmy’s greatest claim to fame locally, was his appearance in Simon Brown’s celebrated poem about the Foggie Sewer which he recited to great applause at the New Inn during the launch of the book of Aul’ Broon’s works in July last year.

Jimmy Shaw

This great character was an outgoing man who had a wide range of friends from all walks of life, and will be remembered for his ever smiling face and an infectious laugh that always brightened those around him.  He was tragically predeceased in 1992 by his son Graham and is survived by his wife Angie, children Brian and Karen, and seven grandchildren.


The Day Care Group, which meets every Wednesday in the Church Hall, had a bus outing on 11 April, to Dean's of Huntly then over the Cabrach with lunch at the Grouse Inn.  They returned via Christie's Garden Centre at Fochabers, where a fly cup was enjoyed.

Day Care Ladies

Inside the Grouse Inn

Group outside the Grouse Inn (l to r): Martha Paget, Mattie Duncan, Gladys Miller, Mary Thomson, Lil Robb, Dorothy Hill, Betty Youngson, Mary Smith, Pat Anderton, Betty Bremner, Alison Simpson.



Betty Bremner, Mattie Duncan and Mary McKenzie inside the Grouse Inn.


Aberchirder’s Square has received a boost with the restoration of its 110 year old
Jubilee Fountain.

The fountain was presented by William Auchinachie, the first Provost of the Burgh, to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in June 1897.  The day’s celebrations attracted the biggest crowds ever seen in the town – including over 400 schoolchildren - and included a procession of floats and marchers over a quarter of a mile long.  The drinking fountain, made of polished pink and grey granite and supplied by James Hutcheon of Aberdeen, was officially declared open by the Provost’s daughter Margaret, who then turned on the water.

Since the 1970s the fountain had fallen into disrepair as the spike on the top – still to be replaced – and several of the pillars were lost or damaged. To avoid total collapse, Mrs Nancy McKidd, then Chair of Aberchirder and Marnoch Community Council, proposed that funding should be sought to carry out a restoration.

Dismantling for Repair
Workmen removing the top of the fountain

Cleaning the Granite
Power washing the base of the fountain

Fitting the Dome
The fountain is reassembled following repair and restoration works
Admiring the Restoration
Local admirers, from left:
Donald Stevenson, Jim Shearer & Henry Jugo

Restoration was done in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council’s Planning and Environmental Services, who arranged for the work to be carried out by Graham Watt, monumental mason in Banff.  A successful application was made to the Heritage Lottery Awards For All scheme, which provided £5000, with Aberdeenshire Council contributing £1000, Councillor Kenny Benzie £1000 from his top-up allowance, and £750 from Community Council funds.

At a short ceremony on Saturday 14 April, Nancy McKidd pulled the ribbon to unveil the restored fountain, and the last Provost of Foggie, Robert Bremner, read a poem written many years ago by his brother George about Foggieloan and its fountain.

Nancy McKidd at the Restoration Ceremony
Former Chair of the Community Council, Nancy McKidd, pulls the ribbon to mark the occasion.
Picture Courtesy of Andy Taylor

Members of the Community Council
Nancy McKidd (4th from left) with current Community Council members (l to r) Bob Peden, John Fittall, Stephen Forrest, Margaret McKay, Debbie Ray
Picture Courtesy of Andy Taylor

The last Provost of Foggie, Robert Bremner comes forward to say a few words with some of the crowd looking on.
Picture Courtesy of Andy Taylor

Present Community Council Chairman Bob Peden said: “It is fitting that Mrs McKidd should do the honours, as not only was the restoration her idea but she is a great-niece of Provost Auchinachie.  The Community Council intends to use this occasion to raise public interest in improving the appearance of the Square, as this was one of the top issues raised at a public meeting last autumn in drawing up the current Community Action Plan.  Hopefully we can organise another event shortly, where members of the public will come along and contribute ideas that we can work upon, together with Aberdeenshire Council, to implement.”


Brenda King, our local Librarian, is pleased to announce that the library is now open again after its three week closure to allow works to be carried out to comply with Disabled Access regulations.  For those who visit regularly, you will notice quite a difference in the layout, and, for those who do not use the resource, you are warmly invited to go in and look around.

Library Entrance

The new layout gives more space at the far end and Brenda is hoping to to develop more activities for the young by introducing regular story telling and rhyme sessions.  Reading can be fun and they hope to pass this on to the youngsters.

For older folk, there is a possibility of starting a reading group, meeting about once a month to discuss a chosen book.  Please let Brenda or Lorna know if you are interested.

The new layout caters for the same stock which includes fiction and non-fiction books, mysteries and science fiction, romances, large print as well as talking books, CDs, videos and DVDs.

Access to computers is free and the Library Service subscribes to many on-line databases which can be of great advantage to children and students involved in homework, school projects and other research.

The staff are hoping to arrange a demonstration during the summer holiday period.


Not Just the Library!

It may be a small branch and therefore the amount of stock on the shelves is a little restricted at any given time, but if anyone requires anything specific, there is never difficulty in ordering or reserving particular requests.

The library also holds community information so keep an eye on the notice board in the window.  If you wish to contribute then call and let the staff know

Brenda and Lorna are committed to work hard to make it a library which will meet the needs of the village and be beneficial to the requirements of groups and organisations as well as each individual.


The Community Council invited all nine election candidates for the Banff and District Ward to a public meeting in the Church Hall, Main Street on 23rd April, to outline their policies and answer questions from the floor.  The incumbent long standing Councillor, Kenny Benzie, is retiring and under the new system, three candidates will be elected on 3rd May to represent the new larger area.

The Candidates are Introduced
Those competing for election are (seated) L to R:

Jonny Barton (Green), Sandy Buchan (Independent), John Calder (Independent), Neil Chalmers (Conservative), John Cox (Independent), Ian Gray (SNP), Jack Mair (Lib Dem), Ian Page (Independent), Kathryn Parr (SNP).
Standing: Aberchirder & Marnoch Community Council Chairman, Bob Peden.

People Listen with Interest

With around 38 members of the public in attendance, Bob Peden introduced all candidates in turn and asked each to speak for 5 minutes about what they saw as major issues affecting Foggie and what they would do for the area.


A brief summary of the main points from each contender is outlined below.


Jonny Barton
Highlighted need for more policing; improvements to The Square; upgrading of Council Housing; green/energy issues; high and unfair Council Tax; Foggie must not be forgotten in allocation of resources; need to listen more to local people and views.
Sandy Buchan
Need to fast-track planning applications; prevention of crime; poor condition of roads; ideas have to come from community.
John Calder
Education - not enough teachers; school transport - no double-decker buses; more facilities for youth; indoor and outdoor sports areas needed; improve Council Housing; more of a fair share for Foggie.
Neil Chalmers
Fountain looking good but Square needs face lift; tree planting; too many shops closing; more policing needed; accidents on poor roads; need for a hall.
John Cox
Foggie always got tail end of finance; poor state of Council Housing; need for banking service again; both indoor and outdoor all weather sports facilities required; fast-track planning applications.
Ian Gray

Need for Community Hall; The Square needs to be more attractive; shops require regeneration, drop-in centres required; easy access sports facilities needed; improve/enlarge library; relax building in the countryside.

Jack Mair
(Lib Dem)

Outlined all that he had done for Portsoy and his history of achievements - he could do the same for Foggie.

Ian Page

Said how often the little things make a difference - litter, dog fouling, more planting and flowers; need to make Foggie vibrant and more attractive to encourage people to visit; need for youth facilities.

Kathryn Parr
Need for affordable houses; more housing in the countryside; upgrade The Square; new bus shelter;  build a new hall; listen more to the views of the people; fair share for the area.

After putting their views and policies forward, candidates then took questions from the floor.  Issues such as failure in proper consultation procedures - Rose Innes closure and new, non-local, more expensive Meals on Wheels being introduced were prime examples quoted.   Also raised were questions about empty and derelict properties in The Square, how three councillors with differing political views could work for the area, problems with the refuse skip's limited availability, need for facilities for youths and more value for money from the ever rising Council Tax.

The meeting gave a valuable insight to the views and policies of those standing for election and certainly most people attending appeared afterwards to be clear as to who they would be voting for.


Members of the Community Council and Community Association gathered for a buffet in the Commercial Hotel on 26 April to mark Kenny Benzie’s retirement after eighteen years of service as Aberchirder’s representative on Aberdeenshire Council.

Kenny's Presentation
Standing L - R:  Adrian Inglis, Stephen Forrest, Davie Chalmers, Bob Peden, Donald Graham, Margaret McKay,
John Fittall, Debbie Ray.
Front seated: Linda Farquhar, Kenny Benzie, Jayne Michie.

It was in 1990 that Kenny took over from Robert 'Bingo' Bremner as councillor on the then Banff & Buchan District Council which was superseded in 1996 by Aberdeenshire Council.  Over his eighteen years, Kenny built up a reputation as a hands-on Councillor who was always available to his constituents.  As a regular attender at meetings he was a strong supporter of community activity.  His backing helped to attract over the years, around £250,000 in funding - from Europe, the Lottery and Aberdeenshire Council - for a community pavilion and sports facilities at McRobert Park, several environmental projects on Cleanhill and around the town, festive lights and, most recently, the renovation of the Jubilee Fountain.

Nobody knows how the new system of three councillors representing a larger ward will work out, but one thing is sure – Kenny Benzie will be a hard act to follow.

A Reminder of Foggie
An old photograph of Foggie, presented to Kenny.


The Foggie drop-in has been steadily growing and participants have lots of exciting projects to look forward to in the very near future.

Planned events are tie-dying, DJ mixing classes, a summer trip to the cinema in Aberdeen, possibly a weekend residential trip away, more open door evenings for parents to come along and fund raising for good causes.  Also to be included are dance classes, a float for the Foggie fun day and health advice sessions from our local health worker Doris Sutherland.  Further proposals to look forward to are pampering sessions plus self esteem and confidence building sessions.. We also plan to support the local environment by helping tending to the woodland area enjoyed by many a canine at the top of Foggie nearer the summertime.

Snooker practice
Girls practice their snooker skills

Tremendous support has been received so far with the donation of a full football strip from Edinburgh YMCA, a large television, two comfortable three piece suites and various games and craft materials from Banff Community Centre.  They been also been building up a stock of resoures and activites for the young people, including a DVD player, craft materials, a Playstation, Gameboys, and interactive games such as Giant Jenga. 

They are always on the lookout for equipment so if you know of anything no longer being used, just ask and they may be able to utilise it. They are also looking for volunteers as they can always use extra people to help out.

Recent activities enjoyed during the February break were glass painting, card making, canvas pictures, and painting.  A 'red nose' evening raised £60 by staging a High School Musical show, a fashion show, a raffle with lots of prizes and playing bingo.

During the Easter break they attended a five-a-side trophy match and BBQ at Duff House in Banff having managed to raise 3 teams from Foggie - a credit to the village.  After an Easter prize quiz at the drop-in they had an Easter egg hunt at Cleanhill woods and there may well be some little golden eggs still in the trees if you look closely enough.

Fun at the drop-In
L to R: Rosie Pegler, Steven Harris, Morag Hobbs, Aimee Foster, Kayley McKinnon

The centre at the Scout Hall behind Marnoch Church Hall in Main Street, is open to all 12-18 year olds every Tuesday and Friday evenings from 7- 9.30pm.  If you think you can help in any way, please contact Ruth Brown, Generation Y Project Worker, on 07908 477 787 or Brenda King on 01466 780796.


Following the end of Cub Scouting in Foggie last September, a new Pack has been formed under the leadership of their Akela, Kerry Predell.

Pictured below are the Cubs receiving their Investiture Certificates on their first meeting on 20th April.  With the Cubs are left: Assistant District Commissioner, Angela Dodd who presented the certificates and right: leader Kerry Predell.

Membership Badge

Cubs pictured are from left:
Aidan Stewart, Rhys Beedie, Scott Duguid, Dean Nicol, Alexander Bowie & Murray Inglis.

New Cub Scouts
Cubs are for both boys and girls aged 8 to 101/2 years.
The Cubs meet in the Church Hall in Main Street on Fridays from 7 - 8.30pm and if
anyone would like to come along as a Cub, Young Leader or Leader, they would be made most welcome.

If you want to find out more about Cub Scouting, click here for a fun and informative website.


'Spirit of Marnoch'
Photographic Competition -

If you have not seen the competition results which are showing on our Home page until the end of May, click here.



St Marnans Sports Club
An Evening with Dancing to 'Current Affair' at Aberchirder Bowling Club
Friday 4th May - 8pm 'till Late
Tickets £7 each from:

W McKinnon 780431,  D Henderson 780967  or  S Chalmers 781175


Fashion Show
Courtesy of
Mackays, Banff


Aberchirder School Hall
Wednesday 9th May 7.30pm 9.30 pm
Tickets: Adults - £5    Under 16s £1.50

Includes a welcome drink and a game of Bingo to complete the evening.

Tickets from:  Jan Skyner 780184  or  Amanda Allan 780664
St Marnans Sports Club


Coffee Morning

Saturday 12th May
Church Hall Main Street 10am - 12am - Christian Aid

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday 19th May
Church Hall Main Street 10am - 12am - Playgroup


"Good with Food"

The following Special Offers are available at your local Aberchirder Co-op Store
from 7th April -  27th April  (whilst stocks last)

Capri Sun Orange - 10 Pack
£2.99 - Buy 1 get 1 Free

McVities Jaffa Cakes - 12s
94p - Buy 1 get 1 Free
Irn-Bru 6 Pack - 330ml
£2.79 - Buy 1 get 1 Free
"Summer Eating"

~ ~ ~ Co-op BBQ Range ~ ~ ~

Chinese Style Chicken Drumsticks
2 for £5
Lamb Shish Kebabs
2 for £5
4 Beef Quarter Pounders
2 for £3


Copyright © 2002 – ADCA Aberchirder, North East Scotland.