The Foggie Gossip

February 2007 Edition


Bob Thomson Durno (or Aul' Bob as he is affectionately known) celebrated his 90th birthday by having dinner with his close family followed by a party with friends in Aberchirder Bowling Club the following evening.

Birthday Dinner
At Thainstone House Hotel are from left:  Bruce Durno, Nancy Meldrum, Mary Farquhar, Aul' Bob, Bob Durno and Edith Durno.

Birthday Party
Here Bob seems more than happy to receive a bottle of his favourite amber nectar.
Pictured at Aberchirder Bowling Club.

Cake presentation
Young Bob presents Aul' Bob with his birthday cake.

Bob was born on the 27th November 1916 at Wardhaugh, Inverkeithney.  He was from a large family with seven brothers and sisters - Ian, Jimmy, Cath, Edith, Bill, Muriel, Bill & Sandy.  They moved to farm at Ladywell Insch in 1929 and remained there for 7 years until his father John died.  They returned to Balnoon Forgue.

Bob joined the army in 1939, did a stint in England and Ireland then went off to Burma where he joined the “Chindits” - a member of Orde Wingate's allied commando force.  He even managed to swim the Irrawaddy and got a medal for his troubles!!  He left the army in December 1945.

On returning to Scotland Bob once again took up farmwork.  He met and married Edith Craik in January 1949 and moved to Largue.  Robert was their first child followed by Alan, who died in infancy, Bruce and finally Graham who sadly is not with us now.  From Largue they moved to East Leys near Kinnoir and then down to Itlaw at Alvah where they remained until Bob retired at age 66.

They moved back to “Foggie” where, until recently, he enjoyed a game of bowls as well as a pint and the “odd nip” with his many friends.

He has four grandchildren - Robert living in Chippenham, Louise and Tracey in Foggie and Graham in Huntly.  There are also three great grandchildren Calum, Caitlin and Iona.


The February meeting of the Local History Group was held on a cold, snowy evening but still attracted 23 members, who were rewarded with a fascinating musical presentation by Bruce Kean and George Chalmers.

Bruce gave an account of the development of a century of recorded music, starting with Edison’s phonograph in 1876, through to the electric record players. George then demonstrated his graphophone, which Alexander Graham Bell had developed as an improvement on Edison’s machine, by playing several of the wax cylinders from his collection.  (Graphophone is a simple transposition of the word phonograph).

Golden Oldies on Vinyl
Bruce Kean with his wind-up gramophone, watched by (l to r) Bill Simpson, Helen Lyon, Mary Shearer and Millie McKinnon.
Graphophone demonstration
Bruce Kean looks on as George Chalmers demonstrates his graphophone.

George Chalmers’s graphophone attracts interest from (l to r): Helen Lyon, Millie McKinnon (at back), Mary and Jim Shearer.


The rest of the meeting was taken up by a trip down Memory Lane as Bruce played 78 inch hit singles from the 1940s and 1950s on his wind-up gramophone and electric music centre.

Members study the workings of the graphophone

The Group’s next meeting on Wednesday 7 March will feature Nancy McKidd talking on the history of St Marnan’s Church and School.

New members are always welcome, whether they want to contribute what they know or to learn about the history of the area or further afield.  Membership is free but members are asked for a donation of £1 at every meeting they attend.  For further details please contact the Secretary, Bob Peden on (01466) 780277.


Gavin shearing

Gavin Mutch, formerly of Woodside, Mosscoral, Forgue and now resident in New Zealand, has been shearing full time since October 1999. Having started off in Junior Grade at competitions, he did very well and this set a good base for further goals.  He shore in Seniors for 2 years where he was placed the top overall in New Zealand for 2002.

Gavin moved up into Open Grade and did reasonably well in the first year making most semis and the occasional final.  He qualified to represent Scotland that year and shore in Australia to practise for World Championships which were held in Queensland. He finished second at Perth Royal Show in 2004 on Merinos which was a huge achievement, then made the final at the World Championships where he set the fastest time in the final and ended up 5th overall.  He and Hamish Mitchell then finished 4th in the teams event.

Gavin won several shows in the UK last year including the Highland Show.  He successfully won the UK shearing circuit this year earning his place in the British Isles team to shear against New Zealand. So far they have won 4 out of 6 tests.

Recently he set his personal best tally of 752 lambs shorn in a standard 9 hour day and 500 on ewes.  He has made ten finals already this year, most notably winning the New Zealand National Lamb Shearing title held at Raglan in January.

A great achievement.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gavin pictured holding the cup he won last year for first prize in the Open Sheep Shearing Championship final at the Balmoral Show in Belfast.

The winner at Belfast


The Scout Movement is 100 years old this year, so to start off this year Joyce Duncan, Leader of the 1st Marnoch Beaver Scouts, thought it would be great to begin with a party.  Each Beaver Scout was asked to bring a friend to join in the celebrations.  In total they had 29 children and each made a party hat, danced, played games and had juice and cake.  This is only the start of a busy year in Scouting.

Foggie Beavers

Back:  Liam McNamee, Michael Brown, Stuart McNamee, Robert Fowlie, Ryan Robertson, Ryan Ure,  Corbyn Wilson, Alexander Bowie, Nathan Ross, Scott Duguid, Robert Auchnie, Louise Morrison, Aidan Stewart, Callum Richal, Dean Nicol, Euan Duncan.
Front:   Lauren Natress, Katie Rose Allan, Murray Inglis, Jamie Hale, Stephanie King, Chloe Auchnie, William King, Rhys Beedie, Donna Paterson, Kailiegh Adams, Liam Mackintosh, Stephanie Dow, Clarice Dow.


The 22 February 2007 was the 150th birthday of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the World Scout Movement. Each anniversary is celebrated by nearly 28 million Scouts across the world as 'Founder's Day' and is marked by parties, events and activities, normally on the Sunday closest to the date.  Co-incidentally, Baden-Powell shared his birthday with his wife, Olave, who later became World Chief Guide.  Girlguiding UK celebrates the same day as 'Thinking Day.' It is an occasion, not just to celebrate the Founder, but also the special spirit of unity that exists between the two youth movements.

The day is an opportunity to give thanks for the Founder’s life and work and to celebrate diversity in culture, colour and creed. It is hoped that this year the movement can promote the message of everyday adventure by making the celebrations as active as possible.  All adults and young people in Scouting have been encouraged to take part in a local or national Founder’s Day celebration.

As part of these celebrations and a requirement of the Wood Badge that Joyce Duncan has been training for, the Beaver Scouts took part in a sleepover between 3pm on Saturday 17th February and 11am the next day.

They had an American Cowboy theme and each Beaver was given the name of a cowboy for the weekend.  They started off by making a place mat, doing a cowboy and indian word search and colouring in pictures.  They then went on to make a 'wanted' poster.  It was starting to get cold, so they had a hot drink and a biscuit then a game of football.  They had their tea at about 6pm and yes, they did have beans!  Joining them was Group Scout Leader - David Beckley and Kerry Predell - (soon to be) Cub Scout Leader.  This was followed by songs round the campfire that was made by each boy drawing around their hand and cutting the shapes out of either red or orange cardboard to make imitation flames.  As it became late, they got changed into pyjamas, wrapped up in their blankets and settled down to watch Toy Story 2 - following the cowboy theme.  Then it was off to bed - sleep came about 2 hours later!

Feeding time
Cowboys line-dancing

After breakfast on Sunday morning, the boys were divided into groups according to the colour of the hat they got - brown or black.  One group made up their own line-dance while the other group learnt the 'Highwayman's Hitch'.  This is used to tie up your horse. Then the groups changed over, with everyone taking part.  They had a snack next.  Whether pancakes would be a considered traditional cowboy food or not, with it being so near to Shrove Tuesday they had them anyway.  Country music played in the background the whole weekend.   The Beavers also designed initials for a bag which was made from a tea towel.  Hopefully each Beaver will use this at camp in the future to hold their plates, cups and cutlery.

Every Beaver that attended the sleepover has received their stage one nights away badge.

Yee Hah! Stick 'em up!

These are the names of everyone who attended.

Joyce Duncan - Calamity Jane;   Helen McNamee - Annie Oakley;   Kerry Predell - Cattle Kate Watson;
David Beckley - Sitting Bull;   Alexander Bowie - Butch Cassidy;   Dean Nicol - Jesse James
Nathan Ross - The Sundance Kid;   Rhys Beedie - Roy Rogers;   Murray Inglis - Buffalo Bill
Corbyn Wilson - Billy the Kid;   Liam McNamee - Hopalong Cassidy;   Ryan Robertson - The Lone Ranger

Lord Robert Baden-Powell

Lord Robert Baden-Powell of Gilwell (1857-1941) was a decorated soldier, talented artist, actor and free-thinker. Best known during his military career for his spirited defence of the small South African township of Mafeking during the Boer War, he was soon to be propelled to extraordinary fame as the Founder of Scouting.

Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell, known as B-P, was born at 6 Stanhope Street (now 11, Stanhope Terrace) Paddington, London on 22nd February 1857. He was the sixth son and the eighth of ten children of the Reverend Baden Powell, a Professor at Oxford University. His father died when B-P was only three years old and the family were left none too well off.

In 1907 he held an experimental camp on Brownsea Island, Poole, Dorset, to try out his ideas. He brought together 22 boys, some from private schools and some from working class homes, and took them camping under his leadership. The whole world now knows the results of that camp. "Scouting for Boys" was published in 1908 in six fortnightly parts. Sales of the book were tremendous. Boys formed themselves into Scout Patrols to try out ideas. What had been intended as a training aid for existing organisations became the handbook of a new and ultimately worldwide Movement.  B-P's great understanding of boys obviously touched something fundamental in the youth of Britain and worldwide. "Scouting for Boys" has since been translated into more than 35 languages. Without fuss, without ceremony and completely spontaneously, boys began to form Scout Troops all over the country. In September 1908 Baden-Powell had set up an office to deal with the large number of enquiries which were pouring in. Scouting spread quickly throughout the British Empire and to other countries until it was established in practically all parts of the world. He retired from the army in 1910, at the age of 53, on the advice of King Edward VII who suggested that he could now do more valuable service for his country within the Scout Movement. With all his enthusiasm and energy were now directed to the development of Boy Scouting and Girl Guiding, he travelled to all parts of the world, wherever he was most needed, to encourage growth and give inspiration. In 1912 he married Olave Soames who was his constant help and companion in all this work. They had three children (Peter, Heather and Betty). Lady Olave Baden-Powell was later known as World Chief Guide.

Lord & Lady Baden-Powell

The first international Scout Jamboree took place at Olympia, London in 1920. At its closing scene B-P was unanimously acclaimed as Chief Scout of the World. At the third World Jamboree, held in Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England, the Prince of Wales announced that B-P would be given a Peerage by H.M. the King. The news was received with great rejoicing. B-P took the title of Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell; Gilwell Park being the international training centre he had created for Scout leaders. B-P wrote no fewer than 32 books. He received honorary degrees from at least six Universities. In addition, 28 foreign orders and decorations and 19 foreign Scout awards were bestowed upon him. In 1938, suffering from ill-health, B-P returned to Africa, which had meant so much in his life, to live in semi-retirement at Nyeri, Kenya. Even there he found it difficult to curb his energies, and he continued to produce books and sketches. On January 8th, 1941, at 83 years of age, B-P died. He was buried in a simple grave at Nyeri within sight of Mount Kenya. On his head-stone are the words "Robert Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World" surmounted by the Boy Scout and Girl Guide Badges. Lady Olave Baden-Powell carried on his work, promoting Scouting and Girl Guiding around the world until her death in 1977. She is buried alongside Lord Baden-Powell at Nyeri.

There are now more than 28 million boys and girls in the Scouts movement, in 155 countries around the world.


Members of Lower Banffshire Junior Agricultural Club with silverware prior to presentation of annual trophies at a recent Burns Supper in the Banff Springs Hotel.

Young Farmers
Pictures Courtesy of Andy Taylor

Pictured above are L to R:

Jonathan Still, James Morrison, Lyndsey Morrison, Stuart Allan, Helen Morrison, Colin Morrison, Kirsty Morton, Neil Davidson (back), Richard Greig, Jimmy Swaffield, Debbie Taylor, Lindsay Riddoch, Neil Forrest, Chairman: Colin Davidson.



Right:  Colin Morrison addresses the haggis.

Addressing the haggis


Russell Scott of North Street, Aberchirder was picked as a Mascot for the Scotland rugby match against Wales at Murrayfield on Saturday 10th February 2007.  He was very proud and privileged to be representing not only Scotland, but also his local club Banff R.F.C.

Scotland Team with Mascots
Russell is pictured 9th from the left of the row of Mascots.

9 Year old Russell met and spoke with all the Scotland team, coaches and managers as well as H.R.H. Princess Anne and her husband Commander Tim Lawrence.  It was a tremendous opportunity and one he will never forget.

All Russell's family had a most enjoyable day, made all the better by Scotland's  victory over Wales (21 -9).  His parents say they will definitely be going back to Murrayfield again.

Russell with Team Captain Chris Paterson after the match.

Russell with Chris Paterson


Jubilee Fountain Project

Some of you will have seen that the Jubilee Fountain in The Square has had the top half removed and the remainder given a good clean by power-washer.  These are the first steps in a project to completely renovate the fountain, which has been in a sorry state for many years now.  The work is being carried out by monumental sculptor Graeme Watt of Banff, and is being funded with £5000 from the Heritage Lottery Awards For All and £1000 each from the Community Council, Local Councillor Kenny Benzie’s Top-up fund, and Aberdeenshire Council Planning & Environment Service.

A collection of photographs of the Square in days gone by will be in show in the Library for the next few weeks.

Dismantling the fountain

Dismantling the fountain

Dismantling the fountain

Power-washing the fountain

Improving The Square

This is near the top of the list in the Community Action Plan * drawn up after public consultation last autumn.  The Community Council intends to build on the restoration of the Jubilee Fountain by holding an event where the public can contribute ideas for carrying out improvements and enhancements to the Square.  Obviously this is a huge challenge, but we hope to start by looking at the stretch either side of the fountain to see how it can be made more attractive.  Watch out for further information!

* Copies of the Action Plan report are still available in the Library.


The Hill : Fallen Trees

The Association is putting together an action plan to deal with the wind damage in the larch plantation. Aberdeenshire Council has already cleared fallen trees from the paths and elsewhere, but a large amount of fallen timber remains.

Timber experts have offered free advice about how the timber can be removed and suggested possible buyers.  The Association is also in touch with the Forestry Commission to make sure work is done in accordance with regulations.

In the meantime please don’t put yourself in danger by going near the fallen trees.

Jonny Barton on 01261 812110

The Hill : Horse Riding

There are signs of horses being ridden on paths on Cleanhill.  This is likely to be dangerous not only for the riders but also for walkers and it causes further damage to paths which are already needing attention.

The Hill is owned by the people of Aberchirder, and the Association – as successors to the Amenities Association – has a duty to make sure it is used responsibly for the benefit of everyone.  Warning signs have been put up to remind people that horse riding is not allowed and we hope this rule will be respected.

Jonny Barton on 01261 812110

The A.G.M. of Aberchirder & District Community Association is to be held in the Pavilion in McRobert Park
on Thursday 22nd March at 7.30pm.  Open to all - new members welcome.


"Good with Food"

The following Special Offers are available at your local Aberchirder Co-op Store
from 5th - 25th March -  (whilst stocks last)


Coca Cola / Diet - Share Size 1.25ltr
2 for £1.50
Mars Pack
Now 99p
Walkers Variety 26 Pack
Now £1.99
All Fairtrade Products until 20th March
Save 20%
Don't forget MOTHER'S DAY - 18th March
Choose from fresh cut flowers and a selection of wine and chocolates.

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