The Foggie Gossip

July 2006 EDITION


Pictured below is a group from Aberchirder who recently attended the Queen's birthday party celebrations at Ballindalloch Castle.  Invitations were sent out to everyone in Banffshire aged 80 years and over by the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Mrs Claire Russell.  Also pictured are carers and drivers.

At the Garden Party

Back row left to right:  Robert Bremner, Nancy Bremner, Alison Mackie, David Fromholc.
Front row left to right:  Kate Shand, Dorothy Hill, Ella Gronkowski, Rosemary Chalmers, Betty Fromholc, Charlotte Greig.


Aberchirder Playgroup recently did a sponsored walk from St Marnan's Church Hall to the top of Cleanhill.  The children enjoyed their snack at the picnic tables at the top as well as some games.  A grand total of £273.70 was raised for their funds - an amazing amount for such a small group.  Well done to all who took part and the leaders wish to thank everyone who sponsored the children.

Kids on the Sponsored Walk
Picnic time
Posing for the camera

On 8th June, Aberchirder Toddlers held an open day.  The local SPPA (Scottish Pre-school Play Association) Development Worker came along and ran a short music session for the children.  The event was very well attended, not only by current members, but lots of new parents and their children.  The music and singing was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone and after raising the roof, the children had their snack whilst the parents enjoyed a welcome cup of coffee.  Afterwards they held a small raffle (money once again going towards their funds).  The Committee were delighted to see such a great turnout at this event and look forward to welcoming the new children and their parents back to their group soon.


Yes, the man and his words are back.  A book of the collected words of Foggie rhymester, Simon Brown (1908-1993), has been produced and published by Aberchirder & District Community Association.

Simon, better known as Auld Broon, frequently recited his poems at his local hostelry and other venues.  His recitations of humorous poems in the Doric, voiced always from memory,  entertained local residents in the 1970s and 1980s.  In 1985, at the age of 77, Simon reached a wider audience when he recorded many of his works on audio tape for Ross Records, but until now they have never appeared commercially in print.

In addition to the collection of works, many of which appear on this website, the book contains recollections and tributes to Aul' Broon from a number of his friends and acquaintances.

You can see some of the poems and hear short samples of Simon's voice here but you can purchase copies of the 64 page illustrated book, with the full story, at shops in the Aberchirder and Buchan areas and at Aberchirder Library.


Available after the launch on 29th July 2006


(can also be purchased via this web site's Gift Shop)

The Full Story of the Man and His Words


The great Tesco Race for Life event took place in Aberdeen on Sunday 25th June.  Women of all ages and levels of fitness took part to raise money for Cancer research UK.

Two races were held where entrants could choose to walk or run the 5 kilometre route at King's Links , starting at the Beach Ballroom and going along the Esplanade as far as the Bridge of Don and back again.

Pictured top right (waving) are Ria Esslemont and daughter Lyn who, along with around 5,000 other women, took part in the morning race.  Mother and daughter raised £300 in memory of Ria's father who sadly died in September last year.  After what was an emotional day for most participants, Ria said they were proud to be giving something back.

Standing with Ria and Lyn are 3 other participants (L to R), sisters Janette Wiseman, Jacqueline Esslemont and Jennifer Wiseman, two of whom are from Foggie.  Between them they raised an additional £500 for the charity.

Race for Life
Race for Life


Can you imagine living in a house built from bales of straw?

Local man, Jonny Barton certainly can and his plans to construct one
close to Aberchirder are well advanced.

Straw Bales
Straw bale house building began in the USA in the 1800s and has been going for about 10 years or more in the UK and Ireland.
see and


Jonny Barton and his partner Lesley are very environmentally conscious and want to build something that will have only a minimal effect on the environment and will also use up some of the UK's waste straw to build a very well insulated home for themselves.

The house will have walls built of rectangular 1.2m straw bales (not hay) instead of stone, timber, bricks or concrete.  The straw bales are strong enough to support the weight of the roof which will be similar to any other except it will made of locally sourced timber and the tiles will be wooden instead of slate or concrete.

When finished, none of the straw will be visible as it will be plastered over with three coatings of a clay and lime plaster.  This coating makes it at least as fireproof as modern constructed buildings, if not more so.

The floor will be of timber and the structure will sit on the stone foundations of the original dwellinghouse that once existed on the site.


The house is to be sited on a 7 acre croft which was part of Gledfield Croft farm, but was retained by Jonny's family when the farm was sold in 1995.  Over the last 5 years or so the grazing fields have been developed into a self sufficient unit with trees for fuel, fruit and nuts planted, a herb and vegetable garden established and a well sunk.  A small wind turbine is also proposed.

It is proposed to self build the house with help from a growing list of amateur and professional volunteers.  Dean Hicks from Alves has experience in plastering straw bale buildings and worked on a large building at the Findhorn Foundation.

It is hoped the house will be completed by spring/summer 2007.  Once occupied, the heating costs for the house should be reduced by up to 75% annually compared to a modern style property.

Site for the Straw Bale House

Jonny and Lesley will be happy to hear from people who have useful experience to share or would like to know more about strawbale building. They can be contacted on 01261 812110.

Robert King




Robert King (20) of 27 Causewayend Crescent, Aberchirder has been playing for the Banff based Deveronside Football Club for 2 years and this year he was awarded not only 'Player of the Year' by the Club, but 'Player's Player of the Year' by the members of the team.

Robert has previously played for Deveronvale Under 17's and Under 21's, Huntly Under 21's and Aberchirder's St Marnans football clubs.



The Foggie Stay and Play Group carried out a sponsored walk round the hill on 10th July to raise funds for new equipment.

Foggie Stay and Play Group was set up and funded by the Local Health Visitor, the Sure Start social worker and the Home-Start Deveron coordinator, following a number of enquiries from parents who were feeling isolated and in need of support with a range of issues including post natal depression.

The group continues to offer support and advice to parents with children under the age of five years.  The group meets each Monday in the St Marnan's Hall during term time from 1pm-3pm.  During the school holidays, the group meets on an informal basis for picnics etc.

Parents have taken part in craft sessions, followed an assertive training course and tried baby massage and have plans to continue to try different crafts in the future.  All parents are welcome to attend if they have a child under five but should speak to their health visitor or staff at Home-Start Deveron before coming along.

The Home-Start Deveron toy library service is available to parents attending the group during the session, and for all others, a session is held in the hall on Thursday mornings from 9.30am –11am.  At all other times, this service can be accessed by calling Home-Start Deveron office 01261 819964, where they will advise of the nearest session.

For more information visit

As part of the ongoing improvements and enhancements to the Cleanhill woodland, Aberchirder & District Community Association made £500 available for the planting of a wild flower meadow.  Association member Jonny Barton, who oversees and advises on maintenance of the hill, was able to acquire 1200 plants and a series of planting sessions took place with assistance from other interested groups.

Seen here are Aberchirder Guides and leaders getting some instructions and guidance then planting some of the wild flowers.

Advice on planting
Advice on planting
Guides planting the wild flowers
Guides planting the wild flowers

In all there are 21 different species of wild flowers planted and these include: Ladies Bedstraw, Germander Speedwell, Red Campion, Oxeye Daisies, St John's Wort, Toadflax, Vetch, Meadow Cranesbill and Self Heal.

The introduction of these wild flowers will not only create colourful patches in the meadow but will attract bees, moths and butterflies.

Guides planting the wild flowers
Meadow Cranesbill Oxeye Daisies Self Heal St John's Wort Red Campion





Foggie Now in Bloom

Flower tubs and hanging baskets are now planted in and around the town.

Many thanks go to the several people who have volunteered to join the watering rota – but more are still needed.

If a lot of people do a little bit each, this makes it easy all round.

Please contact Sandra Spackman on 780256 for details

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Community Safety

At the June meeting, Community Beat Officer Neil Shand reported that leaflets are to be delivered to homes in Aberchirder as part of a campaign against theft and house break-ins.

He also introduced the new Grampian Police Force Mission which centres on Community Well-Being.

If you have any concerns about antisocial behaviour including neighbour problems, you should contact Neil via the service centre on 0845 600 5700.  Alternatively, contact any member of the Community Council and your comments or complaints will be passed onto him.

Remember – the Police can only keep Aberchirder safe if individual members of the community play their part.

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Gala Success

Once again the Gala took place in sunny weather and this helped to make the 5-a-side football and stalls a success. Total Association profit from stalls and the raffle was around £1450, including £150 in donations from the other stallholders, which is much appreciated.

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Aul’ Broon In Print

Top news this month is the book Aul’ Broon Fae Foggie Toon, which will be on sale in local outlets at the end of the month. Priced at £5, it contains twelve of Simon Brown’s poems as well as reminiscences by some of the people who knew him.

Thanks to the generosity of Elsie Henderson and the Brown family all proceeds will go to Association funds to help finance future projects for Aberchirder and district.

Look out for more details on posters!

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The Hill

Jonny Barton reports that, with the help of the Girl Guides and Mike Stevens’ Scottish Wildlife Trust volunteers, 1200 wild flower plugs have been planted in the meadow at the top of the Hill. An information board will be in place in the near future.

If you would like to volunteer for some work on Cleanhill, please contact Jonny on 01261 812110

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Get Snapping!

Now the summer is here and it is holiday time, get those cameras out and collect pictures of local scenes,
unusual views, candid shots or anything that takes the eye.

'Spirit of Marnoch'
Photographic Competition



Click here for details



The following Special Offers are available at your local Aberchirder Co-op Store until 29th July 2006
(whilst stocks last)


Walker's 6 Pack £1.39
Buy 2 for £1.69

Fresh Scottish Strawberries - 400g
Half Price -  Only £1.49

Skinless Chicken Fillets 480g
Special Buy - £3.29

3 Pk Disposable BBQ's £4.99   ~   Charcoal £2.99   ~   BBQ Utensils in Store NOW

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