The Foggie Gossip
July 2012 Edition      


Aberchirder Playgroup and Toddlers took part in a Sponsored Spring Walk in May to raise funds for the group's activities. The walk which was around Cleanhill in Aberchirder, was enjoyed by all the children despite the very wet weather.

Making their way around Cleanhill

Enjoying an off-road break

All participants and parent volunteers

The group paid a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the Huntly Peregrine Centre on 17th May.
The children were involved in many activities including gorge walking, jumping in mud, hunting for mini beasts, shelter building, pond dipping and toasting marshmallows over a small fire.

The Playgroup and Toddlers group caters for children from birth to pre-school age and further information can be obtained by contacting
Mary Turner, Tel: 07931 950326


Saturday 26th May 2012 brought to an end an era in Foggieloan with the retirement of Donald and Aileen McKay and the closing of their butcher's shop. Unfortunately, to date, they have been unable to sell the shop and house which are interconnected.

Donald started working as a Saturday boy in the butcher's shop before leaving school. On leaving full time education, he started as an apprentice with Clark Gregor, under the steely eye and guidance of Jim Silver who Donald says, taught him everything he knows.  Donald took over the business in 1979 and along with his wife Aileen, has run the business since.

The couple announced their intention to retire earlier this year and to mark the occasion, a public subscription was organised and raised a four figure sum.

A public presentation took place outside the 'the butchers' on their last day of business when around 80 people gathered in The Square to witness the event.

Local businessman Bill Legge (left) presented Donald with a wallet of notes while Elsie Henderson (far right) presented Aileen with a bouquet   of flowers.

The Gregor family from Skeibhill entertained the crowd with a fine selection of pipe tunes.

Charley Dey gave a resume of Donald and Aileen's years in business and also recited a poem which he had composed for the occasion. Charley's splendid ode is reproduced below.



Donald looking pensive, perhaps reflecting on the past, or wondering what lies ahead in retirement.

Raises money towards 'Aberdeen Gene Machine'


This year's Deveron Tractor Run attracted 43 vintage and classic tractors and covered some 30 miles of countryside. Setting off from Blacklaw, they passed through Cornhill and on to Portsoy harbour where they stopped for lunch. They then continued along the coastal route to Whitehills before returning to Blacklaw.

The event raised £2605 towards the newly launched 'Aberdeen Gene Machine' campaign which will revolutionise the way in which consultants prescribe cancer treatments for individual patients. It allows more targeted and effective chemotherapy for some of the most common cancers in the north east (Lung, Bowel, Breast and Ovary) by identifying every patient's unique gene pattern.

Anyone wishing to donate to this project can do so by contacting the
'Friends of ANCHOR'.


The Foggie Gala was held on 3rd June 2012 and thanks go to the 32 football teams which participated and all those involved in making the day a great success.

The results of the young footballer's competitions were as follows:

Five Primary 1 teams from Buckie, Deveron & St Marnans all received participation medals.
Primary 2/3 - Winners, Huntly A;   Runners Up, Huntly B.
Primary 4/5 - Winners, Buckie Predators;   Runners Up, Turriff Youth
Primary 6/7 - Winners, IDFC Barca;   Runners Up, Buckie Tornados.


Throughout the United Kingdom and other parts of the world, many people took part in celebrating Her Majesty The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. These celebrations took place to mark 60 years of The Queen's reign since she came to the throne on 5th February 1952. Her official Coronation took place on 2nd June 1953. Celebrations for her reign, including the lighting of over 4000 beacons, also took place in many of the other 53 countries which form the Commonwealth.

Foggie school children, youth groups and others also celebrated the event and a few pictures are included below.

Aberchirder & District Community Association has been asked, through the office of the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, to plant a tree to commemorate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee and details of this event will be publicised in due course.

Party time at Playgroup and Toddlers with lots of lovely food.

Playgroup and Toddlers Jubilee party and games on 1st June 2012 in Marnoch Church Hall.

Beavers & Rainbows celebrated with their Jubilee event on 5th June.
Their programme for the afternoon included a walk on Cleanhill, setting off Chinese lanterns at the top, before returning to the church hall where the children played games, had a snack and took part in themed crafts.




Bookbug's Library Challenge is a free programme that runs annually for children from birth to four years of age. Its aim is to encourage children to discover and enjoy their local library.

Each time a child visits the library whether it is to borrow a book or to attend a storytelling session, they receive a stamp on cards provided by the librarians. After six visits they are awarded one of five certificates of their choice. Each child can collect as many certificates as they wish and the child with the most from each branch receives a prize.

Aberchirder's winner this year was Jakob Acklaw who is 2 years old and lives in Bronchal Way. Jakob is pictured here with his mum Katrina in Aberchirder Library, holding the book he received as his prize.


Pupils at Aberchirder Primary School were privileged to have a visit from one of the Olympic Torchbearers.  Primary 4-5 pupils listened to Glyn Cantrill relive the thrills he experienced in carrying the torch along a stretch of the North Deeside Road on the outskirts of Aberdeen on 12 June 2012.  The class had been carrying out a project on the Olympic Games so what better to conclude their work than to see and hold an actual torch and hear first hand what it was like to be one of the bearers.

Glyn, from Banff, was selected as one of around 80 people to carry a torch through the Grampian area. He was nominated by his wife after he had just completed chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. His wife said " He is the bravest man I have met and has been an absolute inspiration to the whole family and everyone around us". Glyn left the R.A.F. some 14 years ago and now works with Autoglass. He plans to go running again when fully fit and raise money for Cancer Research.

Throughout the UK a total of 8000 runners helped carry the torch along its route covering 8000 miles. Each 3 sided torch had 8000 holes representing the 8000 bearers. The 3 sides represent the Olympic motto: 'Faster, Higher, Stronger'. Torches were each fitted with a gas canister which could burn for approximately 12 minutes.

Glyn answers questions from pupils.

Pupils got the opportunity to hold the Olympic torch.

Glyn (centre) in his Olympic uniform with P4-5 puils and their teacher Karen Evans (back left).

We are pleased to publish what we hope is the first of a series of news items from elected Aberdeenshire Councillors representing our area. The following article was submitted from Councillor John Cox. He and Councillor Ian Gray regularly attend meetings of Aberchirder & District Community Association and provide and excellent service and link between the local community and the Council.

In publishing such articles, Aberchirder & District Community Association wishes to make it clear they have no political bias and may not always agree with all aspects of the content.

Council's £20m Surprise Windfall

Councillors John Cox & Councillor Ian Gray raised concerns regarding the New Alliance (Conservative, Liberal Democratic, Labour and Independent Councillors) surprise windfall of over £20m at a recent special area committee meeting.

Cllr Gray felt that there was a rush of blood to the head and questioned the need to commit to spending the money without full and proper discussions on where the money came from and ignoring the drastic cut in services. He was also concerned that reinstatement of services seemed to be ruled out and that no consideration was given to the long term, when further cuts in services were forecast due to budget constraints.

Councillor Cox had hoped that a full debate would have taken place at Full Council but to the astonishment of the SNP group, the debate was cut by the Provost when questions were put to officers requesting answers in detail about the timeline of when the “surprise” windfall was discovered.

“The papers made interesting reading stating on one hand on-going efficiency savings announced in the alliance press release, which contradicted delays in projects and staffing vacancies which were reported in sections of the report presented at council” confirmed the councillors. “We are still at a loss whether, if we read the report correctly, there is an ongoing accumulation of under spend. We are a quarter through the financial year and this could result in another £6m in underspend. At the same time, services are being continually cut, especially at the front end, including sheltered housing, classroom assistance and the essential workers keeping our communities cleaned and maintained.

As part of the process to prioritise the areas where the windfall will be spent, both Cllr Cox & Cllr Gray hope that towns and villages, especially Aberchirder, receive some recognition of the need for community services such as sports and leisure facilities and regeneration of the town centres, as well as creating the infrastructure such as business start up units. There is also a need to encourage businesses to stay in the area and to attract new ones. “Considering the limitation of public transport and to encourage the younger population to stay in the area, it is vital we recognise how desperate it is to ensure sufficient funding is made available to sustain public services and facilities” stated Councillors Gray and Cox.


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