Aberchirder Coat-of-Arms

The Foggie Gossip
March 2009 Edition      


Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren has been appointed the new area commander for Aberdeenshire Division of Grampian Police

On 23rd February 2009, Grampian Police were delighted to announce that Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren has been appointed area commander for Aberdeenshire.

Mark was brought up in Aberchirder and joined the police force in 1983.  He served as a uniformed officer at Peterhead and Inverurie and also spent six years in Roads Policing, covering areas from Huntly to Peterhead, south to Laurencekirk and westwards into Deeside.

Speaking after his appointment, Chief Superintendent McLaren commented:  "I am both privileged and excited to take on the command of such a successful division.  Aberdeenshire is one of the safest places in which to live and work in Scotland and I look forwards immensely to continuing to work with such a dedicated team, not only in relation to our own Police Staff, but also wider, partnership relationships with others such as the Local Authority, the Health Service and Procurator Fiscal".

"My focus will be on neighbourhood policing and I will work hard to to ensure that local people receive a very high standard of service from my officers and staff and, ultimately, that they have confidence in their local force.  We have a close relationship with local communities here in Aberdeenshire and I look forward to continuing to work with them on issues of concern.  We will also continue the drive to bring our already low rate of crime down still further."

Chief Superintendent Mark McLaren

Mark's parents, Ronnie and Valerie McLaren formerly owned and operated McLaren's Garage before retiring from the business. They still reside in the village.  Mark now lives near Inverurie with his wife Fiona and their two children.


Marnoch Parish Church staged a 'Pampered Chef' cookery demonstration and competition in the Church Hall on 21st February.
Rev Paul van Sittert and David Gray formed the green team and Peter Scott and Brian Wann, the red team.

Pampered Chef Pampered Chef

After a demonstration (above left) the teams set to, preparing and adding the ingredients to what was to become a chicken and broccoli ring.

Red team hard at it Green team chopping the vegetables

Above, the teams appear to be concentrating hard on the job in hand though there was a lot of banter and fun with some light-hearted gamesmanship thrown in for good measure.  They are being watched closely by 'Pampered Chef' host, Carol Seivwright.

David & Paul satisfied, Pete giving that final check and Brian looking for a paint tray.

The final stage - adding the finishing touches to the chicken and broccoli ring before it is put into the oven, are;
Left to Right:  David Gray, Paul van Sittert, Carol Seivwright, Pete Scott and Brian Wann.
The winners were the red team.


On the 26th of February, Aberchirder mother and daughter, Amanda and Sarah Allan, represented Deveronvale Girls FC at the Odeon cinema in Kilmarnock for the launch of a Scottish FA initiative titled 'HERE COME THE GIRLS'. The initiative is aimed at promoting girls' and womens' football in Scotland using the promotional film 'HERE COME THE GIRLS', as an inspirational tool to encourage more young females to play football.

It is looking to emulate or surpass the achievements of the current Senior Womens' team who have enjoyed their most successful campaign so far. The film introduces you to a football crazy girl who dreams of pulling on 'the dark blue jersey' and firing Scotland to Glory, an idea that was only open to boys in the past, but not any more!

The star of the film is local Buchan girl Kim Little who, at the tender age of 18, plays football for Arsenal Ladies and is already a full Scottish International. Amanda commented, "All in the womens' game are predicting that Kim will be the shining light for girls' and womens' football in Scotland and the UK for many years to come.  She is living proof that dedication, commitment, self motivation, and of course raw talent, can take girls to the highest level in the game.  These are qualities we endeavour to instil into the girls that attend our training sessions".  The film 'HERE COME THE GIRLS' can be viewed here.

Amanda & Sarah Allan with Anna Signeal
Left to Right:  Sarah Allan (Deveronvale Girls Under 15's Captain), Anna Signeal (Scotland Senior Ladies Head Coach) and Amanda Allan (Head Coach for Deveronvale Girls FC)

Among the dignitaries were, Shona Robison - Minister for Public Health and Sport; George W. Peat - President, Scottish Football Association: Sheila Begbie - Head of Girls'/Womens' Football in Scotland and Anna Signeul - Senior Womens' National Coach, along with some of the current squad.

Amanda (Head Coach For Deveronvale Girls FC) explained "It was a wonderful experience meeting Anna Signeul and the squad who gave us a very warm welcome, sharing ideas and advice with us to further develop the girls and the club."  Amanda continued, "Anna was very impressed by our commitment in attending the event as we were the only club represented from the whole North Region".  Sarah Allan (Deveronvale Girls Under 15's captain) added, "It was a real honour to meet Julie Fleeting MBE who was very friendly and down to earth, even though she is a living legend in the Womens' game.  Julie is an inspirational figure for all girls playing as she plays her football at the highest level for Arsenal Ladies and has an amazing record of scoring 103 goals in 104 games for Scotland".


Amanda & Sarah with other representatives
Amanda Allan 5th from left, Sarah Allan 6th from left and Julie Fleeting on far right with some of her international colleagues.

Deveronvale Under 15s made a winning start to the new season on 7 March by beating Moray Girls 6 - 4 at McRobert Park, Aberchirder.  It was a very competitive game with both teams providing good quality football on a very heavy pitch.  It was obvious that our match fitness has still to be improved but the Deveronvale coaches were delighted to get off and running with a win.  Head coach Amanda Allan explained, "We had a number of girls who put in a high level of performance in what was a good team display but Suzanne Cooper stole the show by scoring a hat-trick in an excellent performance.  She was a constant thorn in the Moray defence's side".  The other goal scorers were Shannon Thom, Vicky Riddel and Zodie Wood.


Setting up a rig

Taking samples


Taking samples

Unfortunately not.  The goings-on in Anderson / MacLennan Park had a few people puzzled during the month of March.  What was actually happening was that a company, acting for Aberdeenshire Council, were taking a series of soil samples for analysis.  Under legislation introduced in 2001, Local Authorities have a duty to inspect sites which may have early contamination or which have been subject to landfill.  As the park was formerly Causewayend Quarry and was later used as a dump, the Council has to ensure that there are no toxic materials or gases lurking under the surface.  It is most unlikely as most of the infill material came from excavations from the second phase of the Causewayend housing development during the late 1970s and the mid 1980s, after which the park was established.


Lisa Williamson celebrated her 21st birthday party at Aberchirder Bowling Club on Saturday 14th March.

A collection from party goers raised 305.42 for Aberchirder Medical Practice. The money was handed over to Dr Kate Lyons (right) and Practice Nurse Aileen Forrest (left).


Receiving the donation

About to cut her cake is birthday girl Lisa Williamson, 3rd left, with her family.
Left to Right:  Lisa's sister Leanne, Lisa's partner Gavin Scott, Lisa and mum Brenda, sister Claire and dad Jocky.


In 1998 Robert Bremner, the last Provost of the Burgh of Aberchirder, after finding that Aberchirder had never obtained a coat-of-arms, encouraged the Community Council to seek a design and subsequent approval of the Lord Lyon, King of Arms. The story of how the design came about and the details of the formal presentation, can be found here in the Virtual Museum.

Since the presentation of the Letters Patent to Aberchirder and Marnoch Community Council on Saturday 11 September 1999, a fit and proper home for the official document had not been found. Now, thanks to Brenda King, the Aberchirder Librarian, the framed 'grant of arms' hangs on a wall within Aberchirder Library.

Bingo Bremner hands over the Coat-of-Arms.
Handing over the Letters Patent to Aberchirder Library on 25th March 2009, is Robert (Bingo) Bremner.
Left to right:  Brenda King (Librarian), Bob Peden (Chairman of Community Council), Leslie Chalmers and Margaret McKay (Secretary of Community Council)

Aberchirder Coat-of-Arms

Right: Leslie Chalmers, former Chairman of Aberchirder & Marnoch Community Council (1999), cuts the ribbon to mark the first public display of the Letters Patent.
To the left of the framed document, hangs a photograph of the Chain of Office worn by the Provosts of Aberchirder prior to 1975.

Left: The coat-of-arms bearing the motto:

The use of the arms is restricted by law to the Community Council and organisations to which it has given permission.

Les Chalmers cuts the ribbon


Car with Foggie Decal Foggie Decal

Foggie expat David Yule is spreading the word about our community.  Now resident in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, David sent in these images showing one of our website decals displayed on his car.  He ordered a couple of these some time ago and placed one on his Ford Mustang.  He has since sold that car (complete with decal) and bought a BMW which again, proudly displays our website address on the rear widow.

Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City

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In April 2008 we reported that Tor Ecosse Ltd., Thainstone, Inverurie, had applied for full planning permission to demolish the former Rose Innes Care Home and construct 15 dwellinghouses on the site.  Following receipt of representations from a number of members of the public and Aberchirder & Marnoch Community Council, changes were made to the proposals including a reduction in the number of residential units to 13.

Former Rose Innes Care Home

The recommendation from the Council's Head of Development Management was that of refusal based on a) Council policies regarding design and effect on the environment and the adjacent Listed Buildings, b) lack of satisfactory drainage details and c) lack of details addressing the issue of contaminated land.

A decision was due to be made in early March but the Council's Banff and Buchan Area Committee decided to defer consideration, pending a visit to the site. Following the site inspection and further consideration of representations received, the Area Committee, at their meeting of 31st March 2009, agreed to again defer any decision on the application due to issues over drainage of the site.

Objections to proposals included poor design, impact on the surroundings and loss of trees.  The local Community Council objected on the basis of a perceived lack of need for affordable units within the town and the loss of the existing nursing home facility.  One letter of support was on the basis of a need for affordable housing in Aberchirder.

A last minute declaration of interest in the site was lodged with Aberdeenshire Council by a consortium who want to completely refurbish the existing building and reopen it as a care home.  It is understood that to date, Tor Ecosse have first refusal on the site which remains in the ownership of Aberdeen Council.

This new proposal would appear to reflect what the majority of people in the Aberchirder area want to see happen to the site but the future of the site meantime remains in question.



Fiona Michie, who was raised in Foggie, is staging her first solo exhibition in Aberdeen since she graduated from Grays School of Art in 1999.  Fiona, who now lives in Edinburgh, is showing five drawings of female figures overgrown with ivy, giving a vision of fantasy and intrigue. The exhibition 'Creeper', can be seen at the Lemon Tree.


Art @ The Lemon Tree

5 West North Street Aberdeen
Tel: 01224 337652

Thursday 2nd April - Sunday 10th May 2009
Exhibition open to view Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
12 noon - 2.30pm

In relation to these latest drawings Fiona said," I am interested in mortality and spirituality.  I explore this by producing figurative drawings, featuring solitary females set within woodlands and foliage: suggesting the symbolic connection between femininity and nature".

"I love nature and am fascinated with greenery such as ivy, because of its enduring and invasive energy and associations with melancholy and decay.  It is extremely beautiful, providing shelter for wildlife and food to birds (though poisonous to humans).  However, its nature of creeping, clinging and wrapping itself around things for support, in particular trees and smothering them in the process, is incredibly sinister. The contrasts between protecting and endangering, beauty and the uncanny, is what I strive to evoke in my work".

Fiona beside one of her drawings

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Aberchirder artist Robert Andrew is exhibiting some of his portraits of offshore support vessels
in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

Rockwater by Rob Andrew

Canna by Rob Andrew

The paintings will be on display from 11 April - 11 July 2009

Admission is free and the museum, situated on the Shiprow, is open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm and Sundays 12noon - 3pm

You can see some more examples of Robert's work on his personal website - click here



Members & Guests Welcome

Friday 1st May



In Aid of St Marnans Football Club

Saturday 30th May


In Aid of  Mothers & Toddlers

Saturday 13th June

Entertainment by
Local Singer
Adele Henderson

Followed by

Race Night & Disco

('Patrice' postponed until later in year)

In Aid of St Marnans Football Club

For further details, contact the groups or the Bowling Club Tel: 01466 780665


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Foggie website promotion


Copyright 2002 ADCA Aberchirder, North East Scotland.