Stonehaven Golf Club this week

Stonehaven Golf Club is always delighted to welcome visitors, never more so than at the annual Open held this year in glorious sunshine. It’s an opportunity for the club to showcase itself to newcomers and welcome back old friends, blending both with club members in universal competition.

The scoring was excellent with some scintillating results recorded. Craig Irvine in particular bombed it with a four under par 62 (gross) containing six birdies and a back nine of just 29  to win the Scratch section while Division One was won with a score in the nett 50’s. It was good to see a healthy sprinkling of visitors in medal positions with guests from Peebles*, Dalmahoy** and Nigg Bay***featuring prominently. The perception of Stoney is that you need to play it a number of times before you have its’ measure, at least three visitors lay that notion to rest though with Steven Brown of Dalmahoy winning his section comfortably to prove the point.

The Wednesday Stroke saw excellent scoring, William Donald the victor with a nett 60 to nudge out Stuart Paul out by a single shot. The Senior Medal earlier in the day found Steve McGhie, Robert Haddock and Robert Armstrong winning their divisions with sub-par rounds. Ben Crockett meanwhile took the 9 Hole Stableford at a canter.

The Ladies Medal also found Teresa Mckenzie leaving her challengers for dead in Division 2 but there was a much narrower victory for Catherine Duncan in Division 1. The Captain’s Prize was won by Liz Powell with a fine forty point haul and Irene Mearns took the 9 Hole Stableford. The comps come thick and fast at Stonehaven GC, let’s hope the fine weather continues to do likewise.

In other news, myself and Simon Mitchell represented the club at the Oldmeldrum Open while Stoney’s was being held. One of us finished 8th with a creditable nett 70 while the other crawled apologetically to a feeble 38th position, his scorecard ‘boasting’ a snowman and a prile of doubles. Said individual spent the entire round panicking over whether he’d make Pittodrie in time for 3pm, his undue haste costing him dear. I won’t embarrass the culprit by naming him, let’s just say he failed to reproduce the form shown when fluking a third place in last Wednesday’s Stroke. (Results below btw 😊)

(*photo depicts Angus Martin surveying his obliterated trolley during the Midweek Stroke. He’d inadvertently let go of the vehicle as he departed the 14th tee and could only look on as it hurtled 100mph into his playing partner’s trolley minding it’s own business at the bottom of the hill. He completed his round on two wheels and no-returned at the 17th , saving the indignity of hobbling down the last serenaded by clubhouse sniggers)



Scratch – C Irvine 62; K Hopkirk 65*; K Brown 65.

Div 1 – S Brown 58**; R McAllan 62; A Fraser 63***.

Div 2 – B Wood 63; D Summers 63; G Ironside 66.

Div 3 – R Shearer 60; G Waterhouse 65; C Delaney 65.

Senior Medal

Div 1 – S McGhie 65; A Officer 66; T Gilchrist 67

Div 2 – R Haddock 61; J Findlay 65; M Ritchie 68

Div 3 – R Armstrong 63; N Clyne 64; R Horrocks 64

Wednesday Medal Final

N Cattanach 64; I Groundwater 69; J McMenemy 70

Wednesday Stroke

W Donald 60; S Paul 61; S Mitchell 62

9 Hole Stableford

B Crockett 21; D Summers 19; M Gaskin 18

Ladies Medal

Div 1 – C Duncan 64; F Currie 65; W Lawrence 67

Div 2 – T Mckenzie 61; J Owen 66; R Menzies 67

Ladies Captain’s Prize

L Powell 40;

9 Hole Stableford

I Mearns 15.

Reporter – Alex Russon

Community Council Sets Agenda

BATTLE lines and matters of importance were made apparent at this weeks meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council.

This was the first meeting of a newly-elected SDCC after a summer break. At first glance you could have said there was nothing much on the agenda – new chairman David Lawman was merely seeking to attend to various housekeeping items including finding out who was willing to sit on various sub-committees.

But the very nature of those groups give a strong indication of the tasks in hand for SDCC in the coming months.

Invercarron Resource Centre

The Community Council is making a participation request to Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership in a bit to have a say in their delivery of their services.

At Tuesday’s meeting members heard the forms had been completed. Advice is now being sought from our area manager, Bruce Stewart, on the next steps.

A radio and some candles

We have just passed the two-year anniversary of that most dreadful day in 2020 when Stonehaven witnessed both a fatal train derailment and flash flooding. And every day we still see the fallen evidence of more recent unprecedented winter storms – so there is little need to explain why a well thought out action plan is needed for our community.

Mr Lawman made it clear SDCC were not an emergency service – but they do have a roll to play in creating a defined approach to community resilience. One member, Janine Esson, is working on this matter, others were asked to join a group.

In the meantime, Mr Lawman hammered home the preparations we should all be making.

”Get a radio, get some candles,” he said.

Cllr Dawn Black told members Aberdeenshire Council is putting together a list of vulnerable people which she said would then be kept up-to-date – this should ensure those in most need will be speedily helped should problems arise.

Creating a vision for Stonehaven’s future growth

The Scottish Government has introduced a new facet to local development plans. The current system sees what is in effect a developers’ bun-fight, with housebuilders vying to have their proposals accepted as the best way forward.

Now, communities can have their say by producing a Local Place Plan. Produced after consultation, this is a collective vision of what amenities the town needs – and where we think these homes, schools, leisure amenities etc should be.

As long as the Local Place Plan has been produced in the correct manner, it then would have status in the bigger picture. Developers’ aspirations would have to be measured against the community’s declared wishes.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Mr Lawman raised concerns for the loss of sports fields that would be brought about at Mackie Academy by the proposed replacement Dunnottar and Carronhill Schools.

He said: ” If you are going to take the the space at Mackie, how are you going to replace it?”

A Local Place Plan would answer that question.

The Gift He Keeps on Giving

James hooked up and donating

A STONEHAVEN man has donated his 120th pint of blood and intends to keep on giving until he reaches his target of 150 pints.

James Bromley could have saved over 300 lives thanks to his commitment to three trips each year to give blood.

It turns out his first donation was made under duress, when he was just 20-years-old and working in the City of London. Young ‘Bromley’ was instructed by his manager to join a group of colleagues heading to the blood bank.

”I was outraged, I didn’t want to invest my blood,” he said.

”I seethed to myself, but in those days you immediately did what you were told.  And it wasn’t bad, much more mechanical, very cheerful though, and a cuppa and a tea cake, so quite ok.”

Energised by his own new blood

Having decided the experience was perfectly pleasant, James carried on making regular visits to the Moorgate and London Blood Centre where he racked up his first 85 pints. He missed donations only when a new career in the Parachute Regiment and later work the oil industry took him overseas.

James now donates at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. He said each visit encourages him to ‘power-up’ afterwards.

”It galvanises me to get sporty again, to just appreciate that I can, and get out more often,” he said.

”It’s good for society, and it’s good for me.  I’ve seen others severely injured, and I’ve always thought that if I suffer a blood-shedding event, my body will not be traumatised, so I’d have a better chance of surviving the accident.”

Each donation can save three lives

Kimberley Petrie of the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service said James, with his milestone of 120 pints of blood, has helped save or improve the lives of 360 patients.

She added: ”This is because when you donate, we are able to use the red cells, platelets and plasma from your donation.”

And James intends to carry on giving this vital, lifesaving potential.

He said: ”I want to get to 150 pints donated !  I’ve done the maths, I can do it by the time I retire. It would be a decent life achievement.”

Some interesting facts from the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service:

  • Hospital demand for blood is up by 7%
  • During summer the attends for blood donation can drop by as much as 20%
  • There are eight different blood groups. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) aim to retain 5-7 days supply of all eight blood groups at all times. At this time, people with the blood groups A and O are particularly asked to come forward. You can see Scotland’s daily blood stock levels on

Ury Access Solution Proposed

view of lodge house from inside estate

URY Estate intend to demolish East Lodge in order to pave the way for competent access to the development.

A Netherley Road gateway is required to complete the link road through the estate from the Slug Road. The current East Lodge layout does not meet the standards required for the development.

Providing this access has not proved easy. Until recently, ‘ownership constraints’ meant the road outside the lodge could not be changed so other options had to be explored.

Two road layouts attempted

One scheme dating back to 2014 presented motorists with a one mile diversion to a new entry at the North Lodge and back down to the current housing.

Kirkwood Homes attempted to improve the junction arrangement in 2019 by retaining the lodge gateway and stopping off the Netherley Road to all but pedestrians and cyclists. Vehicles were to pass through the gateway then turn right up a new slip road before rejoining the existing Netherley Road.

Both schemes brought about the loss of trees in the ancient woodland at the Polbare tree belt though the 2019 version did include compensatory planting.

The second scheme won approval only at appeal – and only because it was deemed the lesser of two evils. But our councillors stymied this plan road by refusing a consultation process needed before the new road may become part of the public road network.

Ownership constraints appear resolved

Ury Estate are now notifying the local authority of and seeking approval for their intention to demolish East Lodge as a permitted development.

They state: ”The existing East Lodge requires to be demolished to enable the formation of a new access road to the Ury East Lodge residential development. The existing road geometry of the Netherley Road is not satisfactory to Aberdeenshire Council Roads Dept so must be improved.”


Grants of up to £50,000 available for local
projects as Community Led Vision Fund opens

Aberdeenshire Council’s Community Led Vision Fund is now live and open for applications, providing up to £50,000 to support local projects.

Grants are being invited from public sector organisations, small to medium-sized enterprises, charities, community groups and co-operatives throughout Aberdeenshire (excluding the Cairngorms area) and can fund a range of activities with positive community, social or environmental impacts. 

Applications will be assessed and approved by a combined North and South Local Action Group (LAG), a cross-sector partnership comprising of representatives from Aberdeenshire’s public and private sector.

The fund is part of the council’s Local Development Funding Programme and grants will be targeted towards activities or infrastructure which can be delivered before March 2023 and support one or more of the following priorities:

  • Capacity Building to ‘unlock’ projects (e.g. feasibility, pre-construction work, options appraisals)
  • Quick win capital work for community spaces (e.g. improving interiors in newly re-opened community buildings, or energy efficiency measures)
  • Green public spaces (e.g. planting or restoring green spaces, outdoor play/recreation)
  • Opportunities for young people (creating or improving spaces, purchasing equipment, etc.)

Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 will be available, and a minimum 10% match funding contribution to projects by applicants is desirable but not essential.

LAG Chair Gina Ford said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of this exciting new programme, and build upon the legacy of LEADER funding and rural development in this area over recent decades.”

Infrastructure Services Committee chair Cllr John Crawley added: “This fund is broad-ranging and very much community-led, and builds on schemes that have helped local projects reach fruition in the past.

“We’d love to see applications from community groups and organisations that are in a position to be able to move their projects forward in the current financial year.”

Committee vice-chair Cllr Isobel Davidson said: “This fund has the capacity to support both smaller and larger projects and could be just what is needed to help communities bring local projects into reality.

“The important thing here is that the projects must be completed before the end of March next year, so groups should move quickly if they wish to take advantage of this funding, and our teams are happy to provide support with the application process.”

The deadline for submission of applications is Sunday, September 11, and potential applicants can access the application form and guidance via

Applicants are also encouraged to contact the funding team for more information and support at

Stonehaven Golf Club this week

It’s been another week littered with competition here at Stonehaven Golf Club, a plethora of members able to enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame. With some events split into three divisions the leading scorers list can appear endless but nevertheless, each deserves the limelight following a fine round and it gives them a chance to impress house visitors with their framed photo of the scoreboard hung in the bathroom.

The highlights from this week can be summarised thus –

-The Midweek Medal found the more senior members of our fraternity in fine form, each division won by individuals of a vintage that remember slate and chalk being used in the classroom

-D Henderson, R Hampson & I Carnie topped their respective divisions in the Innes Medal with scores in the very low 60s.

-S Dempster won the 9 Hole Stableford (no biggy though given anyone can string a handful of good holes together so forgive me if I don’t roll out the red carpet. Let’s see what he’s made of over a proper full round of golf)

-The Ladies feasted on several competitive events with a lengthy scroll of honour below, but Pam Leiper takes the plaudits having won the Ladies Golden Oldies event eighty years to the very day that she was brought into the world!

-new signage at the gully

-The DF Leslie draw was made after Saturday’s second qualifying event, you’ll find details on the club noticeboard.

And just a word on that DF Leslie Trophy item. This is a matchplay event for which I qualified (quite comfortably) however I’m falling on my sword and withdrawing this year. Two reasons really, a) it gives others a chance, but more pertently, b) to announce my retirement from domestic and international Singles matchplay golf. It’s come to my attention that I can no longer suffer the torment of ‘shall I / shan’t I’ decisions over whether to concede short putts. The puppy dog eyes from opponents appealing for mercy, the awkwardness as their two footer slips by, the insincere words of consolation from opponents who’ve watched you muff your short putt (when inside they’re performing cartwheels). No, the whole farrago is just a nightmare for this lily livered soft southerner so I hereby withdraw from all matchplay competition.

It’s a win-win for all parties; I don’t have to suffer anymore tumbleweed moments and you don’t have to suffer the horror of three hours of me singlehanded. And before you take a sigh of relief Scott Cameron, I’m still gonna be playing the RBS, I’ll just appoint you as team captain to deal with any awkward moments and consequent pelters.


Innes Medal
Div 1 – D Henderson 60; K Murdoch 62; C Taylor 64
Div 2 – R Hampson 61; R Hemphill 64; G Sangster 64
Div 3 – I Carnie 62; W Shepherd62; G McHardy 64

Wednesday Medal
Div 1 – A Officer 63; A Smith 64; S McGhie 65
Div 2 – I Shearer 63; K Howie 65; R Shearer 66
Div 3 – I Groundwater 62; S Crabb 63; W Shepherd 64

Midweek 9 Hole Stableford
S Dempster 19; A Geddes 18; R Smith 18

Ladies Medal
Div 1 – J Bradford 68; Y Scott 72; W Lawrence 72
Div 2 – A McMenemy 68; M Duncan 68; R Ericsson 70

Ladies 9 Hole Stableford
P Johnston 19; P Leiper 17; J Mackintosh 16

Ladies 3ball Better Ball
J Blackburn/S Forbes/P Parker 120
K Groundwater/J Bradford/W Lawrence 126
P Droy/R Menzies/T McKenzie 126

Ladies Golden Oldies
P Leiper 4; L Molloy 4.5; J Mackintosh 5.5

Grand Curry Night

Dear Bellman,

I would like to share a few thoughts about the Curry Night at the Carron to Mumbai in Stonehaven that was held on the 3rd of August for the Erskine Veterans Charity. 

First, I would like to thank Abdul Hamid and his team that worked so hard to make this event possible.  You could imagine all the Turmeric and Garam Masala spice cloud in the kitchen busy making the exquisite banquet for us to salivate over, not only that, we had the pleasure of eating it in a beautiful and unique Art Deco building built in 1937 and without visionaries like Abdul, it may have gone.

I have to also thank all the charitable people that came and supported the Erskine Veterans Charity also lovely to see some veterans there. At a guess my mother would have been the oldest veteran at 91. Plus my family and school friends some I haven’t seen since I was child in shorts and wellies.

Also thank you to all that donated raffle prizes especially to Giulianottis yet an other historic Stonehaven gem

Not forgetting IceKool Katz from Aberdeen that provide the music that was loved by all

With mixing all those ingredients into the karahi it was a recipe of fun, laughter, new friends made and old ones reunited. It was also primarily to raise funds for Erskine Veterans Charity .

Drum roll …

We were able to raise £1050 

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and on behalf of Erskine Veterans Charity

Yours etc

Bob MacRae-Clifton

Beautiful Stonehaven

blue skies show how sunny the day was for everyone

MEDITERRANEAN sunshine was the finishing touch today, when Beautiful Scotland judges visited the town to admire the work of volunteers from across the community who co-operated and conspired to have Stonehaven looking its very best.

The route took in the train station, wildflower parkland, the Men’s Shed, Open Air Pool, Burns Garden, Market Square and onto the boardwalk and harbour. Along the way, judges Sandy Scott and Adrian Miles met with locals who discussed the points of interest and gave heritage and background information.

Wild about flowers

Wildflowers featured prominently with Horizon volunteer Kirby Porter presenting on the diversity of flora at our boardwalk. Earlier this year, Kirby conducted a survey and found over 50 different specimens.

And a long-lost Stonehaven botanist was resurrected by writer Alistair Lawrie, who discovered the town was the birth place of a man renowned in his time as a collector of wildflowers. Born in 1794, John Duncan was hailed by Charles Darwin as a ‘fellow botanist’.

Alistair has written a short story about Duncan’s life and work – this features in a project undertaken by the Mearns Writers to put together a walking route around the town with poetic recitations to be accessed and enjoyed. Funding for a leaflet has recently been secured, so this should be a welcome addition to days out in the town and hopefully a successful entry in the Beautiful Scotland Year of Stories Award.

With Doric flair, Alistair Lawrie brings Stonehaven born botanist John Duncan to life

Junior chef is recipe for success

After a tour of inspection lasting two and a half hours, a cup of tea was a welcome conclusion. Mackie Academy’s work towards environmental accreditation was showcased with the help of Phoebe Lawson. The fifteen-year-old made a study of the herbs available around the town in public gardens and planters – and put together a recipe book using those herbs, including freshly baked cheese and chive scones that were served to the suitably appreciative judges.

Horizon covenor John Cruickshank said he was delighted with the way the judging visit went.

”I think we smashed it out of the park,” he said. ”The town is looking absolutely fabulous. I am totally delighted at all the support shown for Stonehaven’s entry in Beautiful Scotland. We just have to keep our fingers crossed now until September, when we get the results.”

Feature image Phoebe Lawson’s cheese and chive scone were a tasty treat for judges Adrian Miles and Sandy Scott.

Voyonic Grampian Forest Rally Gears up for Return to Full Strength

Preparations for the popular Voyonic Grampian Forest Rally are gathering pace as organisers Stonehaven and District Motor Club announce outline plans to welcome spectators to watch the action this August 13, after being forced to run behind closed doors in 2021.
Based in Banchory, just outside of Aberdeen, the Grampian will once again welcome the prestigious Motorsport UK British Rally Championship and KNC Groundworks Scottish Rally Championship to the event, offering a spectacular day of action in the nearby Kincardineshire forests.
As the biggest motorsport event in the northeast of Scotland, an impressive entry of drivers from across the UK and beyond will tackle the popular stages in the forests of Durris, Fetteresso and Drumtochty with a central rally base at Milton of Crathes.
And after COVID restrictions prevented fans from attending last year, rally organisers are delighted to open the doors to spectators next month, enabling them to witness some of the fastest rally drivers in Europe blast through the gravel test in a spectacular display of skill and precision.
Banchory will offer the first chance to view the cars and crews with the Ceremonial Start taking place in the public car park just off the B974 from around 08:40 on Saturday morning. Onlookers will have the chance to chat to the drivers and get up close and personal to the cars before they head out into the forests for the day.
The Zenith Energy Durris test hosts the opening stage of the event and the first of two spectator areas on the stages. Accessed from Denside, south of the B9077 near Crathes, the area enjoys catering and facilities alongside a fast and sweeping section of the stage which offers great viewing and is run twice during the day. The first stage kicks off from around 09:00 with the second pass at 14:45.
Stages three and six at the John Wink Design Finglenny house the second location, with easy access off the A957 just north of Rickarton before a drive into the forest to the spectator parking. Also with catering and facilities, this spot overlooks a more technical section of the stage, with competitors having to negotiate a bridge and tight left hander in front of the spectator area. Be in place for 12:00 for the first run and 15:10 for the second.
The ceremonial finish and traditional champagne spray will take place at Milton of Crathes from around 16:15 where the winner of the event will be crowned.
Each spectator area requires a £10 cash donation the local charities manning the area. More information including spectator access maps, entry list and timings will be available on the event website in the coming days.
Regular updates will be posted on the event’s social media channels and website:

Second Replenish in Chapelton

A STONEHAVEN based zero waste and refill store is celebrating consistent growth by 
opening a second shop.

Replenish, which opened for business in Stonehaven in November 2020, opened its 
second store in Chapelton, Aberdeenshire.

Situated in Chapelton’s unique box park shopping centre, a collection of shipping
containers adapted into business units, Replenish at Chapelton opened for business on 20 July 2022. 

Specialising in fruit and veg, locally produce, and refills, Replenish at Chapelton 
encourages customers to join the refill revolution and ‘BYOC – bring your own containers’ to stock up with household essentials including flour, cereals, herbs & spices and pasta plus laundry detergent and conditioner. 

Like the flagship store in Stonehaven, Replenish at Chapelton will stock a selection of 
locally produced food celebrating the best the North-east and Scotland has to offer – 
including dairy produce, bread, soft drinks, cured meats, gluten free and vegan friendly products.

Owner, Donna Maver’s passion for local produce, supporting the local economy and 
considering smarter shopping as a way of reducing food miles and wastage is the driving force behind Replenish and its expansion.

First store opened in November 2020

Donna said: “I opened Replenish in November 2020 during the pandemic and, while I was confident the concept of a refill store would be well received, it was still daunting.

“Our customers quickly embraced our call to join the refill revolution and bring their own containers to refill with various dried goods, cleaning products and toiletries.

“The demand for locally sourced fruit and veg surpassed my expectations, within a few months of opening we launched our weekly veg box delivery service which was 
earlier than I had planned. Demand has steadily grown, so much so I applied for funding to purchase an electric van for our expanding delivery round.”

She added: “Opening another shop was part of the plan and I had my sights set on 
Chapelton. Chapelton’s focus on community and sustainability perfectly aligns with my values. It is a bustling wee town with lots of events designed to build community spirit and attract visitors.

“Local shops are at the heart of communities. Customers want to shop local to support local producers . They also want to make better shopping choices which will benefit the environment and their health while also saving money and reducing waste.

“With the current cost of living crisis, being able to buy only what you need is a money saver. The majority of our fruit and veg is loose so rather than having to buy a pre-packed kilo of carrots, customers can buy just one or two saving money and plastic packing going to landfill. 

“Plus, how many times have you found a new recipe that calls for a teaspoon each of several spices and those wee jars have sat languishing at the back of your cupboard for years? At Replenish, if you only need a couple of teaspoons of a few spices you can buy just that. Just bring your own container.”

Open seven days a week, Replenish at Chapelton can be found at The Boxes at 
Chapelton, Greenlaw Road, Chapelton, AB39 8BA. On Facebook  and Instagram or contact by email:


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