Stonehaven Golf Club – season’s end

Stonehaven Golf Club’s season reached its crescendo last week with various matchplay events bringing the curtain down. As the season progresses, knockout competitions complement the weekly strokeplay/stableford fixture list, such ties being bare knuckle fights, in a golfing context, with players competing one-on-one or in pairs. No blood is spilt but comprehensive defeats can hurt more than three rounds with Mike Tyson. 

The pecking order of seniority as regards these competitions is a moot point but scratch events are undoubtedly the most prestigious. With that in mind Stuart Dempster took centre stage, defeating six time club champion Craig Irvine in the DF Leslie final, some feat in itself but particularly given his very challenging route to the final. Graham Sangster was victorious over Michael Wood in the Willie Watt competition and the JM Low trophy went to club stalwart Harry Roulston who triumphed over Sam Geddes. 

Two doubles competitions were also completed last week. The Ewan Mechie/Damien Shine combo won the RBS Matchplay final, played in a four-ball format, and the foursomes final saw Russell Duncan and Sam Geddes disposing of Simon Mitchell and Grant Smith with the minimum of fuss. Foursomes are an alternate shot format, not great for friendship bolstering if you keep leaving your partner in the cart. 

In other news, the Midweek Stableford was won by Ewan Kirkpatrick, nudging past Ron Gilmour in warm yet windy conditions and this weekend’s postponed Barlow Cup will complete the seasons full complement of competitions (aside from a clutch of Stablefords before the winter league starts up in November).

The Ladies Section have commenced their winter season but not before an end of season Texas Scramble put an end to their summer fixture list. Jane Kennedy, Morag Duncan & Catherine Duncan won this one with a nett 62. The summer season may have all but ended for the Ladies, Men’s and Junior Sections alike, but it’s been a memorable one, largely enjoyed in sublime conditions. The golfing calendar never truly ceases however, it’s an all the year round sport, so we can now look forward to six months of golf beneath several layers of clothing, carrying a hip flask to sustain ourselves rather than a water bottle.


DF Leslie Trophy  – Stuart Dempster 

Willie Watt Trophy – Graham Sangster

JM Low – Harry Roulston 

RBS Matchplay – Ewan Mechie / Damien Shine 

Greensomes – Russell Duncan / Sam Geddes

Midweek Stableford

  1. Ewan Kirkpatrick – 42 pts
  2. Ron Gilmour – 40 pts
  3. Graham King – 39 pts

Selected others…

64th Brian Hardstaff – 26 pts (Brian Hardstaff is a postman. Ian Poulter’s nickname is ‘The Postman’. Here the similarities end).

71st Russell Duncan – 23 pts (clearly saving energy for his Greensomes tie at the weekend. There was no need, they were only playing Mitchell & Smith).

Senior Alliance

  1. Alex Geddes – 37 pts
  2. Thomas Hart – 34 pts
  3. Graeme Wilson – 34 pts

Ladies Texas Scramble

  1. Jane Kennedy, Morag Duncan, Catherine Duncan – 62.3

Aberdeenshire Council launches review in bid to tackle the issue of gulls in north-east communities

By bellmannews / October 1, 2021
Gull on chimney pot

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Aberdeenshire Council has begun a review of the way it tackles the issue of gulls across the region.

The move comes in response to continuing complaints relating to gulls from communities across Aberdeenshire, despite the Covid restrictions which were in place last year.

Gulls are doing particularly well in many towns and villages – both in urban and rural areas – because people continue to provide food for them.

That’s permitting them to thrive in an artificial environment with an artificial food supply which is neither healthy for the birds nor our communities.

Problems associated with gulls in both urban and rural areas include noise, aggressive behaviour, fouling and the feeding of gulls.

However, the council’s Protective Services currently have no statutory powers to take action against gulls and can only give advice to members of the public as to how they can help deal with the problem.

Gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which means it is illegal to capture, injure or destroy any wild bird, or interfere with its nest or eggs, unless you have a licence. Usually, the issue with the gulls starts in March and continues until September while they are nesting on rooftops, although there are increasing numbers choosing to remain in towns all year round.

At present the council employs a programme of egg and nest removal from its own buildings and during the past two years, some 781 nests and 1,528 eggs have been removed from 178 properties. This programme, when combined with gull proofing buildings, has been successful in reducing the number of gulls roosting on public buildings.

Various town centre business groups and property owners have appointed specialist contractors to deliver a sustained programme of egg and nest removal from their buildings, however such privately-funded programmes have had limited success.

Last year there was a significant decrease in the number of general complaints about seagulls which corresponded with Covid restrictions which were applied throughout the year.

Those restrictions significantly reduced seagulls’ access to food and thereby reduced the interaction between seagulls and local communities.

It was also noted that in 2020 there was a significant increase in the number of complaints received regarding feeding of seagulls which may in part have been as a result of residents being in lockdown and being more aware of neighbours feeding seagulls.

Now, in order to fully understand the extent of the issues relating to communities’ concerns regarding seagulls, the review of the council’s strategy for responding to these concerns and engagement with communities has begun.

It will involve discussion with residents, community groups, businesses and local parliamentarians, together with relevant partners including Aberdeen City and Moray councils, RSPB and Nature Scotland.

Careful consideration will be given to all legal options for minimising gull issues which are likely to include potential controls on feeding gulls, waste storage, gull proofing buildings and nest and egg removal.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “While we didn’t see the volume of people discarding unwanted food and containers across Aberdeenshire last year due to lockdown, there has been a distinct and unwelcome increase since we started to return to some kind of normal.

“While there continue to be too many who point the finger at the gulls and say they are a nuisance, in many respects they are not – people are the nuisance. We have created both a false environment and false food supply on which they are now thriving which is exacerbated by the unacceptable volume of littering which continues to occur despite all our messaging and education. I look forward to the outcome of our review and hope that, together, we can make a real difference within all our communities.”

Vice-chair Cllr John Cox added: “As we have no legislative powers to take action against the gulls, the key to reducing gull numbers lies in reducing their ability to breed and limiting the supply of food. I would encourage people to heed the current advice – dispose of all food waste appropriately, do not leave food out for gulls in your gardens and do not feed them in other places where it encourages them to congregate and steal food.”

Advice for residents how they can help includes:

• Do not feed gulls on streets and gardens or drop food scraps, as gulls are scavengers and discarded food encourages the gulls to stay within close proximity to the food source. Dispose of food waste in a responsible manner

• Property owners can discourage gulls from nesting by erecting deterrent devices on chimney heads and flat roof areas such as spikes and nets

• You can arrange for an appropriately licensed pest control company to oil or pierce eggs to prevent hatching or have the nest and eggs removed

• Businesses with netting on their roofs to discourage birds should be aware the netting should be checked daily for any gaps or entangled birds. They should have a way of releasing the birds, without calling the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

More information can be found on the Aberdeenshire Council website at:

New Windows Proposed for Granary

By bellmannews / September 30, 2021
Over the bay from the Bervie Braes

PLANNING applications have been lodged for alterations to the harbour-front Granary in Stonehaven.

Mr R K Hunt is seeking to make alteration to the current fenestration to form a large window to the second floor and an associated inverted dormer to the attic floor along with re-detailing of two existing, non-original window elements.

The works would also include the installation of an external fire escape ladder and re-render of the east and south elevations.

As the Granary is grade C listed, both planning and listed building applications have been submitted to Aberdeenshire Council for the alterations.

The proposed elevation

Full details of the application, along with a facility to comment, are available online.

Stonehaven Projects Feature in Funding Video

By bellmannews / September 30, 2021

THE Men’s Shed, Seafood Bothy and Stonehaven Paddleboarding all feature in a video highlighting the impact of a six years’ funding programme.

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Aberdeenshire Local Action Groups celebrate success

The North and South Aberdeenshire Local Action Groups and the North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group have been marking the successful completion of the 2014-2020 Community Led Local Development Programmes. 

Between the North Aberdeenshire LEADER programme, the North East Scotland Fisheries Programme and the South Aberdeenshire LEADER programme, over £6.7m has been invested in almost 100 projects throughout Aberdeenshire and coastal Angus. 

LEADER funding was provided from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Scottish Government.

Supported projects contributed to key themes identified in Local Development Strategies such as connectivity, business competitiveness, the environment and people and place.

Cllr Peter Argyle, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “LEADER has been a truly innovative rural development programme which has always aimed to improve the quality of life and economic prosperity across Aberdeenshire. A key aspect of the programme was its capacity to consider new innovative solutions – be it through provision of rural community services, flexible training and development programmes or environmental enhancement – and it has delivered on those fronts time after time.

“We have acted as lead partner and accountable body for the duration of these programmes, and the positive outcomes highlight what great things can be achieved across our communities and throughout local economies through partnership working with the Local Action Groups.”

Chair of North Aberdeenshire Local Action Group, Duncan Leece, added: “It is important to pause at the end of this period and reflect on all of the hard work and achievements of the businesses, charities and community groups that have driven these projects to produce some truly remarkable results.”

To mark the achievements of the Local Action Groups and the projects across the region, a series of films have been produced by film company Signal Films.

Mark Turner, Creative Director at signal films said: “We filmed less than a quarter of the projects supported by this crucial funding, but the variety of innovation, entrepreneurialism and generosity amongst even that small group was impressive and inspiring. The benefits to the wider community and economy speak for themselves.”

The films can be viewed here:

Meanwhile, the Local Action Groups have recently been successful in securing a further £100k to pilot a ‘Test of Change’ project in Ellon and Huntly later this year. 

Gina Ford, chair of the South Aberdeenshire Local Action Group, said: “We’re looking forward to working intensively with the communities in these towns to test different models of community-led local development, and potentially taking some of that learning forward to work across the wider region in the future.”

The South Aberdeenshire Local Action Group is also looking for additional representatives from community organisations, such as charities and community councils to be part of the group moving forward.

For more information please contact

Music and Memories Podcast

By bellmannews / September 30, 2021
head and shoulder shot of Fiona Beeley

From independent Celebrant Fiona Beeley –

Music and Memories is planned as a locally produced podcast, created to give our community an opportunity to remember, tell stories, to celebrate and reminisce about the people that they love who have died.

It is part of the ‘To Absent Friends’ Scotland-wide festival of storytelling and remembrance that will take place from 1st-7th of November. 

As a Celebrant supporting people who are experiencing bereavement, I am conscious that the last eighteen months have been very difficult for those who have lost loved ones. There is no time limit on grief or limit to our love, those who die remain part of our memories and our lives.

Being allowed to talk about those who are no longer here physically can be very comforting. Most of us have pieces of music that trigger memories of people and events. Through the podcast ‘ Memories and Music ‘  we have decided to use music as the stimulus for people in our community to share memories .  

We invite people to visit to submit their choice of music and share memories of ‘absent friends’. When recording is complete the Podcast will be available via the direct link to Feck Radio Productions on the site. 

The Podcast has been funded through a grant issued  by The Scottish Palliative Care Partnership. It will be hosted by myself: Fiona Beeley Independent Celebrant and member of the Good Life Good Death Good Grief Alliance and produced by Feck Radio Productions – a community initiative. 

Previously in The Bellman –

Community Council Small Grants for local community groups

By Dawn Black / September 30, 2021
Stonehaven and district community council header

From Stonehaven & District Community Council:

A few years ago, Stonehaven & District Community Council were fortunate to be bequeathed some funds for the benefit of Stonehaven.  SDCC have decided they would like this money to be made available to local groups and organisations within the town via small grants.

The following terms and conditions apply:

  • You must be a fully constituted group / organisation (Please supply a copy of your constitution along with your application).
  • Your group / organisation must be located within the catchment area of Stonehaven & District Community Council.
  • Funds can only be used as per the grant request / award. This must be demonstrated by the provision of receipts confirming the expenditure matching the grant request / award.
  • Any funds not spent by 01/04/2022, shall be returned to Stonehaven & District Council.
  • Closing date for applications is 30/11/2021, with completed applications forms returned to the SDCC treasurer at

If you would like to apply for a grant, email the SDCC treasurer for a form at the following e-mail address

Stonehaven Golf Club results

Those watching the Ryder Cup on Sky television last week will have noticed the dearth of information regards Stonehaven Golf Club’s latest results. The information bar whizzing across the bottom of the screen failed to inform the global audience of happenings in our corner of Scotland. We’ll endeavour therefore to redress the balance here.

Sunday’s Mixed Open Greensomes saw men and women combining to compete for silverware. Rose Riddell had the good sense to partner Kevin, her club champion son, as opposed to army golfing husband Joe, and her shrewd move paid dividends with the duo securing the Scratch trophy (67). The Handicap section found Len Wain and Yvonne Scott victorious with a splendid net 60.2 in one of the club’s more light hearted annual events. A fine day’s golf and camaraderie was enjoyed by the 22, largely harmonious, pairings.

The Saturday Stroke boasted 90 competitors with no less than 24 of them recording the dreaded N/R, a lamentable number. However, did they really stand a chance given a 14 handicap winner had the gall to birdie three of the opening five holes in a remarkable nett score of 57? Congratulations go to Allan on a spectacular victory, our best wishes too as he welcomes in the Autumn with a handicap laceration of epic proportions.

The midweek Stableford found later starters bemoaning windier conditions than the morning’s players had had to endure, but let’s not dwell on the flailings of sore losers. Ivan Groundwater left them to feast upon sour grapes, emerging victorious with an astonishing 44 points. Just to illustrate how impressive this tally was, the combined totals of Craig McKechnie and Michael Wood would have exceeded it by only a solitary point.

The Ladies section enjoyed another weekly Stableford, Catherine Duncan winning with 31 points to pip Yvonne Scott on countback. Oh for the days when ties at the top of the leaderboard were settled by an immediate 18 hole play off. It’d keep us all fit and give SGC the opportunity to introduce ‘headlamp golf’, an initiative golfing insomniacs such as myself have been advocating for decades.

The Junior section’s 6 hole league culminated this week with Alana Henderson a worthy winner of the gross section after twenty weeks of solid scoring. Oscar Wilson triumphed in the nett section and other prize winners included Fraser Skidmore and Charlie Metelski.



  1. Allan Gall 57 (14)
  2. Scott Willsher 61 (18)
  3. Alan Smith 61 (21)

Midweek Stableford

  1. Ivan Groundwater 44 pts
  2. Gary Robertson 38pts
  3. Ian Carnie 37 pts

Ladies Autumn Sweep

  1. Catherine Duncan 31 pts
  2. Yvonne Scott 31 pts
  3. Fiona Armstrong 30 pts

Junior 6 hole League

  1. Alana Henderson
  2. Fraser Skidmore


  1. Oscar Wilson
  2. Charlie Metelski

Mixed Open Greensomes.

  1. Rose Riddell / Kevin Riddell – 67.


  1. Yvonne Scott / Len Wain – 60.2
  2. Wilma Lawrence / Billy Shepherd – 61.8
  3. Nan Byars / Billy Fraser – 61.8

Mearns fM sports show

Every Monday night our sporting & tittle tattle correspondent, Alex Russon, presents a sports show from Stonehaven based radio station Mearns FM. It starts at 8pm and covers sport in all its forms here in our beautiful town.

A different Stonehaven sports club is featured every week. Organisers of each club join Alex to talk about the history, the future and general goings on at their organisation. It’s light hearted, it’s fun, tune in!

This week it was the the turn of the Bowling Club and you can listen to the podcast here . Next week the Running Club (incorporating Park Run)will be on and coming weeks will find, amongst others, Stonehaven FC, Cowie Thistle, Panthers Basketball and more from Stonehaven Golf Club. Enjoy!

Page 3 of 112