Stonehaven Golf Club Hogmanay Hack

Stonehaven Golf Club’s Hogmanay Hack took place in splendidly benign conditions this year, okay, last year. For the uninitiated, it isn’t a coughing competition between senior members lined up outside the clubhouse, it’s our final golfing competition of the calendar year. Held on New Year’s Eve (obvs), this long held tradition enables members to blow away the Christmas cobwebs and prepare for a long night ahead.

Due to the daylight being so shortlived in December, only 14 holes are played (the gully omitted along with the 18th hole), men and women competing in a Stableford format. It’s not often New Year’s Eve finds players in shirt sleeve order but balmy temperatures rewarded the field of 93 players as they strode the fairways in search of Hogmanay glory. Stuart Campbell ran out victorious, amassing a remarkable 37 points given the foreshortened format. When an 18 handicapper is  finishing his back nine in one under par gross you know he hasn’t overdone the Christmas turkey! In second place was Gordon Ironside with a highly commendable 36 point haul and leading lady Fiona Armstrong notched a very impressive 32 points. It’d be interesting to see how the scoring would’ve looked had competitors been compelled to return 24 hours later following their New Year celebrations. I’ve a hunch it wouldn’t have taken 37 points to come out on top. 

Bizarre antics were reported from the Barry McGilivary group on the par four 17th. Barry and Scott Cameron both drove the green and duly drained their eagle putts, it’s not often you see a hole halved in eagles. Only to be narrowly outdone, the third member of the quartet, Stuart Dempster, nudged his short putt in for a birdie at which point the group were sitting at a combined five under par. All eyes were now on the final member of the group to step up to the plate and augment this remarkable aggregate. However, the hapless goon loused the hole up good and proper, racking up a grotesque quadruple bogey eight having lashed his drive onto the railway line and duffed his way around the green. The statisticians amongst you will note, as three members of the quartet were quick to point out, that three scores combined (7) beat the number of strokes (8) played by the fourth member alone. 

The culprit isn’t being named for dignity protection reasons, but given he ranks amongst the early favourites for the 2022 club championship, he may yet have the last laugh. You don’t poke a tiger and no mistake.

Hogmanay Hack

  1. Stuart Campbell 37 pts
  2. Gordon Ironside 36 pts
  3. Peter Nellany 34 pts

Senior 14 Hole Sweep

Div 1 – John Neal 27 pts

Div 2 – Ian Carnie 30 pts

Div 3 – Ian Moir 22 pts

Ladies Winter League 12 Hole Stableford

  1. Catherine Duncan 27 pts
  2. Wilma Lawrence 26 pts
  3. Fiona Currie 24 pts

January Photo Competition opens

mearns camera club members

The Mearns Camera Club January open subject photo competition is now OPEN!

“Open subject” means anything goes! So take a look in your photo archive of beautiful images taken in and around Stonehaven and the Mearns and get your submission in!

All are welcome to enter. There are two age groups: under 18 and 18+. Please be sure to check the rules below before entering. Entries close on 31st Jan 2022 at 11:59pm

Enter by emailing your image to

So you can be preparing for future months, the remaining competition subjects will be:

  • February – subject “The Woods”
  • March – subject Open (any subject)

Mearns Camera Club 50th Anniversary Photo Competition rules

  1. The competition is open to anyone living within the area defined by the rivers Dee (to the north) and North Esk (to the south) and the B974 road (to the west). Any professional photographer, members of the Mearns Camera Club, previous winners and any one associated with The Bellman are not eligible. There will be a junior section for for those aged under 18 and a senior section for those 18+
  2. The competition runs for 7 months, starting 1st September 2021 and ending 31st March 2022. There will be 4 Open competitions where any image can be submitted and 3 Named competitions where specific images should be submitted.
  3. Each month a person can enter up to 3 digital images of their own creation. No prints will be accepted. Each image must have the individuals name and contact details attached. The images must be jpeg and no larger than 2MB. The images submitted will be judged by the Mearns Camera Club and the results published in the Bellman the following month. A selection of the submitted images will also be in The Bellman. It will be assumed that the photographer will have sought and received any permissions required to allow their photo to be used in the competition.
  4. The images submitted will have been taken in the current year(s) (2021/22) and taken within the area defined in rule 1 – ‘the area defined by the rivers Dee (to the north) and North Esk (to the south) and the B974 road (to the west)’.
  5. The Mearns Camera Club and The Bellman reserve the right to use any image for their promotional purposes. Credit will be given to the author. Copyright remains with the photographer.
  6. Each month a prize of a years subscription to the Mearns Camera Club will be awarded to the persons selected as the winner in each group. No other prize option will be available.
  7. Entries for each month can be submitted that month but not earlier. Entries should be sent to

Stonehaven’s Community Man of the Year

By bellmannews / December 31, 2021

AS the New Year party goers find their way home tomorrow morning, there will no doubt be some debris of their celebrations left along the way – but if one man has anything to do with it, the litter will soon be gone.

Most likely you will have seen Stevie Smith at work. He is a familiar sight around the town, dressed in his beanie hat and hi-viz work clothes and wielding his litter picker. You may have assumed he was a street orderly employed by the local authority but he is not. Stevie is a volunteer who likes to get up early and spend his day walking around the town keeping it tidy.

Out in all weathers and always cheerful – Stevie Smith. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Stephen

Community Award recognises Stevie’s voluntary efforts

And it is in recognition of Stevie’s quiet dedication to the town’s streets that he was presented with this year’s Community Award by Stonehaven and District Community Council, Business Association and local churches.

This annual recognition is given to a person who is over 18 years of age and who has achieved outstanding achievement, excellence or merit in one of various areas including voluntary work in the community.

Stevie, who is a retired forestry worker, said he was happy to receive the Community Award. He has never owned a television set, he said, and likes to get up and out very early – often before 6am.

SDCC secretary Alistair Lawrie said: ”For me I’d like to thank Steven on behalf of SDCC and the wider community of Stonehaven for all the good work he does so tirelessly and so selflessly.”

And comunity council member Jim Stephen said: ”Stevie sees it as his wee job. He’s up and out the door very early to do his morning round of litter picking and then will do an afternoon round after the schools go back after lunch. 

”He loves it, as he meets lots of people and he says it keeps him busy.”

And Horizon Group convenor John Cruickshank said: ”Stevie is not a member of Horizon Group, but everything he does is in the spirit of Horizon’s aims, so we very much appreciate all he does for the town.

”Stonehaven would be a far less lovely place if Stevie was not keeping on top of all the litter.”

Covid Test Kits Available Tomorrow

By bellmannews / December 30, 2021
Town Clock spire

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Collect Only service for lateral flow kits

Tomorrow (Friday December 31) we will be providing a Collect Only service from 10am-2pm for rapid lateral flow self-test kits at Stonehaven Market Square.

Thank you to all those across our communities who continue to test themselves regularly which is helping to keep both themselves, their families and their colleagues safe.

Stonehaven Golf Club resume 2021

At the end of a major golfing tournament, the Open for example, a television production team will put together a montage of clips to summarise the week’s highlights. You know the sort of thing; a qualifier holing a raker to make the cut, the pre-tournament favourite fluffing his lines to miss it, the obligatory hole-in-one from a guy who then sinks without trace. You’ll also get footage of sunburned spectators lying asleep in sand dunes having supped one too many ales, cute kids making a mess with their ice creams and John Daly lookalikes in pantomime trousers. It’s standard fare.

So, given it’s the end of another calendar year at Stonehaven Golf Club I’d proposed to post a similar offering, however global media seems not to have recognised Stonehaven Golf Club’s appeal quite yet. Since, therefore, prime time television’s cameras have overlooked us this year, I’ve been forced to compile a written narrative of this year’s highlights rather than a video recording. I hope this in part compensates for the media’s oversight.

So, 2021 from my perspective and that of my Wednesday crew…

…Michael Wood scolding me, as a schoolteacher scolds a child, for ‘watering the plants’ on a part of the course he believed wasn’t sufficiently discreet, Craig McKechnie moving the 8th fairway six inches closer to Stonehaven with an air shot that sent tremors throughout the district, Roger Smith’s electric trolley mounting the cemetery wall by the 18th causing a series of expletives from him in front of me and my young children minding our own business at the practice area, Keith Douglas’s trolley malfunction leaving him to heave an enormous pro bag all around the wrekin, a camper squatting to park her breakfast on Skatie Shore in full view of us stood up on the 14th tee, Craig McKechnie (again) carrying two sets of out of bounds posts with his tee shot on the 8th (again), clearing the railway and bouncing his drive down the 12th fairway, the fire brigade stopping play on the 2nd hole one Saturday morning to rescue dog walkers marooned on the beach below, Angus Martin taking an eternity to deliberate over a routine two foot birdie putt on the 15th only to leave his attempt a foot short, Simon Mitchell duck hooking his tee shot on the last hole so severely that it horseshoed the cup on the practice green narrowly avoiding the most tragic ‘hole-in-one’ in history, Steve Guzik requiring a range finder for his second shot to the par 3 final hole in the club championship; a visiting quartet wondering why they’d played just 17 holes (turned out cos they’d sent their tee shots from the 5th tee to the 6th green in error); Ziggy crashing four consecutive drives from the first tee over the practice green and into the North Sea. This barely scratches the surface but you get the gist. There’s never a dull moment at Stonehaven Golf Club when you mix with the herberts I do, other players all have their war stories too.

There have been difficult moments too, not least the sad passing of several beloved club members. It’s our hope that each of them remain in as much peace now as they enjoyed when walking Stoney’s fairways over the years. The memories these individuals created at Stonehaven Golf Club will live on within the club’s fabric, as will our memories of them.

And so here’s to next year, 2022, another opportunity for hundreds of us to enjoy our favoured pastime and make new memories. That’s what Stonehaven Golf Club is all about, making memories, enjoying ourselves and cementing friendships. We’re thankful to all those who share the journey with us and look forward to doing it all over again.

KDP Christmas Bulletin

By bellmannews / December 23, 2021
Christmas Wishes
The staff and trustees of KDP would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year. 
There’s no doubt it’s been another difficult year, but yet again our communities have risen to the challenge, supporting those in need and finding new and imaginative ways to continue doing what they do best, whilst complying with Covid regulations.
Whatever 2022 holds, we at KDP are here to help, whether you are looking for funding or governance advice, project planning support, help with community engagement or just want to talk through a new idea. Please get in touch in the New Year and we’ll be delighted to assist you in any way we can.

KDP staff will be on holiday from Wednesday 22nd December, returning on Tuesday 4th January.


BIG Halls Tour – Update
In November we started our “Big Halls Tour” and since then we have visited 16 halls within K&M, with more to follow early in 2022.  Do get in touch if we have not already arranged to visit your hall.
It has been inspiring to hear about the wide range of activities that take place in our wonderful community spaces.
In the New Year we plan to offer training and networking opportunities to those that run local halls and to share some of the challenges and the imaginative ideas that we’ve heard about on our tour.
How many of our local halls can you recognise in the collage?  
This project has been made possible thanks to funding from the Scottish Government through the Community Recovery Fund which is administered by CEIS.

Communities Mental Health & Wellbeing Fund – Phase 2
Community, voluntary, and third sector organisations in Aberdeenshire can apply for up to £50,000 to deliver initiatives that promote mental health and wellbeing. 
This Scottish Government Fund has been established in response to the mental health need arising from the pandemic to provide grants to small, grassroots community groups and organisations to develop a culture of mental wellbeing and prevention within local communities and across Scotland, with improved awareness of how we can all stay well and help ourselves and others.  
The Fund will be distributed by Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action who will act as lead partners to community groups and organisations within Aberdeenshire.
Applications will be accepted in two phases: 
Phase 2: 5th January – 15th March 2022 or until all money has been allocated, whichever is sooner. 
Visit the AVA website for more information, guidelines, application form and how to access support with applications if you need it. 


Scotland’s Climate Festival
Scotland’s Climate Festival is inviting community groups to register their events on its website.  The Festival, which is run by Keep Scotland Beautiful and funded by the Scottish Government, is offering to help communities organise and promote their climate events. The event can be of any size and shape (including online). There is also a seed fund available to support you hosting your event, and the chance to work with a range of national agency partners.
St John’s Hill Community Fund
Opening on 1st January 2022, the St John’s Hill Windfarm Community Fund accepts applications from groups and projects which benefit the communities living in the community council areas of: Arbuthnott Catterline, Kinneff & Dunnottar Guidance Notes and an Application Form are available on the KDP website
Closing date – 31st March 2022. 


Visit Mearns – Campaign Video
Our Mearns Tourism Association, operating under the brand “Visit Mearns” secured funding from Visit Scotland to support a marketing campaign to promote the area to visitors over the low season.
Here is the opening film on Youtube from their campaign, called Our Creative Backyard: artisanal harbours. KDP is here to help in any way we can.  Please let us know how we can support you or your organisation. 

We will continue to share information and guidance in our Bulletins, however, please follow our Facebook page to get the latest information.
Should you wish to get in touch, our contact details are as follows:
Mairi Eddie             Development Officer     
Margo Titmuss       Office/Windfarm Admin  

All of this information was correct at time of writing. 
Margo & Mairi

Participatory Budgeting project in Stonehaven identifies seven options ahead of February public vote

By bellmannews / December 21, 2021
view of grounds across putting green

From Live Life Aberdeenshire –

A shortlist of options to improve sport and leisure infrastructure in Stonehaven has been identified ahead of a public vote in the New Year.

Live Life Aberdeenshire (LLA), the sports and cultural service of Aberdeenshire Council, has committed to spending £1.8m of its capital budget on projects identified by and receiving the greatest support from the local community.

Over the past few months, engagement has been ongoing with the public, community groups, clubs and young people to understand local needs and identify options which can progress to a vote.

Through this engagement, the community has indicated a range of sport and leisure activities that could be supported. Proposals have been put forward by clubs and groups to enhance existing or add additional spaces required to accommodate these sporting activities.

A reference group was constituted in the summer to support LLA officers in reviewing options and the approach to Participatory Budgeting. It comprises Aberdeenshire Council officers from other services, community council members, representatives of sports clubs and colleagues from health and social care and local schools.

A shortlist of options was agreed with the Reference Group in October and with the support of architects, outline drawings are being prepared to help the community visualise what they will be voting on.

Although the public vote was originally scheduled to take place in Autumn 2020, it will now take place in February 2022 following discussions with the Reference Group and the need for further clarification and development of some of the options.

One key message that has come through from the community so far is the need for facilities to cater for all in the community, including those with physical disabilities.

The seven options

At present seven options are expected to progress to the vote. These include: an additional covered multiuse sports area at the leisure centre; upgrade to the gym, fitness, dance areas and changing at the leisure centre; funding to support additional multi-use space within Stonehaven Recreation Grounds; funding to support a covered tennis facility at Stonehaven Recreation Grounds; upgrade to the skate park area including seating and lighting; upgrade to the outdoor space within Stonehaven Recreation Grounds to incorporate challenge putting, petanque and quoits, and PAMIS (Promoting A More Inclusive Society) changing area within the Stonehaven Leisure Centre.

More detail on the options and indicative designs will be provided in the New Year as well as details of how to participate in the voting process.

The objective of the Participatory Budgeting project is to give the community a say on the delivery of high-quality sport and leisure venues which are accessible with a positive and welcoming environment, offering better opportunities for people to lead healthier, happier lives.

Aberdeenshire Council: public holidays and access to services over the festive fortnight

By bellmannews / December 21, 2021
Aberdeenshire council logo

From Aberdeenshire Council –

The opening arrangements for Aberdeenshire Council over the festive fortnight have been confirmed, with essential services continuing throughout.

Key service-specific information is as follows:

Customer Services

Aberdeenshire Council’s telephone lines and face to face offices will be closed at 4pm on Fri, Dec 24th, and Fri, Dec 31st.  

They will also be closed during the public holidays on Mon, Dec 27th, and Tue, Dec 28th, and Mon, Jan 3rd,and Tue, Jan 4th.

Normal opening hours for our Customer Services Team are from 8:45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Phone numbers and office details for our services can be found at the following link:

Reach a Council Office – Aberdeenshire Council

Emergency Contact Information

In the event of an emergency, please call the numbers below. Our out of hours emergency service is available 5pm to 8:45am weekdays, and all weekend. If the emergency or crisis is life threatening, call 999. If you are worried about someone who is ill, call NHS 24 on 111.

  • Housing repairs: 03456 081203
  • Homelessness: 03456 081206
  • Social work: 03456 081206

Live Life Aberdeenshire

For full details of Live Life Aberdeenshire’s festive opening hours, including sports and leisure facilities, ski centres, libraries, and marine aquarium:

Please note, opening hours may be subject to change if staff or venues are required to support vaccination rollout.

Household Waste and Recycling

Household recycling centres (HRCs) will close at 3pm on Dec 24th and 31st. All HRCs will be closed on Dec 25th and 26th, as well as Jan 1st and 2nd.  

Household bin collections will go ahead as usual on Mon, Dec 27th,and Tue, Dec 28th, as well as Mon, Jan 3rd and Tue, Jan 4th.

There may be a disruption in service delivery in some areas due to staff members requiring to isolate. We are working hard to keep our household bin collections running like normal, but please bear with us if some routes cannot be collected as planned. If your bin is not emptied over the festive period, it will be collected on the next due collection date for that particular bin.

For more information on bin collections and HRC opening hours over the festive period:

To stay up to date on waste collections, road closures, and other important council information, download the myAberdeenshire app at:

Call out for culture as next phase of Creative Aberdeenshire Network launched

By bellmannews / December 21, 2021

from Live Life Aberdeenshire –

Aberdeenshire’s creative sector is being invited to engage in the next stage of a project designed to support and strengthen it.

Prior to the pandemic, Live Life Aberdeenshire’s Cultural Services team engaged a wide variety of those working in the creative sector at workshops throughout the area, to find out what is needed to improve and move forward collectively.

The team is now ready to take the next step in the development of a Creative Aberdeenshire Network (CAN) with the appointment of freelancer Lindsay Dunbar.

Cultural Crofter, Lindsay Dunbar

A self-titled Cultural Crofter, Lindsay has significant experience as a strategic leader, project manager and innovation producer, predominantly working in rural areas. 

She is coordinating a new approach on behalf of this partnership between Live Life Aberdeenshire and Creative Scotland, to help understand more about the needs and ideas of the creative sector of Aberdeenshire.

There are several ways to get involved, from completing a short survey, joining an online Listening Circle or contributing to a brand-new blog “It starts with C…”. They are all designed to capture the needs and aspirations of Aberdeenshire’s cultural communities for the greater benefit of the sector.

Whether you are an individual artist or a large cultural organisation, a volunteer-led heritage group or a festival promoter, CAN wants to hear all voices.

This is an opportunity to get involved and make a difference. Sharing thoughts and generating new discussions will allow everyone involved to discover more about the area’s cultural sector and contribute to developing a stronger and more cohesive CAN.

Councillor Anne Stirling, chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, said: “I am delighted to see the team move forward with this initiative, despite the challenges of recent times, and reach out to the region’s cultural sector. I am confident there will be a positive response and look forward to seeing partners grow together in a time when we really need, and value, the arts more than ever.”

Lindsay Dunbar said: “It’s a privilege to support the development of a Creative Network for Aberdeenshire, and I look forward to engaging with the sector in the coming months.”

Karen Dick, Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities at Creative Scotland said: “It’s great to see the development of the Creative Aberdeenshire Network move forward, especially after the challenges of the last 18 months, helping us to understand the needs of the cultural sector in the region.”

“With our partners in Aberdeenshire, from the local authority to the cultural sector, we look forward to working together to support communities as we reconnect and rebuild.” 

Complete the short survey, see and contribute to the new blog, join an online Listening Circle and link up with the Creative Aberdeenshire Network Instagram account at:

You can also follow Creative Aberdeenshire and Live Life Aberdeenshire on Facebook.

This work is being supported through the Aberdeenshire Place Partnership, supported by Creative Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council.

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