F1 Role for Murray

Murray inspects a racing car tyre

From Helga Mellor –

A Stonehaven student has beaten off worldwide competition to secure a prestigious placement at
the cutting edge of Formula 1 motorsport.

21 year-old Murray Macfarlane, who is studying for a Masters degree in Electrical & Mechanical
Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, is to spend a year as a Performance Simulation
Engineer at Red Bull’s headquarters in Milton Keynes.

The former Arduthie Primary School pupil was selected from hundreds of candidates from all over
the world, after a series of gruelling assessments.

Murray said “It’s my dream job come true! I was lucky enough to also get an offer of a Controls
Engineering internship from Mercedes, but after meeting both teams I decided the Red Bull role is
the one for me.”

Currently Technical Director of the University of Strathclyde motorsport team, which designs,
builds and competes a race car in the annual international Formula Student competition, Murray
puts much of his success down to the experience gained with team.

Professor Atilla Incecik, the Dean of Engineering at the university said “Congratulations to Murray
for being selected for what is a very sought after placement and we wish him every success with

Your New Councillors

WENDY Agnew (Con), Dawn Black (SNP), Sarah Dickinson (Lib Dem) and Alan Turner (Con) are Stonehaven and Lower Deeside’s successful candidates in the local government elections.

From an electorate of, 11,356 the number of ballot papers received was 5,645 giving a turnout of 49.7%. The quota for a candidate to be elected was 1,112 votes.

Mrs Dickinson with 1,263 first preference votes and Mrs Agnew with 1,147, were both elected in the first round of the count. The vote redistribution then took place. Ms Black reached the required number at stage six followed by Mr Turner at stage eight.

The Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee

As results were issued in ward number order the candidates for Stonehaven and Lower Deeside – Ward 18 – had what must have been a nail-biting wait to hear the outcome of yesterday’s election. And there must have been an increased air of tension when the Ward 17, North Kincardine, results were announced: three sitting councillors -Alistair Bews (Ind), Jeff Hutchison (Con) and Colin Pike (Ind) – failed to be re-elected.

The successful candidates who will now represent North Kincardine and sit on the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee will be David Aitchison (SNP), Shirley Burnett (Con), Mel Sullivan (Lib Dems) and Catherine Victor (SNP).

They will be joined by Laurie Carnie (Con), George Carr (Con), Alison Evison (Ind) and Kevin Stelfox (SNP) – all elected for the Mearns ward – and, of course, our four newly elected members for Stonehaven and Lower Deeside.

Community Council Minutes Secretary Wanted

Stonehaven and district community council header

Stonehaven and District Community Council (SDCC) seek to recruit a Minutes Secretary.  If you wish further information, or if you wish to apply for this remunerated post, please contact the SDCC’s Secretary alistair.lawrie@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

SDCC meet once a month to discuss matters of interest to the broad community in Stonehaven. The meetings are held in the former courtroom in the County Buildings with Zoom providing access for those not wishing to attend in person.

Co-op Memorial Fundraiser for Mental Health Charity

front door of market square coop

From Deryth Payne –

STAFF at Stonehaven’s Market Square Co-op are having a “Mega Raffle” to raise funds for SAMH to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.

All funds will be donated in the name of Alan Hastie, a former colleague of ours, who sadly took his own life last month.

SAMH is Scotland’s national mental health charity. They work with adults and young people across Scotland providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, among others.

Samaritans is a 24-hour helpline offering emotional support for anyone feeling down, distressed or struggling to cope. Call them on 116 123 or email: jo@samaritans.org

Stonehaven Golf Club this week

I smoked a big, fat Cuban cigar all the way from the 18th green to the clubhouse last Saturday morning. Having been first out at 7am, I’d just drained a thirty foot raker to complete a 63 which I felt would surely secure tournament victory. How wrong could I be, my afternoon subsequently spent watching my name slide down the leaderboard quicker than an ice cream melting in the sun. I eventually came to rest in 13th position and, in a fit of pique, deleted the HDID app from my phone. I’m not having it ruin another Saturday afternoon, I’ve got Aston Villa to do that.

No less than 36 players beat their handicaps on Saturday with three of them managing to score in the 50s, including the winner Ian Shearer who recorded a remarkable eight under par 58. This was the second (and final) round of the Cowie Cup which found Ian runner up behind Ross Walker who backed up an opening round 61 with an even more impressive 60. To eclipse such a fine first round score was some achievement but Saturday’s fireworks didn’t end there, Harry Roulston (7th) and Roger Smith (15th) both notching holes-in-one. Congratulations to both, and commiserations to your respective wallets. 

The club’s knockout competition matchups are being finalised with the Willie Watt and JM Low draws imminent, applications also invited for the RBS Doubles Matchplay tournament. The RBS offers failed winter league partnerships an opportunity to atone, that’s assuming the respective partners are still speaking to one another. I left a message with mine three weeks ago and he’s yet to reply. There’s no hiding place Mr Cameron, you’ve plenty of atoning to do after our winter league farrago, and I know where you live. 

The results section (below) gets longer every week with the summer season now in full swing for each of the Men’s, Ladies and Junior sections. A special mention and congratulations to Jacqui Blackburn and Liz Powell who won the Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Challenge qualifying competition with a combined total of 36 points. They have qualified to play in the National 9-Hole Final at Dundas Park Golf Club in June. 


Cowie Cup (2 round aggregate)

R Walker 121; I Shearer 127; G Ironside 128; J Neal 129; A Russon 130.

Cowie Cup Rd 2 & JM Low qualifier

I Shearer 58; G Ironside 59; J Neal 59.

(*selected others – 85th S Cameron; 92nd G Smith, 99th C McKechnie; 113th B Hardstaff; 117th A Martin).

Wednesday Stableford

B Andrew 40; G Deans 39; R Haddock 39.

9 Hole Stableford

C Singer 19; S Dempster 18; K Duguid 18.

Senior Blue Stableford

G King 45; J Adam 40; P Nellany 39.

 Scottish Golf R&A 9-Hole Challenge

J Blackburn & L Powell 36.

Ladies Medal Eclectic 

Div 1 – F Armstrong 68; L Molloy 68; Y Scott 69.

Div 2 – D Seery 66; J Hunt 70; P Parker 70.

Ladies 9 Hole Stableford Eclectic 

A Duthie 19; J Blackburn 19; J Mackintosh 16.

Junior Medal

J Killoh 64; M Skidmore 70; T Dingwall 75.

Concert for Ukraine

MUSIC from both Scotland and Ukraine will feature in a concert on Saturday May 14 raising funds for Ukraine.

Tickets are available at Ma Simpson’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 11am – 1pm, or 3-8pm; Friday 11am -1am and 3 -6.30pm or Saturday 10am -4pm

Or you can purchase online

Ma Simpson is also hosting tribute band McFleetwood on the 7th May at Stonehaven Town Hall – for full details please go to our events page

Bervie Braes Closure and More Barriers

By bellmannews / April 30, 2022
shot of harbour and bay

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

Following investigations into the stability of Bervie Braes at Stonehaven following a minor landslip late last year, we have had to close the route to vehicular traffic for the remainder of the year with immediate effect.

A second line of barriers will be installed in the carriageway to provide increased capacity for debris should further slips occur and barriers will also be positioned to enable the pathway to remain open for pedestrians and cyclists.

It was our hope that the road could re-open with an enhanced monitoring system in place while the investigations continued and designs were drawn up for a stabilisation solution.

Sadly that is no longer possible on safety grounds as the instability of the slope is far more extensive than had been previously anticipated with the potential for a larger slip presenting an unacceptable risk to vehicles using the road.

It should be noted that the slope below the road at this location was soil-nailed as part of the stabilisation works in 2014/15 so the present landslip poses no risk to the stability of the lower slope or to residential properties at this location. The additional barriers will also control any possibility of debris flow onto the top of the lower slope.

We appreciate the closure is disappointing news for many of you and we ask for your patience as the investigations continue.

Independent Candidate for Local Election

Candidate Dr Christina Stirk better known as Ma Simpson.

So, I am putting myself forward for council as an independent candidate. 

Who am I? I moved up to Scotland in 1980 to go to Aberdeen University and did a degree in Microbiology (including virology and immunology).  I then went on to do a PhD in Medical biochemistry and spent the next 17 years working on heart disease, cancer and wound healing. 

I opened the music shop in 2003 after the death of my husband as I could no longer continue to work temporary contracts with three young children.  We are now about to celebrate 19 years in Stonehaven where we have seen so many people come and learn the joys of music.

During this time I have taken an active part in the town, being a member of the business association, and chairman for 5 years. I was a member of the town hall trust for 6 years.  I have tried to entertain many in Stonehaven with festivals in the park and numerous events in the town hall including Big Country, Toyah, Bad Manners to name but a few.     

I don’t believe that party politics has any place in local politics, it should be about what the town needs, not about certain party agendas, whether it is right for the town or not.

Too many times good projects are side-lined because the wrong party proposed them or a bad projects implemented because the leading party does.

The more independents on the council the more power the people have over their areas.

In the 40 years I have lived in the area, I have seen the town grow with many new houses being built, lots of new and young families moving into the area.  Population increasing by 20% but facilities not improving, in fact declining over time.

We have no new schools despite the ones we have being overcrowded and no longer fit for purpose.

Leisure facilities sadly lacking, areas for children to play, young people to hang out, and pensioner’s facilities eroded and removed.

Transport is particularly bad in the area, woe betide anyone who wishes to travel south of Stonehaven out with rush hour, or for that matter at rush hour.  Buses frequently cancelled or just decide not to run.

What is done in the town is mainly done by the wonderful volunteers we have in the community such as the Lions, Roundtable, Rotary, Horizon, Stonehaven Town Partnership, Business Association to name a few.

I would like to think in some small way I have also contributed with festivals and events brought to the town.

However, larger infrastructure projects and more long-term planning is not within the volunteer’s scope and nor should it be.

We need voices on the council that will speak up for Stonehaven and surrounding area and for that reason I am putting myself forward, but whether you wish to vote for me or not please go vote as nothing will change if you don’t try to change it.

Contact Details: Dr Chris Stirk (Ma Simpson) care of Ma Simpson’s 26B Evan St, Stonehaven AB392ET.  Available Mon, Tues, Thurs 3.00-8.00pm Fri 3.00-6.30pm and Sat 10-4.00pm Tel 01569 766264

Stonehaven Harbour – Sheet Pile Repair Works Schedule

By bellmannews / April 30, 2022
calm waters reflect rusty sheet piling

Stonehaven Harbour – Pier Repairs. What works are happening and why?
Repair works will be taking place to the ends of the Net Pier, South Pier and Fish Jetty.
These works are required because the steel sheet piling has suffered corrosion to the extent that there are large voids in the existing sheet piles.

The scope of the construction works will include:
• partial demolition of the existing pier concrete deck and capping beams.
• installation of new sheet piled facings.
• installation of tie rods and ground anchors for sheet piles.
• reinstatement of concrete capping beam and deck.

What is the timetable for the works?
Preparation Works – May / Jun Piling Works – Jul / Aug
Reinstatement of Boom Gates – Sep Reinstatement of quaysides – Oct / Nov
The works must take place during the summer months to make the most of the weather
and calmer sea state.
Site Hours will be 07:00-19:00. The working pattern will be based on a 12-day fortnight.
This will be Monday through to Friday of the following week, including the weekend; but
with no working every second weekend.
Net Pier
Fish Jetty
South Pier.

Will there be any restrictions?
• The Contractor shall carry out the work in such a manner as to cause minimum
inconvenience to vessels and small craft using the harbour and shall cooperate
with the Harbour Master to ensure that the work is so arranged that the regular
passage of commercial vessels and quayside operations/traffic is not hindered.
• The Contractor shall make provision for the continued berthing of boats on
specified sections of the piers and shall maintain safe pedestrian access to
berthed boats at all times.
• The beach shall remain open for public use, but may have temporary restrictions
to small areas for certain operations to be undertaken safely. Botany bay will not
be affected by the works.
• The ends of the South Pier and Fish Jetty will be closed to public access while
the works are undertaken.
• The Net Pier shall be closed for the duration and used to house the contractor’s
facilities and storage. Pedestrian access to berths will be maintained where safe
to do so.
• There will be requirements to bring HGVs to site with deliveries and these will be
planned and supervised by the contractor to ensure minimum inconvenience and
ensure public safety.
• Shorehead and Old Pier roads will remain open during the works.
• Works will stop for the Sailing Regatta.
Who can I contact with any queries?
Aberdeenshire Council – scott.copland@aberdeenshire.gov.uk
We will provide you with regular updates on upcoming works and our progress.
We appreciate there will be some disruption this summer, however we
want the town’s harbour to remain a wonderful tourist attraction and a
source of economic wealth for the town for decades to come which is why these repairs works are essential.

Sent in by Aberdeenshire Council.




Page 3 of 143