Letters to the Editor


Friday, 20th February 2015, 12:58 pm

All the names

Sir - Here are all the names of the estate workers in last week’s Piper photo, taken outside the estate office in 1959.

Charlie McKay snr (now in Inverurie) remembers them all: from left, back row - Sandy Henderson, Jim Geddes, Donald Mackie, Jock McCombie, Mr Bruce, Sandy Robb, Bob McLaren and Bob Henderson; middle row - Donald Mackie, Jock Innes, George Livingston, Rob McLaren, Tavie Geddes, George Chapman, Ron Black, Adam King, Alex Cowe, Sandy Leslie, Jock Cowe; front row - George Livingston Snr, Andy Miller, George Thomson, Major Dickie, G Leslie Melville, Bill Taylor, Bill Black, Charlie Grassick, Charlie Smith and Charlie McKay.

Second pic of the week

Yours etc.

Charlie McKay (Jnr)

via email

family connection

Help needed

Sir, I‘m hoping you will be able to help me with a query I have relating to my family history research.

I am a New Zealander now living in Somerset, England, but with my paternal roots going back to Banchory Devenick.

My great grandparents are buried in the Banchory Devenick Churchyard/Cemetery.

However, I have some conflicting dates between the headstone and Burial Register.

My great grandmother, Helen Duncan (m.s Milne) has been recorded as being buried on March 10, 1962, but on her headstone her death is recorded as Mar 13.

Also recorded on the headstone with her and her husband, George, is a child named George, with a death date which appears to be February 18, 1919.

Once again I have conflicting dates for this child.

He is four years old in 1911 so should be about 12 at the time of his death.

From what I can make out on the headstone (image), it appears he may have been about eight or nine years of age.

At the time of George senior’s death, he lived at Alpity Cottage, Arbuthnott.

I am hoping that some of your readers may have information or even remember George Duncan who died on September 18, 1970, and his wife Helen (Nellie) m.s. Milne.

I hope that some of your readers may remember this family or have knowledge of them and would be kind enough to send me any information they may have.

I can be contacted by either email: [email protected] or at 11 Jubliee Street, Burnham-on-Sea TA8 1PT, Somerset, England.

Yours etc,

Noelene Lovibond



A big thank you

Sir - On behalf of the group organising the defibrillator project we wish to pass on a big thank you to all who assisted with the sponsored bag pack and raffle held at the Aboyne Co-op last Friday and Saturday, February 13 and 14.

Our thanks are also passed to those who generously made a contribution to the hamper which was the prize made available via the raffle.

The result of the community’s efforts and support over these two days raised the incredible sum of £1630. A huge amount and just reward for your effort.

I am sure you will agree that this is nothing other than a great achievement and it goes without saying that every penny will be spent in support of delivering defibrillators within our community.

The organising group for the project wish to pass grateful thanks to Lynn Mackie. Quite simply, without Lynn this money will not have been raised. The raffle was duly drawn and the winner received the hamper on Saturday evening.

More fundraising events of different types will be forthcoming shortly and your continued support will be much appreciated.

It is heartening to experience the community’s support and endorsement for the project.

In addition we would like to thank BARA and The Tarland and Deeside Community First Responders for their help and support.

Yours etc.

The joint project group from MDL and MDCC

Stop sandlaw

A beauty spot

Sir - Last week’s letter from Neil Valentine eloquently set out the case against Sandlaw Farming’s latest planning application. I cannot better the points made by Mr Valentine. However,I would like to tell you what this area means to me.

I often walk the paths of Scolty. So many people use these paths among the trees and up the hill, to picnic among the trees ,walk, run, cycle, horse ride , orienteer, sledge and to join in sponsored fund-raising events;the activities are many and varied. I love to watch familygGroups with young children triumphantly ‘make it to the top’. My visiting grandchildren get a real sense of achievement and adventure and freedom on Scolty Hill.

The view from the top is breathtaking! Imagine adding the minimum number of 400 densely packed homes and winding new roads below this natural local playground. Scolty is known as the ‘Lungs of Banchory’.and due to the lack of light pollution it is also the best place locally to see the Northern Lights.We so need places like this.

The developer proposes to build over many years and as well as causing much disruption he will leave an inheritance which will blot the landscape for generations. I and have an awful feeling that, because of traffic congestion and building works, those wishing to access Scolty will be trapped in long tail backs.The idea of traffic lwights at the Feugh Bridge would be laughable if it were not so preposterous! I own a wee holiday apartment which has visitors from home and abroad staying for a few days at a time who are bowled over by this area. I constantly feel humbled by how much they appreciate Auchattie/Banchory. It is a delight to see our town and our area through the eyes of others. I can’t bear to tell them what is proposed. This letter is a plea from the heart to ask people to write to The Planners and to tell them what this area means to them. Please help to Stop Sandlaw Farming by accessing www.Scolty- Redevelopment.com.

Yours etc,.

Matti Ferguson,

Pine Lodge, Auchattie

in response


Sir - I read with some interest the two responses to my recent letter, from Charles Insch and someone apparently called ‘Name Supplied’.

It is noteworthy that whilst both Mr Insch and Mr Supplied are loud in their praises of the Tory candidate and robust in their criticism of others, neither of them remotely addressed the issue raised.

A pre-requisite for genuine ‘campaigning’ is research; learning about the background in order to have a detailed understanding of the subject, what is already being done and to which quarter the campaign should be directed.

Hence I found it astonishing that in the unsolicited brochure I received, the Tory candidate demonstrated a lack of understanding of the specific issues that he himself chose to highlight, issues that other people are already working hard to address and resolve.

This includes councillors from the Aberdeenshire Alliance as well as officers of Infrastructure Services and of Nestrans. It is largely due to their collective efforts that progress is being made and it is disappointing that their efforts were not recognised by the candidate in his publication.

Yours etc,.

Cllr Peter Argyle,

Chair, Infrastructure Services Committee

Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside

around alford


Sir - Donside Community Council would like to thank everyone who has done a splendid job in and around Alford over the past few months.

Firstly, thank you to the Alford and District Gardening Club for all the hard work they did with the flower tubs and hanging baskets, the displays were lovely. Thank you to everyone who cared and watered the tubs and baskets during the summer and for clearing them again ready for later this year - a wonderful job.

Many thanks to the World War I Commemoration Group, along with Alford Local History Group and Alford and District Gardening Club for organising the tree planting at local churchyards in Alford, Keig, Tullynessle and Tough in memory of those who fought in the war and also the Alford Transport Museum for the use of the Sentinal Lorry for the event. Thanks also to everyone involved in the Alford Local History Group for the excellent exhibition that was held on 7th January.

Thank you also for all the support and comments made during the Consultation Event on 20th November on paths in Murray Park and ideas and comments for the carpark - they are very much appreciated. The Path Audit and Carpark Group are meeting later this month to discuss the comments made and to see what the next steps will be.

Thanks also to everyone involved in the Christmas Lights displays. A lot of hard work goes into the putting up and taking down of these as well as organising the “switch-On” event on Friday 21st November. The lights were wonderful this year and we have received lots of positive comments about how pretty they were. They made Alford a very welcoming village during the festive season.

Thank you also to all the businesses who took park in the Alford Christmas Shop Window Competition this year - the N S Wilson Pharmacy in the Main Street was the worthy winner this year - well done to them and to all the other shops who took part, the village was very colourful this year and very much appreciated by local shoppers. Thanks also to everyone involved in organising and judging the windows.

Yours etc,.

Yvonne A Buckingham

Chair, Donside Community Council

This week’s pictures of the week were taken by Ian Jackson and Linda Paterson.