Jul 222019
 

Review and photos by Craig Chisholm.

It’s the end of an era at the AECC as tonight’s gig marks the conclusion of the venue’s live music history before attention turns to the new P&J Live as the new home of large scale arena rock in Aberdeen.
Throughout the venue’s history, it has seen some genuine rock and pop legends tread the boards in the main arena.

From its debut as a live venue in 1990 – when Scottish pop stars Wet Wet Wet provided the first live entertainment – household names, legends of rock, country stars, hip hop titans, heavy metal heroes and genuine music royalty have tread the boards.

Acts as diverse and eclectic as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Lady Gaga, Kylie, Rhianna, Kings of Leon, Motorhead, Take That, Oasis, Foo Fighters, David Bowie, Johnny Cash, Radiohead and much, much more have had memorable nights in the Bridge of Don venue.

Were you there? You should have been!

Alas, all good things must come to an end and tonight sees the final party at the venue hosted, as it began, by another Scottish act but this time in the shape of an undoubted legend – the indefatigable and evergreen Rod Stewart.

However, for tonight only, the gig is not inside the venue itself but outdoors in the adjacent car park in order to accommodate a crowd more than twice as large as could be accommodated indoors.

The concert itself has already been postponed due to the vagrancies and unpredictability of the North East weather – Wet Wet Wet would surely have been appropriate band on the original date scheduled for last month – but tonight there are no such issues with the weather remaining relatively dry and pleasant, albeit with the odd shower.

So finally, a few weeks late, the show must go on.

At the age of 74 you’d think Rod would be happy to retire to his country pad and tinkle with his legendary train set, but it seems as those days are still a long way off as he gives a sprightly and energetic performance that would shame performers half his age, if not less.

Running through a back catalogue that stretches back over six decades the sprightly rocker pulled out all the stops as he performed crowd pleaser after crowd pleaser from his formidable and extensive back catalogue and from latest album ‘Blood Red Roses’.

Setting the tone with the opening cover of Sam Cooke’s ‘Having a Party’ and his stage entrance to spectacular pyrotechnics the stage is set for a spirited romp through Rod’s eclectic back catalogue with cover versions, re-interpretations and classics such as ‘Baby Jane’, ‘Maggie May’, ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?’, ‘Some Guys Have All the Luck’ and the Tom Waits penned ‘Downtown Train’.

The party mood is paused on occasion for poignant slow burners and ballads including the melancholic ‘Every Beat of My Heart’ whilst his feted reworking of Crazy Horse’s ‘I Don’t Want to Talk About It’, a song which he has long since made his own, is performed as part of a stripped back section of the show.

Costumes are changed; footballs are booted into the crowd and a good time is had by all before the night is ended with the poignant classic ‘Sailing’ and Rod leaves the ecstatic crowd in raptures with another sterling professional, performance lasting over 2 hours.

So, after nearly 30 years of gigs, the AECC ends it’s tenure as Aberdeen’s biggest music venue on a high – finishing with one of the biggest names in showbiz in front of one of the biggest crowds it has ever had.

Rod, however, will be back – he’s already announced a date at the P&J Live on Saturday December 7th for what is bound to be another sell out performance.

Apr 222019
 

Duncan Harley reviews Doorways in Drumorty @ Aberdeen Arts Centre

Doorways in Drumorty is loosely based on the writings of a Strichen lass by the name of Lorna Moon who made it big in Hollywood.

Alongside her one published novel Dark Star, Lorna – born Helen Nora Wilson Low – escaped her native Buchan age 24 in around 1910.

Broken relationships and abandoned offspring followed before the talented, and by now re-badged, Lorna Moon took up with the son of Hollywood mogul Cecil B. DeMille and forged a successful career as a scriptwriter.

Her short stories, first published in Century Magazine, feature a clutch of thinly disguised Buchan folk and pull few punches. Titles such as ‘The Sinning of Jessie MacLean’ and ‘Feckless Maggie Ann’ did not endear her to the locals and, in true Lewis Grassic Gibbon tradition, legend insists that her books were shunned by the local library service.

Penned by author/playwright Mike Gibb the play explores the curtain twitching mentality of small-town Buchan. Questionable morality, dubious loyalty, fractured community and tightly held family bonds inhabit the tale and through the course of a series of vignettes the reality of a century old Buchan community is revealed warts and all.

A three-hander – Estrid Barton, Fraser Sivewright and Lucy Goldie take on some dozen roles – Doorways is at points humorous, poignant and even tragic.

Neatly bookended by Lucy Goldie’s Lorna Moon in full 1920’s flapper gear the play hits hard.

A heavily pregnant and destitute Bella Tocher is banished from Drumorty to fend as best she can. A new minister unwisely accepts a dinner invitation and is labelled a thief, the local dentist elopes with the postmistress and – following the theft of a chicken – an innocent infant is subject to divine retribution.

Gossip, double-standards and rumour-mongering infest the close-knit community but of course:

“You’re only the gossip on the street until something more interesting comes along.”

Set and lighting are simple and reek of a more austere era. Fast paced, the character changes are at times difficult to follow leaving some of the audience at least lagging behind the action on stage.

However eventually, when it becomes clear that this is not a tale about Lorna Moon but is a tale based on her writings, the building blocks slide into place.
As for the title; there is speculation that alongside revelling in the name Lorna Moon – she had taken up with Walter Moon in around 1913 – Lorna was a great admirer of kailyard authors such as Ian MacLaren and J.M. Barrie.

Barrie’s ‘Window in Thrums’ and MacLaren’s ‘Drumtochty’ provide some clue as to the provenance of the ‘Doorways in Drumorty’ header.

As Lorna, an admirer of Barrie seemingly said:

“I’d rather be Barried than buried.”

This is in essence an important play and seems destined to re-awaken interest in a woman who, although ruthless in her pursuit of career, nevertheless put the likes of Strichen on the map.

Mind you, at the final curtain and despite the loud applause, it was hard to shed the notion that the long-gone folk in the Buchan graveyards were still cockin’ a lug and shakin’ their heids at the pure cheek o’ the lass.

Stars: 4/5
Produced by Andy Corelli and written by Mike Gibb, Doorways in Drumorty will tour 18 venues across Scotland between 18 April – 18 May 2019

Click here for tour dates and tickets.

Words © Duncan Harley. Images © Andy Corelli

Sep 022017
 

With thanks to Aberdeen Magical Society Media Team.

Family entertainer Paul Rae.

The north east’s top magicians have banded together for a one-off night of unforgettable wizardry in aid of an Aberdeenshire primary school. Members of Aberdeen Magical Society will appear at Portlethen Academy Theatre on 14 September in Northern Sleights, a fundraising show packed full of magic, mind reading, escapology and illusion, in support of Fishermoss School.

Aberdeen Magical Society president Garry Seagraves will lead a cast of seven of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s best-known conjurors, who will present an evening of family-friendly magical entertainment like no other.

Alongside Garry’s classical magic act, comedy magician Carl Howse – also known as The Great Hootini – and family entertainer Paul Rae will take to the stage at Portlethen Academy Theatre.

Vice-president Dave Goulding will demonstrate his skills as an expert escapologist, while creative magical inventor James Dickson – current holder of the society’s Ulster Cup for Close-Up Magic and Ron Gordon Cup for Card Magic – will defy all expectation.

The line-up is completed by stand-up magician Eoin Smith, who currently holds the Jocky Scott Trophy for Entertainment, and compere Jeff Burns, one half of popular double act Fifth Dimension.

The show comes hot on the heels of the International Brotherhood of Magicians annual convention, held in Greenock from 7-10 September, at which Garry Seagraves and Jeff Burns will appear in a showcase of the world’s best magicians.

Garry says,

“It’s been over 10 years since Aberdeen Magical Society has put on a show of this scale, and we’re all itching to get on stage to show the north east of Scotland what we’re made of. There’s a huge pool of magical talent in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and every performer is so different in the way they perform, so there really is something for all the family to enjoy.

“We celebrated Aberdeen Magical Society’s 90th anniversary last year by welcoming some of the country’s best performers to entertain us at a gala dinner – but now it’s our turn in the spotlight. The fact that we can do it to help such a good cause is an added bonus.”

Fishermoss School headteacher Margaret Ferguson adds,

“We can’t wait to see what the magicians of Aberdeen Magical Society have up their sleeves on 14 September. Fundraising events like these are important for schools, so we hope the community will be out in force to support us – and enjoy a fantastic night of entertainment, too.”

Tickets for Northern Sleights, which takes place in Portlethen Academy Theatre on Thursday 14 September at 7pm, cost £7 and are available from Portlethen Library and Fishermoss School office. For more information, visit www.aberdeenmagic.com or www.facebook.com/aberdeenmagicalsociety

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Aug 202017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

A North-east bike ride is to cater to those of the four-legged variety, with the launch of a new ‘doggy daycare’ service.

Furry visitors to this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride, which takes place on Sunday, September 3, will have access to a ‘doggy pit stop’, thanks to a local dog walker.

Chapelton resident, Jenna Smith, who runs Long Dog Walkies, will be providing complimentary treats, toys and water to weary pooches on the day of the bike ride.

She will also be running a raffle, giving one lucky dog owner the chance to win a hamper of doggy treats.

Owners can choose to stay with their pets, or leave them with Jenna for a short period of time, whilst they browse the full range of stalls and activities on offer.

The 28-year-old came up with the idea of the doggy pit stop after noticing the high number of dogs in attendance at last year’s bike ride, prompting her to contact the organisers of the event to offer her services.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,500 people with sensory impairments across the North-east, the inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride welcomed over 250 cyclists and hundreds of other spectators to the village of Chapelton last year.

Jenna said:

“I wanted to give something back to my local community by getting involved with this year’s bike ride, as I noticed there were a lot of doggy companions at last year’s event. As a dog owner myself, I felt it was important to provide a peaceful area where dogs could rest away from large crowds of people.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of new furry friends and soaking up the atmosphere on the day. NESS provides invaluable support to many people across the North-east, so it is great that everyone is coming together to raise as much funds as possible.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“It is great to see the huge increase in the number of local businesses getting involved with this year’s bike ride. We’re very thankful to Jenna for offering a complimentary dog minding service, as this will encourage more people to come along to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer.

“Money raised from the Chapelton Bike Ride enables NESS to continuing supporting people with sensory impairments achieve independence, as well as helping them overcome any challenges they may face in day-to-day life. These services make such a big difference to the lives of so many people, so we are extremely grateful to everyone who is taking part and helping to fundraise.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 3. Participants have the choice of a 42-mile bike ride, a 12-mile bike ride or a 5K walk.  

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. The 5K walk is free to enter, but all participants must register via the website. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk

Aug 202017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

North-east golfers have been urged to sign up for a fundraising event at one of the area’s most renowned courses for a leading cancer support charity.

CLAN Cancer Support will host its annual golf day at Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Club in Oldmeldrum on Thursday, September 28.

The popular event, which is sponsored by CNR International (UK) Ltd, will run from 11.30am to 8pm where 18 teams of four will compete for the winner’s trophy.

Guests will have complimentary access to the club’s driving range facilities from 10am and receive a light lunch in the hotel before the shotgun start tournament begins. There will also be half way house refreshments followed by a BBQ.

Prizes will be awarded for nearest the pin, longest drive and of course, the winning team. There will also be a raffle and an auction with some fantastic prizes to be won.     

Teams cost £600 each, or individual places can be booked for £150. There is also the opportunity to sponsor a hole, which allows a company to provide and display a pop up banner and pin flag at the hole. A £50 discount is available for team registrations which include a hole sponsorship.

Steph Dowling, CLAN’s fundraising team manager, said:

“We look forward to hosting the CLAN Golf Day at Meldrum House Country Hotel & Golf Club next month, it promises to be a fantastic event.

“The day is more than just a golf outing, with various prizes, raffle and an auction adding to the event. Teams are limited for the day and we’d encourage anyone who is interested in taking part to get in touch to book their place and help to raise money for charity.

“It’s a perfect day out for any business which might be looking for an away day and it may also be of interest to those who are looking to do something fun with a group of friends.”

For more information or to register your team, please contact Steph Dowling, CLAN’s Fundraising Team Manager, on (01224) 651026, or email: steph.dowling@clanhouse.org

CLAN Cancer Support is an independent charity which provides comfort support and information, free of charge, for anyone, of any age, affected by any type of cancer. CLAN aims to support people to reduce anxiety, stress and to increase their ability to cope with the effects of a serious illness.

Based in Aberdeen, the charity covers the whole of north-east Scotland, Moray, Orkney and Shetland. CLAN has a presence in Ballater, Banchory, Buckie, Elgin, Inverurie, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Peterhead, Stonehaven, Turriff, Kirkwall and Lerwick.

For more information about CLAN Cancer Support please call (01224) 647 000 or visit www.clanhouse.org

Aug 042017
 

Peacock Visual Arts present Ignore the Management, an exhibition by Michele Horrigan and Sean Lynch. With thanks to John Morrison, Marketing & Communications Manager, Peacock Visual Arts.

For some years now, through both artistic and curatorial activities, Michele Horrigan and Sean Lynch have investigated the multifaceted nature of the public realm. With a focus on their native Ireland, their activities find and develop models that challenge the societal measures and institutional values that aim to manage and orient human behaviour in our increasingly technocratic world.

Sean Lynch presents two videos at the W OR M project space in Aberdeen’s historic Castlegate.

Latoon focuses on an unusual story of a whitethorn bush close to Lynch’s studio in Limerick. In 1999, folklorist Eddie Lenihan campaigned to have a multi million-euro roadway redirected in order to save the bush, which he had argued was an important meeting place for fairies – the bush’s destruction would lead to supernatural havoc on the new motorway.

Years later, Lynch interviewed Lenihan at the site about the dangers of fairy culture, the incessant march of progress and the hope that the bush will somehow survive this onslaught.

Also on exhibit is Campaign to Change the National Monuments Acts, a video that investigates the legal status of metal detectors in Ireland.

Following national controversy around the finding of the Derrynaflan Hoard, a medieval treasure trove uncovered in the 1980s, the state hastily placed a blanket ban on the public use of all devices used to search for archaeological objects – this legislation effectively destroyed any fledgling metal detectorist community.

Lynch advocates for a change in these authoritarian laws, where ideas of nationhood, individual freedom, and the need for new forms of community-led heritage are explored in a journey narrated by his long-time collaborator Gina Moxley.

For several years, Michele Horrigan has been following an exploratory trail of investigation around the mineral ore bauxite. Imported from Guinea in Africa into Ireland’s largest industrial complex in Horrigan’s hometown of Askeaton, bauxite is then refined and smelted to become aluminium, the world’s most versatile metal used in computer parts and engines, drink cans and airplanes.

Amongst her collection of archival and photographic material relating to this process, Horrigan presents two disparate gestures, an aluminium sculpture and a dance performance, each further questioning the role of the personal in relationship to the pervasiveness of global manufacturing.

Working at the Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire, Horrigan made an aluminium replica of the apex of the Washington Memorial, remembering the shape given to the Masonic all-seeing eye of imperialism made from what was the world’s most precious metal in 1884. Then, in a field close to a refinery with chimney stacks divulging a steady stream of smoke, Horrigan is seen glibly re-enacting dance scenes from the 1983 movie Flashdance, where a heroine works in Pittsburgh’s mills while at night pursues her real dream of dancing.

Here, the title of Horrigan’s artwork, Stigma Damages seems pertinent. Used as a legal term to describe possible loss or suspected contamination due to environmental circumstance, both her actions seem to exist as a consequence or personal reaction to the rest of material on show, as a sensibility borne out of the disaffection of the individual against global flow and capital.

Sean Lynch and Michele Horrigan have exhibited throughout Europe and North America, including the Venice Biennale. Since 2006 they have organised Askeaton Contemporary Arts in southwest Ireland, initiating artist residencies, exhibitions and publications with over one hundred artists from around the world. During their time in Aberdeen, they will present several workshops as part of Free Press, a new publication project curated by Peacock Visual Arts, in partnership with Station House Media Unit and Aberdeen University Library Special Collections.

Exhibition: Ignore the Management // Michele Horrigan and Sean Lynch
Date: 9 September – 21 October 2017
Opening: Friday 8 September 2017, 6-8pm. All welcome.
Location: the W OR M, 11 Castle Street, Aberdeen

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Aug 042017
 

With thanks to Ross Anderson, Senior Account Manager, Citrus:Mix

Comedian Justin Moorhouse will hold his show at NOX nightclub.

Organisers of Aberdeen Comedy Festival have signed up several new venues across the city centre as they announce a new and improved format for this year.
A total of ten new venues have signed up to host stand-up shows in the Granite City later this year, bringing the total number of venues to 27.
Launched by Aberdeen Inspired in 2016, this years’ festival will run from Thursday, October 5 to Sunday,
October 15.

The eleven-day festival, which has been organised with programming partner Breakneck Comedy, will feature national and international comedians performing across the city centre.

New venues for 2017 include, the Belmont Filmhouse, Aberdeen Douglas Hotel, Sing City, La Lombarda Basement Bar, The Shack, The Wild Boar, Spin, NOX, Lemon Tree, and the Wee Glen situated in Glentanar Bar.

Venues for the festival now range from a capacity of 30 seats at the Wee Glen to 350 seats at Aberdeen Arts Centre, giving organisers venues around the city centre to suit to suit any act or audience.

Comedian Justin Moorhouse will hold his show at NOX nightclub and the Belmont Filmhouse will screen several comedy movies throughout the festival, including Airplane! and Wayne’s World.

Sponsored by McGinty’s Meal An’ Ale, the festival will comprise over 50 events, including five free stand-up shows, comedy workshops for children and adults, kids shows, and local talent showcases.

The festival format has been changed this year to include a selection of solo performances as well as shows with several comedians taking to the stage.

Shows will also be staggered so comedy fans have the opportunity to attend several without having to choose between events starting at the same time.

Described as the Canadian Billy Connolly, Craig Campbell will headline the launch of the festival at the Lemon Tree in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA).

Scottish comedian Fred MacAulay, who performed at the festival last year, will make a return alongside other comedians, including Patrick Monahan, Gary Delaney and Shazia Mirza – who have all recently featured on a range of panel shows on TV.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome our new venues to Aberdeen Comedy Festival this year. It’s great to have more businesses involved after the festival’s very successful debut in 2016.

“It really captured the imagination and people turned out in large numbers for shows across the city centre which had a positive knock-on effect for businesses. As well as Aberdonians, we welcomed people from the wider north-east area and beyond who were keen to see comedy shows.

“The full line-up will be announced soon and we hope people will take the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic range of comedy which will be performed on their doorstep.”

More than 3,100 tickets were sold during the laughter filled extravaganza in 2016, as well as over 1,500 tickets from APA and Beach Ballroom promoted events.

Gavin Paterson, general manager of Aberdeen Douglas Hotel, said:

“Aberdeen Comedy Festival is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in the city centre to showcase their venues and host stand-up shows for the public.

“When we saw how successful the festival was in its first year we were very keen to play our part in 2017 and we are delighted to be hosting both Australian comic Damian Clark and the returning Billy Kirkwood who really impressed Aberdonian crowds last year.”

Colin Farquhar, Belmont Filmhouse cinema manager, added:

“We’re very excited to be involved in this year’s Aberdeen Comedy Festival. It’s another great string to the city’s cultural bow and we’re delighted that as well as screening some classic comedies, we’re able to host a few stand-up performances too.”

Aberdeen Inspired is the banner under which the Aberdeen BID operates. It is a business-led initiative within the city centre in which levy payers within the BID zone contribute.

Proceeds are used to fund projects designed to improve the business district. More information about Aberdeen Inspired is available at www.aberdeeninspired.com

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Jul 282017
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Denise Middler with her miracle baby Owen and partner Darren. She has completed a year of tough challenges to celebrate Owen reaching his fifth birthday.

Little Owen Farquharson really is a miracle baby: conceived on a third and final attempt at IVF and then born in breech in the back of a car with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, his parents feel blessed that he is about to celebrate his fifth birthday.
So, it seemed fitting to mum Denise Middler that she would mark the milestone occasion with a year of personal challenges to give thanks for Owen growing up into a strong little boy and to show how he has helped to turn her own life around.

Over the past seven months she has taken a leap of faith on white-knuckle zip lines, walked a half marathon, completed an adventure obstacle course and ran her way around numerous 5K and 10K races.

Her year of fund-raising and self-challenge will come to an end on September 24 when she takes on the River Ness 10K at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running.

It will have added significance to Denise as Inverness was the place where she and her brother Richie – who died very suddenly 10 years ago as a result of heart disease –  grew up together. It will be an emotional journey, but little Owen will be there to walk with her hand-in-hand as she crosses the finish line.

Denise (42) from Inverurie in Aberdeenshire has suffered from severe endometriosis since she was a teenager and was warned that the condition – which leaves her in crippling pain – would mean she would find it impossible to conceive a child naturally.

The condition, which is thought to affect as many as one in 10 women in the UK, results in cells like those found in the lining of the womb developing elsewhere in the body, building up and then breaking down and bleeding.

Denise and partner Darren, (39), had almost given up all hope of ever having a child of their own. They were over the moon to discover she was pregnant after undergoing three rounds of IVF treatment.

“I had suffered for many years with what was believed to be pelvic inflammatory disease, but I was diagnosed with endometriosis in my early 20s. Medication helped initially, but over the years I’ve had to have open surgery and keyhole surgery to remove cysts,” she explains.

“It’s a difficult condition to manage because one day I will be fine, and the next I will be doubled over in pain and not even able to walk. To look at me, most people would never even know that I was ill other than my tummy swelling up.

“I became really depressed when I was told I would not be able to have children. I wanted more than anything to be a mother, and wondered what my goal in life would be if it wasn’t possible for me to have a family.

“After settling down with Darren we looked into options and were offered IVF. We were left under no illusions that it would be very difficult because the endometriosis had left my body in such a mess, but it was still absolutely soul destroying when the first two attempts failed.

“When I fell pregnant at the third attempt we were incredibly happy, but terrified. I was scared to move: I wanted the baby so much and I was worried that something would happen. During my pregnancy was the only time I never experienced the pain of endometriosis because all of the blood supply was concentrated on helping the baby grow.”

Denise enjoyed perfect health throughout the pregnancy, but Owen decided that he was going to make his entrance into the world 11 days earlier than planned. Darren and her parents drove her to hospital in Aberdeen, but were forced to pull over to the side of the road when Denise reached down and felt a foot.

In an amazing stroke of luck, they were able to flag down a passing police car and the officers took over midwife duties until an ambulance arrived. Owen was in the breech position and, terrifyingly, was not breathing when he was born because he was being choked by the umbilical cord.

Denise, however, remained perfectly calm throughout and knew within her heart that her little boy was going to be fine. He was whisked away to hospital, and her instincts were proved correct when a message came over the police radio to let her know the paramedics had found a heartbeat.

The endometriosis returned when Owen was about nine months old and the only treatment now available will be a hysterectomy. She says she will only consider surgery when her son is older and more able to do things for himself.

Denise refuses to be beaten by the condition and set out this year to show what can be achieved by a determination to overcome the pain. She has completed many fund-raising challenges with Darren and a close group of friends, raising money for the British Heart Foundation in memory of her brother and the MS Society for a friend who was diagnosed with the condition in her 30s.

After completing the River Ness 10K, she will also stage a fund-raising dinner dance with the proceeds going to the Aberdeen Fertility Clinic.

Denise says,

“I am by no means an elite athlete and it is only through the support of my family and friends that I have been able to complete all my challenges so far. But I have been determined to do it to show what can be done when we put our minds to it.

“The River Ness 10K will be very special, not just because it marks the end of the year of challenges, but because it has a special place in my heart with so many memories of my childhood in Inverness with my brother, whom I miss so much.

“To have Owen there at the finish will be truly amazing: by the law of averages he really shouldn’t be here and he genuinely is a miracle. I think it just shows that miracles really do happen and if you want something badly enough you should never give up hope.”

Many runners taking part in the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running – renowned for its scenic beauty and family-friendly atmosphere – will be taking part for charity. The main charity partner of the event is Macmillan Cancer Support and there are three lead charities – Chest Heart Stroke Scotland, Highland Hospice and MS Society.

Runners can also support 15 other affiliate charities, although hundreds of participants will use the event to raise money for good causes close to their own hearts.

In addition to the 10K, the event also incorporates the marathon, 10K Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5K and the Wee Nessie fun run for pre-schoolers. The finish line is at based around the Event Village at the Bught Park in Inverness where runners and spectators can enjoy the Baxters Food and Drink Fayre, a Sports Expo, live music and activities for children.

Entry is now open for all races online at www.lochnessmarathon.com until September 4, with places available in the Loch Ness Marathon for charity, club and overseas runners. The event is active on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

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Jul 282017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton keen to get involved with the event.

An Aberdeenshire salon is showing its commitment to the local community by supporting cyclists in the region’s newest bike ride.

In a bid to boost morale and community spirit, staff from The Lounge at Chapelton, near Newtonhill, will be providing complimentary leg and shoulder massages to cyclists at this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride.

Taking place on Sunday, September 3, the bike ride is held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS) and is returning to the village of Chapelton for the second year in a row. Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence. 

Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the event’s 12-mile and 42-mile bike rides, as well as the newly launched 5K walk, will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding the area.

On completion of the bike rides, weary cyclists will then be treated to a variety of treatments from The Lounge that will help their muscles to recover faster. They will also receive a gift bag containing discount vouchers and other goodies.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton, both reside locally and were keen to get involved with such a large community event. The salon hadn’t opened at the time of the first Chapelton Bike Ride, so they felt it was important to give their support to cyclists fundraising for NESS.

Kelly said:

“Since the salon opened, we’ve been warmly welcomed by Chapelton residents and other local businesses. The Chapelton Bike Ride is a great way for us to give something back to our community, as well as providing a nice incentive to cyclists who are raising money for a very worthy cause.

“We hope that by offering complimentary massages, we can encourage even more cyclists to participate in the bike ride and raise funds for NESS. All of us at The Lounge are honoured to be involved in an event that benefits the entire community and we’re all looking forward to the day.”

Neil Skene, fundraising coordinator for NESS, said:

“We’re very thankful to the team at The Lounge for volunteering their services on the day of the Chapelton Bike Ride. We are aiming to make this year’s bike ride a fun day out for all the family and have already improved the range of activities on offer, so the complimentary massages will only add to this experience.

“All funds raised by cyclists, walkers and spectators will enable us to continue supporting our service users to overcome the practical and emotional effects of sight or hearing loss, so we are extremely grateful to all of those taking part.

“NESS staff will be there on the day to cheer on participants and take part in the sponsored 5K walk. It looks set to be a great day of sport and fun, so I urge people to get involved and enjoy the wide range of live music, food and drink stands, and family activities that will be on offer.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride, formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, is taking place on Sunday, September 3, and is raising funds for North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,000 sensory impaired people in the North-east.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss.  NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.  Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray.

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Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Chapelton residents with Neil Skene from NESS and the Duke and Duchess of Fife.

Organisers of Aberdeenshire’s newest bike ride are hoping to attract record numbers of participants through the launch of a new 5K charity walk.
The Chapelton Bike Ride returns for a second year on Sunday, September 3, with the addition of the new Chapelton 5K Walk sponsored by Liberty Retirement Living, which will coincide with the event’s 42-mile and 12-mile bike rides.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), the event was formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, before it moved to the village of Chapelton, near Newtonhill.

Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the first ever Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Elgin, Aberdeen and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence.  

Event organisers hope that the launch of the walk will encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved with the sporting event, especially those who are unable to participate in both the bike rides. Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the 5K route will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding Chapelton and Elsick.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We are all thrilled about the launch of the 5K Chapelton walk, as it opens up the event to a much more diverse group of people who might not have been able to take part in either of the bike rides.

“The first ever Chapelton Bike Ride was a complete success, we were very happy that most cyclists and spectators chose to stay and enjoy the variety of stalls that were available. This year, we hope to turn the event into a fun day for all the family and have improved the range of activities, food and drink options, and music on offer.

“I am proud to be part of an event that aims to involve every single member of the community. There will be something for everyone and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to come along, enjoy the day and help raise vital funds for NESS.”

Liberty Retirement Living, sponsors of the Chapelton Charity 5K Walk, are building a brand new retirement village in Chapelton, as part of the town’s next phase of development.

Karl Hallows, director of development and sales at Liberty Retirement Living, said:

“The first Chapelton Charity 5K walk promises to be a fantastic community event for residents of Chapelton and the surrounding area.

“We’re delighted to be able to support such a fun and inclusive event that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for everyone. Whatever your age, we’re sure there’ll be plenty to enjoy at this year’s inaugural charity walk.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 3. Participants have the choice of a 42-mile bike ride, a 12-mile bike ride or a 5K walk.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. The 5K walk is free to enter, but all participants must register via the website. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss. 

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence. 

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray. 

Liberty Retirement Living: Building brand new communities in desirable locations across the country, Liberty Retirement Living is committed to improving the quality and experience of later life.

A Liberty Lifestyle combines good health, opportunities and independence with tailored care available if required – it’s our vision for enjoyable and modern retirement living, delivered with respect.

Our first retirement village in Scotland will be a vibrant 94-home community with a range of complementary facilities, at the heart of the growing town of Chapelton, Aberdeenshire.

A new Liberty marketing suite will open in Chapelton in September 2017 – in the meantime, please visit www.libertyretirement.co.uk for further details.

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