Apr 072017

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Sen. Account Executive, Tricker PR.

The Federation of Chefs Scotland has appointed its youngest ever President.

David Littlewood (34), chef proprietor of both The Tor Na Coille Hotel in Banchory and The Kildrummy Inn by Alford, was elected President at the organisation’s AGM in Glasgow.

Littlewood takes over from previous president Ian McDonald, Executive Chef, St Andrews Links Trust.

David’s culinary titles include Scottish Chef of the Year, Grampian Chef of the Year, Grampian Young Chef of the Year and the SHA Awards Medaille d’Or.

He has also held the accolade of Grampian Restaurant of the Year, was a member of the Scottish Culinary Team and is a Masterchef of Great Britain.

Under the ownership of David and his family, The Kildrummy Inn has been named Rising Star Scottish Restaurant of the Year in 2014 and was runner up in The Observer Food Monthly, UK Restaurant of the Year in 2014. David’s team took over The Tor Na Coille hotel in Banchory in March this year.

David says of his appointment,

“I was very lucky to be mentored by great chefs in my early career; they inspired me and challenged me and through this, they showed me the immense value in supporting the next generation of great Scottish chefs. I feel that it’s incumbent upon all of us who have learned from other professionals to continue this tradition.

The Federation of Chefs Scotland is an important organisation in driving up standards and our current members play an influential role in enthusing young people about Scottish food and to work in our industry.”

The Federation of Chefs Scotland (FCS) – run exclusively by Scottish chefs – exists to promote excellence in the industry across Scotland through supporting and developing young chefs through training. Alongside David, Jav Aziz, Executive Chef at Rangers, has been appointed Vice President. Robbie Penman and Vikki Munro have also joined the board.

The FCS encourages participation in culinary competitions, and fundraises to support young chefs to undertake national and international learning experiences. The Scottish Culinary Championships at ScotHot and the Scottish Chef of the Year are organised by the FCS, and the not-for-profit organisation also champions helping Scottish pupils to know more about their food through the Chefs@School project.

There are currently 100 Scottish chefs volunteering their time to work with 15,000 pupils.

Outgoing FCS President Ian MacDonald says of David’s appointment,

“David is the youngest president of the Federation of Chefs Scotland. He’s achieved his success with his passion and drive, not only for his own work but for the development of youngsters in our industry through his supportive mentoring.

“I believe that David’s focus on attracting young talent and developing and challenging them to achieve is the way forward for the Federation. I know that David will make the Federation stronger in all different areas of our work and I wish him well during his tenure.”

The 25-bedroom Tor Na Coille Hotel has been a landmark building on Royal Deeside since the reign of Queen Victoria. David and his team, which includes 2017 Scottish Culinary Championships Scottish Chef of the Year bronze winner Colin Lyall, have begun to develop the hotel restaurant as a must visit foodie destination. More about the Tor Na Coille can be found at www.tornacoille.com.

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Oct 032014

GrampianTransportMuseumImage1With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing & Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

The Grampian Transport Museum (GTM) Young Engineers Club is continuing to enjoy one of its most successful years ever.

Following on from news that the Alford Spyder and Alford Rocket would progress to Goodwood it has now been confirmed that the Bullet will complete a hat trick for the Alford based club.

Competing annually in the international Formula 24 (F24) race organised by Greenpower, team’s race against each other over two 90 minute races with the winner being the team that goes furthest using a standard set of batteries and motor. 

The National Final takes place at the world famous Goodwood race circuit on Sunday 12th October.

The team recently travelled to the East Fortune airfield where the Spyder won one race and the Bullet came second in the other, confirming that both vehicles would be entries for Goodwood. The Bullet has now qualified for the final due to the number of miles completed at the Alford and East Fortune heats.

The team would like to thank all their supporters and helpers together with their 2014 sponsors which include BP, EnQuest, GTM, TAQA, Norco, Pedal Power (Inverurie), Rotary Club of Alford and District and SCDI.

The YE Club, which was formed in 2008, is an important part of the museum and will be showcased in the new reception area for which fundraising is underway.

Trustee Paul Lawson, who has helped oversee the team during the 2014 season, commented:

“This is an amazing and well deserved result for the Club and recognition of all the hard work that has been put in this year. The opportunity to take part in the event at Goodwood is a fantastic opportunity for the youngsters and an experience they’ll remember for many years to come!”

Sep 192014

AutojumbleThe Grampian Transport Museum will once again be holding its Autumn Autojumble on Sunday, 28th September. With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

A wide range of automotive parts and memorabilia will be on offer as traders from across the country converge on the museum’s dedicated road circuit.

The 2013 event proved to be as busy as ever, with a variety of parts and even vehicles changing hands!

Whether it’s time to clear space in the garage or shed, or an opportunity to find a new winter project the Autojumble is the ideal opportunity.

Anyone who is looking to book a stall can still do so, priced at just £12 in advance including 2 complimentary passes to the museum. Pitches will also be available on the day, priced at £15 but without complimentary passes.

The Autumn Autojumble takes place on Sunday 28th September from 9am to 3pm. Admission to the event is open to the public from 9am, with adults £3 and children under 16 free of charge.

The museum will also be offering reduced price admission, giving visitors to the Autojumble the opportunity to have a look at the 2014 exhibition including the Great Train Robbery exhibit – featuring the actual Austin Loadstar truck which was used in ‘The Crime of the Century’. Museum admission is £6 for adults, £5 for concessions and 2 children are admitted FREE with every adult.

Aug 182014

GrampianTransportMuseumImage1With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum

Want to get involved with a great local institution?

Grampian Transport Museum is expanding its range of services and activities and needs to add to its teams of volunteers. GTM is an educational charity and much of the operation is already run by dedicated volunteers who give up their time either regularly or as required.

The award winning museum is now into its fourth decade is again on the development trail.

Additional volunteers are needed under the following headings:

Customer Care Assistants to assist visitors, demonstrate exhibits and add to the visitors experience during opening hours.

Exhibit demonstrators to adopt a working exhibit and demonstrate it as required.

Conservation Project Engineers to help with conservation of collections, mostly vehicles.

Market Intelligence Officer to collect and process data from visitor surveys, spot and exit surveys. To advise Marketing group.

Signs and Banners Marshal to help with temporary signage on and off site for events and activities.

Membership Coordinator to help run the museums membership scheme

Website and Social Media Officer to help GTM with SEO, web updates, Facebook, Twitter, Trip Advisor, Google Analytics, Photography, Crowd Funding etc. Objective – improved web presence. To advise Marketing group.

Events Volunteers to join our large team of events staff, marshals and helpers. Good training opportunities.

Interested? Please phone 019755 62292 or email info@gtm.org.uk for further details of the offered positions, rewards and induction process.

Aug 152014

The Land Rover and Diorama are moving on at the end of August. With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing & Events Organiser, Grampian transport Museum.

Train robbery 3aTime is running out for members of the public to catch a glimpse of history at the Grampian Transport Museum.

As part of this year’s Great Train Robbery exhibit, a Series 1 Land Rover and Austin Loadstar truck – two of the actual vehicles used in the raid – have been reunited for what is believed to be the first time since the night of the robbery.

The first serious exhibit of its kind, The Great Train Robbery provides an accurate and balanced insight into the events which took place in the early hours of 8th August 1963.

Still billed as the ‘Crime of the Century’ the temporary exhibition, produced by the British Postal Museum and Archive, is further complimented with evidence from Scotland Yard and private collectors.

To help set the scene an absolutely accurate Son et Lumiere model, showing the Bridego Railway Bridge in Ledburn, arrived at the museum in June having been kindly loaned by the Luton Model Railway Club. However at the end of this month both the scale model and Land Rover will be returning to their respective owners.

Mike Ward, museum curator, explains what having the diorama means for museum visitors:

“The robbery took place in the days before rolling news channels and social media meaning there weren’t any pictures taken at the time of the raid. However the Luton Model Railway Club has done a fantastic job of recreating such a detailed scene from the Police photography taken in hours after the event. Our Great Train Robbery exhibition is a fair and accurate account of the raid and its effects on all those involved. We’ve been very fortunate to have such a powerful and topical exhibition this season.”

The Austin Loadstar truck, along with the British Postal Museum & Archive exhibits, will remain at the museum until the end of the 2014 season.

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Aug 142014

A brand new event celebrating Ford through the ages will be taking place at the Grampian Transport Museum later this month. With thanks to Martyn Smith, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

Mike Ward GTMAllFord at Alford is the museum’s first ever gathering of everything Ford, from 1908 to the present day and will be held on Sunday 31st August.
With over 100 vehicles already confirmed, fans of the iconic Blue Oval can expect an eclectic mix of vehicles including Model T’s, Model A’s, Cortina’s, Zephyrs plus a replica of the Gran Torino from the iconic TV show Starsky and Hutch.

Ford Powered vehicles will also be represented, with a 1991 Jago Jeep and a Ford Powered Robin Hood Lotus 7 Kit Car also in attendance.

A fun addition to AllFord is the ‘Show and Shine’ competition plus a special award for ‘The Choice of the People’, where members of the public will be able to vote for the vehicle they deem the most popular at the event.

Mike Ward (pictured), museum curator, is looking forward to the first AllFord event.

“The idea of having an event called AllFord in Alford has been talked about for a number of years now. Since the museum opened 31 years ago there has been a continuous storyline about Henry Ford and the enormous contribution he made to the motoring industry and this has always been a key part of our exhibition.

“When it was launched back in 1908 the Model T made motoring for the masses a reality and there isn’t anywhere more fitting than an award winning museum in Alford for an event called AllFord to take place!”

Sep 052013

With thanks to Chris Anderson, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

Super1The 31st annual Grampian Motorcycle Convention, organised by the Bon Accord Motorcycle Club, takes place on Sunday 8 September at Alford’s Grampian Transport Museum, with its usual host of exciting events, displays and entertainment.
Gates open at 1000 and the action starts at 1100.

Admission is £10 for adults, £7 for concessions, £5 for children, and £25 for a family.

Highlights will include supermoto racing, pursuit racing and displays of classic and vintage motorbikes. The ever-popular Moped Mayhem will take place during the day along with a brand new Moto Gymkhana event for 2013.

Star act

This year’s star act is Belgian freestyle trials rider, Fred Crosset.

Hailing from Henri Chapelle in east Belgium, Crosset has been riding bikes most of his life. He has ridden at World Championship level in trials and with no fewer than eleven Belgian trials championship triumphs, two USA trials championship wins and a couple of Belgian Enduro championship titles, there is no doubt that Fred is an exciting off- road rider.

Tired of doing the same old thing, Fred turned his attention to freestyle riding, negotiating his way up and over street obstacles in cities and towns to the amazement of anyone who saw him.

Dealers and trade stands will be onsite offering the latest in motorbikes and accessories.

Museum curator, Mike Ward is looking forward to the event. Mike commented:

The Grampian Motorcycle Convention is Scotland’s biggest motorcycle event and there is a packed programme of entertainment inside and outside the arena with some fantastic guests including Fred Crosset, who is sure to wow the watching crowds.”


Jun 282013

With thanks to Chris Anderson, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

The North East’s most prestigious motoring show takes place on Sunday 30th June at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford.
A selection of 130 specially invited vehicles will be on show from a 1926 Frazer Nash to the latest models from event sponsor John Clark Motor Group.

Visitors to the event will be thrilled by the sights and sounds of some truly historic cars as a selection are put through their paces in a series of fast-paced auto tests & pursuits.

With top names in performance cars such as Lamborghini, TVR and Ferrari on show, SpeedFest 2013 will be an action packed day out for all the family.

The event gets under way at 11am where visitors can secure an “early bird” ride in a selection of the day’s participating cars. Then follows a comprehensive programme, that includes some stunning precision driving from world famous stunt driver Russ Swift.

Museum curator, Mike Ward, is looking forward to the event,

“With so many fantastic vehicles on show, this year’s SpeedFest is shaping up to be a great event. The car owners take great pride in their vehicles and it is great that we can gather so many together in one place to celebrate the story of post-1955 sports and performance cars.”

Amongst the star exhibits is a Chevrolet Camaro, the winning car from the International Race of Champions in 1976. The vehicle averaged a phenomenal speed of 168mph for over an hour around the oval circuit at Daytona, driven by Benny

The list of names he raced against reads like a who’s who of motor racing at the time – Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Mario Andretti and Jody Scheckter, to name but a few.

“It is a really special car and one which has a unique history. It may not be the most photogenic of vehicles but I’m sure it’s sheer power & speed will wow the crowds on Sunday” comments Mr Ward.

This year’s special guest is Russ Swift, returning by popular demand following his superb demonstration of skill at the 2010 SpeedFest. Russ is an Autotest Champion and arguably the best exhibition stunt driver in the world. He uses Mini Coopers for his act and his appearance has been made possible by the John Clark group who will themselves be presenting the very latest cars from Mini and their other dealerships.

Group chairman, John Clark, is delighted to be sponsoring one of the North East’s top motoring events:

“We are really pleased to be sponsoring this years SpeedFest event at the Grampian Transport Museum. The event promises to be a fantastic day out for all the family.”

SpeedFest gets underway at 11am on Sunday at the Grampian Transport Museum, Alford. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults, £7 for Concessions & £5 for children while Family entry is just £25. Visitors are urged to buy their tickets in advance from the museum website to guarantee an “Early Bird Ride”. See www.gtm.org.uk for further details.

May 132013

With thanks to Chris Anderson, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.

A high-performance bicycle that belonged to world famous comedian, Billy Connolly is now on display at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford. The loan came about after coverage of another of Billy’s vehicles- his world tour motortrike- appeared in the media at the start of April.
The bicycle is one of the famous ‘Flying Scot’ brand built in Glasgow for many years by David Rattary & Co and thousands of the bicycles were made before production ceased in the early 1980’s.

Billy was gifted his at a young age and cycled for miles on it including over the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ one of Scotland most arduous climbs. The current owner saw the bike advertised on internet auction site, Ebay and successfully bid for it.

Museum curator, Mike Ward, is delighted with the museum’s latest addition.

“We were really pleased when the owner got in touch with us offering a loan of the cycle. It is a fantastic piece of cycle technology and it ties in wonderfully with Billy’s motortrike which is also on display here.”

The addition of the ‘Flying Scot’ comes just a few weeks ahead of ‘CycleFest’ which is being held at the museum on Sunday 19th May. The event will see a variety of youth races as well as the Scottish National Road Race Championship around the Alford area.

The ‘Flying Scot’ is on display in the museum now and features within a chronology of cycling with the 200th anniversary of the bicycle just a few years away.

For more information contact:

Chris Anderson,
Marketing and Events Organiser,
Grampian Transport Museum.

Tel: 019755 64517
email: marketing@gtm.org.uk

Mar 282013

The launch of Grampian Transport Museum’s 2013 season offers the public a host of exciting additions. Aberdeen Voice photographer Rob attended a preview and was highly impressed with the pride and passion which museum personnel have invested in the preparation of the exhibitions, epitomised by Marketing and Events Organiser Chris Anderson spending 3 hours polishing the chrome on the royal Daimler.

In this its 30th anniversary year, staff and volunteers at the Grampian Transport Museum in Alford have been busy making preparations for it re-opening on Friday the 29th of March.
A brand new exhibition area, ‘Pop Icons’, will reflect popular culture and design from the 1960s to the 1990s, bookended by one of the first and last Minis ever built.

This winter has also seen the addition of several exciting new exhibits to the museum’s collection including Billy Connolly’s motor trike – as featured in his world tour of England, Wales and Ireland – and a stunning supercar manufactured by Ascari, a company with fascinating connections to the North East of Scotland.

Grampian Transport Museum are also delighted to announce that a star of the big screen will also be unveiled at it’s preview event tomorrow evening.

A late addition to the 2013 season, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ will be on display to visitors from this Friday.
The car is one of 6 built for filming the iconic 1960’s movie and is coming to the end of an extensive restoration which GTM visitors will be able to view for the first time.

For the first time those visiting the museum in 2013 will be able to scan QR codes to view further content on their mobile device.

To facilitate this, codes will be placed next to various exhibits in order that visitors can view a range of images and video content from both the museum’s own archive and the British Pathe archives.

Looking forward to the opening Museum Curator Mike Ward said:

“Our staff and volunteers have been working hard to prepare for the new season and we are now putting the final touches together before we welcome our first visitors of 2013 on the 29th March. 

“We are sure that visitors will enjoy the new exhibition and the opportunity to interact further with the collection through the use of new technology.”

The new season will be launched when the museum opens at 10am on Friday 29th March.

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