Feb 202015

With thanks to Ann-Marie Parry, Parliamentary Assistant, Rt Hon Alex Salmond MSP

Christian Allard MSP at Holyrood2

Aberdeenshire East MSP Alex Salmond  and North East MSP Christian Allard have welcomed the start of construction work on the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tipperty road project today.
Construction will support around 1,500 jobs and over 100 apprenticeships, graduate places, and other training opportunities.

The scheme will be delivered in stages, with completion expected in winter 2017, around six months ahead of schedule.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the beginning of the work at Balmedie, one of the key communities to benefit from the AWPR, today.

Alex Salmond said:

“This is a brilliant day for residents all across the north-east of Scotland who will benefit from increased connectivity and shorter journey times.

“The construction of the AWPR is expected to create 1,500 jobs at its peak as well as 100 apprenticeships, graduate places and other training which means that young people will get valuable opportunities to enter the workplace.

“The AWPR will deliver much needed relief from the congestion in and around Aberdeen and I am delighted that sections of the road, such as the junctions around the Airport, will be finished as early as next year.

“With an estimated £6 billion of investment and 14,000 jobs expected to be created in the north-east over the next thirty years, it is clear that the AWPR will help to boost business and keep Aberdeen internationally competitive.”

Christian Allard (pictured) said:

“I am delighted that construction work on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is now underway as this will have a huge impact on the road network in the north-east of Scotland.

“Not only will journey times greatly improve but construction will bring thousands of jobs to the region.

“With this £745 million development underway and expected to be complete 6 months ahead of schedule this Scottish Government is clearly committed to delivering for the north-east.”

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Jan 302015

By Suzanne Kelly.

Marischal protest (6)a

A protest was held at 1pm at Marischal College on Saturday 24 January. The protestors came from all walks of life and all age groups; at least 200 were there. Credit: Suzanne Kelly.

Marischal College played host a large demonstration on Saturday 24 January, as hundreds took to the city council’s offices to protest a development which will change the area’s character forever.

Directly across from Marischal College, one of Scotland’s most important modern buildings, another glass box office / retail complex will add to our growing collection of anonymous, soul-less architecture.

With the old St Nicholas House now torn down, space and light enters this part of the city; the Provost’s House and Marischal College are both set off to far better effect.

A natural civic square – if such a thing is really needed further to the Castlegate (which hosted a protest last Saturday for Charlie Hebdo solidarity) – exists where St Nicholas stood, which would have required hardly any money to create. Sadly, it seems that commercial interests override scale, the existing architectural environment, and the historic importance of the Provost’s House.

A protest was held at 1pm at Marischal College on Saturday 24 January; the protestors came from all walks of life and all age groups; at least 200 were there.

I spoke to some of those present; all believe that an opportunity has been lost at the site of the former St Nicholas House and Provost Skene’s House, a small historic structure which will be claustrophobically dwarfed by the glass box architecture Muse developments have agreed with the city.

What this will mean either for road traffic or for the city’s chronic air pollution issues (we have 3 of Scotland’s most polluted roads with air particulate levels well above European emission rules). But it seems certain the plans will go ahead.

Alan Spence said:

“I think it’s a complete waste of money; it’s a monstrosity that nobody wants.”

One of the prime organisers, Gordon Robertson, added:

“Last week’s protest had only about 30 or 40 protestors, hopefully with today’s turnout we can drum up more support and get more signatures… I just think the new building is far too big; it’s not in keeping with the style of the existing buildings. It’s not what the people want. We have six shopping centres already; we have offices … this just isn’t the place for this development.”

I spoke to Alan Morocco who likewise was protesting. He spoke about Dundee’s public spaces, and felt we compared badly besides that city. Morocco said:

“We got rid of one monstrosity and it appears we’re replacing it with another. I don’t think it’s in keeping with the area.”

Most of the protestors were citizens without any particular political axe to grind. However, some people showed up who just might have been there for political point scoring.

Kevin Stewart of the previous ACC administration was in the crowd.

Marischal protest (4)When he was in power, we saw land being sold at prices so low that Audit Scotland condemned the practices which cost the taxpayer dearly in terms of money and space.

Stewart of course had been instrumental in implementing the draconian cuts to social programmes which saw thousands take to the streets in protest.

His particular time in the city council didn’t exactly take the views of the citizens into account when it came to budget cuts or to developments either; that government’s fondness of developers saw parcels of land handed to developers like Stewart Milne for small amounts of money and allowed longstanding environmental protection to be swept aside at Loirston Loch.

Tom Smith of Aberdeen City Gardens Trust was there – although there seems to be no record of his group – which was poised to take over Common Good Land in the form of Union Terrace Gardens for the £190 million ‘granite web’ project – objecting to the Muse plans formally.

As a formal objector to the plans myself, I had been one of many people given an opportunity to address the full council on the matter – but by the time the full council was to meet, the plans seemed all but finalised to me. It would be wonderful to think that someone, somewhere in planning could look at the scale of this proposal, the problems it will bring, and even at this late date admit this is a huge – and very huge – error.

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May 302014

By Ken Hutcheon.
marischal pic lo

People will be aware that there is a major development being proposed where the old council buildings are being demolished at Broad Street.

Several hundred went to see the exhibitions by MUSE (the developers) and indeed many put in their comments and often objections to the plans they saw.

The final plans have now been submitted to Aberdeen Council to obtain approval.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, MUSE did not take those approx. 1100 comments and objections into account when arriving at their final design. (See the web site below for a breakdown of the feedback responses given to MUSE at the first exhibitions). So now is the time to make your comments or objections really count.

A website has been set up at  www.marischalsquare.weebly.com which shows the wonderful perspective in Central Aberdeen we are about to lose for generations unless you object by following the links on the web site which will take you through to Aberdeen City Planning.

There you can view the latest plans and make comments or objections to the plans online while on their site. These comments/objections will form part of the report which will go to Aberdeen City Planning Committee and have to be taken into account when the Council make their final decision on the plans.

After some correspondence with Aberdeen City the cut off date for objections or comments has been changed from 06/06/2014 to 18/06/2014 so there is time to lodge your comments on the plans.

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Sep 122013

3KslimmerPicBy Bob Smith

The Triple Kirks is noo “The Pint”
The pint o’t a dinna git
As far as a can see fowks
Jist anither design fit’s shit

A “cheese grater” o ae wa’
Twa fish tanks side bi side
Tho’ the kirkie spire it seems
Is bein’ alloot tae bide

Mair office space in oor toon
Fin flats wid be mair eese
Efter 5pm an’ at wikk eyns
Human activity wull a’ cease

Affordable hooses is fit we need
Yet verra fyow cum intae bein
Fit developers class affordable
Ither fowk jist are nae seein

“The Pint” wull cum tae pass
O’ aat there’s little fear
Cos some fowk in the cooncil
Awkwird questions winna speir

A biggin wi little tae commend
Jist anither St Nicholas Hoose
In 30 years wull’t be pull’t doon
Cos it’s nae langer fit fer use?

A’ seen as farrer progress
Bit iss a jist fail tae see
Anither blicht on the skyline
In the toon twixt Don an Dee

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013

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Aug 232013

Voice’s Old Susannah takes a look over the past week’s events in the ‘Deen and beyond. By Suzanne Kelly.

I had a break last week, and spent a great deal of time on GISHWHESH (greatest international scavenger hunt the world has ever seen).  This is the annual international scavenger hunt / charity / random acts of kindness event.

There will be a television programme eventually, after judges and show host Misha Collins pour through thousands of homemade videos and photographs, created by people all over the world.
Thanks very much to everyone on my team and who helped me here in Aberdeen. Pensioners and veterans were helped by thousands of GISHWHESH participants, who also had fun engaging in crazy (harmless) stunts.

If you saw a giant asparagus spear being thrown as if it were a caber, then that would have been down to us.

Many thanks to Under the Hammer, North Silver Street, for having me and Neale Bothwell hang some of our recent paintings; and thanks to Mrs B for some amazing canapés.  The show is up for another fortnight in case you’re interested.

After GISHWESH I went to BrewDog this Monday, expecting a quiet drink and to do some writing.  However, brewers from  Oskar’s in Denver, Colorado were being celebrated and the place was packed.  It was nice to meet the brewers; BrewDog often have guest beers, and invite the brewers over to visit.

Oskar’s have a particularly nice, varied range on offer in BrewDog; I recommend their port-barrel brew.  Nice people, great beers, wonderful conversations.  And all the best to Kenny in your studies.

Anyway, I was astonished to see an Evening Express headline on the 19th “Crime Doesn’t Pay – NE Crook Still to cough up £1 million.” 

Naturally my first thought was that the Evening Express had turned coat on its friend Stewart Milne.  It turns out they were referring to some  crook that owes the council less money.

It seems a collection of dodgy master criminals from fraudsters to illegal fishermen owe lots of money, and we may try and collect it.  Hopefully it will take less time and taxpayer money to get money from them than it will from Stewart Milne.

It’s quite a coincidence that this recent pro granite web puffery that’s blown Syria, Egypt and other issues off the P&J’s lead pages has also stopped the AJL press from saying much about Stewart Milne.  I guess, “millionaire builder and ACSEF member finally forced to pay City back for dodgy land deal”, is not as important as, “billionaire still wants granite web and is throwing a tantrum yet again”.

Since the P&J don’t have enough space to devote to Stew, I’ll be happy to step in to support them, and tell you all about it.

Time for some definitions.

Master Thief: (compound English noun) someone with plans to steal item(s) of value, often through fraud, confidence trickery, smooth talking, persuasion

He might not have been much good as a joiner, but our very own Stewart Milne nearly made the Master Thief Hall of Fame.  If you’ve forgotten, the old city council regime decided it would be wonderful to sell him land in Westhill for a fraction of the value, then sit back and get a share of the sale proceeds when the land was either developed or sold on for a vast profit.

What were they thinking?’”, an unkind soul might wonder.

I’m sure it made perfectly good sense not to sell the land on the open market, getting a profit from a fair sale price.  Instead, our canny then government decided to sell this land to Stew when he and his companies were winning bids for work from the city, by putting in lower bids than any other competitor could match.

The city for some reason fought very hard to reveal the property deals

What Stew did next was brilliant.  He sold the land all right – for a loss – from one arm of his empire to the other. Despite his dragging the city (and thus the happy taxpayer) through to the highest court in the land, he’s still a lovable rogue, and we continue to give  him money for houses, and pay to go see AFC play.

If you wish to refresh your mind on the details, this may help  https://aberdeenvoice.com/2011/12/foi-prevails-the-quest-for-milne-property-deals/.  The city for some reason fought very hard to reveal the property deals; I can’t think why.

It’s almost as if he were being handed a profitable land deal with no one else being considered for it when at the same time that profit could provide a handy offset for the low bid work.  It would be interesting to go back and look at the cost over-runs if any for the work he had been awarded.  When I get a moment, I just might do that.

By the way, around this time, Audit Scotland couldn’t figure out whether Aberdeen City Council was incompetent – or something worse.  It seems to be true that if you steal something small you go to jail; if you steal something big you get away with it.

Some heartless people are saying he should be thrown out of ACSEF.  Surely though, being conniving, money-hungry, duplicitous and having no respect for taxpayer money are prerequisites for ACSEF membership, not reasons to be expelled from this respected quango.  Stew doesn’t have to cough up until the end of this year; doubtless he will want to pay sooner.

Master Plan: (Compound English Noun) An overriding scheme.

When not stealing money from us, Stewart Milne has devoted his time to ACSEF, and to going to the press last week to tell Aberdeen City it needs a masterplan.  He wasn’t trying to deflect attention away from his financial activities, I’m sure.

Here’s to seeing the details of the Milne Masterplan

Presumably Milne’s master plan will involve renovating existing buildings, bringing brownfield sites back into use, and regenerating empty, urban spaces.  His most recent contribution to a master plan looks to some like urban sprawl.  His homes near the Cove Roundabout are the most perfect family dwellings you can imagine.

The air quality at rush hour may play havoc with junior’s asthma, but that’s just a small price to pay to live in the lap of luxury.  Just don’t let the cat out of the front yard, don’t let junior fly his kite close to the electricity substation or the dual carriage way, and for heaven’s sake don’t come home in the dark or tipsy.  For all the houses look eerily similar, and you could wind up in the wrong one.

Ah, it all made so much more sense when he thought he’d pave over Loirston Loch.

Here’s to seeing the details of the Milne Masterplan.  I can hardly wait.

Mastermind: (noun) A gifted person who supplies the strategy for a project or job.

Step forward Mr S McGee, recently arrested here in the Deen.  During the course of his discussion with the police, he decided it would be a great idea to spit blood at them.  Strangely, this plan didn’t endear the police to him.  Oh well, I guess you can’t always guess what’s the right way to behave.

Masterpiece: (noun) An outstanding work of art of great skill and quality.

You will be as glad as I am that all the renaissance of interest the P&J has for the Granite Web means we can see some artwork which is truly iconic, vibrant, dynamic, connected, etc. etc. fit for a smart successful Scotland.  Yes, those beloved drawings of the Granite Web in its acid tones are back.

The giant floating boy hovering over the outsized flowers; the woman reclining at a 45 degree angle on the wedge of grass-topped concrete floating over the outdoor stage; the bosque; the whole lot is back.  £5 says there will be another picture or two in tomorrow’s P&J.

I am sure the granite web would have looked exactly like the lovely drawings.  No graffiti, no litter, no drunks (which apparently come from the park and fill the high street in the hundreds when it’s Saturday night; where else would these people come from?), no one throwing  things from the apex of the daring web.

Then again, the drawings don’t show us the minor details.

No means of ventilating the underground car park, no explanation as to how trees will grow in shallow soil over the underground car park, no hint of any safety features over the web or protecting the outdoor stage (my favourite; I was so hoping to hear a Beautiful South cover band in February while I sat in the seats, surrounded by hundreds of Aberdonians and high-spending tourists ).

No – that’s what’s best about these masterworks – they leave the little details like those to the imagination.

And there we leave it for now; I have just a little bit of work to do regarding that nice Mr Trump and his course.  I wonder – do you think he’d consider putting a granite web over his MacLeod course?  I’m sure it would look as elegantly classic as anything else built there so far.

Next week – more definitions, and if the P&J print more pro-web news, I’ll happily stay on the bandwagon as long as they do.

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Jul 262013

When Donald Trump began his tirade against Scotland’s renewable energy policy earlier this year, featured in Aberdeen Voice’s Tilting at Windmills article in April, he famously commented, ‘I don’t want to be standing on the first tee looking into an industrial wind turbine if I’m going to be spending all this money’ and ‘We will spend whatever monies are necessary to see to it that these huge and unsightly industrial wind turbines are never constructed.’ Perhaps he would be persuaded otherwise if he were to pay a even a fleeting visit to one of Banffshire’s hidden gems, the Glassaugh Windmill just east of Sandend on the Moray Firth coast, muses Duncan Harley.

At first glance, the windmill can easily be mistaken for a Pictish Broch or even a Martello Tower.
Set back 500 metres from the A98 Portsoy to Cullen road, the structure has a covering of ivy which masks the outline and suggests a tower house with a walled garden circling the base. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

In common with much of the Banff and Buchan coastline, the area around Sandend is full of Pictish remains. These are often built over, or indeed incorporated in later structures such as farm houses, churches and dykes. The Glassaugh Windmill is just such a building.

General James Abercrombie of Glassaugh was, as his title suggests, a military man. He was born in 1706 to a wealthy Banffshire family and, as was the custom of the time, in 1742 he purchased a major’s commission to enter the army. He was promoted to colonel in 1746 and major-general in 1756.

He is credited with having good organisational skills but little understanding of the art of warfare and was known to his troops as Mrs Nanny Abercrombie because of his skills at provisioning and providing creature comforts like tents and hot food on the long marches through North America during the French and Indian War of 1689-1763.

Unfortunately, in the July of 1758 he had his own Charge of the Light Brigade moment when he rather rashly directed his troops into a frontal assault on a fortified French position without the benefit of artillery support.

More than 2000 of his force of 15000 were killed or wounded, resulting in the good general being recalled to Britain where he duly became a Member of Parliament, supporting the cause of British dominion over the Northern Territories of America and Canada. No surprises so far then.

When Major General Abercrombie MP returned to his native Scotland, he took over the running of the family estate at Glassaugh and, possibly lacking much to do in the parliament of the day, he began organising the improvement of the agricultural economy of the area.

This was a time of land improvement and land enclosure. Labour was plentiful and indeed cheap, as a large number of Irish Catholics had been uprooted by the influx of English and Scottish aristocracy and had in many cases sought work on the land in Scotland. What was Major General Abercrombie MP to do?

He had indeed been a poor general but possessed good organisational skills. In the true spirit of Jaroslav Hašek’s Good Soldier Švejk, which is essentially a series of absurdly comic episodes, Abercrombie decided to build a windmill.

In those far off days, most mills were powered by water. There are tens of thousands of watermills in the UK and at a guess there must be at least one in every inhabited town and village in Aberdeenshire. Transport was improving during the 1750s, but local flour and grain mills were still the order of the day and met the needs of the townships and small communities all around the shire.

Windmills were not unknown in the NE, but were not that common due to the ease and availability of waterpower. Abercrombie however, decided that wind was the way to go.

As any engineer will know, the biggest challenge in building large structures is the sourcing of building materials. If you need to build a wall then you will require large quantities of stone, heavy and difficult to transport. The shorter the journey from quarry to building site the better.

Well, it just so happened that Major General Abercrombie had a ready-made supply of building materials in the form of a bronze age burial cairn. The folk who had built the cairn would have no objections to its recycling after all, and of course Scottish Natural Heritage was not even a slight smile in the womb of the Natural Heritage (Scotland) Act 1991.

The Cup and Saucer was born. Using the materials from the ancient cairn, Abercrombie bade his workers build an enormous windmill four storeys high and with a tapering tower topped with white sails. It must have been the sight of the century for folk who had never travelled further than Sandend or Portsoy.

How long Abercrombie’s windmill was in full tilt is not recorded, but in a letter dated 23 August 1761, he advised his daughter that high winds had almost blown off ‘the pompon of the wind mill which was only set up yesterday.

The ivy- covered stump of the structure is all that remains today to remind us of the man who had the vision to build it.

Although, when you think about it, you’re actually looking at a Bronze Age burial cairn undergoing a Tibetan sky burial.

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May 172013

The North East countryside is littered with heritage in the form of architecture from the near and distant past. There are Roman marching camps, castles galore and of course a multitude of Pictish circles and standing stones. Duncan Harley writes.

Most of these structures were built for a purpose.  Each night the while on the march the Roman army constructed a temporary camp, complete with rampart and ditch, as a defence against attack while in hostile territory.
Grampian had many of these structures and examples can be still seen at Durno, Kintore and Auchinhove.

The Castles and big houses were in many cases also defensive structures but in more recent history they became potent symbols of the wealth that the area generated through agriculture and trade.  Debate of course continues over the true purpose of the standing stones and stone circles.

Places of worship and mystical ceremony say some.  Others, including myself, wonder if many of the circles were simply settlements.  After all, folk in those distant times needed a place to live.

Then of course there are the follies.

There are various definitions describing follies ranging from, “a building with no practical use whatsoever,” to the rather grand sounding description as, “a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs.”

Personally I like the definition used by RCAMS (The Royal Commission for Ancient Monuments Scotland) which says simply and clearly, “a structure with little or no practical purpose, often found in 18th century landscaped gardens and taking many forms including towers, castles, temples, cairns and hermit’s cells”.

Towers and temples seem to be the most common types of folly, perhaps due to their visual impact both on the landscape and on the viewer who comes upon them for the first time.

However some follies, such as the Shell Hoosie in Dunnotter Woods near Stonehaven, break this rule completely.

This tiny domed building has its internal walls ( pictured top right ) decorated and completely covered with thousands of sea shells.  Built by Lady Kennedy of Dunnottar House in the early nineteenth century and restored in 1999, it has the appearance of a large beehive when seen from the outside but from inside it feels very much like a hermits cave.

Banchory of course has Scolty Tower, a 20 metre tall granite monument, built in 1842 to the memory of a General William Burnett who fought alongside Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars.

Also known as General Burnett’s Monument, there is some debate whether this tower is a true folly due to its commemorative purpose and, somewhat like McCaigs Tower above Oban, local opinion is divided as to the towers status.

Following decades of neglect it was restored in 1992 at a cost of £20k using funds raised by the Rotary Club of Banchory.

Then there is the intriguingly named Temple of Theseus, built around 1835 in the grounds of Pitfour House, Fetterangus near Mintlaw.

A real hidden gem, the building is a scaled down version of the 6th century BC Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and occupies a waterside position on the shores of Pitfour Lake.

Theseus of course was the heroic slayer of the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull monster which lived in the Labyrinth created by Daedalus on the island of Crete.  Using nothing more than a ball of string to trace his steps and of course a trusty sword, Theseus defeated the Minotaur in an epic battle in the heart of the Labyrinth and thus saved the youth of Athens from being devoured by the evil monster.

The Temple of Theseus in Mintlaw has, as far as I am aware, no claim regarding the housing a Minotaur, however there is a basement area with a bath like structure which it is said once accommodated the late Admiral Ferguson’s alligators.  I am happy to report that the lake seems to have a healthy wildlife population and that there was no indication that alligators still lurk in the shallows on the day of my visit.

The building is in a fairly desperate state of repair however and is currently subject of a planning application which would allow the building of nine houses on the Pitfour Estate with a £900k enabling development element for restoration purposes.

According to a spokesman for Banff and Buchan planning department, the application is likely to be approved within the next few months with funding being made available for not only restoration of the temple and lake area with its associated bridges but also to improve public access.

The Pitfour Estate is well worth a visit if you are in the area although a copy the Ordnance Survey map for Fraserburgh (OS Landranger number 30) will help since the public access routes to parts of the estate are not well marked.

If you are feeling really adventurous and fancy a wee flutter, you might just want to head up to the Forestry car park at Drinnies Wood just north of Fetterangus to visit the site of the Ferguson family private racecourse.

This was complete with an Observatory Tower from which they would take tea while watching the horse racing!  The tower, built in 1845 by Admiral George Ferguson 5th Laird of alligator fame, is still in existence and is open to the public, but the racecourse has largely vanished.

There are, no doubt, many more hidden follies in the Aberdeen area.  If you know of any please get in touch.

Now where did I put my betting slip and binoculars?


Roman Camps: http://www.roman-britain.org/military/camps_scotland.htm
Pitfour Estate: http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/pitfour+house+estate
The Shell Hoosie: http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/aberdeenshire/dunnottar
Scolty Tower Restoration: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7C2CI5SovE

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May 092013

By Bob Smith.

Boxes, boxes, boxes
Is aa we nooadays see
The “darlins” o modern architects
Be it Aiberdeen or Torquay

Thingies like yon Rubik’s Cube
O a Uni Library biggin
Leukin like the pint his run
A think it’s bliddy mingin

Union Square, o michty me
It’s jist aa steel an gless
Oor toon’s in the hauns o Philistines
Creatin a maist affa mess

The city skyline is fair important
Says Aiberdeen mannie Eric Auld
Seen throwe his artistic ee
Marischal Square it leaves him cauld

Fowk noo are fair upset
At fit they see gyaan on
Aa in the guise o progress
In the toon twixt Dee an Don

“Progress is jist the exchange
O ae nuisance fer anither”
So wrote  yon Havelock Ellis
Writer, Doctor an life giver

Boxes are fer storin things
Bit nae the human race
Stop biggins fit are jist bland
Dinna chynge oor city’s face

Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013
Image credit: Corporate Tree 2 © Andres Rodriguez | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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May 022013

By Bob Smith.

We’ve aa hid a  leukie
At plans fer the “Civic Square”
Tae replace St Nicholas Hoose
Eence it’s aa laid bare
Bliddy stracht edged biggins
O the usual gless an steel
Nae flair fae the architects
The concocshuns o some feel
Iss is the wye tae go
We hear the planners bleat
Great innovative designs
As modernity we maun meet
Fit a load o bliddy crap
We hiv the chunce tae hae
A great open green space
Faar fowk can sit or play
Dinna bigg on the foons
O the concrete St Nic’s Hoose
Mak it intae a fine square
Lit yer imaginations loose
Open up the bonnie view
O the hoose o Provost Skene
Wi greenery jist aa aroon
Plunty space tae meet a freen
A place tae sit an see
The grandeur o Marischal College
An myn back tae it’s days
As a placie full o knowledge
Aiberdonians are fair fed up
O biggins nae bricht an jolly
Especially eens fit micht be ca’ed
The future St Nicholas Hoose folly

Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013

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Mar 142013

By Bob Smith.

Jist hae a leuk, at the bliddy great plook
On the face o Aiberdeen toon
St Nicholas Hoose, nae langer in use
Thunk hivvens it’ll seen be knocked doon
It’s nae the only een, fit’s tae be seen
Aroon oor gweed city o granite
Union Square a confess, is jist concrete an gless
Mair suited tae an alien planet
We hiv shoppin malls, fer young guys an gals
Their shops ye can fin ony place
We hid the Co-opie arcade, wi units ready made
It disappeared withoot ony trace
Tak the New Market, wi wa’s fit are barkit
A biggin fit’s lost it’s soul
Knock the place doon, richt tae the foon
It’s nae langer fit fer it’s role
Iss toon o oors, destroyed bi sum boors
Faa’s ideas hiv stepped oot o line
Silver City by the sea, twixt Don an the Dee
His fair lost some o it’s shine
Architects wi nae vision, attractin derision
Shud be pit in Castlegate stocks
It shud be their plight, tae be peltit wi shite
Syne throw awa the keys o the locks
Planners tae hiv gin mad, iss is affa sad
It’s time tae tak them tae task
Tak back oor cities, fae thae Walter Mittys
Iss surely is nae much tae ask.
Reclaimin the toon, iss wid be a boon
Nae langer run bi Acsef an freens
Ordinary fowk hiv mair say, tae ensure fair play
Fin it cums tae spendin “the beans”

Bob Smith”The Poetry Mannie” 2013