Aug 282015

The Duke of Rothesay attended a ceremony on Sunday in the Lower Cabrach, one of Scotland’s most remote communities. He had come to lay a wreath at newly-constructed memorial cairn. Suzanne Kelly attended.

User commentsThe Cabrach is perhaps best known for its dramatic, beautiful scenery and for being the home of whisky.

The Gordon family residence is here in the sparsely-populated area, home to generations of Scotland’s first family of whisky.

The Cabrach cairn, in the Lower Cabrach area, is a new, beautiful dry stone monument to those from the area who fell not only in World War I, but in all subsequent conflicts.

Until recent research revealed the truth, it was thought that the number of those from the Cabrach who fell in the Great War was far less than one hundred. The truth emerged that perhaps some 300 lives were lost.

This was mainly to illness. When the recruits left the area to go to war, they had little in the way of natural immunity, and many were tragically killed by disease.

Prince Charles – the Duke of Rothesay as he is known in Scotland – laid a wreath and talked to an assembly of residents. This wreath was red poppies with three white feathers with a card which read:

“In special memory of those from the Cabrach, and the parishes of Rhynie, Lumsden and Dufftown who lost their lives during the First World War. Charles”

One of those present was John Gordon. As a young man of 16 in World War II, he was kept in the area to do essential agricultural work and to serve on the Home Guard. He told Aberdeen Voice:

“I joined the Home Guard; I got my medal about 10 year ago. This medal is the Royal Observer Corps. I was in and saw the bombing that happened in Aberdeen. The Germans flew over here too; they dropped a bomb on the Upper Cabrach. Aye, they put a bomb up there in the Upper Cabrach.”

After the Duke left, a second ceremony was held for the entire community with music and the Lonach Pipe Band and a huge spread of food. Photographs of the cairn in progress over the months adorned the community centre walls.

Marc Ellington spearheaded the project; funding for which mainly came from the Gordon family.

Ellington said:

“Each and every aspect of the construction of the cairn has involved members, both young and old, of the Cabrach Community working closely with master craftsman Euan Thompson, a specialist in traditional dry stone construction.

“As well as being one of the finest memorial cairns to be built in Scotland in recent years, this is an outstanding example of what a local community, working together with energy and determination, can achieve.”

Both Ellington and community leader Patti Nelson gave speeches and thanked everyone who assisted and who attended. Marc was assisted on the day by Gemma Louise Cook.

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Mar 082012

Fridge Magnets are beginning to get the notice and acclaim they deserve. Music companies are getting interested, and the act has just won a major music award. Magnet Steve Winton tells Aberdeen Voice about that experience.

The awards are the Scottish Alternative Music Awards created by Richie Muirhead in 2010, and the only awards of their type in Scotland. The chosen venue for the annual ceremony this year was The Garage in Glasgow.
Nominees are selected by a panel chosen from throughout Scotland and ranging from gig promoters to Radio DJs.

We were nominated for Best Electronic Act with four other established Scottish acts. It then went to public vote on the SAMA website. Over 18,000 votes were cast for the whole competition, double the number of the previous year.

We were delighted when our name was read out as winners, and to be honest we were shocked. The other acts, notably Rustie and Discopolis had an amazing year in 2011 and we really didn’t think we would win.

We were also fortunate to be asked to perform at the awards. There was a 700 capacity sell out and we played in front of heavy-hitting Scottish music industry people such as Radio 1’s Ally MacRae, Vic Galloway and In:Demand presenter Jim Gellatly. All of them commented on how impressed they were with our performance and all three subsequently played our track on their radio shows the following Sunday and Monday.

It was a great opportunity for us to play in front of a crowd that hadn’t seen us, in some cases hadn’t even heard of us before, and we seemed to win them over. The Facebook and Twitter pages were going crazy the following day, commenting on how well we did. We then went on to play the official after-party at a smaller venue in Glasgow and sold it out as well. It was probably the best experience we have had thus far as a band.

We are extremely grateful to everyone who voted and we’re delighted with the win. Our next gig in Aberdeen is at The Tunnels on March 24.
To whet appetites before then, here are two Fridge Magnets videos

Death of Rock N Roll
Feeling Grows  

Aug 062010

Aberdeen Voice’s Dave Guthrie reports on an afternoon when Union Terrace Gardens provided the backdrop for a tri-partite cultural gathering and a small community festival brought together Gallowgate residents and group.

It was a busy day in Aberdeen last Saturday.
First of all, there was the modest and little-publicised Gallowgate Festival centred around St Margaret’s Church, you know the one with the big golden Christ on the cross opposite the Blue Lampie.
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