Aug 072014

With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

The Friends of Duthie Park have announced that they have secured a sponsor for this month’s Open Day (Sunday 17th August), ensuring that the 2014 event, now in its fourth year, will be the biggest and most successful yet.

Locally based global fabrication company A-FAB ( is providing financial support for the event, which takes place on Sunday 17th August from noon until 4 p.m..

Friends Chairman Tony Dawson believes the partnership underlines the affection that everyone within the area has for what is one of the country’s leading tourist attractions. Tony said:

“It’s fantastic that A-FAB is the latest prestigious name from the private sector that recognises what a jewel in the crown Duthie Park is and, thanks to A-FAB’s support, it promises to be another wonderful occasion a week on Sunday.

“I would also like to acknowledge the excellent work that Harvey Smith and the team at H-events have done in helping the Friends work closely with the private sector over the last few months.”

A-FAB director Marlene Mitchell added.

“Duthie Park has always been a favourite place for most people in the north east but after the recent restoration work, it really is stunning. The Friends do a great job in maintaining the profile of the park and working closely with Aberdeen City Council to make sure improvements are ongoing and at A-FAB we are proud to be able to assist with what is now an established event for all of the family.”

Among the attractions at this year’s FODP Open Day (, are

  • The Bon Accord Silver Band,
  • piper Calum Lawrie,
  • Bokwa with Jodie,
  • Zumba & powerhoops with Elma,
  • The Sharon Gill School of Dancing,
  • Wrestlezone Scotland,
  • The Airyhall Dancers,
  • AFC in the Community,
  • British Military Fitness,
  • First Aberdeen vintage vehicles,
  • various kiddies’ rides, the canoes and the pedalos,
  • and not forgetting Spike the Talking Cactus.


Jul 162014

gtm_classic_vintage_gatheringWith thanks to Martyn Smith.

A wide selection of cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles will descend on the village of Alford for the annual Classic and Vintage Gathering, this Sunday at the Grampian Transport Museum, from 1pm until 4pm

Visitors will be able to view displays of pre-1990 vehicles, including cars from the likes of Austin, Ferrari, Triumph and MG, as well as a selection of vintage buses and other commercial vehicles.

Anyone interested in entering a pre-1990 vehicle can do so on the day, simply by turning up between 11.30 and 12.45. For just £15 the driver and one guest will get entry to the event, complimentary access to the museum, and light refreshments.

Visitor admission to the event is included in the standard museum admission fee. Adult admission is £9.50, concessions are £7.50 and two children are admitted free with every adult.

Further information on the museum and all its outdoor events is available online at

Jun 062014

With thanks to Martyn Smith.

Maudslay2Grampian Transport Museum will be the venue for a special treat for Dads on Father’s Day, Sunday 15th June.

Some of the world’s fastest and most exotic cars will take to the museums purpose-built road circuit, each with a passenger seat waiting to be taken. Just £10 will buy one of our Fathers Day Supercar Rides tickets, giving several laps around the track as a front seat passenger.

An eclectic mix of cars including Ferrari, Lamborghini, TVR, Luego, and Porsche will give Dad a day to remember.

Rides are limited to dads only – who must be over the age of 18 – but the event is a great day out for all the family. Tickets for the rides sessions are £10 if pre-booked or £15 on the day, subject to availability.

Later in the summer children will be able to enjoy a ride around the circuit as part of the ‘Big Stuff’ session, which takes place on Thursday 10th July – or the ‘Fast Car Rides’ session which takes place on Wednesday 23rd July.

The Grampian Transport Museum features a number of exciting and exclusive exhibitions for 2014 including The Great Train Robbery exhibit and multi-million pound HGV simulator. Also, the unique Junior Driving School will be open for younger visitors to enjoy.

Dec 132013

vsa-nggid042381-ngg0dyn-390x260x100-00f0w010c010r110f110r010t010With thanks to Sophie Davidson.

As part of their final year project, three Robert Gordon University students are working with local social care charity VSA to raise £5,000 for young carers.

A fourth year project sees the first group of Events Management students in Aberdeen working in small teams to raise money for various local charities.

These groups have been given a charity to work with and a mentor from the chosen organisation supports the students on their quest to raise as much money as possible.

Three students from the course, Kathleen Macleod, Sophie Davidson and Nicola Duncan, who are working with VSA to support the young carers’ project, came up with the ‘Step Up For Care’ event which involves people from any age group who want to stay fit and healthy while raising money for a local cause.

RGU student, Kathleen Macleod said:

“We were delighted to be paired with VSA as they provide some amazing and caring local services.  We specifically chose to support young carers, as we were incredibly touched when hearing about what they go through on a day to day basis.

“Our fundraiser, ‘Step Up For Care’ has an interesting competitive element to it.  One month before the final event, teams of five, or ten, will be given pedometers and challenged to walk as many miles as possible whilst raising sponsorship money.

“We’re excited to be part of this new and exciting fundraiser for VSA.

‘We hope that people in the area will feel the same as we did and want to take the challenge to help the young carers.  

“We hope they ‘Step Up For Care’!”

A lavish dinner ceremony, at which the teams are invited to enjoy a three-course meal, entertainment, raffles and an auction, will be held at the Norwood Hall hotel on the 18th of April next year.  The students will also host a small awards ceremony for all those who took part.

The VSA Young Carers Project provides young carers with help with homework and allows them to socialise with children in a similar situation to themselves.  It also operates the Chill Out Zone at the Castlegate where young carers can come and enjoy some time by themselves to do homework, watch TV, read, or chat with friends.

All monies raised through sponsorship for the teams and through the raffles and auction at the Norwood Hall event in April, will go towards improving the young carers’ time at the Chill Out Zone, or to funding the groups with a trip away that would not otherwise have been available to them.

For further information about VSA and its work in the local community, visit

Jul 182013

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

Grampian Transport Museum hosts a traditional afternoon gathering of pre-1990 vehicles this coming Sunday 21st July. A wide variety of cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles will be on display as the annual Classic & Vintage Gathering takes place from 12 noon until 4.30pm.

Visitors will be able to view an array of vehicles registered prior to 1990 including cars from the likes of Austin, Ford, MG and BMW as well as a selection of vintage buses and other commercial vehicles.

Anyone who wishes to enter a pre-1990 registered vehicle can do so by turning up to the site on the day between 10.30am & 11.30am.

For just £15, the vehicle driver and one guest can get entry to the event, complimentary access to the museum and light refreshments. Entry for any additional passengers is £5 per person.

Visitor admission to the Classic & Vintage Gathering is included with the normal museum entry fee. Throughout 2013, two under 16’s are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an Adult with any additional children £3. Adult entry is £9.50 with Concession entry £7.50. For more information on the museum and all its events visit the website:

Event:        Classic and Vintage Gathering
Date:            Sunday 21st July 2013
Venue:       Grampian Transport Museum, Alford, Aberdeenshire
Time:          12.00-4.30pm

For more information contact:

Chris Anderson, Marketing and Events Organiser, Grampian Transport Museum.
Tel: 01975564517

Jun 192013

Willows Animal Sanctuary invites you, your friends and family to its next Open Day – 22 June.
Come join the staff, farm, domestic, exotic and wild animals living at Willows.  There will be loads to do and see, and animals to meet.

New arrivals at Willows include a family of Shetland ponies. Penny the Shetland mare, rescued from a very uncertain fate earlier in the year, has given birth to a beautiful colt foal. Bertie was born on the 30th April 2013 and is an absolute treasure. He currently lives with his mum Penny and his sister Daisy.

Here is Penny’s story.

We were contacted recently by a very desperate lady who urgently needed help with two Shetland pony mares and a filly foal. The lady suffers from an auto immune disease and has become allergic to daylight which had made looking after her ponies very difficult.

She also expressed concern that the paddock they were in, which had looked good in summer, was now so wet that the ponies were sometimes up to their hocks in mud and she feared that two of the ponies were again in foal. Her only other option had been to put the ponies into a market which would risk a very uncertain future for them.

The ponies were quite a way from Willows on the border between Perth and Angus, but Animal Health were extremely helpful with facilitating the move to Willows. It was also some time since their feet had been trimmed and all in all Animal Health felt that the sooner they could be removed the better.

They all arrived safely and have been checked and blood tested by our vets. The filly foal has been named Daisy and the two mares are called Ruby and Penny.

The events run from 11:30 am through 4:30pm; they include:-

  • Live music,
  • Bottle Stall,
  • Tombola,
  • Plant sale,
  • Lucky ducks,
  • Gift shop,
  • Coffee Shop,
  • Raffle,
  • and Home-bakes.

Willows Animal Sanctuary, Lambhill Farm, Strichen, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire AB43 6NY

Reg. Charity No. SCO29625
Tel. 01771 653112

Jun 142013

With thanks to Claire McBain.

Social care charity VSA’s Carers Service kick-started Carers’ Week 2013 (10 – 16 June) by launching a £50,000 Carers’ Crisis Fund, available to unpaid carers aged over 18 throughout Aberdeen city and shire thanks to a generous legacy.

At a lunch on Tuesday hosted in partnership with Aberdeen City Council, speakers  honoured local carers and, coinciding with the Carers’ Week 2013 theme ‘Prepared to Care,’ asked whether local carers really are emotionally and practically prepared to care, particularly in a crisis situation.

Lucy Whiteman, development manager at VSA’s Aberdeenshire Carers Support, said:-

“Three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives.  There are a lot of services to support the people being cared for.  But what about supporting the carer when they need it most?

“VSA is absolutely delighted to receive this fund.  It’s open to any carer in the north-east facing difficulty.  We want to reach new carers and help those we’re already working with.  It could be a broken down washing machine and a carer who needs funding for a replacement.  It could fund a laundry service for an unpaid carer who’s too overworked to do it themselves. 

“A family may need help covering the cost of a call support system for the house.  Or it could be transport to hospital visits.  Funds are obviously limited and we’ll support those in greatest need.  But each case will be different but our independent panel will be open to ideas.”

Dorothy McBrearty cares for her father who has Alzheimer’s, Prostate cancer and COPD and her mother who suffers from two types of dementia:-

“This new fund would have been really beneficial for me.  As their only carer, it’s difficult when suffering my own health problems too. When I had to go to the doctor, it could clash with their appointments.  Having emergency help to transport them would have been brilliant.”

“Carers in the north-east must take advantage of this.  Being a carer can make you tired and stressed.  You don’t want any added strain on yourself or the person you’re caring for.  Knowing you can call for help in a crisis would be an amazing comfort.”

Lucy continued:-

“This legacy is going to be a huge help in a time of increased crisis and panic.  Carers are faced with more tough decisions that further impact on their busy and often extremely stressful lives.   But having an opportunity to access a Carers’ Crisis Fund would be a massive relief during a desperate time.

“Caring for someone else can seriously impact your health, relationships, finances and career.  It has a real knock-on effect.  It’s not something you want to handle alone.  The right support and advice is essential.  By getting involved in Carers Week 2013, we can highlight and improve conditions for the 25,000 unpaid carers in Aberdeen city and shire.” 

Tuesday’s event will include a speech from Len Ironside, convenor of Aberdeen City Council’s Social Care and Wellbeing Committee and a personal perspective on preparing to care from local carer Vic Baxter.  There will also be information stalls with specialist staff on hand for advice, open between 11am and 3pm.

VSA’s Carers’ Service is hosting further local events to raise awareness of the support available:

  • VSA’s Forest Grove, a community-based facility for adults aged over 50 who are cared for at home, will host ‘Fun at Forest Grove,’ with drop-in sessions Monday to Friday between 10am and 12 noon for carers and those they care for, complete with social activities, Reiki sessions, stalls and raffles.
  • Fun with Aberdeenshire Carers Support on Thursday 13 June at the Hopeville Social Club, 34 Harlaw Road, Inverurie between 11am and 3pm.  Expecting to attract 100 carers and includes care campaigner Tommy Whitelaw as keynote speaker, refreshments, massage, cookery, floristry, reiki and more.
  • Staffed information display at Bon Accord Shopping Centre, Monday to Friday during Carers Week, between 10am and 4pm.
  • Information display at AsdaAberdeenBeach and Sainsbury’s Berryden throughout Carers Week.

The funding is the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire share of a legacy from the late Mrs Nadia Moulton-Barrett, left to The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust).  The VSA Moulton-Barrett Legacy Fund, known as VSA’s Carers’ Crisis Fund, will be a responsive grant programme to fund items or services for carers facing challenges.

For more information about VSA’s Carers Services, visit its headquarters at 38 Castle Street, call 01224 212021 or visit our website at   For more information about Carers’ Week events visit

May 132013

The picturesque Glamis Castle plays host to a varied programme of events this weekend. Fred Wilkinson writes.

Encouraged by the success of their Diamond Jubilee Gathering last year, Glamis Castle provides the venue for a similarly family friendly series of activities and entertainment this weekend.

This year’s gathering will surely be of great interest to the thousands who enjoyed Scotland’s biggest Jubilee Celebration in 2012.

A healthy turnout will ensure that chosen charity, Ninewells Cancer Campaign, receive a boost from the event.

This year, Glamis Gathering will take place over two days. The Saturday is billed as ‘Live on The lawn’ and is essentially a series of live music performances headlined by Michael Buble tribute, Drew Wilson.

The Sunday is a Family Fun Day, the climax of which will be the ever popular Singing Kettle performing their new show.

Saturday 18th – Live On The Lawn

In front of Castle from 3pm


MICHAEL BUBLE Tribute – Drew Wilson

IRON BROO – Ceilidh Band

GLITZ – All Girl Rock Band

Pipe Band Blairgowrie

Paul Anderson – International Fiddler

Local Choir

Master of Ceremonies – Mr Doug Duthie



Sunday 19th – Family Fun Day

Family Day of Music/Dance including Food/Crafts from 10.30am


THE SINGING KETTLE – With their new show

GLAMMERJACK – a take on the famous CRACKERJACK television programme
Hosted by

Competition for best dressed Teddy

IRON BROO – Ceilidh Band

GLITZ – All Girl Rock Band

GARRY SEAGREAVES – Magician for Children

LOCAL MUSICIANS – on Stage during the afternoon

The Kilted Chef from Eat on the Green Restaurant
with a special guest appearance from

including stalls from local producers and crafts



Funfair and Food Outlets all day

May 092013

With thanks to Claire McBain.

This weekend, social care charity VSA’s Easter Anguston Farm will host its biggest event to date – a Spring Fair to mark the re-opening of the farm for summer.
Thanks to significant local donations, this event will be complete with new developments including the first public unveiling of a pair of adorable pygmy goats that can be seen on YouTube at

For the last six years, the charity has taken over Duthie Park for its family fun day, but this year the Peterculter based farm will incorporate the landmark event with its annual Spring Fair, raising awareness of VSA’s local work in looking after thousands of people, and celebrating those who have supported the charity over the past year.

Fiona Davidson, farm operations manager, said:

“It’s an ideal occasion for people in Aberdeen and the shire to have fun while supporting their local community.   

“Attractions include segway experiences, a bouncy castle, face painting, games, jewellery, craft and gift stalls and refreshments.   VSA services will host stalls too, spreading the word about the good they do. 

“There will singers, dancers and a childrens’ talent show, urging budding singers, dancers and comedians to show their community their hidden abilities.   Of course, the farm’s usual attractions – the coffee shop, education centre, farm shop and garden centre – will be in full swing too.

“The brand new pygmy goats are a story in themselves.  Donated by two local men who wanted to make a difference to the farm in a way other than the usual sponsored run or cycle.   They’ll be joined by mini-donkeys in the next month.   And there are other developments since last year too.   The farm shop has been refitted and we have a revamped education room and new machinery workshop thanks to £50,000 from Aberdeen Airport’s BAA Community Fund.

“But the most important thing about the day is the cause behind it.  Easter Anguston is a peaceful spot where adults with learning difficulties get valuable support and training.   

“For the service users, the farm’s meaningful, vocational work can provide security of long-term employment or a stepping stone to the potentially intimidating mainstream job market.   And, for visitors, the playful, vibrant atmosphere created by the dedicated staff and service users keeps them coming back time and time again.”

VSA’s Spring Fair is being held at Easter Anguston Farm, Peterculter, between 10:00 a.m and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May, 2013.

Entry to the event, which is sponsored by CNR, is free but funds raised on the day will be used directly to support the local community.

For further details about the event e-mail or call her on 01224 358617.

For more information about VSA and other events visit or

May 092013

Quids in Theatre Company are back to perform one of their best known productions ‘Dead Dad Dog’  by John McKay at Old Torry Community Centre on Saturday 11 May.

We hope you will join us for an evening of superb entertainment followed by a question and answer session by the cast. They will also be launching another fantastic project, Torry Tales.

To find out more please see attached poster. We would love to hear from anyone who would be kind enough to display it or pass it on to anyone who may be interested.

Doors 7.15 pm performance starts 7.30pm. 

Tickets ( £6 / £4 conc. ) on sale at the Old Torry Community Centre on 2 Abbey Place.