Feb 252016

AberdeenAssetManagementWith thanks to Esther Green, Tricker PR

Flood-hit Aberdeenshire communities have been delivered £10,000 of aid from Aberdeen Asset Management.
The firm has given a sizable donation to support people in the North-east of Scotland as they attempt to rebuild their lives after one of the area’s worst flooding episodes in living memory.

Last month, the area was devastated by flood waters which caused chaos and misery to communities, with Royal Deeside particularly hard hit.

The clean-up began as soon as the flood waters receded but it has been estimated that it will take many months for businesses and individuals to recover.

The funds will be used to help people and businesses in flood hit areas like Ballater, one of the region’s most badly hit towns. After the River Dee burst its banks, severe flooding caused devastation to homes, cars and businesses. Many residents were evacuated to rest centres and coastguard helicopters and mountain rescue were called in to help with rescue efforts.

Images and reports of the damage and destruction caused by the flooding made national news headlines and many residents were placed in temporary accommodation and may remain there for some considerable time to come.

Dominic Kite of Aberdeen Asset Management’s Charitable Foundation said,

“Seeing the scenes of devastation in flood hit areas of the North-east was hard-hitting.

“Aberdeen Asset Management’s philosophy is to give back to our nearby communities and with the flooding being so close to home we wanted to step in and help those who have lost almost everything.

“With resolve, determination and community spirit, towns and villages are facing up to the challenges ahead and we hope that the funding we are able to provide will help them as they rebuild their homes and lives after facing such difficult times.”

The Aberdeen Asset Charitable Foundation was established in 2012 to formalise and develop the Group’s charitable giving globally. The Foundation seeks partnerships with smaller charities around the world, where funds can be seen to have a meaningful and measurable impact and the firm encourages its employees to use their time and skills to support its charitable projects.

For more information visit http://www.aberdeen-asset.co.uk/aam.nsf/foundation/home

May 152015

By Duncan Harley.


Rapid Departure cast members.

Rapid Departure is the latest production by Moray-based Right Lines Productions the team responsible for theatrical comedies such as Who Bares Wins and The Accidental Death of an Accordionist.

Opening on Eigg on Sat 16th May, the 90 minute production will tour venues as far afield as Knoydart and Portmahomack before swinging south to Daviot Village Hall on June 3rd, and Kemnay Village Hall on June 4th.

Supported by Creative Scotland, Arts and Business Scotland and SEPA the play’s action takes place against a backdrop of freak flooding which plunges the local community into an ever deepening crisis.

The village hall becomes a designated rest centre and as the floods rise, the village hall itself comes under threat.

A hero is clearly needed to save the locals from a watery end!

Right Lines team Dave Smith and Euan Martin can always be relied upon to make a drama out of a crisis and in this evening of immersive comedy the main characters desperately struggle to keep their heads above water as the Flood Emergency Plan is literally swept away before their very eyes.

As with all Right Lines productions there are deeper messages.

Says co-writer Euan Martin:

“Rapid Departure is very definitely a comedy, but the issues we explore in the play – global warming, climate change, renewable energy, re-wilding and the impact of flooding – are important matters for everyone. It has to be stressed that this is a very serious subject with flooding having a catastrophic effect on people’s lives and livelihoods, so we were very conscious of this when writing the play.”

Rapid Departure is a very accessible show for all ages except very young children. The production features some original music and song. There is no strong language.

Tickets from www.neatshows.org.uk and Kemnay Library.

Nov 142014

sky-mountain-1By Bob Smith.

A hiv noo ti confess masel’
A’ve cursed fin it dis rain
Canna git on the gowf course
Greens flooded eence again

Bit hae a wee bit think fowks
If we didna hae the rain
Kwintraside aa leukin gizzent
Baith here an in Dunblane

Nae watter rinnin doon the hills
An inti oor rivers tumblin
The fairmers tryin ti growe craps
Wid fair hae cause fer grumblin

Nae greenery in hills or glens
Trees stuntit in their growth
Nae watter ti the distilleries
Noo aat wid raise an oath

Fin yer plowt’rin throwe the dubs
An aa the rainfa it is measur’t
Jist myn withoot the rain
We’d be like the Gobi desert

Gweed Lord lit the rain doon faa
On golden locks an baldy heids
Ca cannie wi hivvens’s watterin can
Jist aneuch fer aa oor needs.

©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012
 Image Credit: SKY MOUNTAIN 1 © Alexandru Mitrea | Dreamstime.com

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Feb 042014

Inverurie flooding by Duncan HarleyBy Duncan Harley.

For many years the River Urie has meandered at will over the farm land at Souterford.

Flooding of the area is an annual event and even Environment Secretary Owen Paterson is completely powerless to prevent it.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) last week issued an updated flood alert for Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City and asked local residents to remain vigilant and to take action to “protect yourself and your property”.

The flood warning advised that river levels in the area were rising as a result of “persistent rainfall during Wednesday morning” leading to “flooding of low lying areas particularly in the Rivers Don and Deveron. Flooding is expected from late on Wednesday morning and may last until Thursday morning.”

There was, however, no flood warning issued for the Aberdeenshire town of Inverurie despite a worrying increase in the level of the River Urie.

Following some very heavy rainfall during the past week the Aberdeenshire town’s Souterford area, just off the B9170 Oldmeldrum to Inverurie highway, was in fact flooded and this caused concern to many residents of the Inverurie Osprey Village development who were keeping a watchful eye on the flood situation as the River Urie bursts its banks yet again and water levels in the area continued to rise.

This is of course not a new problem. In fact the River Urie has been responsible for flooding the area around Inverurie for hundreds if not thousands of years, leading some local residents to conclude that was the reason why the historic town was built a few hundred metres to the South West of the rivers natural course in the first place.

In the view of many locals, the decision by the Gordon House planners to permit residential and retail development on such a vulnerable site was surprising say the least.

Souterford is seemingly a flood plain and where a flood plain exists, rivers will tend to meander and on occasion create temporary lochs before draining seawards in the spring season.

A local Inverurie resident living with his partner in the towns Birch Drive observed that the water levels were “very alarming” and “almost within reach of the foundations” of his newly purchased 3 bedroom house.

“If I had been told about the flooding problems, I would never have bought this house” he said.

“We moved here from London and never expected anything like this, the home report made no mention of flood risk.

“Both the developers and the council are liable in my opinion.”

The adjoining retail park has also suffered from flooding of the car park since opening in 2009. Business owners declined to comment but staff report a decline in sales due perhaps to the deep water which customers require to negotiate after parking their cars at the East side of the car park.

Barratt Homes declined to comment regarding the flooding issue and their website currently advertises the “Final Phase” of Osprey Village with the comment that “this site is not available”.

Some recent buyers of houses on the flood plain may have reason to wish that the companies claim regarding the unavailability of the site had been visible prior to purchase.

The new Barratt Homes 2014 housing development at Souterford is somewhat aptly named Osprey Heights and is situated some 20 metres above Osprey Village. In the hopefully unlikely event of water levels threatening Osprey Heights, all of Aberdeenshire may have a problem.

If you or any member of your family are unsure about what to do to prevent flooding in your area, advice and information is readily available by calling Floodline on 0845 9881188.

Below is a helpful SEPA sponsored video entitled “An introduction to SEPA, Ever wondered what we do here at SEPA?”

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Jan 162014

By Bob Smith.


Floods they are noo frequent
Efter lots o hivvy rains
Mony say ae problem is
Biggin on flood plains
Hooses biggit near rivers
Es canna be jist richt
Mony hooses on flood plains
Is nae an idea maist bricht
Watter fa’in fae the sky
It needs tae soak awa
Concrete aa ower the lan
Es is nae eese ava
Mair biggins needit is the cry
Tae hoose oor growein masses
Maybe we jist need less fowk
An keep oor meadows an oor grasses
The answer’s nae an easy een
A solution it maan be fun
If climate change means mair rain
Fair sweemin wull be the grun.
©Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2014
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Dec 272012

By Bob Smith.

Some fowk doon in Stoney
Woke up tae flooded hoosies
Watter flowin a fyow fit deep
It flushed oot ony moosies
Rain cam poorin oot the sky
Rinnin doon fae field an park
The Carron burst ower it’s banks
Faar wis yon Noah wi his Ark?
Aroon Brigfield and the High Street
War hames fit wur warst hit
Drains they jist cwidna cope
Wi the watter, gunge an grit
Some local fowk war on TV
Like Alan Smith an Isla Duncan
In Isla’s food caterin placie
Her stock it took a dunkin
Ithers in iss bonnie place
Jist sooth o Aiberdeen toon
Showed gran community spirit
Gien grub, an the odd nichtgoon
So raise a gless o Glenfiddich
Tae thae gweed Steenhive fowk
As a toast tae aa their spirit
An tae annoy yon Trumpie gowk

© Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2012
Image credit: Judith Pullar