Oct 152016

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.


Judy Wardlaw is ASV’s first diving coordinator and coach .

A diving coach with experience in training junior Scottish athletes working towards elite status has her eyes set on talent in Aberdeen to become future stars in the sport.
Judy Wardlaw has joined Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV) as the organisation’s first diving coordinator and coach, and will lead the team to develop youngsters in the city and shire who are showing promise in the pool.

The 28-year-old has moved north from a similar role in Edinburgh where she worked with the coach who trained Rio Olympic athlete, Grace Reid, and Commonwealth athlete, James Heatly.

The new role at ASV, which has been partly funded by sportscotland as part of a four year initiative, will see Judy focus initially on increasing participation in diving across the North-east before concentrating on growing performance levels with a view to growing the potential elite talent in the area.

There are currently ten diving coaches based at the world class Aquatics Centre at ASV in the city’s Linksfield Road, which boasts an Olympic sized 50m swimming pool and 25m diving pool with diving boards up to 10m.

Judy, who dived competitively across the UK until she was 16 years old, will now manage and develop the skills of the coaches at ASV to ensure there is the coaching knowledge and experience in-house to support potential future Olympic athletes in the city.

She said:

“I’ve been involved in talent identification programmes throughout my coaching career and we will be rolling out a similar programme here at the Aquatics Centre so we can hand select the best talent there is and help them to develop their skills to potentially make a career in the future.

“My first focus will be to get more people involved in the sport and the learn to dive programme at ASV, while developing the elite and performance side.  As numbers increase in the pool, we’ll start to see the quality increase too and hopefully we will identify some future Olympic divers to represent Scotland in years to come.”

Chief executive of Aberdeen Sports Village, Duncan Sinclair, said:

“This is a new role for Aberdeen Sports Village and Judy’s appointment will be a superb addition to our team.  Focussing on our local diving talent is something we identified as a key initiative for the future and this gives us an excellent platform to offer real opportunities for our athletes.

“We have world class facilities at the Aquatics Centre and Judy is a superb addition to our excellent team which allows us to offer amazing development opportunities for those who excel in diving.  As we grow more talent here we will be able to attract bigger sporting events to the city, such as the 2020 European Junior Diving  Championships and the British Junior Elite Diving Championships.”

Aberdeen Sports Village host a junior Learn to Dive programme and an adult Learn to Dive programme to encourage people of all ages to try diving and develop their skills and currently has 117 divers.  The Diving Club is by invitation only for diving talent identified for potential progression in the sport and there are currently 23 divers competing at various local and national competitions.

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Aug 012013

By Bob Smith. 

Colin Murray fae the BBC
Meenshun’t Jessica Ennis’s bum
He’s accused o bein sexist
Iss is nae a bittie rum

Noo Jessica’s erse IS perfect
So why nae state iss fact
Seems puir Colin shud hae used
Jist a little bittie mair tact

Fit’s the warld noo cumin tae?
Ye’ve tae watch yer “p’s an q’s”
Ye mak a wee daft remark
On yer heid is heaped abuse

PC his geen ower the score?
Maybe bum’s noo classed as lewd
So ma remark aboot her erse
Micht weel be thocht as crude

A dinna think we shud be
Rude aboot fowk’s lukes
Bit fer praisin Jessica’s backside
Seems puir Colin Murray sooks

Awa aa ye fun destroyers
Ye crabbit bunch o tubes
A gweed job he didna meenshun
Onything aboot Jessica’s boobs

A hear the howls o protest
Classed anither sexist chap
Nivver myn a’m auld aneuch
Tae fend aff ony bum rap

Bob Smith “The Poetry Mannie” 2013
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Jul 122013

By Bob Smith.

Lang afore the advent o TV, fowk got tae hear aboot their sportin heroes throwe the radio, papers an in the case o fitba throwe magazines like Charles Buchan’s fitba monthly. Tho’ loons like me war aye interestit in the great sportsmen an sportsweemin o the time, there wisna the same nyaff idol worship like there is noo, altho’ we wid try tae heid the ba like Wullie Bauld o Hearts or mak saves like Jimmy Cowan o Morton, twa weel kent international fitba players in the 50s.

Fin a wis a loon growen up in the 40/50s a wis interested in maist sports, fitba, boxin, athletics, rugby, gowf, tennis, horse racin, aye even cricket, bit aat wis maybe cos ma cousin Zena’s man, Tom McLeod, played fer Forfarshire C.C. fer a gey fyow ‘ears.

A’m gyaan tae confine masel tae screiven aboot BRITISH sportin heroes cos in the1940’s/1950’s at wis the only eens a wis really interested in. A’ll gie a meention tae three fae ilka sport a likit maist.

Fitba:- Ma faavrit player in the Don’s squad wis the cinter haaf Alec Young, a great exponent o the slidin tackle. Jist fin ye thocht een o the opposition wis in on goal Alec wid cum fae naewye, slide in an git the ba awa tae safety. A reckon he wis een o the unsung heroes o the 1954-55 league championship winnin side, nivver missin a league game aa season. If ma memory serves me richt he finished up ainin a grocery shop in Fortrose.

Anither gran player wis Gordon Smith. No, nae thon baheid faa played fer Rangers, bit the een faa played in the great Hibs “famous five” forward line o Smith, Johnstone, Reilly, Turnbull and Ormond. Gordon wis a Scottish internationalist faa wint on tae play fer Hearts an Dundee faar he helpit Dundee win the league championship in the early 60s. 1962 a think.

Een o the great goalies o the time wis Bert Trautmann o Manchester City, a German prisoner o war faa decided tae bide in Britain an ply his trade.

Mony City fans war unhappy aat a former member of the Luftwaffe wis tae join the team an some protests war organised. Trautmann seen won them ower wi his displays an in the 1956 FA Cup Final he wis tae becum a legend. Wi aboot 15 mins tae go an Manchester City leadin Birmingham City 3-1 he wis injured divin at the feet o a Birmingam player.

Peter wis the first Scottish boxer tae win twa Lonsdale belts ootricht

Nae subs war alood in thae days an efter a fylie’s treatment he got back, a bittie groggy kine, tae his feet an defied the Birmingam attackers fer the rest o the match. It wis only fun oot, efter a day or twa, he hid played on wi a broken neck. He feenished his career wi City in 1964 withoot ivver playin fer his kwintra o birth.

Boxin:- Randolph “Randy” Turpin, alias “The Leamington Licker” wis ma aatime faavrit boxer fin a wis a loon. A weel remember ma mither an faither laachin as a steed in front o the wireless throwin punches fin listenin tae thon doyen o commentators Raymond Glendenning alang wi his summariser W. Barrington Dalby describe Randy’s fecht fer the middlewecht warld title in 1951 wi the great American fechter Sugar Ray Robinson.

Turpin won on pints bit sadly lost the title tae Robinson twa months later in New York. Randy continued his career tull 1964. Twa ear later he committed suicide cos o siller troubles.

If ye’re a Scot o a certin age and interested in boxin aat aa yer sure tae myn o the great Peter Keenan. Peter wis the first Scottish boxer tae win twa Lonsdale belts ootricht an in his career as a bantamwecht wis British, Empire an European champion. Een o the mair gutsy fechters o his time he wint on tae hae a braw career as a boxin promoter.

A fyow ears back the legendary Dick McTaggart wis ask’t faa he thocht wis the greatest Scottish boxin pro’ he hid seen. Withoot hesitation McTaggart replied – Peter Keenan.

Een o the maist colourfu characters in boxin wis licht hivvywecht Freddie Mills. It wis thocht he wis the biggest British boxin star o the immediate post war era. Stairtin his fechtin in the fairgrun boxin booths Freddie wint on tae becum warld lichtwecht champion in 1948 beatin the American Gus Lesnevich faa wis the current hudder o the title. He lost the title in 1950 tae anither Yank Joey Maxim an retired seen efter.

He still kept his popularity bi appearin fer a wee fylie as a presenter o BBC’s pop music programme “Six Five Special”. He wis as weel a nicht club ainer an the notorious gangsters the Kray twins war frequent visitors. Freddie cam tae a sticky eyn, bein fun shot in his car in 1965. Suicide wis the official verdict bit at the time he wis hivvily in debt tae a criminal gang an it wis rumoured his suicide wis staged.

A colourfu chiel tae the laist.

kennin the result o the race, a still fun masel wullin him on

Athletics:- Bein a bittie faist masel ower a hunner yairds at skweel a took an interest in fit wis gyaan on in the athletics warld. The greatest achievemint bi ony athlete fin a wis young hid tae be Roger Bannister runnin the mile in unner 4 meenits, the first billie tae dee iss.

We didna hae TV in 1954 bit a myn seein the race on Pathe News at the picters. Tae see Bannister fleein roon the track at a gweed lick wi his rinnin pals Chris Brasher and Christopher Chataway wis sumthin else an tho fin watchin in the picters an kennin the result o the race, a still fun masel wullin him on. Neen o yer funcy race tracks back then. They ran on a shunner track.

A afen winner fit time he wid hae postit if he hid ran on a modern surface.

A canna forget Derek Ibbotson, anither stalwart o the race track aroon aboot the same time as Bannister an his freens. I myn o seein Ibbotson in the flesh fin a wis doon on holiday at ma auntie an uncle’s in North Yorkshire an gyaan up tae a race meetin at Gatesheid or it micht hae bin Darlington an watchin Ibbotson rinnin. A myn on iss as clearly as tho it wis yesterday.

Derek’s greatest achievemint wis winnin a bronze medal in the 5000m at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

A name faa deserves mair recognition  is aat o high jumper Dorothy Tyler faa competed in fower Olympic Games stairtin, fin she wis jist 16, wi  1936 in Berlin, faar she won a silver, an 1948 faar she got anither silver, syne 1952 in Helsinki, an finally at Melbourne in 1956. Noo in her 90’s her latest claim tae fame wis bein ask’t tae fire the stairtin gun at the recent London Marathon.

Weel fowks aat’s jist a smatterin o names  o aa the weel kent sportin stars fae the 40’s/50’s. Aat era wis hotchin wi great sportsmen an sportsweemin afore siller an professionalism took ower.

At a later date a micht git roond tae ither sports stars o the forties an fities like cricketers Len Hutton, Dennis Compton [o Brylcreem fame] an Godfrey Evans alang wi jockeys, Charlie Smirke, Eph Smith and Gordon Richards plus rugby legends Dally Allardyce, Cliff Morgan and Arthur Smith, gowfin stars John Panton, Eric Brown an Fred Daly an finally tennis players Christine Truman, Angela Mortimer an Bobby Wilson.

Image Credit: Steve DanielsCreative Commons Attribution Share-alike license 2.0

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May 172013

One of Scottish cycling’s most prestigious races is joining forces with one of the newest as the Scottish National Road Race Championships heads for Cyclefest 2013 at the Grampian Transport Museum at Alford, on Sunday 19th May. With thanks to Chris Anderson.

The Cyclefest event is now in its third year.

2013 marks the fifth time that local cycling club Ythan CC have promoted youth cycle races at the popular Donside tourist attraction, following the Grampian Grand Prix events in 2009 and 2010 and successful Cyclefests over the past two years.

Following a new partnership between the Ellon club and Aberdeen racing outfit Granite City Racing Team, Scotland’s top men and women road riders will be taking on the challenging roads around Donside whilst over 60 youths from across Scotland battle it out on the closed circuit at the museum.

Sponsored by global energy services company Senergy, Cyclefest celebrates everything about cycling at a time when the sport is booming in the UK thanks to superstars like Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Victoria Pendleton.

This year’s event marks another transition as the present stars of Scottish Cycling, who next year will be trying to secure places at the Commonwealth Games, will join with future of the sport in Scotland as 60 youths aged from 6 to 16 travel from as far as Edinburgh, Stirling and Tain to race on the famous track.

Cyclefest Youth Race Organiser Malcolm Grant of Ythan CC and Granite City RTs Phil Allan have been working closely with Grampian Transport Museum to ensure that the events ensure a memorable day for cycling fans with special attractions at the museum and the bonus of a closed road finish in Alford for the men’s and women’s Championship Road Races.

The event theme, the joining of the present and future of Scottish Cycling, will be given a grandstand introduction at 11am when the youth riders, and a specially formed youth pipe band from across the Alford area, lead the Women’s Championship field around the track before they head towards the roads to the north of Donside to decide the national title.

This will be followed by the first set of youth races featuring riders as young as six before the men’s field enjoy a similar ceremonial send off before also taking on the same circuit on a course that takes in Montgarrie, Auchleven, Insch, Kennethmont, Rhynie and Mossat.

The women’s and men’s road races are expected to finish on Montgarrie Road Alford at approximately 2.15pm and 3pm respectively.

The closed road finish promises to provide a fitting finale to what should be a thrilling event, encompassing several ascents of Brindie Hill near Keig and the historic and feared climb of Suie Hill before the winding and fast descent back towards Alford in what will undoubtedly prove to be a true test for all of the riders.

Championship organiser Phil Allan commented:

“Most of Scotland’s top riders have entered including Commonwealth Track medallist James McCallum (Rapha Condor) and strong local favourite Craig Wallace who has returned from racing in Belgium to try to win in his first year as senior. It will be a tough race and the winner will be a worthy national champion.

The women’s event – which has 37 riders taking part – will feature many of the riders who have Glasgow 2014 in their sights with the Breast Cancer Care Team well represented.  Paralympic pilot Fiona Duncan (Ythan CC) will be hoping that a recent racing trip to Belgium puts her in a strong position to challenge the favourites such as Jane Barr and Aberdeen’s Julie Erskine.

Cyclefest within the grounds of the Transport Museum will also be the place to watch fast and exciting racing as the youths ride two stages within their age categories to decide who will claim not only the Gold, Silver and Bronze medals but also the prestigious Cyclefest gold Winners jerseys, which have been generously donated by Aberdeenshire Sports Council.

Race organiser Malcolm Grant, said:

“The track at Alford lends itself perfectly to youth racing and is ideal for spectators to watch the next generation of Scotland’s cyclists enjoy competing and developing as athletes.”

“We are very grateful to Senergy for supporting Cyclefest and who work very closely with the Transport Museum to deliver a quality event in Aberdeenshire.  On behalf of Ythan Cycling Club I would like to thank Aberdeenshire Sports Council for their continued commitment to supporting, developing and improving sport across Aberdeenshire. 

“We are also grateful to the young pipers and drummers from Donside who will create the fanfare as the Championships get under way and to the volunteer team from the local cycling clubs that make these events possible.”

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games mascot Clyde will be at the Transport Museum from 12 noon and will make several appearances including at the Youth and Senior Medal presentations, which will provide visitors of all ages with an early chance to see one of the central figures on next years sporting celebrations in Glasgow.

Entry to Cyclefest is via the main museum gate with the following prices being in place.
Adult £4 | Concession £3 | Child £2 | Family £10 (2 adults & up to 2 children) | gtm+ members- Free

Reduced museum entry fee for cyclefest visitors.
Adult £6 | Concession £4.50 | Additional Child £2 | gtm+ members- Free

Cyclefest can also be followed on twitter at https://twitter.com/CyclefestMMXIII or via the Transport Museum website at http://www.gtm.org.uk/

Feb 212013

Duncan Harley reflects on Life, the Universe and Everything. A sideways look at the world and its foibles.

What’s in the Box?

For reasons best known to herself the daughter of the Laird of Balquhain made a bet with a stranger that she could bake a batch of bannocks in less time than it took him to build a road to the top of Bennachie.

Of course the stranger was the devil himself and on losing the bet he turned the unfortunate lady to stone as she fled from his advances.

This late Pictish monolith dates back some 1200 years and stands 3.2 metres tall.

There are over 200 known symbol stones in Scotland and many more of them displaced or built into walls and dwellings. The Maiden Stone is probably the finest example of these.

In the last 10 years or so the Maiden Stone has been boxed up during the winter months. It’s not a pretty sight. An upright coffin like box greets the visitor with a sign which reads:

“This temporary shelter will be in place until the spring. It has been fitted to protect the site from the combined effects of rain and frost over the winter months.”

Inside the box is The Maiden Stone, one of the finest Pictish monuments in the north east of Scotland.

Or is it all an illusion?

Royal Mail (Type C) Pillar Box – Painted in Post Office Red

In 1840 Rowland Hill suggested the idea of roadside pillar boxes for use in the UK mainland. Folk at that time seemingly took their letters to the post office for posting and the postal authorities were keen to grow the communication business using modern innovations. These were pre-internet days of course but the railways were about to revolutionise both transport of goods and mass communication.

Letter boxes were already being used in Europe of course. However there were no roadside letter boxes in the British Isles until about 1852, when the first pillar boxes were erected at St Hellier in Jersey at the recommendation of one Anthony Trollope (author of Barchester Towers and Framley Parsonage), who at the time was working as a Surveyors Clerk for the Post Office.

In 1853 the first pillar box on the UK mainland was erected at in Carlisle. A similar box from the same year still stands at Barnes Cross in Dorset and is seemingly the oldest pillar box still in use today on the mainland.

In Scotland there were protests when the first boxes made in the reign of Elizabeth II were produced. These bore the inscription “E II R” but there were objections because Queen Elizabeth is the first Queen of Scotland and of the United Kingdom to bear that name, Elizabeth I having been Queen of England only.

After several “EiiR” pillar boxes were blown up and vandalised by Scottish Nationalists protesting “No Unlimited Sovereignty for Westminster in Scotland” including one in the Scottish capital, the General Post Office (as it was at that time) had the remaining boxes North of the border replaced with ones which only bore the Crown of Scotland with no Royal cipher.

This is one such box and it sits proudly outside the main postal depot in Inverurie.

It is I think a Royal Mail (Type C) Pillar Box of 1950’s circa and is painted in that familiar Post Office Red paint unlike its Irish counterparts which are in Green or those strange metallic pillar boxes from the Greek Games of 2012.

I use it often but wonder who would want to spend their entire working day cooped up inside such a confined environment.

Bus Shelters.

Bus shelters were once boringly functional affairs built by local councils. Some were iron-and-glass edifices covered in peeling municipal green paint. Others were made of brick and some in rural areas even had thatched roofs.

Then in 1969, two advertising billboard companies, “More O’Ferrall” and “London and Provincial”, joined together to form a company called Adshel.

The idea behind the new firm was simple.  Adshel would supply bus shelters to local authorities for nothing in return for the right to display advertising on them. In the early 1970s, it began installing its very first shelters in Leeds.

It’s a big market. But quite how big can be hard to find unless you dig into the National Public Transport Data Repository at http://data.gov.uk/dataset/nptg

There you can find out which place in Britain has the least bus stops – and which the most. Seemingly the Shetland Isles have the least at only 168 while Greater London has a massive 24,122!

I think that this inequality is a brilliant argument for Scottish Independence.

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Oct 112012

As part of the Active Aberdeen – Festival of Sport, Physical Activity and Dance, the Active Schools team are organising some FREE festival opportunities in Commonwealth Sports.

Active Aberdeen- Festival of Sport, Physical Activity & Dance is an incredible month long festival of sport, physical activity and dance within the city. The event will be themed around the 17 Commonwealth games sports, giving residents and visitors of all ages an opportunity to try an activity.

Active Schools is a key element in the Scottish Government’s drive to get more Scots more active; a commitment outlined in the National Physical Activity Strategy, ‘Let’s Make Scotland More Active’.

The fundamental aim of the Active Schools Network is to offer all children and young people the opportunities and motivations to adopt active, healthy lifestyles now and into adulthood.

Grab some friends and register as a group, or why not enter as an individual and make some new friends?  Either way, just get involved…






Age Group



22 Oct


Sheddocksley Sports Centre




22 Oct


Sheddocksley Sports Centre




23 Oct


Beach Leisure Centre




23 Oct


Beach Leisure Centre




24 Oct


Torry Youth & Leisure Centre




24 Oct


Torry Youth & Leisure Centre




26 Oct


Beach Leisure Centre




26 Oct


Beach Leisure Centre


*Clyde, the Commonwealth Games mascot, may be in attendance at these sessions!

Booking Information:

  • To book a space for any of the activities listed please call 0845 608 0935
  • Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis

Additional Information:

  • All festivals will be competitive, but there will be no prizes – only pride!

Image credit: Sally (Creative Commons)

Oct 112012

With thanks to Claire McBain. 

This week four charity-focused graduates employed by Total E&P UK Limited (TEP UK) officially revealed a fundraising total of more than £3,400 after recreating the Olympic spirit to host Le Tour de Deeside. 

The proceeds of this event are being used to benefit VSA’s Easter Anguston Farm.

Graduate engineers Louise Reid (25) from Aberdeen, Jamie Kirkwood (25) from Fraserburgh, Steven Grzywa (26) from Portlethen and Drew Annand (26) from Brechin, organised and hosted the event for TEP UK employees, plus family and friends, to mark the end of their graduate scheme.

Le Tour de Deeside comprised teams cycling the Deeside Way, with integrated Olympic-themed challenges.  Later this year, the foursome will use their funds and volunteer their time to rebuild the farm’s pond.

Easter Anguston Farm, run by VSA, the UK’s largest city social care charity which supports people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, will benefit from funds raised from Le Tour de Deeside entry fees, plus the proceeds of a coffee morning and family fun day run at TEP UK in September.

TEP UK matched the amount raised by the graduates total to achieve the amazing final total of £3,400.

Fiona Davidson, farm operations manager, said:

“£3,400 is fantastic.  We’ll be able to build the new pond and do something else too.  Corporate matching is a great initiative and will give this project a big boost.  Some of our service users went along to Le Tour de Deeside and had an amazing time meeting the TEP UK staff.  They’re a brilliant bunch.”

Louise Reid, graduate process engineer at TEP UK, said:

“Our initial target was around £2,000.  We’re so chuffed to have so much more than that.  I’m so happy we’ve managed to ignite so much fundraising excitement in our colleagues.  I want to keep raising awareness of VSA at TEP UK.”

For further information about Easter Anguston Farm you are invited to contact Fiona Davidson on 01224 733627.

Sep 132012

With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Since opening in August 2009, Aberdeen Sports Village (ASV), the North East of Scotland’s premier sports facility, has welcomed over 1.74 million users through its doors and has increased its visitor numbers by over 30% in three years.

The premier sports facility has played host to a number of exciting events this year including the Hydrasun Mini Olympics, Denis Law Soccer Tournament, Cameroon v Scotland Women’s football match and being chosen as the venue for the Cameroon Olympic Team training camp.

February of this year boasted the busiest month for ASV with membership peaking at over 7,000 and almost 71,000 people using the state of the art sporting facilities.

In order to accommodate the centre’s increase in users, a number of development plans are in place for the near future.

The £22 million Aquatics Centre development is progressing well. The new facility on King Street, which is on track for opening in early 2014, will offer world-class swimming and diving facilities to both members of the community and elite athletes.

David Beattie, chief executive at Aberdeen Sports Village said:

“The popularity ASV has experienced since opening has been phenomenal. A cutting edge sporting facility hosting activities for people of every fitness level was clearly exactly what the area needed. The feedback received has been incredibly positive with all the facilities including the gym, sports hall, indoor pitch, athletics area, studios and classes all being consistently busy.

“This level of use and interest in the centre has enabled us to put a number of exciting plans and developments in place that will allow us to provide even more activities and opportunities for our users.” 

 The facility, which opened in 2009, is the result of a joint venture by funding partners the Universityof Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council and sportscotland.

Aug 312012

Four Total E&P UK Limited graduates will today unveil to their colleagues Le Tour de Deeside, a fundraiser in aid of VSA’s Easter Anguston Farm, a Peterculter-based visitor attraction that offers training and support to adults with learning difficulties. With thanks to Claire McBain.

Easter Anguston Farm, run by VSA, will benefit from the takings at an adult and family cycle event on Sunday 30 September 2012.

Graduate engineers Louise Reid, 25, from Aberdeen, Jamie Kirkwood, 25, from Fraserburgh, Steven Grzywa, 26, from Portlethen and Drew Annand, 26, from Brechin have organised and will host the event for TEP UK employees, family and friends to mark the end of their graduate scheme.

Le Tour de Deeside will comprise a team cycle race along the Deeside Way, with integrated Olympic-themed challenges.

Funds will be raised from entry fees, tomorrow’s internal coffee morning at TEP UK – when the Le Tour de Deeside is unveiled and its family fun day in September.  Louise, Jamie, Steven and Drew will also volunteer at the farm.

Louise Reid, graduate process engineer at Total, said:

“VSA stood out to us because we knew the money we raised would make a difference close to home.  We wanted to see the results.  It had to be a project we’d be interested in as young adults and a story people attending our event could identify with. 

“Easter Anguston Farm fits the bill perfectly.  We’ll physically see our funds in use and can push the project on by donating our own time.

“I’m so excited to be part of this.  I can’t wait to meet the service users and understand what the farm means to them.  Knowing our efforts will directly benefit them is a real motivator.  I want to raise awareness of VSA within TEP UK and inspire others to follow in our footsteps.”

Fiona Davidson, farm operations manager, said:

“We’re so grateful to be the chosen charity.  I’m positive we’re giving them something back too.  This project will force them to pull together to become short-term experts in something they’d never face in day-to-day employment.  Not to mention the skills they’ll develop with fundraising, event organisation and meeting our service users. 

“We’re also so thankful to Total.  Corporate matching is a great initiative and will give this project a big boost.”

“When they visited, we decided revamping the pond would match their estimated funds and time available.  I’m working on a major development of the farm and this was one of my initial targets. 

“Making areas like this more attractive is so important.  We don’t want Easter Anguston to just be a working farm.  It’s becoming an attraction where the family can spend a whole day.”

For more information about Easter Anguston Farm contact Fiona Davidson on 01224 733627.

Le Tour de Deeside will take place on Sunday 30 December from 12noon.  Teams will register at the Robert Gordon University Business School, Garthdee, where a barbecue will follow afterwards. 

For further information, photographs or to arrange interviews, please contact Claire McBain on 01224 358611 or 07808768530 or e-mail claire.mcbain@vsa.org.uk

Aug 302012

Interesting Music present an exciting night of music at The Tunnels on Carnegie Brae on Friday 31st of August featuring THE UNWINDING HOURS, OLYMPIC SWIMMERS, and FOXHUNTING.

THE UNWINDING HOURS release their new album ‘Afterlives’ on 20 August on Chemikal Underground Records. Influences such as the Flaming Lips, Max Richter, The Cocteau Twins and Laurie Anderson filtrate the album throughout.

After releasing their debut album, touring and support slots with Idlewild, The Twilight Sad and Biffy Clyro, the duo took their time writing and recording any new material.

Craig B went back to university to study Theology and Sociology while Iain Cook, concentrated on production and recording in his studio.

Craig would bring new demos once a week for them both to work on, and their sophomore effort slowly took shape.

Spurred on by a new found excitement for study, Craig claims this hugely influenced the writing process.

I felt I was finally able to learn and absorb as much as I could but also use it to be able to articulate what I had been trying to express for years. Working with Iain at our own pace allowed us to experiment, try out new ideas and make sure we didn’t repeat ourselves”.

“We tried to tie ourselves to different time signatures, made some songs specifically guitar orientated, made others more synth based but also stripped it all back when necessary. We basically just had a ball throwing ideas around. You can hear a kitchen sink being battered by a piece of metal near the end of the first song, so yes we had a lot of fun.”

The album artwork was taken from an etching by an American artist called Jack Baumgartner. It depicts the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel.

Craig explains,

“We thought Jack’s depiction was perfect for the front cover. I love the fact that the biblical story is so enigmatic and open to so much interpretation. These stories, as all things capable of stirring the imagination, continue to have an afterlife.”

With a strongly held belief that an album should be consistently engaging from start to finish, The Unwinding Hours have produced just that and have plans to continue making music for as long as it remains possible. They just might take their time doing so.


OLYMPIC SWIMMERS are a Glasgow band who recently released their first album ‘No Flags Will Fly’ on 4 June.

“I would describe our music as shoe-glancing indie that goes down the quiet/loud path, but with lots of wandering around along the way” says vocalist Susie. “We’re all agreed in our admiration of Low, Pavement, The Wedding Present, The National and Bonnie Prince Billy.” (The Skinny)

“Their familiar yet endearing sounds pay homage to myriad Scottish forebears, notably the Cocteau Twins, whose yearning distortion, disembodied vocals and celestial guitars are echoed on In This House; and perhaps indirectly, the picturesque folk-rock of early-90s Pearlfishers (Bricks of our Building) and the unsung guitar-pop of Wild River Apples (Apples and Pears).” (Nicola Meighan, The Herald)


FOXHUNTING is the solo project of one Joe Sutherland, a teenage singer-songwriter from Aberdeen, Scotland. Dealing mainly with acoustic guitar and vocals, he provides a visceral edge not often found in the folk-pop scene. Live shows combine energetic, foot-tapping music with soulful, emotional lyricisms.

He has supported the likes of Withered Hand, Woodpigeon, tUnE-yArDs, Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun, Juffage and Esperi since his first proper show in 2011.

Debut studio album ‘Come On Sweetheart, Take My Hand’ in October 2011 saw Foxhunting experiment with electronic music, providing a contrast to the organic and homemade noise captured on earlier EPs.

After a year’s stay in Australia, Foxhunting is due to return to his home town in August.


Friday, 31 August 2012, Doors 7.30pm 

The Tunnels (Room 1),
Carnegies Brae,
AB10 1BF.
Phone (01224) 211121

Advance Tickets £8 + bf / £10 on door
Available from One-Up Records, Belmont Street, Aberdeen. Phone (01224) 642662 or online http://www.wegottickets.com/event/174932