Dec 092011

After experiencing one of the mildest Novembers on record, winter has taken a hold of the region with a vengeance, with forecasters predicting worse still to come. Voice’s Stephen Davy Osborne reports.

Rewind 12 months and you would find the region hidden under several feet of snow, with salt stockpiles dwindling.

So far this year however, December has yet to see a heavy snow fall within the city. Instead, Aberdeen and the Shire have been battered by severe gales, with wind speeds reaching up to 160mph in the highlands.
A number of homes have also been left without power as a result.

But in true local spirit, residents of the North-East haven’t let this storm get them down, and have taken it deep into their hearts; affectionately endorsing the renaming of “Hurricane Bawbag”, which now even has its very own entry on Wikipedia.

Grampian Police have put out weather warnings to motorists on a number of highland roads, and have even closed the snow gates between Cockbridge and Tomintoul leading to the Lecht Ski Centre. A similar situation can be found on the A93 Braemar to Cairnwell Road, which is also closed due to drifting snow.

The A939 between Ballater and Corgarff, and the A96 from Inverurie to Elgin have been left open, but given an advisory “pass with care” status.

Interestingly though, Aberdeen’s main thoroughfare, Union Street was not included on this list, despite a very dangerous large obstruction. A section of the much-hyped brand new Christmas lights was blown from its moorings on either side of the street and came crashing down onto the busy main street between Natwest and the Filling Station towards the west end of the granite mile.

Miraculously nobody was injured in the freak incident, although traffic was disrupted while police cleared the debris of the mangled metal lights structure.

One on-looker was very pleased to note however that local bus services continued to run, even manoeuvring around the obstruction to get to the bus stops, so as not to cause further disruption to passengers.

Whoever said that the Christmas spirit was not alive amongst Aberdeen’s public transport system?

The bad weather is expected to continue into the weekend and the start of next week, with blizzards forecasted as the cold weather sets in once again.

Dec 042011

On 17 December Union Terrace Gardens will become a Winter Wonderland, and your artwork (if you’re 12 years old or younger) could win you a prize. 

Suzanne Kelly gets the information from the organisers.

Everyone is invited – come along to the Gardens from 1 to 3.30pm, and enjoy seasonal treats for all ages, including the Cairngorm Reindeer, Christmas carol singers, a display of the winning artwork, and more.

This is an Eden Project inspired community event.

Children’s’ Artwork Categories are:

  • Age 4-7 – Draw or paint a picture of snowflakes falling or a beautiful Christmas tree
  • Age 8-9 – Draw or paint a picture of brightly coloured presents – under the trees or a giant snowman
  • Age 10-12 – Imagine all the different fun things you could draw or paint – perhaps you and all your favourite toys having fun, or sledging on the slopes
  • Gift vouchers for first, second or third prizes (£30, £20 and £10) will be awarded for all age groups.
  • Your artwork can be in crayon, paint, pencils, pens – anything!

Send your artwork before 10 December to:
Christmas Competition, c/0 270 Holburn Street, Aberdeen AB10 6DD

Further information – email,

Union Terrace Gardens
17 December
1 – 3.30pm.

Dec 032010

By Bob Smith.

Here comes the affa bleedin snaw
Dingin doon – its flakes div fa
Aa aroon ye hear sic cas
Its cauld aneuch tae freeze yer bas

Its time tae weer yer winter woollies
If ye dinna wint tae lose yer goolies
An if its aneuch tae mak ye sweir
Mak sure the minister Disna hear

Ice maks ye skite aa ower the place
Ye nearly fa doon on yer face
Car drivers wi  brains a bittie saft
Flee aroon at speeds gey daft

Kids – snawbas they like tae chuck
An mony a bodie his tae duck
Jist myn ye were eence young yersel
So fling some back then rin like hell.

Oct 292010

By Dave Watt.

A young lady in my office, prudently preparing to avoid last year’s skidding-around- on-snow-and-ice-antics phoned up a local tyre company for a set of snow tyres on Monday of last week. Having done so, she was duly given a quote of £76.30p for each tyre and expressed her desire to have them fitted later in the week which was agreed upon.

However, Monday evening and Tuesday morning saw a drop in the temperature around the North-east and the first snow fall of winter and on phoning back to confirm the quote on Wednesday was informed that the tyres now cost £105.13p each.

Querying this massive price hike produced the unlikely fairy story that “the manufacturer decides the price of the tyres and this varies from day to day” and was nothing at all to do with the tyre company turning an opportunistic fast buck at their customers expense and the arrival of the first snow. Oh yeah?

I’m glad to say that the young lady firmly persisted and got the tyres at their original price. I think with the advent of the oil boom the service businesses around Aberdeen came upon the notion that you can get any money from the gullible oil people that you’ve got the nerve to ask for and this has, as they say at BP, ‘spilled out’ into the community. Not so much Granite City as Brass Neck City.