Jul 032017
 

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

Chapelton residents with Neil Skene from NESS and the Duke and Duchess of Fife.

Organisers of Aberdeenshire’s newest bike ride are hoping to attract record numbers of participants through the launch of a new 5K charity walk.
The Chapelton Bike Ride returns for a second year on Sunday, September 3, with the addition of the new Chapelton 5K Walk sponsored by Liberty Retirement Living, which will coincide with the event’s 42-mile and 12-mile bike rides.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), the event was formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, before it moved to the village of Chapelton, near Newtonhill.

Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the first ever Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Elgin, Aberdeen and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence.  

Event organisers hope that the launch of the walk will encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved with the sporting event, especially those who are unable to participate in both the bike rides. Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the 5K route will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding Chapelton and Elsick.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We are all thrilled about the launch of the 5K Chapelton walk, as it opens up the event to a much more diverse group of people who might not have been able to take part in either of the bike rides.

“The first ever Chapelton Bike Ride was a complete success, we were very happy that most cyclists and spectators chose to stay and enjoy the variety of stalls that were available. This year, we hope to turn the event into a fun day for all the family and have improved the range of activities, food and drink options, and music on offer.

“I am proud to be part of an event that aims to involve every single member of the community. There will be something for everyone and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to come along, enjoy the day and help raise vital funds for NESS.”

Liberty Retirement Living, sponsors of the Chapelton Charity 5K Walk, are building a brand new retirement village in Chapelton, as part of the town’s next phase of development.

Karl Hallows, director of development and sales at Liberty Retirement Living, said:

“The first Chapelton Charity 5K walk promises to be a fantastic community event for residents of Chapelton and the surrounding area.

“We’re delighted to be able to support such a fun and inclusive event that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for everyone. Whatever your age, we’re sure there’ll be plenty to enjoy at this year’s inaugural charity walk.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 3. Participants have the choice of a 42-mile bike ride, a 12-mile bike ride or a 5K walk.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. The 5K walk is free to enter, but all participants must register via the website. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss. 

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence. 

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray. 

Liberty Retirement Living: Building brand new communities in desirable locations across the country, Liberty Retirement Living is committed to improving the quality and experience of later life.

A Liberty Lifestyle combines good health, opportunities and independence with tailored care available if required – it’s our vision for enjoyable and modern retirement living, delivered with respect.

Our first retirement village in Scotland will be a vibrant 94-home community with a range of complementary facilities, at the heart of the growing town of Chapelton, Aberdeenshire.

A new Liberty marketing suite will open in Chapelton in September 2017 – in the meantime, please visit www.libertyretirement.co.uk for further details.

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Apr 112017
 

With thanks to Matthew Duncan.

A musical extravaganza is set to take place to pay tribute to a brave North-east youngster.

Sam Dorrance of Stonehaven had just started Dunnottar Primary School in August 2015 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Sam battled bravely for 11 months but sadly passed away last July.

A tribute event has now been planned to play some of Sam’s favourite songs and raise money for Super Sam’s Fund for the Brain Tumour Charity.

The show will take place at Stonehaven’s Station Hotel on Friday 12th May where award winning Aberdeen country band The Malpaso Gang will be joined onstage by Sam’s dad, Graeme Dorrance.

Graeme said:

“Sam loved music and these songs were a big part of his life. This show is an opportunity for us to play some of his favourites and raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity in the process.”

Tickets for the show are available now, costing £15 (including food) with all funds raised going to Super Sam’s Fund for the Brain Tumour Charity

For ticket info email Graeme.dorrance@me.com

Sep 282015
 

With thanks to Eoin Smith, Senior Account Executive, Tricker PR

Stonehaven Fireballs - credit pic Paul Mitchell

Stonehaven Fireballs – Photo credit: Paul Mitchell

Legendary Scottish pop group Deacon Blue will headline Stonehaven’s Open Air in the Square this Hogmanay.
But those travelling to the event won’t need a ship called Dignity to see the top pop act: the Aberdeen Altens Hotel has unveiled an exclusive travel and accommodation package to allow revellers to party the night away without any stress.

The Stonehaven Package includes a delicious three-course buffet meal, transport to and from Stonehaven, entry into the event, and traditional stovies on return.

Tickets are available from just £159.00 per person, for a two-night stay arriving on December 30 or 31.

With additional acts still to be announced, Stonehaven’s Hogmanay celebrations are set to rival those of major cities, building upon previous years which have seen Simple Minds and the Human League visit the picturesque coastal town in the north east of Scotland.

The town will also once again host the iconic Fireballs Ceremony to bring in the bells, during which dozens of locals will take to the streets to swing homemade fireballs through the air in an amazing and unforgettable display.

Built from a wire cage attached to a chain and filled with combustible material, the swingers spin and twirl the flaming balls to ward off the evil spirits of the past year as they parade through the town.

Kris Manship, general manager of The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, says,

“Deacon Blue are undoubtedly one of Scotland’s greatest musical exports, so to have them playing at the Hogmanay celebrations in Stonehaven is a real coup.

“Fans will be travelling from all across the country to spend the night dancing to anthems like Dignity and Real Gone Kid, and witness the incredible spectacle of the fireballs, and as the official hotel partner we will be able to provide them with an easy way to attend on the night.

“Our Stonehaven Hogmanay packages have been extremely popular in recent years, with many guests commenting that it takes all the pressure out of the evening, allowing them to relax and have fun at New Year. We look forward to welcoming many more to The Aberdeen Altens Hotel this year.”

For those wishing to spend an evening in the city itself, the Aberdeen Altens Hotel will also offer a special package for a New Year’s Gala Hogmanay Ball. Guests will be able to dance the night away to the incredible sounds of Velvet Five, as well as enjoying a welcome drink on arrival, sumptuous five course meal and traditional stovies served throughout the night. At just £90.00 per guest (or from £125.00 including bed and breakfast), it’s the perfect way to bring in the New Year with friends.

To book your Hogmanay celebrations at the Aberdeen Altens Hotel, call 0871 376 9002 or email aberdeenaltenschristmas@thehotelcollection.co.uk

For more information, visit http://www.thehotelcollection.co.uk/hotels/aberdeen-altens-hotel/christmas-new-year/new-years-celebration/

The Aberdeen Altens Hotel is part of The Hotel Collection, which has two other venues in the city – The Aberdeen Skyway Hotel and The Caledonian Hotel. There are 446 bedrooms across the three venues, and each has conferencing and banqueting facilities. The Aberdeen Altens Hotel also has a health and leisure club. Further information is available at www.thehotelcollection.co.uk/aberdeen

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Aug 302013
 
Stonehaven Harbour Festival Duncan Harley 115

The public turn out in record numbers for the Stonehaven Harbour Festival.

Over 2000 folk attended Sunday’s Stonehaven Harbour Festival and with sunny calm seas it looked to be a record day for the festival’s organisers, reports Duncan Harley.

Community groups and fundraisers, including Stonehaven Sea Cadets, RNLI, Newtonhill Pipe Band and HM Coastguard, had put together an exciting programme to help raise funds for a new Kidney Dialysis Unit at Kincardine Community Hospital.

The Bon Accord lifeboat was present and Mackie Academy FPs Rugby Club provided entertainment and laughs as both adults and children were encouraged to chuck some very wet sponges at the players.

The Festival’s organisers were Stonehaven and District Lions Club, the Rotary Club of Stonehaven and Stonehaven Round Table. The event was supported by several local sponsors including Survival Craft Inspectorate who recently took over the harbour’s MRI building and delivered advice and practical resources.

Despite some late afternoon fog, the day was a resounding success and the organisers intend to repeat it next year.

Following the disastrous flooding in the town in the recent past, the festival was intended as a means of celebrating what Stonehaven has to offer and as a tribute to the community effort which has put the town back on to its feet.

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Jul 012013
 

With thanks to Charlie West.

The Folk of Stonehaven will be celebrating the town’s 25th annual Folk Festival this July. The weekend festival began in 1989 with a series of concerts in the Town Hall and a number of fringe activities including workshops, sessions and a Tradition Bearers singing concert.

The festival has grown over the years to include many more events such as the World Paper’n’Comb Championship – a fun ‘competition’ with a different theme each year and the unique Aqua Ceilidh held in the Open Air swimming pool.

Dancing is to a live ceilidh band and includes well known favourites such as the Splashing White Sergeant and Drip the Willow. Rain or shine this is one for all the family.

This year the organisers have placed an emphasis on highlighting some of the exciting new young talent alongside well-established artists such as Scotland’s Dougie MacLean and Paul Brady ( pictured above ) form Ireland. Dougie is well-known as a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and is famously the composer of Caledonia.

In the 70’s Paul started with the supergroup Planxty, going on to establish a very successful solo career in America before returning to his roots in Ireland.

Among the new breed of up-and-coming talent is Rura – a five-piece band featuring pipes, fiddle, bodhrán, guitar and vocals and including three BBC Young Tradition finalists, and Zoe Bestel, the girl with the ukulele, a singer-songwriter of amazing talent and depth of understanding whose repertoire of self-penned songs covers a range of subjects, often with an interesting twist.

There will also be the North East Folk Collective led by Sharon Hassan – a group of 13-18 year olds with some amazing tunes and tight arrangements all ensuring the good health and future of Scottish folk music.

In addition to the Town Hall concerts, there is also a full programme of activities on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday there is, weather permitting, a concert in the square, featuring festival artists and local singers and musicians.

In case of rain the concert will be held in the Town Hall. At 12 noon in the Belvedere Hotel, a tutor from Scottish Culture and Traditions (SCAT) will lead slow sessions giving less-experienced musicians a chance to learn some tunes and join in the fun.

There will be a big singaround during the afternoon with Danny Couper and Arthur Johnstone showcasing some of the best of traditional Scots song and singers and a series of hosted sessions and workshops throughout the afternoon.

At 1600 the World Paper’n’Comb Championship kicks off, with the theme Loud Shirts. Just about anything goes and fancy dress is optional.

Sunday starts with the unique Aqua Ceilidh in the Art Deco open air pool. The pool has heated seawater so it is always at a pleasant temperature for dancing to the NE Folk Collective Ceilidh Band. This is followed by the Cowie Fringe in the nearby recreation club. This is a mix of festival artists and guests with additional fun things for kids of all ages to do, rounded off with a fun Family Ceilidh.

Also around the town there is the Tradition Bearers concert featuring four of the best traditional singers in the UK followed by the Chorus Cup – a fun completion to see who can get the loudest chorus. There will also be workshops with members of the band Breabach and sessions around the town.

For full details, visit www.stonehavenfolkfestival.co.uk.

Tickets are available online from the Town Hall Trust web site http://stonehaventownhall.org.uk/ from Celtic Chords in Barclay Street, Stonehaven or from the ticket line 07766 851596.

Thursday 11th July

Stonehaven Folk Festival weekend starts here :

Opening Concert in Stonehaven Town Hall – featuring Dougie MacLean, one of Scotland’s most successful, respected and popular musicians, Singer-songwriter, composer and ‘magical’ performer, he is also a fine guitarist and fiddle player.   He will be supported by local singer and musician Ken Clark.

Friday 12th July

Stonehaven Folk Festival big Concert Ceilidh night in the Town Hall starts at 7:30 ‘till late (well 1 o’clock). Featuring Ray Moore, Rura, Mairearad Green and Anna Massie plus the Occasionals Ceilidh Band.

Saturday 13th July

Stonehaven Folk Festival Weekend : things gets going at 11 o’clock with workshops, sessions, afternoon Open Stage at the Plainstones (Town Square) featuring local artist and Festival guests. Evening concert in the town Hall, guests are the North East Folk Collective, Kristina Olsen and Braebach.

During the day there will be a singaround led by Danny Couper and Arthur Johnstone. There will also be the Steenhive Big Sing with Christine Kydd – a chance to join a group of people and sing together, no experience is necessary and Christine will ensure everyone has fun while learning some songs and harmonies. Don’t forget the World Paper’n’Comb championships – this year with a “Loud Shirt” theme.

Sunday 14th July

Stonehaven Folk Festival Weekend – the day gets going with Aqua Ceilidh in the town’s open air pool, a great way to clear the cobwebs. Dancing to the North East Folk Collective with dances such as Drip the Willow and the Splashing White Sergeant. The day continues with the Cowie Family Fun Day at the Recreation Club plus more sessions around the town.

During the afternoon there is a Tradition Bearers concert with four great traditional singers Henry Douglas, Bella Hardy, Jerry O’Reilly and Moira Stewart followed by the  Chorus Cup competition.

The Festival closes with an evening concert in the Town Hall featuring Zoe Bestel, Bella Hardy and legendary singer songwriterPaul Brady.

Workshops with members of Breabach and day two of the Steenhive Big Sing with Christine Kydd.

MC For the weekend will be Martin Kasprowicz

Although tickets are usually available on the door, people are advised to buy tickets in advance as most concerts sell out.

Tickets are available from Celtic Chords, 8 Barclay Street in Stonehaven (01569 763193) or by calling the ticket ‘phone 07766 581596 or visiting the Stonehaven Town Hall web site http://www.tickettailor.com/checkout/view-event/id/7885/chk/0d5c

There will also be a Festival Office located in the Upper Town Hall over the weekend; it opens from 4 o’clock on the 11th July for ticket sales and programme information.

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

Sep 072012
 

Ben Hukins gives Voice’s Suzanne Kelly the run-down on his background, races, interests and opinions on Aberdeen’s hot topics.

I meet Ben at Café 52.  I’ve been running (it was a Thursday and getting around town on Thursday evenings at rush hour is always problematic) and am somewhat out of breath.

Ben is a local runner with a number of local races and victories under his belt.

He has a girlfriend who is now into running, several cats, a rabbit which has chewed through his mobile phone charger, a father who used to be a professor at Aberdeen University and opinions on the day’s issues.

Unsurprisingly the Olympic Games is our first subject for discussion:

“As a sporting event it was fantastic.  I was actually quite surprised we did so well… my girlfriend and I saw several events including some of the women’s running events.  I felt like getting on the track and running. 

“There was negative press and commercialism…when you have companies like Dow Chemicals involved…  but all the negatives such as transport and security – all of that was forgotten.  As a sporting event it was fabulous.  You couldn’t leave an event without wanting to go run round the track.  We watched the women’s marathon on the street.  Everyone just got a huge buzz out there.

“The running track is going to stay.  There was a huge debate over the stadium with Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham – the West Ham solution was the best. Luckily in the end international bodies intervened.”  

But are kids today being active?

“People in my generation all kind of grew up outdoors playing, playing football.  Even when computer games were starting up, most people still went out to play as well.” 

We get into some early background history.  Ben is a Liverpool fan, although he grew up in Manchester before his family moved to Aberdeen.  His dad got a position in Aberdeen University and he and his mother moved to Aberdeen once Ben finished his A levels (one week after his 18th birthday).

Ben studied electrical engineering, stayed to work in the energy sector and is now the only member of his family still in Aberdeen.  His girlfriend recently took up running.

We then get to Scottish football and the future of Rangers:

“I actually read quite a lot; the actual administration process was interesting; there was so much written about it.” 

We talk about running – Ben is about to be put in the ‘veteran’ age group for running purposes.  He recently ran the Baker Hughes 10K, which is a big charity event.

“It’s great because you get a whole spread of people.  There is a guy from Greenock who goes to every single race in a clown’s costume.  He must have raised quite a lot of money for charity.” 

And if Ben is running competitively?

“I normally take it easy, but I like to get up 4 hours before a race starts.  I just have breakfast and get ready.” 

Ben enjoyed the Stonehaven half marathon in particular and he discusses some other races:

“It’s a great atmosphere and it’s very well organised.  I’m doing the Loch Ness Marathon at the end of September.  In April I went to Rotterdam and I’ve been to France.  I enjoyed the Champagne region.  There are marathons in so many places in the world… I really want to go to America.”

We get around to some of the environmental issues of the region:

“One of the reasons I like Aberdeen is the green space.  In no time at all you can get out of Aberdeen into some great countryside.  You see the current plans and proposals and it’s like greenbelt means nothing. 

“They were going to destroy Loirston.  The leadership of the recent council has given me great cause for concern towards the destruction of the greenspace.  There was just no joined up thinking. “

I can’t offer any argument against these sentiments.  We discuss Tullos Hill:

“There is so much propaganda and misinformation.  Tuesday night, for the first time in a long, long, time, I saw deer.  The council said there were 28 living in the area. They killed 34.  It was clearly a migratory population.”

[note: at the time of publishing, the total looks closer to 44.]

Ben and I note the change in the council and the lack of LibDem representatives in Torry/Ferryhill and Altens post -election. We discuss UTG:

“The ‘For’ (pro granite web) campaign had more money, more press.  P&J is clearly pro development of Union Terrace Gardens, shown in the way they aimed their headlines and articles.” 

Again, no argument from me.

Ben does as much working out in the out of doors as possible:

“I am a member of a gym which I use sporadically – I’m involved in the STV appeal.  They’re trying to cover 10,000 miles on the treadmill.  I’ve been doing running; for a fiver I’ll go and do your section of running for you – I’m up to 14 so far. 

“You don’t have to join a gym.  If you don’t like the gym, don’t do it.  These days there so many sports you can do in Aberdeen at RGU and the sports village and other venues.”   

STV’s charity event hopes to raise £5,000 by having people donate money for miles run on the treadmill at The Warehouse Health Club on Mearns Street which has organised a treadmill relay where they aim to cover 10,000km – the length of the Scottish coastline.  They have already started the run and expect to take around a month to complete the distance.

For full details and to help, visit http://campaigns.stv.tv/stv-appeal/about-us/latest-news/312977-aberdeen-gym-hits-the-treadmill-in-aid-of-the-stv-appeal/

We are in touch after the interview as we didn’t get a chance to discuss the amazing, moving Paralympics.  But two recent Scottish running events have had serious issues.  A man collapsed and died in the recent Glasgow run and several people had to be airlifted from Ben Nevis.

Ben had this to say:

I ran the Glasgow event on a number of occasions and it is a very well organised, excellent event. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding the death and it is obviously a great shame, however, from my experience of the event I believe that the organisers will have done everything they could to have prevented this unfortunate incident.

“With regards the Ben Nevis event, I really don’t know much.  Unfortunately fell running is a sport with its inherent risks and all competitors are aware of these.  Race organisers do their best to manage all the risks as far as reasonably practical.  Running isn’t a dangerous sport.”

No, running isn’t a dangerous sport.  It is a means of keeping fit that everyone can afford to do, all ages and sexes can enjoy running to their individual abilities and, as the Paralympics have shown, running can change peoples’ lives for the better.  ‘What’s not to like?’ as the saying goes.

All the best to Ben in his upcoming races.  We will be following his progress and will try and catch up with him figuratively, as catching up literally might take some doing.

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Mar 152012
 

Dave Macdermid updates Aberdeen Voice on the Glacier Energy Masters U -12  Winter Grand Prix.

Patrick Young consolidated his position as undisputed leader in the inaugural Glacier Energy Masters Under 12 Winter Grand Prix series with victory in the sixth and final event at Westburn Tennis Centre.
In the final, the Stonehaven youngster recovered from the loss of the opening set to edge it 0-4, 4-2, 1-0 (2) over Ross Martin (David Lloyd Aberdeen) in an entertaining match.

In the 3rd/4th place play-off, Rubislaw’s Cameron Edwards defeated his clubmate Conor McMahon 4-2, 4-2.

North East district coach Vikki Paterson was delighted with what will hopefully become an annual series.

“The grand prix has enabled the boys to enjoy regular high-level competition over the winter period and this is something we would wish to build on.”

District President Brian Morgan added.

“The standard of tennis was exceptional and I’m sure those involved will see the benefits of the grand prix going forward. We are indebted to Glacier Energy for their support as without their assistance, quite simply there would have been no event.”

Feb 162012
 

With thanks to Dave Macdermid.

Stonehaven youngster Patrick Young won the penultimate round of the Glacier Energy Masters Under 12 Winter Grand Prix at Westburn Tennis Centre, to set up an unassailable lead going into next month’s final event.
Patrick defeated Ross Martin (DL Aberdeen) 4-2, 4-1 while, in the 3rd/4th placed play-off, Cameron Edwards (Cults) proved too strong for Simon Kierwiak (DL Aberdeen), winning 4-1, 4-2.

The overall standings are – Patrick Young (Stonehaven) – 47; Cameron Edward (Cults) 33; Ross Martin (DL Aberdeen) 27; Simon Kierwiak (DL Aberdeen) 21; Conor Mcmahon (Rubislaw) 18; Anthony Low (Udny) 17; Fin Pearson (Banchory) 11; Michael Whelan (Cults) 5.

Feb 102012
 

With thanks to Dave Macdermid. 

The penultimate stage of the Glacier Energy Masters Under 12 winter grand prix takes place at Westburn Tennis Centre on Sunday from 8.45 am.

Stonehaven youngster Patrick Young currently stands ten points clear of second placed Cameron Edward (Cults).

The overall standings at present are – Patrick Young (Stonehaven) – 37 pts; Cameron Edward (Cults) 27; Ross Martin (DL Aberdeen) 19; Conor McMahon (Rubislaw) 18; Szymon Kierwaick (DL Aberdeen) 17; Anthony Low (Udny) 15; Fin Pearson (Banchory) 8; Michael Whelan (Cults) 5. Everyone, other than Michael, is playing this weekend.

North east clubs are reminded that all should be represented at the forthcoming meeting on Tuesday 6th March when details of this season’s leagues will be discussed including the introduction of the LTA League Planner which places new responsibilities on team captains.

The meeting will take place at Cults Tennis Club, commencing at 7 pm.