Ear-splitting as it certainly was, Sunday’s Firework Spectacular proved to be another resounding success and a credit to the organisers.
On a crisp, clear and decidedly nippy evening around five hundred spectators had gathered in front of the Lifeboat House and along Dock Street in early and eager anticipation, their appetite for the event doubly whetted by the ample provision of hot food and drinks and the astonishing virtuosity of the Firepois jugglers who, for nigh on 30 minutes, spun their almost hypnotic web of fire to the rhythmical beating of their drummers.
Then, at precisely half past seven, just as the flames died out, the first rocket burst its way heavenwards and for the next fifteen minutes or so the sky above the normally tranquil and shadowy harbour was transformed into a magical myriad of colours and shapes.
This was the village’s eleventh consecutive Firework Spectacular and, as it has been since its inception in 2001, was a truly family occasion as young and old intermingled happily together along the “Shorehead” and, although intended only as a one-off event, the Spectacular has now become a permanent fixture in the social calendar. That this is so is due to the continuing efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, known as the “friends and villagers of Johnshaven” who, as well as staffing the fireworks’ food stall, hold raffles and other small fund-raisers in the Ship Hotel during the year and also at the August Fish Festival.
A major earner, though, is a bucket collection taken on the night and Sunday’s generous £380 will go a long way to meeting next year’s costs. Originally, too, as well as being self-financing, the fireworks’ display was an all local affair but now is managed by a professional company, Fireworx Scotland, who certainly know how to cheer everybody up at the tail end of a miserable January.
This was a point made by one of the principal organisers of the Firework Spectacular, Mrs Bobby Still, joint owner of the Ship Hotel with husband, Eddie, when she said later: “I thought the fireworks were truly spectacular and a great way to brighten things up after the festive season has long gone and I would like to thank all who made it possible.”
Next year is a long time away but the organisers will be making good use of the time to raise funds for the 2012 Spectacular and anyone who wishes to make a contribution during the long wait should feel free to do so to Bobby and Eddie at the Ship in Castle Street.
At the recent Annual General Meeting of SHARK Johnshaven held in the Ship Hotel, Chairperson Rebecca Chambers reported that the environmental group had experienced a full and rewarding year.
Most significantly perhaps the second hand truck had been sold and a Zero Waste Scotland award of £5,000 had helped make possible the purchase of a new compact tractor at a cost of £5,000.
Three clean-ups of the beach had been carried out while a spruce up of the railway line had been motivated by a forthcoming Keep Scotland Beautiful event and the popular compost collections had been in operation between April and November.
On the fund-raising front £250 had been raised from the sale of strawberries at the Fish Festival, £450 from two café days held during the NEOS event in September, and £100 from “Play Your Cards Right” at the Christmas Fayre and the year ended on a happy note with a Christmas celebration in the Ship Hotel.
Looking to the future Rebecca said that 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering and they will be looking at ways in which SHARK’s contribution can form part of a nationwide event.
It is hoped also to upgrade as well as hold an open day at the compost site and participate in the RSPB Garden Watch, Keep Scotland Beautiful and “Yellow Fish”, a co-operative awareness-raising exercise between Scottish Water and Aberdeenshire Council to prevent inappropriate disposal of paint, oil and chemicals.
With running costs to be met and a new trailer needed external sources of funding are being investigated while last year’s successful initiatives will be repeated. More immediately, however, a clean-up of the beach from Seagreens to the Cove Hill will take place on Sunday, February 20 beginning at 11 a.m.
Rebecca ended her report by thanking all who had attended the meeting and who had helped during the year.
In presenting the Annual Accounts the Treasurer, Sue Calder, informed the meeting that there was a credit balance of £2,645 with an annual turnover of £9,990. However, she pointed out that, although this sum was expected to reach £3,000 by April, additional funds will be need to cover the cost of insurance and a loader for the tractor.
Office-bearers elected for 2011 are: Chairperson, Rebecca Chambers; Secretary, Tony Archer; Treasurer, Sue Calder and Minute Secretary, Gerry McGuiness.
While SHARK is a properly constituted environmental group carrying out invaluable work in the community it operates on a fairly informal basis and as its Chairperson, Rebecca Chambers, is keen to point out: “ We are more than happy to enlist the help of volunteers at any of our activities or indeed at any of our meetings, the next one being in the Ship Hotel on Sunday, March 6 at 7 p.m. Just give me a ring on 01561 362120 if you want any more information.”
Mearns Coastal Church
In continuing his study of the Book of Ruth at a family service in St Cyrus Church on Sunday morning the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster, said that Ruth’s apparently fortuitous meeting with Boaz in the harvest field in Bethlehem was not accidental but an example of God’s plan at work in the world.
Earlier, in trying to persuade members of the congregation, during his children’s address, to distinguish between a glass of rain water and one containing tap water, he stressed that faith was better than opinion.
With the church band adding to the pleasure of the service, there was a distinct Scottish flavour to the praise, one of the hymns being sung to the tune of “Ye Banks and Braes” and another to the tune of “Ae Fond Kiss.”
At the conclusion of the service there was an opportunity for the congregation to mingle and enjoy a time of fellowship over light refreshment. The organist was Mrs Helen Doig.
This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10 a.m. in Johnshaven Church and 11.30 a.m. in St Cyrus Church.
Horticultural Society Seed Sale
Don’t forget the seed sale in the Village Hall (small) tomorrow Saturday between 10.30 a.m. and 3 p.m. - an ideal opportunity to make early purchases at discount prices and enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee while at the same time supporting the funds of the Horticultural Society.
Mearns Coastal Church Guild
The next meeting of the Church Guild will be held in the Church Hall on Monday, February 7 at 2.30 p.m. when the speaker will be the Rev Denis Rose from Inverbervie
The Community Council next meets for business in the Village Hall (small) on Wednesday, February 9 at 7 p.m. Items for the agenda should be in the hands of the Acting Chair, Don Marr, Old Schoolhouse, Seaview Terrace by Monday, February 7.
Twenty years ago Mrs Joyce Marr presented her last balance sheet as Treasurer of the Wairds Park committee and a good one it was too. Despite considerable expenses during the year including the rebuilding of a section of the Castle Street wall excess receipts over payments amounted to £3,597.
Mrs Marr was retiring after ten years in the post and Chairman Clark Simpson paid tribute both to her impeccable management of the committee’s finances and the keen and progressive interest she had taken in all aspects of the committee’s work.
Mrs Marr was succeeded by Mr Donald Dundas, Jnr.