Round the clubs

Send your reports to news@mearnsleader.com

Stonehaven Bridge Club

Results of October 21 session, held in Number 44;

North/ South 1st Mr S Annand & Mrs P Kemp +2830pts 2nd Mrs P Walton & Mr G Shanks +1190 3rd Mrs P Watt &Mrs G Junnier +1180

East/West 1st Mrs C Medlock & Mrs C Harrison -440pts 2nd Mrs A Murray & Mrs H Samson -720 3rd Mrs C Masterton & Mr A Mearns -1330

Tewel WI

After welcoming members old and new President Mary Tennent introduced Mr Taylor of Taylors auctions who gave a most interesting and entertaining talk on people he meets and the changing world of antiques in this minimalistic climate.

Mr Taylor judge the competition ‘a treasured item’.

1st Kate Mathers 2nd Julia Christian 3rd Mary Johnstone

Flowers of the month Lilian Mair. Margaret Ross gave vote of thanks.

Maryculter WI

Carol Masson in the absence of the president welcomed everyone to the meeting After the singing of the rural song and business matters attended to she introduced Liz Jones a volunteer puppy walker from Guide Dogs based in Forfar. Liz was accompanied by her present puppy “Quincey” who is her 10th dog. He was totally unfased and found the whole experience quite boring and slept throughout .Liz regaled us with tales of her charges. The main purpose of puppy walkers is to provide a healthy, obedient dog who hopefully will pass the criteria to become a guide dog Dogs are taught to always walk on the left hand side , whistle feed and have good recall There are no ball games , no sitting on furniture and no human food allowed .They are taken out to shops , streets and on buses etc to promote confidence and ensure good socialising skills They all had their individual traits from one who was mesmerised by pigeons to another who liked to chase cars and others who were deemed so good that instead of becoming guide dogs themselves they were used for breeding purposes to provide further puppies as potential guide dogs .After this very enlightening talk Liz answered questions and revealed that this was her last night with Quincey who was going to Forfar to start his training the next day . She admits she always feels sad when they leave but gets real satisfaction and a feeling of achievement when she gets feedback from their new owners . Sheila Stuart proposed the vote of thanks.

Competion winners Photo of a dog 1st K. Paterson 2nd S Pike 3rd K Napier

Flower of the month 1st K Donald 2nd P Paterson 3rd S Donald

Mearns Ladies Probus Club

The President, Mrs Marian Finlayson, welcomed members to the October meeting and in particular extended a very warm welcome to three new members.

Mrs Finlayson introduced Louise from Isabella’s Preserves. Louise gave a background to her life as a local girl attending Brechin High School and graduating from Robert Gordon’s University.

After many years running a delicatessen in Aberdeen Isabella and her husband Alastair decided to convert an outbuilding at their Aberdeenshire farm into a factory kitchen to make Isabella’s traditional mustard relish. This gained them awards at local and national level. From that small beginning they expanded the lines to include luxury jams, preserves, marmalades and a variety of other relishes.

Louise worked for them at weekends and attended shows before taking over the business in 2005. She has built up an impressive client profile to include high class hotels like Gleneagles and the Old Course at St Andrews. She also makes frequent trips to London where she has introduced Harrods to her range of products as well as other high end establishments in that area. These high quality hand made products are produced at her factory at the Edzell Base. Life is very busy for her as well as being a young mum!

Louise brought along a super selection of her sweet and savoury jams and relishes and invited members to sample and buy if they wished. Recipe ideas are available on her website.

The vote of thanks was given by Jill Fairweather

Laurencekirk WRI

Laurencekirk WRI celebrated their 34th. Birthday in The Masonic Hall with a buffet meal provided by the members.

The lovely birthday cake, which was baked and iced by Secretary, Fiona Milton, was cut by Founder Member Kate Garrow .

The company then enjoyed a good selection of beautiful savouries and sweets and this ended with a cup of tea and birthday cake.

The competiton for the bonniest Autumn Leaf was won by Maureen Wadeson and Fiona Milton was second.

Because the speaker for the November meeting has had to withdraw, Betty Meston will demonstrate Felt Flower making the instead of in December.

Votes of thanks were by Mary Allan, President, bringing a very pleasant evening to a close.

Marykirk WRI

Our President Mrs O Henry welcomed everyone to the October meeting. This month’s speaker was Mr Jim Brown who gave us an insight into the history of Highland Games. We discovered how the various events began and how they developed over the years with different Royal patronage. We were surprised to learn how many countries round the world hold Games and how popular they are. Mrs M Stewart gave the vote of thanks.

Competitions: 2 slices of Smiddy Loaf 1st Mrs B McRobert 2nd Mrs M Easton. Sports Day Photograph 1st Mrs A Rushbridge 2nd Mrs K Masson. Flower of the month 1st Mrs A Rushbridge 2nd Mrs M EAston.

Stonehaven Rotary Club

The speaker at last week’s meeting was Rotarian Brian Cordiner who chose to speak about the case of Dr. Crippen. Crippen was born in America and graduated in medicine in 1884. His first wife, Charlotte, died of a stroke. Crippen started to practise in New York, where he married his second wife, Corrine “Cora” Turner whose stage name was Belle Elmore. In 1897, Crippen and his wife moved to England but his US medical qualifications were not sufficient to allow him to practise as a doctor in the UK. He continued working as a distributor of patent medicines and Cora socialised with a number of variety players of the time. Crippen met a young typist where he worked called Ethel Le Neve. After living at various addresses in London, the Crippens finally moved to 39 Hilldrop Crescent, Camden Road, Holloway, London, where they took in lodgers. Cora began an affair with one of these lodgers, and in turn Crippen took Le Neve as his mistress. After a party at their home, Cora disappeared. Crippen claimed that she had returned to the United States, and later added that she had died. Meanwhile, his lover, Ethel “Le Neve” Neave, moved into Hilldrop Crescent and began openly wearing Cora’s clothes and jewellery.

Police heard of Cora’s disappearance from her friend and the house was searched, but nothing was found, and Crippen was interviewed by Chief Inspector Walter Dew. He admitted that he had made up the story about his wife having died to avoid any personal embarrassment because she had in fact left him and fled to America with one of her lovers. After the interview and a quick search of the house, Dew was satisfied with Crippen’s story. However, Crippen and Le Neve did not know this and fled in panic to Antwerp and boarded a ship for Canada. Their disappearance led the police at Scotland Yard to perform further searches of the house and they found the remains of a human body, buried under the brick floor of the basement. The corpse was identified by a piece of skin from its abdomen; the head, limbs, and skeleton were never recovered.

Meanwhile, Crippen and Le Neve were crossing the Atlantic with Le Neve disguised as a boy. The ship’s Captain recognized the fugitives and got the telegraphist to send a wireless telegram to the British authorities. Dew boarded a faster ship, arrived ahead of Crippen, and contacted the Canadian authorities. As Crippen’s ship entered the St. Lawrence River, Dew came aboard disguised as a pilot and the captain invited Crippen to meet the pilots as they came aboard. Dew removed his pilot’s cap and said, “Good morning, Dr Crippen. Do you know me? I’m Chief Inspector Dew from Scotland Yard.” After a pause, Crippen replied, “Thank God it’s over. The suspense has been too great. I couldn’t stand it any longer.” He then held out his wrists for the handcuffs. Crippen and Le Neve were arrested and brought back to England where they were tried and Crippen was sentenced to death. Whether Crippen murdered his wife has been disputed. but in December 2009 the Criminal Cases Review Commission, having reviewed the case, declared that the court of appeal would not hear the case to pardon Crippen posthumously. Douglas Knox gave the vote of thanks for this fascinating talk.

On Friday of this week, a number of members of Stonehaven Rotary and their wives are travelling to Aviemore for the annual District Conference weekend. This is one of the largest contingents from Stonehaven Rotary Club with 14 participating in this year’s conference, which runs from Friday until Sunday.

Mearns Probus Club

During the month of October the Club has met on two occasions to hear local speakers on two quite varied subjects.

The earlier meeting on the first Monday of the month saw John Callander from Stonehaven give a talk entitled ‘Heel, Toe and off we go’.

John is the son of the last blacksmith in Laurencekirk, where his late father David brought to an end the local Smithy on his retirement when his health failed. This had been a family business for many years in Laurencekirk,

When John was only seven years old he contracted Polio and also Infantile Paralyses, which meant spending a considerable time in Hospital, and survived with the help of the famous IRON LUNG, keeping his chest operating and him breathing.

John pointed out at this stage that the Iron Lung had been developed and constructed by another Blacksmith based in Aberdeen.

In spite of restricted use of his limbs, John continued with his education and went on to Aberdeen Teacher Training College in his late teens.

After qualifying as a Teacher of primary age children, he taught at various schools and also became Head Teacher at Fettercairn and Inverbervie until he then moved to Woodhill House as an Advisor in Education for Aberdeenshire Council, he had overcome adversity at an early age, and managed to lead a pretty full life afterwards not only in school but in outdoor pursuits as well.

After 50 years or more, there is a possibility of some physical regression from his earlier Polio, but John is coping with it, as best as possible.

Past President Ian Davidson thanked John for an excellent talk on his life and his achievements.

The Second Meeting.

The Second Meeting for October saw local man David Johnston, a retired teacher who taught at Arbroath Academy for 33 years.

Born into a family business that were House Painters, David’s hobby in painting was to be an easel and paints.

He confesses to be a self-taught artist who was produced many fine examples of water colours mainly from subjects in this area. To illustrate how a painting is created, the work known as ‘Tonal Painting’ was described by David who showed that by building up the various depths of shades he created the finished article.

To let his audience understand, he showed many examples from his computer on to a screen of artistry by famous articles such as Whistler, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Quenette. Picasso, Peploe, Hopper, Andrew Wyett, Durer and Jack Vettriano

David then showed examples of his own work, mainly of local scenes, fields and crops, roadside verges and sea scapes, sunrises, sunsets mainly all done at St Cyrus beach area, Denlethen Woods, trees in Autumn colours, even tracks of farm implements left in wet mud were all subjects David had created in his studio here in Laurencekirk.

He also spends time now in his retirement teaching art to local interest groups, who hold open days regularly in various venues.

Thanks for an interesting presentation were given to David on behalf of the club by Douglas Lamb.

Stonehaven and District Probus club

Tuesday’s speaker at the Stonehaven and District Probus club was David MacDonald former Rector of Arbroath Academy. He spoke of one of the projects that he and fellow Rotarians were supporting in Kenya. ‘Nyambani’ – Swahili for home – is a residential home for 130 HIV positive children but it also supports another 3500 children with the same condition. It was founded by a Roman Catholic priest at the height of the African AIDS epidemic in the 80’s and 90’s when thousands of orphaned children were being turned away by local children’s homes because, with no treatment on offer, many would die within weeks or months.

David’s illustrated talk covered a two week visit that he and a team of fellow Rotarians from other clubs made last year as part of the ongoing relationship they maintain on all their charitable projects worldwide. On this occasion the plan was to build several outdoor cooking shelters and to refurbish some of the equipment so they had added four apprentices, of different trades, to their team

The work was completed ahead of schedule and David was able to tell us of the state of the art HIV diagnostic laboratory attached to Nyambani. This provides testing services to the community and monitors the anti infection treatment HIV patients receive. It also tests for drug related tuberculosis, an increasing problem in Kenya. The equipment was bought with money donated mainly by Rotarians and the money raised by selling these services to other clinics helps finance Nyambandi.

There have been recent changes to the law in Kenya that ensure that children with HIV will get the drugs they need and pregnant mothers with HIV are treated to prevent infection of the unborn child.

Finally, David told the story of an abandoned child found wrapped in a blanket on a bus. He was taken to Nyambani and treatment for his HIV started immediately. He was so small that he was thought to be only a few months old but as the treatment took effect and he began to recover he started to talk. He was 5 years old and today is alive and well. Vote of Thanks by Clem Stewart.