Round the clubs

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Dellavaird SWI

Dellavaird Rural members and friends met together to celebrate our first meeting of 2016 with a New Year Party in Drumlithie Hall.

Food and drink, quizzes and games, interspersed with some business proved the perfect recipe for an enjoyable occasion.

Winners of the coaster in anycraft competition were: 1st - Sheila Craigmile, 2nd - Lorna Bey, 3rd - Lindsey Wade.

Dellavaird SWE are holding their next meeting on Tuesday, Feburary 2, at 7:30pm in Drumlithie Hall.

Jim Brown will give a talk on the local Highland Games.

Competitions are: 1 - Vegtable soup in a small flask, 2 - small jar of chutney(any variety), 3 - a sketch on a 4-inch square of paper suitable to be embroiderd on calico to make a new Dellavaird SWI logo, 4 - one flower stem for a flower of the month.

New members are always welcome.

Dellavaird SWI are holding their annual open whist and spring bulb show on the evening of Friday, March 11 at 7:30pm in Drumlithie Village Hall.

Entry is £2.50 per person which includes tea at half time.

All welcome.

Stonehaven Bridge Club

The season resumed in the Forest View Centre last Wednesday. Results;

North/South: 1st Mrs P Watt & Mrs G Junnier +5380pts, 2nd Mrs P Walton & Yousef +4070, 3rd Mr S Annand & Mrs P Kemp +2510.

East/West: 1st Mrs M Clowes & Mrs A Gray 1260pts, 2nd Mrs M Curnow & Mr S Watt -1830, 3rd Mrs C Harrison & Mrs C Medlock -3440.

Laurencekirk Bridge Club

North/South: 1st Drs Alan & Fiona Lyall, 2nd Alan & Mary Cunningham.

East/West: 1st Keddie & Isobel Law, 2nd Margaret Cargill & Frances Wallace.

St Cyrus WRI

The institute’s 87th birthday was celebrated with a lovely meal at the George Hotel, Montrose. President, Kathleen Masson, presented Loyal Service awards to Margaret Pirie and Elizabeth Thomson and they cut the birthday cake that the president had made and decorated. A quiz set by Frances Moir challenged everyone and the evening ended with a nostalgic look through the minutes of the last 50 years to see how past birthdays had been celebrated. Elizabeth Alexander thanked all those who had contributed to making this birthday party so enjoyable

Inverbervie and District Probus Club

“Time well spent”

Chris Greene introduced the speaker, Don Clark from Arbroath, to talk about the History of Timex, Dundee.

Don began his career with Timex as a junior product engineer and saw many changes as he progressed through the ranks during his 32 years with the company. During his time, he visited many of the company’s overseas factories.

Don gave a fascinating history of the company from its founding in 1854 as the Waterbury Clock Company in Waterbury, Connecticut, USA. It went through numerous amalgamations, take-overs and ownerships during which it became the world’s largest manufacturer of cheap, throwaway watches. Surprisingly, wrist watches were not invented until the American entry into the First World War and a need for the artillery gunners to read the time while working the guns. The Westbury Clock Company found an ideal solution by adapting the Ingersoll ladies’ midget pocket watch, adding lugs, a canvas strap plus luminous hands and numbers.

Timex moved into Dundee in 1946. At their peak they employed 6,000 people, spread around 3 factories. Watches were their main business of course, but not only time pieces were manufactured. They also produced under contract Polaroid cameras & flash guns, Nimslo 3D cameras, Clive Sinclair’s Spectrum micro-computers, flat screen cathode ray tubes and TDI batteries for mobile phones.

By the 1980s the Timex Corporation had become a major employer in Dundee. From the early part of that decade the company attempted to streamline their operations in the city. It had been losing $6m per year due to difficulties in competing with the Far East. This led to attempts to reduce wages and cut the size of the workforce. These attempts were resisted by the workers and their Trade Union. In early January 1993, there were proposed layoffs at the factory. A ballot for strike action came out at 92% in favour, while requests for negotiation and arbitration were ignored. On 29 January, the workers came out on strike. They offered to return to work on 17 February, however were told by management that there would be a cut of 10% across the board. When they refused to accept those conditions they were locked out. Grey buses shipped in outside workers to replace the strikers and keep production going. The picket lines were visited in support by Arthur Scargill, Tommy Sheridan, Alex Salmon and others. None of whom, it is said, visited management. On 28 August 1993 the factory, which still had a full order book, shut following six months of confrontational industrial unrest. Production was transferred elsewhere. Dundee lost a major employer and gained a bad reputation.

After Don capably answered numerous questions, Geoff Goodyear expressed the gratitude of members for time well spent.

MEARNS PROBUS CLUB

We started off our 2016 year of meetings with a talk on Nuclear Submarines and Escape Procedures following on from a talk by the same speaker one year ago on his life in the Royal Navy on Nuclear Submarines.

The speaker Chris Greene, was introduced by the new President for 2016, Denis Bell who had just received the Chain of Office from Past President Malcolm McCoig. Chris is the Secretary of the Inverbervie and District Probus Club and served for more than 25 years in the Royal Navy, so was very knowledgeable in the operation of submarines as he played an active part in the care and maintenance of the mechanical and electrical features of the vessel while at sea.

However, his talk was to concentrate on methods of escape from the submarine should this be necessary after an accident at sea possibly caused by a collision with another vessel, either under or above the sea’s surface.

Chris, using a laptop, projector and screen, then showed his audience the construction of the Tower, through which the men would pass and the position of any hatches, lights and methods of releasing the hatches.

He then covered the men and their survival suits, the one-man dinghies which would open on surfacing and methods of survival until rescue was possible from ships or helicopters arriving with men and rescue aids. A full detailed plan, carefully carried out in training at on-shore bases, would then be instigated if evacuation was necessary. Another method of rescue was the N.A.T.O. Submarine Rescue System which comprised a Remote Operated Undersea Vessel which could be launched in the recovery system.

This vessel could also carry 15 survivors coming through an escape hatch on the submarines hull, using a sealed system of transfer without ingress of water. The survivors would then be transferred to another submarine or a surface vessel, and the whole procedure repeated until all evacuation of survivors had taken place.

The Rescue Vessel also had a Decompression Chamber, to prevent the onset of ‘Bends’ when survivors would travel too quickly to the surface. The Rescue Vessel operated with a three-man crew and its total weight is 30 tons.

Chris then talked in reply to questions from his audience, on submarines that had been damaged in collisions and others that sank for other reasons and the possibilities of rescue for the men in each vessel. The meeting closed with a Vote of Thanks from Bill Sommerville, the new Vice President, on behalf of Mearns Club Members.

Laurenecekirk and District Inner Wheel

Ladies from the Inner Wheel Club of Laurencekirk and District enjoyed a talk and demonstration by local chocolatier, Charlotte Benvie, from Wardhill in Brechin. Charlotte trained with Master Chocolatier Ruth Hinks, of Cocoa Black, and now makes hand-crafted chocolates and cake-pops from her home kitchen. She won a Great Taste award for her dark chocolate bon bons in 2013, which have now been joined by white chocolate and vanilla, and strawberry varieties. She runs classes from her kitchen, in which clients learn to make filled chocolates, truffles and her brightly printed chocolate lollies. Half day and full day courses are on offer, inclusive of lunch.

Assisting Charlotte, as she demonstrated the techniques involved in making truffles, was her sister in law Dawn. This year, has seen Carlotta’s Chocolates set up their first Pop Up Shop in Edzell. Throughout the demonstration the ladies were fortunate to be allowed to sample some of the fillings.

In January, President Gladys Johnston hosted an afternoon tea, with proceeds going to Parkinson UK. This was the chosen charity of Trish Douglas from Montrose, Association President for the Inner Wheel Clubs of Great Britain and Ireland for 2015- 2016. To date, the sum of £169 has been raised by Laurencekirk.

At the January meeting, Rotary President Alan Smith was the speaker. He presented a talk and slide show of his experiences at the Commonwealth Games – Glasgow 2014.

Entitled “More to Glasgow than the Commonwealth Games”, Alan initially applied to be a volunteer at the games but in the end enjoyed the spectacle of the event as a spectator. He was fortunate in being able to have tickets for 5 events in 7 days.

Having an affinity with Glasgow as a graduate in Civil Engineering and having a Glaswegian wife, Alan was well acquainted with many of the venues for the games. Whilst attending the various venues for the specific sports, Alan photographed some of the buildings and was able to share some history with the Inner Wheel ladies. Ibrox , the venue for Rugby at the games was the scene of two major football crowd disasters, in 1902 and 1971.

Kelvingrove Park close to the Kelvingrove Museum was the venue for the bowling competitions. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe’s great art collections.

As the marathon took place he photographed Hillside Railway Bridge which had been built with iron from the Clutha Works. Clutha is the Roman name for the Clyde and is also the name of the bar where ten people died as the result of a police helicopter crash in 2013.

Another building observed during his visit was Hutchesons’ Hall. The original Hutchesons’ Hospital was erected in 1660 after George Hutcheson left an endowment stating his wishes for a hospital to be built for sick and old men. His brother Thomas Hutcheson later added to the endowment that the new building should also accommodate a school for orphaned boys. The hospital stood at the Trongate until it was demolished in 1795 and in the same year the Patrons of the Hospital purchased grounds on Ingram St. In 1802 the patrons commissioned David Hamilton, one of Glasgow’s great architects to design and oversee the construction of a new hospital building. Hutchesons’ Hall, one of Glasgow’s finest and most elegant buildings was completed in 1805.

The new building was planned to accommodate offices and meeting rooms for the hospital patrons as well as school rooms, but just five years after the building opened the school became overcrowded and a new purpose built school was constructed next door. Also viewed was the Gallery of Modern Art in Queen Street, close to the scene of another disaster in December 2014 when six people lost their lives when a bin lorry driver lost control of his vehicle. The podiums on which the Commonwealth Games athletes received their medals had been crafted from fallen trees around the city. Elm wood was used for the gold section of the podiums and sycamore for the silver and bronze sections. Wooden quaichs from Glasgow elm wood were also presented to medal winners. Thanks to both speakers for their entertaining talks were expressed by President Gladys.

News from Stonehaven Rotary Club

The speaker at last Wednesday’s lunchtime meeting was Rotarian Ivan Groundwater. It was his week to arrange a speaker or speak himself and, as he began by explaining, it was the latter choice as the speaker whom he had hoped to invite was not available. He went on to say that as, Rotarians might be aware, the second week in January is allegedly the most depressing week of the year and he apologized that his presentation was not likely to do anything to help!! After this self-deprecating start, Ivan went on to give a fascinating talk on aspects of the club’s history, based on items in the Club’s archives, of which he is the appointed archivist. One of the items which he produced a bag containing a number of black and white balls. He explained that in the past, when the name of a potential new member was proposed, members, there was a secret voting system using the balls. A supply of black and white balls was provided and each voter placed a single ball into the ballot box under cover of the bag. If any black balls were placed in the bag, the person was not invited to join. As this system has not been used for a long time, there were current members for whom this was a surprising history lesson! Ivan went on to focus particularly on events to mark the Club’s 50th Charter in 1997 and told members that when the planning for these events began, it was decided to produce a booklet to record the club’s history, which was achieved and distributed to members as a souvenir. He reminded members that as the club was founded in November 1947, November 2017 will be the club’s 70th Charter and at the Council meeting, which followed the club meeting, the wheels have now been set in motion for events to celebrate this milestone. President Elect Billy Hunter thanked Ivan for what had been a funny, interesting and very relevant talk and the official vote of thanks was by fellow Rotarian George Forrester.

Next Wednesday there will be no lunchtime meeting as this is the Club’s annual Burns supper and will take place in the evening at the Station Hotel. Russell Adams has been invited to propose the toast to the immortal Memory and a number of Rotary club members will do the Selkirk Grace, the address to the haggis and the toast to, and reply from, the Lassies.

This Saturday sees the first of two District rounds in the Rotary Young Chef competition. The first takes place at Aberdeen College and Isla Davies and last year’s UK finalist Heather Nisbet who were the joint winners of Stonehaven Rotary Club’s local round of this competition will be competing for a place in the Regional finals in Livingston in March.