Winter woes lead to cancellations

Winter Woes

What a lovely day last Thursday was. Snow had fallen and was white and crisp underfoot while overhead the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky. It was a real pleasure to be outdoors and indeed many were. However, for all its inherent beauty, snow has a habit of turning nasty and over the week-end it did so with a vengeance. Eight or nine inches fell on Saturday night, to the rare accompaniment of thunder and flashes of lightening (known apparently as thunder snow) making Sunday morning’s walk for the papers something of an adventure. As the day wore on a thaw set in turning the streets to slush but by Monday the temperature had plummeted and now the streets were rutted, icy and treacherous, while vehicles were having difficulty in negotiating the New Road.

Needless to say the snow wreaked havoc with schooling and local activities. The Primary School was closed on Thursday and Monday while there was no school transport on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Sunday morning’s church services at both St Cyrus and Johnshaven were cancelled, as were Monday’s get togethers of the Guild and Bridge Clubs and badminton group as well as the Tuesday carpet bowling session . Also called off was Sunday afternoon’s Advent Carol Concert in Benholm Kirk. This would have been the fifth successive year that carols rang out at Advent in the historic place of worship since it came under the care of the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust in 2006. When Benholm Kirk ceased to be the parish church in 2003, its doors closed the following year and put on the market soon afterwards, it was feared that they would never be open to the general public again. However, when the international significance of the wall monuments within the church became known, it was bought by the SRCT with the object of bringing the building back to life as a community resource with the potential to house a variety of activities such as concerts, plays and workshops as well as the occasional church service. The singing of Advent carols seemed to fit ideally into this concept and when the Friends of Benholm Kirk issued an open invitation in 2006 to come along and sing “your favourite carols” around 200 responded enthusiastically. Since then the event has been very well supported with congregations regularly numbering well over 100. Sunday’s cancellation, therefore, was particularly disappointing for the organisers especially as much time and effort had been put into both decorating the church and preparing the catering for the occasion.

Few complaints, however, were likely to have been heard coming from the younger generation, happy as they were with a few extra days off school and the Wairds fine for sledging. Even for them, though, the novelty must wear off after a while. Must it?

Bowling Club

It is starting to sound like a long-playing record but once again the Bowling Club came so near and yet so far in their recent encounter in their Kincardineshire League winter campaign.. This time playing against local rivals, St Cyrus BC, Meggie Hann, Ann Aitken, Alan Black and Alan Robbie got off to a disastrous start, losing a count of six early on to trail 11-2. But they then gathered themselves together and, fighting resolutely back , at one point were leading by a shot. In the latter stages there was nothing in it and, entering the last end, the Johnshaven rink was only one shot adrift. They could not quite get there , though, and lost two shots to surrender the match to St Cyrus by 18 shots to 15.

In a very enjoyable game in which some excellent bowls were played by both rinks it was a shame that one side had to lose. Why one wonders was it again Johnshaven.? Over to you Alan!

RNLI

The recent coffee morning held in the Village Hall in aid of the RNLI raised £540 and the organisers wish to thank all who supported the event so generously.

Christmas Fair

All roads should lead on Saturday, December 11 to the Mill of Benholm where a Christmas Fair is to be held between 12 noon and 4 p.m. with a wide variety of stalls including wreaths, tombola, raffles and lucky dip, as well as a number of children’s activities. Santa will be in his grotto and there will also be mulled wine and mince pies and carol singing..

What’s New In Football?

Recently, the reputation of the “beautiful game” has been perceived as having been sullied by accusations of inefficient and biased refereeing and overly aggressive responses from managers, players and supporters. However, do not be deluded into thinking that these scenarios are anything new. Indeed there is no need to look further than the Mearns for the evidence.

On a match in November 1912 between St Laurence and Johnshaven Dauntless the correspondent for the Kincardineshire Observer reported: “The game proved one of the nastiest and disagreeable that has ever been seen on the (Kinnear) Square. After a brisk start in which some clever movements were displayed, the players suddenly displayed argumentative tendencies and thereafter the game was totally ruined. Perhaps the most charitable thing to do would be to make allowances and put the debacle down to a combination of bad weather and poor refereeing”.

Then in a match at Wairds Park in April 1924 between the home side and Bervie the Dauntless keeper, Herd, brilliantly saved a penalty. The Observer’s man with the quill continued: “Then consternation prevailed when the referee ordered the kick to be retaken, the home players protesting vociferously. A spectator rushed on to the field but the ball was again placed on the spot and Murray sent the ball into the net. Play was stopped by a number of spectators who surrounded the referee but eventually the pitch was cleared and play proceeded, the referee reversing his decision, awarding no goal and bouncing the ball in the penalty area”. Final score, Dauntless 2; Bervie 1 Well well.

Finally in a match, again at the Wairds, the Dauntless trainer ferociously berated the referee that his faulty watch had allowed the first half to continue too long, allowing the visitors to score. So intimidated did the whistler feel that during all of the second half he checked the time with the trainer. Surprise, surprise, when it was all over the ref’s timepiece was found to be completely accurate and the trainer had been totally out of order.

Sports Quiz

1. Can you name the rugby player who scored Scotland’s only try in the international match against Samoa at Pittodrie Stadium on Saturday?

2. What was the significance of Grant Munro’s equalising goal for Inverness Caledonian Thistle against Celtic on Saturday?

3. What was the nationality of the referee in Saturday’s match between Hibernian FC and St Johnstone FC?

4. At what stage was Andy Murray eliminated from the ATP World Tour tennis finals in London?

5. Who was the highest scorer in the first Ashes Test match in Brisbane?

6. Why was Portuguese GT racer, Filipe Albuquerque, celebrating with champagne in Dusseldorf on Sunday?

7. Name the Grade One referee who retired on Sunday from that level of officiating at football matches after being embroiled in controversy for over a month?

8. Which golfer won the Dubai World championship at the week-end?

9. Why did Julie Forrest make bowling history twice in the same match on Sunday?

10. Which country did the Saltires meet in the five-day final of the Intercontinental Cricket Cup final in Dubai on Thursday?

Memories

Twenty five years ago, after a year-long struggle, the Community Council had at last succeeded in persuading Kincardine and Deeside District Council to take over the grass cutting of Balandro Loan. The fully tarred path had fallen into neglect with the grass along its edges having grown to an unacceptable length and a problem had arisen as to whether the responsibility for its maintenance lay with K&DDC or Grampian Regional Council. However, the grass having been cut once by the District Council, it finally agreed to “adopt” the path on the advice of its legal department.

Twenty years ago this week saw the end of an era when the tenancy of the croft at West Street returned to the superior, Brotherton Estates. For something close on 100 years the land was farmed by the Sheret family who for a time also tenanted the croft at the Narrows. The last of the family, David, was a familiar figure at the west end of the village, concentrating as he did on the breeding of Aberdeen-Angus cattle. On his death earlier in 1990 the last of his cattle were removed to be looked after at a neighbouring farm and the croft passed into history.