In My View - Goodbye Rachel and good luck

This week the Deeside Piper and Mearns Leader said goodbye for now to Rachel Campbell, the Deputy Editor for the Aberdeenshire Division.

Rachel is heading off on maternity leave and she will be sorely missed by everyone at the office. Rachel is a great influece in the newsroom and has worked tirelessly the past few months putting out great editions packed with news.

On a personal note I’d like to thank Rachel for everything she has done for me in the two and a half years while I have been at the Leader and Observer and I genuinely don’t know how I’ll get on without her for nine months.

Rachel puts up with a lot from her colleagues and I’m sure her new baby will be a walk in the park compared to dealing with Martyn, Bradley and myself.

We treated Rachel to lunch on Friday before getting some ice cream. If you spoke to us on Friday afternoon it would have been a mixed bag, sugar rush and sugar come down.

All the best, Rachel, and I can’t wait until you bring the little one into the office for us to meet.

In other news, this week I saw the Toyota car advert that was filmed in Stonehaven up at Dunnottar Castle and shared it via the Mearns Leader and Kincardinshire Observer website.

The advert is shot in a cinematic style I’m not used to seeing on British adverts, with bright colours slowly settling in on the car with Dunnottar Castle in the background. The car will only be sold in the USA and Japan but I do love the idea of millions of people seeing our stunning castle.

When I first saw the advert I made a call to the Toyota British press team to find out a little more. Unfortunately the team there wasn’t directly involved with the shoot.

However I was told : “Toyota is market leader in Japan with over 40% share of sales. As such the marketing often uses overseas locations, particularly to appeal to younger Japanese consumers.

“The theme of the campaign has been ‘long drive’, suggesting the cars are comfortable and economical on long journeys, hence - for Japanese eyes - the exotic, far away location.”

I find it facinating that to the Japanese eye Dunnottar Castle, and by extension Stonehaven, Kincardine and Mearns and Aberdeenshire is an “exotic, far away location”.

I would think of Japan as the exact same thing and the team up at the castle do a great job of putting themselves on a world platform as a destination to visit. I think the castle can be taken for granted being right on our doorstep, but a quick Twitter search for Dunnottar Castle will show you that the rest of the world loves that castle.

I often see tweets in German and French among other languages that talk about Dunnottar Castle and every time I see them, they make me smile.

Focusing on Laurencekirk, all the best to 11-year-old Anna Pearson who is due to get 12 inches of her hair cut off on Friday for the Princess Trust.

I also spoke to ScotRail this week who have said the missing on-board announcements are a matter of priority and are hopefully going to be sorted by December timetable changes.

As always if you would like get in touch while Rachel is away then e-mail or give me a ring at the Stonehaven office on 01569 766940.