Johnshaven Jottings

Part one of the Johnshaven Jottings review of the year.

January - Twelve hardy members of the Bowling Club brought in the New Year by completing eight ends before rain forced them indoors: the club began the second half of the Mearns Indoor League ninth out of 12 teams.

A music spectacular in the Village Hall raised £700 for Alzheimer Scotland and the Village Hall Committee. The £2000 proceeds from the Fish Festival’s Community Good Fund were distributed among five local groups. Work began on clearing the ground behind the Masonic Hall for Johnshaven’s first allotment scheme.

Nine volunteers attended a First Responders’ training course at Lathallan School. Out of season, Bill Inglis and Roy Mowatt won the carpet bowlers’ Christmas Pairs: Bett Beedie was the winner of both the Open and Ladies’ Singles trophies. Chair, Rebecca Chambers reported a busy and rewarding year at the AGM of SHARK who declared a bank balance of over £2,000. Rehearsals were well underway for the pantomime, “Jack and the Johnshaven Beanstalk”.

A year after losing its post box Benholm had a new one installed at the Mill car park. Hundreds turned up at the harbour to watch the Firework Spectacular light up the dark winter sky.

February - The Rev Colin Dempster presented Mr Alan Taylor with a Long Service Certificate in recognition of his 48 years’ service as an elder of both Benholm and Johnshaven Church and Mearns Coastal Parish Church.

A healthy bank balance of £33514 was reported at the AGM of the Wairds Park Committee: Don Blease was elected chair, Ewan McCallum vice-chair and Allen Smith, secretary and acting treasurer for 2014-2016. An open meeting was held in Johnshaven Church to discuss the future of the building which was built in 1860. Twenty five people gathered in the Village Hall to discuss the proposed designation of Benholm as a Conservation Area. SHARK members took part in a gorse bashing exercise on a section of the old railway line.

The AGM of the Horticultural Society heard from President, Kevin Dunbar that 2013 had been a very successful year ending with a healthy bank balance of £3179: office-bearers elected were President, Kevin Dunbar. Vice-President, Allen Smith. Secretary, Morag Smith. Treasurer, Richard Firth. Mearns Coastal Church became a Fairtrade church. Benholm and Johnshaven continued to be a low crime area.

March - Aberdeenshire Councillor, George Carr, opened the Johnshaven Allotments on reclaimed ground behind the Masonic Hall. James Brebner was elected the new President of the Bowling Club, Donald Dundas, Secretary and Bill Inglis, Treasurer: cash assets of £5860 were recorded.

The Primary School’s badminton team won the Small School’s Trophy for the sixth successive year. Mary Brebner was the winner of the Ladies Singles Carpet Bowing Trophy. The Rev Colin Dempster conducted the annual Thinking Day service in Johnshaven Church. Johnshaven First Responders became operational.

Two Science and Engineering week-ends took place at the Mill of Benholm. At the AGM of the Community Council Chair, Don Marr, said that two significant conservation successes in 2013 had been the restoration of the bark boiler and the establishment of the allotment scheme. 28 volunteers took part in SHARK’s clean-up of the beach from the Brotherton Burn northwards.

The Rev Colin Dempster gave an interesting talk on J.M. Barrie’s “Little Minister” at the last meeting of the Guild. The Bowling Club finished in tenth position in the Kincardine Indoor League. Clark Simpson was the winner of the Open Singles Carpet Bowling Trophy.

A coffee morning held in the Church Hall raised £170 for the funds of Mearns Coastal Parish Church. The pantomime, “Jack and the Johnshaven Beanstalk”, played to three full houses in the Village Hall raising £2525 for the Village Hall committee.

The Community Café Group finally gave up their efforts to establish a community café in the village.

April - The Community Gardeners began another season with loppers and spades at the ready. Wairds Park opened with Jenny Beedie and Lynne McBay back as Warden and Assistant Warden respectively.

Former Johnshaven woman, 34 year-old Claire Adam, raised £1100 for Kidsaid Northampton by running in the London Marathon. The Community Council continued to try and establish the ownership of two derelict cottages at South Street.

Twelve SHARK enthusiasts took part in a “keep Johnshaven tidy” environmental exercise. Mearns Coastal Parish held a united family service in Johnshaven Church on Easter morning. An audience of 50 enjoyed a one-man performance of “Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime” in the Village Hall.

Johnshaven First Responders received a grant of £1058 from the Tullo Wind Farm Community Fund. 25 people turned up to the meeting of the Community Council to consider the proposed designation of Benholm as a Conservation Area.

May - A sponsored walk of the West Highland Way by Kate MacKenzie and her dad, John, raised £1110 for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Alan Robbie was the winner of the Bowling Club’s open seven ends competition: Fiona Anderson, Fiona Dundas and Jim McCallum won the club’s triples trophy. The Community Council considered the future of the harbour over the next 20 years.

A plant sale in the Village Hall raised £297 for the funds of the Horticultural Society and another in the St Cyrus Public Hall raised £427 for Mearns Coastal Parish. Alison Milne was the winner of the season’s first putting competition: the first prize bingo session at Wairds Park raised £130 for the Bowling Club and the RNLI benefited by £1111 from a New to You sale in the Village Hall.

The transfer of the historic bark boiler to its new position beside the Dock was completed.

June - “Mid Summer Music Madness” took over the Village Hall with the proceeds shared between the Friends of Johnshaven Primary School and Cancer Research. Kincardine Area Committee approved expenditure of £13500 for upgrades to Johnshaven harbour. 14 volunteers took part in SHARK’s clean-up of the beach from the harbour to Lathallan filling 15 bags of rubbish in the process.

The Bowling Club celebrated its 30th anniversary with a party at Wairds Park. The Community Council continued to worry about the lack of speed restrictions on the Baron’s Pade and the continuing coastal erosion at Cove Hill. Around 30 accepted the Bowling Club’s invitation to take part in a “Come and try” day.

There was a disappointing turnout for the Hopscotch Theatre company’s production of “Colin’s Commonwealth Games” in the Village Hall.

A prize bingo session at Wairds Park raised £131 for the Bowling Carpet Fund committee.

n Part two next week