Johnshaven Jottings - Arts and crafts in the frame

A fortnight later this year, NEOS, the biggest open studios event in Scotland by far and one of the biggest in the UK, will run from Saturday to Sunday, September 6 - 14, and as it has been for 10 years now Johnshaven will be a mecca for visitors with eight venues hosting at least 10 exhibitors whose works include painting, jewellery, ceramics and woodcraft.

Sunday, 31st August 2014, 8:00 am

An NEOS regular, Morag Smith, works from her Blue Garage Studio at 10 Waughton Place only a few yards from the sea. Inspired by the uncompromising shapes in naturally occurring land and seascape compositions, Morag works in acrylics and other media to create a distinctive interpretation of her surroundings.

In the refurbished Lifeboat House, soon to be opened officially as a heritage hub, the Coastal Colourists, a group of local artists who have been meeting on a regular basis at Wairds Park for many years, will be displaying their artwork, craftwork and mosaics.

Sharing the Lifeboat House is Clavis Jewellery who proudly use traditional hand-crafted methods to produce their range using silver, gold, palladium and gemstones. Engagement and wedding rings can be produced to individual requirements and demonstrations will be on-going.

Situated in the Anchor Lane cul-de-sac is the Starfish Studio, the working studio of Kate MacKenzie who works in a variety of ways including weaving, applique and intricate hand stitching. Particularly fascinated by the ancient craft of gold work, Kate’s work includes wall pieces and smaller items such as phone covers and book covers, all exhibited in the Starfish Studio, a treasure trove of British crafts.

On Main Street there is a cluster of exhibitors. At numbers 4-6 is Hilary Firth’s Starglazing pottery. Hilary has been working in stoneware for a number of years and, considering herself to be a practical person, likes to make things that are functional and that she knows people will enjoy using. Hilary will be throwing at times throughout NEOS and looks forward to seeing you.

Sharing number six with Hilary is another NEOS “veteran,” Alison Stewart, whose home, Crab Cottage, overlooks the North Sea. With all its varied moods this is what gives Alison her inspiration for her mixed media paintings.

Just a few steps away at number 12 is the Johnshaven Gallery where Ranjit Barry will be exhibiting her designs made of fused glass; Czech glass components; semi-precious stones; sterling silver and copper components. Inspired by the Johnshaven coastal environment and the materials used in the designs themselves, Ranjit’s designs range from everyday articles to custom made sets for special events.

Just across the street is Harbour Place where, at number 12, Peter McCallum produces quality handmade products focussing on the natural characteristics of the wood which he personally sources both locally and internationally. Recent commissions range from functional and decorative household items to musical instruments such as cajons and even electric violin bodies.

New to NEOS is Patricia Shelton at 2 West Brae. Patricia is a Gray’s School of Art graduate. Working mainly in oil, her paintings are based on observation of the local countryside and fauna and, in endeavouring to capture something of the diverse character of the North-east, Patricia creates a sense of the outdoors.

Another newcomer is Comic Book Heroes at 23 Castle Street where you will find original comic book heroes from international selling books.

Café Days

In conjunction with the NEOS week, Café Days will again be held in the Village Hall, the Village Hall committee taking on Saturday, September 13 and SHARK Sunday, September, 14. At the time of writing the first Saturday and Sunday slots still have to be taken up.

Flower Show

Remember the 55th annual Flower Show in the Village Hall tomorrow, Saturday from 1.30 until 4.15 pm. Presentation of trophies at 3pm. Following the raffle at the end of the show an auction of agreed produce and goods will take place.

Intending exhibitors should remember that the hall will be open tomorrow (Friday) to receive exhibits between 6.30 and 9 pm when the kitchen will be available for preparation purposes. It will also be open on Saturday morning between 8 and 9.30 am when the kitchen will not be available.

Road Cycle Runs

Do you have a bike sitting at the back of your shed which you have looked at often and thought: “Should I not be getting on those wheels”? Lack of motivation or lack of opportunity holding you back perhaps.

Well, now here is your opportunity. A group of already keen cyclists are trying to establish a weekly road cycle run from Johnshaven harbour with a 6.45 pm departure on Monday evenings. All ages and abilities are welcome to come along as the route will be tailored to suit those present, with earlier turn-offs arranged for those who wish to ride only a short distance. The idea is that the run will be both a social and fitness one, so nobody will feel left out of it. There is no cost involved. Just be at the harbour shortly before 6.45 pm on Monday and get on your bike and pedal, preferably kitted out with a helmet.

The plan is to keep the runs going as long as the evening light allows and may switch to Sunday mornings when the evenings become too dark.

For further information contact Charlie Wright on 01561 361956.

Bowling Club

At the recent Champion of Champions event at Stonehaven, Roy Mowatt was eliminated from the men’s singles in the first round by the representative of Drumlithie . In the ladies singles Fiona Anderson was defeated in the second round by her opponent from Bervie .

Although beaten in the first round Mary Brebner and Jean Stephen gave a good account of themselves in the ladies pairs..

The best performance came from the men’s pairs, Roy Mowatt and Bill Inglis, who eliminated Ballater and St Cyrus before losing in the semi-finals to Stonehaven .

The winners of Friday’s hat night were Jim Brebner and Bett Beedie by 17 shots. Hat nights continue on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7 pm and all are welcome

Community Garden

Although the Community Garden was created in 2002 and has been well established for a number of years , control of the long grass around the bridge and along the road bordering the garden has been a problem.

Now, though, the one remaining untidy part of the garden will be brought up to scratch thanks to a grant from SCOTMID which has enabled the group to buy a battery-operated strimmer.

Meanwhile the garden group who meet every second Friday to coincide with the green bag collection the following day are still happy to welcome volunteers. The gardening season may well be wearing to an end but the last few weeks could provide an excellent opportunity for anyone keen to becoming involved to get “broken in”.


The Johnshaven Fish Festival Management Group have announced that the surplus from this year’s Fish Festival is £1500, although there may still be some deductions to be made for repairs to equipment. Details on how local organisations may apply for grants from the Community Fund will be made available later.


The “Shipwreckers” will be striding out on their annual sponsored walk tomorrow (Saturday) at noon following their well - trodden route along the low road from Johnshaven to Inverbervie, stopping off at various watering holes on the way and finishing back at the Ship Hotel.

Supported by the Ship Hotel, Cover Crew Ltd and Harvest Media, this will be the “Shipwreckers” 11th sponsored walk and to date they have donated in excess of £20,000 to charities. This year the beneficiaries will again be Alzheimers Scotland and Johnshaven First Responders.

Calum MacLeod

Having re-invented himself as a batsman and become a big hitter in the shorter versions of the game, 25-year-old cricketer, Calum MacLeod, finally made his debut for Durham in the English County Championship last week – and what a debut it was. Coming in with his side at 82 for five, he scored 82 to take his side to 329 for eight and was delighted to prove that he can build an innings as well as blast one. With the County season still some way to go Calum will, no doubt, be hoping that he will have further opportunities to show that he is worthy of a regular place in the side.

Mearns Coastal Parish Church

Sunday morning’s service in Johnshaven Church was conducted by the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster who preached on the struggle between God and the individual.

Earlier the minister intimated that the next Vestry Hour will be on Monday, September 1, in Johnshaven Church between 6 and 6.25 pm and in St Cyrus Church between 6.35 and 7 pm.

The organist was Mrs Helen Doig.

This Sunday there will be only one service in Mearns Coastal Parish and that will be a united service of worship in St Cyrus Church at 11 am followed by a time of fellowship and refreshment.


Although Sunday was pleasantly warm, playing conditions were tricky for the 72 Hole Stroke Play Championship which was won by Alison Beedie with rounds of 38, 38,40,39 for a total of 155. Alison also won the Waughton Cup for leading lady. Junior winner was Erin Beedie.

Michael Craig and Alison Beedie won the prize for the lowest round, 38, and 14 holes in one were recorded in the course of the event.

Monday’s competition for the Shield was won by Alan Townsend who defeated Alison Beedie at the third extra hole. Losing semi-finalists were Ernie Auld and Ewan McCallum.

Erin Beedie won the Consolation Competition.

Prize Bingo

Bowling Club president, Jim Brebner, welcomed a slightly smaller turnout than usual to the prize bingo session in the Community Clubroom at Wairds Park on Saturday night and later thanked all who had contributed to the success of the evening which was in aid of the Wairds Park Bowling Carpet Fund Committee.

The last of the prize bingo evenings will be held on Saturday, September 27.