Johnshaven Jottings - Blooming marvellous


It was a pleasantly warm afternoon when the doors of the Village Hall opened on the Benholm and Johnshaven Horticultural Society’s 55th annual Flower Show at half past one on Saturday.

Putting on the flower show is always a testing time for the management committee. Once all the plans are made and the schedules issued there is not a lot they can do except wait and hope that there will be a positive response on the day from the Society’s members. The time when the committee is most edgy is the Friday night before the show when the exhibits begin to arrive. Sometimes the numbers appearing are an indicator of the total number of entries there will be, sometimes not. So it is not until the Saturday morning that the committee can be sure of how successful the show is going to be .

Well the management committee must have been delighted with this year’s response. All sections from vegetables through to children were well supported, representing a wide variety of skills and talents. Encouraging, too, must have been the number of new exhibitors who took part this year, many of them appearing among the winners.

The objectives of the Horticultural Society are to encourage horticulture, home baking, preserve making and crafts and, while the flower show is an exhibition of those skills, it is also a social occasion. Teas are served throughout the afternoon and the raffle and auction at the end always add a bit of fun as well as helping to swell the Society’s coffers.

Saturday’s Flower Show was an unqualified success and the hall was gratifyingly full when Society President, Kevin Dunbar, introduced the day’s guest, Life Member of the Horticultural Society, Mr Clark Simpson, who said that for the Society to have survived and prospered for 55 years was a tremendous achievement and was due both to the dedication of previous committees and the commitment and initiatives of the present one who had introduced spring garden competitions, coach trips to Gardening Scotland and Pumpkin Parties. However, he said that the highlight of the year was the flower show and by responding to the need for changes to the schedule they had succeeded in keeping the event fresh and bright and it was, as always, a wonder to behold.

Mr Simpson then presented the trophies as follows:

The Championship Cup (most points in Flower and Vegetable Sections) - Carol Eaton. The Usher Cup (Runner-up to the Championship) – Kevin Dunbar. Vegetable Cup- Kevin Dunbar. Flower Cup – Michael Craig, Snr. The Silver Jubilee Trophy (most points in Pot Plant Section) – Donald Dundas. The Anderson Trophy (most points in Rose Section) - Michael Craig, Snr and Elizabeth Craig. Jim Craig Rose Trophy ( Best Single Rose) – Elizabeth Craig. Forster Trophy (Best Floral Art Decoration) – Alison Chandler. Mulligan Trophy (Baking, Preserves and Industrial Champion) – Gail Dundas. Mearns Leader Trophy ( Runner-up to Baking, Preserves and Industrial Champion) - Carol Eaton. Baking Cup – Gail Dundas. Preserves Cup – Gail Dundas. Industrial Cup – Holly Chandler. Pixel Cup (most points in Photography Section) – Michael Craig, Jnr. Peter Pan Trophy (most points in Children’s Section) – Callum Taylor. Peter Pan Runner-Up – Abbi Taylor. Collier Cup (Best Exhibit in Show) - Callum Taylor. Major L. Kerr Trophy (Best Garden in Show Area) – Jack Nowak. Morrison Cup (runner-Up to Best Garden in Show Atea) – Tom and Val Cribb. Capt’n and Mrs Stansfeld Trophy (Pensioner’s Best Kept Garden) – Mary Berget. Container Trophy (Best Containers in Show Area) – Sally Nowak. Silverdot Cup (Best Novice Garden) – Emma Pollock. The Dunbar All-Rounder Cup (most points overall in all sections) – Carol Eaton. Lemon Curd Cup – Moira Duncan.

Diploma winners: Vegetables – Carol Eaton for Collection of Potatoes. Flowers – Carol Eaton for Mixed Border Bunch. Pot Plants – Donald Dundas for Geranium in a Pot. Roses – Michael Craig, Snr for Bowl of Roses. Photography – Angela Dunsire for Nature. Baking – Janie Kennett for Focaccia. Preserves and Savouries – Moira Duncan for Jar of Lemon Curd. Industrial – Kevin Dunbar for Woodturning. Children – Callum Taylor for Animal from Articles found on the Beach.


NEOS is up and running tomorrow, Saturday, until Sunday, September 14 with at least ten artists and makers exhibiting from eight venues. There is no lack of on- street parking and public conveniences are easily accessed but visitors to the event should remember to check the opening hours at each venue because these are variable.

Unfortunately, owing to its temporary closure, the Mill of Benholm will not be part of NEOS this year.. This is a pity because, not only does its absence reduce the number of exhibitors in the parish, but also because it might dissuade visitors from making their way to the ancient hamlet. This need not be so, however, since Benholm Kirk is always open. Built in 1832 to replace an earlier church, the Category A Listed building has a most interesting interior.

A 15th century Sacrament House remains in the east wall and, on the pulpit wall there are two inscribed monuments. The one to the right is in memory of Robert Scott, late owner of the Benholm estate, dating from the 1690s, is important locally. The one to the left was carved for George Keith, fifth Earl Marischal of Scotland, protector of King James of Scotland and England and is dedicated to his daughter, Lady Mary Keith, who died in 1620 aged four.

It is this connection with the monarchy which gives the Kirk its national and international significance and is what persuaded the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust to buy and thus ensure the preservation of the Kirk a year after it closed as a place of regular worship in 2004..

Café Days

In conjunction with the NEOS week Café Days will again be held in the Village Hall, between 11 am and 4 pm on Saturday, September 13, run by the Village Hall Committee, and Sunday, September 14, with SHARK in charge.


It was near perfect afternoon on Saturday for the Shipwrecks annual sponsored walk to Inverbervie. Forty took part and all made it safely there and back. Proceeds will be shared between Alzheimers Scotland and the Johnshaven First Responders and the organisers wish to thank all who supported the fund-raiser.

Mearns Coastal Parish Church

Focussing on the violence which is occurring in so many part of the world, the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster, began a study of the Book of Mathew at a United Service of Worship in St Cyrus Church on Sunday morning.

Earlier he encouraged the congregation to sign a petition which will be handed to the government and United Nations against the ongoing violence and atrocities perpetrated against Christians and other minorities in the Middle East.

This Sunday’s services will be held at the usual times of 10am in St Cyrus Church at 11.30 am in Johnshaven Church.

Bowling Club

As summer moves gently into autumn, so does the Bowling Club make inroads into the various club competitions.

At the weekend in the final of the ladies Two Bowl Pairs Isabell Inglis and Bett Beedie had a comfortable win by 20 shots to 4 against Fiona Anderson and Jean Stephen.

Despite the rather chilly conditions, there was an excellent turnout for Friday’s hat night which was won by Bill Webster and Ernie Auld by 15 shots. Members should note that Tuesday and Friday’s hat nights are now beginning at 6.45 pm.

The Bowling Club’s open Seven Ends Singles Competition will be held on Sunday, September 14 with the draw being made at 12 noon. Entry fee is £5 which is inclusive of soup, tea, sandwiches and cakes throughout the day. Entries should be made to Bill Inglis on 01674 850 644.

There will also be a raffle.

Afternoon teas for non-players and spectators will be available.


The competitive putting season came to an exciting end on Monday night. Alan Townsend was eliminated in the play-off for the Cup and in a marathon final Michael Craig defeated Alison Beedie at the 21st extra hole., yes the 21st extra hole .

In the Champion of Champions event Alan Beedie defeated Alan Townsend at the 6th extra hole and Alison Beedie eliminated Michael Craig 2 and 1. In the husband and wife final, darkness having already fallen, it was Alan who became the 2014 Champion of Champions, defeating Alison one up.

Christmas Fayre

With the weather largely staying sunny and warm, it seems hardly appropriate to be mentioning Christmas. Nevertheless, time does wear on, as they say, and the Bowling Club, who will be organising this year’s event, have announced that the Christmas Fayre will be held in the Village Hall on Saturday, November 22, between 2 and 4 pm. Letters inviting organisations to hire tables will be sent out soon.

Community Council

The next meeting of the Community Council will be held in the Village Hall (small) on Wednesday, September 10 at 7 pm. Items for the agenda should be in the hands of the Chair, Don Marr, by Monday, September 8.

The past is ever near

Twenty five years ago the Horticultural Society’s 29th annual flower show was one of the best-ever attended up to then.

The presentation of trophies was made by Dr James Mulligan, the highly respected G.P. in Inverbervie and district between 1928 and 1967. A very spick and span 91 year-old Dr Mulligan was delighted to meet and speak again with old friends .

It was an especially touching moment when he presented the Mulligan Trophy, which he donated to the Society in 1962, to Mrs Anne Scott, as winner of the combined baking preserves and industrial section.