Kinneff internet link-up to USA in twinning event

Mike Beattie Church Trustee and Storyteller.
Mike Beattie Church Trustee and Storyteller.

The “spirits” will literally be helping in establishing an internet link-up from Kinneff Old Church and the pupils of iAcademy Primary School in Athens, Alabama.

The town is the latest twinning partner of the Stonehaven & NE Scotland Twinning Group.

Kinneff Old Church is in an area where mobile signals and internet connections are either non-existent or, at best, very poor.

However, where there is “spirit” or as in this case, a collection of “spirits” both living and dead, there is a way.

Grateful for the donation of 100 metres of specialist high-speed capable ethernet cable from Stonehaven IT company Bytesize, this cable will run from the router in the church manse next door, out of the back window across the garden, over the church wall, across centuries old gravestones into the church.

The unique event which connects Kinneff to primary school children in Alabama will allow church trustee Mike Beattie to tell the story of smuggling from Dunnottar Castle, in the mid 17th Century during the Cromwellian Civil Wars.

The children are sure to be held entranced by Scotland’s history. Dunnottar is best known as the place where the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish crown jewels, were hidden from Oliver Cromwell’s invading army in the 17th century under the pulpit in Kinneff Old Church by the parishioners, under pain of death if discovered until the restoration of the Monarchy later in the Century when they were removed to Edinburgh Castle, where they remain to this day.

Phil Mills-Bishop chairperson of the Twinning Group remarked: “The online history session to the pupils is the first of six online 30-minute sessions over the coming months covering local history in and around the north east of Scotland and came out of the recent Twinning and visit in early August by the Mayor of Athens, Ronnie Marks and delegates.”

Phil also noted given the event takes place during Hallowe’en week, and the clocks will have fallen back an hour that it is not too dark when he takes up the cable from the graveyard at the end of the session!”

The US Government’s representative in Scotland, Principal Officer Ellen Wong, will welcome everyone to the online session from the Consulate General’s office in Edinburgh.

She remarked:“I am delighted to be involved in this event. The twinning of Athens, Alabama, and Stonehaven is a great example of the US-Scotland relationship and the people-to-people ties that make the relationship so strong.

“Young people are the future of that relationship and it is fantastic that people of all ages are involved in the twinning of these great towns.”