Successful year for community body

Community Council

Presenting the annual report at the 34th Annual General Meeting of the Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council in the Village Hall on Wednesday night, Acting Chair, Don Marr, who had held the office since Chair, Chris Greene, temporarily stood down due to family commitments, said that the Community Council had enjoyed a busy and successful year.

Many recurring items on the agenda had now been fulfilled including the provision of the long-awaited fingerpost sign and the condition of the “school” steps. Funding for the latter had finally been received and it was anticipated that their refurbishment would be completed within the week, while Aberdeenshire Council had successfully processed the rock armour defences which hopefully will ease the flooding along Fore Street.

Mr Marr then went on to say that most community councillors are now positively involved in a range of matters concerning Benholm and Johnshaven. One of those is Conservation and Infrastructure and he was pleased to report that they had succeeded in having a planning application for a development in Harbour Place, which they thought was not in keeping with the village’s Conservation Area status, withdrawn after successful appeals to both Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Office.

Another is Transport and Road Safety and individual community councillors have attended a number of meetings in order to express the views on what they consider is best for the local community.

The Community Council, Mr Marr indicated, is also taking a more active role in the Kincardine and Mearns Community Council Forum, the Chair and Secretary having attended its last two meetings where they put forward local concerns including the effect which future spending cuts would have on the services currently being provided by Aberdeenshire Council.

Turning his attention to other items of general concern, Mr Marr commented that dog fouling has been a topic for discussion for some time and, although the problem seems to be widespread throughout Aberdeenshire he believed that “they could only try to educate dog owners and place signs in the areas where the problem is most serious.”

In concluding his report, Mr Marr emphasised that the aim of Benholm and Johnshaven Community Council is to continue to do the best it can in the interests of all those whom it represents and, in this respect he said that “Good Housekeeping” will always be at the forefront of the agenda and they had recently provided funding to enable a bank account to be opened for the proposed community café a project which they believed would bring benefits to the community and which would continue to receive the support of the Community Council

The Statement of Accounts, presented by the Treasurer, Geoff Lawrence, showed total income for the year of £1,598, expenditure of £663 and a balance in hand of £934.

Mrs Joyce Marr was appointed auditor for the ensuing twelve months.

There were no nominations for the one vacancy on the Council so its composition for 2011-2112 remains: Chair, Chris Greene; Vice-Chair, Alec Wallace; Secretary, Niall Young; Treasurer, Geoff Lawrence and Councillors Bob Dunsire, Janie Kennett, Don Marr and David Sutherland.

Miss Imogen Stewart was thanked for the outstanding contribution which she had made during her short time on the Community Council. Imogen, who first joined the council as a youth representative in November 2008 before becoming a full member, will soon be leaving the village to spend a gap year in Australia.

Carpet Bowls

Postponed due to the severe weather in December, the five ends’ Christmas Pairs competition at last got under way in the Village Hall on Tuesday night.

Both semi-finals were closely contested, Mary Brebner and Roy Mowatt defeating Liam Beedie and Bill Inglis narrowly, 5-3, in one while Pat Wisbey and Bett Beedie had an even closer call before getting the better of Phyllis Muir and Clark Simpson 5-4.

In the final Pat and Bett got off to a great start with a count of three at the first and, although Mary and Roy retaliated with a single, three successive singles were enough for Pat and Bett to get their hands on the Christmas goblets by six shots to one, although the margin of victory did not reflect how tight the final had been.

After the action on the carpet was over members sat down to tuck into their belated festive fare and, in presenting the trophies to the winners, organiser, Clark Simpson, thanked all the members for their support in what had been a very good and enjoyable year for the group and looked forward to seeing them all again next season.

Bowling Club

Having earlier raised the Club flag on an absolutely gorgeous afternoon, by far and away the best anyone could remember for such an occasion, President, Alan Robbie, welcomed an almost full attendance of members to the 27th opening of the bowling green on Sunday afternoon.

The first jack was thrown by last year’s lady champion Bett Beedie and after 10 ends, played in almost unbearable heat, it was the President’s team, for the second successive year, who triumphed over that of the Vice-President’s by the narrow margin of 45 shots to 42.

Once back in the clubroom where a light refreshment was enjoyed, President Robbie thanked all who had turned out while reminding them that the season’s first hat night is tonight, Friday at 7 p.m., points nights beginning on Tuesday, May 3, also at 7 p.m.

Mearns Coastal Parish

In the third and last of his sermons on the approach to Easter, in Johnshaven Church on Sunday morning, the minister, the Rev Colin Dempster, concentrated on the meaning of the Cross and the different, and often disappointing attitudes which people have towards Jesus’ suffering.

The praise was accompanied by Marshall Halliday on Viennese horn.

This Easter Sunday there will be only one service in Mearns Coastal and that will be a family service in Johnshaven Church at 11 a.m. Children are welcome to come along for an eggsciting time!

Looking further ahead there will be a concert for Christian Aid in Johnshaven Village Hall on Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m. and Mearns Coastal’s annual plant sale will be held in St Cyrus Public Hall on Saturday, May 28 at 10 a.m., doors opening at 9.30 a.m. to receive plants and other donations

Village Spring Clean

As part of the Keep Scotland Beautiful National Spring Clean, SHARK are inviting volunteers to assist in carrying out a “village spring clean” this Saturday, April 23 between 2 and 4 p.m. Last year the eleven people who turned up did a great job in tidying up sections of the former railway line and registration on Sunday is at the community garden at 2 p.m.

More generally, volunteers are still needed to help with the regular maintenance of the community garden.

The small group currently undertaking the work meet every fortnight between 10 a.m. and noon on the Friday immediately preceding a green bag Saturday The next meeting would normally have been Friday, April 29 but due to an alternative event apparently taking place somewhere around Westminster Abbey at the same the group will not meet again until Friday, May 13 hopeful, no doubt, that the weeds have not taken over by then. The tasks involved are not particularly demanding and there is usually a cheery cup of tea to keep everybody going!

Mill of Benholm

Just a reminder that all young children in the area have been given an invitation to join the Benholm Buddies at the Mill of Benholm tomorrow, Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when there will be a range of activities for them to get involved in including an Easter egg trail, bonnet competition, art, crafts and much more.

There will also be face painting by Marsha and two special performances at 11 a.m. and 12 noon by Kidgloves Puppets who tell “traditional stories using glove and rod puppets with lots of audience interaction.”

There is ample car parking space at the Mill of Benholm which may be easily reached just off the A92 roughly half-way between Johnshaven and Inverbervie.


Fifteen years ago a very successful supper dance organised by Jean Cook in the Village Hall raised £260 for the funds of Benholm and Johnshaven Church, the music being provided by Stan Mitchell and Eddie McRae.

The Woman’s Guild concluded their season with a matter of opinion in the Church Hall. Guests were John Gavin, William Beattie, Edith Hobson and Beryl Stevenson along with Chairman, Duncan Mathieson.

The Rev Harry Brown conducted a Service of Ordination where Jill Scott and Sheila Simpson were admitted in to the Eldership of Benholm and Johnshaven Parish Church.