Tributes paid to community stalwart

Ranald Allan, who sadly passed away on Sunday (September 28)
Ranald Allan, who sadly passed away on Sunday (September 28)

Tributes have been paid to well-known Inverurie resident Ranald Allan, who sadly passed away on Sunday (September 28) after a short illness.

Ranald was a “weel kent face” in and around Inverurie, heavily involved in various community projects and a founding member and chairman of the Inverurie Environmental Improvements Group .

Ranald spent his formative years from the age of five in Inverurie, attending Market Place Primary School and Inverurie Academy. Described as an “avid reader” with “a great way with words”, from school Ranald embarked on a career in journalism with the Evening Express becoming Features Editor in 1978. From their he held senior positions at the Press and Journal, the Scotsman, the Reading Evening Post and the Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, winning many industry awards and introducing many innovative ideas.

Ranald and his wife Jane returned to his native Inverurie where he set up his own media company, producing the magazine Inverurie Connect. A great supporter of local business, tourism and local history, Ranald became actively involved in the community, his many projects included the Inverurie Environmental Improvements Group, responsible for the hanging baskets and floral display across the town.

He was a good friend to the Inverurie Herald, and was a familiar face in the office at Inverurie, where his vast journalistic knowledge was a great source of help to the staff there, and his anecdotes from his years in the business a great source of amusement.

Jack Hendry, Vice Chairman of the Garioch Heritage Society paid tribute to Ranald, saying, “Ranald had a great interest in the social history of the Town. He wanted Inverurie to become a tourist destination and set out plans to try and achieve. Some of the initiatives he helped to set up were Inverurie in Bloom with the hanging baskets display every summer; improvements to the River Don paths with interpretation boards; campaigning to keep the Inverurie Tourist Centre open in the High Street; producing tourist leaflets and maps of the town; promoting guided walks for visitors; setting up the ‘Visit Inverurie’ website amongst many other ideas he had.

“He helped our committee with advice on the best way to bring forward the new Heritage Museum at the former Loco Works with Malcolm Allan. The Heritage Museum will be a world-class visitor centre displaying and archiving the rich heritage and social history of Inverurie. Ranald was looking forward to seeing it open and attracting many more visitors to the town.

“He did a hell of a lot to bring folk together to get things going in the town and will be sadly missed.”

John Glover, Chairman of Inverurie Environmental Improvement Group said, “He was passionate about his home town and had lots of ideas on how best to promote and improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the town.

“He was a founding member and past chairman of the Inverurie Environmental Improvements Group with the annual display of hanging baskets in the town centre and improvements to the riverside paths being his legacy.”

Inverurie and District Councillor Bryan Stuart said, ““I knew Ranald as a rebel and a determined community activist. I don’t think his campaigning zeal ever left him, be that for environmental improvements, disability rights or whatever his current focus was.

“He had a distinguished career as a journalist, and never lost his nose for a good story, or the diligence to get his facts right. He could be outspoken, and that probably restrained his career, but he wouldn’t have been Ranald otherwise! His life wasn’t always easy, but he made the best of it, and was warmly regarded and respected by many.

“He was a great son of Inverurie, and I’m proud to have known him”.

Fellow Inverurie and District Councillor Richard Cowling said, “Ranald was a man who respected the Community and did his very best in the Town to make it a better place to live in with his dedication to the Environmental Projects especially the Inverurie in Bloom.

“His days as a reporter certainly did not leave him as he was very much a person that made his point of view known as and when he felt it necessary to make comments and call for actions as required.

“Inverurie has lost one of it’s names and his passing will be noted by all who knew him. Rest in peace Ranald”.

Ranald’s funeral will be held on Friday, October 3, at 1.30pm in St Andrew’s Parish Church, Inverurie, and after at Inverurie New Cemetery. Donations can be made to Inverurie District Nurses Team and Marie Curie at the Church door.