Round the rurals


The February meeting of Tipperty SWRI was a very enjoyable ‘Matter of Opinion’ evening.

After president Mrs Isobel Elrick requested the secretary minutes and treasurer’s report she continued by introducing the panel for the evening.

Dr Charlie Burgess had rounded up a well-known team to give their opinions on a great variety of subjects submitted by rural members. Mrs Helen Smillie, the only woman on the panel, gave her thoughts on the various topics confidently, although she was outnumbered by the men, Charlie, Mr Robert Duncan and Mr David Presley.

The evening saw a number of local issues as well as many lighter subjects being discussed before the debate was brought to a close with a welcome cup of tea and home bakes.

The panel then judged the monthly competitions with results as follows:

A knitted gents hat - 1st Lorna Strachan; 2nd Joyce Catto; 3rd Rose Reid.

4 Melting moments - 1st Lorna Strachan; 2nd Isobel Elrick; 3rd Catherine Simpson.

After the raffle was drawn, Irene Bartlet gave a vote of thanks to the panel, tea hostess, competition winners and everyone who brought a raffle before Isobel wished members a safe journey home.

Charlie on behalf of the panel thanked Isobel and members for the donation received and said it would be passed on to a charity.

The next meeting will be held on March 13 at Tipperty School at 7.30 pm, Elaine Lindsay will introduce members to ‘something corny’. All welcome.


Helen Thomson, Auchnagtt SWRI President, welcomed Stanley Bruce, on behalf of the Banffshire Maritime Heritage Association, to give a talk and presentation to the Rural on the ‘Herring Lassies’ and how they followed the boats during the herring season.

At the height of this industry at the beginning of last century, up to 6,000 women followed the herring.

Members were fascinated with the old photos and postcards depicting the exceptionally harsh life and times of the women who followed the herring, or silver darlings as the herring were known, and who gutted and packed the herring barrels ready for export to Russia and the Carribean.

As the herring moved round the British coastline, the women would pack their belongings into kists, travel by train as far south as Gt Yarmouth and live in very basic huts. They worked long hours in all the elements, gutting up to 60 fish a minute, but their friendship, resilience and indomitable spirit was clearly evident.

Everyone enjoyed a welcome cup of tea, after which the competitions were judged by Stanley, with the prizes as follows:

Smoked Haddock Quiche - 1 Isobel Dickie 2 Eleanor Towler.

Pretty Napkin - 1 Lorna Rose; 2 Hilda Brown; 3 Rosaline Smith.

Flower of the Month - 1 Isobel Dickie; 2 Rosaline Smith; 3 Lorna Rose.

After the business was conducted, Pat Anderson gave the vote of thanks and Helen Thomson thanked everyone for a most enjoyable evening.

The next meeting is the Mini Bulb & Industrial Show on Thursday, March 13, at 7.30pm. All members and visitors welcome – contact 01358 701224 for details.


At Newburgh SWRI, President, Mrs Robertson had the sad task of reading a short tribute to a loyal member and a stalwart of the concert party backstage crew, Mrs Roberta Hosie, who had passed away the previous week.

Mrs Hosie made a lot of the costumes in addition, and was a valued member of the WRI golf team, who will be greatly missed.

A minute’s silence followed as a mark of respect.

The business was then conducted before getting to the main event of the evening.

This year a card making evening was held with some of the members. There were five tables and the members were each allocated a table upon arrival so that they were fairly evenly distributed and each was able to make and take home a card.

The theme was ‘a card for a male’ which was not easy as most of the bits and pieces tended to favour cards for females.

Everyone enjoyed themselves and were all pleased with what they had made.

Afterwards the group sat down to a delicious tea.

The competition winners were: A Jar of Apple Chutney: Mrs K Duncan, Mrs B Wood and Mrs M Chandler; A supper dish using mince: Mrs M Singer, Mrs I Smith and Mrs M Thomas.

The next meeting will be held on March 4 at 7.30pm in the Newburgh Public Hall. All are welcome to attend.

Details about Newburgh SWRI can be obtained from the secretary, Mrs Kate Duncan on 01651 843777.

New Deer

President Eileen Morrice welcomed members and friends to their February meeting.

Speaker, Pat Ware of (Halcyon Designs), gave an interesting talk on her Egg Craft business.

A variety of eggs used for decoration were shown including ostrich,turkey,goose,quail and swan.

The cleaning process right up to inserting the musical box and various items into the egg were then explained.

Competition results:

1 Wedge of Quiche: Ethel Dalgarno, Nancy Rennie and Ethel Brown; Prettiest Brooch: Linda Glennie, Nancy Rennie and Pat Hibbit: Flower of the Month: Ethel Brown, Nancy Rennie and Ethel Dalgarno.

A very enjoyable evening was brought to a close with a vote of thanks from Pat Hibbit.


President Ann Marston welcomed past and president Kintore SWRI members to a celebration dinner at the Strathburn Hotel, Inverurie on February 4 on the occasion of their 90th birthday.

Also present were guests Aberdeenshire Federation chairperson Moira Gordon and Inverurie Group chairperson May Jones.

It was a most enjoyable evening with the cake being cut by Wilma Smith, one of our longest-serving members. Our next meeting is on March 4 in Kintore Public Hall at 7pm, when it will be our mini bulb show.


Esslemont SWRI saw President Mrs Helen Smillie open the meeting by welcoming all members.

After the business meeting, Ms Annie Paterson did the introductions throughout Members evening, where several members had arranged entertainment for the group.

Competition winners: Flower of the Month: Annie Paterson, Helen Smillie and Linda Milne; Newborn Cardigan and Bonnet: Margaret Greive, Annie Paterson and Margaret Grant-Beer; Apple Chutney: Jean Winterbottom, Linda Milne and Helen Smillie.

The vote of thanks was given by Linda Milne.

Mrs Smillie thanked all members who provided the entertainment and wished everyone a safe journey home.

The next meeting will be March 6.

Auchedly and Ythanbank

President Sue Hall welcomed members to the February meeting of Auchedly and Ythanbank SWRI.

She welcomed members of the First Pitmedden Community Responders who told us of the service they priovide, then demonstrated methods of help to the patient awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.

Monthly prizewinners: Fruit Loaf - 1 Ellenor Gray; 2 Lil Emslie; 3 Margot Airth; 10 Items for a First Aid Box - 1 Lil Emslie; 2 Mabel Mitchell; 3 Sandra Cain; Garden Flowrr - 1 Dot Duncan; 2 Mabel Mitchell.

Lil Emslie provided a lovely tea. Sue Hall proposed the vote of thanks.