Issue 62 Spring 2010 by qvX6Cx


									                    DRUMOAK & DURRIS NEWSLETTER
When the previous Newsletter went to print the                 Many aspects will need to be addressed by the Kirk
forecasters were suggesting we might have some snow,           Session and Board; not the least the image of the church
and we were musing that we might have a White                  and the community it serves, its vision for the future and
Christmas. Who would have thought the snow would still         even the more mundane issues of accommodation for a
be with us as the next issue goes to press! We are not         new minister and hopefully his or her family.
totally without hope though. Through the snow we can
see green shoots of botonical recovery as the snowdrops        Whilst all this is going on the church activities will
poke through the current dusting of snow and frost. If         continue as usual. All local residents whether church
only the green shoots of economic recovery were as             members or not can help their community by supporting
robust as Mother Nature!                                       events and charity fundraising thus demonstrating to
                                                               prospective ministers that we are a community that is
None the less there are some signs that Lower Deeside          worthy of their calling.
might be on the road to recovery. The Mains of Drum                                                            Editor
carpark is always busy and the restaurant is often full.
The Culter Car Centre is going ahead and there seems
to be some progress at long last with the proposed new
primary school for Drumoak. Shortly too we should know
the initial outcomes of the Local Development Plan for         Food Fashion and the Future
Lower Deeside, and this might provide some additional
spur to our local economy, but like our snowdrops it will      A case in point, for your support of the community – and
be a bit of a struggle.                                        the church – come along to this Fair Trade event in the
                                                 Editor        Drumoak Church Hall on Monday 8th March at 7.00 pm.
                                                               Many local groups will be participating, and there will be
                                                               something of interest for everyone. Please look at the
                                                               Church Newsletter for more details.
Changes afoot in Our Kirk

As you may have read in the Church Newsletter the Rev.
Jim Scott, has announced that he will be retiring this
year, at the end of October. The 479 members of the
congregation were greatly saddened to learn of his
decision. Jim has been their minister for 18 years and is
                                                               Farewell to the Country Loon
a much loved and highly respected member of the
community and many within and without the Church                                                             th
have appreciated his pastoral care and support in              Alec Watson sadly passed away on the 5 of January
difficult times.                                               after a long and valiant battle against cancer. He was a
                                                               very popular member of the community as witnessed by
Prior to his appointment, Drumoak and Durris were two          the number of mourners at his funeral who packed the
separate parish churches linked by one minister. During        Drumoak Church to standing room capacity.
his tenure,the churches have been united to form one           Alec, for many years, farmed Woodside Farm and was
Church Family with two worship centres, and he has             known to many people for the excellence of the organic
painstakingly worked to strengthen their unity. He has         vegetables he sold through the Farm Shop.
also been a passionate supporter of reaching out to the
wider community outside the church, as many of the             He had a great many interests and, in particular, was a
congregation’s activities can testify. A prime example of      great champion of all things Doric, but his first love was
this is the Drumoak & Durris Newsletter which he               the observation of nature. He had a very keen eye for the
instigated and has actively supported over the years to        natural world around him and made extensive notes of
           nd                                                  all he saw and how it connected with weather patterns.
this its 62 edition.
                                                               He had an uncanny skill at predicting the likely weather
When he came to Drumoak and Durris, it was to                  over the next season. For many years he provided
congregations that could be counted on one hand. He            Newsletter readers with fascinating accounts of nature’s
will leave behind a thriving church family catering for all    activities and linked these to his own forecast which was
ages with weekly attendances over 100 and “full house”         invariable more accurate than the Met Office!
at festival times.                                             His last article written in early November 2009 says it all
Shortly the congregation will need to start the quest for a    This yeer wi hiv seen mair ova slime, mair puddocks,
new minister. It will not be easy. Ministers are in short      mair fruit and mair wood mice than normal, could it be
supply countrywide. In Deeside alone there are 4               we are aboot tae see mair frost than normal? I think so.
parishes which will be looking for a new minister so                                    th
                                                               The snow arrived on 19 December and more or less is
competition will be fierce (a funny thing to say about
                                                               still with us. Alec was right as usual, and is sorely
Christian folk – but even they are not free from market
                                                               missed by us all.

February 2010                                 Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                       Issue 62          1
News from Drum Castle Gardens                                  The Loch itself is on flat ground with marshy margins
                                                               and presently has only one third of the water surface
“What on earth do you do all winter?”                          there was in 1989 when I first came to Drum.
                                                               Encroachment by alder and willow on the loch sides and
                                                               rhododendron ponticum in amongst the pine woods has
That age old question must have been asked of me a             made it practically impenetrable. It is partly a man made
thousand times this winter. I sigh! By mid February, I am      feature, with built up bunds to the north and east and a
in need of a holiday. My Christmas leave was spent             sluice gate to the south east. It appears to be clay
snowploughing and gritting; so that locals could still walk    puddle lined, the clay possibly originating from the field
dogs; so that tourists were able to take photos of the         on Drum Estate known as ‘Claypots’. Was this Robbie
castle in the snow; so that kids on days off from school       Ross’s job?
could sledge; so that staff could access work desks;           At its heyday, the loch was probably twice the size of the
wedding couples could view; residents could get home.          more familiar loch at the entrance to Crathes Castle.
Thanks go to our tenant farmer, Charlie Duncan for             There are still 2 small islands and once there was a
helping with this not inconsiderable task.                     boathouse and a timber shack used to store firewood for
Winter means project work and even though I am the             summer picnics. Family photos show a ‘punt’ style boat
only grounds person here now, I try to progress some           on the loch. Records indicate autumn duck shooting
work. This season a new gazebo, step construction at           parties, fishing for trout, skating in winter and even
the chapel to prevent brides’ veils trailing in mud,           Quentin’s Morris Minor in the 1920’s, being taken onto
ongoing tree felling by contractors coping with Dutch Elm      the ice to do skid turns!
Disease and Beech decay, drainage works to reduce              Now the loch is so silted up and the sluice gate
flooding on the lawns. Several hardy volunteers have           vandalised that the current water levels allow passage to
come in throughout the winter to help achieve ‘miracles’.      the islands in normal length wellies. This open water
Thursdays and Saturday are work project days when              feature, once recorded as a home to otters and heron,
larger groups of volunteer congregate to help with             will be lost within ten years under existing management
whatever. My appreciation is boundless.                        regimes.
One of the projects being encouraged by the wider Trust        In 1907, the loch was cleared at a cost of £130. One
family is to discover local stories and characters. The        hundred years later, it would probably cost 100 times as
two that most perplex me at Drum are Robbie Ross and           much, although I have heard that the community service
Auntie Beattie. We have Auntie Beattie’s Walk and              team in Aberdeen are looking for outside projects of
Beattie’s Cottage (formerly North Mains.) As far as I          benefit to local communities. Who else would like to see
know Auntie Beattie was a companion to Lady Irvine, but        this feature reinstated?     Could the community be
does any one know more?                                        involved? Can anyone research it more? Records
Robbie Ross crops up under ‘Robbie Rossie’s Loch’;             research? Fieldwork research?
Robbie Rossie’s Roadie; Robbie Rossie’s Park. A                It would be great to still be able to write in 2111 as Keith
helpful volunteer, Carol Marriott from Drumoak, has            wrote in 1811 in his ’Survey of Aberdeenshire’ of Drum :
checked the census and found a Robert Ross, crofter            ”Some fine old trees surround this venerable pile... a
tenant at Belskavie between 1841 and 1861, farming just        very good garden, a small sheet of water at no great
8 acres. He married Elspet Rust from Banchory                  distance, and a castellated building on top of a
Devenick in 1836 and their son Robert was farming              neighbouring hill (Lady Irvine’s Tower outside Culter) add
18acres at Belskavie by 1861. Robert Ross, agricultural        ornament to this ancient building.”
labourer and farmer, is mentioned in the estate accounts
from 1845; payments for ditching and dyking work being         It would be wonderful to hear from anyone interested in
made over several years. Other labourers from the              adding to the stories of Drum.
same period are John Smith and Joseph Reid, all
                                                                                                         Diana Robertson
working under George Gammie, the Head Gardener and
Forester. So why does Robbie Ross get so much                                                              Head Gardener
attention? Why is his name recorded in perpetuity in
place names?                                                   Alec Watson often spoke of Robbie Ross’s loch and the
                                                               memories he had of it in its heyday and his regret that it
A ‘John Ross’ was paid £6.9s.6d for building 259yards of       had fallen into disrepair. One of his ambitions was to see
sunk Dyke in 1855. Is this a relative?                         at least a partial restoration for the enjoyment of all.
The Loch itself first appears on Robertson’s Topographic       CDDCC have this under consideration but they would
& Military Map of 1822 as an unnamed water feature.            need to see what interest/support Drumoak and Durris
Roy’s earlier map of 1750 records a Loch of Drum in the        residents would have in pursuing restoration. If you are
position of the currently named Loch of Park but no            interested in helping phone 811 763 in the first instance.
water body is present to the east of Drum. The name                                                                   Editor
Robbie Rossie’s Loch only appears in the 2 edition of
the O.S. map of 1899, although the feature itself is
clearly present in the 1 ed. in 1865. Robert Ross is not       Drum Events: March to May
in the 1861 census – it is likely he had passed on by this                th   th
date – So what is it about Robbie Ross that made the           March 13 /14 Community connections –help us get the
family adopt his name for features on the estate long          castle ready for opening
after his demise? Was it his work ethos? His character?              rd   th
                                                               April 3 /5 Willow weaving course
His skills?

February 2010                                 Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                       Issue 62          2
Easter Friday; Castle opens for Easter weekend only –             providing opportunities to excavate nest sites and plenty
        nd            th
Friday 2 to Monday 5 April                                        of dead wood full of grubs to feed on.      Woodpeckers
                                 th                               are regular visitors to many gardens and you can help
Saturday/Sunday April 3rd/4          An alternative Easter-
                                                                  them throughout the year by providing peanuts, lard cake
Delving in the past – heritage skills and family history
                                                                  and (if you can face the wriggling) fresh mealworms.
Sunday May 2 : Mayday celebrations
From Friday May7th to 16 Tulipmannia
                                                                  Can you help?
Saturday May 22 Biodiversity Day
                                                                  We are looking for volunteers to help add to our wildlife
Plus look out for Romeo & Juliet June 24 and Pride &              records for Drum Estate. If you’re interested in birds,
Prejudice July 26
                                                                  butterflies, squirrels or anything else we’d love to hear
                                                                  from you. Recording is easy. You can put in as much or
Castle opening hours this year: Easter w/e (4days)                as little effort as you have the time for. Maps and
11am to 5pm                                                       recording sheets will be provided. If you would like to
             st                                                   get involved please call me at the NTS Rangers Office
From May 1 : 11am to 5pm , closed on Tuesdays and
Wednesdays ( open 7 days in July & August only)                   on 01330 844810 for more information.
                                                                                                               Fiona Milne
                                                                                                      Senior Ranger NTS

Drum’s Distant Drums
I love this time of year! The birds have just started
singing to mark out their territories and attract mates,
and the first flowers are beginning to make an
                                                                  Drumoak Durris Crathes Bowling Club
appearance.      One of the most evocative signs that
winter is nearly over and spring is around the corner is          At the time of writing, the Indoor Bowling Season is still
the sound of great spotted woodpeckers drumming on a              in full swing with the Club involved in internal and
crisp, bright morning.                                            external competitions.

Have you ever tried to count how many times a                     We extend our grateful appreciation to all those who
woodpecker actually drums in one outburst? Well you               attended our Scottish Concert on Saturday 7 November
would be hard-pushed to keep up. There can be at least            last year and to those who were present at our full house
12 drumbeats in one second! Woodpeckers don’t just                for the Burns Supper on Saturday 16 January this year.
restrict themselves to drumming on trees. They have
been known to use flagpoles, and other pieces of wood.            Looking forward to coming events………The Opening of
I have even witnessed a bird drumming on a telegraph              the Green for the outdoor season takes place on
pole. The pressure on the bird’s skull while drumming is          Saturday 17 April at 2 pm. A warm welcome awaits all
huge so they have extra shock absorbent tissue at the             members both current and new who wish to take part.
base of the beak for added protection. Both males and
females drum, but unpaired males drum 3 times as often            A Coffee Morning/Open Day will take place on Saturday
as males who already have a mate for the season. With             15 May from 10 am to 1 pm in aid of Club funds and to
any luck the bachelor’s extra effort will pay off and he’ll       invite new members along to try their hand at bowling.
attract the attention of a single lady. If so, the courtship      Please do come along and make it a family and friends
that follows will involve the female spiralling up a tree         affair. Bowling is fun, inexpensive and suitable for all
trunk closely followed by her potential mate.                     ages and abilities. You never know, you could be our
                                                                  next Club champion!
Most years a new nest hole is excavated. Both male and
female work hard to prepare a new home for their
                                                                  Dave Stuart
youngsters while previous years nest holes will provide
                                                                  Club President
shelter and nest sites for other birds and sometimes
even roosting sites for bats.     The young are fed on a
diet of grubs while still in the nest but the parents also
introduce them to the easy pickings at bird tables once
they have fledged.                                                A Word from our Community Policeman
Males and females can be told apart by the patterns on            Hello from PC Wayne Smart, I have now been the
their heads.    Adult males have a scarlet patch on the           Community Officer for Crathes, Durris and Drumoak
back of their neck, while females have no red on their            areas for just over a year now and things have changed
heads at all.    The young all have a bright red cap.             a bit on a Policing side. We now have a new Inspector
Young and old of both genders have a patch of bright red          at Stonehaven, Inspector Stephen Golightly and also
feathers under their very stiff tails. The tail acts as a         more Officers at Portlethen Office. I am now teamed up
prop when woodpeckers are hanging from peanut                     with new Police Officer, PC Victoria Henderson, who just
feeders or trying to stay still against a branch to avoid         started ‘on the streets’ in December, and we also have
being seen by a sharp-eyed sparrow hawk.                          three further new officers who have all started recently.
                                                                  PC Henderson will be covering the Crathes, Durris and
The Old Wood of Drum is an ideal habitat for                      Drumoak areas along with myself.
woodpeckers with plenty of old hollow branches

February 2010                                    Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                      Issue 62         3
Since my last report in the May newsletter last year,          DRUMOAK COMMUNITY HALL UPDATE
there have been no major incidents.There have, howevr,
been a few thefts from unattended vehicles, mainly due         The hall has until fairly recently been used for many local
to the vehicles being left to defrost. Something I have        groups including Indoor bowling, Cubs/Scouts, Mother &
been told you can do, if you need to defrost your car and      toddlers group, badminton and dog training classes.
leave it running whilst you are doing something else, is to    Unfortunately due to deteriorating condition of the hall
use your spare key in the ignition and lock your vehicle       these groups have fallen by the wayside one by one.
with your main key so no one can get into it. I’m not sure     The hall has also been the venue for many memorable
this will work with all cars but may be worth a try.           evening events, both organised by the hall committee
                                                               and private functions.

There have also been several suspicious incidents over
the last few months with vehicles/occupiers appearing to       As readers may already be aware, the condition of
act in a suspicious manner. There was also an incident         Drumoak Community Hall has unfortunately deteriorated
involving a male trying to sell jewellery at the side of the   significantly in recent years to the point where it has
road, claiming he needed money for petrol. If you see          become unusable. Major roof works and comprehensive
persons or vehicles which appear to be suspicious or out       refurbishment are now required at a substantial capital
of place, if the make/model, registration of the vehicle       cost. The building is no longer in use, due to the lack of
can be noted or even descriptions of the person, let us        facilities, deteriorating condition and concerns regarding
know and we can follow it up with the owners.                  insurance cover.

I would also recommend not stopping for anyone who is          The Council questioned the sustainable future of the hall,
standing at the side of the road, unless it is obvious they    and due to these issues, and concerns over safety, the
require some kind of assistance, as you can not be sure        Committee felt it had no option but to hand the Hall back
what their intentions are, again if any details of car or      to Aberdeenshire Council, on the condition that, bearing
person involved can be recalled or noted down and let          in mind that it is believed that the Hall was bought with
Police know and we can check it out.                           money raised by the community, proceeds from any
                                                               future sale of the Hall should be reinvested into facilities
                                                               for the local community.
One of the local issues I am aware of recently has been
people camping on The Glebe. I will be continuing to
keep an eye on the area, now the better weather,               Despite attempts in spring 2009 to revive the Committee,
allegedly, and lighter evenings are starting to come in,       at which point a number of local residents did come
along with my Banchory and Portlethen colleagues to try        forward, this group has been unable to find a solution.
and prevent any problems occurring. If you see anyone          Aberdeenshire Council has been notified and their
going onto the grass in cars or camping, let us known          response is awaited. The Committee understands that
and we will come along and move them on.                       the Council will seek the views of the Community.
                                                                                                Drumoak Hall Committee

I have enjoyed the last year as a Community Officer and
have tried to get across to the area to give it attention
where possible and have hopefully been successful in
helping the people who have contacted me with queries          Banchory Community Learning & Development
and problems they have had.                                    Lifelong Learning Survey in Drumoak

In December last year and this month, I carried out            Aberdeenshire Community Planning Partnership is about
Police Surgeries in Drumoak, using a Mobile Police             to undertake a profile on the Drumoak Community with
Office, for people to come along for a chat or to highlight    input from Community Learning & Development and
any local issues I can possibly assist with. I put out         other partner agencies.
posters in local shops where possible to advertise the
surgeries, which unfortunately not everyone will see but I
will try to find other ways to advertise the surgeries         As Community Learning and Development practitioners
locally so you know when and where I will be. I will be        we feel that this would be an appropriate time to conduct
holding the next one on Monday 15th March 2010                 a needs assessment for lifelong learning provision in the
between 11am and 1pm in the Drumoak Bowling Car                community. Anecdotal feedback and one or two informal
Park. Feel free to come along just to meet me or to            approaches from members of the Drumoak community
highlight any issues you may have or if you prefer I can       suggest that there is a need to be addressed here. To
be contacted via Service Centre on 0845 600 5 700 or by        this end we plan to conduct a door to door survey in
e-mail at                                                        th
                                                               Drumoak during the week commencing 29 March.
and hopefully see some of you at the next Police Surgery
if there are any issues or if you just want to come along.     We would welcome your involvement in this and any
                                                               other comments or feedback you care to provide but
                                 PC Wayne Smart G0318          please be assured that participation is entirely voluntary
                                   Portlethen Police Office    and that any information given will be treated

February 2010                                 Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                       Issue 62          4
For further information please contact Community              A Small Success
Learning & Development Worker Alison Ritchie on
(01330) 826253.                                               For many months there has been a mobile hoarding
                                                              advertising Tulloch Homes on the south side of the A96
                                                              near the old Woodside Farm. CDDCC have been
                                                              complaining, and the Council has had the offending sign
Snippets from the Community
Council                                                       Aberdeen City and Shire Economic Future
                                                              Readers might have come across this organisation in
                                                              various articles, and like CDDCC may have little
New CDDCC member co-opted                                     understanding about its constitution and remit. CDDCC
Mr Jim Williamson has been co-opted as a member for           have written to one of the ACSEF members, Cristine
Durris Parish.                                                Gore, Director of Planning for Aberdeenshire Council to
                                                              ask why there is no apparent democratic imput into their
Socialising in Crathes - The Crathes Fly
CDDCC member, Nicola Chambury, is organising a
coffee morning in the Crathes Hall on the first Saturday
of each month from 10.00 to 12.00, and all are welcome.       Out and About

Progress on the Local Area Plan                               New 30 mph Speed Limit for Drumoak
Cllr Bellamy advised CDDCC members that the Area              Drumoak residents have at last managed to get a 30mph
Councillors have now discussed the LAP policies and will      speed limit, however local Park residents are more than
be discussing the Settlements’ Main Issues Report in          a little miffed that they have been excluded. It does seem
due course. Meanwhile CDDCC are conscious of some             rather odd that those responsible for the decision were
delay in the process and are unclear when their               unable to make it holisticly and perhaps have consulted
comments and questions will be answered. They will be         with local residents before casting the new signs in
taking this up with the Planner concerned.                    concrete. Incidentally have you noticed the ever
                                                              increasing number of roadsigns from Culter to Banchory.
                                                              A 30 mph sign for Park would have been two less!
Proposed Animal Welfare Centre at Drumoak
SSPCA agents have written to CDDCC to advise that
they propose a variation to the planning permission           New Life for the Park Bridge Toll Cottage
application that would remove the noise abatement             Travellers over Park Bridge may have noticed that
bunds. It is also reported that there are problems over       workmen have been busy inside this old historic toll
site drainage. Further changes to the application are         house which for many years housed the local River Dee
anticipated.                                                  Water Bailiff, It was recently purchased by CHAP
                                                              possibly to facilitate the building of a new bridge over the
Culter Car Centre Revised Plans Approved                      Dee as outlined in their current plans for the Eco Village.
After a presentation of their revised proposals to CDDCC      Well done Chap for giving the old building a new lease of
which included revised changes to the site layout, and a      life! Anyone looking for a one bedroom cottage? Apply to
reduction of the site area utilised from 3 hectares to 1.7    CHAP.
hectares. CDDCC subsequently wrote to support the
revised proposal and the council’s planning committee
granted approval subject to conditions.

                                                              ECO Village fame spreads
Park Bridge Safety Barrier                                    A number of local resident have commented on the
CDDCC members have inspected the North Easterly               adverts they have seen on the London Underground
verge of the bridge approach to check for themselves          escalators when using the Tube. One so disbelieved his
whether there was any risk to road users. They found the      eyes that he stopped his journey, went all the way down
dilapidated wooden fence that protects the road users         one escalator and all the way back up to check, and sure
from a steep embankment to be wholly inadequate and           enough there they were. No doubt many hard pressed
have written to the Council to request action on safety       commuters will longingly look at these enticing ads rather
grounds.                                                      reminiscent of the old railway posters of yore, and might
                                                              even visit the internet and find out more about the
                                                              project, and perhaps fill out a questionnaire. But if push

February 2010                                Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                       Issue 62          5
came to shove would any of them actually elect to move        On the vexed issue of sewerage Mr Potter indicated that
to this model village. I think not.                           in the event that Scottish Water cannot provide
                                                              sewerage capacity in time for the school’s completion,
Talking of ECO villages on the internet I have a
                                                              an on site treatment facility would be provided with
suggestion. Perhaps our Park ECO village could be
                                                              connection to the sewerage plant at a later date. This will
twinned with its opposite number in Australia. Park Eco-
                                                              allay the community’s fears that the provision of a new
Village Kookaburra is a community styled development
                                                              school could be seriously jeapordised by Scottish
in Gin Gin, a short drive from Bundaberg in Queensland
                                                              Water’s inaction.

                                                              Drumoak Sewerage Plant
New Drumoak School                                            Still No Development
Progress at last?
                                                              In an effort to find out the current situation with regards
                                                              to this long standing development conundrum Donald
The Drumoak Parent Council had a fruitful meeting with        Keith and CDDCC Minute Secretary John Hopkins met
Mr Bruce Robertson, the Director of Education and Mr          with a Scottish Water’s Strategic Account Manager,
                                                     th       Mr M. Allen.
Mike Porter the Department’s Architect on the 12 consider the long awaited new primary
school for Drumoak                                            The only facts that came from the meeting were that the
                                                              proposed extension work would be considered along
Mr Robertson said that Drumoak Primary is a priority for      with all other SW capital projects for the next 4-5 years,
replacement and funds totalling £6.8 million have been        and that a decision might be expected in the next few
budgeted for 2011-2013 and would take 18months to             months. However, Mr Allen offered assurances that the
complete.. The current plan envisages a school for 150        Drumoak work was high on their priority list, and early
pupils, with nursery and community facilities, however,       funds would most likely be available.
those will need the resolution of the Local Development
Plan and location and land acquisition issues before the      We pointed out that new developments in Drumoak were
plans can be finalised. The location issue in particular      being held up because of the lack of sewerage treating
will be a major factor as there has been an new HSE           capacity, namely the New Irvine Arms and the 12 houses
policy on pipeline exclusion zones for schools which will     at Deeview Gardens and flats on the exting Irvine Arms
be a major limitation in the case of Drumoak due to the       site. Mr Allen emphatically denied that there was any
pipelines to the east and west of the settlement. This        hold up due to SW as none of these projects have met
sketch shows the current thinking on the location and         Scottish Water’s five point criteria for Enabling
defines the pipeline exclusion zones: -                       Development. This document, which is not freely
                                                              available to developers, provides a splendid example of
                         Pipeline                             Catch 22.
                                                              In essence, to trigger the necessary SW action to
                         for schools
                         Does not                             provide the required Sewerage Treatment capacity, a
                         apply for                            developer needs to have planning permission and some
                         housing                              unspecified commitment to a financial contribution. But
                                                              for many developers planning consent is unlikely to be
                                                              given unless the Sewerage Treatment requirements
                                                              have been settled…… (If you want to read the full
                                                              document apply to the editor)

                                                              This catch 22 situation continues. Our Developers have
                                                              thought they might overcome the problem by installing
                                                              their own mini sewage plants to cope wih the capacity
                                                              needs of their own projects, but according to the
                                                              developers, SEPA will not allow a private system
                                                              because a) SEPA would have no control of it and b)
                                                              there is already a sewerage plant serving the community.
                                                              Hopefully this will not apply to the new school, which
                                                              might set a useful precedent for the other projects.

                                                              Enquiries with other SW departments were made to
Mr Roberston also indicated that once all the information     check on the Stewart Milne Homes funding agreement
is available they will propose a Steering Group of Council    and the design status. According to the SW legal
and local interested parties such as parents, School          representative a finalised agreement was sent to SMH a
Council, and CDDCC, to be involved in the decision            few weeks ago for signature. Unfortunately, confirmation
making process.                                               of its receipt was unavailable from SMH when going to

February 2010                                Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                      Issue 62          6
As far as the Engineering design and procuremet is             FCS have also indicated that they will be prepared to
concerned, we were assured years ago that designs              discuss the release of other FCS land in Durris for
were completed. Readers might remember as far back             specific FDF projects. FDF directors will be consulting
as September 2007 the Newsletter reported:-                    with their members as plans are developed.

“According to SW, the current status is that the fully
costed design package is now ready to be handed to
SMH to arrange a construction contract with a yet to be
identified contractor. The likely duration of the              Events in the Kirkton Hall
construction work according to SW will be about 6

Alas, from further enquiries with SW Strategic Planning        Scottish Accordion Group
Department, it appears that there has been no follow-up        Did you know? Every second Sunday of the month, the
work done and as far as the execution of the project is        Scottish Accordion Group have a concert in the Kirkton.
concerned it is unlikely that this project will get off to a   There are a number of accordian players and fiddlers,
quick construction start as new designs will be required       other instrumentalists, singers and the odd bit of poetry -
and the equipment originally ordered by SMH might not          all on North East themes. Doors open at 6.30 for 7.00;
suffice.                                                       refreshments are provided and the entrance fee is £2.00.

Taking a broader view, there might also be concerns for        It is obviously good value for money and you need to go
rural development throughout Deeside. If one examines          early to secure a good seat.
the WWTC (Waste Water Treatment Capacity) figures
posted on the SW website one will see Drumoak listed
as “less than 10 nominal household capacity                    Scottish Country Dancing
requirements” left in the plant. Judging from the              Every Thursday evening from 8.00 to 9.30pm, a
Drumoak experience, less than 10 would seem to be a            beginners country dance class is held by        Isobel
bit of a euphamism for no spare capacity. This is a            McMillan. The emphisis is on fun rather than formality,
widespread problem. Of the 11 WWT plants listed in             and newcomers are particularly welcome.
Deeside, 8 are noted as less than 10. Drumoak is
probably not the only plant with such problems, and
casual inspection of other areas shows a similar situation
throughout rural Scotland. It remains to be seen just how      Other Events to note
high up the priority programme Drumoak will find itself.       The Durris Primary School Concert will be held on
                                                               Tuesday 23rd March at 7.00 pm
Scottish Water is a monopoly and not a private
company. Any private company operated as inefficiently         Drumoak-Durris Church Family Ceilidh will be held on
and ineffectively as displayed by their actions over the       Saturday 24th April
Drumoak Plant during the last 5 years would soon be out
of business. A recent press report on Quango chiefs’
salaries obtained through the Freedom of Information
legislation suggests that the head of SW, Richard
Ackroyd, earns £263,000 pa with a bonus of 40% isn’t it        City of Roses Chorus
about time he demonstrated some value for the                  (Sweet Adelines International)
taxpayers’ money?

In summary, it seems that nobody knows when the                Mary Robertson, director of the choir, has outlined a very
current capacity logjam might be unblocked – least of all      busy programme for the next few weeks.
those who work for Scottish Water
                                                               On the 18th March the choir will have a weekend’s
                                                               coaching at the Udny Arms to prepare for the National
                                                               Sweet Adelines Competition held on 8th May. On the
Friends of Durris Forest                                       20th March they travel to Huntly for the Aberdeenshire
                                                               Singing Festival. Then they commence their practice for
                                                               the National Competition
FDF have been advised that The Forestry Commission
Scotland (FCS) have now decided to dispose of the              You will be able to hear and see the fruits of their labours
Kirkton Office and curtledge as originally planned when        at their dress rehersal which they will be having in
they moved to Huntly. They plan to advertise it shortly,       Drumoak Church Hall on Monday, 26th of April
and FDF like other community organisations would               commencing at 8.00 pm. Afterwards there will be tea and
receive priority in purchasing the site.                       coffee, and all are awelcome
FDF have had discussions with FCS and inspected the
site. They have concluded that in, its deteriorated state,
the building provides no benefit to FDF and the
community and will not be making an offer.

February 2010                                 Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                       Issue 62          7
Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                                Diary Dates
Editor Donald Keith
Tel 01330 811 763 e-mail               Date    Event                 Time    Location

Local Websites                                             02      CDDCC Meeting         19.30   Irvine Arms
Crathes                  04      Visitors from         13.00   Durris Manse
Durris                             Mar     Rumania Lunch
Drumoak                           06      The Crathes Fly       10.00   Crathes Hall
Drumoak-Durris Church          Mar                           12.00
Aberdeenshire Council Planning                             08      Food Fashion and      19.00   Drumoak
                Mar     the Future                    Church Hall
                                                           13-14   Community Help        TBA     Drum Castle
Useful Telephone Numbers                                   Mar     for Castle opening
                                                           14      Mothering Sunday      10.00   Drumoak
Police Station*          0845 600 5 700                    Mar                                   Church
Crime Stopper            0800 555 111                      14      Scottish Accordian    19.00   Kirkton Hall
* All police Stations are accessed from the Grampian       Mar     Group
Police Call Centre which can also be accessed by e-mail                                          Bowling Club
                                                           15      Community             11.00                                                          Car park
                                                           Mar     Policeman Surgery     13.00
                                                           17      Annual Church         19.30   Drumoak
                                                           Mar     Meeting & Social              Church Hall
Aberdeenshire Council
Ward 18 Councillors                                        23      Durris School         19.00   Kirkton Hall
                                                           Mar     Concert
Wendy Agnew       Stonehaven       01561 361 364           28      Palm Sunday – all     10.00   Drumoak
Peter Bellamy     Stonehaven       01569 767 426           Mar     age service                   Church
Graeme Clark      Banchory         01330 823 940           02      Good Friday           19.30   Drumoak
Mike Sullivan     Stonehaven       01569 766 922           Apr     Service                       Church
                                                           03      The Crathes Fly       10.00   Crathes Hall
                                                           Apr                           12.00
Crathes Drumoak & Durris Community Council                 03-05   Willow weaving        TBA     Drum Castle
Office Bearers                                             Apr     Course
                                                           03-04   Delving in the past   TBA     Drum Castle
David Morrish          Chairman      01330 844 610         Apr
Diana Robertson        Secretary     01330 811 833         04      Easter Sunday         10.00   Durris Church
                                                           Apr     All age service
                                                           06      CDDCC Meeting         19.30   Irvine Arms
Hall Bookings                                              Apr
                                                           10      Drumoak-Durris        10.30   Ballater
Drumoak Church Hall Andy Coutts      01330 811 418
                                                           Apr     Church Golf Outing    11.00
Kirkton Hall Durris Eric Melvin      01330 811 352
                                                           11      Scottish Accordian    19.00   Kirkton Hall
                                                           Apr     Group
Local Numbers
                                                           17      Opening of the        14.00   Bowling Club
Drumoak Post Office                01330 811 201           Apr     Green
Park Shop                          01330 811 463           24      Family Ceilidh        19.00   Kirkton Hall
Irvine Arms                        01330 811 423           Apr
                                                           26      City of Roses         20.00   Drumoak
                                                           Apr     Dress Rehearsal               Church Hall
                                                           02      Mayday                TBA     Drum Castle
                                                           May     Celebrations
                                                           04      CDDCC Meeting         19.30   Irvine Arms
The Drumoak & Durris Newsletter is published four
times per year as part of the Parish Newsletter (Dec.
                                                           09      Scottish Accordian    19.00   Kirkton Hall
Feb. May. And Sep. The Drumoak & Durris
                                                           May     Group
Newsletter is produced as a community service by
the Parish Church.                                         07-16   Tulipmania            TBA     Drum Castle
                                                           15      Coffee Morning/       10.00   Bowling
                                                           May     Open Day              13.00   Pavillion
   Deadline for next Newsletter                            22      Biodiversity          TBA     Drum Castle
       Thursday 3rd June

February 2010                             Drumoak & Durris Newsletter                    Issue 62           8

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