January 10th 2019 -nEwan Johnston - Farming in the North East.

In an excellent overview of farming in the North East, Ewan gave us pointers as to the challenges facing farmers in the North East and how farming has changed over recent years. He talked about the complex and many ways in which subsidies were applied to support farming and to keep the price of dairy and meat products competitive. This was a comprehensive and very informative talk and much appreciated by the members. The vote of thanks was by Ian Ellis.

January 24th 2019

It has been the tradition to celebrate the life and works of our National Bard each year. After the haggis was piped in by Charles Reid and addressed by Fred Watson (guest) the members sat down to their haggis, neeps and tatties.  Entertainment followed with a much appreciated accordion solo by Mark Forrest (Guest), a violin solo from Richard Thomson (guest) a poem by Fred Crawford and an appreciation by Colin Grant.

February 14th 2019 - Brian Woodcock Station House Media Unit

Brian gave us a fascinating insight into this charity which works with unemployed youth often who have not benefited by the educational establishments, including young offenders. They deliver training under very structured course work through the making of films and other media such as radio and press.

February 28th 2019 - Rev Howard Drysdale

In 2001, Rev Howard Drysdale was appointed as Chaplain to the Aberdeen seafarers’ Society. He described his pastoral role in supporting seafarers arriving in ships in Aberdeen. This was enhanced by establishing The Aberdeen Seafarers’ Mission which serves not only current seafarers but also those who have retired or have been made redundant. The members were very impressed by the work that Howard does in Aberdeen

March 14th 2019 - Gordon Porter - Ben O’ Line

In his talk, Gordon who is a Club member told uis about the various routes he undertook as a merchant seaman and how he amused his colleagues with the songs that he wrote and sang along with a guitar accompaniment Not only did this provide entertainment for his fellow sailors but also was a sort of musical diary recording the events in each port. He has compiled these into a DVD which you can purchase directly from Gordon.

April 11th 2019 - Dr Fiona Jane Brown -  Hidden Aberdeen

In an excellent talk, delivered with humour, Fiona showed us some of the exciting and hidden features of Aberdeen in past times. This was beautifully illustrated with stories and extracts from the books which Dr Brown has written to accompany the many walks around Aberdeen which she provides for groups or individuals.

May 9th - Mike Shepherd - Bram Stoker, Dracula and Cruden Bay

In an excellent, illustrated talk, Mike told us of how Bram Stoker fell in love with Cruden Bay and visited regularly. It was while he was staying there at the Kilmarnock Arms Hotel that he wrote Dracula.

March 28th 2019 - Ian  Ellis - A bit of A doo

Ian, a lifelong “pigeon fancier” gave a fascinating talk on the history, complexity and costs of owning and racing pigeons. Ian was ably supported by a cast of nameless but numbered “doos” who were suitably ewarded with a feeding mixture of grain. Breeding season (for pigeons) is between January and March and the racing season begins on 20th April annually. Friday night is racing night. Ian traced the pigeon pedigree from the Rock Dove and outlined the effectiveness of carrier pigeons and the pigeon post.Pigeons were awarded the Dickin Cross for bravery - VC equivalent Average active life span is about 5 years and maximum age would be around 15 years. Pigeons are subject to pre and post race drug testing. The vote of thanks was given by Bob Murray.

April 25th Spring Lunch

We had an excellent buffet lunch and sweet at the McDonald Golf Club at which we had a reasonable turnout of members and guests. President Ian welcomed Gary Seagraves, the magician who provided first class entertainment and entranced us

with amazing tricks.

May 23nd - Edward Savage - Lighter side of the law.

During a long and varied career in the court system - mostly in the west of Scotland, Edward experienced many amusing experiences and he illustrated his talk with anecdotes and humorous stories. After a very enjoyable talk, the vote of thanks was given by the President.

June 13th - Ruth Skinner - Carriage Riding for the Disabled

Having decided to keep Clydesdale horses, Ruth and her husband then set about giving them an important role and at the same time providing an invaluable resource for those in our community who are disabled. So successful is Carriage Riding for the Disabled that there is a waiting list for places. There is no doubt that this is a worthwhile and physically rewarding experience. After a greatly enjoyed talk, Steven Scott gave the vote of thanks.

July 11th - Gail McKeitch - Local Autism Groups

In her talk to the Club, Gail engaged the members in a discussion / debate about the issues which arise with managing young people with autism. Gail has two youngsters with autism and she outlined the  way in which the education and social integration of autistic children is managed. Those with autism have special gifts and these require to be developed and appreciated. The club were very impressed with Gail’s talk and respectful of the tremendous work that she has done to promote the understanding of autism.

June 27th - Professor James Grieve - Forensic Pathology

Professor Grieve gave a fascinating insight into the work of a forensic pathologist and how that helped to solve serious crimes.He drew interesting parallels between the real world and that of the which was glamourised in crime fiction. Hi s talk was illustrated with real cases and how the crime fiction authors used him to give authenticity to their works. This was an excellent talk and well punctuated with his clever humorous quips.

The vote of thanks was given by Alan Cameron

July 25th - David Stevenson - Genetic Cytology

David introduced members to the fascinating but complex world of genetics and of how an understanding of the nature of genes has transformed medical science. David traced the development of this science from the discovery of DNA and how simple molecular building blocks linked together to form the double helix and from there to the genome project. Not only is research on genetics important in our understanding of medicine, but it is also extremely useful in solving crime.

The vote of thanks was given by John Gillies

AUGUST 8th - Kate Loades - The work of The Cyrenians

In a wide ranging talk, delivered without notes or slides, Kate gave a most interesting account of the work of The Cyrenians in Aberdeen. The work with men is mostly to do with homelessness and she outlined the many and varied reasons why men in particular find themselves homeless. The Cyrenians help to find accommodation and to deal with the complex negotiation with the social services, banks etc. They also provide food parcels which are a lifeline for many oof those who find themselves cast out on the streets. With women it is mostly cases of partner abuse and she explained how they support those who are referred to them back into independent living. The vote of thanks was given by Charles Fox.