Around the Rurals

Ardallie WRI president Helen Thomson welcomed Stanley Bruce, on behalf of the Banffshire Maritime Heritage Association, to give a talk and presentation 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.

The ladies 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.

The ladies all 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 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.


Bogbrae WRI president Anne Sandilands extended a warm welcome to all present to the February meeting and read the motto ‘Still to do comes from doing’.

On completion of business, Anne handed over to guest speaker Wattie Gill.

He explained the intricacies of making homemade wine, from selecting suitable fruits to the process of fermenting, equipment needed and finally enjoying!

Ladies sampled a wee glass and Wattie left them to guess the fruits used. Three wines were tried - plum, blackcurrant and elderberry and blackcurrant - all very different but equally enjoyable.

Wattie, a man of many talents, kept members all thoroughly amused with his many stories as he went along, rounding off the evening with a variety of tunes on his mouthorgan.

Following a lovely tea, raffles were drawn and Anne Sandilands brought a memorable evening to a close with the vote of thanks and wished everyone a safe journey home.

Competition results were as follows: Rum Truffles - 1 Helen Duncan, 2 Betty Smith, 3 Susan Boardley.

Next meeting is a craft evening in Hatton Public Hall on Tuesday, March 11 at 7.30pm.

New Deer

New Deerpresident Eileen Morrice welcomed members and friends to the February meeting.

Buisness was dealt with and Nancy Rennie gave a detailed report of the Group Meeting.

Speaker for the evening Pat Ware of (Halcyon Designs), Fintray, was introduced who gave a most interesting talk on her egg craft business.

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

Pat explained the cleaning process, cutting with the drill, inserting musical box and various items into the egg.

They are made for special occasions such as baby’s birth, retirement, wedding gifts and birthdays.

Pat also had a display of her hand-made jewellery and two albums with photographs and details of her tandem bicycle trip from Lands End to John o’ Groats.

The competitions were judged by the speaker as follows:

Wedge of Quiche - 1 Ethel Dalgarno, 2 Nancy Rennie, 3 Ethel Brown

Prettiest Brooch - 1 Linda Glennie, 2 Nancy Rennie, 3 Pat Hibbit

Flower of the Month - 1 Ethel Brown, 2 Nancy Rennie, 3 Ethel Dalgarno

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