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Buckie spookfest aims to help Teddy Bear Playgroup find new home

By Alan Beresford

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A CORNER of Buckie has been transformed into a spectacular spookfest ahead of Halloween.

The 'Enter if you dare' sign on the gate at 1 South Land Street says it all as the front of the building has been transformed into homage to the scary and nightmarish.

Zombies try to claw their way out of a boarded up window, cackling witches, skeletons and a severed head are just some of the ghoulish attractions on show, with the coming of darkness seeing the creatures brought to life in colour and sound.

The scary scene has been attracting admirers young and old.

Behind the display are Dee Maver and her mum and dad Sandra and Steven Booth, who have been dressing up in a variety of costumes, including Spiderman, during the evening to add an extra touch.

While the the display is there for local kids – not to mention those who rate as slightly older – to enjoy, there is nevertheless a serious purpose to the display.

Dee explained: "Due to Covid Halloween isn't going to happen as normal for kids so I asked mum and dad if we could do something.

"We do a Christmas lights display so I thought we could do something similar for Halloween. There've been loads of people coming to look at it and I put it up on Facebook, too where it's got a lot of attention.

"At Christmas we raised money for the Teddy Bear Developmental Playgroup – we made around £1000 – and are doing this again but it's not just about the money, it's about raising the profile of position the playgroup are in at the moment.

"It's a cause very close to my heart; I've worked there for the last year and love it. The playgroup desperately need a room where we can hold our sessions and are appealing for anyone who can help to get in touch."

The Teddy Bear Group's manager Pauline Riddoch said they were currently left in limbo and unable to provide classes for the youngsters with learning difficulties.

"We've no premises at the moment so we can't hold sessions.

"The group had been based in the Lady Cathcart Centre for many years but we moved to Buckie Community High School after it was redeveloped.

"However, due to the Covid restrictions we're not allowed to operate in Buckie High so we're homeless at the moment.

"We're desperate to find a premises and a lot of the parents who send their children to us are getting desperate, too. The kids are missing it a lot. If anyone has a building or hall lying they could let us use, we'd love to hear from them.

"We work with a small group – a maximum of eight kids at the moment – so we wouldn't need a huge space.

"There aren't many, if any, developmental play groups like us around here so we really want to get up and running again."

Anyone who thinks they can help can contact Ms Riddoch at teddybeargroup@outlook.com

Creating the display was both a gradual and creative experience for Sandra and Steven.

"Steven did most of the actual work for this," Sandra confessed.

" A lot of it just started off an idea then and then grew.

"The boarded up window began with just the one plank across it and now it's the whole thing.

"We got loads of ideas from Google and we made a lot ourselves. The body of the big spider on the wall, for example, is an old NHS heart sign we sprayed black and attached legs and a head to.

"We may add more to it yet, we'll see!"

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