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Bench project delivers to its first recipient at New Deer

By David Porter

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A collaborative project initiated by Central Buchan Rotary Club to provide new picnic benches to local communities has seen the first delivery made to New Deer.

At the beginning of 2021, Deer Community Council contacted all its member villages in Central Buchan with news of picnic benches being made available free of charge.

These are of high quality and were made by pupils in the Additional Support for Learning department at Mintlaw Academy.

The first bench to be installed was gifted to New Deer Community Association (NDCA) and is now in position at the base of the south-facing aspect of Culsh Monument – a prominent landmark to the north of the village.

The bench features a special plaque on the back to explain its origin.

To reduce future costs to the Rotary Club, future plaques are to be created at Mintlaw Academy in acrylic, using the laser printer at the school.

Other villages in the area can look forward to receiving their requested benches in due course.

Two Central Buchan Rotary Club members, George Clyne and Bob Murray, cemented the bench into position.

Prior to the work taking place, NDCA committee members, committee secretary Susan Fowlie and community park convener Bill Fowlie, invited George and Bob to climb the monument which proved to a welcome and first-time experience for the pair.

The Community Association was delighted to accept the donation of the bench, and Susan reported that there was a great deal of discussion before the final location was agreed.

Commenting she said: “While there are already a couple of benches at the side of the road, the new picnic bench provides a welcome place to rest after walking up the hill to the monument, and perhaps even climbing it.

"The Community Association was also asked what finish was wanted, and a traditional dark wood stain was the preferred option.”

NDCA are also pleased to announce a new custodian for the monument, Elaine Ironside (representing New Deer Heritage Group); the former custodian, Sandy Hepburn, having recently retired due to failing health.

For anyone wishing to visit Culsh Monument, it is kept locked, but a key is available on request.

A couple of businesses in the village hold a key which can be obtained from Webster’s Pharmacy and Costcutter both located on the Main Street.

It should be noted that the lighting in the landmark tower is on a timer only from 7am until 7pm every day.

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