Nice Day for a Picnic

August 2013

Brisk breezes kept the rain away giving a sunny afternoon for the Bailies of Bennachie annual picnic at Back o’ Bennachie, Oyne near Inverurie on Sunday.
The picnic/rally was part of the Bailies 40th anniversary celebrations. A founder of the Bailies local historian and author James MacKay recalled the first picnic back in 1973. “The weather was superb and it continued to be glorious for the next 20 years. “We always tried to have it as near the Glorious 12th as possible. “We had over 300 people that day and Dr Danny Gordon, one of the founders was the master of ceremonies welcoming the visitors who had come from far and wide.”
One of Sunday’s attraction was a demonstration of ‘bodging’ – green wood turning by Pam Tateson who teaches rural skills at Banff and Buchan College. “I think it’s important to pass on these traditional skills to the young people,” said Pam. “Personally I find wood-turning very therapeutic.”

Bailie clerk Brian Cornock was showing another talent – as the inventor of ‘Bailies brew’, a delicious wine made from Bell and Ling Heather harvested from the slopes of Bennachie which he was offering to picnickers as a welcome refreshment.

Theme for the afternoon was the natural produce of Bennachie and apart from Brian’s wine there was Elderflower cordial ( made  by the senior bailie).
Local strawberries, raspberries and cream were also on offer.

There was a quiz on how well do you know your Bennachie plants and berries and Bailies publications including the 2014 calendar, the newly revised Guide to Bennachie and postcards were on sale. Aberdeenshire council ranger service offered free activities aimed at young families.
Musical entertainment was provided by the Friends of Bailies of Bennachie. 
Said Jackie Cumberbirch:“ It’s nice to see a wide age range having a good time.”

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