At the time of writing, end of January 2022, the Omicron strain seems to be retreating and it is looking as if the new normal will begin shortly, which I’m sure we all are awaiting eagerly. It has been refreshing to be outside all winter and great to enjoy the use of the tennis courts despite the weekly masses of leaves and twigs that end up on court blocking drains, causing a slip hazard and generally causing a nuisance. The nearby trees also block the daylight to the courts and pavilion causing algae to thrive on the court surface, which will undoubtedly affect the life span of the all-weather surface; it certainly doesn’t help the pavilion roof which once again is in need of being treated for moss after all the efforts in recent years from volunteers and committee members in cleaning and repairing it.
Despite our best efforts partnered with the Tennis Club we are unable to get a resolution with the owner, despite the Tennis Club and Scout Group offering to foot the entire bill with the offending trees to be removed entirely at considerable cost and replacement trees to compensate the trees’ removal to be planted in other parts of the village. Despite this we were unable to get the required approval which is frustrating to say the least. It’s clear that the Beech trees in the boundary hedge have been planted as part of the hedge and have been left to get out of control over the decades, resulting in the continuous nuisance that it brings to the Scout Group, Tennis Club and other park users.
We have also been in contact with Perth and Kinross Council on numerous occasions looking for advice and assistance over the last 24 months but let’s just say they are as effective as the St Johnstone strikers are at the moment and they’re the worst in Europe. Despite numerous reports and continuous follow ups we still await something to happen; again a bit like watching St Johnstone. This isn’t a moan about leaves, it’s a Health and Safety issue. Very recently we had a branch fall from considerable height and nearly strike a parent and despite frequently clearing the leaves up, we have the same problem the following week. Several people are killed every year in the UK from falling branches and I appreciate the odds of it happening are like winning the lottery, but the fact is people do win the lottery. So, if you have concerns then please get in touch with Perth & Kinross Council and express your concerns, as whether Perth & Kinross Council like it or not, it is their responsibility to keep Powrie Park a safe environment for everyone who uses it.
Abernethy Scouting group is operating very well with the Scout Troop and Cub Pack at capacity and the Beavers’ numbers being very healthy indeed again nearing capacity. The numbers are clearly down to the section leaders who work tirelessly providing an exciting and challenging programme.
I was especially pleased when Santa Claus was able to visit Abernethy Beavers just before Christmas with some Beavers later telling their parents that it was indeed the real Santa that had attended. We forget that having had numerous Covid restrictions that kids have missed out, so it was great that we were able to provide that little bit of magic for the Beavers who may have missed out visiting Santa over the last couple of years.
During the January to March term the Cubs will be learning about their local history with Abernethy’s very own Jimmy Swan telling the kids about the history of the village along with the stories of all the auld things in the village.
The first Burns supper for three years, was held on 1st February where the Beavers and Cubs who had learned Scottish poems in preparation then recited them at their Burns supper as well as enjoying haggis, neeps and tatties. and toasting the Bard with the now traditional copious amounts of Irn Bru, sugar-free of course. Thanks to Jamesfield Farm Organic centre for supplying the food and thanks to Jamie Stewart for piping. Jamie has been playing the bagpipes for over 5 years and is now quite the accomplished piper and is clearly a very talented young man, which knowing his dad Brian well it’s clear he must take his talent from his mum’s side.
The Cubs are planning a camp at the end of March for the older Cubs, which is early in the year compared to when the Cubs traditionally went camping. However some Cubs are due to move up to Scouts after Easter but due to the Covid pandemic they have never had the opportunity to get away camping under canvas, so well done Jim Cook for braving the elements in order to afford them this opportunity.
The Scout troop would like to welcome Linda Stewart to the team. Linda is the manager at the free-range egg unit at Cordon Farm and is well used to early mornings, which will come in handy when we are camping, as it’s the only time that teenagers are up at the crack of dawn. Welcome Linda, we’re delighted to have you join the team.
Jude Tait has been busy with the Scouts assisting them with their spray art project and getting the Scouts to express their own artistic side. As well as their individual projects the Scouts are planning to create a mural on the side of the storage container at the pavilion depicting Scouts through the years and life in the village.
As the Scout numbers have grown we’re always looking at ways for them to expend their energy and recently we had a very competitive tug of war, which was fiercely, but friendlily, fought out with the girls holding their own during the battle.
Again, I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anyone in the village who was a Scout in Abernethy to get in touch.