Welcome

Now, the Northeast is not exactly renowned for Mediterranean-style weather, but we’ve had our fair share of heat and sunshine this summer, and I hope you’ve had the chance to get out and about to enjoy it.

July and August saw an explosion of social, cultural and sheer fun activities all around the City and Shire, and many organisations have written to us to share some of the excitement of their various events. You’ll find a selection of these highlighted in the ‘Folk’ pages of the magazine - and many thanks to everyone who contacted us.

“Nostalgia,” it’s said, “isn’t what it used to be” - but, joking apart, Leopard consistently proves that old chestnut wrong. Our contributors ‘do’ nostalgia very well, as you’ll see from Alan Hay’s gentle lament over the lost community of Belnagoak, and David Wright’s youthful memories of the Deeside Line, accompanied by his own charming watercolour images.

‘Our Town’ writer Duncan Harley likes nothing better than digging into the past history of our local burghs, and this month he turns the spotlight on Stonehaven, revealing its connections with Robert Burns, as well as the fate of one of the alleged ringleaders of the town’s 19th-century railway riot.

Continuing on the theme of famous poets, Andrew Hunter wonders whether local early-19th century naturalist William MacGillivray, on his ambitious walk from Aberdeen to London, may have stumbled upon the remains of a picnic left by John Keats - thousands of feet up Ben Nevis!

Meanwhile, Jim Pirie takes a slightly less strenuous walk around Aberdeen’s historic harbourside village of Fittie - revealing some of the quaint features that captivate all who visit.

Judy Mackie, Editor