7 Dec 2007

FOR 10 years, from 1997, the Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society held an annual Fish Festival sited in the harbour area which developed and increased in popularity until it was reckoned that crowds approaching 5,000 attended.

The purpose of the Fish Festival was to raise funds towards converting the former Lifeboat House into a heritage centre. This year a new organisation, the Johnshaven Fish Festival Management Group, took over the reigns from the Heritage Society to organise the 11th Festival "on behalf of the village with the sole aim to sustain it and share the proceeds amongst local organisations and community projects".

At the end of August, once all the figures had been calculated and donations had been made to the Montrose Lifeboat, Little Hearts Matter and the British Red Cross, JFFMG announced that £1,110 had been put into a Community Good Fund and invited applications from local organisations and individuals in the Benholm and Johnshaven area for "advanced funding for an unlimited range of activities and events" including tuition fees and equipment.

Now JFFMG are delighted to announce that a total of £746 has been distributed through the Community Good Fund – Johnshaven Primary School football team being awarded £350 towards the full cost of new footballs and goal nets, Johnshaven Games Club £150 towards the purchase of new badminton nets, shuttlecocks and mini-racquets and the Coastal Colourists £246 to help meet the costs of a modular exhibition system and associated items.

The remaining monies will be held in trust and included within the 2008 fund, the details of which will be announced in August or September next year.

To have access to funding raised, determined and allocated within its own boundaries must be a huge asset to any small community and this is reflected in the gratitude of the recipients.

Coastal Colourists’ secretary Pam Hamilton said: "It’s just wonderful to have received this grant which will enable us to hang our paintings and to present our exhibitions much more effectively and we would like to thank the administrators of the Community Good Fund for their consideration".

Chairman of the Games Club, Alan Beedie, who runs the badminton section with the help of his wife Alison, Sandra Dunbar and Fiona Anderson and also manages the primary school football team along with coaches Graeme Anderson, Charlie Wright and Alan Townsend said that the members of both groups would like to thank the JFFMG for their kind donations which would be put to good use in fostering the participation of local youngsters in badminton and football".

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