Doric Award for heritage society stalwart

Sandy has recently taken a step back from the society, having spent quite a large part of last year in and out of hospital.
Sandy has recently taken a step back from the society, having spent quite a large part of last year in and out of hospital.

One of the leading lights in the Buchan Heritage Society has won this year’s Inspiring Aberdeenshire Doric Award.

Sandy May, who has been chairman of the society for the past 13 years, was recognised for his promotion of the Doric language for more than two decades.

Sandy, whose wife Vi is also a heritage society stalwart, has a great love of the north-east ear, its language and the music and has worked hard to ensure it is not lost.

As well as Buchan Heritage Society, Sandy is also involved in the production of its Heirskip magazine, Strichen Heritage Festival and was also instrumental in bringing together the James Morrison Photographic Collection.

A great deal of Sandy’s time is concentrated on intergenerational work, involving volunteers working with school children.

He ensures the children learn about their heritage and about work in community life, the trades, skills, clothing, language and music as it was in the past.

This is all done in a lively, interactive setting in Aden Country Park..

Commenting on his award, Sandy told The Buchanie: “I’m absolutely delighted. It was really quite unexpected.

“The whole evening was very good.”

Sandy has recently taken a step back from the society, having spent quite a large part of last year in and out of hospital.

However, he is still on the committee and will continue to be involved in promoting the Doric language.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see a real resurgence of Doric but we have to keep some of it alive through the festival and we also ran workshops at Aden where we had around 300 plus primary school pupils who did dance, music and language as well as a bit of heritage.

“I was quite ill last year and have been forced to give quite a bit up, but I’m still going to do my best to keep promoting the Doric across the area,” he added.

This year’s awards ceremony was held in Haddo House , with guests being piped in by the Aberdeenshire Schools Pipe Band.

Picking up the Best of Buchan accolade for 2017 were William and Margaret McRobbie of St. Combs.

Every year the couple decorate their home with a fabulous display of Christmas lights.

It has become a local tradition to head along to the McRobbies during the festive season to take a look at the display and leave a donation, all in aid of St. Combs School.