A view from the Bridge

IN the middle of a recession, it’s always rare to get a good news business story: but this week the Times can lead with just that.

The establishment of BrewDog’s new brewing facility at Balmacassie will be a hugely welcome boost to the town. As a rapidly growing company, set to make the most of locally produced ingredients, the presence of such a facility in the town can only be welcomed. The company’s ‘unconventional’ marketing methods have courted controversy in the past, but then in media, it’s a truism to suggest ’there’s no such thing as bad publicity.’

It’s always good to see twa local loons doing well for themselves, so congratulations to James Watt and Martin Dickie, and best wishes to an up-and-coming company investing in our town.

I’ll add that this is coming in spite of the delays facing the dualling of the A90 - one can only hope that the eventual construction of this much needed road will bring further growing companies to Ellon, giving the town a more independent economy and drawing jobs and investment on the scale of towns like Inverurie and Westhill which have benefitted from good infrastructure connections.

In other news, the papers and TV were full of Kate Middleton this week. Our Bus Stop Blether seems to indicate mixed opinions in Ellon on the matter - some folk think the Countess of Strathearn is entitled to her privacy, others seem to think she had no business walking around topless in the first place.

No such flip-flopping here: I think everyone should be entitled to a bit of privacy - royals included. The couple were on holiday, relaxing on what is - ostensibly - a private estate. Everyone is entitled to relax and let it all hang out now and again (though maybe not to the extent that Prince Harry might interpret such a dictum.)

The whole sordid business paints the print media in a pretty bad light.

Last but not least, I was invited to Aberdeen Performing Arts’ performance of the Cone Gatherers on Monday. It’s not often we rural reporters get invited to go to the theatre and do a review, but when we are, we grab it with both hands...!

It’s a theatrical take on Robin Jenkins’ classic - many of our readers will have studied it at school. My review is in the entertainments pages, but suffice to say, this play is a good one, well worth seeing.