Takin throu han By Bill Johnston

Weel, weel an, n foo’s aa mi freens e day?

A’m jist back fae bein at e Kirk, weel A’m nae a total oot n oot heathen ye ken! Noo A normally ging til mi ane kirk here at Widney bit es parteeclar Sunday A thocht A wid hae a bittie o a chynge so e Wife n me gid til a service in e kirk at Auchterless.

Fit wye ging til Auchterless A hear ye aa speir? Weel ye see es is e kirk aat oor dother gings til n she hid bin tellin us aat they hid nae lang syne got a new meenister hame, so A thocht it wid b rale interaistin tae see fit like a lad he wis. E Wife n me waur brawly welcomed as w gid in bi three elders fa waur on duty. Inside e kirk A wis richt pleased tae see aat they still hid their auld-fashioned pews n pulpit as weel as a gran pipe organ. A wis fair trickit tae see attached til e aisle eyn o ilka pew a brass fittin for pittin yer waakin sticks ar umbrellas intil, there wis a dreep tray asweel at e boddom tae stop e waater gaan ontil e fleer. A myn fin oor kirk at Widney hid e same thing! Ae big stained gless winda wi anither twa smaaer anes teuk mi attention – richt bonnie they waur.

There wid hae bin aboot thirty fouk in e kirk fin e Meenister, a Yorkshire loon appearandly, duly cam in n efter daein e intimations he then got on wi e service n his sermon which w aa settled doon n fair enjoyed, ay, it his tae b said aat the ‘oor gid by at a fair rate.

Ae interaistin wee fac aat A’ve since gleaned aboot Auchterless Kirk wis aat there wis a period o 135 ‘eers ower whilk only three meenisters served; George Dingwall (1811-1862, Alexander Gray (1862-1898 n Alexander Duncan (1898 - 1946). Ay, it maun be a hamely n couthie chairge tae hae!

Weel noo, spikkin aboot Auchterless. Es North-east corner o oors is faamous for steen circles, n ye ken, they’ve aye bin o great interaist tae mi. Noo in aulden days steen circles n stannin steens waur thocht bi some fouk tae be under e protection o e ‘spirit-warld’ ar eyven Aul Nick! Weel A’ve bin readin an aul beuk aa aboot e Revolution aat teuk place in e fairmin industry fae roon aboot e middle o e 1700’s til weel throu e 1800’s. A lot o steen circles n stannin steens at aat time waur destroyed here in Aiberdeenshire, lots o e bigger steens waur eyven blaain up b gun-pooder. Weel than aboot es time e lad fa fairmed Mains o Hatton at Auchterless decided aat twa steens in e circle aat wis on his grun wid mak grand gateposts for ane o his parks. Twa horses waur sair tyauved tae meeve e steens doon e hull tae far e gate wis tae be. Then nae seener hid he e steens in place he cwidna get a horse ar ony o his beasts, coo’s, stirks ar fitiver, tae gang throu es gate. So efter fechtin n sweerin for a gweed fylie he gave up n so decided tae tak e twa steens back til their places in e steen circle – interaistinly only ae horse wis nott tae pul e steens back up e hull!? Maks ye winner disn’t it?