Aberdeen Lynx play with pride despite loss

It's been a while since my last visit to see Aberdeen Lynx play at Linx Ice Arena. It was certainly before the pandemic. My friend Susan looks after the media for the club and she invited me to go along to their Pride match against the Kirkcaldy Kestrels on Saturday night.

Ice Hockey clubs all across the UK have been standing with their LGBTQ+ communities, playing under the rainbow flag, and wearing glorious special limited edition shirts. At Aberdeen Lynx, these shirts are on auction until 29 January. You can bid for one of these amazing shirts here and here. Half the profits from the auction will be donated to Four Pillars, a local charity that helps supports the health and well-being of the LGBT+ community. While the other half will go towards youth development at the club. The Lynx are the only club in the SNL to take part this year but hope they are leading the way for others.

Lennox the Lynx judging Chuck the Puck | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

A little less chilly than normal

So my 9-year-old assistant and I (my daughter) arrived at the Linx Ice Arena on a cold January night with a bag of sweeties in my pocket. We headed straight for the 'Chuck the Puck' stand, a fun mid-game for spectators where you can win big. In the second-period break, kids throw these pucks onto the ice, and the closest to the centre point wins a prize. The kids love it, and well, so did I.

Maybe it was the cold outside or the warm welcome we received, but we both noticed that it felt a little less chilly than expected as we took our seats inside the arena.

There was a crackle in the air

As the Zamboni cleaned the ice, the growing crowd started to get excited. There was a crackle in the air as the teams finished their warm-up as they knew what was coming next. The fans were up for a big game.

The last time these teams played, it had been a strong win for the Lynx, and the crowd were up for more.

The crowd settled in their seats, the lights in the whole arena turned red and phone torch lights sparkled throughout the stands as the players burst onto the ice to the loudest of cheers. Everyone was ready for the head-to-head. The music blared stadium classics such as Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Queen blasted over the tannoy.

Let's GO!

Face off on what turned out to be a stunning night of hockey | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

And the Aberdeen Lynx crowd went wild

The teams took their places. The referees, wearing their black and white striped shirts, gingerly found their spot. Then the whistle blew, the music stopped dead, the first period got underway and the crowd went wild. Aberdeen Lynx immediately looked like a more confident team. Each player a little stronger and more skilled than their Kestrels opponent.

This domination meant that after around 12 minutes, Kestrels found themselves two goals down courtesy of Lynx players Jack Flynn and Jordan Leydon. However, it wasn't long before the Kestrels drew one back and things got more bad-tempered. Gloves and helmets were thrown down and fists went flying - welcome to the other side of ice hockey. All this was to the delight of the crowd, of course.

This type of on-ice fighting is allowed in ice hockey with a strange set of rules around it and everyone seems fit to allow it, even the family-friendly crowds. As soon as any player hits the ice, the refs step in. But anyone taking part knows they'll get at least five minutes in the sin bin, and this too is accepted.

"Is that the naughty step?" asked my assistant. "Yes," I replied, "it very much is."

The first period ended just in time to let the players cool down and the crowd take a well-earned breath.

Four Pillars support and services for the LGBT+ community | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

Four Pillars for the LGBT+ community

We went to look at what was on offer at the stalls. I was getting the feeling that a plan was being formed by my assistant, but nothing was said as we walked past each stall to check what was on offer.

The team at Four Pillars were present at their stall, speaking to passers by As recipients of the fundraising from the Lynx pride week, they were reaching out to the Lynx fans to let them know about the services they provide. Four Pillars is a community support group that was started in 2016 by a group of people who saw a need for more support and services for the LGBT+ community in Grampian. Their goal is to help people with their mental, emotional, physical and sexual health, and bring the community together through peer education and one-on-one support.

Non-stop action, everything can change in seconds

Back to our seats ready for the second period. As the whistle blew, the sin bin was stacked thanks to the fallout from the first period. The Lynx were looking strong, and after 5 minutes they had restored their two-goal lead. Ben Edmonds is on target. This was a much calmer period though with both teams trading shots and the keepers standing their ground as the crowd ooh'd and aah'd in pure delight.

Ice hockey is a very high-paced sport. Even when goals aren't being scored, there is always something to grab your attention. A moment a skill, a stunning shot, a group of players smashing into the perspex at the side of the rink. It's non-stop action and everything can change in a only few seconds.

That was for the final period though.

As the whistle blew the plan that had been formed in the first break came back to the fore…"Dad. Can I have some money to get an Aberdeen Lynx scarf?" I delved into my pocket and played my part and Aberdeen Lynx had one more little cat as a firm fan.

Aberdeen Lynx celebrate a stunning goal | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

A wonder goal from Aberdeen Lynx's Tom Johnston

As we headed into the final period, things looked treacherous for the Lynx. They were sitting back, awkwardly soaking up pressure from the Kestrels. It didn't take long for the visitors to cash in on that pressure as they reduced the deficit by one. However, two minutes later, a wonder goal from Tom Johnston restored Aberdeen Lynx's two-goal lead.

This wasn't over, though. Not by a long shot.

As the Lynx began to assert their dominance, the Kestrels team got frustrated, punches began to fly. While this was entertaining for the crowd, it felt that on the ice, the home team had lost their concentration. As they began to tire late in the game, the Kestrels found their opportunity and scored two in quick succession.

This was a touch match for both teams | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

All square and everything to play for

With all square and everything to play for, it was a challenge that the Lynx felt they were up for. Less than a minute later Garry Kelly scored, quelling the fears of the crowd. It had been an incredibly entertaining match and the Aberdeen team deserved that lead, but things were getting a little sloppy. Kestrels didn't take long to draw level, and just like that, regular time was over.

Overtime is a tense matter in ice hockey – The first to score takes the glory. Lynx came out determined as they always do, to reward the home crowd with a victory. And, as they mounted wave after thrilling wave of attack against the visitors, it seemed certain that reward would come quickly. The Kirkcaldy goaltender blocked, parried and redirected the puck over and over again, but the Lynx knew this was their win.

And then it wasn't.

The defence playing their part in an amazing game | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

The whistle blew and the crowd were stunned

Halfway through overtime, the puck broke free towards the Lynx half, and Kirkcaldy Kestrels' Conor Duncan put it away. The whistle blew and the crowd were stunned. This hadn't been on the cards tonight, and yet here we were, politely clapping the teams as they lined up on the ice and shook hands like true sportsmen.

Did this really happen?

And that was it. We had been thoroughly entertained, but still went home with sporting disappointment. That said, the journey home through the dark was filled with conversation about how much fun we had, but still wondering what had gone wrong.

As we arrived home, my assistant pointed out that we had never opened the bag of sweeties. There hadn't been a single lull in the entertainment to think about them.

That's proper Saturday night fun. Next time, and there will be a next time, I'm taking the whole family!

The young team show off their skills | Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

The next generation is ready to step up

Aberdeen Lynx is very much a community-led organisation. Prices are fair, both for entry to the match and for snacks, drinks and merchandise. Young players get involved in the big matches, often helping out during matches and showing off their skills during breaks. There is a strong feeling that the next generation is ready to step into the skates of their heroes at any given moment.

About Aberdeen Lynx

The Aberdeen Lynx is a Scottish National League ice hockey team. They train and play at the Linx Ice Arena, regularly drawing in over 1000 fans. The team prioritises junior development, fielding teams of all ages and offering a Learn to Play program. Lynx players have gone on to play for their country. The Aberdeen Ice Hockey Club, the organisation behind the team, is a registered charity.

| Photo courtesy of RS Photography / Aberdeen Lynx

Get out and explore Aberdeen's Nuart murals

If you're looking for an exciting way to explore Aberdeen's street art scene, there's no better place to start than setting out to explore the city's Nuart Aberdeen murals. BBC Alba broadcast Tog do Shuil, a brilliant new documentary about the festival and many have been inspired to search out more. Since 2017, the team behind Nuart Aberdeen team has brought some of the world's best street artists to the city to make their mark. It is, without question, one of the most important street art festivals in the world.

In this post, we'll take a look at what makes Nuart Aberdeen so special. We'll also share some handy tips on how to best explore the Nuart Aberdeen murals.

Every year, Nuart Aberdeen brings together some of the world's most renowned street artists. Each of them has created stunning murals in the city's streets, parks, and public spaces.


A brief history of Nuart Aberdeen

Artist and curator Martyn Reed founded Nuart in Stavanger, Norway in 2002. He had found inspiration in the street art festivals he had attended in Europe, and wanted to bring that same energy to Stavanger, and later in 2017 to Aberdeen.

Over the years, Nuart Aberdeen has grown and evolved. And so it has now become one of the planet's most important street art festivals. World-class artists come to Aberdeen every year to take part in the festival. They transform the city's streets and public spaces into vibrant, dynamic works of art.

Nuart Aberdeen has also become a major draw for tourists. Large numbers flock to the city every year to see the murals and explore Aberdeen's streets. It has clearly become one of the city's biggest attractions. It's also a great starting point for discovering Aberdeen's unique culture and history.

Nuart Aberdeen highlights

Nuart Aberdeen has featured some of the world's most renowned street artists. They have left behind a legacy of amazing public art. From the striking, vibrant murals of Martin Whatson and Slim Safont to the surreal and captivating works of Strok, Aberdeen's streets are filled with stunning works of art.

Here are a few of the best murals that artists have created for Nuart Aberdeen:

Nuno Viegas at Gerrard Street


KMG's massive mural on the side of Union Square is something special. Ken is a favourite of the Gray’s School of Art graduate. I think it’s safe to say, this is the biggest version of the playful character that KMG has produced.

Martin Whatson

Martin Whatson’s "The Quarry Worker" is a powerful homage to the grit and determination of Aberdeen's granite workers, a reminder of the importance of hard work and dedication. With his signature style which blends graffiti elements and calligraphic scribbles with vibrant colours, Whatson depicts a stencilled man sitting on top of a granite block.

Slim Safont

Slim Safont’s massive mural on Union Plaza is one of the finest examples of street art on display in Aberdeen. It not only looks brilliant but it also makes a strong point. You can either read it as a slight on big companies avoiding paying their taxes or about schools being there solely to produce good little taxpayers. How do you interpret it? That's up to you.

Helen Bur at Union Row


Strok’s work is electric, focusing on movement and how it interacts with the surrounding environment. As a photographer, he snaps shots of his subject moving through the streets below and transforms them into multi-layer stencils. When he places these works on the wall, they create a distorted perspective.

Helen Bur

One of the most eye-catching murals is Helen Bur’s stunning portrait of a couple with their baby at Union Row. It’s stunning to see such an intimate scene on such a huge scale. The mural is a beautiful testament to the importance of family and community.

Nuno Viegas

Nuno Viegas' has a background in graffiti writing, but when creating murals, his style is particularly polished. The finished product is clean and finessed, a contrast to the rough and ready nature of graffiti. His graffiti heritage is still reflected in this artwork. With strong bright colours and bold lines, it's one of the strongest murals of the 2022 crop.


Now missing its iconic neighbour across The Green, SMUG's photorealistic portrait of his friend along with his dog is a firm favourite with both passers-by and street art fans. It's one of the most striking Nuart Aberdeen murals and is often the first one visitors see when they arrive in Aberdeen by bus or train.

These are just a few of the incredible murals you can find in Aberdeen, and there are so many more to explore. Also, don't forget to look out for smaller Nuart work and some of the fantastic work by local street artists and graffiti writers along the way.

Tips for exploring Aberdeen's Nuart murals yourself

If you're looking to explore Aberdeen's street art scene with Nuart, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your experience:

  • Make sure to bring a camera. Nuart Aberdeen's murals are a sight to behold, and you'll want to capture the experience. Use the hashtag #NuartAberdeen on social media, and the official account might even share your images.
  • Take your time. Nuart Aberdeen's murals are complex works of art, and it's worth spending some time with them, looking from different spots and considering what they mean to you
  • Look for work from local artists along the way. Check out the brilliant Street Art Aberdeen for an interactive map of most of the graffiti and murals on display around town.
  • Explore the city. Aberdeen is a vibrant and exciting city, and it's worth exploring to get the most out of your experience. Grab a coffee from a local café as you wander around.
  • Nuart Aberdeen hosts Street Art Walking Tours from spring through to autumn. They are a brilliant way to hear the back stories and gossip about the murals. This really is the best way to learn all about the art, giving you a deeper understanding of the work that adorns our city walls.

A masterpiece of public art

Over the past 5 years, artists have transformed the city centre of Aberdeen into a masterpiece of public art. The talented lineup of artists who have left their mark on walls comes from all over the world. Following these tips will help you to get the most out of your Nuart Aberdeen experience, and it's sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Whether you're local to Aberdeen or just visiting, it's worth taking a trip along a section of the city to go see these murals. They provide a unique reason to explore Scotland's most colourful city.

Nuart Aberdeen will be back in 2023

Nuart Aberdeen exceeded all expectations last year by bringing people together in a time of disconnection. The festival attracted thousands of art enthusiasts from Aberdeen and around the world to flock to the city centre. They were mesmerised by the breathtaking street art and participated in the festive activities with great joy.

It's no surprise that this cherished event will return for yet another year this June. Nuart Aberdeen, since it arrived in the city in 2017, has become an integral part of the community, elevating the unique character of Aberdeen to new heights, and bringing with it a splash of colour.

What YOU can do to help save the Belmont Cinema

The closure of the Belmont Cinema was a major loss for Aberdeen's cultural scene. The city's only independent cinema was a beloved institution and a hub for film lovers.

News of the closure sparked outrage and sadness among the community. Many people took to social media to express their disappointment and memories of the cinema. They described it as a special place, with a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.


A cultural hub for film lovers

Since opening its doors in 2010, the Belmont Cinema established itself as a cultural hub for film lovers, offering a wide range of films from all around the world, including independent productions, foreign-language films, and classic movies.

One of the things that set The Belmont apart from other cinemas was its commitment to showcasing a diverse range of films. The cinema regularly hosted special events and film festivals which celebrated the best of Scottish and international cinema.

Save the Belmont Cinema screening of 'Its a Wonderful Life'

The Belmont Cinema was an essential destination

Overall, the Belmont Cinema was an essential destination for anyone who loves film and culture. Whether you were a film buff looking to discover the latest independent productions, or simply wanted to relax and enjoy a classic movie in beautiful surroundings, The Belmont had something for everyone.

The reasons for the closure were not immediately clear, but it is thought that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic played a role. The cinema had been closed for several months due to lockdown measures, and it is possible that it was unable to recover financially.

The first meeting of Save the Belmont Cinema

A vital role in fostering a sense of community

The loss of the Belmont Cinema is a blow not just to film lovers, but to the city as a whole. Independent cinemas like The Belmont play a vital role in fostering a sense of community. They provide a platform for underrepresented voices and alternative perspectives.

The closure of the Belmont serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting independent cultural institutions. They play a hugely vital role in our communities.

How can YOU help save the Belmont Cinema?

There have been calls for the cinema to be saved. A petition has been launched and a crowdfunding campaign set up to try and raise funds to keep it open. It remains to be seen whether these efforts will be successful. However, you can play your part in efforts to save the Belmont Cinema.

We've put together some ideas of things you can take part in to help save the Belmont Cinema.

  1. Join the "Save the Belmont Cinema" group on Facebook. Fellow fans of the cinema regularly share news about how the campaign is progressing as well as treasured memories of the venue. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter and check out the campaign website.
  2. Attend events organised by the campaign including film screenings. This helps raise awareness and keeps the spirit of the Belmont Cinema alive and well.
  3. Reach out to your local councillor or MSP to advocate for the Belmont Cinema and its importance to the community. This could involve writing letters and emails or contacting them on social media. Be passionate…but be polite. They Work for You is a great place to find your elected representative.
  4. Volunteer your time to help the campaign directly. This can be done by reaching out on social media and explaining what skills you may have to share. The campaign is in its early stages at the time of writing, so they may not need you immediately, but your help will be appreciated.
  5. Share your memories of the cinema online, using the hashtag #SaveBelmont. This will help keep the benefits of The Belmont fresh in your community's heads. Also, like, comment and share when you see others posting their memories.

Aberdeen Art Gallery’s exterior view

5 fantastic reasons to visit Aberdeen Art Gallery

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen. Established in 1884, it’s a central cultural destination in the heart of the city, but since it’s re-opening in 2019, it has taken on a more welcoming member of the community. Gone are the days of shushing security guards and signs saying “no photography!” This is a space you can enjoy in short bites, or for a whole day.

It showcases classics and contemporary art, regularly exhibiting the works of emerging artists. The collections on display are always changing. In fact, it looks like the 2023 schedule of events is going to be one of its busiest yet.

Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen
Aberdeen Art Gallery is a vibrant cultural hub located in the heart of Aberdeen

The gallery's transformative renovation

The renovation of the gallery, which began in 2015, was a highly anticipated project in the city. The project aimed to transform the gallery into a world-class cultural destination for the community.

The renovation provided additional exhibition space and a rooftop terrace. It reopened in 2019 and attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world. The gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021 following the £36.4m redevelopment.

The Aberdeen Art Gallery is home to a diverse collection of artworks, ranging from traditional Scottish paintings to modern contemporary pieces.

The gallery regularly hosts exhibitions featuring the work of both local and international artists, providing visitors with the opportunity to see a wide range of artistic styles and techniques.

Aberdeen Art Gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021
Aberdeen Art Gallery was named Scotland’s building of the year in 2021

5 reasons you should visit Aberdeen Art Gallery

  1. The gallery is located in the heart of Aberdeen and is free to visit, making it easily accessible and convenient for you to spend time there.
  2. The gallery is a popular cultural destination for both locals and tourists, offering a unique experience for all who visit.
  3. Visiting the Aberdeen Art Gallery is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring the city's rich cultural heritage and supporting the local art community. It's a lot of fun. Long gone are the stuffy days of "No Cameras" and "Keep Quiet!"
  4. One of the standout features of the Aberdeen Art Gallery is its impressive architecture. The building itself is a work of art and grand design. The interior of the gallery is equally impressive, with high ceilings, ornate plasterwork, and marble floors.
  5. Visitors to the Aberdeen Art Gallery are able to explore the various galleries and exhibitions at their leisure. There is also the option to take a guided tour led by the gallery's knowledgeable and friendly staff members.
Aberdeen Art Gallery favourite by Tracy Emin
Aberdeen Art Gallery favourite by Tracy Emin

Temporary exhibitions are a reason to visit regularly

In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibitions are an excellent way to see a diverse range of art and provide a chance for visitors to experience something new and exciting every time they visit.

One of the highlights of the temporary exhibitions program is the annual open submission show, which invites artists from all over Scotland to submit their work for consideration. This show is a great opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their talent and get their work seen by a wider audience.

Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs
Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs

Aberdeen Art Gallery tours and educational visits

In addition to its art collection and exhibitions, Aberdeen Art Gallery also offers a range of educational and community programs. These include artist talks, workshops, and school holiday activities, as well as special events and talks. These programs provide a great opportunity for visitors of all ages to learn more about the world of art and get involved in the cultural life of the city.

Overall, Aberdeen Art Gallery is an essential destination for anyone interested in art and culture. Its stunning architecture, impressive collection, and engaging program of exhibitions and events make it a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. So next time you're in Aberdeen, be sure to pay a visit to this wonderful cultural institution.

Upcoming events at Aberdeen Art Gallery


Aberdeen podcasts - your local listen

Podcasts are a fantastic way of hearing the voices, stories, and opinions of people around the world. But hearing from your own community can be just as inspiring. Whether it's the record store, foodie, football fans or creatives in your area, you'll soon discover something new and inspiring amongst these Aberdeen podcasts.

In order to make it easier to find these local sounds, we've compiled a list of podcasts from Aberdeen presenters. All of these Aberdeen podcasts can be found by searching in your favourite podcast player or even by playing right here on this page.

If you publish a local podcast that we've missed, there is a link at the bottom of the page where you can let us know all about it so we can add yours.

Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/es/@soundtrap?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Soundtrap</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/podcast?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Aberdeen Podcasts | Photo by Soundtrap on Unsplash

Creative Me Podcast

Running for over 5 years, Creative Me Podcast is a show about art, culture, and all the other kinds of creativity happening in North Eastern Scotland. In each episode of the podcast, Ica Headlam talks with an individual or group about how their creative practice is influenced and inspired. In addition, Ica discusses what they hope to achieve through their work.


Harbour Voices

Harbour Voices presents a series of true stories that highlight people's lives and livelihoods in Aberdeen's harbour areas. Every bite-sized episode features the host talking to a guest about what Aberdeen harbour and its communities mean to them. This podcast is a fascinating insight into people's lives.


Four Idle Hands

Four Idle hands features regular interviews with big names that include Public Service Broadcasting, Twilight Sad, Little Kicks, Capollos, Kraftwerk, and many more. Hosts Terry and Michael blether about their favourite albums of the week, local gigs and festivals, and even what's happening in the news.


Dishing' It

Listeners to Dishing' It will find plenty of inspiration for the best places to eat, drink, stay, and explore in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, and beyond with Dishin' It. Colin - The Food Hoover - gets up close and personal with businesses, writers, and content creators to discuss all things food.


Gather Round Podcast

Gather Round Podcast shares stories from Aberdeen Archives, Gallery, and Museums. Each month, they interview members of the team about the collection, special exhibitions, and local history. Even when they are dark and dramatic, the stories are always entertaining and informative.


The ABZ Football Podcast

The ABZ Football Podcast is a weekly deep-dive into all things Aberdeen FC. It features reviews of the weekend's games and previews of first-team and women’s team fixtures in the week ahead. Expect a heady mix of exclusive interviews, content, watch-alongs and much more.


Aberdeen Vinyl Records Podcast

Aberdeen Vinyl Records Podcast is for everyone who shares their passion for music and vinyl records. Each episode has a guest from the music or entertainment business who has stories to tell about their love of music and records. The plan is to have a bit of a laugh and chat about music and records.


ADHD as Females

ADHD As Females is presented by two women who are ADHD AF! Neurodivergent neighbours, Dawn and Laura, both at different stages in the diagnosis process, get their heads around what’s been going on in their heads undetected. With cameos from special guests in each episode, the presenters dive into another aspect of ADHD.


Get in touch

We hope you find a new regular podcast to subscribe to from this selection. Podcasts are quickly becoming an unmissable piece of the city's cultural scene. We'd like to keep this list of Aberdeen podcasts current, so if you have a favourite local listen that isn't here, please let us know by following the Share with POST link below. We're always keen to hear something new.


Dreaming of a Green and Granite Mile

Union Street pedestrianisation feels like an endless battle. Some people think it is the only way forward for our city centre, while others think it would be the death knell of the Granite Mile. The team here at POST would love to see a green and granite mile.

Councillors have been using it as a political football. Either screaming that it would disadvantage the elderly or people with disabilities or claiming that they did everything in their power to get it done (but waited until the last few days before they were voted out of power).

So why do we think it needs to happen?

Stop fighting against progress

The high street is dying. It’s happening all across the UK, not just in Aberdeen. People are choosing to shop in shopping centres or online. Nobody is at fault for this. People just have busy lives and convenience will almost always win.

That battle is lost, so let's stop fighting against it. What do we do instead? We create spaces for people.

In Aberdeen, we have an opportunity to change the city centre from a four-lane road into a street-level, urban park. A green and granite mile. Somewhere that people can meet before heading off shopping. Somewhere to stop and listen to buskers while grabbing a coffee and lunch from a food truck, bar or café

Could this be part of the green and granite mile?

A green and granite space that would link up with the refurbished Union Terrace Gardens and give us a city centre that we can all be proud of. Some have spoken of putting a roof over the top to keep the weather at bay. Why the hell not? Add into that good environmentally friendly lighting so the fun doesn’t stop at sunset.

We need to stop chasing big chains and start supporting and encouraging our many exciting local small businesses to take the next step into the high street. There are so many here in the city that feels locked out right now.

A space for people - the green and granite mile

But if we build a proper space for people, a space where people actually want to visit, then the business will return to fill the void that is there now. Because why wouldn’t they want a piece of that action?

And yes, we do need to make this new space inclusive. People should have as much access to a pedestrianised Union Street as they do any park in the city. Nearby bus stops and accessible pathways are extremely important.

While we’re at it, let's build a proper cycle network around the city so people can get into town cleanly and safely. And maybe change one of those car parks into a safe and secure bike park?

We just need some imagination courage and determination to make the change…or we’ll be sitting reading another tweet storm like this in ten years and pointing fingers about who’s to blame for yet another dead city centre street. It doesn’t need to be like this.

Let's push to make Aberdeen amazing, and stop using our energy to find reasons to sit on our hands and do nothing. Let's build the green and granite mile.

This post was originally a Twitter thread that, let's be honest, got too long and cumbersome.


Update: 21 Nov 2022

Since we posted this, we saw this fantastic TED Talk from Amanda Burden about how public spaces make cities work. Amanda is talking about New York, but her theory feels relevant to what we wrote.


New Deeside Way street art encourages active travel

If you use the Deeside Way from Duthie Park regularly, you'll see a new colourful mural by KMG.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum commissioned the artwork to celebrate those who use the Deeside Way and to encourage others to get on their bike. It celebrates the Deeside Way's shared-use nature and encourages people to exercise more.

Sustrans' ArtRoots fund supported Aberdeen Cycle Forum in painting the wall below Great Southern Road, near Duthie Park. It'll be seen by many on this well-used section of the Deeside Way. Artist KMG created the design and has been painting on site this week to bring it to life.

Aberdeen Cycle Forum are a local voluntary organisation who campaign for the benefit of cyclists and active travel within the city. A major goal of the forum is to promote bicycle use as a viable and sustainable option for transport. They work with other organisations to improve cycle facilities and to raise awareness of issues affecting cyclists.

KMG has produced many street art works around the city, including two huge murals for Nuart Aberdeen. Last year she painted her much loved character Ken on the side of Union Square.

Deeside Way works best if everyone respects the needs of everyone else

Rachel Martin from Aberdeen Cycle Forum said, “Deeside Way is a much-loved, much-valued, and much-used piece of infrastructure in our city and we wanted to celebrate cycling and active travel while also encouraging tolerance and respect among all the different types of users. A shared-use space like Deeside Way works best if everyone respects the needs of everyone else.

"We hope KMG’s fabulous design will make people smile and inspire them to be physically active by whatever means works for them whether it be walking, cycling, wheeling, running, or scootering.”

An animal-themed design displays a family cycling alongside a dog walker and someone using a wheelchair. The family of cyclists are portrayed as leopards, a nod to Aberdeen’s history and coat of arms, while a gull and blackbird overhead provide another north-east reference.

So next time you're cycling or walking along the Deeside Way, be sure to look out for the colourful new addition!

TEDxAberdeen 2022 | Everything you need to know

Following a successful event last year, Aberdeen Arts Centre will host TEDxAberdeen for its second event on Saturday 12 November. It will be a day of sharing interpretations of TEDxAberdeen's theme of "movement." A wide range of topics will be discussed, including social acceptance, racism, language preservation, and resistance to change. In addition, they will look at rethinking values and societal conditioning.

TEDxAberdeen has announced that ticket applications for this year are now open. People who would like to attend are now invited to apply for tickets for the one-day event on 12 November 2022 at Aberdeen Arts Centre. The application window closes on Monday 10 October.

TEDx Aberdeen event at Aberdeen Art Centre Picture by Michal Wachucik/Abermedia

TEDxAberdeen's head, Moray Barber, said that selecting candidates to speak this year was a very challenging task. He said that it “demonstrates the northeast of Scotland is full of thought-provoking ideas and talented speakers.

“Our speakers impressed us with their unique takes on movement - moving beyond, moving minds, and moving bodies - we can’t wait to see how they refine and hone their ideas.”

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged. Today it covers almost every topic you can imagine in more than 100 languages. The TEDx program is a self-organised series of events that offer attendees a TED-like experience at a local level.

Ten speakers have been handpicked to speak on the famous red dot in Aberdeen this year.

Dr Aileen Alexander | TEDx Aberdeen 2022 Speaker
Dr Aileen Alexander | TEDx Aberdeen 2022 Speaker

Dr Aileen Alexander

Talk Title: The Benefits of Movement

Why as a nation are we more sedentary than ever and how is this impacting our mental and physical health and wellbeing?

Aileen will delve into the benefits of exercise at an individual and a global level addressing some of the reasons why we don’t exercise as much as we should.

Eric Doyle | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker
Eric Doyle | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker

Eric Doyle

Talk Title: Passion will get you moving, passion with strategy and community will get you further…

Eric will share his experience of embarking on a gruelling challenge event, fuelled by the emotion of a conversation with a friend who sadly lost his life. During the event he quickly got into serious trouble and couldn’t complete the challenge. A few years later Eric, decided to do it again with a completely different approach and mindset.

Katie Forbes | TEDxAberdeen Speaker
Katie Forbes | TEDxAberdeen Speaker

Katie Forbes

Talk Title: Autism is a difference, not a disorder

Katie is an autistic marketing professional specialising in digital and social media based in Aberdeen. Katie’s talk discusses the detrimental impact of healthcare professionals and the media portraying autism as a disorder; something that needs to be fixed or cured. She will invite the audience to look beyond this terminology and see autism for what it is, simply a difference. Not bad, nor less - just different.

Fraser Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker
Fraser Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 Speaker

Fraser Hay

Talk Title: From Human Being to Human Becoming

Entrepreneur and business coach Fraser will talk about how the events of the last couple of years have caused many people to stagnate. As a result of many industries collapsing, businesses closing their doors, and many individuals being laid off, paid off, or made redundant, thousands have found themselves at a crossroads.

Fraser will share a powerful four step process with specific examples from his life when he had stagnated and was faced with considerable challenges, and the results he was able to achieve in applying the process to his next stage of growth.

Lauren Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Lauren Hay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Lauren Hay

Talk Title: Speak Properly: Is Doric Dying?

Cullen born quine, Lauren will share her concerns about the growing disconnection from our North-east dialect doric.

“Doric is at risk of extinction as we are shackled to scrolling on screens and have less and less conversations in ‘real life’ and this is where Doric exists – in the communities around us. It is not a language that we read nor write very often but we speak it every day. The less we speak and more we scroll the more disconnected from Doric we become.” explains Lauren.

Lyly Lepinay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Lyly Lepinay | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Lyly Lepinay

Talk Title: Beyond the Chinese Takeaway

Buckie born marketing specialist and creative writer, Lyly, will give us a taster of life beyond the Chinese takeaway.

Lyly says: “Often when we think of the Chinese community in the UK, the first thing that comes to mind is the takeaway or buffet restaurants. There’s little the average person knows about the community other than their own Chinese takeaway order. This comes as no surprise as our community is often invisible in mainstream media despite being the third biggest ethnic minority group in Scotland.”

Zoe Morrison | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Zoe Morrison | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Zoe Morrison

Talk Title: Why we say people don’t like change

Robert Gordon University Professor Zoe says: ‘I’m excited to talk about why we say that people do not like change. All too easily we use this statement as an excuse, identifying other people as the reason for lack of movement. But how valid and engaging are our ideas to initiate change?

She adds: “I'm looking forward to exploding the myths about change and explaining the potential impact if we stopped telling ourselves that people don't like change.”

Del Redvers | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Del Redvers | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Del Redvers

Talk Title: How your hypocrisy can help to save humanity

Corporate affairs director and environmental charity chair Del will challenge our thoughts about hypocrisy and how being a hypocrite is not only okay, it can enable positive change.

Del explains: “To address the biggest challenges humanity faces we must move quickly through social and behavioural transitions. In these transitions there are gaps between what we say and what we do, where our hypocrisy is evident.

“Hiding our hypocrisy as a vulnerability or a failing slows our progress. Instead, we can acknowledge and own it, using the tension it creates to draw us to a better future.”

Sarah Rochester | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Sarah Rochester | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Sarah Rochester

Talk Title: We don’t need a reason

Communications manager Sarah will share her experience of the decision to stop drinking.

Sarah says: “When I stopped drinking, I felt constantly anxious because I didn’t have a ‘reason’. I didn’t have a rock bottom moment and therefore I didn’t have an answer to the question ‘why?’. Until I realised that wanting to was enough on its own. I hope to be part of a change in the conversation around alcohol, to help people see they don’t need a reason.”

Alex Whyte | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker
Alex Whyte | TEDxAberdeen 2022 speaker

Alex Whyte

Talk Title: The Career Mother Gear

Alex’s talk centres around her experience of pursuing her career while also entering motherhood. Alex explains: “This period has been the hardest and fastest pace of life I have ever experienced. A pace I didn’t know I had in me until I was faced with the prospect of failure in one or the other.”

Completing the line-up is Martin Robertson. Martin will share his views on how to live a full life with dementia and why society should not write dementia sufferers off.

TEDxAberdeen 2022 | A diverse and eclectic group of speakers

Program Curator Derrick Thomson adds: “We have a diverse and eclectic group of speakers who will now embark on an 18-week coaching process to craft their ideas ready for the event in November.

“This is the exciting part; taking the speaker’s raw concept and working them to create an idea worth spreading. I am really looking forward to supporting the speakers as they prepare for their moment in the red dot - we’re co-creating an engaging and inspiring event for our community.”

For more information about TEDxAberdeen visit their home page.

Aberdeen Mela back in style

Aberdeen Multicultural Centre created Aberdeen Mela to celebrate and promote the diversity of culture and community. Both within Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland. It's a fantastic day out for the family. A chance to connect with the many cultures the city is home to.

Alongside the festivities and cultural exchange, the Mela also aims to promote more widespread awareness of global development issues. Organisers hope this motivates and inspires people to help create a more equitable world. And that it shows them how they can get involved.

Back for the first time since 2019, Westburn Park in Aberdeen will host Aberdeen Mela from 12 noon to 7 pm. Acts ranging from Bhangra dancers and international choirs to Asian singers and traditional Scottish musicians will appear on different stages. The event will feature a variety of ethnic food stalls, crafts, clothes, information stalls, and loads of family activities.

We had a chat with Ahashan Habib the manager at Aberdeen Multicultural Centre about what they have planned for Aberdeen Mela this year.

For many visitors, this will be their first Aberdeen Mela. What can people expect when they arrive at Westburn Park on Sunday?

The Mela is the largest family fun day celebrating multiculturalism and diversity in the North East of Scotland. It’s a massive festival with over 10,000 people coming from as far as Edinburgh, Glasgow and even London to see over 100 performers on the main stage. We also have local acts that are just fantastic too!

Expect a feast for the eyes and the ears as we have food stalls sharing cuisine from around the globe, arts and crafts stalls, workshops and a funfair! You can come and stay the whole day as there’s always going to be something happening. This year we even have a Zumba class with Baila Venezuela from Edinburgh and a roaming stage whereby the acts will be performing across Westburn Park. They will be engaging with our audience and bringing a taste of Mela to them!

What acts will be on stage at Mela this year?

We have Gurusoundz coming from London who has performed at the Queen’s Garden Party and the Royal Albert Hall. This year we are having our first ever Mela Afterparty at the LemonTree. Guru Soundz aka Dj Sandyman will be spinning amazing Bollywood classics, to keep the Mela vibe going from 8-10pm. We also have RAAG Qawwali Group from London who are on a mission to bring the same Sufi Mysticism brought by the Sabri Brothers in the 20th century. They offer a very unique listening experience that is visceral. They have performed on BBC.

We also have Desi Braveheart from Glasgow, an amazing Bollywood/ fusion dance group that always gets people dancing! This year we will have Shashwati which focuses on two different dance forms. Mohiniyattam – an Indian classical dance form that developed and remained popular in the state of Kerala. And Bharatanatyam (the oldest classical dance tradition in India). Her outfit is incredible, with bells on her hands and feet, and brightly coloured make-up on the soles of her feet and hands too! She’s performed for the Scottish parliament and is definitely one to watch.

We will also have local Chinese communities and local groups like the Red Phoenix Dance Group and Yee’s Hung Ga, a martial arts group. Keep your eyes peeled for the dancing lion that will be roaming Westburn Park and get your picture taken!

For us, the highlight of Mela is the wide selection of food stalls. What will be on offer this year?

We have food from Portugal, India, classic British, ice cream, sweet stalls, candyfloss and much, much more!

I was lucky enough to be in Edinburgh for their Festival Carnival. It was a kaleidoscope of colour and sound. What benefits do you think multicultural festivals like this bring to Scottish cities?

We’re really excited to relaunch the Mela as culture can bring people together. Especially after the past two years as Covid has greatly impacted people’s mental health. So this Mela will bring a lot of joy to the community as there will be lots of different cultural activities and food. It’s just such a great family event. The festival is about celebrating our similarities and respecting our differences. Aberdeen is a real melting point of cultures and #AberdeenMela brings us all together to celebrate, dance, and eat good food. To take part in amazing workshops, learn about each other’s cultures and bring together and unite the city.

Music is a brilliant way for people to share their cultural backgrounds. How big a role does it play in Aberdeen Mela?

Music is essential for #AberdeenMela it goes beyond language and creates an atmosphere that transports you into another world. It really brings the feel-good vibes of Aberdeen Mela to Westburn Park.

It's very much a family event, isn't it? What will be on specifically for kids?

We have a funfair, ice cream, sweet stands, and workshops such as Chinese calligraphy throughout the day. People can come and learn a character that they can draw themselves and take home with them. There are Henna stalls too and the opportunity for children to drum with the Guarana drummers. They have always been a hit in previous Aberdeen Melas.

Aberdeen is a hugely multicultural city. Do you think there should be more opportunities to demonstrate this? What more could the city be doing to show its cultural diversity?

Togetherness is very important. People have very busy lives so we want to just bring them together for a big celebration and give everyone a flavour of all the different cultures. It’s very important to integrate in our multi-cultural environment and to know each other as that can bring true harmony to the city.

There should be more opportunities but we are hoping that Aberdeen Mela continues to be generously funded by our sponsors and partners such as Aberdeen city council, ACVO, Aberdeen Performing Arts, Instant Neighbour, the Elphinstone Institute, Event Scotland, Station House Media Unit, Aberdeen Lions and Aberdeen Multicultural Centre. It’s months of hard work but so worth it to see everyone smiling on the day. We hope we can continue to be the largest celebration of multiculturalism and diversity in the North East. We will also continue to support other festivals that are similarly uniting the city and bringing people together.

Brilliant, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Remind us about the date and times of this year's Aberdeen Mela.

Aberdeen Mela takes place on Sunday 21st August at Westburn Park. We kick off at noon and party all the way through until 7 pm. Entry is FREE!

Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest brings a summer splash of colour

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen loads of colourful social media posts about the upcoming Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest. So, intrigued, we got in touch with organiser Laura Mears-Reynolds. It's great to see new events happening in the city. We wanted to find out what she had planned, and a little about her background too.

The event is a unique festival-themed shopping experience in Fittie Community Hall. The newly renovated hall located near Pocra Quay and New Pier Road. It takes place on Saturday 20 August.

What can people expect as they arrive at Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest?

On arrival, you will see that the Open Road team and I have gone to town decorating the beautiful, newly renovated Fittie Community Hall with festival and Ibiza vibes. You can expect bright colours, disco balls and a sequin wall supplied by Lombardi Events to compliment the stalls of our Aberdeen Creatives.

We are showcasing my own work, HATHOR, Wardrobe Foxes Vintage, Prolong and Aubin. And to top it all we have the incredible Rhiannon giving tarot readings. All this to the backdrop of classic house and disco beats from local DJ Angela Michael. We're a local creative girl gang joining forces to champion local creatives, raise awareness about ADHD, and boycott fast fashion!

What inspired you to host this carnival of couture?

I’d been trading at festivals such as The Secret Garden Party and events in Ibiza for a decade when the pandemic hit. Lockdown ruined everyone’s plans and completely halted every aspect of my industry. I plummeted into a mental health crisis. This resulted in discovering I’d been battling through life, like so many women, with undiagnosed ADHD. Post diagnosis and treatment, I felt stronger just as the world reopened.

Having been amazed by Zandra Rhodes’ exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery, I serendipitously bumped into her on my Fittie doorstep and felt inspired to carry on Zandra’s Aberdeen fashion mission.

Why did you choose Fittie Community Hall as your venue?

What better place than the colourful and creative village of my chance meeting with the iconic Dame Zandra Rhodes? She loved Fittie so much!

You chose to raise funds for ADHD Adult UK after your diagnosis. How have they helped you and other adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD?

Dr James Brown and Dr Alex Conner have greatly supported my late ADHD diagnosis journey. Having both been through the same, they offer information about the disability and diagnosis online:
https://www.adhdadult.uk - via their peer support group for adults with ADHD and invaluable knowledge via their podcast: The ADHD Adults Podcast; which was the inspiration for the one I created with my neighbour Dawn Farmer.

Your podcast has gathered a bit of a following of its own. Tell us all about it and where people can find it.

Dawn and I moved to the same street, at the same time, at the same age, with the same undiagnosed disability, what are the chances?! After the shocking discovery that we had both been battling through life with brain disorders, we were further horrified to discover just how common an occurrence this is! Many women go mis or undiagnosed, and if missed in childhood the average age for a woman is 36-38!

We decided to use our voices to raise awareness, break the stigma and share our personal experiences in the hope that they help others… and we’ve achieved exactly that. Daily we receive messages from listeners all over the world on our Instagram telling us we’ve helped those in desperate need seek diagnosis, treatment, help in the workplace, at university and to feel validated and less alone.

Unbelievably in just three months since launch, we’ve hit 30K downloads and #31 in Spotify’s Top 50 Podcast Chart for Society & Culture GB and #28 in Australia! We can’t believe it!

You can listen here.

Do you have plans to hold more events in the future?

I hope that visitors love mine and Open Road’s efforts to create this unique shopping experience, enabling us to put on more events in the future, so fingers crossed!

Remind us when and where Fabulous Fittie Fashion Fest takes place.

Fittie Community Hall on New Pier Road (NOT to be confused with the Mission Hall in the Squares!)  Saturday 20th August 11 am-3 pm. It’s a FREE entry event, though we would love any donations to ADHDadultUK on the day. We are unable to take cash payments, so please remember your bank card.

We have upcycled hedonistic headwear and festival accessories, vintage clothing, one-off bags handmade from trash, and jewellery made from sea glass and discarded objects found on Aberdeen Beach.

On top of that, you don’t want to miss the raffle! Each creative has donated an item and local businesses have also donated; including a £50 voucher for The Silver Darling Restaurant! It’s a seriously fabulous raffle with all proceeds donated to ADHDadultUK and The Fittie Community Development Trust.

And where can people keep in touch with you on social media?

Follow us on Instagram and join the event page on Facebook.