An Auspicious Day

As most people will know by now, we were honoured to have Princess Anne officially open the Banchory and District Men’s shed on Wednesday.  This occasion marked the end of a long road to getting our Shed open, and the proper beginning of its life serving the community.

On a day when attendance was necessarily restricted by COVID precautions, by some last minute member illnesses, and because we could only advertise it beforehand within our membership, a goodly number nevertheless turned up.  We saw the Princess meet key Shed members and saw her walk-through the workshop and social area inspecting the various exhibits we had prepared.  Everyone commented that she showed genuine interest in our membership and in what we had prepared.

Princess Anne also took the time to talk to every single member of the shed present, and their wives, as we were waiting outside, before unveiling the plaque (hand engraved by Shed member John Mason) and finally departing.

Our official photographs were taken by Amro Hassan of Hi-Land Photography near Skene and were excellent.  The selected shots are below, plus shortly Amro will post all 100 shots he took on his web site for access.  In the meantime, if you want a copy of any of the photos below, please get in contact by emailing .

See also Hiland Photography on Facebook

HRH The Princess Royal officially opens Banchory Men’s Shed

HRH The Princess Royal Unveils Plaque at Official Opening of Banchory Men’s Shed

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne, today unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of Banchory and District Men’s Shed.

Her Royal Highness was greeted on arrival by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Mr. Alastair Macphie, who introduced the Deputy Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, Mrs. Claire Maitland, and Mr. Paul Evans, Chairman, Banchory and District Men’s Shed.  Mr. Evans introduced  Mr Alastair Black, Legion Scotland Area Chairman for Aberdeen, Banff and Kincardine, then invited the Princess Royal to enter the Men’s Shed workshop.

The Princess Royal toured the new Men’s Shed facility in Banchory, accompanied by Banchory Men’s Shed Chair, Mr Paul Evans, who said: “We are honoured to welcome HRH The Princess Royal to mark the opening of our Men’s Shed. It has been heartening to see this project finally come to fruition after many hurdles, so it can go forward as a resource for men in our community who are looking for new social contacts and activities, for example after retirement.

In the workshop, Mr. Evans presented members Mr. Fred Harrott (silversmithing), Mr. Alan Pumfrey (bird table construction) and Dr. Bill Byth (bicycle maintenance).  Entering the Men’s Shed social area, Mr. Evans presented members Mr. John Dunnett (model steam engines), Mr. John Mason (clock repair) and Mr. Duncan Davidson (Treasurer).  Mr. Alan Pumfrey demonstrated his model railway, and showed models of Banchory railway buildings that he had made.

Banchory and District Men’s Shed is the first ‘Shed’ in Scotland to link up with Legion Scotland and it was unfortunate that one of the champions of this, Mr Jason Schroeder – Executive Officer of the Scottish Men’s Sheds Association (SMSA) – could not take part on the day due to illness. Jason is an ex-serviceman and championed this collaboration from its origin in 2015. Mr Schroeder said: “After so many years in the making, I was personally gutted to not be able to attend the opening due to illness; however, the SMSA still ensured representation at this very special event. It was kind of HRH Princess Anne to convey her best wishes for a speedy recovery and I shall be concentrating on just that. I look forward to visiting the Shed and the guys as soon as it is safe for me to do so.

The Princess Royal then spent some time chatting outside with other members and guests of the Shed and their wives, including Gerry Robb, the architect upon whose plans the Shed premises were based, and Bruce McCombie, the building contractor for the conversion.

Mr Evans then invited Her Royal Highness to unveil a plaque commemorating the opening, which was hand-engraved by member Mr. John Mason.

Finally, Mr. Alan Pumfrey presented Her Royal Highness with a gift of a bird box made by himself.

More photos to follow

Full press release here