June 23rd and 24th, 2012


Opening the 2011 Festival

We’re delighted and proud to announce that this year’s Festival will be opened by Sir Tom Farmer CVO, CBE, KCSG. Founder of the Kwik-Fit tyre company, Sir Tom is one of Scotland's foremost entrepreneurs. The youngest of seven children, he was born in Leith, Edinburgh in 1940. He and his wife Anne have two adult children.

Sir Tom’s public service appointments include: Founding board member of Scottish Enterprise, Chairman of Scottish Business in the Community, and board member of Investors in People. He is currently Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Sir Tom received a CBE in 1990 and was knighted in 1997.

A devout Roman Catholic, Sir Tom devotes much of his time to the work of the church and is a strong supporter of interfaith activities.


Sir Tom established the Farmer Foundation to provide support to local communities at home and abroad, with the aim of encouraging self-sufficient development.


Amongst his many other activities, he chaired the Scotland Against Drugs campaign and supports the opening up of public access to the arts.

The 2011Traditional Music Project

Our sincere thanks got to Portsoy Thrift Shop who have just granted major funding for this year’s traditional music project. Once again we are maintaining our policy of focusing on youth and are delighted to have been awarded a major grant by the Scottish Arts Council. This is for a two year project by which we will carry out a training programme for local musicians so that they are equipped to teach children traditional music skills. For the last few years we have had to bring experienced tutors up from the central belt, which has meant that we could only carry out short courses. Creating a local team will mean that we can carry out traditional music courses in the local primary schools across the whole year. The Thrift Shop donation meets the match funding requirements for the project and ensures its successful completion.

The 75 Club "Loch Soy Challenge" 

Once again Portsoy 75 Club has stepped forward to support the Festival by sponsoring a new event taking place at Loch Soy.

This competition is for teams of five who will build a raft based on plastic containers, ropes and spars, capable of supporting a container (a keg). The teams construct their raft and, ferry it across the loch in a small rowing boat then, hauling their raft back with its cargo across the loch by a line which has to be put together by the team from lengths of rope.  The task is completed when the keg is used to burst a balloon on the far side of the loch.


Each team is timed and the quickest to finish wins the75 Club Loch Soy Challenge trophy!

Sounds easy? Bet you it isn’t! So come along and see the fun: on Saturday and Sunday between 11.00am and 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm and 3.00 pm. Several teams are taking part including Portsoy Scouts and Banff Rugby Club.  There may still be an opportunity to take part: contact Gordon Mackie on patmackieuk@yahoo.co.uk

New family and weekend tickets

For the third year running we are holding the basic entry prices to the Festival at £8 and £5 for concessions and children between 5 and 18 (under 5’s are free). However we are also delighted to announce that we are introducing new weekend and family tickets.


Weekend tickets: adults £12, children 5 – 18 and over 60’s £8.

Family tickets: 2 adults and up to 3 children under 18: day -  £25 and weekend - £35

With free parking and park and ride service, the Festival is doing all it can to provide great family value!


Advance sales of tickets will be available from the new pre sales box office opposite the Coop, courtesy of Donald’s Bakery.

Voices from the past at the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

A new initiative that will give future generations a direct link to the rich tales and traditions of the North East fishing industry will be launched at the 18th annual Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Traditional Boat Festival on July 2 and 3. The Moray Firth Gansey Project, which will be taking part in the skills and craft display at the Portsoy event, will be unveiling plans to record the oral reminiscences of fishermen and women at the heart of seafaring communities.

It is hoped these recordings will help capture important details of life from a bygone era and keep the traditions of the time alive for future generations. The Moray Firth Gansey Project will train 36 heritage volunteers around the coast and provide equipment on long-term loan to record oral reminiscences, adding to the resources available to the Portsoy Salmon Bothy and other heritage and genealogy centres round the firth.

Kathryn Logan, Moray Firth Partnership manager, plans that the audio records will provide a unique snapshot of the life of past generations of fishermen. She says, “We hope to meet with people at the festival who will be willing to share their memories, talk about their work, about ganseys or the traditions of fishing communities, and we will be looking for volunteers to take part in the training.
I think this is extremely important for an industry like fishing where there have been major changes in a relatively short period of time. Unless we help capture this information now, it could be lost to future generations. The reminiscence recording will allow us to hear different dialects, whether they be Doric or East Coast, and learn the different names used for everyday objects and gansey patterns, helping to really bring to life the stories behind photographs and written records.”

The Moray Firth Gansey Project was launched two years ago to record and preserve examples of traditional woollen pullovers – ganseys – worn by fishermen and seamen. Many early fishing communities are thought to have their own distinctive gansey pattern. In order to help with the project research it is hoped that festival visitors will come forward with family photographs featuring gansey wearers which clearly show the pattern. A number of old ganseys will also be on display, and help on hand for budding gansey knitters to learn this traditional craft.

The Moray Firth Gansey Project is just one of more than 30 participants providing authentic skills and craft demonstrations at the old harbour and Portsoy Salmon Bothy.

Visitors will be able to watch GalGael at work, a group set up in the wake of the demise of the shipbuilding industry in Govan. It aims to help people rekindle skills including woodwork, boat building, stone carving and wool crafts. The Faering Project, a Festival initiative that works with local school children to build and restore boats, will also be in attendance, along with The Coracle Society.
Other skills on show include boat building, rigging, blacksmiths and basket weaving, while crafters including jewellers, artists, cardmakers and woodturners will be showing off their handmade goods.



The Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise seek to encourage enterprise by selecting and

rewarding entrepreneurial businesses and individuals that are capable of leading the future

prosperity of Grampian.

Over 150 small and medium sized companies based across Aberdeen City & Shire entered the nine award categories.


The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is delighted and proud to have reached the finalist stage for The Alick Buchanan Smith Spirit of Enterprise Award, given to a business which has demonstrated a commitment to the community it operates in.


The winners will be announced at a gala dinner, on Thursday 30th June, in the Ballroom at Ardoe

House Hotel.



Aberdeen Asset Management sponsorship deal throws lifeline to
The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival

First Minister Alex Salmond welcomes announcement


Aberdeen Asset Management is today (Thursday 20 January 2011) announced as the title sponsor of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival which takes place in Portsoy annually and attracts up to 16,000 visitors from the UK and overseas. The sponsorship deal secures the future of the Festival which had been in serious jeopardy following reduced attendances in recent years due to bad weather. The sponsorship package is for a three year period.


Festival Chairman Roger Goodyear explains the issues facing the 2011 festival; “The Board of The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival was in a position where it had to make a decision if the festival could go ahead in 2011. Bad weather at the Festival in recent years resulted in lower gate takings, which, coupled with rising costs, has seriously depleted the Festival’s reserves. We faced a critical situation where, if we ran the Festival and the weather was clement meaning good visitor numbers, all would be well. However, if for any reason the attendee numbers dropped in 2011 the Festival could have been unable to fund any financial losses. Under such circumstances it would have been highly imprudent of us to proceed knowing that we would not be in a position to cover a deficit. Consequently, we were engaged in serious discussions about cancelling the 2011 event, which would have been a tremendous blow for the Festival – and indeed for Scottish tourism as it is considered to be a flagship event. Aberdeen Asset Management’s generous sponsorship support has truly saved the festival and has given us a three year period allowing us to rebuild our reserves for future years. We cannot stress enough what a lifeline Aberdeen Asset Management has thrown the festival and we are immensely grateful.”


Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management and a keen sailor, says of the sponsorship deal; “When we became aware that the festival was at risk of being cancelled in 2011, it was important for us to do what we could to prevent this happening. The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is a key highlight of the tourism calendar and, as well as being the largest gathering of traditional boats in Scotland it has  an excellent range of on shore activities for all ages. Aberdeen Asset Management is headquartered in the north east of Scotland and it is important for us that we support such a vibrant community run event as The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival which attracts such a high level of tourists to the area.”


Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, a frequent visitor to the festival in Portsoy on the Banffshire Coast also welcomed the sponsorship announcement; “I am delighted that one of Scotland’s leading international finance businesses and a local success story has linked up with Scotland’s top international boat festival in this way. The Festival has attracted many thousands of people from Scotland and further afield each year and done much to celebrate and so preserve the area’s maritime and cultural heritage. Tourism is one of Scotland's largest business sectors, providing direct employment for more than 200,000 people and generating visitor spending of around £4 billion a year.”

The 2011 event will be the 18th annual Scottish Traditional Boat Festival. Visitors from across the globe will swell the 1,800 population of Portsoy by around 16,000. Traditional boats from the UK and overseas will be in the historic harbour at Portsoy along with a full programme of onshore activities on July 2 and 3.