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October ...

National Poetry Day (4 October) was a success this year, as usual, with some innovations around our Poetry Post. This is the traditional attack by nocturnal poets on Huntly Square where poems appear overnight to entertain the early morning population. This year, Orb's Bookshop contributed volunteer helpers and a box of poetry books which was left at the bus stop for commuters to choose a book from. The box was empty later on in the day. Special thanks are due to Ann Dean for the illuminated poems posted in the Huntly Hotel windows, and to Tim Branson for helping to stick them up (no ladder required). Christine Sell took some pictures.





September ...

Huntly Hairst

Saturday 1 September in the Square. Orb's will have a stall together with Huntly Writers. Second-hand book bargains, Huntly Writers publications, and Face Painting!


Launch of new Mongolia Travel Book Dances with Dragons in Mongolia, by Carol Ann, Wednesday 19 September at the OAP Hall, Church Street, 7:30 pm. Carol presents a slide show from this remarkable journey. Book on sale. Refreshments!


Oswald and Friends Treasure Trail Update: Jennie Biggs writes:

Orb's Community Bookshop has had a terrific time welcoming children and families to the shop in July to pick up the trail guide and then tour 11 of Huntly's shops and the Library to find Oswald the Owl's friends.

Over 30 entries have been completed and goodie bags for the first 8 entries, and giveaways for the later ones have been collected! We have also discounted new books to many who took part by bringing quality children's books and young people's books to Huntly. A big thank you to the library and all the shops who supported this scheme and we hope they now have some new customers following the search. We promised to invite all the shops to tea/coffee and cake in the Bookshop and we plan to do that on Friday the 10th of August when we will stay open from 4 pm to 6 pm and welcome back Oswald and his friends.

Now for August we will have a SWAP SHOP: if you bring a good condition previously read or new children's or young people's book to the shop you can swap it for one of our second-hand ones! This offer is for one swap per person!!!

If you bring us three or more you can get 20% off a new book. documents/storysax/swap-shop-poster.pdf

For Summer 2018 Treasure Trail with Oswald and Friends


Oswald's treasures are found in Huntly shops and businesses and if you can find all of them you'll get 20% off any new book at the shop.

There are Story Sacks too (see links below) and remember, the World Book Day books are still in stock.

Story Sacks are available at the shop!

Please see links below:





World Book Day 2018 ...

All the WBD titles are in the shop. Little folk will like:

World Book Day events have been going well!

7 March: Sally and Jennie have visited schools this week, and had a great time. They had homebaked brownies from the tuck shop at break, and met the fantastic pupils & staff.

WBD tokens have been exchanged 79 of them so far!) for WBD books as well as second-hand books, and for £1 off the price of new books.

There's interest in Tom Gates, Enid Blyton, and adventure books. The schools are using Lari Don's Shapeshifter stories in class, and having an exciting time!

Tomorrow, it's on to Kennethmont & Clatt!


Lari Don's workshop for aspiring young writers (school years P6 through S2), Brander Library, Huntly, 27 Jan. This was great, 25 children and some eavesdropping adults had a wonderful time and learned a lot. Lari is a spellbinding writer in person, just as in her books ...

The Spellchasers and Fabled Beast Chronicles titles are on sale at the bookshop. Have a look!

Lari grew up in Dufftown and many of her adventures are set in the North-East. www.laridon.co.uk


National Poetry Day 2017 will be held on Thursday 28th September. The theme is "Freedom" and Huntly Writers will be collaborating with the Brander Library to put on  Open Poetry Hour there from 6 - 7pm.

All are invited to this free event to read their favourite poem or just listen to others. Folk singer Fraser Wilson will be on hand to perform the famous Hamish Henderson lyric "Freedom Come Aa Ye". He will provide a leaflet with the words so that everyone can join in if they want to. The leaflet will also contain a history of the song with an English translation.


National Poetry Day is an initiative of the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates excellence in poetry and seeks to widen its audience. National Poetry Day was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart and since then has engaged millions of people across the country reading, writing and listening to poetry.


As well as the Open Poetry Hour Huntly Writers will be out and about on the night before doing the annual Huntly Poetry Post. Keep your eyes peeled for a poem on National Poetry Day!


Looking fondly to the recent past, Part One of our Harry Potter Tournament was held at the Brander Library on 31 July. Orb's Community Bookshop was one of a few independent UK bookshops to be invited to take part in the Harry Potter quiz tournament.  The lucky (or indeed superior) winning team from Huntly will travel to London for the final. All the details you need are in http://www.orbbookshop.org/documents/tournament/harry-potter-quiz-july2017.docx

Sign up for the 31 July event in Huntly Library (see the info sheet), and let us know if you win! Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/orbsbookshop/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf

The event can host ten teams of four. People are already signing up! Everyone on the winning team will get a prize. The new 20th anniversary edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (below) is one amongst many possible prizes!


As well as winning prizes, the winning team will also be given the rail fare to London for the final.


Book Launch!

Young at Hert, the collected poems of Huntly makar Margaret Grant, will be formally launched on Fri 4 August at 7:30 pm at the OAP hall in Church Street, Huntly.

Come along and enjoy refreshments, readings from the book, and music by Strathbogie Fiddlers.



Orb's Community Bookshop Awarded a Grant! From The Bookseller

Nearly 50 independent bookshops applied for a grant from HarperCollins's Indie Development Fund, which offers independent bookshops funding for projects that grow community access to books and reading.

Nearly 50 independent bookshops applied for the grant. The final shortlist was considered by a judging panel of authors Jon McGregor and Joanna Cannon alongside HarperCollins's group sales director, Oliver Wright, and head of local sales and marketing, Michael Jones.

Mr McGregor said: 'It was great to see how many engaged and active booksellers are out there, looking to do fantastic things for their communities. Lots of submissions came in from community bookshops ... I'm delighted with the overall winners.' Ms Cannon added, 'There are so many brilliant people with brilliant ideas in independent bookshops, and I found it very uplifting to read all of the entries.'

Mr Wright siad: 'It was a great privilege to judge the winners ... the quality was outstanding and in the end it was difficult to choose ten winners.'

Created by HarperCollins's Indie Thinking Programme, the Independent Bookshop Initiative 2017 was launched in October, 2016.


Something to do in the Easter Holidays: Find Wally! Children, young people and adults welcome.

Where's Wally comes to Huntly for the first two weeks of April and Orb's Community Bookshop have organised a Wally Watcher's Trail through Huntly's shopping streets.

Wally is now 30 and is celebrating his birthday in lots of ways:

  • activity in the bookshop on Thursday 6 April with Wally Cake and puzzles
  • dressing up as Wally and his friends and dog
  • and with the Wally Trail through 10 different doors in Huntly which start at Orb's Community Bookshop, Deveron Street, where you pick up your entry form (Mon - Sat 10:00 to 4:00), and then open into: Largue Chemist, Nickel & Dime, Essons, McColls, the Library (watch the opening hours), Raeburns Butchers, the Ethical Gift Shop, Cruickshanks, and Rizzas, with 10 Wally People or Wally Things to Find.

The Wally Trail will be up and running on Saturday 1 April! Join in, have fun!

All successful entries will be drawn for a Wally Prize on the Saturday at the end of the school holidays, 15 April, and anyone can enter whatever their age.

Further information from Orb's Community Bookshop: tel 01466 793765


New Book!

20 Feb: The Brander Library hosted the launch of Ron Brander's book Over the Hills from Huntly (published by Huntly Writers).

Ron with Maureen Ross

Thirty guests dropped in to enjoy Ron's informative illustrated talk. The Huntly Express sent a photographer, so if you missed this, don't worry: it's in the paper! Meanwhile you can see the exhibition of Ron's photographs which continues at the Brander Library.

Next up from Huntly Writers: Young at Hert, a collection of the poems of the late and beloved Margaret Grant. Date to be announced.


Harry Potter Book Night  2 February 2017 in the Brander Library, The Square, Huntly


... under the vaulted ceiling of the Brander Library the Professors and students of Hogwarts gathered, along with a good many shifty characters and possibly a Muggle or two. This FREE EVENT was sponsored by a collaboration of Brander Library and Orb's Community Bookshop under the banner of Huntly Book Festival and  supported by Bloomsbury Publishing.







Happy Birthday, Deveron Arts.


Here we are with our stall operated jointly with Huntly Writers and Handmade in Huntly -- a couple of candid shots:


Here is a write-up of our part in the event. Notice the books mentioned! http://www.orbbookshop.org/documents/satinthesquare/write-up-of-3.12.16-hw-stall.doc


Saturday 14 Oct: an early view of some new paintings by Raoul Middleman whose Portsoy paintings were previously on show. Raoul's 'Sandend Suite' painted in July 2016 comprises land-and-seascapes in his inimitable style, in oil and watercolour. On Saturday, we'll be celebrating the arrival of these works with nibbles and drinks from 10:30 to 12:30. Please join us!



Huntly Writers News! National Poetry Day ... The events for this year's National Poetry Day went very well. Ben Macfadyen entertained us with 'Jabberwocky' both in the Brander (Thursday night) and in the bookshop (Tuesday). More later.


Here's a link to the poster for events in the Brander Library including Ben Macfadyen's performance. http://www.orbbookshop.org/documents/misc_posters/a-message-from-the-jabberwocky.docx



Huntly Hairst bookstall (where Handmade in Huntly and Huntly Writers had work on sale):



3 Sept 2016





Peaceful Pursuits! White Wood Gala with Deveron Arts, Handmade in Huntly, and Huntly Writers:

This was a day-long woodland festival which will be more fully described on Deveron Arts's web site http://www.deveron-arts.com Our contribution was entitled Peaceful Pursuits, and the pursuits we demonstrated were:

  • sitting or reclining on the forest floor reading books
  • learning to card raw wool and spin it
  • reading poetry, chiefly about peace

giving away 49 books by 49 'forgotten authors' from between the two world wars, in the hope that these authors will be remembered now!

A bookshop volunteer awaits the public.

The spinning class.

poems on peace!

Huntly Writers provided the readings.

On Wed 16 March, Maureen Ross gave a talk about the first 18 months of the Community Bookshop: the title was THE UNKNOWN UNKNOWN.


The venue was Christchurch, Huntly, where this was one of a series of talks to be given on the third Wednesday of each month.

The unknown unknown (Maureen explained) is the thing you find that you didn't know you were looking for. This is most frequently met with in a bookshop. To show us how true this is, Maureen illustrated her absorbing account with some unexpected finds from among the books.

Civilised Saturday on 28 November was entirely civilised with a good crowd and a rich aroma of coffee, Charlie & Lola bags, balloons and all ...

Hallowe'en in Huntly: more masks!



















The Campbell Duo

On 19 Sept, Vicky and Hugh came to play a pop-up concert at the shop as part of National Chamber Music Day. They also played at the Brander Library and at Dean's Bistro (hosts: Music Centeral).


Vicky & Hugh at Orb's.


Face Painting and a Great Book Stall! Huntly Square & Orb's Bookshop on 5 Sept 2015 (photo collection)

On Saturday 5 Sept we were celebrating the centenary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland ... the bookshop got a Lewis Carroll makeover ... there were some new faces (painted ones) ... and a bookstall popped up in Huntly Square.

We also commemorated the friendship between Lewis Carroll and George MacDonald. Lewis Carroll had his doubts about publishing a fantasy, but MacDonald had written Phantastes, which gave Carroll hope. MacDonald, his wife Louisa, and their children reviewed the manuscript of Alice's Adventures Underground, loved it, and urged Carroll to publish.

pictures from the events

(children's photos are posted with parental permission)


Crockatt x 3 pop-up Exhibition began with a preview at 7 pm Sept 4

A unique chance to see examples of Wenna, Laura & Ian Crockatt's work under one roof!

Laura Crockatt is a photographer who draws inspiration from the work of great emotive poets, and from nineteenth-century photography which gives her work a painterly quality. Wenna is a potter whose work is influenced by the landscape of Aberdeenshire and around her studio at Gamrie. Ian is a poet and translator who has won the Schlegel-Tieck Society of Authors prize for his translations of Rilke from the German; his recent work includes a translation of Viking poems, Crimsoning the Eagle's Claw.

Wenna Crockatt

Laura Crockatt


Lucy Aykroyd returned! Aug 7 to Sept 3:

 About Lucy 

A few of Lucy's woodcuts ...

We hope you were able to make it to this very successful exhibition, which gave us the chance to welcome back our much-travelled friend.


Brian Nisbet

A tribute to a loved fellow writer

This tribute evening for Brian on 24 June was highly enjoyable, in spite of the sad circumstances. Many thanks to musicians Emily and Pam, and to the Orb's crowd for providing wine and delicious home-baked goodies.

Thanks, too, to everyone who read from Now You Know, Brian's book of poems, and to the many people who came along just to be there.

There will soon be a link for buying this book from Huntly Writers' web site (see Links). Meanwhile there's a small stock of the book at the shop; it costs £5.


New Artist for July: Wilma Geddes

Landscapes, Stained Glass and Fabric.


Older items

The management of Orb's Bookshop in Huntly has been assumed by volunteers from Huntly Writers, a group of local authors, poets, and lovers of literature. This was part of former owner Dr Annie Lamb's plan for retirement.

The shop is now open from 10 a.m till 4p.m. Monday to Saturday each week.

While actively seeking grant funding, the volunteers are currently working hard to improve facilities for both customers and staff. We hope you'll like the changes.



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