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Inaugural Findochty Blue Light Festival a winner!

By Alan Beresford

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FINDING out more about the work of the emergency services locally was the order of the day at a fun-filled event in Findochty.

The town hall played host to the village's inaugural Blue Light Festival which aimed to highlight the invaluable role played by these services in local communities.

Joining Police Scotland and the PSYV (Police Scotland Youth Volunteers) during the afternoon event were the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, the Scottish Ambulance Service, Buckie RNLI and the Coastguard.

Also on hand were a variety of stalls and local food vendors.

The festival certainly drew the crowds, with the event being declared a success by organiser, Buckie-based Police Scotland Partnership Development Officer PC Rory Fraser.

He said: "It was really busy and I reckon over 1000 attended throughout the day.

"It certainly exceeded expectations.

"There was a good mix of ages, with older people and young families coming along. We were very lucky with the weather and it was great to see all the emergency services managing along.

"There was lots of good interaction at the stalls and we managed to raise money for the town hall, too, so everyone was a winner."

Also drawing a big crowd, and pushing the cuteness factor off the scale, were two police dogs – five-year-old Belgian malinois general purpose police dog Ice and Beans, a two-year-old cocker spaniel drugs detection dog. They were accompanied by handler PC Rob Evans.

PC Fraser went on to say the success of the event bodes well for future Blue Light Festivals.

"Hopefully we'll be running this annually," he continued.

"We've already been getting a lot of interest from local groups interested in playing a role next year.

"My role in the police is developing partnerships and we could do with something like the Blue Light Festival in the Buckie area. I went to the Blue Light Festival in Banff, which was very well organised and gave me the idea for the event in Findochty."

PC Fraser added that he was hoping to help organise a similar event in Buckie on a larger scale next summer, adding that there were plans for an open day at Keith Police Station next Easter. The station is believed to be in the order of 100 years old and still has features such as the cells, which are no longer used.

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