Despite the cancellation of the Aboyne Games, where Clan Hay has held its annual gathering since 1982, we are still hopeful that a gathering of sorts will go ahead on Sunday 2 August in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, home to Delgatie Castle, the Clan Hay Centre.
These activities are of course subject to confirmation but we hope lockdown will be lifted to the extent that our annual lunch at Delgatie Castle will go ahead as usual, followed by guided tours of the old and new castles of Slains, for 700 years the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Hay, on the Aberdeenshire coast. We also hope to arrange a private visit for Clan Hay members to the Turriff and District Heritage Museum, a treasure trove for those in search of family history in this area and containing many artefacts associated with the Hays, feudal superiors of the town. The museum focuses on the area within a 10-mile radius of Turriff, taking in the parishes of Fyvie, Auchterless, Forgue, Inverkeithney, New Deer, Monquhitter, Forglen and Banff, as well as Turriff itself.
It is thought unlikely that there will be many visitors from overseas this year, with the difficulty of arranging flights and, equally important, travel insurance. Our overseas members will, of course, be missed and we look forward to seeing you next year. On the other hand, there may be more Scots arranging 'staycations' at home, and also visitors from England, who might welcome the opportunity to take part in a gathering, albeit one that is much smaller than we are used to.
In the meantime, plans are ongoing to hold the major series of events in 2021, which had been originally planned for this year. In the weeks that follow, these pages will feature a series of articles trailing some of the features of that programme.