At the Gateway centre on a Friday there are usually two groups in residence. One consists of mothers and toddlers busy playing. The other is a number of amateur artists busy painting. It would be hard to say which group was having the most fun.

The painting group originated among those who had attended Anne Rendell’s twice-yearly Friday water-colour courses at the Gateway. When each set of lessons was over they found that they missed their weekly artistic get-togethers. In fact they had withdrawal symptoms. So they decided to ‘do it themselves’; they obtained permission to carry on turning up at the centre to paint on Fridays. On these informal mornings they have no teacher but they do give each other lots of mutual encouragement. They also enjoy setting the world to rights over the coffee and paintbrushes.

Some members, of what has now taken to calling itself ‘The Gateway Group’, belong also to a formal art club, such as Cuminestown or Banff – or, indeed, to both! As one of them has said, ‘This painting business fair takes a hold of you’. There is no doubting the enthusiasm of Turriff’s amateur painters. Whenever Anne Rendall can be persuaded to take another course, they are all keen to sign up. Several have done one of Michael Kitchen’s demanding but enjoyable art courses at Wood of Shaws. And then gone back for more.

On Monday afternoon at the invitation of librarian Liz Frazer, who likes to keep the Library looking colourful and interesting, the Gateway artists will be hanging some of their work there. Visitors in July will be able to admire the results as they change their books.”