AUCTIONEER Colin Slessor has sold a few things in his time ... but last weekend he turned his gavel on penguins!

It’s alright, though, they weren’t strutting their way through Thainstone Mart, in Inverurie, but were decorated fibre-glass penguins which were being sold in aid of charity as part of the launch week for the V and A Museum, in Dundee.

Colin brought the gavel down twice on sale topping £10,000 penguins – one of them to tennis ace, Andy Murray’s mother, Judy, who plans to house them at a new tennis training facility near Dunblane. In total, 82 of the artistically decorated penguins in the Maggie’s Penguin Parade were sold to raise £540,000 – which was great as the Maggie’s Centre, in Dundee, needs exactly that amount to run it each year.

Coincidentally, Colin found himself auctioning the lots at Slessor Gardens – which he may or may not be defending as his very own. However, we suspect that these were built in honour of Dundonian missionary, Mary Slessor, whose ‘don’t come hame to me with a broken pay packet’ demeanour gazes down disapprovingly at many from a Clydesdale Bank £10 note.

Clarty Claire

OUR REPORTER Claire Taylor has had an action-packed week but unusually ended up in the s..t!

To explain: She was on a fact-finding mission to find out how cattle from Orkney travel from farm to the mainland for either further finishing or slaughter.

Starting in Orkney, she followed the cattle onto the boat and at the end then helped ‘shoo’ them off. Unfortunately, her notebook – full of prodigiously-taken notes – ended up in the clarty ground.

Fast forward to her being in an auction mart later this week and after standing on a chair to take a picture, she then steadied herself on a hand-rail, upon which a friendly coo had just deposited a lovely load of farmyard manure on the rail.

She has since showered, but her notebook is being treated with some suspicion!

Going to the Pot

A DRINKING den favoured by some in The SF and a natural meeting ground for teuchters, farmers and whisky buffs, is officially the UK ‘Pub of the Year’ following the AA Hospitality Awards’ ceremony in London this week.

Congratulations to The Pot Still, in Hope Street, Glasgow, for beating off all-comers in this prestigious annual awards hand-out which was this year presided over by TV star, Claudia Winkleman.

With more than 700 whiskies, a kist-ful of gin and various other beverages, there is plenty to celebrate with for the regulars!

It was the only West Coast winner for Scotland, with other awards going to the Old Course Hotel and Spa, in St Andrews; the Fairmount, also St Andrews; The Newport restaurant in Newport-on-Tay; and Timberyard restaurant, Edinburgh.