Page 1

Clyde Life Christmas 2017 Issue 39

Delivered to over

15,000 Homes

Nutcracker live at Waterfront Cinema p3

Fashionably Fabulous Christmas gift p12

Get your Walking Shoes on! p6 Win Irn Bru Carnival Tickets! p26


Skelmorlie ■ Wemyss Bay ■ Inverkip ■ Gourock ■ Greenock ■ Port Glasgow ■ Langbank Kilmacolm ■ Quarrier’s Village ■ Bridge of Weir ■ Brookfield ■ Houston ■ Bishopton

A Famil ticket to y the Panto! Page 1 5

Supported Independent Living At Abbeyfield Scotland we provide safe, secure quality accommodation where older people can maintain their independence but benefit from a little help and enjoy companionship and company - when they want it. Our residents and their families place a high value on what an Abbeyfield house offers – prestigious locations, shared spaces for dining and entertaining, good food and an active social life. You’ll also have the daily support of our in-house staff and 24 hour telecare on hand for peace of mind. We welcome enquires. Visits and an invitation to lunch can be arranged.

• 7 The Esplanade, Greenock PA16 7XJ. Telephone the house on 01475 721 587 or the Area Supervisor on 0300 303 3194 for availablility. Tel Head Office: 0131 225 7801 Fax: 0131 225 7606 Website: Abbeyfield Scotland is a “not-for-profit” organisation, a registered social landlord and a Scottish Charity. We welcome enquiries about accommodation and employment from all sections of the community. Scottish Charity No: SC012549.

Live Events


10 Custom House Way Greenock PA15 1EG


Showing Live at Waterfront Cinema Greenock Tuesday 5th December - 7:15pm Running Time: 2 hours 15 Mins (including one interval) With an Encore performance 10th December - 2pm Tickets: £15 (Group discounts available, please contact the cinema for more information)

Berliner Philharmoniker:

The New Year’s Eve Gala Concert

Sunday 31st December 2017 - 4pm. £12.50 per ticket (running time to be confirmed) Tickets: £15 (Group discounts available, please contact for more information) Clyde Life Magazine | 3 Tickets available through box office (01475 732201) or online at

Exclusive Gift Shop, Bridge of Weir The Lion’s Paw Gift shop in Bridge of Weir has a large selection of interesting and unusual gifts for your family or friends or a little treat for yourself - Birthdays, Anniversaries, new babies, holidays, house warmings - we will have something for you! Our shop is opposite Gibb Stuart and is open Monday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.30pm and Sundays from 12-4pm. Christmas shop now open!


Newcomst er Th

e Grea Gif t Reta ts iler Awards 2017

1 Morrison Place, Main Street, Bridge of Weir PA11 3NU T: 01505 614 699 | E: |

4 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017





6 Get your Walking Shoes on!  “I’m dreaming of…..” Style Files Teen Style Files 

6 12 13

Win a Family Ticket to the Beacon Arts panto Composting & Tidying, our gardening column  Local Clubs and Classes 

15 18 22

“How much is enough?”

24 Win 2 tickets to the Irn Bru Carnival  26 Finance Matters 

“Going in might be easier than coming out” - Ronnie Cowan MP 


Hake fillet & Cajun Mash Recipe 

28 30

Contributors this issue: Kieran Gallagher, Robert MacDonald, Joanne Simms, Marilyn Thompson, Holly Thompson

Christmas Issue 39 2017 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Ltd Editor Charles Briggs

Features Editor: Joanne Simms Advertising Sales: Lisa Sanderson

Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: Web: Web Design: Graphic Design: Simon Jones - Skep Design

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure that the data in this publication is accurate, neither the publisher nor its editorial contributors can accept and hereby disclaim, any liability to any party to loss or damage caused by errors, or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. Life Magazines and Publications Ltd does not officially endorse any advertising material included in this publication. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in any retrieval system or transmitted in any form - electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Clyde Life Magazine | 5

Eaten too much at Christmas? Get your walking shoes on! Take a break from the mince pie marathon and the goggle-box binge or googling and get out in the fresh-air By Joanne Simms Ooooooh, you know the feeling, you have eaten far too much over Christmas! So wrap up warmly and get out and work off the calories by walking them off. We have some of the best, most magnificent scenery with the Clyde before us. Just remember the words of our most famous living philosopher, Sir William Connolly CBE. As The Big Yin said: ‘There is no such thing as bad weather only the wrong clothes.’ First of all step back in time and do what generations of folks from these parts have always done, and enjoy promenading along The Esplanade in Greenock. You can jog it, or dress up in your new Christmas jumper and stroll along. Parking is easy and the mile-long waterfront has stunning views across the Clyde or you can enjoy the villas built at the height of Greenock’s prosperity. If you feel that you ate too much and need to push yourself further add Tower Hill to your walk. The views get even better. Fancy throwing in some more history with your walk? Then what about starting at Custom House Quay. Head west along the riverside walkway, past the James Watt College’s Waterfront Campus and the Prospect and Trust sculpture. After Waterfront Leisure Complex go inland and head towards Nicholson Street then West Blackhall Street, by Oak Mall shopping centre and on to Clyde Square, and the fine old Victorian Municipal Buildings.

6 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017

Men of the Clyde stands at the heart of Clyde Square in front of the Central Library and south, there is the Lyle Fountain in Cathcart Square and the refurbished Wellpark Mid Kirk. Continue down William Street and the Dutch Gable House back to Dalrymple Street. After so much history take care using the pedestrian crossing at the all-too-modern dual carriageway and return to Custom House Quay, taking in the statue of James Watt. If you feel your walk should be more vigorous and include things like big, sturdy hiking boots then how about Cornalees Nature Trail? Another good place to explore is Greenock Cut Visitor centre near the Greenock and Kelly Cuts, Robert Thom’s aqueducts from the first half of the 19th century, built to take water to and from Loch Thom to Greenock. It is a great place from which to start your walk. And if you want to swap those boots for a bike then remember National Cycle Route 75 starts at Gourock and runs to Leith in Edinburgh, or west to Portavadie on the Cowal Peninsula, taking the ferry. So get those Christmas calories burned off – you’ve still got Hogmanay to go! And after Hogmanay, if you fancy a New Year’s resolution which involves walks, why not check out Inverclyde Ramblers; they have a series of walks, with leaders, covering a wide variety of walks for all abilities. @clydelifemag


Has Your Double Glazing Steamed Up? Established for over a decade Cloudy2Clear windows have become a leading company for glass replacement. Issues with double glazing can often be gradual and may only be noticed during a clear sunny day or during the winter. A failed glass unit may no longer provide you with the protection you need or be energy efficient. Why not spend a few minutes checking your home to see if you have any failed double glazing? If you act now you can avoid these problems. Now, you may think you need to replace the

whole window including the frames and all the hardware, however Cloudy2Clear have come up with a simple and cost saving solution‌ Just replace the glass!! If you see condensation in your windows just visit our website or give us a call on 0800 61 21 118. We will send out our highly experienced engineers for a free no obligation quote. A Cloudy2Clear quote takes on average no longer than 20 minutes. Once the quote is completed, we will sit down with you and explain the problem and tell you how we can fix it.

With years of experience Cloudy2Clear have a wealth of knowledge and are recognised as a Which Trusted Trader, plus our work is backed by an industry leading 25 year guarantee. Cloudy2Clear also replace faulty locks handles and hinges on all windows and doors. Your friendly local Cloudy2Clear specialist is Peter Brummitt and he services the Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire areas. So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Peter a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118.

Cloudy2Clear GUARANTEE All Customers That An Average Quote Will Take No Longer Than 20 MINS!!!

Cloudy2Clear Windows... Service With A Smile!

Clyde Life Magazine | 7

We’re working hard to improve our street s but we need your help too! Community orgaisation s, clubs, ch individuals urches, sch - we need y ools and o u to lead the a communit charge and y clean up. organise We will pro equipment vide with a and advice ll the you need fo r a successfu l event.

1375, email visit 0 0 3 0 0 3 Call 0 or .g e ir h s w e r renf leanup @ c s o t .e p n u e d m r a a e t w h s w e r f n e www.r 8 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


T: 07473 873927 E: W:

Phone for your free, no obligation estimate!

Clyde Life

Did you know that we also deliver flyers?

Prices start from ÂŁ40/thousand. Email to see how we can help your business.

Yvonne Calvert Chiropodist Podiatrist 3 Newton Street Greenock PA16 8UH For all your foot problems. Appointments


01475 727373

Reception open from 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday Saturday 9am to 1pm Appointments also available in Largs & Johnstone Toe nail cutting Drop-in Service ÂŁ10 Tuesday 2-4pm.

Clyde Life Magazine

The Pilates Apartment Stand Taller Look Leaner Get Stronger Feel Fitter

One-on-one and small group training with Jacqui McKeown in her private studio in Greenock. Be amazed at what Pilates can do for you. call Jacqui on 07971 719414 | 9

For the love of Lingerie Straps of Gourock: for expert advice, service and the downright fabulous

built an incredible following is for bridal lingerie. Because on her wedding day a bride not only wants to look her best, she doesn’t want to have to think twice about her underwear. A discussion with Suzanne will make sure that the bra brings out the best in the dress and even the most strapless or backless of dresses will be secure. That same philosophy also extends to evening dresses.

Generations of women now believe that a bra is something they buy in a supermarket and that would shock their grandmothers and great-grandmothers to the core. For those wise women knew what buying lingerie was all about: it was something personal and very special. They did not buy their bras with their groceries, or off a rail in a high street chain; they visited a specialist shop where a knowledgeable saleswoman measured them and gave impeccable advice on the best bra to buy for their shape, the occasion or for a specific dress; where you become a loyal customer and a friend. At Straps of Gourock, Suzanne Mark and her staff provide today’s modern equivalent of that incredible old-school service and product knowledge when a ‘vendeuse’ they were far too important to be called a saleswoman - would take care of you, from the everyday to special occasion and be visited by generations of women from the same family. Because Suzanne knows that comfort and confidence for a customer comes from quality products and first-class service. That is reflected in the range of stock she carries in the shop, with leading brands which include Wonderbra, Charnos, Loveable, Playtex, Shock Absorber and Bestform. Straps of Gourock knows that no two women, or their needs, are the same.

10 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017

After spending so much money of such a beautiful dress are you really going to finish your outfit off with something you’ve picked off a rail in a chain store?

From a teenager gaining confidence with the purchase of her first bras in the shop, right through to visits to customers who are house-bound, in a care or nursing home or hospital, Suzanne is there to measure correctly, discuss customer needs and advise on the best bra to buy. The wide range of mastectomy bras measured and fitted with Suzanne’s expertise and skill at the shop or at home has earned her an excellent reputation. Likewise with Strap’s range of nursing and larger size bras. The home service is available throughout Inverclyde. No wonder that Strap’s of Gourock has twice been nominated for national awards within the industry. Suzanne and her loyal brand of customers know that when it comes to choosing a bra, it can make or ruin the look of an outfit. So another area where Straps of Gourock has

Yes, buying a bra can be a serious business but it should also be the best fun. The shop at 61 Kemplock Street is full of the most wonderful creations in fantastic colours and fabrics. It is a joy to go in and choose in such a lovely, warm and welcoming shop with its friendly staff. There is so much to choose from including matching sets and luxury nightwear. And you don’t have to choose, you can also be surprised because of another extra-special service Suzanne provides, with your permission, she will include you in her data base of customers’ vital statistics so your partner can shop for something suitable as a gift, ensuring a guaranteed fit. So re-introduce yourself to the joy of buying lingerie as it should be done, with an extensive choice, from the functional to the fabulous, sold in a lovely, friendly shop by experts. Your grandmother would most definitely approve. @clydelifemag





Get your Christmas all wrapped up at:











Open Sunday’s 17th December 12pm until 16.30pm and Christmas Eve 10am until 5pm




61 Kempock Street, Gourock Tel: 01475 630660 Email: Clyde Life Magazine | 11

theStyle files

I’m dreaming of a ... by Marilyn Thompson

Fashionably fabulous Christmas gift. One that is desirable, stylish, luxurious and most importantly, one that’s actually wanted.

Wouldn’t we all like to receive a gift like that? The key to buying the perfect gift is to really think about the person you are buying for and to delve a bit deeper into what they would really, really like. Now, this does take a little time and some imagination but, compared to buying lots of expensive, and let’s face it, probably unwanted gifts (which will languish in a cupboard before being donated to the next tombola for another unfortunate to receive), wouldn’t it be so much better to give the perfect gift instead. This Christmas, some forward planning and this stylish guide could ensure that you are the best Santa ever! So, we’ve established that you’ve got to really think about the person you’re buying for and to treat them with something they perhaps couldn’t justify buying for themselves, a box of Thorntons chocolates is just not going to cut it this year! (No offence to Thorntons, I do love their Viennese truffles) Concentrate on one special present, which is exquisitely wrapped

Carry your life in style!

Handcrafted leather handbags, made in Kilmacolm.

VVA Visit: for a full selection of handbags from £49.99 - £500

Quote CLYDE20 for a 10% discount!

12 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


- trust me - this trumps lots of little, ultimately standard purchases in hastily wrapped packaging. Remember, good things come in small packages and the wrapping of gifts should be part of the overall pleasure of giving a gift.

Okay, now for some actual ideas here are some of my top picks. Anya Hindmarsh Leather initial sticker -This is perfect for phone cases and it comes beautifully packaged. Personalisation is still huge. Glossier skincare - This cult American brand has a fabulous reputation and is only just available in the UK. Lucky Number Necklace - This necklace by Sif Jacobs is so pretty. What’s your favourite persons lucky number? Fortnum & Mason Hamper - Special, practical and delicious - there’s one for almost every price range (up to £6000, yes, £6000 for a food hamper - you read that correctly!) Cashmere Bobble Hat - Cashmere is the key word here - luxurious, cosy & stylish. In fact, anything cashmere would be just wonderful. Chanel Classic Handbag - If you want to be loved forever then seriously you. could. NOT go. wrong. with this bag. Handbag heaven! These are just some stylish, special Christmas gift ideas to point you in the right direction. For yourself, you may also want to leave this page open for your other half to see! Nothing like a (not so) subtle hint. I hope you give well and get a little something special yourself this Christmas, but do bear a thought for those who won’t be so fortunate and donate a gift, or volunteer your time and services to those in need.

Spread a little kindness this Christmas and beyond. Seasons Greetings! Clyde Life Magazine

The teen STYLE Files


Velvet, in all shades dominated the catwalks for winter, so, being that it’s the Christmas party season why not opt for a deep and luxurious velvet in a red tone? Together this texture and colour will make for a show stopping outfit - perfect for all of your festivities.

Fashion & Beauty

Add that extra wow factor to your Christmas ensemble with some glittering bold red lips. You can find the perfect kit to do so from ‘Glitter Lips’, stocked at most superdrug stores.

HAIR Bumble and Bumble ‘mini’s’ hair care bauble is the perfect Xmas hair treat.


Elfie selfie photo booth kit.

£7 John Lewis

Do’s & Dont’s

Do keep it stunningly simple Do choose multitasking items Don’t wear ill fitting pieces Don’t overdose with patterns Don’t over accessorise.

Your Fashion Questions Answered?

Do - Alexa Chung Don’t - Katy Perry

Q - Hey Holly, Where do I look for the perfect party dress that no one else will have? Taylor. A - Hi Taylor, TKMaxx can be a good place to find something a bit different, otherwise, try customising your outfit- that way you are guaranteed a unique look. Holly x Get in touch - To learn more about The FASHION Class for teens & children, the courses, camps and Birthday parties, or to tell me what you think and ask any questions, contact: or

| 13


h Vouailcable for

av bers & mem mbers e non-m

Open to non-members

14 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


Greenock SW A5 Ad_Layout 1 07/09/2017 19:39 Page 1

Win a family ticket to see Snow White! Opening night

Friday 8 December

at Beacon Arts Centre. To enter visit our website Competition closes on Wednesday 6 December, winners will be notified by email and should collect the ticket from the Box Office.

Festive Jewels, may your Christmas Season Sparkle! This Christmas, discover a dazzling array of gift ideas and gift sets - best selling skin care, must-have make-up and feel-good fragrances. With Clarins, your festive season is sure to sparkle!


Vouchers Available

31A Brisbane Street, Greenock HEALTH & BEAUTY CLINIC

Clyde Life Magazine

Telephone 888055

CLARINS Appointed Gold Salon | 15

Kitchens at the heart Affordable Luxuries has created the perfect backdrop When it comes to kitchens at Affordable Luxuries each one and each client is unique but you will find customers all say the same things afterwards: “Our kitchen is now the room we use the most.” Nothing is too much bother for Tom and Helen McDonald who have run their business for 18 years, and in-house designer David. The level of craftsmanship is unmatched with Tom projectmanaging from start to finish. Why did we ever bother looking farther afield when we have this level of excellence on our doorstep?

Tony and Marie Tony and Marie’s kitchen has one of the most spectacular views of any Affordable Luxuries project, looking out over the Clyde to the Argyll hills and beyond so a dusting of snow would be the perfect finishing touch for Christmas. Entertaining was high on the list when designing the perfect kitchen for this couple who love to entertain family and friends. Tony is a trained chef, so it had to meet his exacting standards. The Affordable Luxuries team suggested incorporating the under-utilized dining room and merging it into the existing kitchen diner for maximum impact. Tony and Marie decided on a wide range of Siemens appliances to give them plenty of options and capacity for their entertaining

Ronnie and Carol The Affordable Luxuries team headed down to Inverkip Marina and the home of Ronnie and Carol for what was one of their most intriguing and enjoyable projects. Ronnie is an artist, with commissions throughout Europe and the Far East.

16 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


ince 1999 s s s e n i s u b family @clydelifemag

t of Christmas

for these families’ feasts & festivities ‘The kitchen was designed by David, an ex-student of mine from Gourock High School with Tom project managing the entire installation. They really did design and install our ideal kitchen,’ said Ronnie. The kitchen design had to include plenty of storage, while the overall look was to be one of openness and light which they could fill with favourite pieces from their travels. The Siemens appliances included a wall-mounted extractor hood over the 90 cm gas hob, which had a built-in wok for Carol’s love of Asian cookery. ‘You need a big cooker hood when cooking with a wok!’ she said.

They chose to have drawers under the worktops throughout the kitchen, except the corners and under the sink. Affordable Luxuries created bespoke bookshelves for Ingrid’s cookery book collection. They even measured my cookery books to get the shelf heights right! ‘It is that kind of attention to detail that we loved. There is no wasted space anywhere.’

Fran and Stephen Ingrid and Perry Ingrid and Perry wanted a modern, contemporary kitchen in an open-plan space with practical storage solutions, along with functional appliances and accessories. Tambour worktop cabinets stored Ingrid’s collection of small kitchen appliances and accessories; each equipped with three sockets; most of the appliances are ready to go whenever they are needed.

Fran and Stephen had to decide to move or improve and chose to stay in their traditional four-bedroom tenement flat in the west end of Greenock, with its high ceilings and period features. So they had to arrange building work, a new boiler, new bathroom suite and the all-important new kitchen. The flat now has a modern kitchen which is used far more than ever before as a living and social space and has wowed everyone who has seen it. ‘I admit, I am really pernickety about stuff and Tom was even more so than me, said Stephen. ‘Nothing was too much for them.’

52 - 54 Regent St, Greenock PA15 4NP | Tel: 01475 727774 | Clyde Life Magazine


S | 17 CORIAN ©

Composting & tidying there’s nothing else to do

October’s weather was much like the rest of the year, quite mild and wet. This is okay for the garden and prolongs the season slightly. Since the clocks changed and we had a couple of November storms, the temperatures have taken a significant drop. Of course, this means the deciduous trees have now dropped their leaves and these should be cleared up. As well as making paths and decking slippery, leaves will breakdown very quickly and this can cause the spread of fungal spores where they fall. This is particularly true of lawns and leaves should be removed from lawns within days of them falling.

These leaves can be disposed of in brown bins or by small fires (where allowed), but can also make very good compost. Very little work is needed to make leaf mould compost – simply pile them up in a quiet spot of the garden and spike the pile occassionaly to let air in. Come spring, you will have some great compost to use almost anywhere in the garden. If you still have hanging baskets or planted tubs left over from summer, these can also be recycled, making sure nothing goes to waste. The plants can be composted by shredding them and making a heap of the plants, some torn up old newspaper and any raw vegetable peelings or trimmings you have from your kitchen. Cooked leftovers should not be used here. The compost left from baskets and tubs can be used as a mulch in beds and borders, assuming it has no parasites or diseases. One thing to be aware of, and something that we are frequently asked about at Cardwell Garden Centre, is confusing fertiliser in compost with insect eggs. Most modern composts you buy contain added fertiliser in form ofLife slow– release capsules, 18the| Clyde Christmas 2017 the same as you

buy in the garden centre. These capsules are small, approximately 2mm spheres, and are usually white, yellow or blue in colour. You will see them randomly in the compost, where as insect eggs are typically smaller in size, found in batches and are usually white or black. The capsules are harmless and they will break down naturally in the soil over time. The empty baskets and tubs should be cleaned with an appropriate detergent and stored for re-use next year. While we are on the topic of insects, if you have any fruit trees in the garden you really should apply what are called ‘grease bands’ to the trunks. These adhesive strips are wrapped around the circumference of the tree trunk and present a physical barrier to insects who are looking for somewhere to lay their eggs. Not every retailer will stock grease bands as they are not a high sales product, so if you cannot find them check with us at Cardwell. If you still have planted tubs in the garden it is worth taking a few moments to consider the effect the winter frosts might have on them. By moving them to a sheltered location and by using pot feet to lift the base of the tub off the ground, you can help it cope with frost. If a hard frost is forecast then it is advisable to use frost protection fleece to wrap the pots. Several layers is best to create insulation. I know a lot of gardeners still use bubble wrap and other plastics for frost protection and this is fine as long as you do not leave it on for too long. If left on for several days and nights, the changes in temperatures will cause condensation to form on the inside of the bubble wrap and this can lead to disease. Finally, any outside taps or exposed water pipes should be properly insulated for winter. Garden hoses should be emptied of water and stored correctly. Power tools and hand tools should be cleaned, oiled and stored away until next year. I would like to take this opporunity to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from myself and everyone at Cardwell Garden Centre. @clydelifemag By Kieran Gallacher, Cardwell Garden Centre

WE’VE GOT CHRISTMAS ALL WRAPPED UP FREE Indoor children’s Carnival & Santa’s Grotto



Huge selection of decorations, lights, trees & more! Real Christmas Trees are available from late November Licensed 300 seater restaurant Craft and hobby centre

Breakfast with Santa (booking required) From 25th November. Book now to avoid disappointment!

Don’t miss our Big Christmas Weekend 2nd & 3rd December. More information on our website.

Lunderston Bay, Gourock, Inverclyde, PA19 1BB 01475 536 Clyde Life521 Magazine | 19

Huge range of windows and composite doors

Pop in and visit our showroom today or call for a free no obligation quotation.

33% OFF! 12 Drumfrochar Place Greenock PA15 4BJ

T: 01475 723155 @clydelifemag A Local family business with over 35 years experience

20 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017

If you need us in the middle of the night you will be seen by our vets at our surgery (so you won’t need an anxious trip to Glasgow)

PAISLEY 71 Canal Street, Paisley PA1 2HP Tel: 0141 887 4111

GREENOCK 54 Murdieston Street, Greenock PA15 4HU Tel: 01475 721155

Clyde Life Magazine

AbbeyVetGroup | 21

CLASSES | GROUPS | AND LOCAL CLUBS Clyde Life publishes details of classes, groups and clubs located within the magazine distribution area. If you are looking for new members or want to publicise an event please let us know.

To be included in the magazine and on the website please send details to

Health & Wellbeing Classes Class Time Location Day Teacher/Instructor Yogabellies Children’s Yoga 3-12yrs Yoga & Meditation - Beginners 7 - 8:30pm Boglestone CC Mon Jacci Stoyle Yoga & Meditation - Intermediate 7 - 8:30pm Boglestone CC Wed Jacci Stoyle Yoga 2 - 3:30pm Westburn Church Mon Aileen Hughes Yoga 2 - 3:30pm Westburn Church Tue Aileen Hughes Hatha Yoga 7 - 8pm Lyle Kirk Wed Flora MacKenzie Hatha Yoga - Beginners 8 - 9pm Lyle Kirk Wed Flora MacKenzie Hatha Yoga 2 - 3pm Inverkip CC Thu Flora MacKenzie Birsay Yoga 9:30am Gourock Tue Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 7:30pm Gourock Tue Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 7:45pm Inverkip Wed Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 6:15pm Largs Mon Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 9:30am Largs Thu Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 7:30pm Largs Thu Joanna Ritchie Birsay Yoga 10:30am Largs Sat Joanna Ritchie Yoga – Mixed Ability Class 10:30am Gourock – Bath St Mon Sheena Arlow Yoga – Mixed Ability Class 10:00am Gourock – Bath St Wed Sheena Arlow Yoga – Mixed Ability Class 6:45pm Greenock – Nelson St Wed Sheena Arlow Yoga 9:30 - 10:30am Kilmacolm Tue Jacqueline Gibson Yoga 9:30 - 10:30am Kilmacolm Fri Jacqueline Gibson Yoga 7:45 - 9:15pm Greenock Tue Patricia Ralston Yoga 10 - 11:30am Bridge of Weir Tue Sara Marijuan-Tuck Yoga    10 - 11:30am Bridge of Weir Thu Sara Marijuan-Tuck Yoga    7 - 8:30pm Bridge of Weir Thu Sara Marijuan-Tuck Pilates 6:15 - 7:15pm Houston Mon Kate Black

Contact Details 01475 745552/744404 77902 62124 077902 62124 01475 801613 01475 801613 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07518 373 073 07851 735357 07851 735357 01475 785685 07962 347950 07962 347950 07962 347950

Dance Classes Alba Ballet Silver Swans Ballet (over 50s) 11 - 12pm Silver Swans Ballet (over 50s) 11 - 12pm Scottish Country Dancing 8pm

Greenock Greenock Greenock Greenock

Every Day Tue Thu Mon Jennifer Murrin 01475 633096

Camera Clubs Digital Camera Club 7:30pm Greenock Camera Club 7:30pm Kilmacolm Camera Club 7:30pm Inverclyde Camera Club 7:30pm

Langbank Greenock Kilmacolm Gourock

2nd & 4th Derrick McPherson Mon of the month Thur Heather Sinclair 07903 164227 Tues David Walker 01505 873883 Fri Ann-Marie Westwood 07971 607453

Other Clubs & Groups

Greenock Speakers Club 7:30 - 10pm Ardgowan Club, Greenock Thur (Oct-Mar) Tony Cowden 01475 783228 MS Activities Group 11am - 1pm Greenock Thu Stuart Anderson 01475 630553 Parkinson’s Inverclyde Support Group 12:30 - 2:30pm Greenock Last Fri of month Trish Maclennan 01475 743679 Fort Matilda Bridge Club 7pm Gourock MonThe Tuecosts Fri of this Ann MacLeod 01475 522181 resources. advert have been met from Parliamentary Inverclyde Sky Watchers 3 - 5pm Greenock Mon Marion 01475 634976 Renfrewshire & Inverclyde Games Society Bridge of Weir Every 2nd Thu Keith 07789 501605 Inverclyde Ramblers Dave Souza 01475 @clydelifemag 631654 22 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017

EN ee OP a w

s ay 7d


Chilly evenings mean cosy nights round a roaring log fire or the wood burning stove. Delivery covering the whole of Scotland.

Now SO topen

T: 01505 703756 M: 07773 107450 Waolold cPking yeellaerts E: raonPdueIrnisdh at

Carpet, Upholstery and Rug cleaning Ask about our Rug Cleaning Collection & Delivery Service

Tel: 01475 793193 M: 07758 163902

Help is at Hand as your Life changes Woodside Care Home is a 19 bedroom Residential Home situated in the beautiful conservation village of Quarriers, just outside Bridge of Weir. Visitors are always made welcome. The Home is registered with The Care Inspectorate for the regulation of care. • • • •

Residential Elderly Long Stay Short Stay Convalescent Respite

To request a brochure or to arrange a visit please contact the manager

Fiona Summers ~ 01505 613370 Clyde Life Magazine | 23

How much is enough… without it being too much… As we approach the festive season and the end of the year, there will be a number of people retiring due to reaching “normal retirement age”. At this time also, a further group will retire “early” entering retirement in the New Year. With ever increasing public awareness of the recent flexibilities regarding pensions, we asked Robert his thoughts on how should people plan to ensure they don’t run out of money during their (normal or early) retirement. Since pension freedoms were introduced in the UK from 6th April 2015, there have been numerous articles regarding what is a Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) from your personal pension, often referred to as a drawdown pension. The interest in this topic is not surprising, because since the pension withdrawal limit was removed, from age 55 pension savers can now take as much or little from their pension plans as they like.

The basic concept In 1994 a Certified Financial Planner hailing from New York by the name of Bill Bengen published an article

By Robert MacDonald

in the Journal of Financial Planning. His article was based on empirical simulations of historical market behaviour over a 75-year period. Bill Bengen’s research concluded that a person could ‘draw down’ (withdraw), up to 4% annually from their pension portfolio without fear of outliving their money. The 4% rule also assumed that income would increase in line with inflation. So, if you have a pension pot of £100,000 then the most you should withdraw is £4,000 p.a. (increasing each year in line with inflation). More recently, Morning Star (a respected Investment Research Firm) have undertaken research that also looks at historic stock market returns. They say that the average UK Pension investor has an 8/10 chance of still having some money in the pot on death if they withdrew 3.2% p.a. Morning Star go onto suggest should you require virtually no chance of ever running out of money, annual withdrawals for the average UK investor should be cut to no more than 2.5% p.a.

The views in this article are personal and provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as recommendation by the publisher or investment advice by the contributor as laid down by the Financial Conduct authority.

T: 01475 638100 |

“Bespoke Financial Planning for your Future” MacDonald & Co is a trading style of MacDonald & Co (Wealth Management) Ltd which is authortised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

24 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


Other factors to consider Other factors that should be considered include how much of your pension pot you want to leave on death (if any). If you are happy for your pension to be fully depleted after 30 years, then an annual withdrawal rate of 4% p.a. might be appropriate. If you want to leave the original capital value intact for a beneficiary, then a withdrawal rate closer to 2% p.a. is needed. You should also consider your personal circumstances, such as your tax rate and health. How reliant is your family on your pension savings when you die? How much of your pension pot you are prepared to, and

can you afford to risk? Do you have any cash savings that you can fall back on if your pension is depleted early? Can you afford to stop withdrawals for a period, allowing time for your pension fund to recover following a stock market fall? Addressing these considerations and keeping your pension withdrawals under review is critical to your long term financial security in retirement. Clearly there are many factors to consider and seeking advice from an appropriately qualified Pension Specialist Financial Planner would be a good first start.

A Musical Celebration Hosted by Ian McCrorie MBE Enjoy a magical evening of festive music from pupils of St Columba’s School, Kilmacolm – soloists, ensembles, choirs, orchestra, pipe band

Wednesday 20th December, Greenock Town Hall, 7.00-9.30pm Tickets: £10 each/4 tickets £35 (inc light refreshment) To book visit t: 01505 872238 or e: SPONSORS

Clyde Life Magazine | 25

Prepare for a ‘whirl’ of fun… The IRN-BRU Carnival is back! It’s that time of year again… from Thursday 21 December 2017 until Sunday 14 January 2018* the ultimate adrenaline lovers’ playground, the IRN-BRU Carnival, is set to take over the SEC, Glasgow once again. To celebrate its return, we’ve teamed up with the IRN-BRU Carnival to offer readers the chance to win one of five pairs of tickets to the ultimate festive day out.

To enter, visit and click on competitions.

Celebrating 97 years of family fun, the IRN-BRU Carnival is Europe’s largest indoor funfair with over 65 rides and attractions. New rides this year include ‘Air Swing Star Flyer’ and ‘Superbob’, and the ‘Flying Dumbo’ for all the family to enjoy. There are family favourites such as the dodgems, waltzers, helter skelter and cups & saucers. Also back by popular demand is the gravity-defying ‘Sticky Wall’ and the dazzling orbiter ‘Extreme’ ride, along with the ‘Inflatable Play Area’ which this year includes inflatable bumper cars. With rides for everyone and a fantastic selection of game stalls, it’s a ‘must visit’ this festive season. Entry price is £14 with visitors receiving ten vouchers which can be used on all rides, Inflatable Play and selected stalls.** For full information please visit *Closed Christmas Day **Some stalls are cash taking

Terms & Conditions. This competition is open to all adults over the age of 18. All entries must include the name and contact details of the entrant. Entries will not be considered if they do not have all information specified. Winners will be chosen at random, this decision is final. Prize is one pair of tickets (with five vouchers) to the IRN-BRU Carnival 2017. Prize is only valid for one day. This prize has no cash alternative, is non-refundable, non-transferable and non-exchangeable. Travel is not included. The IRN-BRU Carnival reserves the right to refuse entry without explanation.

For details contact:

Alba Ballet, 15a Watt Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA16 8JN Tel 0775 324 6035 | Email: 26 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


Late Availability Spring / Summer 2018


60 Day Guests 80 Evening Guests

Attendee numbers may be increased. Please get in touch to find out more about dates and availability.

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Venue hire Glass of House sparkling for arrival Ceremony charge Half bottle of House wine for meal Master of ceremonies Glass of Sparkling for toast Cake stand and knife 3 course menu Table stationary Hot Filled Rolls 80 guests Choice of 2 centre pieces Dance floor Full table linen

New bookings only.


Getting in may have been easier than getting out

Ronnie Cowan MP

I am sure you have heard the old adage that some things are easier to get in to than out of. These days it’s hard to think of a more obvious example than the European Union. Don’t get me wrong, if the electorate of the United Kingdom did vote to leave the EU, then that’s the journey we are on despite Scotland’s overwhelming vote to remain. My personal quandary is that we are only now (months after the vote) beginning to understand just how complicated the process is. But, yet again, that shouldn’t stop us. It should however mean that we face up to the challenge and be honest about it. By placing a cross in a box to leave, what the electorate were actually doing was instructing the United Kingdom’s Government to use the machinery of government to extradite us from a treaty that their counterparts of 1973 had signed. And so a civil service that is already understaffed and has been stretched to breaking point at the most senior level for years has been handed the task. This isn’t about negotiating one contract, there are 295 bilateral trade deals and there are multilateral agreements based on consensus involving 132 separate parties. Add regulatory cooperation agreements and hundreds of agreements ranging from fishing and agriculture to

transport and nuclear fuel and we can begin to understand the enormity of the task at hand. And that is not counting the 110 separate agreements with the United Nations and World Trade Organisation. I don’t remember seeing that on the ballot paper. So what we have is a gargantuan task that has been placed on the shoulders of the United Kingdom’s Government and they have, as they should, passed it to the machinery of government to handle. But that has highlighted an existing quandary. The civil service is politically neutral, it’s their role to carry out the bidding of the government, even when they don’t agree. In an article in the ‘Civil Service World from November 2015’ the problem is described succinctly, “It was clear that well informed and well paid civil servants were selfcensoring in the face of political determination. As the minister (or Prime Minister) described the policy they wanted to unveil, or the commitment they wanted to make, you could see the officials wrestling with the need to provide a reality check – but all too often deciding it was better to nod sagely than look career-threateningly unhelpful.” The only way to overcome that is for cabinet ministers and civil servants to build working relationships with

mutual trust and respect. Each time a cabinet minister is sacked or resigns, the process has to start all over again. Each treaty can be addressed, relationships can be built but time is not on our side. The 29th of March 2019 is rapidly approaching and the work has hardly begun. I am afraid the assertion by David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, that we will negotiate until the last minute of the last hour of the final day is misplaced. Deals need to be done in time for processes and systems to be written, tested and approved. Personnel need trained and expertise acquired. That means we can’t wait until the final hour, day or even month. I believe that ‘business is business’ and companies will continue to trade but they will be looking out for themselves. The goods may still be on the shelves but that is not guaranteed, the services may still be available if it’s economically sustainable, but equally true, that companies, banks, investment houses, research facilities and so forth may look to relocate to be within the European Union. The promise of “taking back control” has never seemed so hollow.

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ @clydelifemag

28 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017 Telephone: 01475 721 877

Suite 1 The Old Mill Houston PA6 7AW

Tel 01505 614419

Open 6 days Monday to Friday (10am-5pm), Saturday (10am – 3pm) We offer fully fitted with interiors, or doors only (DIY) & all trade welcome

Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you| Clyde Life Magazine 29

HAKE FILLET Cajun mash, honey

glazed carrots, fine beans & garlic cream sauce

Ingredients For the mash & vegetables • 3 Albert Rooster Potatoes (peeled & chopped) • Knob of butter • Dash of cream • Spring onions • Cajun seasoning • 2 carrots peeled and cut • Honey • Knob of butter • Trimmed beans For the sauce • 300ml double cream • Knob of butter • 2 finely diced Shallots • 2 Garlic cloves

Hake is a quite a meaty white fish, it’s part the cod family. It is easily available in all the supermarkets! When available we serve it at my restaurant as part of our weekend specials - pop in and give it a try! For the potatoes: boil in a pot with water and make sure they are really soft for a soft smooth mash, drain in a sieve and put aside. In the same pot add the knob of butter and melt. Add the chopped spring onions and the potatoes and crush using a masher until the lumps are out. Add a dash of cream and mix until it’s a smooth consistency. This can be left in an ovenproof dish on the bottom rack of the oven, whilst you prepare the rest of the dish. Boil the carrots and once cooked drain and set aside. Using the same pan melt the butter and honey and place the carrots back in, season and toss and again put in the bottom of the oven until the rest is ready. Cooking fish is not as hard as it looks..... heat up a good heavy non stick pan on the cooker and drizzle a little oil and wait until it’s just smoking. Place the hake skin side down and watch it lightly curl up. Season the fish and flip over being careful to not break the skin and

place in the oven for 10 mins at 200 degrees. Check to ensure it is fully cooked before placing on the plate. Whilst the fish is cooking, put the beans in a pot of boiling water and literally cook for 2 mins. They should still be firm but soft and have that lovely bright green colour. Place the mash on the plate in the middle, carefully place the hake on top and the vegetables around. Using the same pan as the fish, add the butter and melt on a medium heat, quickly add the shallots and sear, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add a dash of white wine and reduce the wine. Finally add the cream and take off the heat and stir. Taste - season if required and pour over the fish. Garnish with spring onions for a little colour and enjoy!

The Chefs Eye is a new small and intimate brasserie style restaurant based in Nelson Street, Largs. With an explosion of flavours and spices the cuisine ranges from your traditional Scottish Fayre to the Far East. The menus change regularly keeping things fresh, seasonal and exciting. The fully licensed restaurant is open for select hours which can be viewed online or on Facebook. It is also available for private dining events and functions.

Visit to sign up for the online newsletter or call 01475 673215 or email: to book a table. 30 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017


Clyde Life Magazine | 31

Part y

CHRISTMAS PARTY NIGHTS Our famous Party Nights are the perfect way to get you into the festive mood! Arrive at 7.30pm for a sumptuous 4 course Christmas Dinner, then it’s on with the party until 1.00am with our resident DJ Radio Clyde’s Bill Smith.




Thursday 28th December 7.30-1am Glass of fizz on arrival, 4 course dinner then live music & dancing to take you back to the 70’s & 80’s! Tickets £35


Top black tie New Year and best Hogmanay in Inverclyde! Cocktails & canapés, sumptuous 4 course dinner, live music from Jimallywhy, dancing till 2am with Radio Clyde’s Bill Smith & a piper at the bells! Tickets £60 per person. Early reservations strongly advised.

Festive Lunches


Perfect for friends, families or workmates, a festive 2 or 3 course lunch from £13.95

2 Courses £15.95 • Child menu £5.95

Advance bookings only

Open 1pm – 8pm • book now!

01475 520919 • 32 | Clyde Life – Christmas 2017 Kip Marina, Inverkip, PA16 0BF


Profile for LifeMags

Clyde life magazine 39 web  

Lifestyle Magazine for Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire

Clyde life magazine 39 web  

Lifestyle Magazine for Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire