Page 1



Pick Me Up!

For Local Living

Mr Grey will see you at the Waterfront p30

Local Groups and Clubs p20 The Garden in February p27 Skelmorlie Wemyss Bay Inverkip Gourock Greenock Port Glasgow Langbank Kilmacolm Quarrier’s Bridge of Weir Brookfield Houston Bishopton ■

Winter/Spring 2015 issue 22


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Front cover image courtesy Steve Elliott

6 Introducing Rosalind Woolard 9 The Pet Shop Postie 13 Ivy Cottage Dental 15 Meet Our Photographer 17 Mama – I love you

19 A Traveller’s Tales 20 Local Groups and Clubs 22 The Style Files 23 Teen Style Files 27 The Garden in February

Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: Web:

Issue 22, 2015 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Features Editor: Rob Reid

Editor: Charles Briggs

Advertising: Nicky Murphy

28 Beacon Arts Centre 30 Waterfront Cinema Live Events 32 New Year – New You 34 Money Matters 36 Biting

Clyde Life Photographer: Steve Elliott

 ontributors: C Robert MacDonald, Marilyn Thompson Simon Gemmell, Holly Thompson Stuart Davidson, Charles Briggs

Graphic Design: Phil Cunningham Advert 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 Limited 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 | 3

Award Winning Children’s Nursery Unrivalled 8 Year Reputation in Childcare

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People visits

Early Learning and Childcare offered at: Greenock and Inverkip For more information on flexible childcare sessions: ‘Where Little People Feel Precious’

Carpet & Rug Cleaning Upholstery Cleaning

Consulting in

Greenock - 01475 888132 Largs - 07580 156805 Johnstone - 01505 320715 4 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Saturday 14th February • 6.00-10.00pm

! y a D s ’ e n i t n e l a V t S

Two Courses 01475 520919

& Glass of Bubbly £17.95 per person

Sunday 15th March • 12.30-8pm

Mother’s Day…

2 Course menu with a Glass of Bubbly for Mum! £14.95 per person, kids £5.95, infants free 01475 520919 •



All inclusive packages from

The Chartroom, Kip Marina

£2950 Clyde Life Magazine | 5

It all adds up for Rosalind Woollard

Local accountancy firm will make the times less taxing “Our aim is to shine a light into what many regard as the black cloud of taxation.” Rosalind takes the view that preparing annual returns presents an opportunity for spring cleaning a business. She believes it is the ideal occasion to review financial systems – from costs and overheads to general business efficiency. Rosalind said: “Returns have to be done – there is no escape – so we try to use this as a time to take a fresh look at the business habits an individual or company has developed. “Accounts and taxation rely on strict policies and procedures – but we take the view that our clients need a customised package rather than just a standard approach.” As a member of the Tax Faculty of Scotland, Rosalind is in regular touch with some of the country’s leading tax experts. She said: “It is important to take tax rules seriously and to meet the deadlines for the payment of tax. “On the other hand, no one wants to pay more tax than they have to. “I am happy for potential clients to approach us for advice before they make any major decisions. “This allows us to prepare an approach and checklist to help assemble all the relevant information – and to look at business efficiency in general at the same time. Time is of the essence maintains Rosalind – but so is forward planning. This is particularly true when working with family businesses Accountancy is all about good housekeeping. who have to deal with the issue of passing on control down the That is Rosalind Woollard’s philosophy – and it is one which generations. has gained her Skelmorlie-based practice a growing number of Rosalind said: “I like to think of these situations  as a relay clients. race, in which the baton has to be passed over smoothly – while RA Woollard Chartered Accountant’s clientele includes still running flat out. local tradesmen and women and a range of family-owned “Handing over control of a family firm has to be carried out businesses. with the minimum of disruption – preferably none at all – with Rosalind said: “What we offer is accountancy with a personal no slowing up of generating revenue or failure to keep the and friendly face. customers satisfied.” “We handle all aspects of accounting from book-keeping Rosalind is continuing to explore opportunities to expand her and payroll, through VAT and quarterly accounts to preparing client base, particularly in the manufacturing and commercial sectors. annual returns. She said: “Our clients’ lines of work may vary but our aim “Many companies and individuals dread the latter – but I is consistent – to help them secure and consolidate existing believe in making a virtue out of necessity. business and to enjoy positive growth.”

RA Woollard

Chartered Accountant Business & Personal Tax Payroll & Accounts Bookkeeping  01475 520699 6 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Show your kitchen some love Customers are hunting high and low for that perfect kitchen. Show your kitchen some love and we will show it our passion & creativity. Everything you could want in your kitchen we have. Top brands, craftsmanship, beauty, elegance & technology, we’ve got the lot and we promise it will certainly be worth your while especially when we get to the bottom line. So look no further, give us a visit. We can’t wait to meet you.

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| S CORIAN © | 7

WANTED Dog lovers



Due to the success of our Premier Home Boarding service we are looking for additional families, couples or individuals to offer dedicated holiday homes to family pets, as an alternative to traditional boarding kennels. If you are a genuine dog lover and have experience of owning or working with dogs.


• •

Our home boarders provide a holiday home from home for our client’s dogs. They are all vetted, police checked and fully insured by Largs Pet Minders. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Premier Home Boarder or are interested in using our service please contact us today!

• Mice, rats, squirrels, moles, rabbits • Bees, wasps & cluster fly • Bedbugs, fleas, moths & carpet beetle • Cockroaches, ants • Dead animal removal • Bird & rodent proofing • Commercial site servicing • Pest control contracts and advice

Premier Home Boarding

Tel: 01475 789131 Mob: 07717 813911

Tel 01475 686193 Mobile 07929342987


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British Pest Control Association qualified technician Gordon Sinclair

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Iams • James Wellbeloved • Judges Choice • Pro Plan • Royal Canin • Skinners • Wafcol • Wagg 8 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


The Pet Shop Postie -

One Postman your Pet will be Happy to see The Pet Shop Postie is an established business that has recently relocated to Inverclyde. The business is dedicated to delivering pet supplies direct to your door throughout Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire. Through our online store we stock a wide range of foods (dry, wet and raw), treats, chews, bedding and accessories for dogs, cats, small animals, wild birds, poultry, and equine. We stock most major brands and we keep our prices to our customers as low as possible by passing on manufacturer discounts and special offers. We can also supply free samples/testers particularly for dogs, but also for cats from many major

manufacturers and we are happy to supply samples to customers existing and new and old if they want to try a new food or brand. Delivery is free to PA1 to PA19 postcodes and if you are out we will leave your delivery in a safe place. We even deliver on Saturday mornings and are planning to introduce a “Click and Collect” service in the near future. Orders are taken through our website www. and also via our freephone number 0800 999 2035. In the Spring we are looking forward to attending as many shows and fairs in the area as we can. If you can’t see what you want on our website please ask us and we can usually find it for you. We also work with the Abbey Veterinary Group delivering prescriptions on their behalf for a small delivery fee. For more information please contact Abbey Vet on 01475 721155.

The Puppy & Kitten Practice

Up to 45% off

vaccination packages 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 | 9

Early Years Learning St Columba’s is delighted to announce our new Early Years’ provision for children aged 3 & 4 years, which will begin in August 2015. Fun, confidence and a sense of security are at the heart of everything we do, but our teacher-led experience also ensures that children benefit from a tailor-made programme that suits their personal needs and are well-prepared for the transition to Junior 1. The core programme will take place in the morning with the option to stay for the afternoon session. Our flexible wraparound provision means that care is available from 7.45am – 6pm. We believe that this new service will support children’s earliest school experiences, nurture their love of learning and set the groundwork for his/her future development. If you would like to find out more about how your child will benefit, please call us on 01505 872768. We’d love to show you what makes St Columba’s so very special.

What Will I Discover Today? New morning places and flexible wraparound care now for 3 and 4 year olds Teacher-led Early Years learning, play and fun preparing your child for entry to Junior School

Visit. Discover what makes us so very special. 01505 872768

St Columba’s School, Knockbuckle Road, Kilmacolm, PA13 4EQ St Columba’s School Ltd is a registered charity SC012598 Reg No SC016856

10 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015



Visit our family run showroom at

2a Quarry Street, Johnstone, PA5 8DZ Open 6 days Monday to Friday (10am-5pm) Saturday (10am-3pm)

Tel: 01505 324486 We offer fully fitted with interiors, or doors only (DIY) and all trade welcome

Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you! Clyde Life Magazine | 11

Eat. Speak.  Smile  With  Confidence. • • • • • •

Bespoke hand  cra9ed  dentures. Affordable  treatment  solu>ons. Strong,  hi-­‐impact  acrylic. Ivobase  for  precision  fit  and   comfort. Natural  looking  dentures. So9  Lining

Phone for  a  free  consulta>on   0800  975  6020            In  associa>on  with     12 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


What’s The Evidence?

In our everyday lives we often hear about the need to justify things with evidence. Gathering evidence on how effective something is and then implementing it forms an important part of developing government policy ideas. When government money is tight there has to be justification and proof that something works before piling huge sums of tax-payers money into projects. This is particularly true in medicine and education sectors. How does this effect Dentistry you might ask? First of all it is beneficial to explain exactly what Evidence-Based Medicine is. What Is Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM)? Most diseases and conditions can be treated in more than one way, whether the goal is to cure the problem, or simply treat the symptoms. When your

Clyde Life Magazine

doctor/dentist explains the treatment choices you have, she will often be able to tell you which one(s) are known to work the best, and what side effects you may experience if you choose that treatment. She may have that knowledge because she is aware of evidence accumulated through experiments and clinical trials on patients who have already tried that treatment. Knowledge developed through those trials and experiments is called “evidence-based medicine.” Using scientific methods, researchers have determined that the results (evidence) demonstrates that more patients with that set of health and human conditions benefit from that treatment, and that the benefits outweigh the risks and side effects of that treatment. Dental Public Health Workers and Academics have been researching and publishing results on dental procedures for decades. All general dentists are legally obliged to complete 250 hours of continual professional development every 5 years. This can be on almost any aspect of Dentistry but has to include the taking of X-Rays, How to Handle Medical Emergencies (Yearly refreshers) and Cross Infection Training. Dentists travel all over the country and sometimes further afield to improve their knowledge and is one of the aspects of being a dentist that is very rewarding and fun. So next time you are at your dentist be assured that their knowledge doesn’t just stop at what they learned during their 5 years at dental school. A commitment to life long learning allows us to provide safe and up to date treatments, more often with credible evidence to back them up. | 13

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Danced in the past? Novice and want to learn? Keep Fit • Improve Flexibility Improve Posture Learn Classical Ballet ‘And definitely...Have Fun!’ Classes Tuesday & Thursday Mornings 11am – 12pm Interested?

Danced in the past? Novice and want to learn?

contact Julie 0775 324 6035

Keep Fit • Improve Flexibility Improve Posture • Learn Classical Ballet

Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet for Pensioners 14 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015 Danced in the past? Novice and want to learn?

'And definately...Have Fun!'


Steve Elliott will put you in the picture

Use images with impact to help your business grow Whether it is for news, advertising, leaflets or posters – the key to a powerful and compelling photograph is composition. Clyde Life’s official photographer Steve Elliott knows more than most about creating striking and attractive images. He started out as a graphic designer – a discipline in which creativity goes hand in hand with practical considerations. Steve, who owns Art24 Photography and Design, said: “It is important to take account of how and where a photograph is going to be used. “It is also vital to remember that first impressions count. “The image presented to potential clients and customers is generally how you are judged – so presenting your business visually provides instant impact. “Whether you are having a website designed, a brochure created or running a full-blown marketing campaign, poor photography may hinder its success. Good photography will effectively promote your business products, services, people, or ethos. “As a professional commercial photographer, my job is to help clients open doors with images that tell their story instantly and effectively. Steve, who is official photographer for Kip Marina, moved into his second career after realising there was often a mismatch between commissioned photography and the publicity material in which it was contained. He said: “To do the job properly, you have to consider a range of issues including any explanatory copy, pictures and graphics and typography. “They all have to be in step to create the proper impact.” He was also conscious of the fact that many potential clients were not in a position to afford elaborate studio photography or the services of an expensive agency complete with art director.

To help maintain his high standards – and to comply with his clients budgetary considerations - Steve now has his own portable studio which he can take to a client’s premises or place of work. His extensive portfolio includes customers in the fields of public relations and event management, plus the food industry and architecture. Steve said: “Good PR photography is about reporting an event with eye-catching images that are targeted to your audience. In these days of social media, informing your customers and clients of your current activity with newsworthy items is seen as an effective marketing strategy and having great PR/Event photography is going to make you stand out from the crowd. Your brief may be to provide great images of your staff for use in your marketing and advertising material. “I have the facility to set up a mini studio in the workplace or at a location and put people at ease in front of the camera, whether it’s the Directors and board or the shop floor staff.” Steve, who is based in Inverkip, provides a friendly, fast, reliable and competitively priced professional photography and design service to businesses and individuals in Scotland. Most work comes from the Central Belt area but if your project requirement and Steve’s skills are a good match, then distance is no object.

Affordable High Quality Photography

Art24 professional location photography services: On-site product shots • Food & drink • Media relations • Press calls • Interiors • Events • Architecture • Portraits • Industrial Professional lighting Fully insured, including public liability

Call steve on: 07778 415107 or email: Clyde Life Magazine | 15


Restaurant, Crafts & Hobbies, Interior & Exterior Furnishings, Gift Shop & Much More Call us today on 01475 521 536 or visit 16 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Mama – I love you….

Don’t forget to tell her! Sunday 15th March Mothering Sunday, sometimes known as Mother’s Day, is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent. It is exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday and usually falls in the second half of March or the beginning of April. Traditionally, people visited the church where they were baptized. Mothering Sunday is now a celebration of motherhood. People visit and take gifts to their mothers and grandmothers. Here are some inspiring quotes to remind you why your mum is so special: “A mother is not a person to lean upon, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.” Dorothy Canfield Fisher “Who ran to help me when I fell, And would some pretty story tell, Or kiss the place to make it well? My Mother.” Ann Taylor “Most of all the other beautiful things in life come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds. Plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows, brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends—but only one mother in the whole world.” Kate Douglas Wiggin

“Nothing erodes [a mother’s love]. It is not sand on a beach. It is the nuclear heart of things—hard as the rock of this earth.” Beth Kephart

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Don’t want your dinner in the dog? Then you know what to do!

Valentines & Mothers Day bouquets from £30, delivery available.

Beautiful bespoke designs for all occasions Weddings are our speciality

Shop Online Anytime oriedo


16 Steeple Street, Kilbarchan, PA10 2JE T: 01505 228830

E: Clyde Life Magazine | 17

Just the three of us… by Marc Bowker

“When it comes to a wedding there is only really one thing to consider – the couple making that commitment to each other. It’s the two people at the helm of the day that make it all possible, and it is how I approach every wedding I photograph. “There is no getting away from it, wedding photography is an investment and all about trust which is why I like to do a lot of background work before the ‘day’ itself too, one of the best bits of being a wedding photographer is really getting to know the couple. Going for a coffee and chatting about what they like photography-wise, maybe visiting the venue in advance to get a feel for what the day might be like, also doing a pre-wedding shoot before the wedding to get them camera-savvy is all part of that. “All this background work and prep means when it comes to the wedding it’s all about them, their story and how I can help them recall it for years to come through images.”

An Grianan Stationery An Grianan Stationery was setup in 2014 with the aim of providing elegant handmade stationery at an affordable price. Pauline O’Neill, who set up the company, has a vast range work experience from publishing to web development. After many years of just thinking about it, she took the decision to start up her own business. An Grianan Stationery is going from strength to strength with the next few months being extremely busy. They will be attending The Scottish Wedding Show in Glasgow 21st and 22nd February booth 450BB, as well as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Sunday 8th March.

An Grianan Stationery

Let Wild Rose take care of all your wedding flower requirements from button-holes to stunning bouquets.

1 Ardgowan Place, Kilmacolm PA13 4AA | T. 01505 873842 18 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

Also, don’t forget Mother’s Day and Valentines Day! Beautiful fresh flowers delivered throughout Renfrewshire & Inverclyde. @clydelifemag

A Traveller’s Tales

Clyde Life Travel Blog by Simon Gemell: Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies – The perfect Honeymoon destination? This region should be on every traveller’s wish list with the towering Rockies, the ranch lands of the Cariboo Region and the stunning Pacific Coast. The Canadian Rockies feature some fascinating resorts: Calgary is the gateway airport for the Rockies and best known for the annual Calgary Stampede. Many summertime festivals are held here celebrating Blues, Folk or Film. Banff is less than two hours by road from Calgary, situated beside the Bow River, in a stunning position surrounded by mountains. Don’t forget to include a Gondola Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain to enjoy the magnificent views. Jasper is a much less commercial town than Banff, with a sleepy “Alpine” resort feel to it. You can visit the Jasper Tramway (Cable Car) for yet more wonderful views or take a boat ride on the beautiful Maligne Lake. Both Banff and Jasper offer country pursuits such as climbing, canoeing, hiking and cycling in a big way.

The Famous Rocky Mountaineer Train Travelling aboard the privately owned Rocky Mountaineer is an unforgettable experience. The two to three-day train journey takes place during daylight hours to ensure you enjoy every minute of the breath-taking scenery, retracing train routes built more than 100 years ago through the Canadian Rockies and Western Canada. Ferocious rivers, majestic mountain ranges, glacier-fed lakes, can all be observed from the comfort of a roomy carriage or observation dome. Vancouver is an attractive city in particular the downtown area which includes the shopping areas around Robson Street, and Gastown, the original old town. Stanley Park at the waterfront, a huge area of natural beauty and excellent wildlife, is also well worth a visit. For a great day out, try walking across the Capilano Suspension Bridge or check out the Treetops Adventure and


the Cliff Walk. Not far away is Grouse Mountain - take the gondola to the top and enjoy wonderful views and wildlife. Travelling by seaplane to Victoria on Vancouver Island is an amazing experience in its own right, There, you can reach the famous Butchart Gardens, try high speed whale watching - or enjoy afternoon tea at the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel. Making the most of your time in the Rockies Take the leisurely full day excursion from Banff to Jasper along the scenic Icefields Parkway, making several fantastic photo stops including Lake Louise. A new attraction is the Glacier Skywalk and the Athabasca Glacier where you can take a trip on the Ice Explorer – a bus with extra-large wheels that climbs to the top of the Icefield. The Icefields Excursion together with a stay in Calgary, Banff and Jasper can be successfully combined with many of the famous Rocky Mountaineer journeys to Vancouver.


Holidays & Cruises

Direct Line: 01475 540350 | Email: Clyde Life Magazine | 19

What’s On What’s On Wh Classes | Group Meetings | Regular Events and Local Member Clubs

Starting with our first issue of 2015 Clyde Life will be publishing details in the magazine of any classes or group meetings and any one off or regular events within the Clyde Life distribution area. This service is completely free. We will also publish details of all submissions on our website – We wil also publish information about local member clubs. To have your submission included in the magazine and on the website please send details to . Our deadline dates for the coming year are available on our website

Health and Wellbeing Classes

Yoga for all levels Instructor: Jacqueline Gibson Tel: 07851 735357 Email - Tues 9.30-10.30am Wed 5.15-6.15pm Fri 9.30-10.30am All in Kilmacolm Yoga for all levels Instructor: Patricia Ralston SYTA (Reg) 01475 785685 Tues 7.45 - 9.15pm Finnart St Pauls Church Hall, Bentinck Street, Greenock. Beginners Yoga Instructor:  Sara Marijuan-Tuck Tel: 01475 785685 Tues & Thurs 10:00 to 11:30 Freeland Church, Bridge of Weir Thurs 7:00p-8:30pm Scout Hall, Horsewood Road, Bridge of Weir Yoga and Meditation Instructor: Janis Binnie Tel: 07813 924922 Wed 6.30 - 8.30 pm Kilmacolm Community Centre

Weight Wise Fitness Tuesday 7:00pm-8:45pm Café at Tesco Port Glasgow Wednesday 9:00am-11:30am, Gamble Halls, Gourock Wednesday 2:30pm-6:30pm, Westburn

20 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

Church, Nelson St, Greenock Thursday 9:00am-11:30am, Westburn Church, Nelson St, Greenock Thursday 1:00pm-3:30pm, Boglestone Community Centre, Dubbs Place, Port Glasgow For more information contact Michelle Phillips on Tel: 07886 991183

Local Clubs Meetings Greenock Camera Club Every Thursday at 7:30pm Westburn Church Halls, Nelson St, Greenock Inverclyde Camera Club Every Friday at 7.30pm Cardwell Bay Sailing Club, Cove Road, Gourock For more information contact the secretary - Ann-Marie Westwood LRPS on Tel: 07971607453 Inverclyde Historical Society

Fort Matilda Bridge Club Meets Monday, Tuesday & Friday 7pm Visitors always welcome. Begginers classes are held from Sep-Mar on Mondays at 7pm. Tarbet Street, Gourock (turn right at Bluebird cafe on the main road. The club is on the right hand side opposite ‘Donald’s Cream Ices’) Ann MacLeod (Secretary): Tel: 01475 720044

Meets 2nd Wednesday of each month from September to May in the RAF Club, Ardgowan Square, Greenock. A wide variety of subjects is covered. It is not exclusively about Inverclyde but covers a full range of historical subjects. 11 Feb-- Joanne Kelly-Christianity and Islam 11 Mar-- Karen Gallagher-Groups in Concentration Camps 08 Apr-- Jim Sieyes-French Foreign Legion 13 May-- AGM-Scotland’s Christian Heritage Contact: Les McMahan Tel: 01475 719962

Inverclyde Archers Saturday 2pm-4pm Greenock Sports Centre, Nelson Street, Greenock Robert Hutcheson:  07519 242049 | The club runs beginners courses and can accommodate disabled people. @clydelifemag

hat’s On What’s On What’s O Churches & Charities Messy Church Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality. It’s primarily for people who don’t already belong to another form of church. Lyle Kirk Messy Church Union Street, Greenock, Last Saturday of every month from 11am to 1pm Contact Pam Stewart: pamela. | 07900 246056

Farmers Markets Erskine Garden Centre 3rd Saturday of the Month 10am-2pm Village Centre, Kilmacolm 1st Saturday of the Month 10am-2pm Village Centre, Kilmacolm 1st Saturday of the Month 10am-2pm

Community Council Meetings Inverkip and Wemyss Bay CC 1st Thursday every month at 7pm Inverkip Primary School or Wemyss Bay Primary School Cardwell Bay & Greenock West CC 2nd Wednesday every month at 7:30pm Cardwell Bay Sailing Club Kilmacolm & Quarrier’s CC Last Tuesday every month at 7:30pm Kilmacolm Community Centre Houston CC 3rd Wednesday every month at 7:30pm Carrick Centre, Houston Everyone is welcome.

Clyde Life Magazine

Bridge of Weir Messy Church 1st Sunday every Month Contact Catherine Daly 07980 649377

One-Off Events Ardgowan Hospice Ardgowan Hospice invite you along to their annual ball taking place on the 7th March in the Greenock Town Hall Email | 01475 558851 Greenock Police Club Burns Supper Thom Street, Greenock Saturday 21 February (bar opens 6.30 ‘til late) seated for 7.30pm Our Burns supper celebration is one of the highlights of the Police Club year. A very sought after group of speakers have agreed to be guests at our top table for 2015;   Chair of Proceedings - John Kerr, Inspector, Police Scotland  Immortal Memory - Bobby Shaw, retired Superintendent  Toast tae the Lassies - Iain Gordon, retired Superintendent  Reply on behalf o’ the Lassies - Isobel Lind OBE, head teacher of Aileymill Prmary School and recipient of the lifetime achievement award for head primary teacher in Britain 2013.  Sangs and Clatter - John Hutcheson

Tickets are £25 per person and include a 4-course dinner.   For more information call 01475 720749

Local Member Clubs Royal West of Scotland Boat Club Esplanade, Greenock, PA16 7SE 01475 723260 Membership enables access to all the sporting and social activities on offer at the Club. This includes Club owned kayaks, canoes, rowing boats, sailing dinghies including associated safety equipment. There are also Club run sessions where members teach and coach watersport skills on a memberto-member basis. The Club also has an active social calendar through the year with a monthly Folk night, sporting event functions, private functions and seasonal themed events. Membership year runs from April-March. More information and can be found at Greenock Cricket Club Brisbane St, Greenock The club exists to encourage, foster and develop the sports of cricket and squash throughout the Inverclyde area and promotes and organises the participation in these sports by the youth of the area. It seeks to maintain the traditions of the Club that have been developed since its inception in 1862. It is a truly open Club and operates regardless of sex, age, religion, disability, ethnicity, nationality or sexual orientation. Membership is open to all age groups. Anyone wishing to play cricket will pay £191 per year, whilst a reduced rate is applicable for anyone under the age of 21 or a full-time student. Social members pay £89 per year. Anyone interested in joining should email the Secretary | 21

s e l i F E L Y T S The Spring 2015 - A look ahead... Style expert Marilyn Thompson, who runs The Fashion Class, shares some tips for looking great this Spring.

Marks & Spencer

Let’s all look forward to what Spring 2015 has to offer us in the fashion department. As (nearly) always, florals play a big part in Spring’s fresh line up with all sorts of flowery patterns and embellishments showcased, from big and bold to delicate and ladylike. Christopher Kane, who hails from Scotland but is now based in London is well known for his unusual appliquéd floral designs and he once again led the charge with his hard to miss neon funky flowers covering dresses and tops. Whether your taste veers towards the dramatic or hovers at simple and understated there will definitely be a floral print that will catch your eye. This colourful abstract floral top from M&Co sits somewhere in the middle. Apparently, Gingham is going to be HUGE. Right about now your mind is probably filling with visions of reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies featuring the Clampett family but fear not as this gingham revival is a much more refined affair and in the case of the designs (as shown) at Diane Von Fustenberg are just simply beautiful. Now, this all over gingham shorts and

22 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

top combo is (sadly) probably best left to the young, tanned and gorgeous, for everyone else it might be better to update your look by sticking to just one item of clothing, like a similar cute gingham top Tom Ford paired with your favourite jeans or, aim for a more sophisticated look by opting for grown up black and white gingham mixed with solid black, and the solid black could be a pair of..... culottes, which believe it or not are making something of a comeback. Add a flash of Sunny yellow, maybe in the form of a summer weight cardigan to put yourself well ahead in the fashion stakes. The high street will be awash with all shades and tones so finding a yellow hue to suit you shouldn’t be a problem. As a note of interest- Pantone’s colour of the year has just recently been announced. It’s a very stylish and versatile colour which Pantone has named ‘Marsala’. As the name suggests it’s a browny red rose tone. Get ready to see it everywhere now and throughout the year as it will influence most things from clothes and accessories to home furnishings and make up. The lipstick shown by Tom Ford cosmetics is an early example of the Marsala Very influence. Lots of celebrities have already been spotted sporting this luscious lip shade- will you be next?


The teenSTYLE Files Matalan

Now that the we are in the new year, Holly from The FASHION Class is back with all the latest news on fashion, beauty and all the must have gadgets.

2015 Spring Clothing Collection Silvian Heach | IKKS | Coster Copenhagen The Pretty Dress Company | Axara A Postcard from Brighton | Brodie Cashmere Orli | Rose to Bud | Joma

6 St James Terrace, Kilmacolm | 01505 872880


Beat the blues of the Month Beat the January blues by wearing them instead! This New year is definitely having a major denim moment, with many of the big name designers heavily featuring this material in shades of indigo through to baby blue. If you have any Christmas money left, spend it on MAC’s new prep and prime transparent finishing powder. Wear it on top of foundation or on it’s own for a photo ready finish!


Wash 2014 well away with L’oreals new Elvive Fibrology shampoo followed up with the Fibrology crème. Scientifically proven to thicken hair this duo is sure to leave your hair looking great.

Gadget of the Month


Improve your logic and get to grips with the colours of the season. Go buy this cool Pantone colour special edition Rubik’s cube! Holly s This

Do’s & Dont’s – Double Denim ➤ Don’t go OTT

➤ Don’t be sloppy ➤D  on’t wear ill fitting pieces


t don’

➤ Do keep it classy ➤D  o wear with confidence

Your fashion questions answered ?????? Q – Hi Holly, I would

love to know what hat style is trendy this winter. Emma

A – Hey Emma, this season, furry

headbands are right on trend. They will keep you cozy and looking super stylish too! 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

Clyde Life Magazine | 23

24 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


The Ardardan Estate has been in the hands of the Montgomery family since 1997 and in that time they’ve lovingly restored the farm and business to become a hub or the local area fantastic place for families to visit and enjoy. With hard work, ambition and imagination, May and Grant Montgomery with their daughters Sara and Sue, son-in-law Jerry, niece Hannah and their brilliant team, they have created a magical little haven on the north shore of the Clyde between Cardross and Helensburgh.. They are delighted to throw the gates of the estate open to visitors and proud of the reputation they have built for excellence. Visitors will find a restored walled garden on the banks of the river featuring a farm shop, garden nursery and tearoom that serves delicious homemade food and excellent produce.

However, that’s not all. Ardardan also offers a glimpse into a working farm and a Woodland Walk. The enchanting secret Woodland is a magical wonderland for children and a peaceful retreat for those who fancy a short wander or a longer walk going on to Ardmore Point. A stroll is the perfect way to work up an appetite for a treat in the tearoom. Alternatively pick up some treats in the Farm Shop and create your own picnic. Why not bring the whole family and make it a wonderful treat for mum, this Mother’s Day? Younger visitors are thrilled by a chance to meet some of the fourlegged and feathered inhabitants of Ardardan. Pigs Ki and Wi are the star attraction, but other animals include

the Texel sheep and lambs in the spring, Highland cows and hens. Ardardan is a working farm so a good chance to see the animals grazing and see Farmers Grant and Jerry getting on with the job of the moment on the tractor. There are a host of events this Spring and Summer at Ardardan including a Tasting Day in March, Easter Extravaganza during the schools hols, a Vintage Tractor Rally in June and a Scarecrow Festival in September. Also look out for Cheese Tasting evenings in the Farm Shop and specials in the tearoom, check the website and facebook or email hello@ardardan. for more information.

Ardardan Estate Cardross





Delve into a wide selection of homemade products and Scottish goodies in the Farm Shop, a treasure trove of top notch plants, shrubs and gifts and wander around the Woodland Walk. There’s always a wee cuppa and a treat and a light lunch waiting for you in the tearoom.

Keep an eye on our website and on facebook for our

Diary of Events for all the family. Ardardan Estate, Cardross, G82 5HD

Clyde Life Magazine

Tel: 01389 849188 | 25

Experience a sense of wellbeing with Joan Take a journey of renewal If you are suffering from stress, aches and pains – or feel the need of toning up all round – place yourself in the more than capable hands of Joan Bannigan. Joan is the new therapist at One Union Hairspa in Greenock – and she’s bringing 17 years of experience to a growing clientèle in the area. Her portfolio includes aromatherapy, therapeutic massage, hot stones, Indian head massage, reflexology, body wraps and scrubs. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the therapy and cosmetics industry including Aveda, Futuresque and Biodroga and has been responsible for creating new treatments now being provided by therapists in the US and Ireland. Joan has worked as an advisor to a range of private and public clients, including a five-star spa in Sligo on the Emerald Isle and Strathclyde Police at their recreational centre in Glasgow’s Pollok Park. Joan said: “I see my main role as helping people improve their well-being and am qualified in a range of techniques to help bring this about. “My motto is ‘I’m there for you’ and my philosophy is to give people what they need.” Joan is now working with the creative team at One Union Hairspa and is available by appointment – give yourself a treat and call her now on 07731 474486.

Enjoy the ‘sweet’ life at

The Chartroom

Free Dessert with each Main Course! Monday to Friday* in February & March 2015

Just fill in your details below, reserve your table on 01475 520919 and give your Voucher to a member of staff on arrival. Additional vouchers available at *Discount applies to main menu dessert only. Voucher valid Monday – Friday during February & March 2015. Excluding holidays & special events. Not available with any other offer. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Voucher valid only with details completed. Email will only be used to inform you of special offers and events at The Chartroom/Kip Marina.

Enjoy a Free Dessert with each full price main course

Monday to Friday* February & March 2015 with this Voucher Just fill in your details below and reserve your table on 01475 520919

Name .................................................................................................. Email .................................................................................................... *Discount applies to main menu dessert only. Voucher valid Monday - Friday during February & March 2015. Excluding holidays & special events. Not available with any other offer. Offer may be withdrawn at any time. Voucher valid only with details completed. Email will only be used to inform you of special offers and events at The Chartroom/Kip Marina.

Tel: 01475 520919 The Chartroom, Kip Marina, Inverkip, PA16 0AS

Clyde Life_voucher FREE_Jan15_sweetlife_2015.indd 1

26 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

26/01/2015 Monday, 26 January 10:01


The Garden in February February was known as ‘Filldyke’ by our ancestors. It is however one of the least wet months of winter. What it does suffer from however are a succession of dry, chilling east winds blowing from the cold wastes of Scandinavia, bringing heavy frosts and snow. It also has a nasty habit towards its end, of lulling you into a false sense of security with bright, sunny, spring-like days that are almost warm, and then following them up with cripplingly deep frosts that can kill even some of the hardier plants, stone dead. Any work needing to be done in the garden at this time of year therefore, will have to be done with a careful eye on the weather. You won’t be able to cultivate if the soil is waterlogged or frozen. You need to avoid walking on lawns when they are frosted, and you will certainly have to be careful about the ventilation of greenhouses and cold frames Having said all that, there is still plenty that can be done between showers and frosts. Digging or trenching not completed last back-end can be finished now. Break up the topsoil with a fork but leave the clods to nature. Incorporate as much organic material as you can find, as you get the opportunity, whatever type of soil you possess. If you use manure make sure it is well rotted, otherwise fertility will be slowed down. This is also the month to apply lime but don’t do so within a month of laying down organic manure. And don’t lime anywhere near where you intend to grow rhododendrons, azaleas and other lime-hating plants. This is the month to really set your vegetable plot into action. You can make a sowing of broad beans in a sheltered spot in the open. You can make the first sowing of sprouts under glass. Globe varieties of beet should go into a hot bed, and cabbage will be ready for use this summer if it is started off in a box in a cold frame. Sow cauliflower on a hot bed for summer use, get your onions in for early supplies, and plant tomato seed in heat for an early crop. If the weather isn’t too bad you could advantageously plant a row or two of peas in a sheltered border, though if the weather is bad it might be better to wait until March. The same goes for spinach. Now is the time to put seed potatoes to sprout in boxes.

It is perhaps a touch early to be doing much to the flower beds. However, you can look forward to a good showing of snowdrops and, as soon as the flowers have dropped, you can divide the clumps and replant elsewhere. Do replant immediately though, because these tiny bulbs are very prone to dehydration once they are exposed to the air. If you have planted new fruit bushes or trees, you must persuade yourself not to let them fruit in this first year. It’s hard to do but rewarding ultimately. Now therefore, is the time to take appropriate action by pruning. Cut gooseberries, black, red and white currant bushes especially hard, and cut back raspberries to around six inches from ground level. If the weather allows, you should aerate your lawn now. It’s worth investing in a turf-aerating tool for the purpose because it does a great deal toward ensuring you have a top grade lawn. There are several types on sale ranging from a small, fork-type tool with simple prongs, to a large motor-driven machines. The benefits of such tools are always two-fold because as well as letting air into the turf, they also open the way in for any top dressings and fertilizers you apply.

! Happy Gardening

01505 874342 07929 464763 Full Garden Design & Makeovers Garden Tidy-Ups

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Stay safe and book your car in for its winter service today! 10-14 Cardwell Rd, Gourock PA19 1UH (within Fisher Trucks Building) E: Tel: 01475 792 900 Find us on Facebook Clyde Life Magazine | 27

What’s On at The Beacon Get in on the act


vivid life on stage and nothing is quite what it seems.

Barrowland Ballet

The Beacon is perfectly situated in the heart of Inverclyde with spectacular views across the River to the hills of Argyll. In addition to being home to the arts, there are a variety of perfectly formed spaces that can be tailored to your specific needs. The Beacon houses two theatres and specially designed rooms that can adapt to become whatever you need them to be; a rehearsal studio, conference suite, exhibition hall, art gallery or a beautiful wedding venue. From classes or clubs to parties or presentations, everything you need is here. The Beacon’s catering team will ensure that you are well looked after and will provide you with outstanding service for your event. The Bistro uses locally sourced produce, carefully prepared and served by highly trained staff. If you are interested in holding an event in The Beacon please email: or call 01475 723723 for further information.

Pine Tree, Poggle & Me Tue 10 Feb - 11am

Eclipse Artist Agency

Keith Jack - A little bit more of me Wed 11 Feb, 7:30pm

Morningside Management

The Stones

Sat 14 Feb, 8pm The greatest tribute band in the world pays tribute to the Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World, in a show so close to the original that you will simply not believe your eyes or your ears!!

Scottish Community Drama Association

One Act Play Festival Thu 26 - Sat 28 Feb , 7pm

March Linda Jackson

Dance Display 2015 Mon 2 & Tue 3 Mar, 7:30pm

Steve Brookstein

Thu 5 Mar , 7:30pm 10 years after becoming the first winner of The X Factor, Steve Brookstein’s new acoustic show recalls the great soul songs and singers of the past.

Sell a Door

Jekyll and Hyde Sat 21 Feb, 7:30pm Inverclyde Schools Performances


Palm Court Mondays Mon 23 Feb & 30 Mar, 4.15pm Sleeping Warrior (with pic)





Love 2.0

Thu 26 Feb & Wed 4 Mar, 7:30pm Love 2.0 is an outrageous new comedy about dating in the age of social media, where Facebook profiles are brought to

Voodoo Room Fri 6 Mar, 7:30pm

Back to Broadway Sat 7 Mar, 7:30pm


BOX OFFICE OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10am – 8pm 28 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Arts Centre



Mon 9 Mar, 7:30pm

Luke Danskin Psychic Medium Tue 17 Mar, 7:30pm

band tom toms and hosepipe horns, Junk Trunk is definitely not just a load of old rubbish! Scottish Opera



beacon bistro

Thu 26 & Fri 27 Mar (times vary)

Kayos Youth Theatre

Miss Saigon

Wed 25 - Sat 28 Mar, 7:30pm Jendagi Uk Ltd

Dean Park

Sat 14 Mar, 7:30pm Beacon Dance

Illusions, Love and Magical Things Mon 16 Mar, 7.30pm All or Nothing

Three’s a Crowd Thu 19 Mar, 7:30pm

Childrens Classic Concerts

KidO’ Building on the success of BabyO and SensoryO, their much-loved productionsfor babies and toddlers, Scottish Opera’s new show for 3-4 year olds andtheir carers is fast paced and full of fun. Directed by acclaimed children’stheatre director Lu Kemp, and with music by Katy Lavinia Cooper, KidO leadsaudiences into a world of sound and rhythm where anything can happen’.

The Beacon Bistro offers casual dining, not just pre-theatre, but every day and evening, making it the ideal place to meet and greet friends and family for drinks or a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner with wonderful views. Choose from morning coffee, afternoon teas, handcrafted pastries, light lunches, all day dining and supper menus.

RIP Productions

Champions of Magic Sun 29 Mar, 7:30pm

Junk Trunk + Garbage Band Workshop Sat 21 Mar Workshop 2pm and Concert 3pm Join in the fun as percussion superstars Owen and Olly turn household junk into funk! From dustbin drum-kits to trash

Join our award winning team of tricksters for a spectacular night of mysterythat’ll keep you guessing for a long time to come.

For the full range of menus including Afternoon Tea, Pre-Theatre and the Wine and Drinks list, visit our website.

Open 10am - 10pm, 7 days a week. To book a table call

Follow us on Facebook: Beaconartscentre, Follow us on Twitter @thebeaconarts The Beacon Arts Centre Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Clyde Life Magazine

01475 723723 | 29

Fifty Shades of Grey Friday 13th - Thursday 19th: 2pm, 5:15pm & 7:40pm

“I knew the moment we met Dakota Johnson that we found our Anastasia. She will provide us the perfect balance of vulnerability, sass, beauty and courage.” Sam Taylor-Johnson - Director

When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favour to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana’s beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey - despite of the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family - Grey is consumed by the need to control everything. Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson Writers:  Kelly Marcel (screenplay), E.L. James (novel) Stars:  Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Luke Grimes We have an alcohol licence for the 13th & 14th February, where alcohol can be purchased within the Cinema. If you are lucky enough to look under 25 you will be asked to prove that you are aged 18 or over when you buy alcohol.

Tickets available through box office (01475 732201) or online at 30 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Live Events


Special OFFER

Two tickets for the price of one...

Loves Labour Lost (RSC) Wednesday 11th February at 7pm Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta/ Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (Met Opera) Saturday 14th February Treasure Island Encore (NTLive) Wednesday 18th February Der Fliegende Hollander (Royal Opera House) Tuesday 24th February at 7.15pm


Loves Labour Won (RSC) Wednesday 4th March at 7pm Romeo + Juliet (Bolshoi Ballet) Sunday 8th March at 7pm La Traviata (ENO)Wednesday 11th March at 7:30pm Behind the Beautiful Forevers (NTLive) Thursday 12th March at 7pm La Donna Del Lago (Met Opera) Saturday 14th March Hamlet (Royal Exchange) Monday 23rd March at 7pm

Hamlet ... to see

at the Royal Exchange


Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany (Royal Opera House) Wednesday 1st April at 7.15pm Hamlet (Royal Exchange) Thursday 2nd April at 7pm The Hard Problem (NTLive) Thursday 16th April Ivan The Terrible (Bolshoi Ballet) Sunday 19th April Cavalleria Rusticana (Met Opera) Saturday 25th April

Monday 23rd March at 7pm & Thursday 2nd April at 7pm Tickets £13.00/£15.00

La Fille Mal Gardee (Royal Opera House) Tuesday 5th May at 7.15pm

From its sell-out run at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre comes this unique and critically acclaimed production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In this stripped-back, fresh and fast-paced version, BAFTA nominee Maxine Peake creates a Hamlet for now, giving a performance hailed as “delicately ferocious” by The Guardian. Hamlet is Shakespeare’s most iconic work. The play explodes with big ideas and is the ultimate story of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness. Hamlet’s father is dead and Denmark has crowned a new king. Consumed by grief, he struggles to exact revenge, with devastating consequences.This stage production, directed by Sarah Frankcom, was the Royal Exchange’s fastest-selling show in a decade.

Man and Superman (NTLive) Thursday 14th May at 7pm

To claim your 2 for 1 tickets to Hamlet bring your copy of Clyde Life to the cinema or quote CLYDELIFE when booking over the phone.

Clyde Life Magazine


Pirates of Penzance (ENO) Tuesday 19th May at 7:30pm


La Boheme (Royal Opera House) Wednesday 10th June at 7.15pm Carmen (ENO) Wednesday 1st July 2015 at 7:30pm


The Merchant of Venice (RSC) Wednesday 22nd July | 31

By now the majority of New Year resolutions are long forgotten and are fading into our distant memory. However this year, why not resolve to make things different. Resolve to be a newer, better you, with a newer better lifestyle, and you can guarantee when New Year comes round again, you will have some tangible results to show for it! First the ‘feel good’ factor. If you want to feel good you must look good, so look closely at your way of life, your diet, your exercise regime, and your clothes. Try to shed those surplus pounds and limber up those stiffening joints and muscles. Joining a sports or health club could help. Inverclyde Leisure has a range of fantastic facilities. The Waterfront Gym has recently undergone a £200k refurbishment and is well worth a visit. You could also join a keep fit group or weightloss class – see our What’s On pages for some locals groups and classes. Dancing is a super way to keep fit and supple and there are many local groups within Inverclyde offering dances classes for both the young and old alike.

32 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

Once the ‘structure’ is under review, ‘refurbishment’ can be the order of the day. A new hair style can work wonders with your morale, as can a complete beauty treatment at your local salon. One Union Spa has some great offers on our back page for February. Your wardrobe could probably do with an overhaul - especially if you are losing weight. The shops are hungry for customers just now, so it is the perfect time to buy. They are packed full of wonderful clothes plus ideas in fabrics and designs that will make your mouth water at prices you will be able to afford. Read our style expert Marilyn Thompson’s, “Spring 2015 – a Look Ahead” on page 22 for some inspiration. They say “healthy body, healthy mind” and you must not neglect your intellect. If life is becoming a bore, look for a brand new hobby; learn to play bridge, learn to take better photographs, start to paint, take up a new sport, study a language or just learn a new skill. Evening classes and online courses are available in nearly every subject under the sun. Again have a look at our What’s On pages for regular meetings of local clubs and groups, they are welcoming and friendly to new visitors. Why not get involved more with your local area? There are active Community Councils throughout Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire. All meetings are open to the public and you never know, it may spur you on to become active in your local community. Don’t vegetate during what’s left of winter, use the time positively. Resolve this New Year to be a newer, more active, more involved, more sparkling you in a newer, more sparkling environment. If you do, I promise you, in the coming year you’ll feel so good, you’ll wonder why you never made the effort before.


Happy New Year from Laserlight! It’s that time again. Revisiting New Year’s Resolutions! This year, why not resolve to do something that will result in a Brand New, Confident You? With our special New Year offer of up to 40% off selected treatments, there’s no need to put it off for another year. Laserlight uses state of the art E-light Laser technology for a variety of concerns; permanent hair reduction, thread veins, sun damage, acne and lots more can be treated effectively with Laser Therapy. Also, if there’s a tattoo you’ve come to regret, now is the time to deal with it with Laser Tattoo Removal sessions starting at just £20.


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Clyde Life Magazine | 33

Money matters It’s now easier to control your pension pot, but should you buy an annuity or consider an alternative? Last March the Chancellor, George Osborne announced major changes to the pensions system, with further changes being announced six months later in September. The new rules give new retirees more freedom to manage their pension pots as they wish. They also make it easier for pensioners to pass on their wealth to their families when they die. So if you’re planning to retire in the near future, you need to think about whether you should still buy an annuity or consider one of the alternatives. The new rules mainly apply to people with ‘defined contribution’ pensions – these are pensions where you gradually save into a pension pot over your working life, rather than ‘defined benefit’ schemes where your employer agrees to pay you a specific income on retirement. That said, you may be in a position to take advantage of the flexibility if you have a private sector defined benefit scheme although if you have a public sector scheme (civil service, local government, police, armed services) this may be more complex. Traditionally most people have used their pension pots to buy an annuity when they retired. However, that is now changing. We are currently in a transition period where new retirees already have a lot more freedom, but from April this year, most of the new rules will come into force, the remainder from April 2016, these are largely around rule changes to those over 75. These give you basically three options for drawing money from your pot once you turn 55: you can take it all out as a lump sum you can take some money out each year while the rest of your pot remains invested you can buy an annuity. Imagine you have £100,000 in your pension pot and you are about to retire. You could use that money to buy an annuity. You might then receive an income of around £5,500 a year based on current rates. That income will be paid until you die. You might think that £5,500 a year is a pretty small return, and that’s one reason why annuities have become

unpopular. Annuity rates have crashed alongside interest rates in recent years. If a healthy 65-year old man paid £100,000 for a conventional annuity in 1990, he’d have received roughly £15,000 a year for the rest of his life. That’s a far cry from today. Another problem is that annuities are mostly inflexible. Once you’ve bought an annuity, you’re stuck with it for life. Buying an annuity also means you’ll probably have less money to pass onto your family when you die. If you leave your money in your pension pot, and you die before you’re 75, the money will be passed onto your beneficiaries tax-free. If you die after 75, your beneficiaries will pay 45% tax if they take the money as a lump sum, however this is changing from April 2016 and this penal tax will be abolished. If they take the money as regular income, they will pay their marginal rate of income tax – 20% for many people. Although this could be 40 or 45% depending on the taxation status of the recipient of the income. One point that is important to note is that pension income is dealt with on a “marginal rate” basis whish in effect means that pension income will be added to the rest of your income to determine the rate of income tax you pay. Under the old rules, a 55% ‘death charge’ would have been applied. But if you buy an annuity, you won’t be able to leave your pension pot to your beneficiaries. This crucial change in the taxation of pension pots when you die means that annuities

T: 01475 638100 |

An advanced level of advice... on Financial Planning MacDonald & Co is a trading style of MacDonald & Co (Wealth Management) Ltd which is authortised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority

34 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


have become a much less attractive option for many people. That said, annuities still have one significant virtue: they give you an income for life. If you live to 100, you could find that very useful. And not all annuities are the same. For example, you can buy an annuity with a guarantee period – so if you die within two years after buying an annuity, an income will still be paid to someone else for a period of years. Under the new rules, that period could be as long as, say, 20 years. The key difference with Annuities and a drawdown pension is that annuities are “secure income” and the drawdown is not. If the pensioner has no propensity to investment risk, an annuity is often the only choice as the risk may make the pensioner feel uncomfortable with a drawdown pension. It’s also worth noting that some lucky folk can benefit from a guaranteed annuity rate (GAR). So you might find your pension allows you to buy an annuity which pays out, say, 10% a year. That’s a much better deal than most people will get right now. Also, it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to use all of your pension pot to buy an annuity – you can take a 25% lump sum from your pot tax-free, then use the rest to buy an annuity. Of course, you don’t have to buy an annuity once you’ve taken the tax-free lump sum. Under the new rules, you could take all the remaining money in one go. This would normally be done as an uncrystallised fund pension lump sum (UFPLS). If you’d rather

take money out gradually, you are probably best to go into something called flexi-access drawdown (FAD). With a FAD, you can leave your pension pot invested in the stock market or other assets, and then take money as and when you need it. But look out for the tax implications. Beyond the tax-free lump sum, you’ll have to pay income tax when you take out the money. So if you take the lot out in one go, you could end up paying the top rate of income tax on it (depending on the size of your pot). Where possible, you’d be better to try to make sure you incur as little tax as possible, but it all depends on your circumstances. The new pension rules have become more complex – but the good news is that you now have more freedom to manage your pension to suit your needs. Take advantage of it, but make sure you seek professional advice.  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.

We have tenants looking for rental properties in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, please get in touch. Clyde Life Magazine | 35

Biting By Mariessa Devlin, Enchanted Forest Nurseries. Biting behaviour in young children is a cause for concern for parents/carers. Although little empirical research focusses on this area of behaviour, we would like to outline some information in a bid to support families during periods of this behaviour – both for those parents of children who bite and for those parents of a child who has been bitten. Research Research and literature tells us that biting may be a normal developmental phase for infants and toddlers, with virtually no long-lasting developmental significance. Due to the developmental nature of most biting, experts stress that biting is not something to blame on the child, parents or teachers (Greenman & Stonehouse, 1994). It’s an uncomfortable reality of life with toddlers: Some of them bite other children and it happens quite often. Over a third of children in nurseries are bitten by another child, studies indicate; in fact, developmental research shows it’s a way young children express anger, frustration and a need for control and attention before they have the words to do so (Ron Banks & Sojin Yi, 2002). Concerns For parents/carers and our staff, biting becomes a concern because: • Parents/carers of a biter get embarrassed and worried • Parents/carers of a bitten child get upset and worry about their child’s safety • Staff worry about both children, as well as parental/carer anger and blame Why Children Bite There are many reasons that can be identified as to why children bite. Expressing emotion: Young toddlers can bite as a way of showing love and emotions – biting can be an early form of communication. Infants may not connect biting to the pain experienced by others. Young children are impulsive and lack self-control, so can bite because they are excited or over-stimulated.

36 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015

Experimenting: As young children learn how their body works, they put things in their mouths and close their teeth over. A baby/toddler can go through a biting phase as part of teething. Defending: Young children learn to bite as a defence mechanism, especially if they cannot talk or have delayed speech/communication skills. If preschool children have limited speech, they can become emotional and bite when they feel threatened or anxious by a situation, or by peers. Changes at home or upsets can bring about a phase of biting. Controlling: Some children know biting is a way of getting other children or their parents to do what they want. It may happen when a group of children are aiming to be leader. Sometimes the youngest child in the family bites to gain power. Biting can be an immediate way to gain attention, albeit negative attention. Frustrated or irritated:  Depending on a young child’s stage of development, they can bite to communicate that e.g. they want a toy back, or they want adult attention or that infact they cannot cope with a situation. Young children at certain developmental stages may not understand turn-taking and sharing. Some children will not consciously mean to cause harm, but do not have the language to express themselves, therefore bite out of frustration. Exploration/Teething - Where children learn by using their senses, often putting objects in their mouth to explore, or to ease discomfort. Cause and Effect – Where children bite through curiosity to see what the effect will be. (Often the child doing this has no awareness that biting can hurt others)

For the child who has bitten, it can be explained that this behaviour is unacceptable and how it has affected their friends, this will be done with the use of language appropriate to the child’s age/stage of development and with positive reinforcement. Many children go through a biting phase that usually disappears when they develop the ability to express their needs and feelings through words. Carers who stay calm, respond appropriately, and encourage children to express themselves with words instead of biting can help guide children through this phase. When a child starts to bite on a regular basis, patterns can begin to develop, often giving an indication or reason causing/influencing this behaviour. Look out and take notes of patterns, then refer to the above or discuss with your health visitor or childcare setting. Biting behavior is a challenging and highly emotive time for everyone involved. If your child attends a childcare establishment or indeed you are planning play dates with friends, it is always good to share the information that your child has started to bite – afterall a problem shared, can be a problem halved. .

**Many biters are otherwise gentle and sociable** Dealing with biting In all occasions, immediate attention should be given to the child who has been bitten, they should be comforted, positive attention and reassurance. @clydelifemag

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40 | Clyde Life – Winter/Spring 2015


Clyde life Magazine Winter/Spring 2015 issue 22  

A free full colour B5 lifestyle magazine delivered to home in Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire

Clyde life Magazine Winter/Spring 2015 issue 22  

A free full colour B5 lifestyle magazine delivered to home in Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire