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Family Fun at Finlaystone p14 Gourock Highland Games p18 Homes and Gardens Supplement p26 Skelmorlie Wemyss Bay Inverkip Gourock Greenock Port Glasgow Langbank Kilmacolm Quarrier’s Bridge of Weir Brookfield Houston Bishopton ■

Spring 2015 Issue 23


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43

6 Gardening Tips for your

18 Gourock Highland Games 23 Bringing a smile to Ivy Cottage 24 Local Groups and Clubs 26 Homes and Gardens

40 Money Matters 42 Preparing your child for

36 Beacon Arts Centre 39 Waterfront Cinema Live Events

44 Teen Style Files 45 Fashion Files

Business

8 Pet Corner 11 Easter Holiday Activities 12 Welcome to the House of History

17 A Traveller’s Tales – Sri Lanka

44

supplement

Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Features Editor: Rob Reid

Advertising: Nicky Murphy nicky@clydelife.co.uk

43 The Beginning of the Gardening Year

Contact Info: Editorial: 07788-923054 Advertising: 01505-871962 Email: editor@clydelife.co.uk Web: www.clydelife.co.uk

Issue 23, 2015

Editor: Charles Briggs

Primary School

Clyde Life Photographer: Steve Elliott

 ontributors: C Charles Briggs, Stuart Davidson, Simon Gemmell Mariessa Devlin, Robert MacDonald, Rosaalind Woollard Marilyn Thompson, Holly Thompson

Graphic Design: Phil Cunningham www.creative-magazine-designer.co.uk phil@creative-magazine-designer.co.uk 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

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Gardening tips can help your business grow says accountant Rosalind Looking after the figures will keep your business in good shape She said: “As we come out of winter, a good topical tip is to do a bit of weeding and pruning of sales and purchase ledgers, “This is particularly appropriate for those of us coming up to a year end. “From corner shops to businesses with a multi-million pound turnover, the accurate keeping of records is vital. “Whether sales and purchase ledgers are produced on an informal basis, or run on the latest financial software, now is the time to clear all the out-of-date material because this will help improve organisation and encourage growth.

It’s the time of year when many of us turn our thoughts to tackling the garden in a bid to tidy up after the ravages of winter. Among the usual chores of the season are clearing up all those dead leaves and plants and pruning those shrubs, trees and flowers that need attention. Accountant Rosalind Woollard reckons many small and medium firms could apply the same principles to their book keeping.

RA Woollard

Chartered Accountant Business & Personal Tax Payroll & Accounts Bookkeeping rosalind@woollard.org.uk  01475 520699 www.woollard.org.uk 6 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

“Keeping up to date with receipts and payments will help you to stay in control of your business finances. Maintaining accurate sales ledger reconciliation will ensure that all sales have been correctly recorded, that all cash takings have reconciled back to bank deposits and any outstanding debtors or slow payers are duly chased and collected. She said: “It is important to ensure that accounts are tidy, correctly allocated and well managed. “The same principles of pruning apply when it comes to customer lists. “Customers are the most important part of any business so it’s important to update their contact details and weed out obsolete records. “This also presents a good opportunity to to get a clearer picture of the ideal customer profile allowing a business to concentrate on the most appropriate target clients. “This is a good time of year to review financial systems – from costs and overheads to general business efficiency.” Rosalind’s clients include local tradesmen and women and a range of family-owned businesses. Rosalind said: “What we offer is accountancy with a personal and friendly face. “We handle all aspects of accounting from book-keeping and payroll, through VAT and quarterly accounts to preparing annual returns. “One of our main areas of expertise is helping clients establish a book-keeping system that suits them, keeping processes as simple as possible and saving costs.” @clydelifemag


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How to choose a Vet Vet Neil McIntosh shows his claws on the subject of the new kind of veterinary practice and suggests some questions to ask before choosing So. How do you choose a vet? Here is my strong advice: Search the countryside for an amiable, suave and sophisticated looking bald chap wearing a striped open neck shirt and blue jacket. Simples! Job done! Ok, Sorry. I got carried away. Let’s start again. Before you can make a decision, you need to understand a little of the structure of veterinary practice in this country. This used to be easy. In good old James Herriot’s day, vets owned and worked in the practice. Older vets mentored the young, who gradually grew in experience, injected (pardon the pun)

new ideas and eventually took over the mantle of owner. These guys were in it for the long term. Their job was a vocation. They knew you, your pets, your kids and your kid’s pets. They were there when your puppy was vaccinated. They were there in the middle of the night when it was sick and they were on hand, holding your hand, when finally, painfully, the last day arrived. These guys still exist and you really don’t have to look too far to find them. Now, however, there is a new kid on the block. Full of fancy frontage and special offers, corporate veterinary practice has come to town. These are

large chains, owned not by vets but by businessmen, who franchise the name and provide the back up for single vets who buy in and follow a business model. They are under pressure, these vets, to earn income. Unlike conventional practice, they have an additional tier, the money men, to provide for. And don’t let them kid you. Despite the apparent gloss, these are strictly one-man bands, often with a tell-tale high turnover of nursing staff. So. Back to the beginning, how do you choose a vet? Frequently, it starts with a phone call to the surgery. “Hello, how much does it cost to vaccinate a

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puppy?” The distinct impression is given that if you are not the cheapest, the caller is not going to be coming to you. But what sort of question is that to ask? Would you go to a doctor because he was the cheapest? Isn’t there so much more you would want to know before making a decision? Like maybe how much experience do you have? Are you trusted by people in the area? Do you have a track record of providing decent veterinary treatment at reasonable cost? Is your vaccine so cheap because everything else is so expensive? Are you really going to look after me and my pet? And there is so much more. How clean are your premises? What facilities do you have? Do you provide an emergency service and, if so, who will I see, where will I see them and how much does it cost? Would you show me round your surgery, behind the consulting room door, when I arrive with my new pup? If you are a single man practice, what on earth happens if my pet needs complicated surgery and there is no one to help? Does your staff include a variety of vets with different attributes and interests? (I have yet to meet a vet who

is great at everything.) Do you employ registered veterinary nurses or are you winging it with someone untrained who just happens to be wearing a smart green uniform? If you shut at 7pm, where will my pet have to go if he is being hospitalised? I could go on and on but I guess you get my message. How would I choose a vet? I’d want someone I could trust; someone who was in it for the duration and not just out to make a fast buck. I’d want someone who was honest about where his emergency service was provided because that could be crucial some night for my pet’s survival. I’d be totally averse

to choosing a vet who paid his staff a percentage of the money they charged his clients. (Yes, it happens.) And I would not be interested in a single vet practice because there is just no back up for even the smallest problem. Often, two hands are just not safe enough. We recently carried out an emergency caesarean section on a bitch. Four vets, five nurses and two auxiliaries were involved and they collectively ensured the six pups’ survival. A patient with a ruptured spleen required the same level of input. The bottom line is I would choose a vet who treated my pet the same way he would treat his own. In the meantime, you have a lot of questions to ask...

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Scotland’s most technologically advanced independently family run garage Advanced Automotive Solutions from Auto-Tec Scotland Auto-Tec of Port Glasgow has grown from modest beginnings in 1988 to become Scotland’s most technologically advanced independent garage in 2015.

on the wheel and vice versa. The system is fast and extremely accurate and customers will immediately notice that their car is much smoother to drive.

Auto-Tec won Greenock Chamber Of Commerce Bees Knees Award for “best Use of technology or Innovation” but it is not resting on its laurels.

Auto-Tec also brings to Inverclyde Hunter’s most advanced 4-wheel Alignment System. This technology enables Auto-Tec to offer a 90 second quick check service FREE to all new and existing customers. Following the check expert staff discuss the results with the customer and any recommended adjustments.

Auto-Tec founder Robert McKenzie who owns the company with his son says you cannot pull the wool over customers’ eyes. The company has just installed the world’s most advanced tyre and wheel balancing equipment. The Hunter system was imported from the USA and Auto-Tec is one of only four garages in Scotland with this level of technology – the others hold franchises for three of the world’s most desirable car brands. The new equipment simulates a road-test and the customer is then taken through a printout which clearly shows problems, if they exist. The next step is for the system to match high spots on the tyre with low spots

Auto-Tec’s new tyre equipment has been introduced just a year after the company installed its state-of-the-art Autologic vehicle diagnostics system. This technology, normally only available to franchised dealers means Auto-Tec can offer a comprehensive diagnostics check for only £65+VAT Auto-Tec’s Autologic system covers a variety of manufacturers including Land Rover, Mercedes, Citroen, Peugeot, BMW, Jaguar, Skoda, Volvo, Audi, Renault, Porsche,

Volkswagen, Seat and Bentley. No longer do you have to travel out of Inverclyde for servicing or fault finding because there is no local dealer. This saves customers time, inconvenience and most importantly money since Auto-Tec’s labour rates are lower than franchised garages. Employing around twenty staff Auto-Tec is a one-stop garage covering all aspects of the private and business customers’ requirements including wheel alignment and tracking, accident damage repairs, paintwork rectification and tyres at competitive prices. Auto-Tec’s recovery fleet can manage a vehicle up to heavy commercial and operates both locally and throughout the UK. Auto-Tec’s significant and ongoing investment in the latest technology is reflected in the fast that the company pays more than £10,000 per annum for technology system licensing and software updates.

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www.autotecscotland.co.uk 10 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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Pedal the Park with Ride 63 & Clyde Muirshiel Country Park Sunday 26th April will see the first major event ‘Pedal the Park’ run by the recently established community cycling club, Ride 63. A cycling festival, Pedal the Park will comprise of a number of different bike rides, the highlight being a 68km sportive through breath-taking landscapes and the stunning scenery of the Regional Park. For families, the group has planned an off road challenge around the scenic Parkhill Wood. In a treasure hunt format, the whole family will have to look for clues to earn their goodie bags! Martin at RT Cycles is offering half price bike hire for this ride to help get everyone involved! Once you have completed the 5km Family Ride route the Event Village at Castle Semple has lots of entertainment and activities. Highlights include a fixed point bike challenge (go up against your parent, pal or partner for 1 minute!), bicycle powered cinema and demonstrations of our new accessible

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trikes and those of our friends from Blazing Saddles. Bike Polo demonstration match is also in the planning. Clyde Muirshiel’s Sailability and accessibility credentials are impressive and this event will be no different, as it includes a hand biking route for wheelchair users. A time-trial is optional and everyone is welcome to have a go and marvel at the design of these specially adapted bikes. All proceeds from the event are going towards developing paracycling and more off road routes in your local area. For seasoned mountain bikers we hope to confirm a 18km, 500m height gain, ride up towards the summit of Misty Law, returning via Lochwinnoch village. Details will be up on the Ride 63 facebook. Since its conception in October 2013, Ride 63 group have held monthly ride outs and social gatherings. They are made up of enthusiastic local mountain bikers, road cyclists and a couple of Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park’s Outdoor Activity Team. The sportive, touring most of the 108 square mile Regional Park boundary, will start at Lochwinnoch, then heads to Greenock, stopping at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre and then heads down the Brisbane Glen and up the Haylie Brae finishing along the cycle track. up the Haylie Brae to Kilbirnie and finish along the National Cycle Route 7 at Lochwinnoch Annex. Event entries are flying in through the British Cycling (BC) online booking event page at www.britishcycling.org.uk/events. The sportive has been graded as ‘Challenging’ by the British Cycling Grading system. Participants don’t need to join BC but must register (free) on the site to book their place. There is also a postal entry method. All of the options and prices are on the event homepage hosted by Clyde Muirshiel – go to www.clydemuirshiel.co.uk for more information Lastly if you would like to get involved but don’t fancy the cycling part then the event organisers are also looking for volunteers to marshal the sportive and family rides. These people are essential to ensure the rider’s safety on the challenging route. If you would like to take part then get in touch with the event organisers at routes@clydemuirshiel.co.uk www.clydelife.co.uk | 11


Welcome to the House Eccentricity, innovation and entertainment are hallmarks of Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute. It’s the seat of the Stuarts of Bute and the current Marquis is Johnny Bute, better known as racing driver Johnny Dumfries. It is regarded by many as an architectural masterpiece and contains gems such as the Marble Hall and Chapel and the Horoscope Room with its astrological ceiling dedicated to the cosmos. The house opened to the public in 1995 and now boasts an award-winning visitor centre which tells the story of the family and the estate. Mount Stuart was the first home in the world to have a heated indoor swimming pool, and the first in Scotland to be purpose built with electric light, central heating, a telephone system and a Victorian passenger lift. Most of which are, quite remarkably, still in use today. It’s a house of history – but don’t expect an experience which is stuffy or dry. The house and its stunning gardens have proved to be a wonderful attraction for young and old. The adventure playground in the gardens is a popular venue

– and this year, there will be even more attractions for the young ones to enjoy. Get ready to take part in the Easter Bunny treasure trail – with cream egg prizes for those who complete it. Or get set for some fun costumed capers in the Scarecrow Festival. Will you conquer the opposition in the Conker

Situated on the picturesque Isle of Bute, the most accessible of the Western Isles, Mount Stuart offers visitors a truly memorable day out. House and 300 acres of garden Visitor centre and restaurant Self catering accommodation Wedding and exclusive use events Britain’s finest victorian gothic revival house

Open from 29 March to 4 October 2015 Closed occasionally for private events, please check before travel www.mountstuart.com t: +44 (0) 1700 503877 e: visitors@mountstuart.com 12 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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of History – and fun!

Fabulous Mount Stuart House is a real island treasure

Championship? Staff have been hard at work clearing the way for new walks around the estate. It’s a wonderful place for a stroll – and you can take your ease on the new benches crafted from estate wood. You can follow in the footsteps of the great Victorian plant hunters in the many gardens around the estate.

The Rock Garden, the Wee Garden and the Kitchen Garden are musts for those with green fingers. Bridget Roberts, Sales and Visitor Service Manager, said: “The main focus this year will be on the gardens and we have prepared new maps for walkers. “We’ll be holding the first ever Rhododendron Festival from April to June in association with the Glorious Gardens programme. “We are also making some changes to the way visitors can tour the House. Up until now, our guests have had to book on guided tours – but now we’ve introduced a “free flow” tour arrangement on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. “Visitors can now take as long as they want touring the house, lingering in the areas they find most interesting rather than having to follow a formal tour.” There’s also good food on the menu in the licensed restaurant of the Courtyard Tea Room. Indulge in a spot of retail therapy in the gift shops or stock up your larder at the farm shop or at the regular food festivals and farmers markets. The House opens on March 29 and there is a host of events and attractions so make sure you don’t miss out on a wonderful experience.

Fun for all the family! Hop on over to Mount Stuart for an eggciting weekend of activities as we celebrate Easter! Discover an Easter trail through our glorious gardens, crack the hidden code and collect your very own chocolate egg. Then head indoors to our Visitor Centre to design your own Easter Bonnet or Top Hat. FREE EVENT - The Easter Trail and Hat Making are free for Children.

Open every day from Good Friday to Easter Monday www.mountstuart.com e: visitors@mountstuart.com t: +44 (0) 1700 503877

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 13


Easter fun for the whole family not to be missed at Finlaystone! We have a whole host of Eggciting Events throughout April!

Easter Duck Race Saturday 4th, 1 - 3pm Mini Beast Hunt Pick your lucky duck and follow it down the stream to see who wins. Prize for first place.

Easter Bunny Hunt

Sunday 5th, 1 - 3pm Join the Rangers for Easter games. Bring your painted egg and roll it down the hill. Prizes for best fancy dress, best painted egg, egg and spoon race and space hopper race.

Den Building

Monday 6th, 1 - 3pm Join the Rangers and see who is a budding Bear Grylls.

Woodland Art

Thursday 9th, 1 - 3pm Make your very own “Art Attack” out of materials you find in our wonderful forest.

Pirate Day Sunday 12th, 1 - 3pm

Dress as a scurvy buccaneer and practice your best Arrg! Drama and shouting a plenty. Prize for best dressed pirate.

Tuesday 14th, 1 - 3pm Six legs, Eight legs, 100’s of Eyes, a tube to sip nectar or mandibles to rip prey. Forget Pokémon, let’s catch some real mini monsters.

Bird Box Making

Thursday 16th 1 - 3pm Join the Rangers making bird boxes. £2.50 to make one for the forest, £4.00 to take it home for your garden. Pre booking essential.

Cowboys & Indians

Sunday 19th, 1 - 3pm Come to the launch of our new fort. Join in the games with Beowulf and our Rangers and see if we can break Jesse James out of the jail. Prize for best dressed.

Finlaystone Games

Sunday 26th, 1 - 3pm Join in all our favourite Finlaystone Games. Sack Race, Space Hopper Race. Fun for all the family.

Great food at the Garden Cafe! Delicious range of fresh food, beverages, cakes and treats - perfect for the whole family! The Garden Café is open school holidays, bank holidays and weekends 10am-5pm from Apr-Oct (summer). Nov-March (winter), open weekends, 11am-4pm.

Langbank, Renfrewshire PA14 6TJ

T: 01475 540505 | Tea Room: 07845 527804 14 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

E: info@finlaystone.co.uk | www.finlaystone.co.uk

@clydelifemag


Fantastic family fun at Finlaystone Country Park Enjoy a great day out – all year round

Finlaystone Country Park is growing in popularity as a fun destination for all the family – and no wonder. The Langbank estate has spectacular views across the Firth of Clyde and offers a fabulous family day out – all year round. It boasts imaginative play areas, woodland walks, picnic areas and BBQ sites along with colourful gardens and tumbling waterfalls. There’s always a host of  events and activities to enjoy plus a tearoom, shop and visitor centre. You can also rent holiday flats or rooms for craft stalls, conferences, children’s parties or other events. Finlaystone is also a popular destination for schools and nurseries and – and if you enjoy the world of nature and are keen to volunteer you are very welcome to assist in the gardens or woodlands. There are many great new additions to the list of activities at Finlaystone Country Park this 2015 season. Children will love the newly-designed and exciting fort with a hidden tunnel and jail. Why not come along and take part in the first Cowboy and Indians Fun Day with the jailbreak of Jesse James in the activity area?  From the April 1, the park team will be starting to build a bespoke falconry centre allowing families to walk through the centre and view the birds of prey. There will be hunting demonstrations and handling opportunities. It’s the only Falconry Centre in Inverclyde – so come along and see it for yourself. The centre is set to open from mid-May. The park is famous for its eye-catching play areas – and there’s more to come.The team are also building a replica Boeing 747 in the play area. Come aboard to play or take over the cockpit and pretend you are the Captain!. All play areas are included in admission. The Finlaystone Tea Room run by Gillian is open weekends, bank holidays and school holidays April to October 10am to 5pm. November to March weekends only 11am to 4pm Check the park’s Facebook page for up to date details and events.

May Events – Don’t Miss Out on the Family Fun! Sunday 3rd

Interview with the King 1 – 3pm Meet King Robert the Bruce and see who is knighted. Can you prove yourself to be a knight or are you a jester? Saturday 9th Wild Night 5pm – 8am The Finlaystone overnight camp. Join the Rangers for fun and burgers and sing into the wee small hours. Kids will enjoy the bat walk and scavenger hunt. Tent, warm clothes, waterproofs and food required. Adults £7.50 Children £5.00. Pre booking essential. Wednesday 13th

Introduction to Gardening 1 – 3pm Are you the next Alan Titchmarsh? Discover more about our wonderful gardens. Sunday 17th

10,000BC Caveman search for fire 1 – 3pm Join our Rangers and Beowulf in finding out how cavemen first found fire. Saturday 23rd

Mini Beast Hunt 1 – 3pm Six legs, Eight legs, 100’s of Eyes, a tube to sip nectar or mandibles to rip prey. Forget Pokémon, let’s catch some real mini monsters. Sunday 24th

Mad Hatters Tea Party 1 – 3pm Come as Alice or the Mad Hatter. Join the Rangers for tea and the search for the rabbit hole. Prizes for the best dressed boy and girl. Sunday 31st

Robin Hood and the Crusaders 1 – 3pm Join Beowulf and the Rangers as we relive the Robin Hood legend. Try out the long bow and crossbow and join in the games. Tickles the clown will be here as well as the Finlaystone Falconry Birds.

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 15


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Sri Lanka–

History, culture, wildlife and beach at a relaxing pace

Sri Lanka is a tropical island with pristine golden beaches, well maintained national parks and emerald green tea plantations. It is also home to much wild life including elephants. This beautiful historic island offers the tourist excellent value and is suitable for couples, honeymooners and families. Sri Lanka has two distinct climatic zones meaning some beach locations are more suitable in summer months while others in winter months.

gardens ring the base of the rock. At Polonnaruwa, built in the 11th and 12th centuries, you will find the ruins of the Royal Palace and 4 splendid statues of Buddha carved out of rock.

By Simon Gemmell

Wildlife in National Parks The island has several national parks including Yala which offers the visitor an ‘African Safari Experience’ with game drives by jeep.

Private Tour the best relaxed way to see the island The best way to see some of the island is to be met by your own driver with private car who will follow your own timetable with suggestions of what you may wish to see and will stay with you until the final beach destination. Visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and the ancient Capital of Kandy If you wish to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, famous for breeding wild Elephants, a 3 night stay at the fully modernised Estate House at Rosyth, Kegalle is ideal and gives you the opportunity to experience the beauty of rural Sri Lanka. You can also visit the old capital of Kandy with its ancient sights and bazaar including the beautiful Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Cultural Triangle The Sigiriya Rock Fortress, nicknamed the ‘Lion Rock’, is a citadel of unusual beauty built by a king in 495AD – a moat, rampart and the renowned water

Relax at the beach at the end of your holiday There are many attractive beach resorts and hotels on the west coast – some are close to Sri Lanka’s interesting fort city of Galle which has one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications. The fort itself is really a walled city with a rectangular pattern of streets full of low houses built in Dutch colonial style. With its pristine beaches and a long stretch of coral reefs, Passekudah is becoming a popular holiday destination on the island’s East Coast and includes the fabulous new 5 star resort Uga Bay. For more inspiring destinations, visit: www.designertravelcanada.co.uk   and www.designertravel.co.uk/simongemmell

Tailor-made

L318X

Holidays & Cruises

www.designertravel.co.uk/simongemmell

Direct Line: 01475 540350 | Email: simon@designertravel.co.uk Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 17


Highland Games season begins at Gourock Inverclyde kicks off Scotland’s Highland Games season at Gourock Park on Sunday 10 May 2015. The 59th Gourock Highland Games is set to welcome Highland dancers from across the West of Scotland, pipe bands from all over the country and heavy weight competitors from as far afield as Poland to perform and compete in the spectacular surroundings looking on to the River Clyde.  This year, with a funding boost from VisitScotland through its events doctorate EventScotland, the event will also form part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink celebrations with a food and drink village at Gourock Park to promote local Scottish producers and fayre.  As well as all that there will be mini Highland games, some fantastic entertainment for children including a climbing wall and a range of commercial and community stalls. So get to Gourock this May to enjoy a great afternoon out that has something for everyone to enjoy.

EVENT DETAILS: Gourock Highland Games Date: Sunday 10 May 2015 Time: Noon to 6pm Location: Gourock Park, George Road, Gourock, Inverclyde PA16 1YT http://goo.gl/maps/Qp1o5  Tickets: Available on the gate. Prices are £5 (adult) £3 (concession) and £14 (family ticket 2 adults + 2 children).  Under 5s go free.

18 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

Social media: Facebook: www.facebook.com/ GourockHighlandGames  Website:   www.gourockhighlandgames.org.uk  Twitter: @Inverclyde (www.twitter.com/ Inverclyde) Getting here/transport/parking:  Gourock is within easy reach. Glasgow International Airport is only 25 minutes away. Nearby stations include Gourock;

Fort Matilda and Branchton and there are regular bus services. Car parking is in the grounds of St Ninian’s Primary School, which is located about 500 yards from the main arena at a small charge of £2.50. Contact: Inverclyde Council, Corporate Communications Phone 01475 712032 Email: events@inverclyde.gov.uk

@clydelifemag


Scottish Highland Games season starts in Inverclyde

Gourock Highland Games

Sunday 10 May 2015 noon – 5pm

Gourock Park, Inverclyde PA19 1YT Gourock kicks off the Scottish Highland Games Season with pipe bands, Highland dancers, heavy competitors, a range of Scottish food & drink and much more! For more information visit

www.gourockhighlandgames.org.uk or call 01475 712032

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 19


20 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

@clydelifemag


Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 21


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@clydelifemag


Bringing a Smile to Ivy Cottage Dental Practice

Dr Stuart Davidson of Ivy Cottage Dental Practice gives us a gentle reminder about keeping our teeth clean and mouth fresh – especially ahead of the sugar explosion that comes with Easter! “Good oral health is vital for a healthy smile as well as a healthy body. The 5 key messages are:

Crack a smile

Remember the acronym KISS! Keep it Simple and Smile

Brush two minutes twice a day

There are 1,440 minutes in the day. So when you put it like that, four minutes out of your day to brush your teeth doesn’t sound like too much to ask for! Around one in four adults skip brushing their teeth at least once a day, and the average time spent brushing is JUST 45 seconds!!!Take four minutes out of your day – two as soon as you wake up in the morning and two before you go to bed – to start improving your oral health. Once you do and you get used to the routine, you’ll find it easier to keep it up!

Cut down on sugary foods and drinks

As you already know it makes sense to cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks, and not just for the health of your teeth. If you feel your could do with a break from sugary treats, try getting into alternatives such as cheese, breadsticks, nuts and raw vegetables – all great alternatives for teeth.

Visit the dentist regularly

The dental team are the only people with the ability to keep your oral health on the right track. Taking their recommendation on how often you visit is important in Clyde Life Magazine

ensuring your oral health doesn’t deteriorate beyond repair. If you haven’t been for a while – and be honest with yourself – then now is the perfect time to make an appointment, before an infection or tooth decay becomes a painful problem.

Stub it out

Is there anything worse than being stood next to a smoker after they’ve had a cigarette? It’s not cool, and smoking is really bad for oral health. It can cause gum disease, tooth decay, and it happens to be the largest contributing risk factor behind mouth cancer. Why not pop the money you save on cigarettes in a jar? You’ll be surprised just how much you can save.

Did you Know?

• 2  5 per cent of adults don’t brush twice a day, including a third of men • People who only brush once a day are a third more likely to develop tooth decay

Cleaning habits

• 4  2 per cent of adults use just a toothbrush and toothpaste for their oral care • 31 per cent of adults use mouthwash • 21 per cent of adults use dental floss

Visits to the dentist

• 5  0 per cent of adults say they visit their dentist every 6 months • 21 per cent of adults say they visit their dentist annually • Visiting the dentist annually reduces the risk of tooth decay by 60 per cent • Nearly one in ten people in the UK aren’t registered with a dentist. www.clydelife.co.uk | 23


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

Clyde Life publishes details of classes or group meetings and any one off or regular events within the Clyde Life distribution area. This service is free. We also publish details of submissions on our website – www.clydelife.co.uk We also publish information about local member clubs. To have your submission included in the magazine and on the website please send details to charles@clydelife.co.uk . Our deadline dates for the coming year are available on our website

Health and Wellbeing Classes

Yoga for all levels Instructor: Jacqueline Gibson 07851 735357 Email - jacqueline_a_g@hotmail.com Tues 9.30-10.30am Wed 5.15-6.15pm Fri 9.30-10.30am All in Kilmacolm Yoga for all levels Instructor:  Patricia A. Ralston SYTA (Reg) 07962 347950 Tues 7.45 - 9.15pm Finnart St Pauls Church Hall, Bentinck Street, Greenock. Beginners Yoga Instructor:   Sara Marijuan-Tuck 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 07813 924922 janis@santosa.co.uk Wed 6.30 - 8.30 pm Kilmacolm Community Centre

Other Classes

The Fashion Class Fashion Courses for children & teens, age 8-15. Call Marilyn Thompson on 07793 591524

or visit www.thefashionclass.co.uk for more information.

24 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

Regular Meetings of Local Clubs

Farmers Markets

Greenock Camera Club Every Thursday at 7:30pm Westburn Church Halls, Nelson St, Greenock www.greenockcameraclub.com

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 07971607453 inverclydecameraclub@live.com

Inverclyde Historical Society 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. 08 Apr-- Jim Sieyes-- French Foreign Legion 13 May-- AGM-- Scotland’s Christian Heritage Contact: Les McMahan 01475 719962 william.mcmahan@ntlworld.com Fort Matilda Bridge Club Meets Monday, Tuesday & Friday 7pm Visitors always welcome Tarbet Street, Gourock (turn right at Bluebird cafe on the main road. The club is on the right hand side opposite ‘Duncan’s ices’) Ann MacLeod (Secretary): 01475 720044 | annmacleod@btinternet.com

Village Centre, Kilmacolm 1st Saturday of the Month 10am-2pm Erskine Garden Centre 3rd 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 www.inverkip-wemyssbaycc.co.uk Cardwell Bay & Greenock West CC 2nd Wednesday every month at 7:30pm Cardwell Bay Sailing Club www.cbagwcc.cloudaccess.net Kilmacolm & Quarrier’s CC Last Tuesday every month at 7:30pm Kilmacolm Community Centre www.kilmacolmcc.co.uk Houston CC 3rd Wednesday every month at 7:30pm Carrick Centre, Houston Everyone is welcome. @clydelifemag


hat’s On What’s On What’s O One-Off Events FOLK for FOLK EASTER FOLK MUSIC WORKSHOPS 2015 A Weekend Folk Music Workshop in Inverclyde for young people and adults culminating in a short performance for friends and family. Instruments include fiddle, voice & guitar. Participants, on their chosen instrument/s, will attend a 2 day workshop, receive expert sectional and group sessions focusing on technique, Scotland’s Heritage and Culture.

The Workshops will be lead by Reely Jiggered’s Alison McNeill (Fiddle & Voice) & Fiona McNeill (Guitar). Dates Sat 4th – Sun 5th April, 10am – 2pm Adults £60 Children (under 16) £50 Venue Royal Gourock Yacht Club, Ashton Road, Gourock Please send your application form with non-returnable fee to Folk for Folk, Reely Jiggered, 7 Brodick Drive, Gourock, PA19 1AF. All cheques should be made payable to REELY JIGGERED. If you have any questions or for further information call Alison McNeill (Director of Folk for Folk Festival) on 01475 634976 or email contact@reelyjiggered.co.uk

Easter Fashion Camp Join The Fashion Class over the Easter holidays for one week at Fashion Camp. Lots of fun with fabulous fashion projects and activities each day. Call Marilyn Thompson for full details or to reserve your child’s place. 07793 591524. Monday 6th- Friday 10th April, 10-4pm Monday 13th - Friday 17th April, 10-4pm Clyde Life Magazine

Local Member Clubs

The Ardgowan Club The club celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2016 and as a club it exists to encourage, foster and develop the sports of Bowling and Tennis throughout the Inverclyde area. The Club is located in Ardgowan Square, Greenock and has 2 bowling greens and 4 all-weather surface tennis courts, set in beautiful garden surroundings. Bowls Section As a bowling section Ardgowan is the oldest bowling club in the area. A junior bowling section was established during 2009. The juniors compete locally with other clubs and also enter national competitions. Juniors also receive coaching on a Saturday morning from qualified coaches. Ardgowan Club is part of the Bowls Scotland ‘Try Bowls’ campaign starting on Saturday 24 April and running for 10 weeks up to Saturday 4 July. The campaign is a chance to encourage people of all ages and ability to try bowling. At Ardgowan we are offering come and try sessions, on Saturday 24 April, 9 May, 23 May and 6 June at 10:15am. However, if you wish, as part of the ‘Try Bowls’ campaign you can participate in club Wapenschaws and general playing time over the 10 week period of the campaign for a fee of only £10, this also allows full use of the club facilities, there is no fee for juniors of school age. Bowls will be provided and participants are asked to wear flat soled shoes. Anybody wishing to take up membership for the start of the 2015 season will be able to join the club at a reduced annual membership fee; and by joining for the start of the season you will have the opportunity to take part in all the internal club competitions.

Further information can be found on the club website www.ardgowanclub.co.uk or by contacting Gilbert McCracken or Dougie Warnock at the Club t: 01475 723418 Tennis Section The Ardgowan Club’s tennis section operates four all weather artificial grass floodlit courts available throughout the year with the new season starting midApril. The use of floodlights are free as part of the very competitive annual tennis membership subscriptions. The tennis section runs very successful tennis camps during the Easter and summer holidays and also offering regular free coaching to junior and mini members as part of their membership at the Club. In addition, the Club runs very successful adult beginners classes and also provides regular ‘social’ tennis for members on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Further information can be found on the club website www.ardgowanclub.co.uk Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club

Esplanade, Greenock, PA16 7SE 01475 723260 The Club also has an active social calendar with a monthly Folk night, sporting event functions and seasonal themed events. More information and can be found at www.rwsabc.co.uk Greenock Cricket Club Brisbane St, Greenock The club exists to encourage, foster and develop the sports of cricket and squash throughout the Inverclyde area. Membership is open to all age groups. Anyone interested in joining should email the Secretary brian.papworth@talktalk.net

www.clydelife.co.uk | 25


Our Homes and Gardens are a Reflection of Ourselves.

We after all make them what they are. We snuggle into our homes, making ourselves as comfortable and safe as possible - rather like a dog makes its bed to accommodate its body when it sleeps. Home-making is a surprisingly primitive instinct which is why pregnant women start to do all sorts of things like decorating, and rearranging their homes during their period of waiting. We are now spending more time and money on home-making than ever before. And Spring, is the perfect time to do it. In Spring the brighter, more intense light shows up the flaws in our homes, the worn bits of the carpet, the chipped paintwork, the dingy wallpaper, and the faded curtains. The garden also cries out for attention at this time of year. The average home is a pretty large place especially if you include the garden, the exterior as well as the interior. So if you are about to set about bringing it right up to scratch, divide it into separate zones and take each zone one at a time.

Cost Effectiveness Insulation, double glazing, draught exclusion, reflective foils behind all radiators on exterior walls, well run, efficient central heating system, sensible and effective lighting, all contribute to cost effectiveness, which should constitute zone two. Security Your home is yours, no-one should be able to enter without your permission, so zone three could well cover new locks on doors and windows, door chains, security lighting, movement detectors and a burglar alarm perhaps? Decor and Soft Furnishing Look at each individual room as a separate zone. Some may well be simply re-decorated and re-furnished. Others may need completely refitting. Perhaps the kitchen is not as modern as it could be? Perhaps a completely fitted bedroom or two would make life easier and a great deal more comfortable? Decorating the home is often a supreme pleasure. The transformation wrought with fresh paint and imaginative wall coverings can be breathtaking. Wander around our local interior design furnishing shops for the latest ideas in room arrangement. You will soon be looking with new eyes at light fittings, lamps and lamp shades, cushions and covers, wall hangings, carpets and rugs.There never have been so many ideas, in our shops, drawn from all over the world, as there are today. The Garden And once your interior zones are complete, don’t forget that big zone outside. Your garden is the frame for your home, it’s also valuable extra usable space. Think about a patio or terrace, a summerhouse or a conservatory if you haven‘t already got one. They are all good ways to bring outside inside and so provide more dimensions to your -lifestyle. And with what’s left, consider a professional lay-out. Have you considered a pond, new drive, garage or shed? Does that boundary fence or gate need renewing? What about wrought iron? Your local garden centre will be able to put you in touch with a landscape designer as well as providing all the ideas, materials, plants and tools you could possible want for that essential DIY job in the garden. But whatever you do in the home this spring, do it well and don’t stint. Your home is that one unique place where you can be yourself.

Fabric Naturally you’ll have to ensure the fabric of the property is sound or anything you do inside will just be ruined next time it rains or a leak occurs. The fabric therefore, including roof, walls, windows and doors, can constitute one zone.

26 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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You’ll know when you’ve found the right home

(and we think we’ve got just the one).

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A stunning collection of 3, 4 and 5 bedroom family homes from £146,950 to £332,500 All of the homes are spacious, light and airy and have been designed to provide flexible accommodation to suit the everchanging needs of modern life, with well planned living areas for entertaining and family enjoyment.Every aspect of your home is finished to the highest standards with great attention to detail – providing you with the very best premium home. Features include built-in wardrobes or walk-in closets to master and second bedrooms, Porcelanosa tiling, chrome door furniture and expertly-crafted kitchens with fully integrated appliances, including stainless steel oven, hob and hood. An excellent choice of finishes is offered for these high specification kitchens and working together with us to choose these features is an integral and enjoyable part of buying a Stewart Milne home.

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*Offers detailed above are not combinable and are available on selected homes only. Offers are subject to status. Terms and conditions apply. Please ask for details. See website for details, subject to contract and status. Images shown reflect the varying styles and sizes of typical Stewart Milne homes and are intended to illustrate typical styles and finishes only. Elevation treatments and specification may vary from those shown. Please refer to architectural drawings for details. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY DEBT SECURED ON IT. Terms and conditions apply.

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 27


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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Treat yourself to a kitchen with the WOW factor! Quality, service and value for money at Affordable Luxuries If any one room reflects the personality of a home it’s the kitchen. Whether it is a minimalist cooking environment where nouvelle cuisine is prepared or an open plan living space to share with the rest of the family, it is often the hub of the household. That is why if you are planning to put in a new kitchen or freshen up the look of the old one, it pays to consult experts who have a long-established reputation for delivering quality and excellence. Affordable Luxuries is a family run business first established in the Inverclyde area in 1999. The company is run by husband and wife team, Tom and Helen McDonald, whose growing list of very happy customers reflects the pride they take in delivering exactly what each individual customer wants. Their philosophy is a very simple one. Supply stunning quality kitchens that have that sought after wow factor but remain as practical to use as they are beautiful to look at, all at a cost that represents real value for money! Tom McDonald, managing director, said: “We work hard to satisfy – and to ensure the future recommendations of our clients. Reputation is everything”. Affordable Luxuries offer full project

Clyde Life Magazine

management from start to finish, incorporating products that inspire and delight. The business is underpinned by quality, service and value for money. Tom said: “Our aim is to eliminate hassle for the customer and have them experience a fantastic service throughout the whole journey of choosing, designing, buying and installing the perfect kitchen. We genuinely make things as easy for my customers as practically possible. On one job recently, one of the guys was even taking the customers dog for a walk at lunchtime. We definitely go that extra mile when it’s needed.” The firm’s extensive experience in kitchen design and planning ensures that all budgets are maximised. Affordable Luxuries are fully equipped with the latest 3D virtual design tools, giving you the freedom to design and visualise your dream kitchen before you buy. They also have the design flair that can help you add those special personal touches to create your perfect kitchen. The Affordable Luxuries service

includes handling any structural work required, liaising with architects where necessary and supervising a full all trades service from start to finish. They provide a floor to ceiling finish including all redecoration work where required. They’ll also make sure that all your beautiful appliances and worktops are expertly installed. Your work tops can be manufactured from Granite, Corian, Quartz, Solid surface, Timber or Laminate, all supplied from the very best manufacturers. Their extensive range of kitchens are provided by long term German partner Pronorm with a selection of contemporary and traditional styles incorporated within four stunning ranges, Y-line, X-Line, Pro-Line128 and Classic-Line. Large or small, contemporary or traditional, Affordable Luxuries will deliver an individual living space suited to you. Don’t take our word for it pop along to their beautiful showroom to see for yourself. Tom will be happy to add you to his long list of delighted customers.

www.clydelife.co.uk | 29


NEW ACRYLIC RANGE

AlvicSlidingWardrobesLtd

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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 www.alvicslidingwardrobes.co.uk We offer fully fitted with interiors, or doors only (DIY) and all trade welcome

Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you! 30 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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Homes and Interior Design Trends 2015

Colours, fabrics, lighting, flooring and co-ordination are the basics for any interior design. Fabrics Colours and patterns are very important because you will build up the rest of the decor based on these. With patterned fabrics the size of the pattern is important. A large pattern in a small room can very often be over-powering. Also horizontal patterns in a room with a low ceiling will make it appear smaller, what is needed is vertical pattern to give it extra height. Flooring Before considering your decor plan, think about the flooring. Are you keeping the existing covering? If so, that may limit your colour scheme choices. If however you are replacing the flooring, a co-ordinated colour scheme of curtains, upholstery, cushions, and throws can be chosen. Exposed wood flooring, appropriately stained and covered with rugs, can sometimes make the planning of the rest of the decor a lot easier. Wall Coverings Whatever is on the wall plays an important part of the whole visual effect of any room. Digital technology has revolutionised the style of wall coverings. Walls can be covered with traditional wallpaper or fabric but digital technology can offer patterns and prints including 3D imagery, photographs and geometric designs not available a few years ago. There is a trend not to cover all the walls in a room with the same pattern. Different styles, patterns and coloured papers on separate walls can enhance particular features, adding interest to the overall look of the room. Another trend is to wallpaper door and cupboard panels, but be careful though, it can look ‘cheap’.

decorating, get wiring installed into the walls before replastering. Wall lighting can be very effective and need not be dated - remember the 2-pronged fitting with shades balanced on the bulbs in pubs trying to create an intimate atmosphere. There is now a complete range of modern wall light fittings, including spotlights to highlight a painting or piece of furniture. Lighting should be a combination of wall and ceiling fittings, enhanced by a selection of table lamps. New materials and new ways of using traditional materials have made a chandelier far more affordable than ever before. Chandeliers can now be installed into an average living room and together with the newly developed, concealed small light sources, can be a very practical proposition. Internal decor is always a matter of personal taste. Manufacturers and retailers today realise this and can provide an enormous selection of home style products. In our area we have a range of local independent retailers who not only offer a wide and varied range of products but can offer friendly and professional help and advice. Visit our website www.clydelife.co.uk for more information.

Lighting Whatever you have done with fabrics, flooring, and wallcoverings, can be totally wasted if the room is poorly lit. If the room is being taken back before Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 31


32 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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Customers know quality counts at CRW Your one stop shop for new kitchens and bathrooms When 90 per cent of your work comes on recommendation from satisfied customers, you know you have been doing something right! CRW interiors – based in Macdowall Street – has been providing top quality work at superb prices for 10 years. It’s your one stop shop for all of your kitchen, bathroom and wet room renovation needs. Deciding to give your kitchen, bathroom or wet room an image overhaul can be a daunting experience, but friendly and knowledgable staff are on hand to help. With a fantastic range of quality and affordable kitchens and bathrooms available, including the stunning English Revival range complete with real timber drawer boxes handmade in the UK as well as contemporary and traditional designs - there’s something for everyone. All CRW bathrooms are complemented with quality ceramic, Porcelanosa and natural stone wall and floor tiles and the team provide a full range of wet shower panelling and Karndean flooring too. Owner Campbell Whyte said: “It’s important for us to offer our customers a first class service but we also

are proud to offer it at a reasonable price. “It’s a big decision for people to make and we’re here to make it as simple and straightforward as possible.”

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

www.clydelife.co.uk | 33


WINDOWCARE A company you can trust

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34 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015


A local window company that really cares…

Style, safety and security from WindowCare Scotland If you want to cut down sound intrusion by heavy traffic or noisy passers-by - and save a few bob on your energy bills - good quality replacement windows could be just what you need. Tommy Bradley of WindowCare Scotland has more than 25 years experience in the joinery and double glazing industry – and he’s just the man to advise you on the best options for your home. Tommy said: “Good quality windows can also enhance the appearance of your property and add to its value. “It can make a big difference to your heating bills – and if your home is facing a busy main road or is near a school – it can help keep the noise out.” He adds that a good quality job will also add to the security of your home providing a deterrent for criminals. Specially toughened glass and sturdy fittings will keep the burglars at bay. Quality double glazed windows also get the green light when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint. Tommy said: “If less heat is escaping then your home then you will need less energy to keep it warm which in turn means fewer CO2 emissions.” WindowCare Scotland is based in Greenock’s Lynedoch Street and provides a full range of double glazing options including standard, French and patio doors plus a variety of window types such as sliding sash windows. Their products are fully guaranteed and will require little or no maintenance. Tommy and his two sons are fully qualified joiners and gain most of their business on the recommendation of happy customers. WindowCare Scotland offers a complete solution, from initial design and planning to installation, to ensure the process is as seamless for you as possible. WindowCare is an established double glazing specialist that strives to bring a fantastic range of styles and options to make sure those new windows suite your home perfectly. Clyde Life Magazine

Tommy can provide double glazing solutions for any type of property, old or new, contemporary or modern. His superb range of doors and windows is sure to contain just what you need to benefit your property. Sturdy but attractive fitments come in a range of finishes. The windows and doors combine elegant and attractive styling with durability and strength. All materials and components use give you the best possible protection and value for money. Tommy can provide you with a complete or partial doubleglazing system that will preserve the style and image of your property but give you increased comfort, lower heating bills and improved security. Why not check out the extensive range on offer? Safety, security and style are the order of the day with WindowCare Scotland. Don’t just take their word for it. Here is just one testimonial from a happy customer: “Having spoken to a number of double glazing companies, WindowCare tops the lot for cost, professionalism, courtesy and service. I would highly recommend them, a very satisfied customer.” Tommy Hutchinson, Greenock.

www.clydelife.co.uk | 35


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

April Dancedreams Theatre School presents

Far From Over

Pink Productions presents

Only One Direction

Saturday 18th April – enquire re prices

Sat 4th April, £14 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: events@beaconartscentre.co.uk or call 01475 723723 for further information.

The Entertainers presents

A Night of Dirty Dancing Tue 7th April, £18.50

No film has captured the hearts of a generation like Dirty Dancing. Relive the passion, indulge in the romance and celebrate the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. Random Accomplice presents

And The Beat Goes On

‘A story of sequins, survival and Sonny & Cher’ Wed 8th April, £10-£12

Performances

Classes

Pinetree Promotions presents

Nathan Carter

Sat 11th Apr, £23 Exhibitions

Meetings

Timeless Theatre presents

Memory Lane Thurs 16th Apr, £12-£14

Celebrations

Weddings

The world’s original One Direction tribute band returns to Beacon Arts Centre! Following their sell out 2014 tour, they’re back with a brand new show for 2015. Teatro Magnetico presents

3,000 Trees:

The Death of Mr William Macrae Friday 24th April, £8-£10 Bookends presents

Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years Sun 26th April, £14-£16

BOX OFFICE HOTLINE 01475 723723

BOX OFFICE OPEN MONDAY TO SATURDAY 10am – 8pm 36 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

@clydelifemag


Arts Centre

April–May

Inverclyde School presents

Palm Court Mondays Monday 27th April

London Contemporary Theatre presents

Danny, Champion of the World

Cameron Murray presents

The Firelight Show – Murray the Magician Fri 8th May, £10

Mon 27th-Tues 28th Apr, £8

May

Beacon Youth Theatre presents

Trio Gitan: Orient Express – A Musical Journey Fri 1st May, £8-£10

Sadlers Wells presents

beacon bistro

FUNBOX presents

Pirates and Princesses

Trio Gitan presents

the

Sat 9th May, £12.50

Fairy Tale in Greenock Fri 15th/Sat 16th May, £3

National Theatre Scotland presents

Yer Granny

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.

Varmints Fri 1st May, £5

Lakin McCarthy Entertainment Ltd presents

Des Clarke –

Tues 19th – Thurs 21st May, £10 Jendagi UK presents

52 Shades of Maggie

(Dirty Dancing in the Pub) Fri 22nd/Sat 23rd May, £20 Sidelines presents

The Witches of Eastwick

Wed 27th – Sat 30th May, £13-£18 Scottish Comedy Agency presents

Gary Little: ‘The Thing Is’ Fri 29th May, £8-£10

The Trouble with being Des Glasgow-based comedian Des Clarke is taking to the road with the full-length version of his hit 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Assembly Rooms sell out show. Sat 2nd May

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 info@thebeaconartscentre.co.uk www.beaconartscentre.co.uk The Beacon Arts Centre Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ

Clyde Life Magazine

01475 723723

www.beaconartscentre.co.uk/bistro-bar

www.clydelife.co.uk | 37


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38 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

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Live Events The Hard Problem

Acclaimed playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Arcadia, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead) returns to the National Theatre with his highly-anticipated new play The Hard Problem, directed by Nicholas Hytner (Othello, Hamlet, One Man, Two Guvnors). Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brainscience institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? This is ‘the hard problem’ which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry. Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask? Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.

April

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany (Royal Opera House) Wednesday 1st April at 7.15pm, tickets £15 The Hard Problem (NTLive) Thursday 16th April at 7pm, tickets £10/£12 Ivan the Terrible (Bolshoi Ballet) Sunday 19th April at 4pm, tickets £13/15 Cavalleria Rusticana (Met Opera) Sunday 25th April at 5.30pm, tickets £21/£25

Man and Superman

Academy Award® nominee Ralph Fiennes (The English Patient, Schindler’s List, Oedipus at the National Theatre) plays Jack Tanner in this exhilarating reinvention of Shaw’s witty, provocative classic. Jack Tanner, celebrated radical thinker and rich bachelor, seems an unlikely choice as guardian to the alluring heiress, Ann. But she takes it in her assured stride and, despite the love of a poet, she decides to marry and tame this dazzling revolutionary. Tanner, appalled by the whiff of domesticity, is tipped off by his chauffeur and flees to Spain, where he is captured by bandits and meets The Devil. An extraordinary dream-debate, heaven versus hell, ensues. Following in hot pursuit, Ann is there when Tanner awakes, as fierce in her certainty as he is in his.

Pirates of Penzance

Sentimental pirates, blundering policeman, absurd adventures and improbable paradoxes – Gilbert and Sullivan’s dazzling The Pirates of Penzance comes to ENO in a highly anticipated new production from renowned film maker and director Mike Leigh. This much-loved comic opera is a showcase of brilliant humour and razor-sharp wit and features a sparkling score chock-full of memorable melodies and catchy tunes. With stylish designs from Alison Chitty, this vibrant production is conducted by David Parry.

May

La Fille Mal Gardee (Royal Opera House) Tuesday 5th May at 7.15pm, tickets £15 Man and Superman (NTLive) Thursday 14th May at 7pm, tickets £10/£12 Pirates of Penzance (English National Opera) Tuesday 19th May at 7.30pm, tickets £10/£12

June

La Boheme (Royal Opera House) Wednesday 10th June at 7.15pm, tickets £15

July

Carmen (English National Opera) Wednesday 1st July at 7:15pm, tickets £12 The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company) Wednesday 22nd July at 7:00pm – tickets  £15

Tickets available through box office (01475 732201) or online at www.waterfrontcinema.co.uk Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 39


Money matters Saving and Investing in an ISA

In this issue Robert looks at What is an ISA and who can open one What an ISA? If you’ve got any savings, or investments, you should have an ISA - it’s as simple as that. The reason? You pay less tax (or no tax in the case of cash savings) and therefore increase your returns. Each tax year, you get an ISA allowance which sets the maximum that can be saved from April to April. From 1 July 2014, the rules were changed. Although you still have a limit to the amount you can save, £15,000 in 2014, you now get to choose how you split this between shares and cash ISAs. You must save or invest by 5 April, the end of the tax year, for it to count for that year. Crucially, any unused allowance doesn’t roll over - so if you don’t use it, you lose it forever. You’ll get a new allowance the next tax year, but won’t be able to contribute anything to the old ISA. Any savings or investments which stay within the tax-free ISA wrapper will continue to earn interest and reap the tax benefits until you withdraw the money. Who can open an ISA? You need to be a UK resident aged 16 or over to open a cash ISA, or aged 18 or over to open a stocks & shares ISA. You can’t open an account together with someone else, or on behalf of someone else. Junior ISAs There’s a version of the ISA for kids called a junior ISA (JISA). Just like the adult version, it allows you to save tax free or tax efficiently on behalf of a child. You can save or invest for your child, or do a bit of both. JISAs replaced Child Trust Funds when they were scrapped for new savers on 3 January 2011. This means JISAs are only available to children born on or after that date, or children aged under 18 but born before 1 September 2002, when the CTF was introduced, and so never had the chance to contribute to a CTF.

When your child turns 18, the money belongs to them to do with as they like. You might want them to use the money for a house deposit or studying, but they could decide to blow it all on partying - and you wouldn’t be able to stop them. What type of ISA should you pick? There are two types of ISA - one you can use for cash savings and one you can use for investing, though with new ISAs, for the first time, the choice is completely yours about how much you use for cash, and how much for shares. Cash ISAs Use a standard instant access savings account, and basic rate taxpayers have to give 20% of the interest earned straight to the Government. For higher rate taxpayers, this leaps to 40%, and for additional rate taxpayers, it’s 45%. With a cash ISA, there’s NO tax to pay. Cash ISAs are savings accounts where the interest isn’t taxed. For a cash ISA paying 2% AER to be beaten, a basicrate taxpayer would need a savings account offering 2.5%, while anyone paying higher-rate tax would need 3.33%. Stocks and Shares ISAs You can also use your ISA for investing. This type of account is called a stocks & shares ISA, where you can invest in a wide range of funds including (shares, commercial property or bonds from various companies

T: 01475 638100 | www.macdonaldandco.com

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

40 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

@clydelifemag


pooled into one investment), bonds (basically a loan to a company or a government), and shares in individual companies, property, either into “bricks and mortar” or property company shares. Stocks and Shares ISAs are normally managed by an online service or a fund management group. There will be a management charge for this service. Tax benefits of a stocks & shares ISA: Placing investments inside an ISA wrapper doesn’t mean they’re tax-free, but doing it provides three tax advantages: No tax on profits. You don’t have to pay any capital gains tax on profits made from share price increases. Invest outside an ISA and any profits made above the annual capital gains tax allowance (£11,000 for 2014/15) would be subject to tax at 18% for basic-rate taxpayers and 28% for higher-rate and additional-rate taxpayers. You make a profit when you sell a share for more than you bought it for.

No tax on interest earned on bonds. So you get to keep it all. If your ISA is all/almost all in bonds. 10% tax cap on income. This means income earned from any shares investments is taxed at 10%. So while basic-rate taxpayers would pay the same outside an ISA, this is a significant saving for higher and additional-rate taxpayers who would otherwise pay higher rates of 32.5% and 37.5% respectively. Remember, there’s ALWAYS a risk involved when investing, as your investments can go down as well as up. The general consensus is that it’s a long-term game - you should put money away for a minimum of five and preferably seven years to smooth out any ups and downs. 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.

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Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 41


Preparing your child for Primary School By Mariessa Devlin, Enchanted Forest Nurseries. Many parents of four and five year olds will currently be attending your final parent’s night prior to your ‘baby’ moving to primary school after the summer. For many of you, this journey of your child moving to primary school will be a daunting one with many uncertainties, however this guide will allow you to be better informed about how you can support your child. The question is often asked of Early Years staff and primary teachers of how parents can better prepare their child for school. Firstly, if your child attends an early years setting, they may have already started or will be imminently starting a primary school transition programme which will involve various activities which promote a smooth pathway between your child and their new school. Whilst transition and enrolment programmes for primary schools differ across Local Authorities, most are now very robust and schools use various methods to engage the child and their family well in advance of the start date, therefore children should be familiar with the setting. Many parents have anxieties of whether or not their child is ready for school – this is only natural and by way of reassurance it is worth remembering at this stage that the learning and development that can occur between now and August can be significant, so fear not! School will be a different environment to other care settings, therefore children will settle more easily if they can manage their personal care independently. Whilst at this stage, your child will be more independent, they are most likely still supported by nursery staff, childminders and/or family members. You may wish to further support your child’s independence by doing some of the following: ■ Encourage your child to go to the toilet

on their own

■ Ensure school clothing is easy for your

child to manage

42 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

■ Consider school uniform choices

on PE days – are they easy for your child to manage (this will make your life easier in the morning too). If the school has a polo-shirt option, this is great for a PE day until your child can confidently tie their school tie ■ Consider the shoes you provide your child and whether they can tie laces or not, if not who will do it for them if you are not there? ■ Consider meal routines at home – sitting for meals, using cutlery, so that children will learn this is the accepted way for all meal times and will transfer these skills to school ■ Encourage your child to find and use a tissue for their nose, wash their hands, tidy up, share and take turns. ■ Positively discuss school, possibly taking your child to see the building and playground and by acknowledging that they may be feeling a little apprehensive, however excited they may appear, about a new uniform, pair of shoes and bag. At this stage, anxieties from parents often come in the form of learning in the traditional sense in terms of measuring a child’s intelligence on whether they can read or write. Remember they are still only four or five, so some points to remember:

your child is learning to write. – Construction toys aid dexterity and imagination. – Card and word games and jigsaws all help with pre-reading skills. – Exposure to books and print encourage young children to foster a life-long love of reading ■ It does help if your child can recognise

their own name but please remember – not to write in capitals: For example: Claire not CLAIRE ■ Treat it as a natural step in your child’s life. ■ Children take their outlook on school from you so if your experience was not a happy one, your child does not need to know!! Their’s will be different...

As a former Primary 1 teacher, taking in my class on their first day was a special part of my job – which gave me the opportunity to impart knowledge on their amazing minds, but moreover I knew the importance of the job in hand, taking someone’s child and making a lasting impact on them from day 1 which hopefully allowed them to foster a love of school and learning. Although the coming months may be an emotional time for some families, your child will continue to develop from now until August and by that time will more than likely be ready for school.

■ Primary schools do not

expect children to be able to write when they come to school. It is far more important that small children have had plenty of opportunity to build up the control in their hands. When the teacher begins to teach formal handwriting, children with well-developed muscles will learn to write with ease – Activities involving drawing, painting, colouring and cutting will help hand coordination for when @clydelifemag


The Beginning of the Gardening Year With the arrival of spring, the garden is beginning to stir quite seriously and if the weather is not too bad, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get down to some serious work preparing the garden for a glorious summer. To start with you’ll need to do some tidying up. Get rid of all the dead stuff left over from last winter. Make sure you rake out under hedges and shrubs, that’s where a great many nasties will have over-wintered and the last thing you want is for them to wake up ravenously ready to attack your precious plants. Put all the burnable rubbish on the bonfire and put the rest in your brown bin now garden collections have recommenced. When the ashes are cool, spread them over the empty beds, it’s great for the soil. The lawn will need its first mowing of the year. Set the blades to cut no shorter than two inches. You should not cut too short yet. Give the grass time to gather nutrients and strength. After winter lawns will need aerating. You can buy (or hire) a wheeled tool for this or you can simply walk over the ground piercing the surface periodically with the tines of a garden fork. Leave it to aerate for a week then apply some spring fertilizer mixed with equal parts of sharp sand. When spring flowering bulbs have finished flowering take off the dead heads to prevent seeds being formed but leave the greenery to die back naturally and don’t tie the long leaves in knots. This way the bulbs will gather all the nutrients they need to grow bigger and better for next year and form the new bulbs that will increase your stock and make your spring display more beautiful than ever. Check over shrubs and trees. Take care to remove dead wood and branches broken by the wind. Cut them through cleanly. Once all the ‘housekeeping’ chores have been done, why not take a trip to your local garden centre. We are fortunate in having one of the best garden centres in Scotland on our doorstep – Cardwell Garden Centre at Lunderston Bay. They not only have Clyde Life Magazine

everything you could possibly need for the garden but a walk around the centre will inspire you with ideas and plans for your own garden. There may be plants you might like to add to your garden. There will be seeds. There will certainly be tools and no-one can have too many of them. You could also consider a patio. It looks good, provides a pleasant place to sit on warm summer days and evenings and can help extend your home into the garden. A barbecue area attached to the patio would provide the perfect place for entertaining in the garden or just for happy outdoor family meals. It is well worth remembering that, with house prices being what they are today, your garden represents a considerable part of your investment. Don’t neglect it. Make it work for you and your family. This spring, a little planning, imagination and work will make it do just that.

www.clydelife.co.uk | 43


The teenSTYLE Files Dorithy Perkins

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.

Look Spring Trend Mania of the This look combines so Month many of the key trends for spring 2015. Featuring a shirt dress, fringing, and a statement belt - any one of these pieces would make sure you look fab this season

This spring, clear topcoats and sheer creams were the nail varnish trends that dominated fashion weeks around the world. Find a great selection of these varnishes from Barry M including their “plumpy topcoat” which gives a glossy, bouncy, modern finish to any shade.

Hair

Middle partings were heavily featured on the catwalks this season. on This chic, striking and y trend hairstyle is an eas ate upd tly way to instan your Spring look.

Gadget of the Month Wireless charging home accessories like this cool lamp fromIKEA coming mid April 2015.

CELEBRITIES –

Holly ♥s This

Do’s & Dont’s – Fringing ➤ Do keep it classy

Pre 3 + Centre, Nelson Street, Greenock. PA15 1QH Established in 2003, we specialise in nursery care for children under 3. We provide a nurturing and safe environment, delivered by an experienced and qualified childcare team, who understand the individual needs, of the Pre 3 child. Registered and inspected by the Care Inspectorate.

01475 793500 / 744404 / 745552 E Pre3@enterprisechildcare.co.uk W www.enterprisechildcare.co.uk Enterprise Childcare EnterpriseChil1 T

44 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

➤ Do keep it natural ➤ Don’t go OTT

do

t don’

➤D  on’t show too much skin

➤D  o stick to similar shades

Your fashion questions answered ?????? Q – Hi Holly, is

it ever okay to wear socks with flat sandals?! Eve

A – Hi Eve! If I’m honest, I would steer clear of

this combo through fear of looking like a 4 year old version of yourself! However if you think it really adds to your look you’ll need to wear it with total confidence! 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: holly@thefashionclass.co.uk or www.thefashionclass.co.uk

@clydelifemag


s e l i F E L Y T S The Here comes the Bride...the bridal party and the guests. Congratulations - So, you’re now looking for ‘THE Dress’ - the one that’s going to make you look and feel at your most beautiful, compliment your figure, have your fiancé and guests stunned into a hushed silence, maybe even shedding a few tears and, quite possibly be the most expensive piece of clothing you will ever purchase. With all eyes (quite rightly) on you, there is undoubtedly quite a bit of pressure involved in finding this perfect and most flattering of all dresses. Nowadays, most brides have a specific idea of how they envisage their overall wedding which really helps to determine what style of dress will be best for you and as a result also instantly eliminates a huge section of other designs. From the traditional church wedding where you definitely get to be a princess for the day wearing a stiffer fuller, more embellished dress, full of texture and drama and perhaps even having some hidden pockets (which are apparently becoming very popular) and which I definitely rate - as the addition of pockets gives a really formal dress just the right touch of fun and has the added benefit

Clyde Life Magazine

of being able to keep your own lipgloss and hankie handy - to exotic, faraway beach settings where the heat and the location demands a softer, more flowing silhouette in lighter fabrics like chiffon and crepe de chine. The back of your wedding dress is really important too as the guests are going to be looking at you from this view throughout the service, so consider the way your veil hangs over your skirt or if your guests will get to see anything of interest like some special lace, beading or other details. Of course you will want your make up to be wonderful and to compliment your dress so experiment often and consider booking a makeup artist (having trials beforehand) to perfect your wedding day beauty. The use of a good primer prior to one of the great new foundations and the way in which they are applied makes all the difference and along with the correct use of highlighter will make sure your skin looks dewy, flawless and radiant on your biggest of days. Your hair style should reflect you - try not to be coerced into

traditional (old fashioned) ‘bridal’ styles, however - a chignon at the nape of the neck always looks elegant, and works really well with all kinds of headdresses and veils, this hairstyle also shows off the back of your dress and allows you to wear pretty earrings, alternatively, the demi - chignon (half up,half down) as modelled by Kate Middleton on her wedding day is a beautiful and modern compromise and would also suit most brides. Your bridal party should compliment you and your wedding so you should aim to have them all also looking and feeling their very best in outfits that fit and flatter and that they are really happy to wear. Plus, you want your bridesmaids and your mum to be happy and for you to have gorgeous photos don’t you!? Finally, as a guest it is your responsibility, having accepted the wedding invitation to be well dressed, you definitely want to have made an effort but do NOT attempt to steal the show - it’s not your moment, so no attention seeking clothes or behaviour. Be a great guest and if you would like a great, unique and lasting gift for the bride after her big day, why not consider commissioning a personal fashion illustration of her in her beautiful wedding dress as a special thank you. For more information call Marilyn on 07793 591524.

www.clydelife.co.uk | 45


DID YOU KNOW? KMP Crusader is Inverclyde’s only outlet for all your replacement ink and toner cartridges. KMP are one of the largest European manufacturers of inkjet cartridges and toner cartridges AND right on your doorstep. No need to buy online, shop around, or trek for miles to find what you are looking for. Thousands of ink cartridges in stock for the individual, home office, small office or large business – even the international businesses in Inverclyde’s business parks – we are just a phone call away.

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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 46 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

@clydelifemag


Silver Swans – style and elegance meets fun and fitness… Julie Gunn who is Inverclyde’s only Royal Academy of Dance, Classical Ballet Teacher, explained what Silver Swans is all about. Silver Swans were the first Ballet classes to be set up for Pensioners in Scotland, after successful trials at Scottish Ballet in Glasgow. Started in 2013, classes now run on a Tuesday and Thursday morning. The aim of the lesson is to teach Classical Ballet, which at the same time will help with general fitness, stamina, flexibility and posture. Of course having fun and meeting people will also be major factor in each ballet class. Each Ballet Lesson will last an hour. The Ballet Class starts with some general warm up routines. Once everyone has warmed up we move on to barre work, working on the basic four ballet positions. Time will be devoted to these four positions in each Ballet Lesson as these are the building blocks we require to move forward to more complex Classical Ballet routines. After Barre work the Ballet Lesson will move onto free work. Julie said ‘The classes are great fun and our Silver Swans are all lovely and have become a real part of the wider school, recently helping out with costume fittings and selling programmes at our associate school Alba Ballet’s recent production of The Nutcracker. Anyone interested in joining Silver Swans or looking for more information about Classical Ballet within Inverclyde can contact

Julie on 07753 246 035 or by email thealbaballetcompany@gmail.com    

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 www.silverswansballet.co.uk

Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet for Pensioners Clyde Life Magazine Danced in the past?

Novice and want to learn?

'And definately...Have Fun!'

www.clydelife.co.uk | 47


48 | Clyde Life – Spring 2015

@clydelifemag

Clyde Life Issue 23 Spring 2015 update  

Updated version of Clyde Life Spring 2015 with additional what's on

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