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Clyde Life April/May 2016 Issue 29


FREE Pick Me Up!

P1 Grand Prix of the Sea p16

A trip of a lifetime p12 ‘X’ Marks the Spot p22

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

15,000 Homes

A New Tax Year


Inverclyde Sky Watchers


Cardwell Gardening


The Trip of a lifetime




Inverkip Food Market


Grand Prix of the Sea


What’s On


Beacon Arts


‘X’ Marks the Spot


Ronnie Cowan MP


Style Files


Teen Style Files


Robert Macdonald


Hannah the Hospice Handbag




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Contributors this issue: Charles Briggs, Robert MacDonald, Marilyn Thompson, Holly Thompson, Joanne Simms, Faisal Rahman, Jodie Molyneux, Ronnie Cowan MP, Kieran Gallagher

April/May Issue 29, 2016 Publisher: Life Magazines & Publications Ltd Editor Charles Briggs

Features Editor: Joanne Simms Advertising Sales: Lisa Sanderson

Cover Image: Courtesy of Craig Young

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

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

2 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016


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6th April 2016 a New Tax Year The 6th April marks a new tax year bringing significant changes to the taxation of individuals. These include a new personal savings allowance for interest up to £1,000. Other earnings up to £1,000 will also be exempt. This includes any rental income and even sales made on eBay. Accountant Rosalind Woollard explains that these changes are all part of the Chancellor’s overall plan to ‘simplify tax’.

RA Woollard

Chartered Accountant Business & Personal Tax Payroll & Accounts Bookkeeping  01475 520699

A high proportion of employees and pensioners will be taken out of self-assessment. They will be spared the hassle of submitting a tax return. HMRC’s digital services including targeted PAYE coding will help to get the tax deducted first time around. However, the changes to property taxes will challenge ‘buy to let‘ entrepreneurs and increase their tax bills. Company directors may find they are being taxed more on their dividends. It’s a good idea to look for some help. HMRC have plenty of guidelines on the website. For anyone who is IT literate registering online is relatively straightforward. There are plenty of help sheets for guidance. It would be helpful to check out the website of Scotland Government as there are some changes afoot for Scottish tax payers. Rosalind Woollard client’s include local tradesmen and women and a range of family-owned businesses. Do contact her if you like some help your tax affairs.

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Never in Our Wildest Dreams...

Never in their wildest dreams did Margaret Lees and Marion McNeill, both from Gourock, ever think they would be running their own Astronomy group. After attending three Astro Classes and then being told there would be no follow-on classes, Margaret and Marion went about organising and setting up their own Group. So, in a week, Inverclyde Sky Watchers was born. Within that week they had secured the same venue, day and time, and everyone who had attended the Astro Classes was very keen to carry. Thinking back, Margaret and Marion said, “It was quite a bit of work getting things into place, and although we had a very enthusiastic group, how on Earth (or Mars or Venus) were we going to make it work?” So, what next? We have our group. Inverclyde Sky Watchers Astronomy Group. We have our venue. Southwest Library, Barrs Cottage, Greenock. We have our time. Monday at 3-5pm. We have a great variety of likeminded people who attend our group. Some who know a lot, some who say they know just a little, some who are more than happy to do talks and presentations and some who prefer not to. The members’ support for the group is immeasurable, with such quotes as “the ideal group to learn about astronomy”, “enthusiastic and well run organised group”, “the guest speakers organised by Margaret and Marion have consistently

been interesting and always educational. If you appreciate astronomy, cosmology, space and science, in general, you’ll be in good company at Inverclyde Sky Watchers” This was a quote from a new member “I was so glad I found the Inverclyde Sky Watchers Astronomy Group as I didn’t know there was anything like this in Greenock”. One thing agreed upon by the members was that we were all in this together, happy to help each other with our learning and to definitely make Inverclyde Sky Watchers a big success. Over the year Margaret and Marion arranged events which included, guest speakers, in-house speakers, trips, star parties, and social events. These social events give everyone a chance to sit back, relax, get to know one another, have a chat and a good old laugh. We now have a website, and Twitter and Facebook accounts. On 18th April we will celebrate our 1st year as Inverclyde Sky Watchers Astronomy Group. So come, join us, we guarantee you will not be disappointed. We have members of all ages, shapes and sizes just like our Cosmos, who love the stars, planets and anything related to our wonderful Universe. As we said at the beginning, “Never in our wildest dreams …


to The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show up for grabs! To claim your free tickets simply register at We’ve teamed up with the organisers of The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show to giveaway 50 pairs of tickets. The show is back at the SECC, Glasgow on 21 - 22 May. It’s a one-stop shop for all your needs, whether extending, undertaking a conversion, renovation or building your home from scratch and will feature over 140 exhibitors presenting their latest products and services on everything from architectural design, furnishing, lighting to insulation and loft conversions. Whether you’re mid-way through a project or not sure where to start, The Scottish Homebuilding & Renovating Show is brimming with bright ideas. Swap months of

6 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

scouring the internet for face-to-face consultations, expert advice and hundreds of products – all under one roof. Experts will be on hand to provide free guidance and support for every project from first home alterations to a full scale self build, at 32 free seminars and masterclasses as well as the Ask the Architects and The Advice Centre advice areas. The show is taking place at the SECC, Glasgow on 21 - 22 May 2016. Opening hours: Sat 10am - 5pm; Sun 10am - 4.30pm. For more information call 0844 858 6754 or visit Advance tickets, which can be booked until 3pm on Friday May 20, cost £8 and on the door tickets £12. Under16s go free. @clydelifemag

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The lost hour means it’s time to garden

by Kieran Gallagher

The clocks changing forward an hour is a significant event in the gardening calendar. In the past it marked the beginning of the bedding plant season at Cardwell Garden Centre, a season that lasted a firm 10 weeks until mid June, when everything quietened down for the summer. By this point, our customers’ plants were in place and it was maintenance that was key. The changing weather patterns mean that April is considered too cold to plant all your summer bedding without thinking about cold nights. There is no guarantee that the west of Scotland will not have frost during this period, so please bear that in mind. Some areas of your garden will have shown growth by now and there is plenty of work to tackle before the weather warms up. Many trees and shrubs will benefit from a light pruning to remove some dead wood and encourage new growth in it’s place. It is recommended that you do not prune spring flowering perrenials such as rhododendrons, camelias and magnolias until after they have flowered. A light prune is advised here, do not trim too far if you don’t want to effect growth this year. Use this hands on time to check for damage caused by the winter weather and any unwanted parasites or diseases that are present. Pay particular attention to the underside of leaves and stems,

Clyde Life Magazine

where larvae will hatch. Simple treatments before pests take hold will save a lot of time and effort in the future. If you are unsure what the problem is, cut off some of the affected plant and bring it into us for inspection. Remember, do not compost any diseased plant and you should not put it in your brown refuse bin, either. Your lawn has likely started growing, but beware of cutting it too much too early. You should be aiming to remove no more than a third of it’s length just now and even later on it is advised that you do not cut your grass too short as this can encourage disease and make damage harder to recover from. Your grass is a plant like any other in the garden, but unlike any other plant we think nothing of walking over it daily or using it as a football pitch for the kids! In an ideal situation your grass would have time to recover in between playtimes, but that is unlikely to happen if you have young kids or grandchildren. You can still help the grass by regular cutting, use of a balanced fertiliser and treating weeds and moss as they appear. If we get hot, dry weather you should water it, the same as you would water any other plant. Before you buy this year’s summer bedding plants spend a short time thinking about what you want to achieve. Consider what size the plants you will buy will eventually grow to – will they grow in height only, will they spread out or will they trail down? Buy the correct

plant and the correct number of plants for each project. One of the perks of having an area completely covered with plants is that there is no chance for weeds to grow, so do not be afraid to fill borders or beds. Make sure the soil you are planting into is of good quality. This is true of borders as much as it is for containers or baskets. Always use fresh compost in containers and dig some through your garden soil if it is not great. Remember a lot of the composts you buy now have fertiliser already in them, usually enough to last a couple of months. You do not need to add more food durign this period – more is not better, but remember to feed as well as water once the fertiliser in the compost has been used up. I do not recommend buying discount bedding plants or buying from a retailer where the plants are not cared for properly before you purchase them. Gardening should be a pleasure, not a chore. Even if you have to put in some work to achieve your goals, there must be a pay off at some point. If you bite off more than you can chew, it can quickly grow tiresome. If you are unsure of any aspect of your garden, ask for advice. It’s how everyone learns.

Patios, Driveways, Decking Fencing, Stump Grinding Grass & Hedge Cutting Water Features & more.. | 11

How to avoid the ‘gap yah’ cliché this summer!

By Jodie Molyneux

You are now only wearing one pair of socks to bed and it’s no longer physically painful to go out without a coat....yes, that’s right, it’s Scottish summertime! To those of you out there still blessed with several month long summers, there are several options open to you (not including the ever-tempting Netflix binge). It can become difficult to avoid the ‘gap yah’ trope and so, in efforts to avoid becoming a cliché here are a few suggestions on how to spend your precious free months in a worthwhile and ethical way.

Summer Jobs I understand it may not be the most appealing idea in the world, but a worthwhile one I can guarantee! The benefits of getting a part-time job go far beyond the extra pocket money too, though it certainly is a sweetener when you are able to buy your own makeup/food/taxis (delete as applicable!). Working during your school years looks fantastic on a CV; it shows college and university staff in future applications that you are hard working, reliable and that you have one eye on your academics but the other on real world, business skills. The skills learnt at a summer or part-time job are often ones that can’t be acquired at school, such as cash handling and the all important customer service skills (working in retail is often a lesson in biting your tongue!). Aside from the obvious monetary benefits and the invaluable skills learnt, working at a summer job can also expand your friendship circles and you may find yourself working alongside people you may not have met otherwise.....connections connections!

12 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

Traveling/Inter-railing Ok, so I may not have convinced all of you to spend your summer days working behind a till...many students set their sights on more exotic locations than the local shopping centre. Planning a summer trip volunteering abroad is a massively popular choice across the UK; not only does it promise adventure, travel and possibly sunshine, but also the chance to ‘give back’ to communities in need. However, good intentions and enthusiasm can very often be misplaced and even exploited, so extreme caution should be taken when planning such trips. The trend of ‘voluntourism’ is now big money and touring companies charge thousands of pounds for the privilege of traveling to the poorest communities, and though it is a hard pill to swallow as a wideeyed student, but not all companies or non-profit organizations are doing honest and necessary work. It is important therefore to do your research, such as looking at problems facing your interest area and asking the volunteering organization the right questions, for example “where is my money going?” and “how is the organization working with the community?”. If researched thoroughly, and you can be sure that the work will make a positive impact in the community, the trip may well change your perspective on a lot of things and could be the trip of a lifetime!



HAPPY DAYS LOOKING TO STUDY ADVANCED HIGHERS? Visit St Columba’s - one of Scotland’s highest achieving schools, where the subject choice is yours. Financial assistance available. Join the St Columba’s family - call 01505 872238 to arrange a visit.


Simple Sweet Chef’sEYE Chilli Roast Beef with Crispy Noodles

Hi, My name is Faisal, Director & Chef of ‘The Chefs Eye’. I am the resident caterer at the Gourock Golf Club & Peak Scientific. For further information about the restaurant in Gourock please go to

Ingredients • 1 Brisket • Flaked sea salt • Chinese 5 Spice seasoning • Oil for frying For the Noodles • Medium egg noodles • Salt Toasted sesame oil

For the Sauce • Finely sliced onion Fresh green/red chillies • 100g White Sugar • Squeeze of lime juice • 2 cloves garlic • 200ml white vinegar fresh coriander - finely chopped

Method • Sear the beef all round, fat side down, until crispy, • Place in a deep tray, all the juices too, season with Chinese 5 spice and cover in foil • Place in a preheated oven at 220 degrees for 35 mins • Check using a temperature and ensure it is a minimum of 75 degrees at the thickest point Whilst the chicken is cooking in the oven it’s time to make the sauce and the noodles. • To make the sauce, cook out your onions with a little oil, ensuring they are golden brown and not burnt. Add the chillies, garlic, sugar and white vinegar and slowly cook out with a little lime juice.

• Leave aside and put the chopped coriander on top. • In a pot of boiling water cook out the noodles to the instructions on the packet & rinse under cold water • Once drained - using a fork roll the noodles and place on a clean non stick tray • Drizzle the top with toasted sesame oil and place in the oven until crispy. • Check the beef, allow to rest for 20 mins and carve out thin slices. You can either pour the sauce on the beef or serve it separately - my personal choice is on the beef. Serve with the crispy noodles and my personal choice is a freshly tossed salad with finely chopped avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers and finely sliced shallots.

14 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

The Scottish Food Market at Kip Marina Treat your taste buds and visit the new Scottish Food Market at Kip Marina on Sunday 17th April from 11-4pm.

Following the success of the Food and Drink Pavilion last year at Scotland’s Boat Show , Kip Marina’s waterside market aims to become a food and drink destination event for sailors, locals and visitors from Scotland. On opening day visitors will also have the chance to step on board ‘Clyde Challenger’ - the spectacular 60 foot round the world ocean racing yacht - or to pay a visit to the ‘Angel Blessing Fair’ in The Chartroom and discover the secrets of holistic therapies and treatments. The first Scottish Food Market is at Kip Marina on Sunday 17th April as part of the Spring Boat Sales Weekend then the second Sunday of each month – 8th May, 12th June, 10th July, 14th August, 11th September and finishing with Friday 14th, Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th October at Scotland’s Boat Show.

For more information on visiting or exhibiting call Cheryl on 01475 521485 @clydelifemag

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Superior Systems at smart prices designed for you! Clyde Life Magazine | 15

P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea 2016 GREENOCK: 18 & 19 JUNE

It’s fast, furious, free to watch, family entertainment and it’s coming to Greenock in June. It’s making its first ever visit to Scotland, with a double bill of powerboat racing and jet ski action on the Clyde. It’s the P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea. Jet Ski Freestylers Lee Stone & Jason Bleasdale tricks. The Esplanade will be closed to traffic and transformed into the Inverclyde Showcase, with exhibition stands and marquees showing off the best of the areas tourism-related businesses, including leisure activities, visitor attractions, food and drink, and accommodation. The event, co-hosted by Inverclyde Council and Riverside Inverclyde, will deliver a weekend of thrilling marine motorsport, with a fleet of P1 Panther race boats and around 40 jet skis competing in the P1 SuperStock and AquaX UK championships. The 2-mile race course will be close-to-shore at Greenock’s Esplanade, making it ideal for spectators to catch all the race action. The on-water action will also include high energy jet ski freestyle displays performed by the World and British champions, Lee Stone and Jason Bleasdale and will also see international flyboarder, Sonnie Bean wowing the crowds with his flips and

16 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said: “This major event will attract thousands of sports fans to Inverclyde, an area with a rich maritime history. Visitors are guaranteed a friendly welcome and the event is expected to bring significant benefits to the local economy. The River Clyde will provide a magnificent backdrop for the racing.” The Friday of the race weekend will see the powerboat teams and jet ski riders arriving to begin their preparations and familiarise themselves with the race location and conditions. On Saturday the racing will get underway, together with jet ski freestyle displays and hydroflight performances, and there will be more action on

Picture: Aquafly

Sunday to determine the Grand Prix of the Sea winners in all the classes. The event will conclude with trophy presentations and champagne celebrations on the podium. Flying the flag for Inverclyde and Scotland in the P1 SuperStock series will be local racers Gordon Wicklow and Dino Zavaroni in the 28ft ‘Spirit of Inverclyde’ powerboat. They will compete in all five championship rounds, kicking off in Scarborough in mid-May and then moving on to Gosport, Cardiff and Bournemouth after the Scottish event. In addition to the crowds watching the racing in Greenock, the Inverclyde event will be broadcast on Sky Sports and Motors TV in the UK and internationally to more than 100 countries. You can find more information and find the full event schedule at or search for the event on Facebook: 2016 P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea.


Clyde Life Magazine | 17

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

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

Health and Wellbeing Classes YogaBellies Children’s Yoga Classes for 3-12 years. Contact Enterprise Training on: 01475 745552/744404 Yoga & Meditation for all levels Teacher: Jacci Stoyle YS (reg) 07790 262124 Wed 7:00-8.30pm Boglestone Community Centre, Dubbs Rd, Port Glasgow, Yoga for all levels Teacher: Aileen Hughes, YS(reg.) 01475 801613 Mon 2-3.30pm RAF Club, 11 Ardgowan Square, Greenock Tue 2-3.30pm Westburn Church, Nelson Street, Greenock.

Yoga for all levels Instructor: Jacqueline Gibson 07851 735357 Email: Tues 9.30-10.30am Fri 9.30-10.30am All in Kilmacolm Yoga for all levels Instructor: Patricia A. Ralston SYTA (Reg) 01475 785685 Tues 7.45 - 9.15pm Finnart St Pauls Church Hall, Bentinck Street, Greenock. Beginners Yoga Instructor: Sara Marijuan-Tuck 07962 347950 Tues & Thurs 10:00 to 11:30 Freeland Church, Bridge of Weir Thurs 7:00p-8:30pm Scout Hall, Horsewood Road, Bridge of Weir

Hatha Yoga for all levels Teacher: Flora MacKenzie Wed 7-8pm Lyle Kirk, Union Street, Greenock

Yoga and Meditation Teacher: Janis Binnie 07813 924922 Langbank Village Hall Tues 8.00-9.30pm Kilmacolm Community Centre Wed 6.30-8.00pm

Yoga and Meditation Teacher: Joanna Ritchie, Birsay Holistics. 07518 373 073 Email Mon 9.30am and 8pm Skelmorlie Tues 10am, 6pm & 7.45pm Gourock Wed 6pm Wemyss Bay Thurs 10am Largs, 6pm Gourock, 8pm Largs Fri 6.30pm Meditation Skelmorlie Sat 8.45am Largs

Pilates (all levels) Instructor - Jenn Forbes 07713 643693 Facebook forbespilates Wednesday 5pm & 6pm The Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay Wednesday 8pm Dazzles, 1 George Square Classes are £8 drop-in or

18 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

guaranteed space in the 6-week block £48. Katie Black Pilates and Physiotherapy) Instructor - Katie Black Killellan Halls, Houston (behind the Houston and Killellan Kirk). Monday night 6.15-7.15 & 7.30-8.30

Other Classes Ballet – Elite Academy of Dance Inverclyde’s only Royal Academy Ballet School RAD Teacher- Julie Gunn Tel- 07753 246035 Email- eliteballetschool@gmail. com All ages for both Male and Female Classes every day The Studio 15a Watt Street, Greenock Silver Swans Ballet Royal Academy of Dance Classical Ballet for the over 50s RAD Teacher- Julie Gunn Tel- 07753 246035 Tuesday & Thursdays 11am - 12pm The Studio 15a Watt Street, Greenock The Fashion Class Fashion Courses for children & teens, age 8-15. Call Marilyn Thompson on 07793 591524 or visit for more information. @clydelifemag

Scottish Country Dancing Classes Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Scottish Country Dancing Classes are run at the Elim Pentecostal Church Hall, Kelly Street, Greenock on Monday evenings at 8pm. Contact Jennifer Murrin - 01475 633096 for more information

Local Churches Messy Church held at Greenock Westburn Church From 4-6pm on the 2nd Saturday of each month – next meetings 9th Apr and 14th May. The format is an hour of crafts and games (with tea, coffee, juice and biscuits on offer). This is followed by a short act of worship consisting of children’s bible story where they usually participate, and a few action songs to go along with it. We finish off the day sitting down together to have a meal. It is an alternative style of worship which suits regular church goers and non- church goers alike. Everyone will be made most welcome and there is no age limit.

Local Clubs Kilmacolm Bowling Club The club is open for bowling from April to October. It is open to all ages. Coaching & bowls available for those who have not played before. Contact Jim Russell 01505 874239 or for further information

Fort Matilda Bridge Club Meets Mon, Tues & Fri 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 522181 Fort Matilda Tennis Club Newark Street, Greenock The Club has four artificial grass courts, in very good condition and has recently added floodlights to three courts. The Ardgowan Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock The club has 2 bowling greens and 4 all-weather surface tennis courts, set in beautiful garden surroundings. Contacts : Gilbert McCracken or Dougie Warnock 01475 723418 Royal West of Scotland Amateur Boat Club Esplanade, Greenock, PA16 7SE The Club also has an active social calendar with a monthly Folk night, sporting event functions and seasonal themed events. Contact 01475 723260

Greenock Camera Club Every Thursday at 7:30pm St Bartholomews Church, Barrhill Road, Gourock

Greenock Cricket Club Brisbane St, Greenock The club fosters and develops cricket and squash throughout Inverclyde. Membership is open to all age groups. Anyone interested in joining should email

Kilmacolm Camera Club Every Tuesday at 7.30pm Kilmacolm New Community Centre, Room 1.01 Contact David Walker 01505 873883 for more information

Inverclyde Cricket Club If you are interested in giving cricket a go, whether you have played before or not, please don’t hesitate to contact the Club Captain

Inverclyde Camera Club Every Friday at 7.30pm Cardwell Bay Sailing Club, Cove Road, Gourock Ann-Marie Westwood on 07971607453

Greenock Speakers Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock Helps people improve their public speaking skills in a friendly environment. The Club meets fortnightly on alternative Thursdays from October to April within the

Clyde Life Magazine

Ardgowan Club, 7:30-10pm Contact Tony Cowden on 01475 783228 or by email at Greenock Writers Club Ardgowan Square, Greenock The club meets most Wednesdays from the middle of September from 7.30pm to 9.30pm with a break for tea and coffee. They are a small group affiliated to the Scottish Association of Writers’, who enjoy the chat and fun activities as much as the writing. Contact: Mark Jones on 01475 713413. Inverclyde Skywatchers There is a programme of weekly talks which are given by invited guest speakers . Anyone with an interest in Astronomy is welcome. The group meet in the Greenock Southwest Library (Barrs Cottage) every Monday from 3pm till 5pm. For further information telephone Marion on 01475 634976 or email Inverclyde Ramblers Inverclyde Ramblers’ Association is a group of people who enjoy walking in the countryside. Everyone is welcome to come on our walks, whatever age or level of fitness. We organise walks, on a regular basis, with a leader. Walk lengths vary between 5 and 15 miles on average and may take place over a half-day, a full day or a weekend. Most of our walks are within driving distance of Greenock. Walks include local hills and walkways to Munros all over Scotland. Walks range from easy strolls right through to strenuous mountain walks. Walks are arranged for most weekends on either Saturday or Sunday mornings. We usually meet at Brymner St, Greenock, Custom House car park. We also have a Wednesday walk which meets at Lunderston Bay on Wednesdays at 12:15 To find out more call Dave Souza on 01475 631654 or visit | 19

A surreal, musical, walking tour of Greenock Various times 13 May – 18 August 2016 Join us as we journey Beyond The Green Oak to show you a very different side to Greenock. #BeyondTheOak

20 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

BOOK AT 01475 723 723


Coming Soon to Beacon Arts Centre April and May highlights include Courtney Pine and Zoe Rahman perform Song (The Ballad Book)

Youth Dance Company who will open for Scottish Dance Theatre with a premiere of their new performance – Realms

REaD - tidy carnage

Fri 13 May | 8pm | £10 / £8 (£8 for people with red hair!) Suitable for ages 14+

Sun 17 April | 7:30pm | £17.50 The world famous jazz musician takes to the Beacon stage with a stripped back intimate performance, playing bass clarinet. He will be accompanied only by fellow Mercury nominee and MOBO Award winning pianist, Zoe Rahman.

SCOTTISH DANCE THEATRE Double Bill: Dreamers / Process Day

Tue 19 April | 7:30pm | £12 / £10

In a world where redheads are strictly segregated and under curfew, red artists have been forced underground and have formed their own Red cabaret clubs. REaD focuses on one such club: The Scarlet Church where the performers’ illicit existence necessitates the keeping of Red secrets... A show that’s part catwalk, part political rally, part support group for underdogs everywhere, REaD is a unique celebration of individuality, resilience and the sheer joy of having red hair.

Series Benidorm and I’m a Celebrity) Leah Bell (comedienne and actress) and Dolores Porretta. When three cleaners, Olive, Gladys and Elsie, are threatened with redundancy they feel that their lives are coming to an end until a chance wrong number gives them a new business startup idea – why not run a telephone sex line?

Barry Steele & Friends The Roy Orbison Story: 80th Birthday Tour Fri 20 May | 7:30pm | £19

This musical and semiautobiographical celebration of The Big O’s musical legacy. Barry Steele takes you on this specially revamped musical journey in time, from the early Sun years right through to the late 80s and the internationally acclaimed concert The Black and White Night.

Fair Pley Stuart Cosgrove and Graham Spiers: Football in Five Images Sat 21 May | 8:15pm | £13 / £11

Dirty Dusting

Fri 13 May | 7:30pm | £20 Starring Crissy Rock (Hit TV Suitable for age 14 + Only west of Scotland date! Scotland’s national contemporary dance company present two performances – Dreamers and Process Day They will be joined by Beacon

A new theatre discussion show on the state of Scottish football featuring two of Scotland’s most outspoken commentators - Stuart Cosgrove and Graham Spiers.

More information and booking at 01475 723 723 Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay, Greenock, PA15 1HJ Clyde Life Magazine | 21

✘ marks the spot

We are off to the polling stations twice this summer - once to elect a new Scottish Parliament and once to decide whether we are in or out of Europe. By Joanne Simms Did you know you are represented by eight Members of the Scottish Parliament? That’s a sobering thought, especially as the basic pay for an MSP rises this month (April) to just over £60K. One represents your Scottish Parliament constituency and the other seven are your regional representatives. There are 73 constituencies, each represented by one MSP. There are also eight regions, each electing seven regional MSPs. That’s why you get two ballot papers and X marks the spot on each one. There are three ways in which you can cast your vote for them: in person at a polling station; by post or by proxy. But first you need to register. This can be done on line by visiting - you will find all you need to know in the voting section by clicking on Citizenship and Living in the UK. You can register on line with your National Insurance number, or print out paper copies of the forms to send

22 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

by post to your local Electoral Registration Office, which is usually at your local council.

polling day if you fall ill.

If you chose to vote in person a poll card will arrive through the post. The polling station staff are there to help; the presiding officer of the station can mark your ballot if you need help or you can ask to see a large print ballot paper.

The constituency candidate with the most votes is elected; good oldfashioned first past the post stuff.

Postal votes were traditionally used by people holidaying or working away but more people are choosing this because work or family commitments mean they can’t be sure of getting to the polling station on the day. You need to give a signature to help prevent electoral fraud. Someone you trust can cast your vote for you, by proxy, when you cannot get to the polling station because of illness or travel. It is especially useful for members of the armed forces or people living overseas who cannot be sure postal ballot papers would arrive back in time. The person you appoint has to be registered individually. You can apply for an emergency proxy up until 5pm on

Once the votes are cast they have to be counted.

The formula for deciding who wins each of a region’s seven seats is like a nightmare mental arithmetic test at primary school. This is how the Electoral Commission explains it: ‘The formula is the total number of regional votes received divided by the number of seats (constituency and regional) already gained in that region +1. ‘The party with the highest result after the formula is applied gains an additional seat. The calculation is repeated until all the additional seats have been awarded. For a party with no seats the number of votes received is divided by one, and so stays the same. If the party already has one seat in that region then its number of votes is divided by two, if it has two seats in that region it is divided by three, and so on.’ Easy isn’t it?


Some dates for your diary... March 14 – 23: publication of the notice of election made by Returning Officers 23 March: last parliamentary business at Holyrood. 24 March: Dissolution of Parliament. 1 April, AKA April Fool’s Day: deadline for delivery, or the withdrawal of candidates nomination papers we couldn’t possibly comment. 18 April: the last day you can register to vote. 19 April: 5pm is the deadline to deliver new postal and proxy vote applications or changing existing ones. 5 May: polling day. 9 May: the new members start work, beginning with registration. 11 May: Kirking of the Parliament, a multi-faith service. 12 May: first meeting of Parliament when members take the oath or make an affirmation; the new presiding officer and deputy are elected. 23 June: EU referendum polling day and the question is: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union’.

Clyde Life Magazine | 23

MAJOR ART FAIR RETURNS TO GLASGOW Glasgow is hosting the second of what has become a major date on the cultural calendar with the staging of the Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair. The 2016 Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair takes place at the iconic venue of the Old Fruitmarket on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th April, featuring quite literally hundreds of galleries, artists, printmakers and art collectives, as Glasgow born organiser Gerry Muldoon of GM Events outlines. “Following last year’s successful inaugural event, we will again be featuring some of the best known galleries and artists from the Central Belt, exhibitors from all over Scotland and several from further afield will be present. Exhibition space sold out very quickly indeed and again we have a waiting list.” The GCAF is an opportunity for artists and galleries to exhibit and sell contemporary affordable and original art at a centrally located and iconic venue, with two floors of work and prices ranging from around £50 to upwards of £10,000. Visitors can expect to see a wonderful range and variety of original art, prints, sculpture and photography while the event will feature established, celebrity, and newly qualified up and O R I G I N A L

coming artists and work especially commissioned for the fair. During the weekend, the public will have the chance to ‘meet and greet’ artists such Gerard Burns, Dominika Zurawska, Ade Adesina, Ron Lawson and Agita Keiri. And, as Gerry explains, the opening night will provide something a bit different. “The Friday will be a Preview Evening, with tickets priced at £9 plus booking fee, offering guests live music, courtesy of the Ritz Trio, and a glass of bubbly on arrival. “Feedback from last year confirmed the Old Fruitmarket is the ideal venue for this type of event, being just a short walk from George Square with good nearby car parking, and already the GCAF has become a regular date in Glasgow’s cultural calendar.” The opening times are as follows – Friday 22nd April 6 pm – 9 pm; Saturday 23rd April 9.30 am – 5.30 pm; Sunday 24th April 10 am – 5 pm. Entrance fees on the Saturday and Sunday will be just £3 per adult with children under 15 free. For further information, including a full list of exhibitors, visit



Glasgow Contemporary Art Fair | The Old Fruitmarket | Candleriggs | G1 1NQ PAINTINGS • DRAWINGS • SCULPTURE • PRINTS • PHOTOGRAPHY • MIXED MEDIA Organised by

24 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

Supported by

Image kindly supplied by Arusha Gallery

Friday 22rd April 2016 Preview Evening 6pm - 9pm Saturday 23rd April 2016 9.30am - 5.30pm Sunday 24th April 2016 10am - 5.00pm


Duck Houses and Moat Clearance No More

Ronnie Cowan MP

As an MP I am provided financial allowances and support to cover a variety of aspects of my role as an elected representative. There are small variations here and there but this summary will give you a good indication as to where our tax is spent regarding the running costs of a parliamentary office. Members of Parliament are paid £74,000 a year. This figure is set independent of Parliament by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). This body was created by Parliament to independently oversee and regulate MPs’ business costs and expenses. On top of that IPSA pays employers national insurance (NI) and pension contribution. IPSA also provides me with a budget to employ staff to run my constituency office and, if I wish, to work alongside me at Westminster. My staff perform a number of duties, including, constituent casework, research and diary management. From that budget I also pay employers national insurance and pension. I do not spend my entire allocation. My office administration budget is £23,450. This covers the rent, rates, utilities, stationery, telephones and all other running costs. I don’t use the entire budget. I could claim my travel mileage while working in my constituency but I choose not to. Alongside this, new Members are provided a ‘Start-up’ budget of £6,000 which is only available for the first year. This budget can be used to furnish the constituency office with tables, chairs and filling cabinets, for example. I have a ‘digital start-up allowance’ which covers all things computer and printer related. It is different from other allowances and works out at £5,800.

In London I can stay in a hotel or rent accommodation. I can’t purchase accommodation. The budget is £20,610 a year. In most places that would be entirely reasonable. In London, particularly Westminster, that is not much. The choice is to stay close to Westminster in ‘compact’ accommodation or live further afield, get more for your money but commute every day. I am not reimbursed for any daily commute. Currently I stay a ten minute walk from Westminster but that means I have a studio with my bed folding down into my living room. It’s clean and comfortable but not the high life some people presume MPs live. My travel from Inverclyde to Westminster and back is provided. Once I arrive at Westminster I pay all my own expenses including any additional travel, all food and drink. A few myth busters. I don’t get a clothing allowance. I don’t get to travel first class. I don’t enjoy fine dining with the best of wines in Members dining rooms. I don’t get free tickets for cup finals, Wimbledon, the Open or west end shows. In summary I hope I have provided a breakdown of the costs involved in supporting an MP and four staff in full time employment. It’s a lot of money and having been self-employed for years and paid my full share of tax (income, NI, vat and corporate) I fully understand that the public must get value for that money and my team endeavour every day to make sure that happens. We never forget who pays us and who as a parliamentary office we work for. Only you can judge if the value outweighs the cost. For more information on Members costs and expenses please visit

Ronnie Cowan MP, Member of Parliament for Inverclyde, 20 Crawfurd Street, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1LJ Clyde Life Magazine | 25 Telephone: 01475 721 877

theStyle files Chic et Fantastique! by Marilyn Thompson

“Fashions fade, style is eternal” Yves Saint Laurent.

Doesn’t everyone wish they could have the easy elegance of the French woman, that elusive ‘je ne sais quoi’. Well, this Spring could be the time to perfect your classic French style. Read on for some tips on how to achieve the cool, understated, laid back chic look. Starting with the basics, only buy quality pieces of clothing, investing in classic fashions rather than trends, think about lightweight cashmere sweaters, silk blouses, pencil skirts, well cut trousers and the classic trench coat, then of course, skinny jeans, and top quality t-shirts including the classic French striped Breton top.

The French woman always looks elegant, well groomed but not overly so, they have perfected their skin care routines from a young age as good skin is of prime importance, as is their make-up, which has a certain nonchalant look - a natural base, lightly defined eyes and sometimes a bold red lip for effect. To try the same look you could try the cult MAC red lipstick called ‘Ruby Woo’ - it’s the perfect shade for most skin tones.

The French woman’s nails are short and well manicured, never showing chips to their nail varnish while their hair is not over styled but boasts a great foundation haircut for movement and style. Once you’ve found your own personal classic French style then stick to what works for you both in beauty and style whilst trying to perfect the ultimate French look of not having tried too hard - which let’s face it, is a big fat lie - as looking this chic takes a somewhat considerable amount of time and effort! Bonne chance!

You should be dressing for yourself and your body type with slim fitting, well made clothes that aren’t too revealing and don’t be afraid to use the services of a tailor or alterationist to get the fit just right as fit is crucial to the overall French look. When it comes to accessories you should aim to under, rather than over accessorise. For footwear, think about kitten heels and stilettos along with leather ballet pumps instead of nose bleed inducing platform towering heels. Your French style ‘uniform’ needs a colour guide and here it is - stick with the basics - black, navy, white, grey and neutral beige tones. It’s simple and versatile and means you can easily mix and match all your pieces of clothing.

26 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016


The teen STYLE Files Spring Trend ALERT!

Spring is the perfect time for that wardrobe clean-out you promised you’d do months ago. It’s also a great time to get back to basics! As shown in the newly launched campaign from River Island, a great pair of jeans, fitted tank or T-shirt and a white shirt are all you need to pull off this minimal but chic vibe.

Fashion & beauty notes... Topshop’s new Mono eyeshadow in Thermite is a great buy this season. It’s shimmering and iridescent pigment allows you to create a stunning smoky eye, and with so little effort!

Hair & Body Beat the looming exam stress with Radox’s stress relief bath soak.

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• Do wear complementing accessories • Do wear one cohesive colour scheme

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• Don’t pick oversized jackets • Don’t wear your slippers!

Your Fashion Questions Answered????????

Do - Gigi Hadid Don’t - Rihanna

Q - Hi Holly, my friend’s birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to get her! She loves fashion and jewellery, but I don’t want to get her just a random top or something! Please help! Libby A - Hi Libby, a good pressie idea would be a cute charm bracelet from her favourite jewellery brand, then for future birthdays you can get her charms which mean something to you both! 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

| 27

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28 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016

In this, we asked our columnist Robert MacDonald CFP his thoughts on politics and the whole “in/out” Euro debate.

By Robert MacDonald

This is an odd question for me to try to answer. I write and talk about money, not politics. But at this time, it’s a question I hear quite often from clients. They want to know if I can shed any light on what’s likely to happen in the event of the UK voting either way. I’m as shocked as the next person by the often reprehensible behaviour of some of our elected politicians although thankfully I have the wisdom of Warren Buffet (omnipresent) in my being and keep coming back to him and the great insight from his professor and guru Benjamin Graham: “In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” The same logic holds true for democracy. In the short term, how markets move and whom we elect depends on people casting ballots at the ballot box. The results we see represent nothing more than the collective feelings of all those humans — at that moment. At any given time we’re voting for stocks or a political party/political decision based on imperfect information

and a very complex set of mental and emotional biases. These are all things that make it incredibly difficult to reach a rational decision. But in the midst of all this angst about what to do or think right now, we can better navigate the messy short term by considering what we want to happen long term. In the long term, we know that markets and elections become the weighing machines that Mr. Graham described. They smooth out the extreme emotions of any one moment and reflect the underlying value of our bigger systems, capitalism and democracy. So we ought to take a step back from what’s happening right now and add some time to our outlook, say 15 to 20 years. We need to find a way to balance the emotion we’re feeling right now with what we’d like to see decades from now. I know that it makes a big difference when it comes to investing, and it stands to reason that it applies to politics, too. When Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government ever created by the mind of man, except for all the

others,” he could have been talking about investing in free capital markets, too. All of the fear and risk and volatility add up to the worst possible way to reach financial goals ever created — except for all the others. Still, our investing and electoral systems make more sense when we nudge ourselves into looking past short-term emotions and biases. In the short term, markets will continue to move, politics will continue to look like a circus (often evident in the House of Commons!) and we’ll continue to be human and make decisions based on how we feel. But in the long term, history has proved that both the markets and our political system will stretch and evolve to accommodate pretty much most of our feelings.

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

T: 01475 638100 |

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

Clyde Life Magazine | 29


Hannah The Hospice Handbag: VVA Donate Classic Tote to The Prince & Princes of Wales Hospice

VVA a premium Scottish brand specialising in luxury handbags have teamed up with The Prince & Princes of Wales Hospice to raise vital funds for the charity. The Prince & Princes of Wales Hospice provides high quality clinical, emotional, social and spiritual care for patients who have a progressive, life threatening illness. The charitable collaboration was marked at the annual ‘Handbag and Gladrags’ party, a fundraising lunch which raised a total of £10,000 for a new hospice in Bellahouston Park.

guests, raising awareness and funds for the charity. Both stylish and highly versatile, VVA’s Dahlia Tote is the perfect travel companion, and will be travelling all over the globe in the coming months with supporters of the hospice. Sarah Haran, founder of VVA, says: ‘We are encouraging all of our ladies to take Hannah on their international travels! Everyone who takes The Hospice Handbag on their holidays has been asked to snap her against iconic, international landmarks - allowing supporters of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice to follow her exciting journey around the world.’

Organised by Hazel Tomkins, owner of Urban Bar and Brasserie, more than 120 ladies attended the Handbag and Gladrags event to welcome The charity hope that Hannah will Sarah Haran and Hazel Tomkins VVA’s exciting new initiative. continue to raise money wherever she goes, and she has already been booked out until VVA have donated a classic Dahlia Tote bag to the May 2016, travelling to; Australia, Cape Town and a charity. ‘Hannah’, The Hospice Handbag, will now begin cruise to the Canary Islands. a journey around the globe with Handbag and Gladrags Supporters can follow Hannah’s journey on Facebook ( and Twitter ( If you would like a chance to take Hannah on your own travels, email: To shop VVA’s collection visit -

30 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016


Delive r Servic y e Por t G las Gouro gow, c Green k & ock

Delhi Deluxe – Eating out or eating in it really is the best in the West The owners of Delhi Deluxe have a recipe for a perfect curry: use the best and freshest ingredients prepared by knowledgeable chefs and served in a cool, chic and stylish restaurant with a warm and friendly welcome. Or the meal can be delivered to your door, beautifully presented and packaged. Either way you can taste the care and excellence. Amanda and the team are second generation restaurant owners and

when they opened Delhi Deluxe at 23 Cartsburn Street, Greenock, three years ago they knew exactly the real Indian food and ambiance they wanted to create. Their vision has paid off; they have built a devoted following of curry connoisseurs not just from Greenock but from the outlying villages such as Bridge of Weir, Kilmacolm and Inverkip. ‘Our approach has been slow and steady; the chefs are trained inhouse to our own standards and we work on our recipes, testing

and tasting until we have it just right,’ said Amanda. All the classic Indian restaurant dishes are on the menu along with a selection which celebrates the traditional regional cuisine of the Punjab; featuring freshly-ground Punjabi spices and masala prepared in the kitchens. Now three years on Delhi Deluxe is part of the Greenock community, holding regular fund-raisers for Ardgowan House Hospice and continuing to delight its ever-growing number of regular customers.


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The Scottish Food Market at Kip Marina Sunday 17th April 11am– 4pm Treat your taste buds and visit our new Scottish Food Market • Free Admission! Whether it’s a sweet tooth you want to satisfy, get into a pickle or take home some great Scottish meat, join us on our opening day Sunday 17th April & then 2nd Sunday of each month.

WATERSIDE WEDDINGS All inclusive packages from £3250

01475 520919 • 32 | Clyde Life – April/May 2016 Kip Marina, Inverkip, PA16 0AS


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Clyde Life Magazine Issue 29 April/May 2016  

A colour A5 lifestyle magazine delivered to 15000 households in Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire.

Clyde Life Magazine Issue 29 April/May 2016  

A colour A5 lifestyle magazine delivered to 15000 households in Inverclyde and West Renfrewshire.