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Clyde Life April/May 2019 Issue 47

Kilmacolm Show p22

We love Spring gardens p24 Skelmorlie Kilmacolm

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Delivered to over

15,000 Homes

Ronnie Cowan MP on data danger p18

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

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Langbank Bishopton


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It’s show time!



nverclyde starts the season for two national institutions: Highland games and agricultural shows.

Kilmacolm is one of the earliest farming shows in the land; for many it’s a test-run for livestock to be shown at Scotland’s leading event, the Royal Highland in June. Show president, Andrew Laird, says has changed with time: ‘Dairy farming is much in decline locally, and that is reflected in numbers, but sheep entries continue to flourish.’ Look out for Texels and Cheviots alongside the popular Blackface. Perhaps it is the Mary Berry effect, but the non-animal classes are booming. Andrew’s mum, Isabel, the ‘industrial’ convener said: ‘There are still lots of people who do home baking and we have excellent entries in the children’s classes; schedules go out to local schools.’ Gourock starts the year’s games with dancers, pipers and heavy athletes from across Scotland and overseas. Both are great community events and days out for everyone, especially families. Enjoy!

Grahame Anderson’s first novel Style files: Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy Ronnie Cowan MP What’s on at the Beacon Spring Gardens Listings Chartroom Recipe


se Keepers

5 8

12 18 20 24 28 30


Lighthouse Keepers An inspiratio nal journey of se lf belief and love


Grahame An

A steady strea lighthouse. m of visitors to an old The come true for mysterious keepers’ Scottish symphony of strangers, and a journeywho help dreams love to the deepest dept through a hs of your soul This gentle . stor young music y follows Max Bruford , an aspiring opposing viewstudent torn between his parents’ s of his futu mysterious lighthouse keepre. When he meets two something mag ers, they give ical to help him Forty years him achieve later their gift. The , he returns and asks his goals. them to expl ir answer is not what he ain expected. Many of us suff su modern labe er from imposter synd l can limit you for self doubt. This lack rome, the you secretly r ambition and take awa of self belief strive for but y failure won’t exploreopportunities for fear of This book is on where youabout self belief. It may towards the are in life and push youhelp you reflect person you leap of faith always wan forward, ted to be. Tak , every new step. beginning start ea s with the first

The Lighthou


Memories of Gourock Highland Games

Grahame Ande rson is marri ed with two children. A dreamer by nature he storytelling loves and humo ur. Influenced eastern spiritu by ality & self-im provement he is ever hopeful that one day ‘Peace might break ’ out and wars may end.


Contributors this issue: Ronnie Cowan MP, Kieran Gallagher, Joanne Simms, Marilyn Thompson, Holly Thompson 

COVER PIC - St Columba’s School Pipe Band at Kilmacolm & Port Glasgow by Kathryn Gardiner

April/May Issue 47 2019 Publisher: Wyvex Media Ltd

Sales Executive: Julie Baird jbaird@obantimes.co.uk Features Editor: Joanne Simms joanne@clydelife.co.uk

Contact Info: Advertising: 01631 568000 Email: editor@clydelife.co.uk Web: www.clydelife.co.uk Web Design: www.plbwebdesign.co.uk Graphic Design: Simon Jones - Skep Design simon.jones@skepdesign.co.uk

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. Wyvex Media 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.

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Highland Games The start of the Scottish Highland Games season: Pipe band competitions, traditional highland games, the West of Scotland Highland Dance Championships, come and try sports - a range of free sporting activities, the mini highland games with Inverclyde active schools, food and drink village.

FREE entry all day @GourockHighlandGames


Gourock Highland Games is supported by:

4 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


Come to the Games! Provost of Inverclyde, Councillor Martin Brennan talks about Gourock Highland Games. The council-run event signals the start of Scotland’s summer season of games.


reparation for the games starts at the turn of the year; there are so many behind the scenes elements that have to be arranged including the marquees, barriers and PA equipment that we have to start early. We confirm the date with the Scottish Pipe Band Association very early on so that they register the competition and we can be assured that the bands will turn up. The Highland Dancing competition is set from year to year so we start dealing with the local organisers from the outset so they can register competitors. A great number of different external agencies, together with internal departments, are involved from the Police, Coastguard, First Aid and stewards to our grounds department, roads department, licensing and health and safety so we always a large round the table meeting in the approach to the games to bring everyone together. As well as this entertainment, fairground rides, stall holders and food providers all have to be booked and vetted and this can take some time. So behind the scenes there is a lot of work to make it a great day.

Clyde Life Magazine

Biggest challenge? The weather on the West Coast is our biggest challenge, the past three years have been great, the sun has shone and people have come from far and wide. It can affect the setup of the event when trying to place the marquees as well as the area for the pipe bands, as the ground can be soft if there has been a lot of rain. It is the one thing we can’t do anything about so we just have to hope for the best on the day.

What is coming up in 2019 anything new or special? We hope to build on the success of 2018 and have even more visitors this year. This will be our 63rd Gourock Highland Games and our fourth year in Battery Park.

Have you ever competed yourself? My family came from Larkhall to Gourock when I was about 10. As a child in Larkhall I had attended a Coronation street party, a couple of summer gala days at Saltcoats, but Gourock was something special: the view was spectacular –blue sky, the river and real mountains. They also had a real Highland Games with pipers,

kilted dancers, cabers, and tugof-war teams. There was also a decent class of participating athletes. For instance, Menzies (Ming) Campbell sprinted round Gourock Park and left the opposition wheezing in his wake. At the end of my third year in school I was mooching around at the Games when I bumped into the St Columba’s 4X100 sprint team. The thing was one of the said four hadn’t turned up. So, I was press-ganged into becoming a sprint star. The whole episode was hugely embarrassing. I couldn’t run and I had none of the gear and I was the only participant in the Games who didn’t have shorts and ran wearing trousers. Despite that I think we finished a close second. As a student, I worked in the Gourock Parks for two or three years. One of our duties was to set up Gourock Park for the Games. This ensured us free entry into the Games which once again was first rate entertainment. Some of our squad made frequent visits to the beer tent to ensure that all was in order. You just don’t get dedication like that today.

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Clyde Life Magazine

An inspirational journey of self belief and love Grahame Anderson of Gourock talks to us about life and his first novel ‘The Lighthouse Keepers’ set between Gourock and Argyll.


had a fabulous time growing up in Gourock; we never had any money living in the tenements but we were very happy. It was full of characters who were all very unique.

The Lighthouse Keepers Grahame Anderson

My father owned a local printing business called Rathoprint which closed during the Thatcher years. Like many other businesses in the town it was hard to survive such a big hit when eam of visitors to an old Scottish The mysterious keepers’ who help dreams the shipbuilding was wiped r strangers, and a journey through a out. Wedepths supplied f love to the deepest of your print soul. to the yards and so it was hard to tory follows Max Bruford, an aspiring c student torn betweenwithout his parents’them. These survive ews of his future. When he meets two a devastating ighthouseclosures keepers, theyhad give him magical toknock-on help him achieve his goals.throughout effect ater, he returns and asks them to explain the community in eir answer is notbusiness what he expected. Inverclyde.

suffer from imposter syndrome, the su l for self So doubt.I This lack of self moved to belief Dunoon and ur ambition and take away opportunities for for the strive forworked but won’t explore fear of Dunoon

Observer. It was a great

about self belief. It may help you Ireflect experience and developed u are in life and push you forward, my skills was person you always wantedfurther to be. Takeand a every new beginning starts with the first general manager there for

many years.

I am married to Brenda and we have two sons. Brenda is an artist and both boys are musical. It sometimes feels like the Von Trapps in me Anderson is married with two n. A dreamer by naturehouse, he loves our there is so much ling and humour. Influenced by on. spirituality &going self-improvement

er hopeful that one day ‘Peace’ reak out and wars may end.

writers out there you learn more from working with other writers. The book is based mainly in the Dunoon area; I have such a love for the place after living there for 15 years. We used to walk downhill to the shore most nights. We would sit down at the rocks and watch the seals and herons and the activity on the water – a beautiful place.


Lighthouse Keepers An inspirational journey of self belief and love


Essentially I wanted to write a book on self-belief, so I wove a story about two magical lighthouse keepers who give hope to anyone who visits them, focusing on students who visit the lighthouse from the music retreat in Toward. When we lived there we used to see the kids walking at night when they were resident in Castle Toward and many years later our boys went here. Of course, like all good stories, I had to add a love interest so Max falls for the girl with a sparkle in her eye, Lily. Their beautiful relationship ties in nicely with some magic from the Lighthouse Keepers; in essence I have written a nice, gentle love story with some self-belief thrown in.’

I have been writing poetry and lyrics for more than 40 years. When I turned 50 I decided it was time to take it more seriously and joined the Greenock Writers’ Club. I have reached the lofty heights of club president; something I’m proud of especially as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary year.

Grahame’s second novel, ‘The Best Seat in the Universe’ is scheduled to be published later this year.

I love the whole remarkable body of talent that exists in our town. They are such a creative bunch ranging from early 20s to late 70s. I would recommend to any

ISBN-13: 978-1912872046. Available in paperback and to download. See www.grahameanderson.co.uk and AmazonUK.

8 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019

The Lighthouse Keepers: An inspirational journey of self belief and love. Grahame Anderson


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Visit the Beacon Arts Centre this Easter!


his April at the Beacon Arts Centre why not keep the little ones entertained with a trip to the theatre. We have a range of shows for all ages throughout the Easter holidays with Dear Zoo live on stage, Orfeo & Euridice, You Choose and Black Magic – The Little Mix Show & Grow (one for the tiny tots once the kids go back to school!) What’s more, kids tickets are under £10 for most shows! We have plenty of entertainment for adults too, including shows from the world famous A Play, A Pie and A Pint (Chic Murray: A Funny Place For A Window), Scottish comedy award winner and viral sensation Gary Meikle: The iBrow Guy and live music from Eddi Reader and Mary Ann Kennedy to name but a few.

SRC University Tours The Students’ Representative Council run tours of the University leaving from the Gift Shop. April to October, tours run Tuesday to Sunday at 11am and 2pm. November to March, tours run Tuesday to Sunday at 2pm.

The Tour Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. Originally located on High Street in the city centre near Glasgow Cathedral, in 1870 it moved to the stunning collection of buildings perched upon Gilmorehill today, where it continues to watch over the bustling city and picturesque tenements of Glasgow’s West End. This walking tour will take you on a fascinating journey around some of the University’s most significant spots from the atmospheric cloisters to the very same staircase Lord Kelvin would take from his house to his laboratory whilst discovering the connections of James Watt, Adam Smith and Isabella Elder whose names are inscribed on the University’s Memorial Gates.

Booking Tours leave from the University Gift Shop, Main Building, University Avenue, G12 8QQ, Tuesday

10 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019

to Sunday. Tickets can be bought online, https:// www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/university-of-glasgow-tourstickets-30350235371 or can be purchased from the SRC Welcome Point in the McIntyre Building or from the Tour Guide prior to the tour starting.


Groups of 8 or more should phone or email to arrange a tour to suit your needs.

Prices: • Adults £10 • Concession (over 60s & students) £8 • Families (2 adults & 2 children) £25 • Under 18s £5 • Under 5s free Please note there is an online booking fee of £1 per ticket. For more information please contact 0141 330 5360 or boxoffice@src.gla.ac.uk



Thinking of getting your teeth whitened? What is involved in tooth whitening procedure? Tooth whitening can be a very effective way to lighten the natural colour of your teeth, without removing any of the tooth surface. It cannot make a complete colour change but may lighten the existing shade. Who can perform tooth whitening? Tooth whitening is a form of dentistry and should only be carried out by a dentist or another regulated dental professional.

your existing tooth colour. It also only works on natural teeth. It will not work on any types of dentures, crown, veneers or white filling. The dentist will take an impression of your teeth to make a mouth guard and will instruct you how to use the bleaching gel. Then, using the mouth guard at home you regularly apply the gel for a specified period of time over two to four weeks.

What happens during tooth whitening at the dentist?

How long will my teeth stay white?

Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are suitable for tooth whitening. Tooth whitening can only lighten

The effects can last for a few months to up to three year. This varies from person to person. The

effects won’t last as long if you smoke or drink red wine, tea or coffee which stain your teeth. The mouth guard which is supplied can be kept, and more gel can be purchased to top up the whitening effect. EnVisage Kilmacolm has a tooth whitening offer in place until 31 May 2019. Until 31 May, newly registered patients can sign up for a £99 tooth whitening offer (which include a consultation with your dentist, custom-made trays and a full supply of whitening gels) – saving £150 on the standard cost!

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theStyle files

by Marilyn Thompson

CHANEL Karl Lagerfeld

Bonheur Chanel (Coco) who was born in France in 1883. She opened her first shop on Paris’s Rue Cambon and enjoyed huge success. During the Second World War Chanel had a relationship with a German Nazi officer and lots of people believe she was also a spy. Because of this, after the war, she had to leave France and live in exile, before eventually returning to Paris aged 70 to restart her business. Coco lived at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where she died aged 87.


hen Karl Lagerfeld was asked to design for the ageing House of Chanel back in 1983, he was advised by many in the fashion industry ‘not to touch it, as it could never come back’. Thankfully, Karl Lagerfeld considered this a challenge and has said ‘when I took on Chanel, it was a sleeping beauty, but not a beautiful one - she snored!’ Karl Lagerfeld certainly ‘woke’ Chanel up and he remained there until his death, in February this year. Chanel was created by Gabrielle

12 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019

A creative genius, Karl Lagerfeld was instantly recognizable with his signature white ponytail, sunglasses and gloves. He had an incredible work ethic, where working sixteen hour days was a pleasure, along with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. He said: ‘I love what I do, but I am also interested in everything that I don’t love, I want to see and know everything.’ This amazing attitude, along with his incredible creative vision propelled Chanel into the fashion powerhouse it is today. When Karl Lagerfeld first took over at Chanel, 10 years after Coco’s death, he was ever respectful of

the house’s legacy and to the staff still loyal to Chanel herself. When faced with inevitable resistance to his new direction, he would say: ‘Even if she never did it this way, it’s very Chanel, no?’ He went on to revolutionize the tired fashion house, making it modern and very desirable. He injected a much needed dose of youthfulness and glamour whilst always keeping Chanel’s iconic designs, including the classic tweed suit, the fabulous 2.55 bag and the stylish two tone shoes at the heart of each collection.

Chanel Fashion Shows with Karl Lagerfeld at the helm were incredibly extravagant affairs and the huge Grand Palais in Paris was transformed each season to accommodate these spectacular shows. Two of the most memorable shows were, a full size Chanel supermarket - the @clydelifemag

aisles fully stocked with Chanel branded household essentials and, a full-size Chanel Airport which was without a doubt the most glamorous (albeit unreal) airport ever!

The teen STYLE Files Boiler Suits

One of the ‘must have’ Fashion trends for spring 2019 - the boiler suit will make the perfect addition to your wardrobe. Keep it relaxed and laid-back with comfy trainers or dress it up with statement heels. A great multi-tasker!

Fashion & Beauty Notes... Perhaps, the best was kept for last - For the S/S 2019 Show, the Grand Palais was transformed into an amazing beach setting with idyllic backdrops, handsome lifeguards, beach huts, soft white sand and rather unbelievably, given that this was indoors - actual lapping water! As the models walked across the sandy beach and splashed through the gentle waves, shoes casually held in one hand, Karl Lagerfeld, watching the proceedings from the boardwalk, took his final bow.

In Karl Lagerfeld’s own words – ‘It’s very Chanel, no?’

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Your Fashion Questions Answered? Do - Lily Collins

Don’t - Selena Gomez

Q - Hey Holly, what are the main things to buy for springtime? Anna.

A - Hi Anna, definitely a boiler suit! You could also focus on pretty, girly dresses - there will be lots to choose from! Holly x

for Get in touch - To learn more about The FASHION Class teens & children, the courses, camps and Birthday parties, or to tell me what you think and ask any questions, contact: k holly@thefashionclass.co.uk or www.thefashionclass.co.u

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 13

Moving on UP and sizing DOWN What is it about the spring that makes us all want to move house? If you are looking for a bigger nest for your chicks, or they have grown and flown now is the right time for a smaller roost. It’s time for a pre-sale, pre-move spring clean, decluttering and recycling as you go. In recent years Scotland’s major cities have established themselves as stand out performers in terms of residential investment and development. Edinburgh, and to an extent Glasgow, including here in Inverclyde, have seen above average house price growth in the face of significant supply shortfalls say residential property analysts JLL.

It makes sense to combine your pre-sale house tidy with your move preparations. Think in five steps: • Tip • Charity recycle • Charity donation • Store, clean, pack and label for move • Daily use

Need some extra pairs of hands? Inverclyde has so many specialist cleaning companies and domestic cleaners just waiting for your call to dry-clean and alter curtains, shampoo carpets and deep-clean ovens and kitchens.

Scottish charity Mary’s Meals says only the smallest percent of donations are ever thrown away; it can sell fabric of all kind for recycling; just pre sort and mark your bags ‘sale’ or ‘recycle’.

Check out websites like Momox, Ziffit or Music Magpie to sell unwanted dvds, cds and books or lonelybooks.co.uk for text books; remember Inverclyde has some wonderful second-hand bookshops and record stores, plus an eclectic mix of recycled clothing and furniture shops.

With a Kindle you will never have to fill a large bookcase again, saving precious down-sized shelves for rare or very special purchases. The same goes for all those online music providers.

14 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


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s all that fresh, spring sunshine streaming through your windows telling you something?

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INSULATING GLASS Insulating Glass is up to 3 times more efficient than ordinary window panes and over twice the efficiency of normal double glazing. Peter and his team are all highly-experienced window repair engineers and their visit to give you a quote will take, on

average, no longer than 20 minutes. ‘Once the quote is completed, we will sit down and explain the problem and how we can fix it,’ said Peter. ‘Remember we are not double-glazing salesmen! Cloudy2Clear’s knowledge and workmanship has seen us be awarded Which Trusted Trader status and our work comes with a 25-year guarantee, which is an industry-leader.’ From their base in Houston, Peter and his team of trained engineers cover north and south Glasgow as far down to Ayrshire and up into the Helensburgh area of Argyll and Bute and over into Dunoon and Cowal. Peter told us: ‘The decision to install double glazing is a big one for any family and represents a major investment and it makes sound sense to make sure that this investment is

maintained in excellent working order.’

LOCKS, HANDLES & HINGES REPAIRS Our engineers can also replace broken locks, handles, seals and hinges. Peter and his Cloudy2Clear team will also replace faulty or broken locks, handles and hinges on windows and doors as well as the Which award-winning glass unit panels. So make Cloudy2Clear part of your spring-clean and repair regime this spring.


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www.clydelife.co.uk | 17

The nudge unit

Ronnie Cowan MP

We can be broken down into bits and bytes and processed and that is worrying, writes Ronnie Cowan MP Often when I am Googling for something the subject matter is predicted by the search engine or when I return to a site I haven’t used in a while it says ‘Hi Ronnie’ or ‘Welcome back’ and I think ‘that’s useful’ or even ‘have I been hear before?’ The machine’s memory is obviously far superior to mine. What’s actually going on is that I am being catalogued; every keystroke, every site visited is stored and passed through algorithms and I am classified, pigeon holed and categorised. That data about me can be used to predict my interests, shopping habits and allegiances. This data has a monetary value to lobby groups. Marketing companies sell my data on as a commodity to other companies that want to sell me their products or to organisations that want to sell me their services. This can be an irritation and maybe an intrusion but it can also be an aid in evaluating choices and may guide my decisions. Beyond the day to day use of the internet, data is also being gathered to record our shopping habits, travel preferences, phone usage and viewing habits. It seems that every detail of our digital life is now logged and filed. We live in the world of big data. Massive data centres hold an increasing amount of data about you

and me. We can be broken down into bits and bytes and processed. But what happens when that data is used not just to guide and inform but to create an outcome that would not have otherwise occurred. By possessing huge amounts of data we can predict trends, market places and in the world of politics, how people will vote. Once we know that we can target people and because we know so much about them we can attempt to manipulate their voting intentions. The danger is not the banner adverts that say ‘we are the best political party, vote for us because’ and then mentions a matter close to your heart that you recently read about in an online article. The danger is when faceless organisations generate campaigns that reach millions of people and feed them a diatribe of biased data designed to influence their voting intentions. Much has been made of this in President Trump’s America and Putin’s Russia but we can see proof of such intentions much closer to home. The proof that this strategy exist can be found within the United Kingdom Government. A department exists within Whitehall, with the rather Orwellian name of the ‘Behavioural Insights Team’. It was once commonly known as the ‘nudge unit’ and is described

as a social purpose company. The nudge principal is that people’s behaviour and decision making can be influenced by positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions. The combination of big data and behavioural science can be a powerful tool in directing public opinion and one that should be open and transparent. If only to allay any fears that it could be misused. It’s a unique department in that it is partly privatised. It is not simply a room full of civil servants with a vague idea of what should happen; it employs over 100 psychologists. It was reported as being the first time the government had privatised civil servants responsible for policy decisions. Rather worrying in its articles it states that its aim is to generate the maximum achievable profits available for distribution. This means that UK Government departments have to pay for policy advice. With so many cut backs are government departments cutting back on the advice they get? With an increasing use of technology we need an increasing level of scrutiny on how that data is gathered, how and where it is stored, who has access to it and how it can be utilised. Never before has the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ been more true.

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

18 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019 ronnie.cowan.mp@parliament.uk Telephone: 01475 721 877

2✶ Handles plus 1✶ Cylinder

Equals 3✶ Security

just what your home insurance company likes to see!

• 24/7 emergency service • Supply, fit, repair most locks • Multi-point locks for uPVC doors • Anti snap cylinders as standard practice


07484 660442 www.locksmithgreenock.com E: locksmithgreenock@gmail.com

Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 19

Live Music









April May 2019 April 2-5th April 12pm. 6th April 12 pm & 5pm

19th April 7:30pm

Derek Acorah The Eternal Life £19.50/£18.50 (conc)

Chic Murray: A Funny Place For A Window (A Play, A Pie and A Pint) £15

On what would have been his last day on this earth, Chic takes a musical look back at the ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies of his glittering, but tragically flawed career.

See Britain’s best-loved and most entertaining medium at the Beacon on his all-new ‘The Eternal Life’ Tour.

8th April 2pm

27th April 8pm

£10/£8 (conc) A brand-new interactive musical show for the family based on the brilliant book by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt. In this show YOU CHOOSE what happens! Suitable for ages 2-7.

16+ £14/£12 (conc) Multi award-winning comics Gary Little and Des McLean bring their 2019 Stand Up Special tour to the Beacon for one night only!

You Choose

20 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019

Des McLean & Gary Little Stand Up Special



8th May 7:30pm

Unspotted Snow £14/£12 (conc)

2nd May 7:30pm

Sydney Devine In Concert £21/£19 (conc)

Explore and discover the hazy, crazy half-truths, rumours and scandals that besmirched the unspotted snow of the great white north in this production by Perter Arnott.

11th May 7:30pm

WANNABE – The Spice Girls Show £23

The Scottish Country legend by popular demand hits the road again for his Farewell Tour, featuring favourites like Tiny Bubbles, Maggie, The Answer to Everything and many more! 7th May 6:45pm *Pre-concert talk with Judith Weir 7:30pm Concert

Hebrides Ensemble £15

The spectacular concert celebrating the career of the world’s biggest girl band, The Spice Girls and even better...we have a posh spice! 16th May 7:30pm

Leah MacRae - My Big Fat Fabulous Diary 16+ £20/£18 (conc) She’s back! Join Leah MacRae as she delves into the hilarious pages of her ‘BIG, FAT, FABULOUS DIARY’. Hebrides Ensemble perform a beautiful programme of music introduced by an audience with renowned composer Judith Weir.



Spontaneous Potter 20th July 7:30pm

Clyde Life Magazine

The Rocket Man

20th September 7:30pm

Stewart Francis

6th October 8pm www.clydelife.co.uk | 21

22 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 23

Don’t you just love the Spring?


am deeply in love with Spring and look forward to it more with each year that passes.

Winter is almost over for another year, as I write this, and, by comparison to last year, it has been quite mild. February even saw meteorologists record the highest temperatures on record at over 18C. That little taste of warm sunshine and ‘taps aff’ weather served as a reminder of what is just around the corner. Typically, it did not last and was quickly followed by high winds, lots of rain and some hail and sleet thrown in for good measure. This dramatic change in temperatures can cause confusion in our gardens. There are daffodils 100 metres away from mine that have been in full flower for a week, whilst my own are very much still green. Micro climates can exist over very small areas, most often caused by how much sunlight the area gets during these short days. Even within your own gardens there will be areas that are better suited to flowering plants or growing crops. This is usually the south facing areas, which receive the longest amount of sunlight, and these areas can be the focus of your planting. A little forward planning for Spring and Summer planting can result in much better looking beds and borders later on. Our customers at Cardwell will often make impulse purchases on plants based on what looks good, what is in flower or on special offer.

Kieran Gallagher of Cardwell Garden Centre talks us through his favourite time of the year

This is fine, of course, but on top of this I suggest considering what you want to achieve from your planting. Think about height, foliage and flower colours and the longevity or lifespan of the plant’s flowers. It sounds obvious, but stagger your plants by height with the tallest at the back, shortest to the front. Colours can be grouped to create a strong effect or used in contrast to highlight the variety of planting. Foliage is often overlooked as a method of adding colour, but using something other than green can be a simple way to break up planting arrangements. Another thing to bear in mind is how much you plant. Very shortly our gardens will start to be invaded by unwanted weeds and one way to slow the attack is by filling your beds and borders with plants. This lessens the weeds growth simply by virtue of the good plants not giving them space or nutrients. Adding mulch as a top dressing in borders is also beneficial. It also makes it easier to see when a rogue weed does make it through as it stands out so clearly. When some of your own plants inevitably look worse for wear it is again easier to see the weak plant and replace it. One final tip to consider when introducing a new plant into your garden is its growth rate. Some of the plants we enjoy in our gardens can, and will, grow to an enormous size, if allowed. Invasive plants,

24 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


such as bamboo and the humble herb mint, grow very fast and like nothing more than to take over a garden. These should always be planted in containers. Even if you are planting in a border, keep the plant in a pot and this will help restrict its spreading. Another type that can spread out of control is self-seeding plants. These are plants that produce seeds which are then either blown around by wind or carried by birds etc to another area where the seed begins to grow. Pampas Grass is one example. It is rare to see only one plant in a garden or even street! Fuchsias are another, although these are often a more welcome intruder. The humble Leylandii conifer, the source of neighbourly disputes up and down the country for decades, is the best example. Conifers are often used as hedging for the simple reason that they can be very fast growing, putting on 30cm plus most years. This means you have a thick hedge in a very short space of time, but if it is not properly maintained (ie trimmed regularly) they will grow upward and out and can easily get out of control. Knowing these details before you purchase your plant is crucial. There are no wrong questions to ask about gardening, we all start at the beginning. If the shop selling the plant cannot offer advice, go somewhere that can. If the person selling the plant does not know how to look after it, then who has been looking after it before you buy it? This is general advice and good practice, but ultimately it is your garden and you have to look at it. Choose the plants, colours and arrangement that make you happy and enjoy your garden. Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 25

a selection of events at finlaystone estate April Bug Box Making Thursday 4th, 1 - 3pm £2.50 for materials. Orienteering Sunday 7th, 1 - 3pm Den Build Tuesday 9th, 1 - 3pm Bird Box Making Thursday 11th, 1 - 3pm £4 Minibeast Hunt Sunday 14th, 1 - 3pm

Clyde Life Renfrewshire – Spring 2019 Events HIGHWOOD Sunday 12 May, 2pm - 5pm

Admission £3.00, children free. A beautiful woodland walk around 50 acres of native bluebells in a delightful setting bordering the Green Water river with tumbling waterfalls. Off Lochwinnoch Rd, Kilmacolm PA13 4TF

WRAES Sunday 19 May, 2pm - 5pm

Magic with Tickles the Clown Sunday 5th, 1 - 3pm

Admission £4.00, children free. A new seven acre garden developed since 2012, with far reaching rural views. Formal garden with raised herbaceous borders, with 100 plus rhododendron species and hybrids. Pond, burnside walk, peaceful woodland walk with seating areas. Corseliehill Road, nr Houston PA6 7HU

Introduction to Gardening Monday 6th, 1 - 3pm

CARRUTH Saturday 25 May, 2pm - 5pm

All things Chocolate with Games Monday 22nd, 1 - 3pm


Mad Hatters Tea Party Sunday 12th, 1 - 3pm Falconry Sunday 19th, 1 - 3pm

Admission £4.00, children free. Over 20 acres of long-established rhododendrons, woodland with good bluebells, young arboretum and lawn gardens in a lovely landscaped setting. Bridge of Weir PA11 3SG

Clyde Life Clyde Life is delivered to 15,000 households in Skelmorlie • Wemyss Bay Inverkip • Gourock • Greenock Port Glasgow • Langbank • Kilmacolm • Quarrier’s Village Bridge of Weir • Brookfield • Houston Bishopton • Dargavel Village To advertise in the next issue contact Julie Baird on T: 01631 568009 e:jbaird@obantimes.co.uk w:wwwclydelife.co.uk 26 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


Events April

Bookbug Sessions

Bishopton Library and Bridge of Weir Library Thursdays 4th & 18th Bishopton 10am and 11am, Bridge of Weir 10am to 10.30am.

The Kip Marina Gin Festival

Friday 5th - 7pm to 11pm - £35 & Saturday 6th 1pm to 6pm - £20 Join us to celebrate and enjoy a selection of some of the best Scottish gins from small-batch producers from across the length and breadth of Scotland. Chartroom, The Yacht Harbour, Inverkip, PA16 0AS.

Gleddoch Wedding Open Day

Sunday 7th - Noon to 4pm - Free Join us for a spectacular wedding Open Day, where you’ll be able to: Enjoy a glass of fizz & canapes, visualise how your dream ceremony could look with our dressed spaces. Gleddoch Hotel, Spa & Golf, Old Greenock Road, Langbank, PA14 6YE.

The Big Spring Clean 2019

Sundays 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th - 10am Last year more than 1000 volunteers collected over 500 bags of rubbish over one weekend, so grab your litter picker and get set to make your neighbourhood a little brighter. Meet at Houston Co-op.

Spring Art & Craft Fair

Saturday 13th - 10am to 3pm - Free Local amateur artists and crafts people will offer for sale a variety of products that will make ideal gifts for that someone special. Tea, Coffee and delicious home baking will be available. Bishopton Community Centre Gledstane Road, Bishopton PA7 5AU.

Craft Fair Weekend

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th - 10am to 4.30pm - Free Come in and see some of the area’s superb talent for creativity with a fine selection of handmade gifts and products on display and available to purchase at each Crafters’ table/stall. Cardwell Garden Centre, Gourock, PA19 1BB.

Great British Spring Clean

Sunday 14th - 1pm to 3pm - Free Volunteer a couple of hours and help tidy up your area and we will provide gloves and litter pickers to all participants. Castle Semple Visitor Centre, Lochlip Road, Lochwinnoch, PA12 4EA.

Kilmacolm Plant Sale

Saturday 27th - 10am to Noon - Admission by Donation The plant sale will be held at the Cross outside the Library and Cargill Centre, in aid of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. Accessible by McGill Buses. Clyde Life Magazine

April - May

May Bookbug Sessions

Bishopton Library and Bridge of Weir Library Thursdays 2nd, 16th and 30th Bishopton 10am and 11am, Bridge of Weir 10am to 10.30am.

Houston & Killellan Kirk Carnival

Saturday 11th - Parade Starts 12.15pm to 4pm - Free A fun day for the whole community and the theme for 2019 is SUPERHEROES. The fancy-dress parade assembles at the Church. There are numerous stalls and a tea room with home baking through the West Halls and the adjacent Carrick Centre - for all age groups - and performances by local music and dance groups on the Carrick Stage. Houston & Killellan Kirk, Kirk Road, Houston, PA6.

Craft Fair

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th - 10am to 4.30pm - Free Come in and see some of the area’s superb talent for creativity with a fine selection of handmade gifts and products on display and available to purchase at each Crafters’ table/stall. Cardwell Garden Centre, Gourock, PA19 1BB.

Kilmacolm & Port Glasgow Annual Show

Saturday 11th - Details at: www.kilmacolmshow.co.uk Our Annual Show is held at the Knapps, Kilmacolm by kind permission of Lord Maclay, Mrs. Smith and Mr. Robert Baxter. A great day out for the whole family!

Gourock Highland Games

Sunday 12th - 12pm to 5pm Gourock kicks off the Scottish Highland Games season and attracts highland dancers from across the West of Scotland, pipe bands from all over the country and heavy weight competitors from as far a field as Poland to compete annually in front of a crowd of thousands. Gourock Park, PA19 1YT, 01475 712032.

Royal Gourock Yacht Club - Open Day

Saturday 18th May 10am until late Open to the public, try sailing on one of the club’s boats; enjoy the BBQ and fine views across the Clyde; watch the classic yachts racing off the club. Find out about the benefits of membership - cost-effective sailtraining for children and adults; social functions and entertainment throughout the year; bar and restaurant facilities; membership benefits and discounts; enjoy a club atmosphere and make friends with like-minded people. Find out more at our website http://rgyc.org.uk/ www.clydelife.co.uk | 27

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.

Health & Wellbeing Classes Class




Teacher/Instructor Contact Details

Yogabellies Children’s Yoga 3-12yrs 01475 745552/744404 www.enterprisechildcare.co.uk admin@enterprisechildcare.co.uk Yoga & Meditation


Jacci Stoyle

Chair Yoga by appointment only please phone.


Boglestone CC


Jacci Stoyle

07790 262124 07790 262124



Westburn Church


Aileen Hughes

01475 801613





Patricia Ralston

01475 785685

Hatha Yoga


Lyle Kirk


Flora MacKenzie


Yin Yoga


Inverkip CC


Flora MacKenzie


Birsay Yoga




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073

Birsay Yoga




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073

Gentle Yoga




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073

Yoga for Teenagers




Joanna Ritchie

07518 373073

Yoga Mixed Ability Class


Gourock - Bath St


Sheena Arlow



Greenock - Nelson St Wed

Sheena Arlow


Scaravelli inspired Yoga


Branchton CC


Rachel Harper

01475 638481

Tai Chi

10.30am-11.30am Branchton CC


David Kendal

01475 638481


9.30am-10.30am Kilmacolm

Tue & Fri

Jacqueline Gibson 7851735357


10.00am-11.30am Bridge of Weir

Tue & Thu

Sara Marijuan-Tuck 07962 347950


Bridger of Weir


Sara Marijuan-Tuck 07962 347950



Tue & Thu

Sara Marijuan-Tuck 07962 347950

Antenatal Yoga


Bridge of Weir


Janis Green

07748 150001

General Yoga


Bridge of Weir


Janis Green

07748 150001

10.00am-11-00am Kilmacolm


Janis Green

07748 150001

Move it or lose it!


Bridge of Weir


Fiona Bretherton

07811 766672

FABS fitness for the over 60’s - more than just a fitness class




Fiona Bretherton

07811 766672




Fiona Bretherton

07811 766672

Physio-led Pilates 6.15pm-7.15pm Houston Mon Kate Black

katiescotts@hotmail.com 07972 474965





Kate Black

07972 474965

The costs of this advert have been met from Parliamentary resources.

28 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


Dance Classes Elite Academy of Dance Ballet Silver Swans Ballet (over 50s) 11am-12pm Royal Scottish Country Dance Society 8pm-9:45pm

Greenock Every Day Greenock Tue & Thu Laird Street, Greenock Mon Joan Pow

www.eliteacademyofdance.co.uk www.silverswansballet.co.uk 07834 553604

Camera Clubs Digital Camera Club Greenock Camera Club Kilmacolm Camera Club Inverclyde Camera Club

7:30pm 7:30pm 7:30pm 7:30pm

Langbank Greenock Golf Club Kilmacolm Gourock

2nd & 4th Mon Thur Tue Fri

Derrick McPherson Langbankcc1@gmail.com Heather Sinclair 07801 445102 David Walker 01505 873883 Ann-Marie Westwood 07971 607453

Other Clubs & Groups

Greenock Speakers Club 7:30pm - 10pm Ardgowan Club, Greenock Thur (Oct-Mar) Alastair MacDonald 01475 638613 Club Secretary aimacdon1@gmail.com MS Activities Group 11am-1pm Greenock Thu Stuart Anderson 01475 630553 Parkinson’s Inverclyde Support Group 12:30-2:30pm Greenock

Last Fri of month Trish Maclennan

01475 743679

Fort Matilda Bridge Club


Tarbet St Gourock

Mon Tue Fri

Ann MacLeod

01475 522181

Inverclyde Sky Watchers





01475 634976

Bridge of Weir

2nd & 4th Thu Keith

Renfrewshire & Inverclyde Games Society

Inverclyde Ramblers

Dave Souza

07789 501605 01475 631654

To be included in the magazine and on the website please send details to the editor@clydelife.co.uk

Please let us know if any of your clubs, classes or groups details have changed!

Clyde Life Clyde Life is delivered to 15,000 households in Skelmorlie • Wemyss Bay Inverkip • Gourock • Greenock Port Glasgow • Langbank Kilmacolm • Quarrier’s Village Bridge of Weir • Brookfield • Houston Bishopton • Dargavel Village

To advertise in the next issue contact Julie Baird on T: 01631 568009 e:jbaird@obantimes.co.uk w:wwwclydelife.co.uk Clyde Life Magazine

www.clydelife.co.uk | 29

RECIPE Katsu for 2

You will need

For the curry sauce • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil • 2 onions, sliced • 5 garlic cloves, chopped • 2 medium carrots, sliced • 2 tablespoons plain flour • 4 teaspoons curry powder • 600ml chicken stock • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar • 4 teaspoons soy sauce • 1 bay leaf • 1 teaspoon garam masala For the curry sauce • 2 chicken breast fillets, butterflied • Salt and pepper to taste • 2 tablespoons plain flour • 1 egg, beaten • 100g fine breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs 1. For the curry sauce: Heat oil in medium nonstick saucepan, add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Stir in carrots and cook over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. 2. Add flour, curry powder, garam masala and brown sugar cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in stock until combined; add soy sauce. Slowly bring to the boil.

30 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019

3. Turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency. Pour the curry sauce through a sieve; return to saucepan and keep on low heat until ready to serve. 4. For the chicken: Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls and arrange in a row. Coat the chicken breasts in flour, then dip them into the egg, then coat in breadcrumbs, making sure you cover both sides. remember!! wet hand dry hand! 5. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken into hot oil and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden brown. 6. Pour curry sauce over chicken, serve with rice and enjoy!


Late Availability Package

Friday to Sunday Dates


100 Day Guests 120 Evening Guests

Your ceremony and meal will take place in the stunning surroundings of the Mackintosh Suite, with your evening reception to follow in the Art Lover’s Café Bar. • Venue hire • Glass of House sparkling for arrival • Ceremony charge • Master of ceremonies • Half bottle of House wine for meal • Glass of sparkling for toast • Cake stand and knife • 3 course menu • Table stationery • Hot Filled Rolls for 120 Guests • Choice of 2 floral centre pieces • Dance floor

New bookings only. Additional guests can be arranged.


www.clydelife.co.uk | 31


EASTER SUNDAY Sunday 21st April



Mr B Loon - balloon twister! 1pm-5pm s id K uring Menu & Kid’s colo £5.95 competitions


troo Char




o Fam




12th April 8pm

FREE admission & hot supper

Register your team NOW!

9 01475 52091Sponsored by


Waterside Weddings Bespoke packages for special days & nights…

2 courses £12


Call 01475 520919 thechartroom.co.uk

32 | Clyde Life – April/May 2019


Profile for Wyvex Media Limited

Clyde Life Magazine Issue 47  

Clyde Life Magazine Issue 47

Clyde Life Magazine Issue 47  

Clyde Life Magazine Issue 47