The St Patrick’s Baroque Ensemble will be performing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at Christ the King, King’s Park, Glasgow, on May 14th at 7.30pm.
This concert celebrates the church’s 50th anniversary. Tickets are available from the parish, or at the door on the night.
Violin soloist Ani Batikian will be performing on the rarely-played ‘Sherlock’ violin, made from a sycamore tree that stood in writer Arthur Conan Doyle’s childhood garden in Edinburgh. The violin was built in 2009 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Conan Doyle’s birth.
Creator Steve Burnett hopes that a string quarter can eventually be built. Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle’s famous fictional detective, often played the violin, one of the few constants in his otherwise chaotic life.
On May 15th, St Patrick’s Baroque is making its Usher Hall debut in Edinburgh, again with Ani Batikian.
The members of the group are prize-winning students and graduates of the UK’s music colleges, including the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the RSAMD in Glasgow.
The best of Scottish cricket came to the South Side on Bank Holiday Monday when Titwood played host to the Regional Series clash between Western Warriors and Caledonian Highlanders.
The Saltires’ selectors were among the crowd with an eye to the opening Pro40 clash with Leicestershire on May 16.
The decision by Caledonian Highlanders to put the Warriors into bat in tricky conditions paid dividends with no Warriors batsman getting on top of the Highlander’s bowling attack.
Skipper Qasim Sheikh of Clydesdale top-scored with 26, and Greenock’s Willie Rowan made an unbeaten 25 that took the Warriors to a modest 174.
In reply, the Highlanders opened with two of Scotland’s senior players. Former Saltire captain Ryan Watson and current captain Gavin Hamilton set about the Warriors attack from the outset.
The experienced pair put on 91 for the opening wicket with Watson reaching a 52 that included seven boundaries.
It looked cut-and-dried for the Highlanders until Clydesdale’s Moneeb Iqbal removed both openers. This sparked a major collapse and the Highlanders lost the next six wickets for 29 runs.
It looked like the Warriors would snatch a dramatic win but the Highlanders’ tail-enders kept their nerve and edged home to victory with one ball and two wickets to spare.
By Elyas Hussain
A coach load of people from Glasgow travelled to the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of Huntington’s Disease.
Huntington’s Disease is a genetic, degenerative neurological condition that causes muscle problems, affects thinking and judgment, produces involuntary jerky movements, progressive dementia and mental health problems
A total of 120 people attended from all over Scotland. They met Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Conservative MSPs.
Speeches were made by Hugh Henry, Labour MSP for Paisley South; John Eden, Chief Executive of Scottish Huntington’s Association and Cath Stanley, Head of Care Services England and Wales.
June Brown, a carer, gave a touching account of how she copes. She emphasised the excellent support and practical help that she receives from the Scottish Huntington’s Association (SHA).
Sarah Winckless, the Olympic gold medallist and Patron of the Association, spoke very passionately about her mother when she was diagnosed with Huntington’s and how her family coped. She said the help she received from SHA was ‘invaluable’ and the work they do is ‘amazing’.
Errol Walsh, from the Northern Ireland Huntington Association, sang his song ‘Rachel’, which he wrote to tell of his stepdaughter who had Huntington’s Disease.
His performance moved everyone who heard his sad song. It was a fitting conclusion to the proceedings.
The event was also the launch of the amalgamation of the three UK and Irish, Huntington’s Associations. They are now called UK & Irish Huntington’s Alliance.
John from the SHA told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I was delighted at the turn-out. It is an indication of how important awareness-raising is to people living with this condition.
‘It was obvious that the MSPs who attended were very moved by what they heard. It is important that we now follow up the momentum generated by the reception and continue to raise awareness about this relatively unknown but devastating condition.’
Huntington Awareness week runs from Monday 7 June to Friday 11 June.
For more information see the Scottish Huntington’s Association website:
The Scottish Parliament voted against Scottish Green Party calls for a £7-per-hour living wage across Scotland.
The SNP, Conservative and Lib Dem MSPs instead voted for a Lib Dem amendment which was less committal to the £7 level.
The £7 per-hour rate is the figure recommended by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and backed by the Poverty Alliance, who point out that one in five Scots working in the public sector do not receive this rate.
In this city there already exists a minimum wage – all be it a non-compulsory one. The Glasgow Living Wage was launched by Glasgow City Council in March 2009. It set a new guaranteed minimum standard of income for all council workers, set at £7 an hour.
A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: ‘The introduction of the living wage increased the basic salary of the lowest paid council workers by up to £1100 a year.
‘As well as the clear financial benefits for employees, research has shown that the introduction of a living wage in other parts of the UK has provided employees with more job satisfaction.
‘It is clear that improving rates of pay for low-paid workers can have a significant impact on the city’s efforts to tackle poverty and worklessness.’
Scottish Green Party Leader Patrick Harvie accused the politicians who voted against the motion at Holyrood of hypocrisy.
He said: ‘All the other parties at Holyrood spoke out today against inequality, but then SNP, Tory and Lib Dem MSPs voted against the Green call for a £7 an hour national minimum wage.
‘Far too many Scots still have to get by on wages below this basic level, including one in five of all public sector staff in Scotland, and it’s just not good enough.’
The Scottish Cinema Organ Trust (SCOT) will present a concert featuring the Mighty Wurlitzer cinema pipe organ at Pollokshaws Burgh Hall on Sunday May 23, 2010 at 2.45pm.
May’s celebrity guest player is Chris Powell. Chris is a celebrated performer playing concerts by invitation throughout the UK and overseas and is well known for his Blackpool style which he developed while he was resident at the Tower Ballroom.
Tickets for the concert are £6.00 each and are available from Pollokshaws Burgh Hall, telephone 0141 632-5811.
Before then, there is a wonderful use of the Wurlitzer on Sunday 2 May at 2.45pm when the regular silent movie club in the Pollokshaws Burgh Hall shows the Hunchback of Notre Dame with the backing music provided by the magnificant pipe organ.
In sharp contrast to last year, Toryglen’s Blossom Festival on Saturday 24 April basked in warm sunshine which attracted around 600 people who enjoyed the multitude of green and environmentally friendly activities.
Part of Urban Roots’ promotion to empower people to ‘do stuff’ for the environment, it included food demonstrations from the ‘let’s cook together’ group, pedal powered Scalextric, solar powered musicians, storytelling for kids, circus skills, youth eco drama performance, willow weaving, environmental art works, and planter boxes made from scrap wood and filled with flowers and fruit cuttings provided by King’s Park Gardening Club.
‘This was a fantastic day. Much better than last year,’ said local Councillor Danny Alderslowe who demonstrated willow weaving and whose children had a field day.
SNP Councillor Jahangir Haif took the opportunity to introduce Osama Saeed, his party’s parliamentary candidate for Glasgow Central, to some of his constituents attending the Blossom Festival. SNP’s Bailie James Scanlon was also spotted enjoying himself with his grandchild.
Said Abi Mordin, Urban Roots co-ordinator who was responsible for organising the day: ‘ Everyone seems to have had a good time. The sunny weather helped a lot.’
The Scottish medics who staffed the Military Field Hospital in Afghanistan for the past three months, returned home to their Govan base on Monday 26 April.
After four days of travelling and de-briefing, the weary Territoral Army personnel arrived around midnight to be embraced by relieved families and friends. While glasses of champagne were awaiting them, most settled for a cup of tea, a cheerio to their comrades and home to their own bed for a good night’s rest after the constant trauma of living and working in a war zone.
Commanding Officer Colonel David McArthur in dismissing everyone for well-deserved leave said: ‘In 205 Field Hospital we aim to do something well. In this tour of duty, you did extremely well. Due to your medical skills, Afghan, US and UK people are alive. You worked in an outstanding way and co-operated with US and Allied medical teams to provide top line care in the busiest trauma centre in the world. It was a very good, but also a very sad experience. You come back with a plethora of experiences and professional development. I say to you – well done and welcome home.’
Second-in-command, Lt Col Roddy Neilson added: ‘You have won high respect. We are very, very proud of each and every one of you.’
Almost 100 medical professionals from hospitals from Glasgow to Aberdeen, serve in the Territorial Army unit 205 (Scottish) Field Hospital (Volunteers) which has its headquarters in Govan.
For some personnel, such as Cpl Michelle Williamson, who is a staff nurse at the Southern General in civilian life, this tour was her second time in the conflict zone.
‘It was a fantastic experience,’ she told the LOCAL NEWS. ‘Our patients were casualties of every nationality. It was nice when we’d bump into a discharged patient who’d say how much they’d appreciated the care they’d received. After all, they are the ones who are risking their lives every time.’
Her Mother, Michelle said: ‘We are delighted she is home and we’re very proud of her, for she’s doing a good job.’
Captain Margot McCrone admitted it was a very difficult experience. ‘The reality is so different from what you imagine. It was a very busy theatre and you saw raw trauma,’ said the Theatre Team Leader who works in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank. ‘It was also the best experience of my life.’
Her parents, Hugh and Charlotte and brother Douglas, were all at Govan to welcome her home. Said Mrs McCrone: ‘We’re very proud and very, very relieved she’s home. I’m sure she’s gained a lot from being in Afghanistan. She enjoys the TA and is very positive about her work.’
During their stint in Afghanistan, the medics received visits from Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and the Prime Minister.
In June, the Field Hospital unit will be honoured by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons with a dinner in Glasgow and they will be given a Civic Reception by Glasgow City Council.
From football to franchising, Gerry Carey’s career so far has been an eventful one. As Director of Retail Operations at Glasgow Rangers, a short-lived attachment as Chief Executive of Partick Thistle that remains a huge ‘what if?’ among fans, and early-stage consultancy with the Poland-Ukraine 2012 European international football championships, there’s a sense that he’s someone who likes a business challenge.
Little surprise, then, that his most recent venture is challenging some of the world’s biggest coffee shop chains on their own doorsteps as master franchise holder for The Streat.
The Streat was founded in Belfast 11 years ago by husband-and-wife team Michael and Nikki McQuillan. Since that time, carried by a wave of business optimism that followed momentous political events in Northern Ireland and capitalising on the city’s bar and cafe culture, the McQuillans expanded from three shops to a chain of 25 and kicked off a healthy franchise business.
‘I bumped into the folk from The Streat, who had a stand at an exhibition I was visiting in Birmingham,’ said Gerry. ‘They told me they were looking for someone to develop the brand in Scotland, and initially I said no. I never imagined myself going down the cafe market route.
‘They said they wanted someone to develop the business, not run the cafes. We talked, and eventually John Belardo and myself bought the licence for Scotland.’
With retail expertise and no small experience in the field thanks to work with an organisation called The Franchise Company, what was it about the The Streat and its business model that persuaded Gerry?
‘I asked myself that question and there are a number of reasons why. I did due diligence on the business, and they’d grown from three cafes to 25 in a five-year period in Northern Ireland. They’d just opened in Dublin and were planning to expand into Scotland,’ he said.
‘Despite the fact you’ve got Costa, Coffee Republic, Nero and Starbucks in Ireland as well, Belfast is no different to Glasgow, other than it’s smaller. I thought, if they’ve done that up against these big players, how have they done it?’
The Streat’s offerings also proved attractive. ‘One of the things that caught our attention was the width of the menu. Coffee is the basis of the business model, but added to that there’s a wide menu. It’s coffee, cakes, panini, there’s an Irish soda breakfast, porridge, salads for lunch, a kids’ menu.
‘Being a family man, I can go and enjoy a really nice coffee and I can also bring the kids. Or, I’m a businessman and I can meet people in a really nice environment.’
Gerry added: ‘The model is not unique, it’s not niche but it’s “let’s take what works”. There’s also the outside catering element, which gives the opportunity to increase revenue.’
For anyone who wants to take a business forward quickly, franchising is a good way of doing it, said Gerry.
‘It avoids you bringing in business angels or borrowing heavily. If you wanted to start independently you’d need a lot of financial resources to make that happen.
‘I call it a business in a box. You get a box of tools and the franchisee can run their business with a brand and expertise behind them. I wouldn’t have opened a cafe in Scotland if I hadn’t done it through a franchise network.’
Beer, curry, football and comedy looks like a heaven-sent combination and there will be plenty of all of them at the home of the STUC and the Stand on Friday April 30.
Stand Up Against Racism is the latest awareness campaign from Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC) and will provide comedians with a platform for their skills and art to reach adults with an anti-racist and anti-fascist message.
Partners in the event include Scottish Ethical Events, the Co-op and Bombay Blues. Performers Des Clarke, Phil Differ, Paul Sinha, Susan Morrison and Saj Chaudhry will be there on the night to fuel the laughter and mock the hard-of-thinking.
Tommy Breslin, SRTRC Education Coordinator, said: ‘Stand Up Against Racism is an excellent way of bringing together adults to celebrate multi-culturalism and point out just how ridiculous racism is.’
Comedy writer and sometime football pundit Phil Differ said: ‘I love comedy, I love football, I love curry, I hate racism. Doing this gig was a no brainer.’
The evening at 333 Woodlands Road starts at 7pm with beer and curry. The comedy starts at 8pm. Tickets are by donation – £10 minimum – and are available at www.fairpley.com or call Fair Pley on 0141 418 0562.
‘Localism’ should be at the heart of our democracy and business practices, Glasgow North-West Green Party election candidate Moira Crawford has said.
As ash from a volcano in Iceland choked off air freight and passenger traffic in and out of the UK and media ‘experts’ shrieked about vulnerable commerce and food supplies, sustainablity has been catapulted onto the election agenda.
‘Localism is a core Green policy,’ Moira said. ‘We’re looking for more local autonomy in order to create jobs and make a nicer place to live in. We would change procurement legislation so that public goods could be got from local shops and suppliers.’
This would also cut transportation costs and enhance the traceability of our food, she added. Few can forget the BSE crisis of the late 1990s and its impact upon the public’s perception of how the food we eat is produced.
‘It’s a very sensible policy that would create jobs, would protect the environment and would encourage local businesses. To do that we would have a taxation system that favoured local businesses.’
In that, she acknowledges, the Greens have a huge fight on their hands as big business and its lobbying machine goes to work at Westminster.
‘Reducing their stranglehold on the economy is not going to be easy and there’s no point in saying it will. You have to make a start and we would make a start.’
With the word ‘economy’ on the lips of everyone seeking votes, the Greens are going straight to what they see as the heart of the matter.
‘We have always said this economic model won’t work. It’s unsustainable,’ said Moira, a retired schoolteacher. ‘We’re looking for a progressive taxation system, basing it on ability to pay.’
There would be new taxes on currency and financial transactions and ‘we think that would help calm down the wilder speculation, the gambling’.
Moira added: ‘We’d cut the banks into deposit taking and the retail side of it. No more “too big to fail” we would say.
‘Tax is never popular, but we need a culture where it’s awful to dodge paying taxes like it’s awful to drink and drive.’
Electoral reform, she said, must happen. ‘The way the system is, small parties like the Green Party, are squeezed out because of first-past-the-post. After the whole expenses scandal there’s hope all of that will change. There is a move towards reform.’
With the first-past-the-post system, some voters are completely marginalised. ‘These people are entitled to have someone to vote for. When I voted I voted according to the party whose programme I wanted.
‘I think you have to have the possibility that people will vote positively, for a programme they approve of rather than for the party they dislike least.’