Celebrating his 100th birthday, Hugh Baillie considers his secret of long life is: ‘Living a normal life. And not having too much to do with the drink.’ But his younger brother Sandy – a mere 92 – blew the gaff: ‘Only the good die young!’ he quipped.
Most of Hugh’s family of two children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren – and brother Sandy – attended his special birthday party in Sherbrooke Lodge care home in Pollokshields. Hugh and his late wife Peggy were married in September 1939 as war broke out. They lived together in Sherbrooke Lodge in recent years until Peggy passed away 18 months ago.
A railway worker since leaving school at 15, Hugh was in a reserved occupation, critical to the war effort, so not allowed to join the forces.
He spent a good number of years operating the signal box at Central Station, before retiring after 50 years’ service.
A keen golfer – he played off a handicap of 8 – he had at least one game a week at Blairbeth Golf Club until he was 95. Brother Sandy was head green keeper at Gleneagles and Turnberry when each was a railway hotel.
Born in Govanhill, Hugh has lived all his life in the Shawlands, Pollokshields area. He enjoys being in Sherbrooke. ’There’s a couple of nice wee groups (of friends) here,’ he commented.
Sherbrooke operations director Lissa Ameur presented Hugh with a bouquet of flowers. And all the residents joined in the party after Hugh received his birthday card from the Queen on Saturday 16 February 2013.
Until recently he and Sandy and a third brother who lived well into his 90s, would attend model railway exhibitions.
Hugh’s grandson Chris Baillie is a silver medalist having run the 110 metre hurdles in the last three Commonwealth Games. He’s now in training for Glasgow 2014 Games and hopes to be chosen to run there.
With the life style Hugh is enjoying at Sherbrooke Lodge, there’s a real chance he’ll be at the Games to cheer his grandson on.
Around 2am on Monday morning, Police and Fire and Rescue services received a report of a fire in the first floor of a tenement in Albert Drive. Three men aged 32, 60 and 61 jumped from a window on the first floor. All three men were taken to Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary where they were detained in a stable condition.
Three other people were evacuated from the building. A further six were evacuated from a nearby building as a precaution.
Officers are now treating the fire as suspicious and a joint investigation is underway. Because of the unsafe condition of the building, the investigating officers from both services have been unable to carry out thorough investigations.
Occupants of the building, including local businesses, have also been unable to return due to essential work required to make the building safe.
There are no descriptions of any suspects and officers are appealing for anyone who was in or around Albert Drive around 2am to contact them. They are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen someone hanging around or acting suspiciously or anyone running away from Albert Drive.
Anyone with any information should contact Gorbals Police Office on 0141 532 5374. Alternatively they can contact CRIMESTOPPERS on 0800 555 111 where they can remain anonymous.
May Day in Glasgow was mainly unobserved by anyone of any political hue. A saltire flew above the City Chambers.
But there was one exception: – a group of Anti-Cuts Coalition Campaigners boldly stood outside the City Chambers’ front door and waved their red banners to show they cared.
They are all standing for election in local council wards so it wasn’t just a fun exercise.
Said Eric Stevenson (centre) ‘I haven’t given up on Socialism.’ A retired housing administrator, he is standing in Drumchapel –Anniesland ward. ‘I was a member of the Labour Party for 37 years and was expelled for being Militant. The current parties – including Labour – are letting people down. People have to have a voice and that’s why we are part of this country-wide Anti- Cuts Coalition.’
The others are from left: Ronnie Stevenson (Eric’s brother) who is standing in Langside ward; Luke Ivory who is standing in Springburn; Graham Campbell who is standing in Anderston City Centre and Akhtar Khan who is standing in Pollokshields.
Luke, who has recently come to Glasgow from Sutherland said: ‘People of Glasgow need an alternative. We’re it!’
Weel kent figure Graham Campbell who is secretary of the Afro Caribbean Centre in Glasgow and who works for an Anti Racist charity, added: ‘People are friendly but not giving away how they are going to vote. We think our results will run close to the Green Party’s votes.’
Added Akhtar, who with Graham , is a member of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts (BARAC): ‘It’s a tough one to call. I might be fifth out of the eight candidates.’
All are agreed, the Anti-Cuts Coalition is a new political kid on the block and one they believe voters should consider as an alternative to established parties who’ve disappointed the electorate in the past.
A new network has been set up to help reduce inequalities among people in minority ethnic communities.
Called Alliance Minority Ethnic Empowerment Network (AMEEN), it aims to provide advice and advocacy particularly in housing issues.
The brainchild of Sofi Parveen who is now Chairperson, and friends, it is designed to provide holistic support. Said Sofi: ‘Even though I speak fluent English, I found it frustrating not to be able to access the support I needed and to have to face inequalities in trying to find a job. This organisation will spearhead these issues. We aim to empower families from different cultures and backgrounds. By doing so we will make a powerful statement.’
Funded by Scottish Community Foundation, the group has a working base in Torrisdale Street in Govanhill. It has a drop in session in the nearby Larkfield Centre, Inglefield Street on Tuesdays from 1pm till 4pm and in St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, in Albert Drive, Pollokshields on Thursdays from 1pm till 4pm.
The volunteers who will provide the support for AMEEN clients will be trained and given personal development opportunities.
At the launch event, dramatised accounts of some real life experiences were acted out to show how advocacy can bring a suitable solution to sometimes difficult-to-handle problems.
Said Sofi: ‘Advocacy can play a powerful role in helping people resolve issues of unfair treatment or discrimination.’
Westminster MP Anas Sarwar, reaffirmed his commitment to helping disadvantaged communities in tackling inequalities. ‘He has been brilliant,’ said Sofi. ‘He understands the kind of inequalities we are confronting.’
MSP Hanzala Malik also attended the opening event. ‘He has expressed a supportive attitude,’ said Sofi.
The Housing Support Project aims to help families and individuals who are currently needing advice and support in housing matters. They will be offered free, independent, confidential and culturally sensitive help from AMEEN.
The organisation can be contacted on: mob 07403491660 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org Languages currently spoken include: Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Igbo and German as well as English.
By Grace Franklin
Picture by Stuart Maxwell
St Albert’s Primary School in Pollokshields had several spectacular celebrations on Guy Fawkes day – Friday 5 November.
First, they raised their first Green Eco Flag on their very own flag pole. Then they had none other than Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, local MSP Nicola Sturgeon, formally opening their new media suite.
Said head teacher Eleanor Mcaveety: ‘We received funding from Awards for All and from Pollokshields Area Committee so are delighted to open our new media suite and library. The youngsters love the new room and are able to chill-out in the library and use the computers for research or fun. The bonus of securing our first Eco flag, in recognition of the environmental work being done in the school, is the icing on the cake.’
With the whole school gathered outside to watch the cutting of the ribbon to signal the flag flying for the first time, Primary 6 pupil Amisha Adhikari stepped up to the microphone to welcome everyone. In a confident, clear speech the 10-year-old said: ‘We are delighted that so many people could join us today. Over the last two years, our journey to a Green Flag has involved our school community in many new and exciting opportunities. We have learned a lot about re-cycling, waste minimisation, litter and energy. We thank everyone who helped us along the way. In particular, McTaggart Construction Ltd who kindly donated the flagpole, Mr Mark Irwin of Education Services and all our Eco Committees over the years. Without one person in particular, this event would not have taken place: Teacher Ms Antonia Brooks – our Eco Warrior.’
Ms Brooks then cut the ribbon to ‘flag up’ the fact that the flag was now flying proudly at St Albert’s.
She later told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘This has been an absolutely fabulous occasion. I am so pleased that a lot of hard work by the whole school including the parents and the community, has paid off. Once the children got into the green challenge, they took the message home to their parents who are now taking up the message and switching off lights and following the Eco code.’
When Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened the media suite of computer room and library she said: ‘I feel under pressure because Amisha’s speech was so good – I’ve a lot to live up to. I forecast a great future ahead for her if she chooses to follow a career involving public speaking.’
She went on to say that she preferred reading books to computers. ‘But it is very important that young people today have the very best IT facilities. This suite is not only for the pupils and their parents, it is for the community and it gives me enormous pleasure to declare it open.’
On arrival, the Deputy First Minister was welcomed by Primary 1 pupils singing the St Albert’s school song for her. ‘That is a fantastic way to be greeted to a school,’ said the clearly delighted MSP.
Local Councillors Khalil Malik and Irfan Rabanni both spoke. On behalf of the Area Committee, Councillor Rabanni said the books would only be of use if people read them and encouraged everyone in the school community to use the facility. ‘I’ll be coming along myself!’ he emphasised.
Councillor Malik echoed the message and hoped the media suite would be well used.
Head Teacher Mrs Mcaveety commented: ‘This is tangible evidence that things can happen when people work together. She thanked the large number of supporters for the various projects being celebrated and concluded by saying: ‘St Albert’s Primary School has 250 rising stars in our pursuit of the curriculum of excellence.’
The Parents’ Council co-chairwomen, Mrs Shaista Aslam and Mrs Ghazala Hanif both expressed delight at the success of the day. Said Mrs Aslam: ‘It is very exciting. We are all working as a team since Mrs Mcaveety arrived about one and a half years ago. ‘ Added Mrs Hanif: ‘There is a very good atmosphere in this school.’
By Stuart Maxwell and Elyas Hussain
An award winning Post Office in the heart of Glasgow’s Southside is poised to be shut down despite fierce community opposition who see the service as vital.
There are plans for Crosshill Post Office, Victoria Road, to be closed and relocated to 540 Cathcart Road- where it will be a hybrid service, integrated with another retail venture. This comes a little over a year after the branch was awarded ‘Best Town and City’ Post Office in Scotland.
Fiercely opposed to the relocation, Iain MacInnes, Govanhill and Crosshill Community Council secretary, has headed a local campaign. Said Iain: ‘We have nearly 700 signatures from the local community in opposition to this. People are showing great displeasure. Post Office provisions have cut heavily all over the Southside. All such cuts are morally bankrupt. It is an iconic building to all cultures. They see it as part of their community being taken away.’
Iain’s campaign has been supported by Nicola Sturgeon, local MSP and Government Minister. In a letter to Post Office Ltd. Nicola wrote: ‘Many in the area doubt the business viability of such a ‘dual purpose’ branch and fear that if it wasn’t successful, it would not be too long before a proposal was forthcoming to close the branch altogether.’
Govanhill resident Brian Rowinson is one of many angry at the proposed closure. The 39 year-old told LOCAL NEWS: ‘If they close this post office it will effect the elderly community because Crosshill is within walking distance. The new premises are smaller- how will they possibly accommodate all the customers? It’s horribly ironic that Crosshill Post Office won the Post Office of the Year and is being closed?
The LOCAL NEWS has been told by Post Office Ltd that the decision to advertise the franchise was taken after the business went in to receivership in December 2009, and that the sole applicant wants to move the service to Cathcart Road. Julie Morrison, Head of External Relations for Post Office Ltd said: ‘She (the applicant), wants to relocate to Cathcart Road. Rents and rates on Victoria Road make it an nonviable option. This is the best solution available to us.’
Iain MacInnes is not convinced: ‘As a community we have seen no evidence to show that there were proper procedures for other people to put their names forward to run this post office.’
The period for consultation, allowing the public to respond to the proposal, ended on October 26. Julie Morrison has pledged that Post Office Ltd ‘will take all all submissions into consideration before making a final decision.’ Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow, who has presented a motion to the Scottish Parliament against the relocation, fears community views will be shelved
Said Patrick: ‘The decision to close and relocate has been taken too early.. I don’t think the Post Office have explored all options for maintaining the service on Victoria Road. The branch on Victoria Road is clearly more accessible for the local community. There have been many reductions to Post Office services in the Southside and there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough. The peoples’ wishes tend to be ignored but this decision has stirred enough reaction to make the Post Office think again.’
In 2007, David Meikle, Councillor for Pollokshields, led a protest against Post Office plans to close a branch on Kildrostin Street. 1300 signatures were gathered but the closure went ahead. David told LOCAL NEWS: ‘At the time, the Post Office cited a new service on Shields Road and Crosshill itself as alternatives. We were promised two counters in the Shields Road hybrid, but have only one. To now hear that Crosshill is to close is really a piece of nonsense. You get the impression there is no real consultation period and that it’s a done deal. This will be another nail in the coffin for the vitality of Victoria Road.’
In the end, Glasgow youth were just too organised and fast for Strathclyde Police. It’s been the case for years, to be honest!
Yes, at the annual T20 cricket match, at Clydesdale Cricket club in Pollokshields, Active Life Youth Club celebrated their 10th anniversary in style with a comprehensive victory over a Strathclyde Police elite cricket 11. They carried home the SemperScotland Community Challenge Trophy for the second year running.
Active Life is a youth club that works to integrate youngsters into the community. SEMPERscotland, match organisers, work to promote good race relations within the police force.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon attended with a mass of local cricket enthusiasts.
For Strathclyde Police, there was some sugar coating following the bitterness of defeat. Police person, Naveed Hussein picked up ‘Best Bowler’ award and Alastair Dalgleish was ‘Best All-rounder’. But they were powerless to stop ‘Best Batsman’ Fazal Mohammed of Active Life, who batted his team to a famous victory!
High times for Active Life, high-tea for all!
photograph: Stuart Maxwell
Cricketers had a fair innings.
Glasgow remains in the grip of the worst cold snap in more than 30 years, with flurries of snow adding to ice dangers that arrived more than three weeks ago.
Temperatures across Scotland have dropped as low as -20 degrees Celsius while the Glasgow area – which is on the same latitude as Moscow in Russia – has seen measures as low as -9 degrees.
Forecasts for the Strathclyde area from the Met Office suggest the severe cold conditions will continue into late January.
‘The trend from Sunday (17) looks most likely to start cold although there is a signal for the weather turning less cold, especially in the west and southwest,’ the Met Office outlook said.
As snow turns to ice, schools have been hit hard, with many not opening or pupils and teachers struggling to get in through adverse conditions. While closures may delight Scottish children, it has also brought childcare headaches for many working parents.
At Glasgow City Council, crews at Land and Environmental Services are on duty 24 hours. More than 8,000 tonnes of salt were spread on roadways and paths in the space of 10 days.
Councillor David Meikle, who represents Pollokshields, commented: ‘Senior managers are confident that the level of resources being deployed to the winter maintenance service within the city is to a high standard in comparison to other local authorities.
‘Unfortunately, while the city centre is being treated to high standard, residential areas like Pollokshields, Shawlands and Strathbungo are not. I have made my views know to the directors of Land and Environmental Services.’
He warned: ‘Obviously, as a result of the extreme weather conditions, this has had a direct impact on refuse collection services due to restricted access or the presence of ice however resources are also being deployed to assist with this operation to ensure services are maintained.’
Meanwhile, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport has agreed a £435,000 contract with Balvac for waterproofing tunnels on the city’s Subway system.
The section between Kelvinbridge and Hillhead will be treated against ingress of water from the River Kelvin.
Last year, the line between Buchanan Street and St Enoch were successfully treated.
Police in Pollokshields are looking for four young men who threatened and robbed a man in Maxwell Park.
The 59-year-old, who was punched in the face but otherwise unharmed, later told police he was concerned for the safety of local people who like to enjoy the park.
The incident took place at around 6.15pm on Wednesday December 2, when the man returning from work, got off a train at Pollokshields East station in Terreagles Avenue.
On his regular route through the park he was approached by four men who threatened him with a weapon – which he did not see – before punching him on the face and stealing a three-figure sum of money. They ran off in the direction of St Andrews Drive.
A small amount of money was recovered in the park shortly afterwards.
The suspects are described as four Asian males, aged approximately 17 to 19 years of age. All were wearing dark hooded tops and dark trousers.
Anyone with information on the attack is asked to contact the Robbery Unit at Pollok Police Office on 0141 532 5639 or Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555111.
Pollokshields and Garrowhill are two of the latest beneficiaries of the Scottish Government’s £1.25bn schools building programme.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Fiona Hyslop’s, announcement includes rebuilding projects at Garrowhill Primary in the east of the city and Glendale Primary in the south.
The latest tranche of rebuilding also allows Glasgow City Council to nominate a third school project. A total of 21 primary schools are now part of the programme to replace crumbling post-war buildings with modern facilities.
In September, the Government announced that 14 secondary schools will be rebuilt or modernised.
The Cabinet Secretary said: ‘This Government inherited a legacy of 260,000 pupils in poor or bad condition school buildings and in just two-and-a-half years that number has dropped by over 100,000.
‘We are on track to deliver in excess of 250 new or refurbished schools in the lifetime of this Parliament through £2bn already under way, supported by decisions made by the Scottish Government.’
Welcoming the news of a new Garrowhill Primary, Glasgow East MP, John Mason, fired a broadside at the Labour-led council, saying they had failed in their responsibility to keep schools in good repair.
‘The Scottish Government’s school building fund is meant to provide additional support, but the Labour council really needs to start pulling its weight on schools.’
The rebuilding project will be managed by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), a limited company wholly owned by Holyrood ministers, set up to govern infrastructure investment in Scotland, working in partnership with the private sector.
Established last year, the Government claimed the SFT would cost less than public finance initiative deals with the private sector. Infrastructure investment in Scotland over the next 10 years has been put at some £35bn.