Rwanda gets help from Oatlands

April 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Anne Marie (right) who make the colourful blanket with her daughter Lisa.

The Ladies of Oatlands who meet on a Wednesday for tea, conversation and a game of bingo, have raised more than £80 for destitute children in Rwanda.

Organiser Marie Reilly was crocheting a blanket when she first heard of volunteer Mary Millar going out to Rwanda to work with local projects. ‘I said then, I’d raffle the blanket when I finished it and give the proceeds to her for that work,’ said Marie.

And that’s what she did on Wednesday 11 April 2012. ‘We sold raffle tickets around in the community but mainly it was the pensioners who come on Wednesday afternoons to the OCRC (Oatlands Community Resource Centre who bought the tickets,’ ‘ she added.

The group heard how Mary works from dawn till dusk managing the projects which centre on street children and people with disabilities.

Marie is now gathering in more wool, knitting needles and crochet hooks and other craft supplies so that the Wednesday Ladies can run their own craft or art classes.  ‘All donations would be gratefully received,’ said Ann Marie.


Andy’s up for a chat

January 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Andy on a baobab tree Kalahari Desert Namibia during one of his adventures.

If you fancy a chat with Andy Kershaw, intrepid reporter, fearless broadcaster and unique music man you have a chance when he hits the Arches in Glasgow on Tuesday 28 February.

‘This is better than a proper job,’ said Andy who is launching his biography ‘No Off Switch’ and taking the opportunity to tour 33 venues across the country to continue the conversation with people who want to talk with him. ‘Radio is a solitary occupation, so it’s good for me to get out and about.’

Andy presented his Radio 1 show for 15 years till he was sacked in May 2000. He joined Radio 3 about a year later and covered stories such as the volcanic eruption on Montserrat which happened the day after he’d arrived on the island with his partner for ‘a quiet Caribbean holiday.’

His autobiography concentrates on four particular areas he’s reported on: North Korea where he made the very first film from inside that secretive country carried by Channel 4 and where he’s been on holiday three times. Rwanda where he reported on the genocide there in 1994. ‘That was an awful situation which badly needed to be reported. Too many journalists were too scared to go there,’ he said. And some of his adventures in Haiti and Zimbabwe which are among the 97 of the 194 countries in the world, Andy has visited.

‘I’ve had 30 years of amazing adventures, seen history being made and reported on these things as a journalist,’ said Andy. ‘It is just as well I didn’t write my biography 20 years ago. While my homework may be a bit late, I’ve got more to say

Andy's in town to chat with journalist Ruth Pitt at The Arches.


And he says them through music too. Running the entertainments section of the students union at Leeds University in the early 80s for two and a half years, he lined up The Clash, Elvis Costello, Black Uhuru among many others. This took him to London – without a degree – as Billy Bragg’s driver and roadie. There his music career took off and his first asignment was a report for Whistle Test on the Monsters of Rock heavy metal festival. He now holds two honorary degrees from other universities.

‘Right now’ he comments there is ‘nothing new since Bob Dylan – who should have retired in 1976.’ But he claims he’s ‘too nosy to retire.’

His biggest challenge so far has been ‘Fatherhood! That’s the biggest responsibility and the most enjoyable experience of the lot.’

For tickets see the Arches website :