Prince Edward Visits Glasgow’s East End

December 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow East, Local News

Bannerman High School in the East End, has hailed a visit from Edward, Earl of Wessex as a great success.

Prince Edward was all smiles as he watched a dozen mountain biking pupils demonstrate their two wheeled skills. The £40,000 mountain bike circuit was opened recently at the school and 50 students were using it to gain credits in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme.


Rob Ross, Sport for Learning teacher at Bannerman High, said: ‘The visit was a great happening. All too often we hear about the negative side of learning in the East End but this shows there are far more positive things taking place. It was a shining example of learning.’

Second year pupil Darren Martin said: ‘After we cycled round the circuit, His Royal Highness asked us what we were trying to achieve by taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and what we were doing on the track. I said: – having fun, keeping fit and keeping safe.’

During his packed schedule in Glasgow, Prince Edward was given a guided tour of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games 2014 offices, accompanied by Lord Provost Bob Winter. He met John Scott, Chief Executive of 2014 and the team behind the games.

Kerri Farnsworth, Project Manager of Glasgow 2014 took her third encounter with Royalty in her stride. Kerri, who lives in Kelvinbridge, said: ‘He asked me about my involvement with the Manchester Games in 2002 and I told him about a pre-volunteer programme which got workless people involved in the games. We plan a similar programme for Glasgow.’

Another place Prince Edward visited was Diageo’s Dundashill Cooperage near Spiers Wharf in Glasgow. There he viewed traditional coopering skills and more modern mechanical techniques. The Dundashill Cooperage produces 82,500 casks each year and among the staff are four apprentice coopers learning the skills at the on-site apprentice school. As well as building casks, the team also repairs and rejuvenates casks.

Later, he attended the inaugural Earl of Wessex Awards for Cooperage, held by the Incorporation of Coopers at the Trades Hall in Glassford Street in the city centre. Addressing the gathering of coopers and industry representatives, the Prince described coopering as a ‘fantastic and genuine skill’ saying ‘long may it continue’.



Olympic Bikes at Bannerman High

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Cycling, Glasgow East, Local News

Mountain Bike Fun at Bannerman HighA £40,000 mountain bike circuit was opened in the East End last month at Bannerman High School by medal winning members of the Special Olympics cycling team.

The track, which was two years in the making, was a result of requests from pupils who wanted a venue where they could train without travelling a distance.

The only other inner city mountain bike track is in Pollok Country Park. It was opened in 2004.

Triple Olympic cycling champion, Chris Hoy, who opened the Pollok track said: ‘This new track may bring on the next generation of Olympians.’

Almost 100 individuals, including 60 pupils, gathered in the pouring rain on Tuesday October 21 to watch demonstration rides by the team.

Pupils from Bannerman High, and feeder primary schools Swinton, Sandaig and Caledonia also took part in races.

The 1km bike trail, which will also be open to the local community, has been constructed around the school’s football and hockey pitch. It is designed to improve the confidence of off-road cyclists and improve their mountain biking skills.

A hard grade circuit has jumps, ramps, cobbled stones and raised embankments while an easier grade circuit is made up of gentle bends and surfaced stone.

The track was funded by Sustrans, a leading UK charity focused on sustainable transport. It was built in response to the huge rise in popularity of mountain biking in Scotland.

Councillor Euan McLeod, Convenor of the Land and Environmental Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee told the gathering: ‘The young people of Bannerman High have been at the heart of this project.’

John Lauder, Sustrans Scotland Director, said: ‘Through our project ‘Tackling the School Run’ we know that more and more children are cycling to school. The more opportunities young people have to get on their bikes the more they will do just that.’


A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: ‘It is hoped the track will also provide a bridge between the secondary school and its feeder primary schools, so easing the transition for pupils.’

Third Election in Baillieston

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Features, Glasgow East, Local News

The sudden death of Labour Councillor Douglas ‘Dougie’ Hay on 27 September, means Baillieston will soon have to hold a third by-election.

Aged 76, Dougie had been a full time trade union official for the National Union of Public Employees from 1978 till his retirement in 1995. He came out of retirement to stand for the Baillieston multi-member ward in May 2007 and was elected with 1341 votes alongside Jim Coleman who polled 2689 votes.

Lord Provost Bob Winter said: ‘Dougie was a respected Councillor who was very conscientious in his work for his constituents. He was a man of independent mind who was passionate about social justice and public service in particular about the NHS and its founder, Nye Bevan.’

Steven Purcell, Labour group leader in the City Council, said: ‘Dougie was a great champion of the underdog. He was passionate about his constituents and was very proud to represent Baillieston. His quick wit and intelligence proved great fun at social occasions and added to the lively debate in the Labour group and in Council meetings.’

Councillor Hay had served the Baillieston area at Strathclyde Regional Council from 1975 until its abolition when he then represented that neighbourhood as a City Council councillor from 1996 till 1999 when he retired from that aspect of politics.

A joiner to trade he served his apprenticeship at Wylie & Lochhead and worked for more than 30 years in John Brown and Govan Shipbuilders’ yards.  He was active in the 1971 ‘work-in’ at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. An outdoors man, he was a keen skier and walker and taught his three children to ski and camp. He established the John Smith Memorial Walk as a charity fundraiser for the Scottish Labour Party. He was involved in planning the 50th and the 60th anniversary celebrations of the National Health Service.

Dougie is survived by his wife Janet, his children Kirstin, Gavin and Shona and seven grandchildren.

Doors Open Day – East End Healthy Living Centre

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow East, Local News

The East End Healthy Living Centre’s Doors Open event celebrated the facility’s third birthday with several hundred people joining the party at Crownpoint Road.

Recently refurbished, the café was well tested, the children’s play areas indoors and out, were busy and there was plenty to see and do. The beautifully equipped gym offered taster sessions for their Lifestyle programme. Computer nerds and geeks congregated in the computer room. Those interested in the arts and crafts side of healthy living, could see the work of the Picture Perfect Photograhic Club, the creative writing class,  the Weaving group and the Cooking Club.

The alternative stress centre based within the G40 building runs relaxation and massage classes among others and provides counselling too. Outside, the professional standard running track is used by Shettleston Harriers and Red Star Athletics Clubs and full sized football pitches, tennis courts and five-aside all-weather sports space are all there for interested individuals. The Centre’s facilities are open to the public with special rates for residents in selected parts of the G40,  G31, G32 and G4 postal code areas covering Shettleston, Baillieston, Calton and the East End. The Centre’s management team are working to secure the future of the community complex in partnership with the exciting developments in the East End where the 2014 Commonwealth Games will be based.