Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hedgerow planting with Friends of Riverside Nature Park

This afternoon, I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in hedgerow planting at Riverside Nature Park, with a great team of well over 20 volunteers.

The Woodland Trust had kindly donated 450 native trees to Friends of Riverside Nature Park and we planted them to form a new hedge in the park.

Here's a couple of photos from this afternoon :
Alan Young and myself - team effort on digging and planting!
The hedgerow beginning to take shape!

Helping attract more Christmas shoppers to Dundee ...

I have called on Dundee City Council to consider having two free parking Saturdays in the City Centre’s council-owned car parks in the run-up to Christmas to boost the attractiveness of the city to the wider region for Christmas shopping.    I have also said the City Council should look for additional ways to help promote the city’s district shopping centres such as Perth Road, Broughty Ferry, Blackness Road, Nethergate/South Tay Street/West Port and Lochee in the run-up to Christmas.

I contacted the City Council’s Head of Transportation about the Saturday free parking suggestion and received the following response :

“This has been looked at in recent years and the fee for parking is not seen as the main attractor or disincentive, more so the availability of modern, safe and accessible facilities and the destination's attractiveness ie Dundee City Centre is a chosen destination for many people.”

While I agree that modern, safe and accessible parking facilities are vitally important, I think the council should be considering some limited free City Centre parking in the run-up to Christmas.  

Dundee is already an attractive place for out of town shoppers to do their Christmas shopping and some limited free parking would further help.   

Additionally the council should be doing more to help promote the great small businesses in district shopping centres like the West End, Broughty Ferry and Lochee.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

West End Christmas Fortnight Update

We're now half way through West End Christmas Fortnight and we've had a great first week!  Earlier today both the Friends of Blackness Christmas Fair took place at Blackness Primary School - see photo right - and the Morven Terrace/Ancrum Place Sheltered Housing had their coffee morning.   

Here's some of the events taking place during the final week of West End Christmas Fortnight :

Sunday 30th November – Introduction to Papermaking - workshop at Dundee Contemporary Arts - from 11am!    More information by calling DCA on 909900.

Sunday 30th November – Friends of Riverside Nature Park are organising a tree-planting event from 1pm at the nature park.

Monday 1st December – “Santa Clause Mask” -  Craft for children at Blackness Library from 3.30pm to 4.30pm!  (For children aged 5-11.   Booking essential and children under 7 should be supervised;  colouring sheets will be available for children under 5).

Monday 1st December – The Time2Give West End Timebank’s Creative Writing Group “What’s the Story” is holding a Christmas Social event at Roseangle Arts CafĂ© from 4pm to 5pm.    All welcome.

Wednesday 3rd December – West End Community Groups’ Social Event at the Vine!    With grateful thanks to the Vine for their help.   Now fully booked.

Friday 5th December – At 4.30pm, the West Port Christmas Lights are switched on – all local residents and businesses welcome.

Saturday 6th December - Primary 6 football competition at St Joseph’s Primary School at 10am – with thanks to Matt Miller and the schools for all their help with this.   P6 teams participating from all four of our local primary schools.   All parents and family members welcome to spectate.   Many thanks to Murray McDowell of Life Changing Choices for sponsoring this event.

Saturday 6th December – Pennycook Court and Sinderins Court Christmas Coffee Morning – at Pennycook Court from 10am to 12 noon.

Saturday 6th December – “A Walk in the Dark” – children’s event organised by the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden to explore the garden at night - from 4pm – further details available at www.tinyurl.com/walkdarkbotanics.  

Hillcrest Road - road repair promised

A constituent recently wrote to me in the following terms :

"I would like to report two potholes which have appeared in Hillcrest Road – this being the part of the road which was not resurfaced 2 years ago.  One is actually where the old and new surfaces join.  These require to be filled in before the winter weather makes them much worse."

I raised this matter with the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have been advised as follows :

"The Roads Maintenance Partnership inspector for the area has raised an order for these two potholes to be repaired with a timescale of 28 days or sooner."

Friday, November 28, 2014

Time2Give Autumn Newsletter

Time2Give, the West End's Timebank, has recently published its Autumn Newsletter - you can download it here.

And don't forget next Monday's Time2Give Social Event as part of West End Christmas Fortnight :

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A great @WEndChristmas night!

Tonight's West End Christmas Concert, Lights Switch On, Fireworks and Carnival was a great success with one of the largest turnouts of the 14 years we have run the event!

Many thanks to all local residents who attended and to all who participated - our local primary schools and Harris Academy, Rockdee, Rev Andrew Greaves and all at Dundee West Church, Richard Prest - the Evening Telegraph's Editor who switched on the Christmas Lights, Robin Carstairs for great fireworks display, Nisa Extra in Perth Road for the food and drinks stand and for selection box gifts for children, Mains of Fintry Pipe Band, PC Bob Forrester, Horne's Carnivals, Elan Electronics for all the audio visual and all on the West End Christmas Fortnight Committee.

Here's a video of the start of the concert, introduced by Andrew Greaves and Richard Prest and "Away in a Manger":
And some photographs :
Rob and Ann making up the Glo Specs for children at the concert!
Concert in full swing!
Mains of Fintry Pipe Band
Another superb fireworks display
Horne's Carnival ride
Great food and drink, courtesy of Nisa Extra!
On sparklers duty :  Above - PC Bob Forrester
Below - Peter Menzies

Lights On for the West End!

Tonight at 6.15pm, sees the start of the West End lights switch-on celebrations, as part of West End Christmas Fortnight.

The West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church, starting at 6.15pm.   There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves.    Local band “Rockdee” will also perform.  Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On.

At 7pm, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Evening Telegraph editor Richard Prest, ably assisted by Santa and his sleigh.   There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on and we are also delighted to advise that Horne’s Carnivals will be providing carnival rides at the Duncan of Jordanstone car park.

All local residents are very welcome to attend the concert, lights switch on, fireworks and carnival.   This is the 14th year of West End Christmas events in the city and there’s no doubt this year’s will be the biggest and best yet!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Mary Slessor lecture @WEndChristmas @McManusDundee

There was a good turnout earlier tonight for the Mary Slessor lecture at Dundee West Church's Friendship Hall, held as part of West End Christmas Fortnight

Carly Cooper, Social History Curator at the McManus Art Gallery and Museum, gave a very interesting presentation and there was a lively question and answer session thereafter.     I am very grateful to Carly for participating in this event and also to Paola McClure of WestFest, who kindly chaired the meeting.

Rev Andrew Greaves also gave an update on the forthcoming Sheila Tennant Awards at Dundee West Church in the spirit of Mary Slessor - Andrew is pictured below addressing the event :

Roseangle recycling facility

I have received complaints on a couple of occasions recently that the Roseangle recycling facility was over-flowing - see below :


I have asked the City Council's Environment Department to review the servicing schedule to see if it can be increased.

Monday, November 24, 2014

City Council committee meetings

After my Monday surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre and the West Park Centre late this afternoon, I attended tonight's City Council committee meetings, at which :

+ At Education Committee, I spoke in a debate over the proposal to consult on the possible closure of Menzieshill High School and its catchment area being moved into the Harris Academy catchment area from August 2016.    

Having now spoken with many constituents about this, I stressed the importance of there being a full consultation process that takes into account the views of parents, carers, pupils, staff and the wider community.    

The viability of an enlarged Harris Academy catchment area is hugely dependent upon there being capacity in the new Harris building (capacity 1309) and I have been advised that fuller information on projected rolls and other vital statistical information will be available in a further report to committee on 8th December.     

Meantime, any resident with views, concerns or questions is very welcome to contact me - 459378 - or fraser.macpherson@dundeecity.gov.uk.

+ At City Development Committee, I greatly welcomed the proposed Repairs Notice for 28 Roseangle, a listed building that has been derelict for years, has deteriorated greatly over time and has been the subject to many (very many) residents' concerns.

+ I also added my voice to the best wishes given to David Dorward, the council's Chief Executive over the past five years, as he retires.   David has been an excellent, approachable and extremely hard-working Chief Executive and has achieved much for the city during his long and distinguished career.   

Many thanks Tesco Riverside! @WEndChristmas

Our thanks go to Tesco Riverside for its generosity in being a sponsor of West End Christmas Fortnight again this year.

Photo below is of Kath Torode, Tesco Riverside Community Champion, and myself at the sponsorship presentation this afternoon :

Supporting Shelter's Make Renting Right campaign @shelterscotland #RentingRight

Earlier today, I was pleased to take part in today's Shelter Scotland event in the City Centre to highlight its Make Renting Right campaign.   See photo below :
With 312,000 households in Scotland currently living in the private rented sector (13 percent of all households) and with the number of families living in the private rented sector more than doubling in the last 10 years we believe it’s time to make renting right. We want to see a safer, more secure and flexible private renting market that works for tenants and landlords.

Shelter Scotland wants to see the right private housing in Scotland which works for both tenants and landlords so Shelter is calling for:

1.       Stability for people wanting to make rented housing their home
2.       The flexibility for people to stay in their home as long as they want to
3.       A modern tenancy that gives security and flexibility for tenants and landlords 
4.       A fair system for sorting out renting problems when they occur
5.       Predictable rents for tenants and landlords

Representing the West End area with its large proportion of privately rented homes, I consider this campaign by Shelter to be of vital importance and am therefore pleased to give the campaign my strong support.

Blether Tay-Gither November meeting

THE NEXT BLETHER MEETING

WILL BE IN THE BURGH COFFEE HOUSE

COMMERCIAL STREET

TUESDAY 25th NOVEMBER

7pm to 9pm


The theme is "SHOW AND TELL" - bring an object that for you has a story of its own, suggests a story or inspires a story.

More information about the group can be accessed here.

Local TV for Dundee - latest news

Further to my last update on moves towards local television for Dundee, many thanks to TayScreen for this latest news :

STV is the only bidder for the Dundee, Aberdeen and Ayrshire licences, this report in Broadcast.

STV is saying that local TV will reflect Dundee’s focus on creative industries.  As mentioned, they are working in collaboration with Abertay and D&A College.

These stations may be on air by the end of 2015 or early 2016.

TV has revealed more about its plan to build a local TV empire after bidding for three more licences in Scotland.

The commercial broadcaster is aiming to win licences in Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee.

STV director of channels Bobby Hain said it will capture the unique characteristics of each town in the local stations’ output.

“The channels will characterise the different areas,” he said. “There is the oil and energy sector in Aberdeen, the vibrancy of Dundee’s creative centre and agriculture, tourism and sport in Ayrshire. We’ll reflect these characteristics.”

If it wins the licences, STV will boast five local TV stations, having already secured channels in Glasgow and Edinburgh in Ofcom’s first round of licencing.

The Scottish broadcaster submitted bids for Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee after conducting research that revealed that more than 94% of respondents in the three towns wanted to receive more news programming from their area.

Each channel will be populated by “tailor-made content from the area” supplemented by “common current affairs content”, such as activity from the Scottish parliament in Holyrood.

STV Glasgow launched in June and airs 35 hours of local programming a week, including seven hours of repeats and 12 hours of current affairs. Hain said the proposals for the new licences are in line with these quotas. “We’re playing to our strengths. We have a very strong connection with our audience across channel three, and people know the STV brand,” said Hain.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mary Slessor Lecture

West End Free Public Lecture  
– on the Life and Work of Mary Slessor
Tuesday 25th November at 7pm  

Speaker is Carly Cooper, Social History Curator at McManus Galleries.    

Taking place at Dundee West Church, 132 Perth Road, as part of West End Christmas Fortnight this event is kindly sponsored by Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and Friends of Riverside Nature Park.   

All welcome!  

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A great launch to West End Christmas Fortnight! @WEndChristmas

Today saw a great launch to the 2014 West End Christmas Fortnight!     Here's some highlights from the day :

Children’s Lantern Making event at Blackness Library - hugely well-attended and many thanks to Lisa Earl of Create ... Kids Creative Craft Workshops, Sharon Dickie of the West End Christmas Committee, and Natalie Mackland, our West End Communities Officer.     Sharon has also uploaded some other photos on the West End Christmas Fortnight page :
Busy event!

And thanks to the Royal Bank of Scotland for not only sponsoring 
- their staff helped out today!

Vintage motor cavalcade in the West End, with grateful thanks to Dundee Museum of Transport and to Barnetts Motor Group for sponsoring :
With Dr Ann Prescott of West End Community Council at the vintage motor cavalcade!
With Brian Ower and Jimmy McDonell of Dundee Museum of Transport,
Pat Orr of Friends of Magdalen Green and Hattie, Pat's cocker spaniel!
Other activities in Perth Road :
Jericho House Carol Singers (photo taken from the motor cavalcade!)
Perth Road getting festive!    Many thanks to The Rosebud!
Great turnout at the Dundee West Church Guild Christmas Fayre!

Utility Box - Colinton Place/Saggar Street

Last month I mentioned that, following the walkabout round the Pentland area with council officers, I had reported paint vandalism to a utility box at Colinton Place/Saggar Street to British Telecom - see right.

I am pleased to now report that BT has confirmed it will have this issue resolved.

Christmas Fortnight starts!

West End Christmas Fortnight will be launched this morning with a super Children’s Lantern Making event at Blackness Library, starting at 10am.   

At 1pm, there will be a vintage motor cavalcade in the West End shopping areas, in conjunction with Dundee Museum of Transport.    Kindly sponsored by Barnetts Motor Group, the cavalcade of vintage vehicles will proceed along Perth Road, Nethergate, West Port and Blackness Road.

Also :

* Dundee West Church’s Christmas Coffee Morning takes place in the church – 10am to 12 noon – enter from 132 Perth Road.

* Carols from the staff and service users from Jericho House and other local groups in the Perth Road shopping area from 12.45pm.   There will also be street decorations to add to the atmosphere.

* Many West End Shops are participating in West End Christmas Fortnight’s Shoppers’ Saturday – lots of great offers in our local shopping areas – Blackness Road, Perth Road, West Port and Nethergate.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Roseangle pillar box damaged

The Royal Mail postbox in Roseangle has been damaged by a vehicle - see right.

I have reported this to Royal Mail to request repair.

West End Christmas Fortnight starts tomorrow!

Tomorrow - Saturday 22nd November - sees the start of the West End Christmas Fortnight, which will be launched with a Children’s Lantern Making event at Blackness Library, starting at 10am.   

At 1pm, there will be a vintage motor cavalcade in the West End shopping areas, in conjunction with Dundee Museum of Transport.    Kindly sponsored by Barnetts Motor Group, the cavalcade of vintage vehicles will proceed along Perth Road, Nethergate, West Port and Blackness Road.

Also on Saturday  :    Dundee West Church’s Christmas Coffee Morning takes place in the church – 10am to 12 noon – enter from 132 Perth Road.     Carols from the staff and service users from Jericho House and other local groups in the Perth Road shopping area from 12.45pm.   There will also be street decorations to add to the atmosphere.

Many West End Shops are participating in West End Christmas Fortnight’s Shoppers’ Saturday – lots of great offers in our local shopping areas – Blackness Road, Perth Road, West Port and Nethergate.

West End Christmas Fortnight is packed with events and we hope that, as in the past 14 years, the local community will take part.      We are extremely grateful to all the local businesses for their support of the Christmas Fortnight, without which the events would not be possible.

You can download the full brochure for the Fortnight's events here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday activities

This afternoon, I took part in the latest West End Community Planning Partnership (LCPP) meeting at Blackness Library.

The LCPP meeting is a good opportunity for representatives from different council departments, councillors and representatives from other organisations like police, fire and rescue and the NHS to discuss local issues and matters of concern and also let local residents raise issues, ask questions and have their say.

This was the first afternoon meeting of the LCPP (the quarterly meetings have, until now, been in the evenings - we are now trying a mix of afternoon and evening meetings each year) and we had a very informative presentation on West End census profile data.   We also discussed a number of other local matters including housing condition and management and community asset transfer.

This evening, I had my ward surgery at Blackness Primary School and several constituent visits - I also spoke on Wave 102 news about the campaign to get free wi-fi for Dundee City Centre.   You can listen to the interview by clicking 'play' below :

 

Continuing to campaign for free public wi-fi for Dundee

A recent government announcement that 1000 buildings in UK cities are to get free public wi-fi, again highlighted to me the need for Dundee to have free public wi-fi in the City Centre.

As residents are aware, earlier this year, I mentioned the need for Dundee to progress this issue and - as I said at the time - many cities are discovering free wi-fi is a good way to attract more visitors.   Already local businesses from coffee shops, hotels and restaurants, churches and bars are among the locations discovering the value of offering free wireless but a city centre wide wi-fi facility would be a boon for our city.

I have had an update from the City Council's Head of Information Technology as follows :

"There has been no recent funding bid that we have lost out on.    Edinburgh won a UK DCMS Urban Broadband fund bid for large cities in 2011. Perth and Aberdeen won a similar UK DCMS Urban Broadband fund bid for medium cities in 2012. Dundee bid in 2012 and lost out. The main reason for the fund was to distribute monies to assist in improving fixed broadband provision in cities.

Cities also had to commit to providing some form of wifi provision as part of the bid.

This announcement is basically counting up the number of buildings that will have in-building wifi provided.   Only a very small part of the £150m is being spent on wifi. The money is mainly being paid (via Local Authorities) to improve broadband (in the ground) capacity for areas of cities that have poor coverage. 

We were unsuccessful because we actually have very few areas of poor fixed broadband capacity. 

It should be stressed that in Dundee we already have extensive wifi provision in our Libraries, community centres and some civic buildings. This is currently being enhanced."

I have had an assurance, however, that the City Council is working with the Scottish Cities Alliance to explore ways of potentially collaborating with cities of a similar size to increase the city's chances of attracting providers to deliver a free-wifi offering for Dundee City Centre.

West End Children’s Window Spotting Competition

As part of West End Christmas Fortnight, there is a Children’s Window Spotting Competition.   Entry forms have been given to every pupil at our four local primary schools - Ancrum Road, St Joseph's Victoria Park and Blackness.

The prize is a year’s Family Membership of Dundee Botanic Garden (with thanks to the Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden) plus a gift voucher for £20.  

You can download the entry form here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bin collection changes - consultation update

Further to my article earlier today about bin collection changes, the City Council's Environment Director has sent the following useful update to give reassurance about consultation with residents:

"I ... would confirm the following actions being undertaken with regard to consultation as we roll out the new recycling collection systems which hopefully clarifies matters and allays your concerns. 

Our staff have undertaken a survey of every single tenemental and flatted property across the city to establish what we believe is the most effective "design" which will enable us to provide the new services. In certain cases this is relatively straightforward and requires little change to existing systems e.g. where existing Eurobins taking exclusively residual waste are to be replaced with Eurobins which will take the new range of commodities. However in other areas where a more significant change is required, or where it appears difficult to accommodate the new systems due to space difficulties, we are carrying out an initial consultation exercise with affected residents, to take on board their views prior to developing the "design".

Once we have developed the "design", we then have a team of staff who are undertaking a door knocking exercise in advance of the roll out. Their role is to explain the proposed new systems, explain how it will work, timings etc and to answer any questions that residents may have. At the same time if there were a strong body of opinion against what is being proposed in a specific location and a viable alternative were proposed, then this feedback would be taken on board and the "design" reconsidered. I would emphasise that every single property in the city will be visited as we roll out the phased implementation. If there is no one at home when we call, then we will leave explanatory information and contact details. A revisit can be arranged if requested or alternatively we are hosting a number of local drop-in sessions for anyone to come along to in advance of the roll out, to have their questions answered. 

The above approach is being followed in the two phase 1 areas and to date we have had a lot of very positive feedback and engagement. Clearly we will keep this under review and if required will introduce changes as the roll out progresses to ensure the most effective use of the resources available to the project."

Bin collection changes - consultation concerns

Earlier this year, I opposed the SNP administration's policy of scrapping weekly general waste bin collections.   Although supportive of improved recycling opportunities for residents, I am concerned at the possible adverse effects of the move to fortnightly-only general waste collections - particularly in flats and multiple-occupied properties.

A large part of the West End, largely west of Peddie Street, is in Phase 1 of the new arrangements that will be mainly introduced next March.

The Environment Director last week updated councillors as follows :

"At present we are on-course to introduce these new services to our Phase 1 areas in March 2015, with affected residents due to receive full information on the changes early in the new year. This will include the delivery of leaflets and collection calendars, as well as visits from staff to offer information and advice, plus ongoing engagement activities at local residents groups, community organisations and tenants associations. Staff within the department have been busy attending many of these group meetings throughout the last few months, advising residents of the planned changes and answering any questions they may have. Consultation with residents of some flatted properties has also been undertaken during the last few months and the feedback we have had has informed our decisions regarding they type and location of bins at these properties.

Ahead of the March rollout, we will be introducing these new recycling services to a small number of flatted properties in both of the Phase 1 areas during November 2014. The flats have already undergone a full assessment and where required detailed consultation with residents has taken lace. and so are ready for implementation of these new services now. This small scale early action within these flatted properties in November will enable us to test our methodologies ahead of the main rollout in March, as well as providing further scope for engagement and consultation with residents."

I asked for details of the early (November 2014) Phase 1 West End households and was further updated follows :

"Please now see below for full details of the flatted properties in your ward which will receive their waste & recycling service changes this month, ahead of the full Phase 1 introduction in March of next year.

- Pasteur Lane (no's 1-30)
- Clayhills Drive (no's 48-56, 60-72, 74-82 - even)

These properties will receive a number of communal containers, stored in central locations, for the collection of residual waste and the recycling of food waste, mixed recyclate (paper, card, metals, plastics), and mixed glass. In addition, an internal kitchen caddy for the collection of food waste will be provided to every householder - as well as a supply of compostable liners. All residents will receive a full information leaflet, advising on the use of the new service - this will be hand-delivered by a member of staff who will make every effort to meet residents face-to-face to offer information and advice as well as answering any questions they may have. 

Containers will be delivered during w/c 24th November, with first collections taking place during w/c 1st December.    Staff within the department will be undertaking engagement activities specific to these particular properties in the run up to the introduction of their new services, and will thereafter be monitoring the performance of the new services, promoting and encouraging their use amongst residents were necessary.

At present no formal consultation with residents has taken place with regard to the forthcoming changes in November. However, the (council's) Business Process Team Leader ... has discussed the changes to Pasteur Lane in detail with  the NHS property management representative responsible for this area, who advised of the new location for the communal eurobins.

The intention is not to consult with the affected residents in these areas on this occasion as the changes are considered relatively straight forward with minimal disruption to waste/recycling presentation aspect of the service, but rather to inform and engage with residents on how the new services will affect them, how to use them and where to get further information. To that end, the team and I will be engaging with residents on a 1-to-1 basis by visiting each property which is set to receive these new services in November and advise of the forthcoming changes, answer any queries & provide further information via the delivery of a detailed service information leaflet. Noting your earlier point regarding the difficulty of making contact with residents in Pasteur Lane, I can confirm that our staff will be undertaking their doorstep engagement activities at a variety of days & times in order to ensure that as many residents as possible are reached, regardless of their availability or working pattern. 

Going forward, the requirement for formal consultation will be assessed on a property by property basis and will only be required where input from residents is required to assist in the selection of the appropriate service methodology. 

Finally, to answer your query regarding Simpson Avenue & Lister Place, these were not included in the November rollout as we deliberately selected small-scale, discrete areas from both the West End & Broughty Ferry which could be accommodated within the existing route framework, hence the inclusion of additional streets will not be logistically possible at this time."

I have some concerns about the lack of consultation and have replied to the Environment Department as follows :

"Whilst I welcome the efforts to make contact with residents in Pasteur Lane, I would comment (that) the crystal-clear commitment given at committee and by the Director to me was that there would be full consultation with affected residents as changes to services are rolled-out.   The suggestion that consultation “only be required where input from residents is required” falls very much short of that and is a rather worrying retrenchment.   Who decides which residents are consulted and which are not?   You do.    

Can I please have an explanation for this?   The suggestion that consultation “only be required where input from residents is required” was absolutely NOT the commitment given to Environment Committee."

Dundee West Church Guild Christmas Fayre


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Launch of West End Christmas Fortnight Brochure

Today sees the launch of the West End Christmas Fortnight Brochure - with West End Christmas Fortnight starting this coming Saturday!

Christmas Fortnight is packed with events and you can download the full brochure here.

Here's some highlights :

Saturday 22nd November   :    Christmas Fortnight starts!

West End Christmas Fortnight will be launched with a super Children’s Lantern Making event at Blackness Library, starting at 10am.   

At 1pm, there will be a vintage motor cavalcade in the West End shopping areas, in conjunction with Dundee Museum of Transport.    Kindly sponsored by Barnetts Motor Group, the cavalcade of vintage vehicles will proceed along Perth Road, Nethergate, West Port and Blackness Road.

Also on Saturday 22nd November :    Dundee West Church’s Christmas Coffee Morning takes place in the church – 10am to 12 noon – enter from 132 Perth Road.     Carols from the staff and service users from Jericho House and other local groups in the Perth Road shopping area from 12.45pm.   There will also be street decorations to add to the atmosphere!

Many West End Shops are participating in West End Christmas Fortnight’s Shoppers’ Saturday – lots of great offers in our local shopping areas – Blackness Road, Perth Road, West Port and Nethergate.

Tuesday 25th November at 7pm     :    West End Free Public Lecture on the Life and Work of Mary Slessor 

Speaker is Carly Cooper, Social History Curator at McManus Galleries.    Taking place at Dundee West Church, 132 Perth Road, this event is kindly sponsored by Friends of the University of Dundee Botanic Garden and Friends of Riverside Nature Park.   All welcome!  

Wednesday 26th November at 6.15pm   :   Lights On for the West End!    …  and a spectacular fireworks extravaganza!

This year’s West End Christmas Concert takes place at Dundee West Church at 6.15pm.   Everyone is very welcome to attend.   

There will be musical contributions from all local primary and secondary schools.    The Concert will be hosted by Rev Andrew Greaves.    Local band “Rockdee” will also perform.  Mains of Fintry Pipe Band will pipe everyone from the church to Seabraes for the Christmas Lights Switch-On!

At 7pm, the West End Christmas Lights will be switched on at Seabraes by Evening Telegraph editor Richard Prest, ably assisted by Santa and his sleigh.   

There will again be a spectacular fireworks display after the lights switch-on and we are also delighted to advise that Horne’s Carnivals will be providing carnival rides at the Duncan of Jordanstone car park.

Read the full details here.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Art of Ancient Life - free talk by palaeo-artist Jon Hoad

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

The Art of Ancient Life - D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum
Tuesday 18th November at 6pm

Perth-based artist Jon Hoad is currently showing some of his striking images of prehistoric life in Gallery Q as part of Dundee Science Festival. Next Tuesday he will give a free talk about his work in the D’Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum.

Commencing his career as an Archaeological Illustrator, Jon's artistic journey has always been concerned with faithfully representing the past and for twenty years he has worked exclusively in the field of palaeontological reconstruction, producing scientifically accurate representations of prehistoric animals, plants and environments. 

He has produced work for The Dinosaur Society UK and Prehistoric Times magazine. Originals and prints of his work have also been on display in the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. He is recognised internationally for his contribution to the field of reconstructing prehistoric life and has recently been invited to take part in a dig in Montana in 2015 for the purpose of producing illustrations. 

Jon will talk about the purpose and validity of reconstructing images of prehistoric life, animals, plants and environments. He will discuss the research and skills required as well as the background to his career.

Refreshments will be served after the talk. All are welcome and there is no need to book. Please enter by the main front door of the Carnelley Building.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friends of Magdalen Green Soup and Pudding Lunch

Yesterday, I enjoyed taking part in the Friends of Magdalen Green Soup and Pudding Lunch that took place at Dundee West Church.   When I say 'taking part' - I was on doing the dishes!

It was an extremely-well attended event, with great stalls as well as a lovely lunch provided by the highly talented Alison Cruickshank.

A couple of photos from yesterday:
Setting-up for the lunch
Soup and Pudding Lunch in full swing!