West End Community Groups’ evening

Last night, as part of  West End Christmas Fortnight, we had an excellent community groups’ social event at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.
Some of last night’s audience
It was a great opportunity for folk from residents’ groups, local churches and other faith groups and other voluntary organisations in the West End to meet and discuss their activities.
Grateful thanks go to the Vine for their help and to Eddie Small who is gave an interesting and informative talk on “Darcy’s Dundee.”

West End Social Event at the Vine

As part of West End Christmas Fortnight events, we had an extremely well-attended social event at the Vine last night for representatives of West End community groups, local churches and charities active in the local area.
Susan Keracher, Art Curator at The McManus, gave a very interesting talk on the paintings of the Vine collected by George Duncan, MP for Dundee from 1841 to 1857.
Many thanks to Susan for this, Peter Menzies, owner of the Vine, Sharon Dickie of the Christmas Fortnight team and Natalie Mackland, West End Communities Officer, for making it such an enjoyable evening for everyone.
Here’s a couple of photos from last night’s event :
Susan delivering her talk about the art of the Vine
Some of the audience

A Midsummer Fete at the Vine

A marvellous Midsummer Fete at the Vine!
In aid of ABR Scotland – bringing new hope to children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other brain injuries.
Saturday 24th August from 7pm – only £1 entry (under 5s free).
Roll up roll up for …  live music/ luxury raffle/ face painting/ transfer tattoos/ vintage clothing £3 sale/ lemonade stand/ massive cake and candy stalls/ bottle ,bear and gift tombolas/ the best games & crazy good prizes/ tasty BBQ/ drinks bar/ special Starbucks stall and so much more!

Magdalen Artists’ Crafts and Paintings Day

As WestFest 2013 drew to its end after a great week of events, I had the pleasure yesterday of visiting Magdalen Artists’ Crafts and Paintings Day at the Vine in Roseangle.
In addition to the art exhibition that has taken place throughout WestFest, there were excellent crafts on sale yesterday – see below.     Remaining artworks will be on display at the Vine for some time yet, so there is still the opportunity to view and buy some of the art works.

WestFest Spring Fair

On Sunday – March 17th – Dundee WestFest is holding the Spring Fair and Pop-up Café at the Vine, 43 Magdalen Yard Road – in Marquee accommodation in the grounds of this beautiful neo-classical building. 

The event will run from 12.30pm – 4.00pm and the café will be serving hot drinks, home made soup and cakes.

Various entertainments will take place during the day including:

* Freya hand-prints cards and limited edition prints, sometimes with a fleck of gold of silver for a bit of glam. Her work features anything that catches her eye, Chickens, flying men and tins of fish have all been printed, and there’s plenty more where that comes from.

Victoria Gazeley, local artist who will be selling small artworks and homemade craft works. What she strives to capture in her art is each animal’s individual personality and how their characteristics can be compared to those of humans.

Emma McDermott, specialised in jewellery and metalwork, and stained glass technics, combines both crafts to create glass jewellery. Each piece of jewellery is individual as they have been fired in my kiln and the results are always unpredictable.

Anna Day, Director of Literary Dundee, and Chris Collins, book designer, presents the first Playroom Press book, Dundee 123, a counting book for cool kids using Dundee’s landmarks.

* Jim Stephen, wood turner, makes a wide variety of things, such as fruits, clocks, bowls, etc.

* Margaret Rae makes handmade jewellery and accessories : lacy scarves/snoods and corsage/brooches.

* Georgia Clayton makes hand-knitted hats, inspired by the colours and textures of Scotland – hence the business name “Highland Hues.” – and combining new, recycled wool and other materials. All are named with evocative titles such as Heather Moor, Mossy Brae, Sea Holly etc. She also does all-inclusive kits so that you can knit your own hat.

* Liz McCarthy paints semi-abstract landscapes. “Although most of my paintings are rooted in reality by the beautiful Angus countryside, I do enjoy putting my own personal spin on what I see, and interpreting in a more imaginative way. I am particularly excited by the abstract harmonies that I sense in my subjects and in colour harmony and composition.” 

*And more to come…

* Plus a special guest: Garden Gate Plants … Andrew Morrison will bring hardy garden plants and an attractive range of brushwood animal planters.

See you all there!

Super Saturday activities across the West End …

In the middle Saturday of West End Christmas Fortnight, it was great to see lots of activities across the West End, including:
* The West End Christmas Fortnight Primary 5’s football competition.    It was a great event with 5 teams participating from three of our local primary schools – Ancrum Road, Blackness and St Joseph’s.   Here’s some photographs and a video from the tournament that was kindly sponsored by Good Health and Fitness and run by Riverside Community Sports Club:
And the winners are St Joseph’s Primary School who won the final against Blackness Primary School.   Here’s the winning team, having received the cup from Murray McDowell of Good Health and Fitness:
Best goal scorer was Ben Garrick – Ben received a gold football boot award from Murray:
* Christmas Fayres.    In addition to the Harris Academy Parent Teacher and Pupils Association (PTPA) Christmas Fayre that I also had the pleasure of attending (see right), it was also great to see other fayres taking place in the West End this morning.
Firstly – see below – the Pennycook and Sinderins Courts Sheltered Housing had a very well-attended Christmas coffee morning at Pennycook Court. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and good to see so many local residents supporting this.
Secondly – again see below – the Magdalen Artists have their Christmas Exhibition of Art and Craft taking place at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   This is open again tomorrow from 10.30am to 4pm.
Pennycook Court Coffee Morning:
Magdalen Artists’ Christmas Exhibition:

West End Christmas Fortnight – Magdalen Artists

Earlier this month, I updated residents about the Magdalen Artists’ exhibition as part of West End Christmas Fortnight.    This takes place at the Vine – 43 Magdalen Yard Road – next weekend.
As a taster, here’s some of the art that will be on show:
Toadstool by Fiona Moore


Untitled by Jim Petrie
Storm in a Teacup by Pauline Murray
Untitled By Pat Edgar
Winter Wood by Liz McCarthy

Magdalen Artists at the Vine

The creative force behind the new exhibition of drawing and painting in the Vine is a group know as the Magdalen Artists. 

Consisting of five artists (pictured right), they return to the beautiful setting of the Vine to show their work in an exhibition aptly themed “Summertime”, to fit in with WestFest.

Having exhibited their work together on a previous occasion, in the Vine, the exhibition has an overall cohesion with its fusion of styles and subjects.   This is not to say that the artists work in a similar style but that the styles complement and interlace to create an impression of unity.   

To begin with, there are Pat Edgar’s semi abstract pieces with their imaginative use of texture and warm colours.    Liz McCarthy paintings bring a calm and relaxing feel to the exhibition with her use of soft tones and sensitive media handling. 

Fiona Moore’s work, which encompasses a variety of approaches from her hyper realistic pastel studies to her charming painted pieces. Pauline Murray, whose colourful and detailed work take in a range of subjects from the Orient to much closer to home. 

Finally, Jim Petrie, whose tremendous sense of colour, grabs the viewer’s attention to his abstract compositions and playful subject matter. 

Overall, this is an exhibition which should not be missed.
The exhibition runs form Monday 11th June until Saturday 16th June 2012 in The Vine, 43, Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee.     Opening times are 2.00pm until 4.00pm.  

Nethergate Writers’ event

I was pleased to be advised recently by Nethergate Writers that they have published another anthology.    It is called ‘Wheels within Wheels’.     The theme this year is how the lives of people are entwined together – with a minor character in one story becoming the major one in another.

There is a reading event the Vine (see right) on the evening of 15th June.    The event is free to attend, with tickets available from Waterstones

Magdalen Artists at The Vine

As part of this year’s West End Christmas Week, a group of local artists are exhibiting in the West End at the historic Vine building.   The Vine was built in 1836 for George Duncan MP. It is a substantial single storey villa, a neo-Greek pavilion set upon a plinth and set within spacious gardens overlooking the Tay. 

Last summer local community groups enjoyed hosting events in the garden of The Vine but with winter fast approaching the garden is now resting.   The garden’s vibrant colour is being kept alive by The Magdalen Artists’ exhibition of flowers and fruit.   The West End’s Community Room at The Vine with its domestic proportions is the perfect place to view the paintings.
It is every artist’s dream to exhibit their work in somewhere beautiful and for five Dundee artists this dream has come true, when their exhibition opened on Saturday in the lovely setting of the Vine.   The Vine with is artistic and botanical history is the ideal setting for the Magdalen Artists to show their work. The floral and foliage theme of the exhibition is very much at home in the Vine. Jim Petrie’s work with his trademark bold colour and shape is contrasted by Liz McCarthy’s soft focus flowers with pastel shades. Fiona Moore’s almost photo realistic studies of flowers blend together with Pauline Murray’s work with its detailed oriental floral imagery.  Completing the artist fusion Pat Leishman’s beautifully coloured and composted work of flowers and leaves bring the overall atmosphere of the exhibition to its striking outcome making it an exhibition not to be missed.
For information – Opening times this week 12 noon to 2pm at the Vine, 43 Magdalen Yard Road (opposite Roseangle Car Park).     Magdalen Artists are Pat Leishman, Pauline Murray, Jim Petrie, Liz McCarthy, Fiona Moore. 

Another West End Christmas Week event!

A reminder that the Nethergate Writers‘ reading and social event takes place at the Vine tonight.   

In their latest anthology, A Private View, Nethergate Writers find inspiration from exhibits in the McManus collection.   The result is an entertaining, illuminating and sometimes surprising read.

Join us tonight at 7pm at the Vine – 43 Magdalen Yard Road – opposite the Roseangle Car Park.

All prepared for West End Christmas Week …

Following a very productive meeting I attended with the City Council’s Environment Department and the Western Cemetery Association at the Vine this afternoon, and with thanks to all helpers, we got tomorrow’s West End Community Fayre set up at Dundee West Church.

All looking good for the launch for the 2011 West End Christmas Week, our 11th year …

All set up at Dundee West Church!
The super artwork winners from the West End Christmas Week schools’ competition, with thanks to Park Place, Ancrum Road, St Joseph’s and Blackness Primary Schools

Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust meeting

Last night, I was minute-taker at the latest meeting of the Tay Rail Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.

The Trust is going from strength to strength and, in the autumn, Trust office-bearers are giving talks to various societies and schools across Dundee and Fife on the 1879 disaster and the work of the Trust.

You can read more about the Trust’s work on its website – www.thetaymemorial.com.

Last couple of days …

* I am pleased to note that some of the dropped kerbing around the Corso Street area that I requested last year on behalf of residents is now being installed – see example at the junction of Corso Street and Peddie Street (above).

* Last night, I attended the Harris Academy Parent Council meeting and, following this, have been in touch with the Head of Secondary Education regarding issues raised.

* I was pleased to be advised by the City Engineer recently that the weeds spraying programme at road edges etc commenced last week.   This year, the programme will start in the west of the city and progress eastwards and am pleased to be assured that extra resources will be put into herbicide application of street trees in streets like Blackness Road and Blackness Avenue.

Today’s Courier featured an update on the concerns I have raised about the large and ugly utility boxes BT Openreach is installing in Conservation Areas such as on Magdalen Green.

* Tonight, I briefly attended the start of the latest WestFest committee meeting and thereafter was minute-taker at the Tay Bridge Disaster Memorial Trust meeting (meeting in the adjacent room at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road!)

Welcome to The Vine …

As many residents now know, the West End community now has a meeting/community base resource at the historic Vine building at the bottom of Roseangle (43 Magdalen Yard Road).

Residents and local organisations are invited to a social event at the Vine running between 5.30pm and 7pm on Tuesday 5th April – an opportunity to meet some of the organisers of this year’s WestFest and to view the library and garden of the Vine. Wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be available.

We are hoping that many local people and organisations will come along – all welcome!

… and Tuesday

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the AGM of the Sinderins and Pennycook Courts tenants’ association.   This took place in Pennycook Court (see right) and was very well attended by residents. 

Guest speaker was Iain Flett, Dundee City Archivist, who gave a really entertaining and informative talk on the West End of old – looking at a map of the West End from just after the Great War, and also taking residents on a walk up the Hawkhill of 1950, using the Dundee Directory of 1950-51. 

Later this afternoon, I attended a meeting at the Vine on Magdalen Yard Road, where West End Community Council now has a community base.   We discussed ways of encouraging even more community groups in the West End to make use of the facility for meetings and social events.   This is a great resource for the area and I am very keen to see the community making use of it. 

This evening, I attended the latest meeting of Harris Academy Parent Council, at which the Head of Secondary Education spoke about the City Campus proposal, the school rebuilding project and decant arrangements. 

There were also updates from the Head Teacher and the School Captains in what was an interesting and well-attended meeting.

And Tuesday …

This afternoon, I had a very useful and productive meeting at Harris Academy with the Depute Head Teacher, a representative from the City Council’s Risk Management team and constituents about the parking issues around the school. I have now followed this up with an e-mail to the City Council’s Chief Executive about ways to improve the parking situation in the area around this part of Perth Road and on West Park Road.

This evening at West End Community Council, Liz Broumley of WestFest gave an informative resume of how well the event had run in June. The first-ever WestFest was a great success. Liz is leaving Dundee to live in Cromarty in the near future – she’s made a tremendous contibution to the West End and we all wish Roger and Liz the very best for the future.

As always, there was a lively discussion about a number of local issues at the Community Council tonight – and news of its new community base at The Vine is a really good step forward for the West End.