Last couple of days …

On Tuesday evening, I attended the latest committee meeting of the West End Community and Sports Hub (WECSH) that took place at the Riverside Pavilion.   We had a hugely productive meeting, discussing future management of the pavilion and further improvements to assist sporting activity in the West End.
Yesterday afternoon, I firstly had a site meeting in Wilkie’s Lane with Rev Leszek Wiecaszek, Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Church, the Chair of St Josephs Parish Pastoral Council and two representatives of the City Council’s Roads Maintenance Partnership.   I recently raised concerns from residents including members of the church about the state of the footpath at the south end of the lane.   We had a useful discussion about the need to improve the state of the path.
Later yesterday afternoon, I chaired a meeting at the Corso Street Sheltered Lounge with residents from Abbotsford Place, Corso Street and Abbotsford Street.   Around 40 residents attended and we had a good discussion about numerous local issues.   Judith Clark of Solar Cities Scotland was guest speaker and gave a very interesting presentation on carbon reduction and steps to reduce your heating bill.
And, talking of well-attended meetings, last night I attended the AGM of WestFest, that took place at the Vine in Magdalen Yard Road.   It was a great night with an informative and interesting talk by Stewart Murdoch, City Council Director of Leisure and Communities, on the Dundee bid for UK City of Culture 2017.   Co-chair of WestFest, Paola McClure, gave a comprehensive and entertaining resume of WestFest’s past year and a new committee was elected.
With thanks to Peter Menzies at the Vine for hosting the AGM and the photography on the Facebook page, here’s a photo (right) from last night with me pictured bottom right in the photo!

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.

Zoology Museum and WestFest

D’Arcy Thompson

From Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee :

As part of Dundee’s WestFest, I’ll be giving a talk about D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, his work in Dundee and his extraordinary influence around the world, on Friday 14th June at 1pm in the old lecture theatre, Carnelley Building at the University.    Admission is free and all are welcome. Enter by the modern link entrance on the west side of the building.
Also for WestFest, on Wednesday 12th June at 2.30pm, I’ll be leading a guided walk round the houses and studios of notable Dundee artists from the 19th century onwards. Tickets cost £3 (proceeds go to support WestFest) and must be booked in advance from the festival organisers (call 07581 383615). 

WestFest 2013 – Best Big Sunday ever!

I have just returned from a fabulous day at WestFest’s Big Sunday on Magdalen Green, definitely the best-attended Big Sunday thus far!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I and my colleagues on the Friends of Magdalen Green/West End Community and Sports Hub stand are delighted at the number of people discussing our groups’ activities – and Friends of Magdalen Green signed up a load of new individual members too.
There was loads for all who attended to see, participate in, listen to … and eat and drink!    Here’s a video and some photos from today’s Big Sunday:
Huge turnout at Big Sunday!
With Christine and Pat on our stand!
George Chalmers from Community Spirit Action Group on their stand!

How to recover from Scottish LibDem Conference … #sldconf

After a hectic two and a half days at Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference, I had a “relaxing” afternoon helping the Countryside Rangers and a group of local residents undertake path cleaning at Balgay Hill – here’s a few of the group pictured below:
It was jolly hard work but the steps on the hill are now much easier to walk on following us removing lots of leaves:
I also had the chance to call by the WestFest Spring Fair at the Vine:
Kay Macfarlane’s crafts stall …
… and Pauline Murray’s crafts …
Attractive and unusual plant pot holders

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!