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Visitor Boom to see Orchids in Bloom


Thousands of people are expected to attend Glasgow’s 22nd annual Orchid Fair this weekend (Saturday May 11 and Sunday May 12).

Celebrating all things orchid, the free event will take place in the Kibble Palace glasshouse at Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Doors open from 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am – 5pm on Sunday.


Specialist orchid nurseries will display and sell exquisite orchid plants in flower and offer advice on how to keep them.

The Scottish Orchid Society and the Orchid Society of North East England will also put on stunning displays and be on hand to provide cultivation tips.

In addition, the Glasgow Branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society will have on display a range of plants to admire and purchase.

Ewen Donaldson, General Manager of Glasgow Botanic Gardens, said: “Our annual Orchid Fair is always a very popular event with the public who enjoy seeing the many varieties of plants on display.  Orchids have a reputation of being difficult to care for but if you learn a few tricks of the trade, even a beginner will be able to keep them looking good.”

The Orchid Fair will be set up on the Friday afternoon.  Doors open at 10am on Saturday and Sunday.  For those who can’t wait until then, there is a permanent collection of orchids at the Botanic Gardens to admire any day of the year.

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2019 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellows announced

Four Writers Awarded a Month-Long Residency in France


Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, is delighted to announce that the four Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowships for 2019 have been awarded to Bernard McLaverty, Linda Cracknell, Philip Miller and Maria Fusco. The Fellows were selected by a panel, which changes every year.

The Fellowship was initiated in 1994 by Franki Fewkes, a Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson enthusiast, and is supported by Creative Scotland. Intended to give writers a chance to escape the routine and distractions of their everyday lives to devote time to their writing, itprovides residencies for four writers at the Hôtel Chevillon International Arts Centre at Grez-sur-Loing, France. Travel and accommodation costs are covered, plus a grant of £300 per week for living expenses.

Grez-sur-Loing is at the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau and was chosen because of its connections with Robert Louis Stevenson who first visited in 1875. It was there, at the Hôtel Chevillon, that he met his future wife Fanny Osbourne.

Previous Fellows include Liz Lochhead, Jenni Fagan, Jo Clifford, James Robertson and Louise Welsh. As well as the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, Scottish Book Trust supports writers through initiatives such as the New Writers Awards, Next Chapter Award, the ‘What’s Your Story?’ programme for young writers and the Live Literature Fund, which makes funding available to enable authors to visit schools and communities.

2019 Robert Louis Stevenson Fellows:


Bernard McLaverty

Bernard was born in Belfast and lived there until 1975, when he moved to Scotland. He now lives in Glasgow, and has published five novels and five collections of short stories, most of which are gathered into Collected Stories (2013). He has written versions of his fiction for other media including radio plays, television plays, screenplays and libretti.

Bernard’s recent novel, Midwinter Break, has been shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2019. The author was also awarded The Sunday Herald’s ‘Writer of the Year’ (2018) in Scotland and Novel of the Year in Ireland (2017) and. During his Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, he plans to work on a new book of short stories.


Bernard McLaverty said:

“I am honoured and delighted to have been awarded a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. To be away from the everyday routine of home, among visual artists, in rural surroundings in France sounds an ideal situation for making progress on a new book of short stories. Stimulation and full time focus – what could be better?”


Linda Cracknell

Linda is a writer of fiction, non-fiction and occasional radio drama based in Aberfeldy, Perthshire. Following two collections of short stories, her novel Call of the Undertow was published in 2013.

Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory, published in 2014, is an account of a series of walks Linda took, each following a story from the past – personal, biographical or communal. It was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week on publication. She has continued to write about walking in magazine pieces for the Walkhighlands online magazine and is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Stirling University.

Linda aims use her time during the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship to initiate some completely new work, including radio drama proposals and a non-fiction project which, fittingly to Robert Louis Stevenson, involves sea, ships and even some pirates.

Linda Cracknell said:

“This is a wonderful gift of space and time in which to recharge my own writing journey whilst drawing on the legacy of Robert Louis Stevenson, whose spirit of adventure and creativity inspired by travel were such a driving force in his writing as they are in my own.”


Philip Miller

Philip grew up in the north of England, and moved to Scotland in 1992 to attend Edinburgh University. As a journalist, he has worked for The Glaswegian, for The Scotsman as Arts Reporter, as Scottish Art Correspondent for The Sunday Times, and since 2002, has been Arts Correspondent of The Herald. He has twice been named Arts Writer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards.

He is the author of two published books, The Blue Horse (2015) and All The Galaxies(2017), and his poetry has been published online and in print. During his Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, Philip plans to complete a new novel, The Spook School, which is set in the Scottish art world. He also hopes to edit and revise some poems and gather them together in a collection.

Philip Miller said:

“I was so delighted and surprised to be told I had been chosen for this Fellowship. My writing time has for many years been squeezed into the gaps between journalism and life, and this brilliant opportunity will give me time and space to concentrate on it alone. This is my first residency, and I am determined to use it to the full. Thank you to Scottish Book Trust and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship for this, a wonderful gift.”


Maria Fusco

Maria is an interdisciplinary writer born in Belfast and based in Glasgow. She is the author of five books of fiction, two screenplays, three radio broadcasts and one theatre play. Her experimental radio play, Master Rock, performed and recorded inside Ben Cruachan in Argyll and Bute, is commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4, was nominated by Frieze magazine as one of the best works of 2015.

Maria is currently a Professor at Northumbria University and tutor at Arvon and Faber Academy. During her Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship, she plans to complete her debut novel, Heart of a Peach, about surveillance and forgetfulness.

Maria Fusco said:

“I am absolutely chuffed and so grateful to receive the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship. The air, pace and serenity at Hotel Chevillon will make an immeasurable difference at a crucial time to my writing life.”


Marc Lambert, CEO at Scottish Book Trust, said:

“The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship is an excellent opportunity for writers to work in seclusion on a specific project, in such beautiful and historic surroundings. Congratulations to our new Fellows, all of us at Scottish Book Trust look forward to supporting them on the next stage of their creative journey.”

Mairi Kidd, Head of Literature, Languages & Publishing, Creative Scotland said:

“The Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship has given writers time and space to focus on their work in an inspiring setting for many years and this year’s Fellows are a wonderful addition to the roster of previous recipients. We wish all the writers every success with their work in the Hôtel Chevillon and thereafter.”

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KG Park, Forrest Street, Blantyre
My brother family and friends have come together to create a charity ‘old firm’ match!
Paddy Mccarroll my brother has organised this with a bit of help from friends. All profits will go to SAHMwhich, a charity to help Suicide prevention. There are no tickets needed, but simply a donation on entry to the match.
Also supporting mental health , the footie showdown takes place at KG Park in the Blantyre Vics Ground on Sunday 5th May 2019. Kickoff is 11am.
Get yourselves along to the match and cheer on your team. It promises to be a real, fun family day out with entertainment of other sorts too. Bouncy Castle, Face painting and raffles.
Hope you all can make it!!!
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The School of Glee

The School of Glee performance group were spotted while singing in Braehead by Infinity Events. Infinity Events booked them to perform at The Scottish International Business and Community Awards 2019, a celebration of Scotland’s International Business relationships. The award ceremony was attended by a number of high profile personalities including members of the Scottish Parliament and a number of key officials from Pakistan. Businesses and personalities from Pakistan won a number of awards and as such the event made the news headlines in Pakistan. The Glee girls – age 11-13 from Glasgow – found themselves on the Pakistan news channel singing their version of Lewis Capaldi Someone you Loved.

The Glee girls have a busy few months a head with the finals of 2 prestigious competitions. They will be competing in the finals of Tim Nobles Stars of the Future later this month, and traveling to London to compete in the grand final of Showstoppers competition, judged by some of the biggest names from the Westend Stage.

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Business Heats Up For Scottish Hot Sauce Brand

In October 2017, The Bonnie Sauce Company was launched by two Scottish Entrepreneurs after
success with their Mexican restaurants – Bonnie Burrito. Being all natural, nut free, gluten free and
vegan, customers have been keen to take advantage of the delicious Bonnie Sauce with all its added
benefits. By focusing on creating great tasting, natural hot sauces, Bonnie Sauce Co has managed to
find great success in their early years.

Not even two years after Bonnie Sauce Co’s founding, their success has skyrocketed and lead to the
versatile hot sauces being stocked in the highstreet supermarket Sainsbury’s. On 26th April, Bonnie
Sauce will be available at Sainsbury’s with their delicious flavours including; Mango & Habanero,
Smoky Chipotle and Fiery Scotch Bonnet.

At the moment, the Scottish hot sauce is only available in the bigger Scottish Sainsbury’s superstores.
However, with enough interest and support, the team at Bonnie Sauce Co are positive sales will
increase enough to push their 100ml bottles of fiery goodness to be available in more stores in the
near future.

A quote from The Bonnie Sauce Company co-founder Stephen Scurr – “It’s been a terrific effort from
everyone at The Bonnie Sauce Co. to get us to this point [being stocked in Sainsbury’s], but now the hard work
really begins. We’ve got our foot in the door, we just need to make sure sales go well enough and customers
enjoy our sauces enough to keep us there, where we want to be.”
So, next time you visit a Sainsbury’s store, remember to look out for your local Scottish hot sauce
brand, The Bonnie Sauce Company, and pick up a bottle that will be sure to ignite your taste buds.
Find out more at www.bonniesauceco.com
You can also find Bonnie Sauce Co on Twitter and Instagram @bonniesauceco

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(2) Sally Magnusson & ASB President Lyndsey Greer-Phillips

Award-winning broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson was the Keynote
speaker for this year’s annual Association of Scottish Businesswomen
(ASB) Conference held yesterday, Tuesday 30th April in the auspicious
surrounds of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (RCPSG) in

(2) Sally Magnusson & ASB President Lyndsey Greer-Phillips

Currently a lead presenter of the flagship Scottish news programme
Reporting Scotland, Sally is the author of ten books, with her next
due to be published early next year. Her bestselling memoir about her
mother, Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything (2014), has
been credited with improving knowledge and understanding of this
widespread brain condition. Out of that experience she founded the
personal music for dementia charity Playlist for Life, of which she is

(3) Christina McKelvie MSP

A welcome address was given by Professor Jackie Taylor MB ChB, FRCP,
current – and first ever female – President of the RCPS.

The theme of this year’s conference was “UNSTOPPABLE WOMEN – FIND
YOUR VOICE”. The day was made up of a diverse programme of workshops,
with titles including “Whose Ladder is it Anyway” and “Pitchtastic:
How to Communicate with Confidence, Credibility and Charisma”. The aim
of these was to give delegates who attended the practical tools,
techniques and inspiration to help them step up and speak out, both
personally and professionally, in their career, life and business
activities. Delegates also had plenty of opportunity to network and
meet like-minded businesswomen from throughout Scotland.

(4) Unstoppable Women

A panel discussion “Find your Voice – Your Story” featured Ann
Johnson, Finance Director at Blaze Manufacturing Solutions Ltd;
Professor Sarah Pedersen, Communication and Media, Robert Gordon
University; June Walker, Business Growth Strategist & Board Adviser to
the Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Sheryl Newman, from
Aberdeen-based Appetite For Business, an advocate for women in
business and IT. And we were delighted to welcome back Amy Jackson of
Oxtale to facilitate this discussion for a second year. The panellists
shared their experiences, including developing a strong mindset to
overcome challenges, where they find their support and finding their
voice in business.

The final session of the day was led by Angie Foreman, Programme
Director of Dundee-based Coca-Cola 5by20 and CEO of Women’s Business
Station. Angie shared her story and spoke of the Power to Pull
together, encouraging delegate members of ASB to make pledges to each
other, with a view to building on and growing the existing supportive
culture of the organisation.

The conference was closed by Christina McKelvie, Minister for Older
People and Equalities, responsible for cross government co-ordination
of policies in support of women and gender equality who said: “For too
long, women have been raising their voices, but not being heard. Don’t
stop believing – scale the glass ceiling, and smash it to smithereens”

After the close of the event, ASB President. Lyndsey Greer-Phillips
said “This year’s conference was a runaway success. As part of the
Scotland Can Do Festival, which is a statement of intent to drive
forward entrepreneurial and innovative collaborative working across
Scotland, we brought together inspirational women from across
Scotland to share their stories, their experience and ways in which we
can all find our voice and have our voice heard collaboratively and
individually; to grow ourselves and our businesses for the future
Economy of Scotland. It was a day not to be missed – “Growth is never
by mere chance; it’s the result of forces working together” – James
Cash Penney”


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New cycle parking for residents

New on-street cycle parking facilities will soon be installed across the city.

A feasibility study into the introduction of secure on-street cycle parking has identified locations where cycle facilities could be installed.

Members of the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee were today (Wednesday 30 April) given an update on the council’s plans.

The study, funded via the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme, will outline recommendations to finance, install, and manage on-street cycle parking infrastructure using a cost effective, secure and accessible system which can be implemented across the city.

A city-wide online consultation carried out by the council’s Neighbourhood and Sustainability’s Technical Services looked at levels of support and facility placement requests, potential partners and development of a placement strategy.

Of those who responded to the consultation, 68% suggested locations. These were plotted using GIS (Global Information Systems) spatial analysis then scored on the following criteria:

• number of requests received for secure shelter,
• proximity to areas of high household density,
• proximity to current or ongoing cycle infrastructure.

Those with higher scores were prioritised and clusters resolved to provide single locations. This desktop method was used to provide a list of potential locations. Street surveys will now be carried out to ascertain their suitability.

Christine Francis, Head of Technical Services within Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, said: “We know there is strong public support for safe cycling facilities and the feedback we got from residents during the consultation helped us map out the potential locations for installing cycle storage facilities.

“A significant number of residents live within a four mile radius of the city centre in properties such as tenements, high rise flats and apartment blocks. These have limited cycle storage space and are based around narrow central stairwells. This presents problems for storing and moving bicycles and, where cycles are stored in communal space, can cause an obstruction and attract a greater risk of theft.

“Once the feasibility study is complete we will assess each location before the installation begins late Summer.”

The new on-street parking facilities will be paid for from the council’s Cycling Strategy budget.

A copy of the report is available here

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New Role for Head of Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership

David Williams, Chief Officer of Glasgow’s HSCP, is to be seconded as Director of Delivery, Health & Social Care Integration, to the Scottish Government.

His new role relates to the work of the Ministerial Strategy Group progressing the integration of health and social care in Scotland.

David said: “It’s been a real privilege to have worked in Glasgow for nearly 10 years as Assistant Director and Executive Director, Social Work Services then Chief Officer of the Health and Social Care Partnership since 2014. Throughout my career, I’ve rarely come across such passionate and committed colleagues from the spectrum of health and care services who are such dedicated public servants to the people of Glasgow.

“I’m immensely proud of what my colleagues have done and continue to do on a daily basis in their support of the city’s most vulnerable citizens and I sincerely thank them for this. I’m very passionate about the necessity of health and social care integration and the opportunity to be involved in progressing this agenda at a national level through this secondment is very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.”

Glasgow’s HSCP is made up of Glasgow City Council (GCC) and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGG) colleagues who work together to jointly deliver health and social care services. A separate legal entity called Glasgow City Integration Joint Board is the strategic planning body that commissions services from GCC and GGC.

Annemarie O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow City Council, congratulated David on his secondment.

She said: “David has adeptly guided Glasgow’s social work and NHS services through the initial integration phase to form the city’s new Health and Social Care Partnership. This has delivered more joined up services and a holistic approach to health and wellbeing for the city’s residents. Organisational change on such a major scale is never simple, but David’s experience and professionalism has helped ensure that Glasgow’s HSCP is hailed as a flagship for integration.

“The skills he has accrued throughout his career will serve him well in his new role and I wish him every success.”

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, NHSGGC, also wished David well.

She said: “Significant progress has been made within Glasgow City to deliver an integrated health and social care system and David’s secondment to this important national role is welcomed. I wish David well in his secondment and look forward to his interim replacement continuing the good work he has started.”

David is due to take up his new role at the Scottish Government in the near future and work to appoint his interim replacement in Glasgow is underway.

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Cycle around the World this May – without leaving Scotland!


This year’s annual May Challenge organised by Glasgow City Council is looking for participants to virtually cycle around the world in an effort to promote the benefits of cycling, an active lifestyle and smarter travel options.

This Sunday – 28 April – George Square will be closed to traffic from 7am – 6pm to host a free May Around the World launch event with a host of activities on offer for citizens and visitors to the city to take part – running from 10.30am – 16.30pm.


Activities include MTB/BMX Pump Track, Climbing Wall, eBike Try out, Bike Set Up Dr Bike, NextBike Promotions, Cycle Training Play on Pedals, Play Outdoors, Face Painting, Freefall AirBag and the Heart Radio Paparazzi Wall.

The council has organised the annual May Challenge for the last XX years – a month long initiative that has young and old alike from Glasgow and beyond signing up to take on the challenge.

This year, the challenge is based around a virtual around the world cycle tour.

The Naviki app (link in here?) based challenge aims to encourage new and existing cyclists to get out on their bikes to take part in all types of cycling including commuting to work and study to just enjoying a family ride in the local park.

The total distance to cover in one month is just over 42,000 km with the route calculated from city to city and based on what would be possible to ride. Flight distance is not counted!

All types of cycling counts and people from right across the Clyde Valley can take part.

You can check the postcode link on the website https://www.smartertravelgla.co.uk/pages/view/41 to check if you are eligible to take part.

People can compete as an individual or part of a team with led rides, Dr Bike events and themed prizes throughout the month of May to motivate people to get out on their bike.

A full event timetable can be found on the website.

Not only does the challenge provide the perfect backdrop to encourage increased participation but in addition, information from the challenge will be used by Glasgow City Council to help develop our cycle network across the city.

Collin Little, Travel Plan Officer, Glasgow City Council said: “The benefits from cycling are wide ranging and it’s the ideal activity for everyone to get involved in – regardless of age or ability!

“Each year the challenge is an opportunity to promote the health and well-being and environment benefits as well as gathering data to shape policy in the city.

“I want to encourage as many people as possible to come along to our event on Sunday 28 April to see how much fun all types of cycling can be.”

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Legion Presents Evolution- An Evolving Sound

Legion Presents Evolution- An Evolving Sound
(In aid of Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity)
@ Ivory Blacks, May 16th 2019.
£5 via web/ £7 on door
Evolution is a live music event that will take place in Glasgow’s own, Ivory Blacks on May 16th 2019.
This not to be missed gig will feature multiple live performances from some of the hottest new indie and rock musicians on the Glasgow music scene.
Line –Up
The Drive
Chloe Hawkins
Dear Asteroid
Lewis, Guitarist from The Drive said “I am really excited to be able to have the opportunity to play alongside so many amazing artists at Evolution while raising money from a charity that means alot to me, Definitely going to be a night to remember.”
Also, to mention the most important factor of all at only £5 a ticket, all profit will be going to a great cause, Glasgow’s children Hospital charity.
Support local music, support local charities!!
We hope to see you here so make sure you purchase your tickets using the following link –
Thank you,
Heel Toe Promotions
Relevant Links
Heel Toe Promotions –
Legion –
The Drive –
Chloe Hawkins –
Voltage –
Dear Asteroid –