February 2022

You Never Know Who You Will See at the Bus Stop

I was never a huge Osmonds fan. Probably Donny & Marie were more my age group. I was photographing Jay Osmond who was at The Kings Theatre in Glasgow to launch his show ‘The Osmonds : A New Musical’. Written by Jay it tells the story of him and his brothers who became superstars in the 1970s. He was with the cast members of the show and was so up for posing at the bus stop outside the stage door on Bath Street. He was such good fun. There was even a group of fans waiting for him when he arrived. I did go home and start to stream some of their old hits. Pretty good they were too. Crazy Horses was quite rocky. 

Wasps’ Creative Hub in Inverness

I got a nice trip north to visit the Highlands’ first creative hub opened its doors to the north of Scotland’s cultural and business communities following a four year, £6m conversion of former Inverness Royal Academy. Inverness Creative Academy provides working accommodation for visual and applied artists as well as office space for the creative industries, social enterprise and charity sectors. Managed by Wasps, Scotland’s national provider of creative spaces, the project has revived the former Inverness Royal Academy buildings in the heart of the city, and over the past four years has sensitively restored the Grade B listed Victorian properties. It was great to meet the artists  also Kate Hooper and Donald MacLean of StrategyStory who were the first tenants to move into the newly completed section of the building. We managed to position the artists on the stairs of the building and I could not help thinking of the hundreds of kids that used to come down these stairs in years gone by.

Sleeping Under the Stars

I love camping and long ago but I decided a hard floor was too much on my old bones and bought a caravan. After many years as a caravan owner and much to the jesting of my pals I left that world behind. I did still go to the Camping & Caravan Show at the SECC as my camping fix. I was delighted to meet Julie Brown with her fleet of very cool VW Campervans. Julie,  founder of Staycation Scotland has now expanded her luxury camper van fleet to cope with demand and high bookings for third year running. As a VW driver myself I was really taken with them. Julie has a really cool staff . They all looked brilliant in their company dungarees.

A Cold Day for a Swim

The weather has been pretty wild lately. At a photo call for the Glasgow Taxis Cup 2022, which is now is back in its original format after two years due to Covid 19. I managed to persuade the swimmer, Glasgow University student Will Strachan, to hold the stunning Glasgow Taxis Cup while being watched by University Sports presidents Tabitha Nyariki ( Glasgow Caledonian), Kirsty Bannatyne (Strathclyde), Jessica Woodcock (Glasgow University) in a very cool Glasgow electric taxi. I had my thick coat on and an umbrella to protect the cameras while poor Will just stood unflinching against the cold. Oh the blessing of youth.

Shop Until You Drop

I was through at Livingston Designer Outlet to meet fashion model and influencer Hayley Daines  who was opening Cancer Research Shop at the shopping mall. She was good fun. The photo shoot went really well and I was amazed at the quality of the merchandise on display. After the opening ceremony and cutting the ribbon we found some cool stuff in the store, then it was round to Starbucks for some coffee and picture editing.

A New Library for Strathblane

I am not a fan of demolishing buildings willy nilly but sometimes there is a time for moving on to something better. The old Strathblane library, which has been up for over 50 years is really a big portacabin. It has lasted well but now work has begun on delivering the community owned Thomas Graham Library. Strathblane Community Development Trust’s wholly owned subsidiary Thomas Graham Library Ltd started the work on the 1st of February. Scheduled to open in November 2022. The building has been funded entirely through personal and charitable donations, making it the first community-owned public library to be built in Scotland in living memory. A total of 275 local people donated to a library crowdfunding appeal that raised over £1M. Roughly one third of households in the community of Strathblane have donated. 

It is named after Professor Thomas Graham, the great-uncle of Angus Graham, a local landowner and businessman who is principal donor. Professor Graham was a Glasgow-born chemist who pioneered the science of diffusion and became a leading British scientist in the mid-19th century. The building has been designed by Thomas Robinson Architects from Croftamie and the main contractor is Fleming from Lenzie. The new library will be owned and operated by Thomas Graham Library Ltd and the Library service will be continue to be provided by Stirling Council.

Margaret Vass, chair of the development trust is pictured in the demolition digger and there is a short video of the start of the demolition work.

Have a look at the Video of the first stages of demolition here.

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