Author Archives: Louise Wilson

The Avenue Vintage Boutique

The Avenue Shoppping Centre in Newton Mearns this weekend hosts its first vintage event in partnership with Oxfam Boutique. The event will run from Friday 30th November until Sunday 2nd December.

As well as showcasing vintage clothing, accessories, jewellery and homewares, the event will also feature homemade jewellery and headbands from local fashion student Iona Sinclair. The Avenue will become centre of all things fashion!

Michelle McCabe, Centre Manager at The Avenue, said: “If you’re desperately seeking the perfect Christmas gift for your nearest and dearest – but you’re still at a loss about what to get – then come along to our vintage event for a range of special gift ideas, from jewellery to homewares.”

Oxfam Boutique will host a special launch night for the vintage event in the Avenue on Thursday 29th November from 7pm till 10pm. It is an inredibly exciting opportunity for all those interested in vintage or one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.

The Avenue, which is open until 7pm every Thursday, is home to 44 different retailers. Stock includes books, clothing/fashion, mobile phone, perfume and health/pharmacy items.

The Avenue Shopping Centre offers shoppers an alternative to sprawling trolley-dash shopping culture with a comprehensive range of outlets offering a warm and welcoming shopping experience conveniently located on the outskirts of Glasgow city centre.

For further information about The Avenue log onto

Local girl asks popstar to sing at child’s birth

Pop sensation Sam Callahan, who is due to release his new single ‘Runaway Train’ at the end of January, was asked to perform the single whilst his biggest fan, Demi Lee from Glasgow, was due give birth.

Unfortunately, Demi Lee’s first child arrive early so Sam never got to perform on the occasion – though he found this out just as he was leaving for the hospital. Demi Lee tweeted Sam about the birth, letting him know that the single was still played.

@samcallahan94 nephew was born just there made sure your song played!”runaway train” #happy#amazing Love you Sam x

— Demi-lee Stewart (@DemileeStewart) November 27, 2012

Sam was originally picked to be in ‘The Wanted’ but they found out he was 5 months too young. Sam attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School at 16 where he was in a mixed band managed by Geri Halliwell and Simon Fuller, other band mates included the boys from District 3 from xfactor! Sam spent two years working with them and some of the best music producers in the business.

Callahan is now working with successful hit producer John McLaughlin who has produced records for The Wanted and Take That, and many more. Sam is forging his own music career and his natural talents are clearly showing through in his first single release.

Watch the video for ‘Runaway Train’ below.

More information on Sam Callahan can be found at his website:

Barrhead Travel to fly record number of Scots

Barrhead Travel today announced plans to operate a record number of flights from Scotland to popular holiday destinations next summer.

 The ambition plans will see a total of 20,000 seats will be available between May and October 2013, doubling the capacity of 2012, and new links between Glasgow and Aberdeen airports and abroad.

The new routes include direct flights from Glasgow to Alicante and the only direct flights from Aberdeen to Alicante and Barcelona. Scotland’s largest independent travel group will charter flights from Glasgow and Aberdeen airports to destinations including Palma, Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona and Venice.

Barrhead Travel is chartering British Airways aircraft for the flights which will give passengers more leg room and a greater luggage allowance than other ‘bargain’ airlines. The flights will also depart on weekends at convenient times.

The company said that operating its own flights and holidays would give Barrhead Travel customers more cost effective holiday solutions.

Sharon Munro, Chief Executive, said: “We strive to give our customers greater choice and value and chartering more flights during the summer months to some of our most popular destinations and cruise ships enables us to give them the best prices possible.

Barrhead Travel, which was founded in 1975 by Bill Munro, has won many rewards over recent years. It’s accolades include Top UK Travel Agency and Best Travel Agency in Scotland for the past 12 years. More recently, the company was named Employer of the Year by The Sunday Times.

Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Barrhead Travel has always proved a popular choice for Scottish holidaymakers and we have worked closely with them over the last three summers to ensure their flight programme from Glasgow Airport has been successful.

“It is great news for Scottish holidaymakers that Barrhead has expanded its Glasgow Airport programme every year since it began in 2010. With five popular destinations in 2013, we are confident that our partnership is on course for another successful summer.”

For more information visit

Adventurous Artist Exhibition in Glasgow

Intrepid artist Phillip Gray is holding an exhibition later the month to raise funds the The Hope Foundation in conjunction with Breeze Art Galleries.

Phillip Gray, whose artwork is coveted by many celebrities, including Dolly Parton and George Bush, will display many of his works in the two-hour exhibition, including a brand new exclusive painting of the Scottish Highlands landscape as requested by Breeze Art Gallery. This piece will encapsulate the country’s wild nature and will be for sale during the exhibition.

Phillip Gray, a self-proclaimed extreme artist, creates landscape pieces which will be on display at the exhibition. His inspiration comes from the most extreme and harshest climates known to man, including 20,000ft up Mt Everest or the North Atlantic seabed. When asked about his art, he claims it is a form of expression designed to push his thoughts to extremes.

He says: “My extreme journeys into the unknown bring new challenges that push the boundaries of my mind body and soul. Voyages of discovery, sometimes dangerous, are a stimulus to drive me forward creatively and explore new worlds of emotional expression.”

Phillip Gray will also be giving a live demonstration of how he works to guests of the event. He builds on a feeling of his surroundings to create his amazing pieces. One of his most recent pieces include a landscape of the volcanic eruption in Iceland back in 2010. This stunted travel plans for many Europeans, but Phillip only saw the excitement and potential in thsi situation.

Philip added: “The contrast between fire and ice inspired me to paint with a wider palette and freed my imagination to create paintings that are both science, yet somewhat surreal too.”

Breeze Galleries are very excited to work with Phillip in order to raise funds for such a great cause. Proceeds will go towards The Hope Foundation, a charity close to the artists heart supporting children in India and the Philippines. The Hope Foundation, based in Kolkata, provides education, healthcare and general support for children without parents.

Bob Corsie, founder of Breeze Galleries, said: “We are very excited to be welcoming Philip Gray back to Glasgow, especially as he will once again be providing us with a live demonstration. Philip’s work is stunning and visitors to the exhibition will no doubt be captivated by the massive, colour filled canvases, which seem to pull those looking at them right into the heart of the landscape he is depicting.”

The exhibition will be on November 18th, between 2-4pm in the Breeze Art Gallery in Frasers, Glasgow. For an invitation to the event call Breeze Galleries on 0800 1300 345 or go to the Breeze Gallery website here.

More information on The Hope Foundation and what the charity does to help orphaned children can be found on their website here.

Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service Visits Blythswood Square

Blythswood Square, the five star hotel in the city centre, is to host a visit by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) later this month.  SNBTS will spend the day at the luxury hotel on Monday 19th November offering local residents and staff in local businesses a perfect opportunity to give blood, that is conveniently located right on their doorstep.

The SNBTS hope that by making the opportunity to donate blood will increase the numbers of donors. The drive to take place in Blythswood Square is one of a variety of new techniques to involve more Scots in donating blood and platelets. Currently, only 5% of the Scottish population currently donate the much need blood which can be life-saving. To meet the demand, the SNBTS must collect 5,000 blood donations per week.

Hans Rissmann, Managing Director of Blythswood Square, said: ‘Earlier this year, our sister hotel, The Bonham, in Edinburgh hosted a similar visit.  It proved to be so successful that we were keen to work with the Blood Transfusion Service here in Glasgow on a similar initiative.

‘The busy festive period will soon be upon us when we will welcome several hundred party goers across all areas of the hotel.  It is also, ironically, one of the quietest times for the Blood Transfusion Service when every donation is even more important.   Hosting this visit by SNBTS means that we’re able to widen our support for such an imperative service ahead of the Christmas party season and make it easy for those nearby to donate blood at a key time in the year for the Service.’

Aftermaking their donation, donors will enjoy Blythswood Square’s own delicious shortbread with their tea in The Monte Carlo Suite.

Moira Eadie, Deputy National Donor Services Manager, said: “We are delighted to come along to Blythswood Square and provide this local opportunity for blood donors to come and give blood.  Every minute of every day, someone in Scotland is receiving blood as part of a life-saving or life-enhancing treatment.”

To register as a blood donor or to find out where your nearest donation session is, call 0845 90 90 999, text ‘blood’ to 61611, or visit

The blood drive at Blythswood Square takes place on November 19th. For further details or to book an appointment at Blythswood Square, call Michelle Thomson or Jenny Stewart on 0141-248 8888.

Commonwealth Games to improve Glasgow

John Mason, MSP for Shettleston, this week outlined the benefits Glasgow can expect to be in receipt of after the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

His announcement followed the news that the stadium and other facilities are being built on-budget and on-time, including the Emmirates Arena containing the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. The creation of these facilities will help to regenerate Glasgow’s east end, it is hoped. 80% of the Commonwealth Games are being funded by the Scottish Government.

After the games, local residents will be able to use the facilities as part of the government project Glasgow Life. 300 homes from the Athletes Village will also be handed over to the city’s housing council in an attempt to alleviate local housing problems.

Commenting on the forthcoming games, Mr Mason said: “The Games represent a unique opportunity for us to showcase our city to the rest of the world and I have every confidence that we will do that well. The 2014 Commonwealth Games will be a real boost to the economy of Glasgow and will provide a lasting legacy for the people of my constituency and across this great city. There have already been jobs for local people in construction and there will be more jobs in the longer term actually operating the facilities.  In addition local residents can obviously use the facilities just as they do other places operated by Glasgow Life.

He went on to say: “It’s an exciting time to live in Glasgow and that excitement will only continue to grow as we approach 2014. Not only are we seeing the upgrade to the Tollcross Leisure Centre but there will be useful new complexes built such as the recently opened Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow Green.”

Christmas Shopping Festival comes to town

The Christmas Shopping Festival, sponsored by Hamley’s Glasgow, will open in Glasgow on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th November as the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

The event will feature over 60 exhibitors, including a unique shopping area, food and drink village and a Hamley’s Winter Wonderland and Santa’s Grotto for children’s entertainment.

Some of the exhibitors will include Candy Creations, Forbidden Planet, Johnston Art, Louise Scott and Therapy Hair & Spa.

Some exhibitors will be running masterclasses and workshops to show customers to the best they have to offer.

The event promised to provide “a unique shopping experience and family day out where you can do all your Christmas shopping under one roof!” It will be the first of it’s kind to come to Glasgow.

The Christmas Shopping Festival will also come to Edinburgh on the 8th and 9th December, which will include festive cooking demonstrations on top of the numerous exhibitions. Chefs include Mark Greenaway, Jason Wright and Paul Hart.

The Festival will run from 11:30-16:30 in the Royal Concert Halls, Sauchiehall Street, this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available on the door, or through the website. Tickets cost £5.00.

Freshlink workers to receive tailored support package

MSP John Mason, backed by the Scottish Government, has assured those made redundant by the closure of Freshlink in Glasgow will receive “a tailored package of skills development”.

The closure of the factory, which was announced last week, will lead to 145 employees losing their jobs. Mr Mason has confirmed that the promises of support to the employees will be met. A PACE team has been created by the government in order to do this.

Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing is set to visit the factory on Friday to discuss the specifically tailored package of support that will be provided to employees.

Staff at Freshlink have complained about uncertainty over finish dates, hindering their ability to look for new work without compromising their redundancy pay.

Mr Mason, who had campaigned to keep the factory open and has expressed disappointment over the closure announcement, is helping to focus on providing the best support for Freshlink employees.

He said: “I welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has confirmed that a PACE team is drawing up a tailored package of skills development for workers and that it will continue to offer every support possible.

“The information on when the factory will close that has been given to workers by the company so far has been totally inadequate, so the assurance that the Enterprise Minister will press for more answers is a positive one.

“It is an extremely difficult situation when anyone loses their job, but that is made so much worse when workers are facing unnecessary uncertainty over when they personally will finish working there. After the way they have been treated, the workers at Freshlink deserve far, far better.”

Drop in homicide rates for Glasgow

A report released by the Scottish Government has announced a significant drop in the number of homicides in Glasgow in the past 10 years.

There has been a 28% decrease in homicide cases in Scotland as a whole, with Glasgow demonstrating the greatest improvement. There were 40 cases in 2002-03 in Glasgow, compared to just 15 cases 2011-12.

Sandra White, Justice Committee member and MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, believes these much improved rates show a “positive trend”.

She said: “One murder in Glasgow and Scotland is of course one too many, but these new figures do at least show a positive trend. But it is vital that we remember behind each of these figures are victims and grieving families.”

The report follows announcements earlier this year that proclaimed a 37-year low for crime rates more generally.

Ms White went on to say these figures will help improve Glasgow’s reputation as a dangerous city, though much work still needs to be done.

She continued: “I will continue to work tirelessly with the police and community organisations so we can make Glasgow a city with a reputation other European cities are envious of.”


Freshlink factory to close

ABP Foods today announced the upcoming closure of its Freshlink sausage factory situated in Glasgow’s east end.

The closure will lead to 145 people being made redundant. It was considered by the company to be a cheaper option to relocated to an existing site than any of the other solutions offered within consultations with Glasgow City Council. The work will now be moved to a factory in Yorkshire.

Shettleston MSP John Mason expressed deep regret that this decision was taken, and announced the focus will now be on supporting the 145 employees to “move into alternative employment.”

He said: “The 145 staff at Freshlink will now be facing an uncertain future, but I welcome the confirmation that the Scottish Government will be putting a PACE team in place to help staff move into alternative employment.

“The company has still not clarified its timescale for closing the plant and this makes it more difficult for staff to find other jobs. This morning a Freshlink employee who has been there 18 years spoke to me and showed me the letter she had received from the Company. It was in very vague terms and for the sake of the staff I would appeal to them to clarify each employee’s position.”

Mr Mason went on to criticise Freshlink for showing “little enthusiasm” to keep the factory in Glasgow open. He said: “It is difficult not to conclude that Freshlink had little enthusiasm for finding a solution that would keep jobs in Glasgow, as the company persistently only sent a junior manager to the task force aimed at saving jobs.

“Having been part of that taskforce for the last four months, I know that substantial offers of help and assistance were put forward. In addition senior officials from Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Clyde Gateway and others have invested significant amounts of time in trying to find a solution. It is extremely frustrating that the company chose not to take them up.”

Freshlink confirmed that production will end early next year, but an exact date has not yet been given.

MP for Glasgow East Margaret Curren described the closure as a “real blow”. She said: “This is devastating news for the staff at Freshlink. The loss of these jobs is a  real blow for the East End where we’re already suffering from the effects of this economic crisis

“ABP Foods did not consider the profound effect this decision will have on both its employees and the local area. Freshlink has a dedicated workforce who do not deserve this terrible news.”