Flu Vaccines

ALMOST half of tayside toddlers risk contracting the potentially fatal flu virus because they are not vaccinated.

Figures reveal that 49.7% of 2-5 year olds didn’t take up the offer of a flu vaccine last year.

Children are more likely than adults to become ill. The nasal spray vaccine is quick to administer and pain free.

Whitfield Surgery’s Dr Jonathan Black is photographed with 4-year old Ava Berry to spread the message ahead of her vaccination.

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He said: “It will not only protect children, but also reduce the risk of flu being spread to those more vulnerable.”

Appointments to receive the vaccine can be booked at GP surgeries.

 

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Dramatic Fireworks

BLAST Designs will light the sky in spectacular colour during their fireworks display in Coupar Angus tomorrow.

The professional display artists will use extra fireworks to mark the 10th anniversary of the annual event.

Blast Designs have won 1st place in the Scottish Fireworks Championship in 2007, and 2nd in the World Championships in 2008.

The company’s John Kettles,55, “Anyone can throw fireworks up the air. Ours can be compared to theatre – it creates a mood.

“We have a fire breathing dragon too that blows flames 3 foot in the air, and it creates steam and audio.”

Thousands of spectators are expected to attend the free event which takes place at 7pm at Larghan Park. All donations raised will go back in to the local community.

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Watch Out! A volatile Fire Breathing Dragon roams Larghan Park in Coupar Angus!

Young Ryan’s giant pal

A YOUNGSTER met up with a very giant pal.

Brodie Johnson, of Arbroath, got dressed up in a War Hammer costume and met with nine-year old, Ryan Wild.

 

Brodie and RyanThe computer character outfit took Ryan’s dad, Steve, five months to construct.

Steve uses the model building technique, Pepakura, to make fantasy weapons, spaceships, robots, and computer game characters out of paper Mache and fibre glass.

On Halloween night he let neighbours visit his collection. He showed them how to make their favourite characters and build some pieces.

A few of his other models include sci-fi characters – Batman, Ironman and Star Wars Storm Trooper costumes.

Your View Dundee Monopoly

Monopoly turns 80. We asked what locations should be on a Dundee version of the game, and what properties might be developed there?

1 Keira Mills“Balgillo Road, or ‘ Nursery Road’ it often gets called. I live beside there. It’s in small community with a corner shop and some nurseries. It would probably be one of the reds, nowhere near Mayfair.”

Kiera Mills, 17, Child and Social Care Student, Broughty Ferry.

2 Margaret Cameron

“I think one on the main street. The Overgate, Nethergate, or Wellgate. They are popular streets. Everyone is on them at one time or another.

Margaret Cameron, 65+, Housewife and Retired Nursery Worker, from Arbroath Road.

3 Christine Houghton“Bank Street. One of the streets with all the banks. It would be one of the blue ones.”

Christine Houghton, 38, Mortgage Advisor, Mid Craigie.

4 John Elliot“Arbroath Road. It’s just one big road that leads up to the Kingsway, and into town. You would be most likely to see a Premier Inn there because of the volume of traffic.”

John Elliot, 30, Bartender, Arbroath Road.

5 Barry Weir“Commercial Street in the centre. It’s the first one that came to mind. It’s close to the museum and has all the main shops like Zara.  America would maybe buy the game because there’s a huge craze there for ancestry and links to Scotland.

Barry Weir, 40, Addictions Counsellor, Monifeith.

6 Michael Grattan“The Perth Road, mainly because if I’m with friends that’s where we go for pubs and restaurants. It would be near to Mayfair on the board because it’s expensive to buy a house there.

Michael Grattan, 30, Complaint Advisor at Lloyds, Craigie.

Fireworks set to light up city

Fun – and most importantly – safe, Dundee fireworks displays will be held at Baxter Park and Lochee Park on Thursday.

Councillor Craig Melville, Dundee City Council’s environment convener, said: “The fireworks displays are not only great family events but they also help to reduce the damage caused by people hosting their own events.”

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Dundee’s Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Manager, Martin Tait, said: “The events are professionally organised, much more spectacular than a DIY display and most importantly it’s much safer for you, your family and your friends.

“We want you to have fun in a safe way that doesn’t require the intervention of the emergency services.”

The displays take place from 7pm, with the lighting of the bonfire at both parks at 6.15pm.

Spooky night raises £600

 

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Picture shows some of those who attended the fundraiser in their Halloween costumes.

A HALLOWEEN party raised £600 for The ‘Relay 4 Life’ Cancer charity.

The relay team ‘The Pistols & Petticoats’ held the party at The Red Lion Campsite in Arbroath.

The Organiser, Anne Gibson from Arbroath, who dressed as a dead bride, said: “It was a good night and the kids stayed right to the end.

“Everyone made an effort to dress-up; we had a Batman, Dracula, Beetlejuice and some clowns.

“There were lots of games for the kids, including stand-up bingo with a prize donated by Sea View Diner in Arbroath. The kids also got to mummify the adults by wrapping them in toilet paper.”

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A Karaoke Disco, that included favourite Abba tunes, was provided by Lindsay Duncan, and line dancing by teacher Lo-Anne Line.

The group regularly organise events and their next event is a Scottish night for Burns in January that is still being planned.

Anne said: “It’s brilliant, the same people keep coming back and our events are full every time.”

 

Does Gerry deserve a birthday nip?

It’s been a dram long wait but Gerry’s in high spirits.

For some people, the wait to get to the pub after work can feel like a lifetime.

But Robert ‘Gerry’ Morrison has literally spent that long anticipating his very first drop of alcohol.

Gerry reached the grand old age of 100 at Balcarres Care Home where he currently resides. Guests Lord Provost Bob Duncan and Broadcaster and musician Billy Anderson attended to mark the special occasion.

Later at a large family gathering in the Fort Hotel in Broughty Ferry he celebrated by taking his first ever drink of brandy having abstained from booze his whole life.

With a twinkle in his eye, he took a sip and admitted that he was enjoying breaking the habit of a lifetime.

The centenarian said after his first drink: “It is my first and it’s a brandy. It’s good, very good.”

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Gerry Morrison with his first alcoholic drink at his 100th birthday celebration.

 

His daughter, Doreen, 57, said: “I think the key to his longevity is that he never smoked and hardly drank. He did window cleaning until he was 82. He has a good spirit and is always positive.”

She adds: “He’s had a sweet heart stout before. But let’s just say I’ve never seen him drink brandy like he has today.”

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Gerry with his daughter Doreen at his birthday celebration at The Fort in Broughty Ferry.

 

Temptation to tipple must have been high what with Gerry’s sons Gerry, 71, and Blair Morrison, 69, owning, over the years, seven pubs in the region.

His sons are known to locals as ‘the Morrison Brothers’ and had interests in the popular Dundee hostelries the Old Bank Bar and the Trades House in Dundee. Pubs in Perth and Stirling also kept them busy.

Gerry is proud of the fact that their pub in Stirling was the biggest in Scotland, adding: “They have had successful careers running the pubs and worked hard.”

“There was never much trouble with those two bruisers on the door.”

Adding a little mischievously, “Gerry had the brains and Blair went along with him.”

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Gerry with his children, Gerry, Doreen and Blair.

 

Son Gerry remembers: “He liked a flutter on the horses. But that only hurts your wealth not your health.”

His Dad was born in Belfast, County Armagh in November 1915 – a period he refers to as ‘the recession years’ – as shops were closing and jobs were scarce.

His son, Gerry, learned recently of a tragedy in his father’s life: “I found out that when he was seven years old his Dad was kicked and killed by a horse.

“He had to give up school at age 12 to keep his 3 sisters out of poverty. He had to go barefoot. It was tough in those days. He delivered veg on a kart and earned a shilling a week. ”

In his youth Gerry senior was sent to Palestine for 2 years with the army.

He was reluctant to discuss his time overseas other than revealing that his mates would often say to him: “Gerry, have a drink, have a cig.” However, he never gave in to temptation.

After he was ‘demobbed’ he moved to London. There he met Agnes Maxwell, his soon to be wife.

He said: “I met a Scots girl and we married in London. That was a long, long time ago in 1943’’. ‘Nan’ as she was known became mother to their three children, Gerry, Blair and Doreen.

Gerry said of Nan: “She was good at dancing, and I was a good dancer too. She made a good wife.”

The couple moved to her hometown of Dundee. At first they lived in a tenement on Park Avenue with a shared toilet in the close. But Gerry pushed for a move to Douglas where they stayed for 33 years.

Gerry can’t recall all the jobs he undertook but didn’t much fancy the work in Dundee’s Jute Mills. “I didn’t like the fumes,’’ he said.

He remembers jobs as a conductor on trains and buses that took in routes near Camperdown and a job as a lamplighter at the harbour that entailed long hours.

Son Blair said: “He was always on the go. I used to run along with him when he lit the lamps and he’d be on the bike.

But he will be best remembered as a window cleaner in Dundee – a job he happily carried out for 47 years!

Residents from a street he once covered on his round have sent him a hand-painted card of him with his ladder, cleaning windows, for his birthday.

Doreen said: “When I was young I remember Dad used to get up at 6am every morning. He would polish my shoes then go out for the papers and rolls and I would hear him whistling on his way back.”

Blair adds: “He still gets up early. He is the first down for breakfast in the mornings.”

In his spare time he enjoyed football and managed Blackness Foundry football team.

He now lives at Balcarres Care Home in West Ferry. Gerry explains “Nan died in 2000 but the boys and Doreen looked after me well.”

The centenarian enjoys walking and visits from a family that includes an array of great grandchildren.

Gerry is also well-travelled – he is not long back from a break in Jersey and likes to revisit his roots once a year with a holiday to Ireland.

Doreen said: “We went to Jersey in August. We had the best time, just me and dad. He loves life and is looking marvellous. It was just fantastic.”

With regards to his birthday he said, modestly: “It’s just another day and I’m keeping well”.

Of his time in Dundee, he said: “I can’t say a bad word about Dundee. Dundee’s been very good to me and my family. I’ve had a good life.”

Everyone toasted Gerry on his birthday and someone reminded him that too much drinking is bad for your health. But then, this sprightly gentleman will no doubt be back on the wagon tomorrow. Fit, raring to go, and with a special card from her majesty the Queen taking pride of place in his room.

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People Keep Merry

It’s forecast to be a cold and wet winter. We asked what you will do to keep fit and merry over the festive season?

1B Holly Napier“I enjoy football whatever the weather.

“So that keeps me fit during the winter months.

“I play centre midfield for Forfar Farmington and have played for Scotland at youth level.

“It’s good fun – we get to travel for competitions and I like the team vibe.

“I’ve played for nine or ten years and made lots of friends.

“I do a lot of conditioning and muscular endurance to stay fit for football.

“Weight training and CrossFit really helps me to keep fit, and you can do both indoors throughout winter.”

Holly Napier, 19, Football Coach and Sport Student from Carnoustie.

1 Kevin Millar“I’m Social Care Worker for the council. I walk a lot for my job, but I’m used to being out and about so the weather doesn’t put me off.

“There is no time for me to do much else. I work more than 30 hours a week and sometimes seven or eight days in row.

“I’ve been meaning to get one of those walking monitors, a pedometer, to see how far I walk.

“It must be over 5 miles because I walk between the homes of elderly people where I offer care. There are homes on the Perth Road and up Menzieshill way. But I’m used to it I’ve done it for so long now.

“The council offer us waterproofs and a reflective strip to wear to be seen when we’re walking.”

Kevin Millar, 39, Social Care Worker, from Whitfield.

2 Gina Campbell“I used to walk a lot, but now I’m registered disabled. I do swim now and again at various health clubs. I like the one along in Monifieth, David Lloyds.

“The weather in this country doesn’t put me off. We get a lot of rain but I think that people here are used to bad weather.

“I do feel like doing more in the summer though when it’s nice. But I’m looking forward to all the Christmas parties that will start soon. They will probably begin to be arranged over the next 3 weeks.”

Gina Campbell, 72, Retired Midwife, from Carnoustie.

3 Janine Palmer“I’m new to Dundee from Shetland so the weather there is worse. I’ve just been walking locally with my son and the pram close to our new house.

“I’ll walk in any weather, so long as it’s not too windy. I wouldn’t drag the bairns out in that; it’s too dangerous with the pram.

“One time in Shetland it was completely blown up it was horrible. It was a big pram and all four wheels lifted so I held on to it for dear life. That was horrific.”

Janine Palmer, 32, Mum, from Whitfield.

4 Daniel Griffiths“I do field training and shooting. It’s done outdoors but we still do it over winter.

“It’s not too scary as we only shoot blanks.

“I’m a Cadet Instructor and teach physical and adventure training.

“In the summer a lot of the activities take place outdoors.

“But over winter we do some activities outside, like skiing, but mostly we train indoors.

“If we do take them out they just complain that it’s cold and it’s not as enjoyable for them.

“It’s also important for cadet safety.

“I think it’s important to stay fit, even though I don’t do as much exercise as I should.”

Daniel Griffiths, 21, Cadet Instructor, from Fife.

1A  Michael Napier“I do weights at the gym so that helps me keep fit.

“I got into weights through friends a long time ago. I have been doing it on and off for 30 years.

“It makes me feel much fitter.

“Because you do weights indoors I can train all year round. So that makes it perfect for keeping fit in winter.

“I also play golf with friends. I usually used to win.

“I used to be a scratch golfer but have never played against any professional golfers. I like to keep playing even though the season has now ended.”

Michael Napier, 55, Yodel Parcel Delivery Worker from Carnoustie.

Huge Student Awards Ceremony

DELIGHTED Dundee and Angus College students attended a bustling awards ceremony at The Caird Hall this afternoon. 

Nearly 450 students, who have successfully completed Higher National programmes, including HNC’s and BA degrees, attended with more than 100 family members and friends. 

David Low, 34, also known as ‘Bravehart’, from Blairgowrie, was awarded a SVQ (Level 3) in Health and Social Care. He was expected to finish the course in 2012 to become a community Nurse but suffered from a life-changing head injury.

 Today he celebrated completion of the award after three years spent recovering from the accident which left him with stroke-like symptoms and depression.

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David Low at Dundee College’s graduation ceremony where he was awarded an SVQ Certificate in Health and Social Care.

 

David was a professional wrestler and his injury happened when he was involved in a championship match against the Native American WWE legend ‘Tatanka’.

“I caught a mistimed blow to the head at the start of a 35-minute match which left me with blurred vision and numbness. I can’t actually remember anything from the event or the match,” he said.

David does remember the months of illness, therapy, hospital visits and acute depression which ensued. He was unable to move his left leg and arm properly, and had trouble forming words and finishing sentences. The father of five, took 15 months off his work at Blairgowrie Community Hospital and returned to his college course in October 2014.

“I am almost fully recovered except from my left arm which gets weak when I am tired,” he said.

“My wife and kids were absolutely fantastic throughout it all as were my line manager and colleagues at work who were very supportive.”

The ceremony was held under the leadership of Principal Grant Ritchie. Radio Tay DJ and presenter, Gina McKie, acted as Guest Speaker. Gina was a former Dundee College student who was taught by Grant when she studied radio broadcasting and was happy to join him on stage.

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Principal Grant Ritchie pictured next to broadcaster and former student Gina McKie.

 

The event closed with Highland Bagpiper, Rich Gordon, playing the students out into City Square.

Another student to pick-up an award was 29-year old Allison Smith from Kirkton. She got a SVQ (Level 3) in Bakery and Parisserie. She has now landed a job as a Chef fulfilling the role of making delicious apple pies, carrot cakes and cherry bakewells at the Pinecone Café.

Avril Cunningham, from Monifieth, achieved a BA Design and Creativity degree at age 65.

 She embarked on the course to help counteract empty nest syndrome and to stave off boredom after semi-retiring from a picture framing business run by husband.

“Life has funny twists and turns,” said the artist.

“Coming to college has been a real eye-opener. Lecturers and tutors revealing so much about art practises, has helped to make college prove a real ‘door-opener’.

Avril had her painting depicting the Forth Bridge at night reproduced in Leisure Painter, the UK’s premier leisure painting magazine. She has sold various pieces of her art work during and since finishing her course. During the end of year art degree show three pieces of her work were snapped up by fishmonger Derek Spink. They can be seen at his shop Ferry Fish in Broughty Ferry.

Staff say goodbye to Agnes

Delighted Agnes Gibson,61, received flowers and retirement gifts on her last day of work after 26 years at the Boots Lochee store.

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The much-loved Shop Worker was given a gold bracelet and bouquet of flowers from colleagues, as well as chocolates and cards from customers. 

Friend and Co-worker, Dawne Doig, 40, has worked at the store for almost three years and enjoyed her shifts alongside Agnes. Dawne said:

“She will definitely be greatly missed. Agnes is fun, bubbly and so helpful, a real character too. 

“We will keep in touch. She lives close to here in Lochee so she will pop in to the shop – she will have to.”

Her retiral celebration is at Nicoll’s Restaurant on Saturday.