Jun 262015

This week sees me back in the studio for the first time in 3 weeks and I’m rarin’ to go.

Our ‘Year under the Spotlight’ is 1973 and I’ll be recalling what was making the news headlines back then and reminding us what we were listening to on our wirelesses.
For example, 1973 saw us joining the European Economic Community – or the Common Market as it was known back then. We were up to our eyes in the Cod War with Iceland and Princess Anne announced her engagement to Captain Mark Phillips. On the music front we were being entertained by the likes of the Carpenters, Perry Como and Dave Edmunds.

Our UK Vintage Singles Chart from exactly 50 years ago has a new No 1 and three new entries. Cliff Richard, his backing band, the Shadows and the Yardbirds have all appeared and we’ll start the countdown in the second hour of the show.

Then to finish, we’ll spend what time is left in pure indulgence – and if you would like a request, a dedication or just a name check, this is the part of the show for you. Just let me know.

180 minutes of magic and it all kicks off at noon.

I do hope you can join me.


PS. The GREAT Golden Oldies Show now has a Facebook page.
I’ll keep you up to speed with any news and views and if you would like a mention on the show, just post something there and I’ll do my best for you.

Jun 242015

dab-logoRadio Saltire is delighted to announce that we’ll be hitting the airwaves in Glasgow on DAB Digital Radio later this summer.

We will be broadcasting along with our partners Scrimshaws Information Directories as part of Ofcom’s Small Scale DAB Trial, this was the only successful trial application in Scotland.

Radio Saltire’s Chairman, Andy Morris said:

This is a fantastic opportunity for Radio Saltire. We are an established online brand and expanding onto DAB during this trial is a chance that we couldn’t turn down. Our station is run entirely by dedicated volunteers who are very excited at the chance to bring their community driven programming to an even wider audience.

Radio Saltire is available all over the world via an internet connection and computer, phone or internet radio.

Further information is to follow.


Jun 222015

Campaign Card for 2015The local rail service from Edinburgh to Berwick, together with the re-opening of the two stations at Reston and East Linton, may not now happen until 2018, despite previous intimations that this could happen by December 2016.  RAGES are extremely disappointed by this, and concerned that the service and the new stations may not materialise, despite their almost twenty years of campaigning.

RAGES are asking people to campaign with them by downloading a postcard, printing, signing and returning to the Transport Minister, asking him to ensure that our local service and our stations are Kept on Track.

Please do this as soon as possible.

Working together, we WILL keep our stations on track!

CampaignCard2015-page-001RAGES have also created a letter which you might like to use as a template to send to your local councillor, MSP or MP (or all three!), encouraging them to press for better rail services in your area.

RAGES is always looking for new members, especially from East Lothian and Berwickshire.

(original article can be seen here)

Jun 192015
Crews across Scotland in unprecedented move to reach those who may be at highest risk.
Firefighters throughout Scotland will be deployed to protect vulnerable people in a nationwide ‘week of action’ aimed at preventing accidental house fires and the tragedies they cause.The unprecedented move follows a recent appeal from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) for the public to help it reach those most likely to be killed or injured as a result of fire in the home.Between January and May, 28 people lost their lives as a result of fires and June has so far seen two more fatalities.People over the age of 60 accounted for almost two-thirds of those killed and, as well as age, the common factors contributing to many of the deaths were smoking, ill-health, living alone and limited mobility.

With evidence many fire tragedies could be prevented SFRS is taking the major step of sending operational crews and community firefighters to households throughout the country to offer residents advice on keeping their homes and everyone in them safe.

Ahead of the ‘Week of Action’ to protect people from fire, the service is again issuing a plea for families, friends and neighbours to take responsibility for keeping those close to them safe.

SFRS Chief Officer Alasdair Hay said: “We are totally committed to protecting the public and this significant step shows the importance we place on preventing fires from happening.

“The nationwide approach to this week of action means our personnel will be visible throughout Scotland and pro-actively contact as many people as we possibly can.

“We rely on responsible citizens and partner agency colleagues to put us in touch with individuals who may be at increased risk of experiencing a fire in their home and those strong partnerships are absolutely vital to preventing tragedies.

“As the country’s firefighters work to protect every community I would urge everyone to join Scotland’s fight against fire by ensuring anyone who might need some help gets that potentially life-saving support.”

Statistics show those aged 65 and over are more than twice as likely to die in a fire as people of other ages.

The speed with which a fire can develop and spread toxic smoke, heat and flames means those who are old, who live alone and who have issues with their health or mobility are at particular risk of being injured or killed.

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “The work of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to raise awareness of the risks of fire is very valuable and means that we are safer from the risk of fire at home than we have ever been.

“However it’s crucial not to become complacent and the recent spate of tragic fire fatalities has shown some people, particularly the elderly, immobile and those who live alone, are still at risk.

“That’s why it is so positive to see the fire service working with partners, including health authorities and the voluntary sector, to develop new ways to identify those individuals in communities who are most at risk, and to make early interventions to ensure they are protected.”

The ‘Week of Action’ will involve local senior officers calling on the support of partner agencies to reach those who they know to be at risk.

By visiting homes firefighters can help residents understand the risks and take very minor actions known to dramatically reduce the chance of a fire starting.

Assistant Chief Officer Lewis Ramsay, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, explained why their efforts also mean occupiers are less likely to be hurt or killed if a fire does happen in their home.

He said: “We often see smoke alarms in the wrong position and firefighters conducting a home fire safety visit will correct this to make sure people are protected.

“If someone is over the age of 60, lives alone or has difficulty moving around then it can take more time for them to escape in an emergency.

“They need to know not to smoke in bed, or even while feeling tired and sitting in a chair. If the person just can’t avoid doing this then we can work with partners and communities to help make them safer.

“There is a huge amount of support available but we need our partner agencies and the public to help us make sure it gets to those who need it.”

He continued: “We also want to remind people that if they hear a smoke alarm activating then they need to call 999 and report it right away.

“Many people can be reluctant to make an emergency call and assume an alarm has gone off due to something innocuous like burnt toast, but the fact is waiting to see if the alarm stops could cost someone their life.”

With an aging population – 23 per cent of the UK will be aged 65 and over by 2035 – helping older people prevent fires and stay safe is certain to remain an issue for every community.

Free home fire safety visits take around 20 minutes to complete and are conducted by local SFRS crews at a time convenient for the householder.

A popular feature of the Join Scotland’s Fight against Fire campaign, they are available by calling the freephone number 0800 073 1999, by texting ‘FIRE’ to 80800 or by filling in an online form at www.firescotland.gov.uk.

Chair of the SFRS Board Pat Watters added: “Our staff throughout Scotland work around the clock to keep people safe and there is nothing more upsetting than seeing lives needlessly lost and ruined.

“Every single one of us has a responsibility to play our part. Fire isn’t something that only happens to other people or only concerns emergency responders.

“The messages from firefighters are very clear and everyone in Scotland can play a life-saving role by thinking about fire safety and doing what they can to help protect their community.

“There isn’t a city, town or village in the country that can afford to ignore the warnings and I would urge everyone to understand the risks and join Scotland’s fight against fire.”

(original article can be seen here)

Jun 052015

Join me, Scott Gillies, as I fill in for Andy this week.

The “Year under the spotlight” is 1982 and I’ll bring you the headlines from that year mixed in with the best music that 12 months had to offer.

The Vintage Chart comes from 1965 and features tracks from Sandie Shaw, The Seekers and Roger Miller plus many others.

I will also be taking dedications and requests so tune in from Noon on Saturday for a walk through yesteryear only on Radio Saltire.

Jun 052015

Waterston House, SOC HQ

Date: 7 June 2015
Time: Various – see below for details
Price: Free

Now in its tenth year, the garden at Waterston House has grown to be a popular attraction with the local community and summer visitors, who are treated to a blaze of colour from the beds and wildflower meadows, which are buzzing with life. For the birds we also have a small busy feeding station and the building itself is a regular nesting site for Starlings, Swallows and Tits.

All the events below are free and entry is on a first come, first served basis on the day. With the exception of the mothing event, no advance booking is required, just turn up!



09:00- 11:00 Magical Mystery Moths (East Lothian Countryside Rangers Service)

Come and discover a wonderful variety of moths of all shapes and colours and help us set them free from the moth traps. The SOC garden has become a haven for over 100 different species of moth, including a first for Scotland last year! To book a place, call 01620 827421

11:30-11:45 Garden tour

By Stan da Prato and the Waterston House gardening volunteers


12:00 -12:30 How to Identify Garden Birds by Song as well as Appearance

Illustrated talk by Stan da Prato


12:45-13:00 Garden tour

By Stan da Prato and the Waterston House gardening volunteers


13:30-14:00 How to Attract Birds into Gardens and How Useful are Gardens to Birds?

Illustrated talk by Stan da Prato


14:15-14:30 Garden tour

By Stan da Prato and the gardening volunteers


Stan da Prato is a former President of the SOC and has been an editor of the Club’s journal, Scottish Birds, for over 30 years. Stan is also a horticulturist, editor of The Caledonian Gardener and a leading member of the award-winning North Berwick in Bloom team – who better to be your guide for this special garden event!

In addition to the scheduled events, coinciding with Aberlady Gala Week, the Waterston House shop will be open as usual, offering a range of resources for birdwatchers (including optical equipment, field guides, tide timetables, local birdwatching map), a selection of high quality birdfood and lifetime guarantee feeders, new and second hand natural history books and nature-inspired cards and gifts. Our gallery will also be open, exhibiting the latest work by wildlife artist, Lucy Newton.