Discretionary hearing on Ardfern housing application: insights and revelations

Craignish 17 june 2013

Today , 17th June, saw the hearing in Craignish Village Hall, of the application by the General Trustees Continue reading

Chris Thornhill: Behind the black doors – a secret revealed

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Museum 2

A part of Greenock’s spectacular Municipal Building that has been seen by very few people Continue reading

The Goldfish Club: postscript to story on Jock Bevan and the Arctic Convoys

The Bevans with the Goldfsh Club Badge

There are a small handful of very exclusive clubs, organisations and associations which none of the qualifying members ever planned to join. Continue reading

2012 Olympic Flame: a memoir for Myles Clark, Torchbearer 36

Mules Clark at Tarbet with the Olympic Torch

17 year old Myles Clark is already highly esteemed in Argyll. Today – 9th June 2012 – as he carried the Olympic Torch through Tarbet on Loch Lomond, on the eastern fringes of Argyll, he came to national attention.

Myles’ nomination as torchbearer – which we repeat below -  outlines just why he is already an inspirational figure in his own place and why the selectors too understood that this was a special person for a special job.

Message for Myles Clark from Chris Thornhill

Myles had many friends, supporters, like Chris Thornhill, above, from his village of Ardfern, whom we caught with some celebratory messages he had brought – and classmates at Tarbet.

The large crown, on a sunny morning on Loch Lomonside, cheered him to the surrounding hills as he brought the flame to the village that guards an important arterial junction into Argyll, to the west coast islands and north into the Highlands.

Several people have given us their own photographs of Myles today which, added to some of ours, let us decide to create and publish a unique memoir of the occasion for a young man who had the eyes of the world upon him in Tarbet this morning.

Mr and Mrs Clark at Tarbet

His parents were there, of course and, when we took the photograph at Tarbet above, his mother had already driven him south to Luss where he had boarded the Olympic Flame Torch Bearers Coach that would bring him back to Tarbet to take the flame.

For the record, Myles began his run with the Torch at the beautiful stone sign for the village, one of a pair watching over the entrance to Tarbet from the south.

Myles Clark carries Olympic Torch in Tarbet

To the watching crowd in the village – captured above by Councillor Dougie Philand from the Mid Argyll ward where the Clark family lives – Myles appeared with the Torch and his accompanying runners, in the centre of a cavalcade of wildly celebratory vehicles – along with an unimaginably large fleet of utility and police transports.

Below is the photographs taken at almost the same moment by Willie Young, who had organised the event at Tarbet and who manages – and drives – Argyll and Bute Council’s programme for sports development. Here you can see the Olympic Torch relay car and coach moving into place behind the runners.

Myles Clark passing the Tarbet Hotel

We caught Myles in full stride, below, as he swung around the Tarbet Hotel to run down to the point where he would pass the flame to the next torchbearer.

Myles Clark carries Olympic Flame through Tarbet

Willie Young recorded the moment of the transfer of the Olympic Flame from Myles’ torch to that of the next runner who would carry it on past Arrochar school, just down the road.

Myles Clark passing n the flame

The live torch has to be held to allow the flame to burn through the top of the takeover torch, to catch its gas. At every changeover there is, as seen here, one of the organising team to guide the torch positions to make sure the flame is securely passed on.

After his run, Myles got back on the bus and was returned to Luss, where he was collected by his parents. This may seem daft since he and his parents were all in Tarbet by then, but the organisers have to count them in and count them out again while the torchbearers are in their care.

It’s hardly a surprise that a gifted athlete like Myles can run so well but the image he made as he ran easily and strongly through Tarbet with the flame should encourage some couch potatoes towards activity – which is part of what the London 2012 team want to see born from the event.

Myles Clark gives Argyll continuing cheer and this morning everyone heard Argyll return the favour with all its heart..

Myles Clark’s nomination as Torchbearer

‘Myles is a 17 year old boy who has ADD, Epilepsy and learning difficulties. He has struggled throughout school with his academic studies and the general social interaction with peers. He has overcome these difficulties and has been successful in studies at his level. He has also gained his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, Silver Award and is working towards his Gold Award. He has been supporting the Bronze Award intake as part of the voluntary section of the Silver Award. During this time he has completed over 220 hours additional voluntary work by working at weekends and school holidays in a local kennels and daily in school supporting another pupil with additional needs. He has taught himself to play the accordion and plays this weekly in school. This has a positive affect on other pupils with additional support needs. He is a thoughtful, kind and caring young man who sees the needs of others and responds of his own accord.’

Argyll and the Isles’ Secrets Collection: The Watchman

watchman face

Every part of Argyll and the Isles has its secret places and hidden touchstones to other times. Continue reading

Chris Thornhill: Tea and the San Demetrio at the restored Grand Central Hotel

Grand Central Hotel‘Roddy MacLennan enjoyed a fine roast beef dinner at this hotel in November 1940.’

This was recently inscribed in my copy of a stunning new book, Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel, alongside the best wishes of the authors, Jill Scott and Bill Hicks.

Together with many others who had contributed stories to the book, my wife and I were invited to a thank-you afternoon tea and book signing at the hotel. Continue reading