Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Lots Happening in Gorgie Dalry

There's a lot going on in Gorgie Dalry just now. Firstly the reopening of Dalry Pool after a six month refurbishment. Edinburgh Leisure in partnership with the Council have spent a million on the centre (Scotland's ninth oldest). One of the reasons I am so pleased about this is it is only a few years ago I was out on the streets campaigning against the baths being shut (and not for the first time). This investment in the future is therefore all the more welcome . Special offers on membership till the 28th Feb. If we want to keep it then we have to use it. I may be one of the few people now who remembers the baths when they were actual baths. It was very popular and at that time some of the stairs still did not have baths or showers . The old action areas were a big step forward in that respect. It is easy to forget how far we have come. I remember flats in the Wardlaws that had no hot water other than a boiler fixed to the wall. The action areas fixed a lot of that with its 60-90% grants including my own stair in Caledonian Rd. (although I already had a shower so it was mostly communal stair, roof and exterior).

Another big one is St Brides. For the last couple of years the centre was deteriorating (not so much as a community centre but as a venue). It had gotten so bad that the centre lay empty through August when every other venue in the city was packed. I posted it on my Facebook and also mentioned it to the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival of which I am on the board. Cllr Fullerton (also on the board) immediately supported the idea and it all took off from there. The other Councillors for the area Dixon and Graczyk lent their support and the result is incredible. Things on every day ! a real asset for the community Now the year round base for the Jazz and Blues Festival , the Carnival and still a dynamic community centre. Everything from the Gorgie Dalry Music Group to the Carnival Academy. Check out the program.... The hard work of a few people has to be recognised and in particular Rona Brown Chair of the Management Committee. In recognition of this and other work in Gorgie Dalry Rona was recently awarded the William Y Darling Award for Good Citizenship (I was her proposer) . Once again use it or lose it. The Blues and Jazz Festival's involvement was made possible by PLACE (Platforms for Creative Excellence which was launched in St Brides) funded buy the Council , the Scottish Government and the Festivals themselves.
Image may contain: 9 people, including Donald Wilson, people smiling, people standing and outdoor
Finally on St Brides I was pleased to present my defibrillator (the one I ran the London Marathon for) to the Centre.  It is outside the centre so it can be accessed publicly. This was organised through St John and the City which is a charity I helped to launch which has now installed well over a 100 defibs across the city including two in Waverley Station and one on every Tram (one of them another one of mine).  I have run five Marathons now in four years , all jointly for the One City Trust and St John in the City . That might be my last but I am waiting to hear! By the way these defibs are so easy use that should you need to you should not be put off because you have not had the training . You can't do any harm as it assesses the patient and if a shock is not needed it won't give one . It even talks you through it.