Writing competition 2016
A civic reception was held on the 11th March to reward
the efforts of the winners of our short story writing competition. Deputy Lord Provost Christina Roberts presented the trophy to overall winner Amy MacLeod.
The theme this year was Ambition, Aspiration and Achievement; A city to discover. Third year pupils were asked to write a story between 650 and 800 words long.
Click on the links below to read the winning entries.
1st place - Amy MacLeod
2nd place - Rose Porteous
3rd place - Holly Dunbar
Elena Munoz, Worthy Mention
Cara Kidd, Worthy Mention
18 May 2016 – Visit to The Brae, Riding School for the Disabled
A small group of Burgesses were greeted by Mary Sneddon, Manager of the Riding School for a very informative tour of the facilities. We were able to watch riders undertaking a variety of lessons within the expansive indoor arena.
The arena is delineated by large colourful objects, numbers and letters to enhance the riders’ learning experience. We very much enjoyed watching
the riders going through their paces; walking and trotting, helping build
co-ordination, core strength and confidence.
Prince, a gentle giant piebald horse, is the boss at 15.2hh and he can be
used on lead rein or for jumping lessons. Other horses can be used to teach carriage driving. Prince is due to retire shortly and the Centre is fundraising to buy a suitable replacement. It costs in excess of £150,000 pa to keep
The Brae operational and this is achieved by various forms of fundraising and donations.
7 June 2016 - McManus Gallery fine art secure storage visit
A party of seven Burgesses were given a very privileged tour of the
Fine Art Holdings of the McManus Galleries. This conducted tour was expertly led by Kirsty McNab, one of the Gallery’s curators, who explained most authoritatively and in considerable detail the Gallery’s accession, storage, care and conservation methodology, as well as the logistics of locating and retrieving individual items.
It may not be generally appreciated just how highly regarded the McManus Collection is - it is regarded as being “of National significance”, a rare accolade only granted after detailed and meticulous scrutiny by leading experts in the curatorial field.
The Collection comprises Fine Art works in a variety of media, and it is extremely rich in both quality and variety of genres. We were shown examples of works in oil ,watercolour, pencil, pen and ink, charcoal, etching, mezzotint, photographs, mixed media etc. accompanied by much useful artistic, technical and historical information by Kirsty.
In common with most other outstanding galleries, by far the larger proportion of artworks are, of necessity, held in storage, However the McManus employ a rotating programme of changing exhibitions. Dundee is extremely fortunate in having such a wonderful artistic resource.
We are grateful to Billy Gartley, Head of Cultural Services Leisure and Culture Dundee for facilitating, so willingly, our visit and especially wish to thank Kirsty for so splendidly and enthusiastically leading the tour. It was an occasion which will long be remembered by all who attended.
16 June 2016 - Breakfast like a King final
Children cook breakfasts fit for a king!
Finalists of the Breakfast like a King competition were invited to Dundee & Angus College training kitchen to prepare their breakfasts with support from college lecturers. Five primary four pupils from Clepington and Our Lady's primary schools, whose recipes were selected by a panel of judges including an NHS dietitian, representatives from The City of Dundee Burgess Charity, Dundee & Angus College and Dundee City Council, for their nutritional value, cost-effectiveness and ease of preparation.
The Breakfast like a King competition was devised and organized by The City of Dundee Burgess Charity to encourage children to eat a healthy breakfast.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan, who chairs the charity said, “It is important for our children to have the knowledge and understanding of where their food comes from and how to make healthy lifestyle choices. This competition brings this opportunity to life.”
Jenny Gillespie, Dietitian with NHS Tayside’s Paediatric Overweight Service (POST) said, “Many people underestimate the value of breakfast, yet it is probably the most important meal of the day. As the first food intake after a long gap of several hours, breakfast a acts as a fuel to jump-start the body and helps to improve mental performance and concentration during our morning activities.”
The judging panel, which included Masterchef 2014 winner, Jamie Scott, Lord Provost Bob Duncan and Dundee and Angus College senior lecturer Albert Close were extremely impressed with the wide variety of interesting, fun and healthy breakfast recipes which the children had created. Jamie has extended an invitation to competition winner Nicole Paszkier to visit his Newport Restaurant kitchen to cook a healthy brunch for her family.
Photograph shows winner Nicole Paszkier (2nd left) from Our Lady’s primary school being presented with a trophy from Jamie Scott. Runners up Lucy Clark, Philip Wieczorek, Zosia Mazanik and Finlay McBrearty also received a cookery book prize.
19th July 2016 Visit to Local History Centre,
Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee
Eileen Moran, a senior member of the library staff, hosted and led this event and had thoughtfully prepared in advance of our visit a fabulous display of a wide range of archival material which she thought would be of interest to us. This fascinating display, accompanied by a very thorough and authoritative description of each type of resource, by Eileen, made for an entirely absorbing and greatly educative experience.
The material sourced covered Dundee Directories, Dundee Electoral Rolls, Historic Newspapers, Wartime Archives, Maritime Records, The Lamb Collection, a large range of historic local maps, The Wilson Photographic Collection and the Wighton Music Collection.
Into this wonderful mix Eileen also managed to provide and show us a selection of the huge amount of material they hold on famous Dundee personalties of the past, including Mary Slessor and William Topaz McGonagall.
Much of that which we were shown can be accessed on request by individual researchers and rarer extremely valuable material can be viewed under supervision. Needless to say the Centre is much used for personal genealogical research and all the staff are very helpful in this regard.
Burgesses who were unable to attend, or who are unaware of the existence of this fabulous resource, would find a personal visit to be a highly rewarding experience.
At the conclusion Eileen Moran kindly provided us with coffee, tea and biscuits. Everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and expressed a desire to return at a future date.
Alastair R Ross
2nd September 2016, Visit to Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre
Burgesses, and guests, were welcomed to the Jacqui Wood Cancer Centre in Dundee by Dr. Colin Henderson. We were treated with refreshments and a very informative introductory talk on “What is Cancer” by Dr. Gillian Smith. Her knowledge, and passion, were clear to see. Her understanding of individual differences in disease progression and treatment in cancer patients was enlightening.
We were then provided with a behind the scenes tour of the labs including a view from the outside of the sterile culture cabinets.
We were shown around for a full hour with our many questions expertly answered. The movies of dividing tumour cells and the growth of melanoma cells under the microscope incited the best discussion. Everyone in attendance thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
29th September 2016, Tour of the old Post Office building
Burgesses enjoyed a visit to the High School of Dundee to hear a presentation from Rector Dr John Halliday on exciting plans to convert Dundee’s old Post Office buildings into a new creative arts centre.
The project will see the iconic building, which dates from 1898, transformed to provide facilities for art, drama, music, dance and culinary arts. There will also be new dining and catering spaces alongside a 300+ seat theatre.
Following the presentation, Burgesses had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Post Office buildings prior to their rennovation. The photograph shows Burgesses in the Post Office workers’ recreation hall.
31st October 2016, Tour of Mills Observatory
Cloud cover and heavy rain blighted our visit to the Observatory, but our appetites were wetted by the enthusiastic presentation of assistant astronomer Stewart. Starting with the history of the Observatory, the first astronomers, the first telescopes, then on to the International Space Station, the astronauts training and living in space, and what the future holds with robots and uncrewed rockets.
Stewart then showed us round the building and up to the dome where we viewed a variety of telescopes. We all intend to return on a clear cold winter night to see the stars, galaxies and meteorites.
Visit to the Computer Games School, Abertay University
On 18th January, 2016, a party of twelve Burgesses were given a conducted tour of the Computer Games Facilities in the White Space at Abertay University. We were met by Professor Gregor White, who gave a full and highly informative introductory talk on the various concepts and technical processes employed in the creation of computer games and the visual resources used to achieve the finished product.
This was followed by an excellent visual presentation by two of the Computer Games students.At the end of our visit, attendees were invited to have “hands- on” interactive experience of a variety of games.We are much indebted to Professor White for facilitating and leading this event, which was greatly enjoyed by all.
Alastair R Ross