District News from Thursday, February 27

The announcement Bank has been placed in administration is another blow for the high street
The announcement Bank has been placed in administration is another blow for the high street

Send us your Falkirk news and pictures by noon on Tuesday.

Anchor Boys for P1 - P3 meets at Falkirk High School every Friday between 6 and 7.15 p.m. The Junior Section, P4 - P6, between 7 and 8.30 p.m. and Company Section, P7 to age 18, from 7.30 p.m. to 9.45 p.m. Boys wishing to join any one of the sessions should come along to the next relevant session to meet leaders and enroll. Visit www.3rdfalkirkbb.co.uk.

Probus Club

Chairman Jim Mackie introduced guest speaker Charles Greer, a local man who last year gave an excellent lecture on the design and operation of floating offshore oil production vessels and his experiences over 30 years working in the North Sea. His presentation this time focussed on the Piper Alpha tragedy which cost 167 lives. The rig owned by Occidental started operation in 1976 and produced 300,000 barrels of oil a day, about 10 per cent of UK production. The rig was designed originally to produce only crude oil, but this altered in service to collect large quantities of gas in addition and transfer the gas to shore by pipeline. Two sister platforms, Tartan and Claymore, also delivered gas to Piper for onward transmission. The first fire occured on the evening of July 6, 1988. Gas escaped and ignited from a blank flange which had only been finger tight. There had been a disastrous failure to use correct permit to work and end of shift hand over procedures. A pump had failed and the spare pump was commissioned without understanding that maintenance was not finished on the discharge pipe. The fire was intense and accelerated because the fire water pumps were not running, with no means of remote actuation. Many design problems were exposed during this stage of the fire. The control room had to be abandoned because it was too close to the fire. Steel partitions were not designed to withstand gas explosions, and the accommodation refuge for the crew allowed smoke and heat to enter the module. Perhaps the most serious design fault was that there were no isolation valves on the gas pipes entering and leaving the platforms, and the sister platforms continued to pump gas. Eventually the gas pipes ruptured in the heat causing devastating explosions. The heat was so intense that the fire control and rescue ship Tharos which attended the scene could do little useful work. The whole platform was destroyed, and all the lives lost, within three hours of the first fire alarm sounding. Although the Cullen report exposed many places where Conoco had failed to provide safe working conditions, controlled procedures correctly, or followed up corrective recommendations, Mr Greer pointed out that no criminal procedure was raised against Conono. There were some positive results which arose from the disaster. Oil companies were forced to re-appraise their designs, working practices, and safety standards. Safety committees with real powers became standard practice. The regulation of offshore oil production was transferred from the Deptartment of Energy to the independent Health and Safety Executive. Mr Greer was thanked by David Clayton for his authorative talk which once again demonstrated his deep knowledge of operations in the North Sea oil industry.

Blind Club

The club meets every Tuesday at 1 p.m. in the warm-up area in Falkirk Community Stadium and functions as a club for registered blind or visually impaired in the community to come along to and enjoy an afternoon of companionship and friendship. This week the members were given a talk on the workings of the Food Bank from committee member Martin Jones. This talk was most informative and led to members asking questions which Martin answered in a knowledgable manner and followed by a quiz presented by Moira Martin. New members, or those who would like to visit to see what the club can offer, will be made most welcome.

Metafit Falkirk

A metafit class is held every Tuesday at Bantaskin Primary School. It starts at 8 p.m. There is no need to book and all will be made welcome. For more information call 07739718361.

Trinity Church

Following the agreement by Falkirk Presbytery to the union of Falkirk Old & St Modan’s Parish and Erskine Parish Church to create Falkirk Trinity Church there will be a special service to mark and celebrate the union this evening (Thursday) in the church commencing at 7 p.m. The first service of Falkirk Trinity Church will commence at 11 a.m. on Sunday and will focus on “Moses in the desert”. Please note that there is an open invitation to those who wish to come along between 10 and 10.40 a.m. to enjoy a filled roll and a blether and a look round the church prior to the first service as Falkirk Trinity Church. The Kirk Session will meet on Tuesday, March 11, at 7.30 p.m. in the Main Hall. The AGM of Prison Throughcare Trust will be held in Falkirk Trinity Church on Wednesday, March 5, at 7.30 p.m. in the Main Hall. All are invited to come and hear about Sheena Orr’s ministry work in Kenya and to discover how the Trust hopes to support her in the future. Come along and bring a friend!

Osteoporosis Group

The Osteoporosis Support Group holds its monthly drop-in information and coffee morning this Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon in the Park Hotel. For further information call Janice on 01786 463098.

Rape Crisis

Central Scotland Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Centre provides a free and confidential service. The Helpline 01786 471771 is open during office hours. An answer phone service operates at other times and all calls will be responded to promptly and discreetly.

Prayer Day

Christian women of Egypt who wrote this year’s service invite men, women and young people from around the world to share with them in World Day of Prayer services on Friday, March 7. Services in Falkirk under the theme “Streams in the Desert” will be held in Falkirk Trinity Church (formerly Falkirk Old and St Modan’s) at 2 p.m. and in St Francis Xavier at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided after the services. All are very welcome to attend.

Heritage Walk

A heritage walk around the Helix Park area will take place on Saturday morning at 10.30 a.m. Please Please meet at the car park within the Helix Park.

Camera Club

Members and guests brought in some of their photographic kit to share and discuss its use with others. EMP Studios from Glasgow showed some images of their work in the studio and Kaitlin Nelson, a second year makeup artist from West College Scotland, applied her skills to transform Patricia Nicol, our model for the night. Members took the opportunity to photograph Patricia under FCC’s studio set-up and learn something from each other about portrait photography. Others tested their skills at close up and macro photography at a mini desktop studio set up nearby. For more information on FCC visit www.falkirkcameraclub.co.uk

Olivet Evangelical

The monthly missionary workshop meets today (Thursday) at 2 p.m. The Parent and Toddlers Group meets at 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday). Sunday services begin at 10 a.m. with Communion followed by the All Age Service at 11.25 a.m. with guest speaker Ken Cunningham from East Kilbride. The church prayer meeting is at 6 p.m. and at 6.30 p.m. is the Bible teaching hour with guest Alistair McGibbon of Falkirk. On Monday at 2.15pm is the Ladies Hour at Leishman Tower when the guest speaker is Alex Ferrie, a Forth Valley Royal part-time hospital chaplain. On Tuesday at 7.30 p.m. the Prayer and Bible Study groups meet looking at study 4 in the series on 1 Thessalonians. The ‘Young at Heart’ is on Wednesday at 2 p.m. when Melville Crosthwaite of Larbert is bringing ‘the thought for the day’. The adult craft group meets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The next men’s event is on Friday, March 14, at 7 p.m. and is a visit from Alistair Simmons who will share his story of a sponsored cycle run from ”Land’s end to John O’Groats”. Saturday, March 15, is the annual Young at Heart social with Willie Hutchison as speaker plus an interesting and varied programme. This is a ticket event and these can be obtained from John Wilson on (01324) 553024. The March Fellowship Lunch will be on Sunday, March 16, when the freewill offering will be for the work of Quiet Waters.

Art Club

Falkirk and District Art Club was treated to a fantastic demonstration by Bobby Rennie. He told us the inspiration behind his painting was based on living in Cumbernauld and the artwork included some familiar landmarks and images. He shared the inspiration behind some of the other works he brought to show us, spoke about his time as a public artist creating murals and discussed and demonstrated glazing techniques in acrylic. A great night was had by all and a big thank you to Bobby. Art Share goes ahead tomorrow (Friday) from 7.15 p.m. in Erskine Church Hall. New members always welcome. For more information contact the club secretary on 0773013442 or find us on Facebook ‘Falkirk & District Art Club’.

Odenwald Association

The Association, with financial support from Falkirk Council through its Community Grant Scheme, was delighted to be involved in the Burns Supper in the Odenwald organised by our German twinning organisation, Schottland Vereinigung. A trio of musicians and singers, “Lads wi’ Gear” and 20 representatives of the Jenkins School of Highland Dancing provided an excellent programme of entertainment. The Association would like to thank them and express our appreciation to Falkirk Council. A full report and photographs of the visit can be found on the Falkirk Twinning website, Odenwald Section, Calendar and News menu at www.falkirktwinning.org.

Solitaire Club

Over 60s can socialise with people of their own age and dance to live music at the Park Hotel every Sunday night between 8 and 11.30 p.m. To find out more telephone Isabella on 07846 963901 or Marion on 07976 975887.

Westfield Park

The Community Cafe is open on a Wednesday and Thursday from noon until 2 p.m. serving meals from £2 and snacks from £1. Children’s meals, tea, coffee and juice, 50p. Programme: Craft Group, Tuesday, 7 - 9 p.m. and Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 12 noon; Job Club, Wednesday, 10 a.m., 12 noon.; CAB, every second Thursday, 12.30 - 2.30 p.m. If you require advice or help please call in. For any further information please call Westfield Park Community Centre on (01324) 508520.

Support Group

A support group for people bereaved by suicide meets on an informal basis on the last Monday of each month between 6 and 8.30 p.m. in Falkirk District Association for Mental Health offices at 173 Victoria Road. It welcomes everyone who has experienced the loss through suicide of a person close to them. The group facilitators are experienced counsellors. For further details contact Neil Sowerby at carers@fdamh.org.uk or the NHS Forth Valley Spiritual Care Team on its 24/7 number 07824 460882. One-to-one counselling can also be arranged through FDAMH - (01324) 671600.

Alzheimer Scotland

The Falkirk service is running a series of monthly workshops for family carers. They will cover practical tasks such as safe moving and handling techniques and also have information based workshops. March will cover legal matters and power of attorney with a lawyer. This takes place at Princess Royal Trust for Carers, 1A Bank Street, on Tuesday, March 18 - 1 - 3.30 p.m. Booking is required. Contact Justine Davidson on (01324) 692003.

Carers Centre

The Princess Royal Trust Carers Centre, 1a Bank Street, Falkirk is holding its monthly, free film matinee tomorrow (Friday) from 10.30 a.m. The film is ‘Sunshine on Leith’. Refreshments will be served and all carers made welcome. The weekly Carers Cafe continues every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and mid-day. The Parents Support Group meets on March 4 between 7.30 and 9.30 p.m. and on March 6, 10.30 a.m. to noon. For further details contact the carers centre on (01324) 611510 or email centre@centralcarers.co.uk.

St Andrew’s

This Sunday we celebrate Communion. The Kirk Session should meet at 10.30 a.m. The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper will take place at 11 a.m. and it should be noted there will be no afternoon service. The Sacrament of The Lord’s Supper and Thanksgiving Service will take place at 7 p.m. Please join us again at 11 a.m. next Wednesday for our monthly Wednesday service. Tea and coffee will be served in the lower hall from 10 a.m. until noon. At 7.30 p.m. the congregational prayer meeting will take place followed by the midweek fellowship at 8 p.m. when we will continue our studies in Hebrews. The New Baby group meets on Thursday’s from 1.15 to 2.45 p.m. for mums and babies aged from birth to one year an opportunity to relax together and chat over a cup of tea. If you are new to the area or just looking to meet up with other mums, come along and get a warm welcome.

Caledonia Choir

Excitement is mounting as our 90th anniversary concert draws closer. Our guest artist Jamie McDougall will be joining us for our rehearsals in Comely Park Primary School on Monday, April 28, to prepare for the concert the following Wednesday. The opportunity to sing alongside such a professional will give us all a lift and boost our confidence as amateur and enthusiastic singers. Tickets will soon be available from choir members and the Steeple Box Office. A bulk purchase of the recent photograph of the choir in The Falkirk Herald is being arranged. Any business interested in advertising in the concert programme should contact Mary McCann via falkirkcaledoniachoir.webs.com/contact-us.

Step Forth

Step Forth has a programme of short weekly volunteer led walks across Falkirk. The aim of the led walk programme is to encourage people to start walking regularly in their local area. All walks are listed in this section of the Falkirk herald. We also have walks at the beautiful Kinneil estate in Bo’ness every Monday and Thursday at 10.30 a.m. and Tuesday at 2 p.m. All leave from Kinneil Museum. All Step Forth walks are free. For more information call (01324) 504568/556 or email stepforth@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.

Helix Walks

Do you like to walk? would you like to know more about the network of paths in and around the Helix area? A walk leaves Falkirk Football Stadium every Monday at 7 p.m. and is lead by volunteer walk leaders. You will need a reasonable level of fitness for this walk as it can take up to two hours to explore the paths. Please wear suitable footwear. All walks are free, due to demand this walk will continue through the winter months.

Health Walks

A health walk leaves Falkirk Football Stadium every Monday at 10 a.m. It is led by volunteer walk leaders and lasts about an hour. Free and open to all abilities. For more information email stepforth@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.

Walk Stroll

The Helix is a place for everyone. and it starts back on Friday, March 7. We can now offer a walk for all abilities, whether you are in a wheelchair, blind or have a carer, our experienced guides lead weekly fully-accessible walks at a pace to suit everyone. Come along and join us every Friday at 11 a.m. from the front of Falkirk Football Stadium. Walks are free. If you need more information on this walk contact Kevin on (01324) 875926 or email kevinghutton@gmail.com.

Lodge Callendar

On Monday, February 17, Lodge Callendar No 588 held a Second Degree when assembled brethren witnessed one cadidate being passed by RWM Stuart Hunter and his officebearers. The RWM thanked visitors and brethren for their attendance. PM Donny Wright, Lodge Camelon 1456 replied suitably on behalf of the visitors. The next meeting will be a Third Degree on Monday March 3 at 7.30 p.m.

New Spiritualist

The new Falkirk Spiritualist Church in Westfield Community Centre welcomes Heather McNulty from Dunfermline on Saturday. Open circle after the meeting. All welcome. Service starts at 7 p.m. Entry is £3. www.falkirkspiritualistchurch.webs.com.

Floral Art

The next meeting is on Monday in the Leser Town Hall, 7.15 for a 7.30 p.m. start. The demonstrator is David Ryland and his title is March Manipulation. Visitors welcome.

Dance Classes

Ceilidh and popular social dance sessions are held in Comely Park School from 7.30 to 9 p.m. on a Thursday night. Our experienced teacher will keep you right. Price £3 per session. New dancers are welcome. For further details ring Alison on (01324) 631363.

Writers Circle

At the recent meeting many items were read to be evaluated by members. Subjects were varied. Items are required by David for our new website. This Tuesday Ian Scott will present his adjudication of review entries for the Barony Trophy. Entries for the ‘Talking Pictures’ evening with the Camera Club should be handed to the secretary. Each entry requires two copies with members name, title and reference number of photo. Mark is compiling a folio of prose (450 words) or poetry (40 lines) for The Falkirk Herald. Seminar forms have been distributed. For further details telephone Isobel on (01324) 620048.

Braveheart Walks

The snowdrops and crocuses are out, heralding the first signs of spring, so why not come along and join us on one of our Braveheart walks? Guided by experienced walk leaders, we have several very sociable half hour and one hour walks every week from various locations throughout the district and we normally finish with a coffee and a blether. Find out more by calling (01324) 673703.

Buggy Groups

We are looking for a fit granny or mum to help out in our buggy groups. If you could help please contact stepforth@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.

Nordic Walking

The Falkirk Nordic walking group started in 2012. Since then over 120 people have been trained through us to Nordic walk and we have been seen all over the Falkirk area. Through this part of the Falkirk herald our walkers can find out where to meet every week and if there is anything new planned. There are two walks next week, Tuesday at 6.30 p.m., meet at Forth Valley Royal Infirmary, bottom of first car park, and Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Falkirk Community Stadium. There are no spaces left on our Nordic walking courses. We plan to have a one day course at the beginning of April.

Natural History

The Falkirk Archaeological and Natural History Society’s first presentation in 2014 was by Professor Ian Ralston who gave a fascinating illustrated talk on the Iron Age settlement at Bourges in Berry, France. The next meeting on Tuesday is a presentation by Dr Oliver J.T. O’Grady on the Archaeology of Saint Serf’s Island. The meeting starts at 7.30 p.m. in the Falkirk Christian Centre, Glebe Street. Anyone with an interest in this topic will be very welcome. For further information on the society, please phone 01786 463399 or (01324) 562293.