Deadline News Your local source for news in Edinburgh, Fife and Lothian Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:34:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Scotland’s answer to School of Rock gets £300K to triple numbers Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:23:04 +0000 SCOTLAND’S real-life answer to School of Rock has been awarded a £300,000 grant by lottery chiefs.

Dads Rock in Edinburgh is a nursery group run by men where youngsters get a healthy serving of Queen classics alongside their morning snack.

Like something out of Jack Black’s classic comedy, youngsters get to play guitars, drums and other instruments.

Dad's Rock,

Dads Rock, which started two years ago, offers free sessions to 70 pre-school children.

The Big Lottery cash worth £287,000 will allow founders David Marshall and Thomas Lynch to start new groups catering for 180 dads and their children.

Dad's Rock,

The Queen fanatics started Rock Dads because most nursery groups are run “by mums, for mums”.

David, 35, dad to Freya, 5, and Finlay, 18 months, said: “It gets pretty rowdy.

“The kids love it because they’re allowed to make noise.

“We’ve got the guitars, I’m running around jumping up and down like a plonker. The kids respect that it’s their daddy.

“At the end it’s like we’re all jumping off the stage. Queen always end with We Will Rock You, and so do we.”

Dad's Rock,

Thomas, 40, said: “We wondered where all the dads were. A lot of playgroups are by mums, for mums. It can take a lot of confidence to walk into a big group.”

The pair also run a “Rock Academy” for children aged five to 16 who have been bitten by the music bug.

Thomas added: “It’s only 2 years since we started. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet – it’s really exciting. It just goes to show people really are interested.”

Dad's Rock,

One father, David Millar, 35, whho uses the Wester Hailes playgroup with his one year old son Matthew.  Said: “It’s great to talk to other dads. There’s not a lot out there for fathers, especially those who are  struggling for help.”

The chairman of the Big Lottery Fund Scotland, Maureen McGinn, said: “This funding will reach out to those men who might not otherwise have the confidence to attend a playgroup session or speak openly about their concerns as a parent.

“I’m delighted that this investment will enable their work to expand, helping many more fathers like David to develop their confidence and self esteem.”

By Katherine Sutherland

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Taxpayers fork out £4 a time for council’s toe curling soap operas Thu, 23 Oct 2014 15:48:51 +0000 A CASH-strapped council has been condemned for squandering £10,000 on toe-curling soap operas.


Only 2,500 people have watched the East Lothian Council mini-dramas on YouTube – meaning they cost taxpayers £4 every time they were viewed.


The River City-style episodes, featuring professional actors, are meant to provide a handy guide to services.





But East Lothian Council recently slashed £1.5m from its budget, meaning cutbacks to adult social care and other frontline services.


Taxpayers’ groups described the council’s foray into the world of small screen drama as “horrendous”.


One critic, who asked not to be named, commented after watching one of the £1,000-a-time films: “Well, that’s 10 minutes of my life I will never get back.”




One of the 10 mini-soaps, called Rent Arrears, involves a distraught woman chatting to a friend in a bar about her rent arrears. After a brief burst of economical nodding, her blank-faced pal delivers the line: “You would be better off going to the council.”


There she is met by a beaming council official who passes on nuggets of advice and a handful of leaflets. The closing shot shows the woman happily throwing bread to a swan as the sun shines in the background.


Arrears 5


Another episode, Craig’s Community Care Grant, depicts an unkempt man living in an unfurnished house who gets a visit from a council official who is brimming with empathy.


The visit magically transforms Craig’s life, including his hair and beard. The mini-soap ends with the young man in question grinning broadly as he paints a wall turquoise.


The least-watched of the dramas, Asked to Leave, has only received 144 views in three months, meaning it cost taxpayers £7 a view.




Eben Wilson, Director of Taxpayer Scotland said: “It’s clear from the number of views of these videos that the targeting through YouTube has failed and taxpayers are not obtaining good value for money for the production costs involved.


“We would hope that the council performance managers clamp down on any further waste of our money on ventures like this.”


Andy Silvester from Taxpayers Alliance, said: “One has to wonder whether £1,000 a pop represents good value for money for taxpayers.


“When finances are tight, every penny the council spends should be diverted to essential services rather than horrendously clunky mini-soaps.


“The council has to make savings on luxuries like the marketing budget so that it can still fund frontline work.”




A filmmaker, who asked not to be named, said: “I find it difficult to believe the videos cost £10,000 and I would expect more from such a budget.


“It’s my personal opinion that the information could have been put forward in a much clearer and simpler fashion.”


East Lothian Council said the budgets for the videos were on average no higher than a leaflet campaign and had a longer shelf life and the potential to help more people.


“Each mini-soap highlights escape routes from a life disaster,” said a spokeswoman.


“The characters are engaging and draw you in to their stories. The videos get to the heart of tales of despair,” she added.


By Xantha Leatham


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Heavy waves and wind left Lewis beaches plastered with foam two feet thick Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:07:01 +0000 LEWIS is in a lather after heavy waves and wind left beaches plastered with foam two feet thick.

The island’s Dalmore beach was covered in a mass of froth on Tuesday morning as a result of organic matter in the water being whipped up.

Chris Murray, from Inverness, took pictures of his dog playing in the flying foam on Tuesday morning.


He said: “It was quite spectacular. I stood in the foam to take the pictures and even though I had wellie boots on I got soaked.”

Chris said his English springer spaniel, Ronan, “loved it”.


“It was all good fun. He had a dip in a river on the way home to get all the stuff off.

“I’ve not seen it quite like that before.”


The 63-year-old uploaded the pictures to Facebook with the caption: “Foam, foam and more foam at Dalmore today.”

Those who have seen the pictures have been shocked at the mass of froth.


Wolfy Wolf joked: “Who overdid the foam bath?”

Fiona McCallum said: “Add some more bubbles!”

Sea foam forms when dissolved organic matter in the ocean is churned up. Most sea foam is not harmful to humans and is an indication of a healthy ecosystem.

By Xantha Leatham

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Pink Floyd legend condemns “tragic” plan to deport top US musician from Scotland Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:45:07 +0000 A LEGENDARY American session musician who worked with David Bowie and Pink Floyd as well as creating music for countless movies is battling deportation from Scotland.


Percussionist Steve Forman has been passing on his skills to dozens of students at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow – without costing UK taxpayers “a dime”.


But immigration rules mean he has been ordered out of the country – because his salary is not high enough.


American musician wants to stay

The UK Home Office told Steve that his academic salary was not high enough to remain within the UK


Pink Floyd guitarist Dave Gilmour yesterday pleaded with the government to let Steve, 68, stay, saying it would be a “tragic loss” if he was forced out.


Steve, who has lived in Scotland for six years and does not claim benefits of any kind, has been teaching music students at the conservatoire for four years.


He has played on albums by artists including Pink Floyd, David Bowie, John Lennon and Fleetwood Mac.


 American musician wants to stay


Screen credits include creating the weird opening sounds to the Steven Spielberg blockbuster ET, as well as Last of the Mohicans and Pretty Woman.


Steve, originally from Los Angeles, needed to renew his work visa this year but was told by the UK Home Office that his academic salary was not high enough and he needed to be earning in excess of £31,000 a year.


Steve is now awaiting the outcome of an appeal. If this fails, as seems likely, he will have to leave the country within seven days.


American musician wants to stay

Steve has been suspended from his post at the conservatoire because his work permit has been taken from him.


To make matters worse, Steve has been suspended from his post at the conservatoire – which has produced David Tennant, James McAvoy, Tom Conti and Robert Carlyle – because he does not have a work permit.


This left 45 music students without a teacher for their rhythm theory course.


Students have started a petition to try to prevent Steve being deported, getting 700 signatures in 24 hours.


 Friendship Tonight Show 1


Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour has also waded in.


He said: “We need innovators and mentors like him.


“I find it very odd that he is being faced with being sent back to the US when he clearly has so much to offer the next generation.


“It is wonderful that he has chosen to channel his unique talent into teaching.


“His skills and approach are totally his own and as far as I know there is nobody I know of like him teaching rhythm in the UK or even Europe. “

Steve said: “Glasgow is heaven for me. It is Valhalla.  I’m contributing. I’m not going to cost you a dime. I’ll pay for my own funeral. I just want to keep working.


 “I’m teaching people what I know. All the other guys I worked with are polishing their Mercedes Benz and lounging by the pool.”


He added: “I don’t want to be retired. I want to empower other people.”

American musician wants to stay

Steve said he is contributing tax and isn’t going to cost the tax payers. “I’ll pay for my own funeral. I just want to keep working” he said.


The Scottish Government also called on the Home Office to reconsider.


A spokesman said: “The talent and expertise of people such as Steve Forman make a welcome contribution to developing Scotland’s future musical talent.


“The Scottish Government is aware of Mr Forman’s situation and we are liaising with the Home Office on this case.


“This case reinforces existing Scottish Government concerns that immigration policy in the UK is inflexible and does not address Scotland’s particular economic and demographic needs.”


Mr Forman’s solicitor, Fraser Latta, of Latta Law in Glasgow, said he was “astounded” by the decision to deny his client a work permit.


He said: “You have to assess the interests of the public as well as the individual. There appears to be very little public interest in removing this person.


“This is someone who has always abided by all  immigration requirements and has never been a problem.  He is quite clearly a valuable and talented person. You don’t often come across cases where someone has spent the last 30 years in Hollywood.”


American musician wants to stay

Pink Floyd legend David Gilmour vouched for Steve. He said there is nobody like him teaching rhythm in the UK or Europe.


A Home Office spokesperson said: “All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the Immigration rules.


“Dr Forman’s application was refused because he could not demonstrate he met the requirements for leave to remain in the UK.

“He has appealed this decision and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

By Katherine Sutherland


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Deer has a break with a KitKat Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:30:28 +0000 A DEER has been captured on video having a break – with a KitKat.

The clip shows the “wild” animal taking the chocolate snack from a motorist amid the splendour of Glencoe.

The deer – which appears to show no fear – sticks its head almost inside the car before being hand fed.
After swallowing the piece of KitKat it licks its lips.

The film was taken by Hazel Boyle, from Fife, who stopped near the eastern end of the glen, next to the King’s House Hotel.

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She commented: “A friendly deer at the King’s House today.”

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But the video has attracted a mixed reaction.

Fi Wilson commented on the video: “How lovely! Great to see them so close.”

But Douglas Cutt wrote: “If that is chocolate that could be one sick deer. Chocolate is not good for any animal.”

Hazel wrote back: “I was waiting for someone to make a comment like this. It was literally the smallest piece.”

Simon Louden, park manager at The Scottish Deer Centre near Cupar, Fife, said: “It could well be dangerous to feed deer chocolate.

“Feeding animals is one way that people can get close to nature, but you don’t want them to become dependent on you.

“It’s an argument that could go on forever.”

By Xantha Leatham

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Scots restaurant has made 430,000 pizzas with 18-year-old dough Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:58:19 +0000 A SCOTTISH restaurant has served up more than 430,000 pizzas – all made with dough that is now 18 years old.

The Glasgow eaterie created a sample of “sour dough” at its opening in 1998 which it has kept alive ever since.

Chefs regularly take a small sample of the original dough and add it to their regular pizza base to boost the flavour.

18 year old sourdough

18 year-old Ailish McCafferty presents the dough which is as old as her

The original dough – a soup of flour, water and apples – is kept alive simply by adding a little extra water and flour every few days, as well as keeping it sealed and warm.

Staff at Firebird in Argyle Steet reckon the inclusion of the original sour dough keeps adding natural flavour to the pizza base.

The first sample was made the same year that a law was passed paving the way for devolution in Scotland. And it is the same age as many of the staff working at the restaurant.

18 year old sourdough

Five tablespoons of sour dough are added to each pizza

Co-owner Derrick Sutherland, 56,  first brewed up the secret recipe in 1998 for the restaurant’s grand opening.

Chef Chris Olivarius, 33, who runs the restaurant with his partner Louise Adams, 34, and Derrick, said: “It’s like an animal. It’s a living enzyme. You feed it to keep it alive.”

“Some people say, ‘Oh my god – what do you mean that dough has been around for 18 years?’

“But then you explain it. People who really know their food know the effort we’ve put in to nurture it.”

18 year old sourdough

Firebird boasts the oldest sour dough in Scotland

The dough is thought to be the oldest in Scotland.

The restaurant dishes up about 65 pizzas a day, giving a rough total since 1998 of 427,000 made with the same dough.

About 5 tablespoons are added to every batch of pizzas.

Chris said: “It doesn’t look like dough, it’s a wet mixture. You feed it every couple of days with flour and sometimes a bit of water.

“It’s like a wine, it gets more natural flavours as it ages.”

Diners worried the dish might be too exotic can take heart that the dough has  a unique Glasgow flavour.

Louise said: “You will never have two sourdoughs that taste the same. It soaks up different yeasts from the surrounding air.”

By Katherine Sutherland


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OAPs body-swerve cops to occupy Scotland Office Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:13:03 +0000 PENSIONERS breezed past police to “occupy” the offices of the Secretary of State for Scotland yesterday – only to discover he was on holiday.


Veteran anti-nuclear campaigners targeted Alistair Carmichael’s workplace amid the stately surroundings of Edinburgh’s west end.


The protesters, who normally attempt to blockade the gates of Faslane in the west of Scotland, wanted to confront the Lib-Dem cabinet minister over the UK’s nuclear arsenal.


 final edit of protesters 1


Police appeared to have been tipped off about the occupation bid in Melville Street and two officers were on guard against the 13 protesters, most of whom are in their 60s or older.


That did not prevent Barbara Maver and Mary Millington, both 66, from simply following an office worker into the Scotland Office and then sitting in the corridor.


Pictures from the scene show a police officer belatedly ducking under a protest banner in a futile bid to stop the ladies getting in.


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Barbara, from Edinburgh, and Mary, from Glasgow, decided to leave after about 30 minutes after being assured by an official that the Secretary of State was on annual leave.


The protest began at 10am with twelve elderly protesters plastering the building with hand-painted signs that read “Scrap Trident” and “Uphold international law”.


 edited final version 2


Mary said: “As someone went in I just slipped in. We were asked to  leave and we said we wouldn’t until we spoke to someone.


“Secretary of State Alistair Carmichael was on holiday.”


Barbara said: “I really feel like we got what we went for, which was to put  across the voice of the anti- nuclear position.


“The staff were surprised. The security guard was trying to push me out.”


No arrests were made and the protesters left the street at about 11am.

By Katherine Sutherland

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Meteorology and two veg: cloud forms monster penis over Scotland Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:39:21 +0000 A PHOTOGRAPHER went out to capture shafts of sunlight and ended up with meteorology and two veg.

John Seggie caught the astonishingly willy-like cloud formation in the skies above Kilbirnie, North Ayrshire on Wednesday evening.


John, 60, who swears the picture is 100% genuine, said: “It gave me a bit of a laugh. I was trying to take photos of the sunset and this appeared.

“It was just a few miles down the road from where I live.”


John said he did not realise until he got home just what he had captured.

“Looking at the pictures I can see it was there for  a wee while.”

WILLY_CLOUD_DN03The image has caused a stir online.

Alison Crawford said: “I laughed so hard coffee came out my nose.”

Mike Gordon joked: “Good to see God has a sense of humour. And proportion.”

Alison Maloney even uploaded another photo of a similar-looking cloud above Oban (below).


Finally, here’s the phallus-free scene of bucolic splendour John was trying to capture.



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Teacher threatened to sue girl over mental health problems Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:29:25 +0000 A FURIOUS teacher blamed pupils for his mental health problems – even threatening to sue one girl.

Francis Carlton’s conduct at two Glasgow schools was “so serious” he could not be allowed to remain in the classroom, the profession’s watchdog revealed yesterday (Mon).

In another incident, a fellow teacher placed himself between Mr Carlton and pupils to “buffer the pupils against his anger”.

Final edit

Carlton, a former Drumchapel and Castlemilk high school teacher, was involved in another frighening incident in March 2012.

It was revealed earlier this month that Mr Carlton had been struck off following a string of incidents, including intimidating aheadteacher and challenging a boy to a fight.

Yesterday, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) issued its written judgement on the case, revealing shocking new detail about the veteran teacher’s conduct.

The GTCS said in its report on the case that, on one occasion in March 2012, four pupils in Mr Carlton’s class were “extremely upset”.

“One of the pupils was shouting that [Mr Carlton] was blaming pupils for his illness,” said the report.

“Another pupil was crying. [Mr Carlton] had been shouting at the class that he and another member of the school had mental health problems that were the fault of the pupils’ behaviour.

“[Mr Carlton] had stated he had mental health problems and that he was going to get a lawyer to the pupil.”

Mr Carlton, 65, who taught at Drumchapel and Castlemilk high schools, was involved in another frighening incident, also in March 2012.

He had pupils “lined up…and was pointing his finger at them and invading their space”.

The report stated: [Mr Carlton] was so agitated that Mr Sharpe had to place himself between [Mr Carlton] and the pupils to buffer the pupils against his anger.

Mr Carlton was “purple in the face” and “visibly shaking”, said the report. “[Mr Carlton] then entered his classroom before shouting, ‘I’ve had enough of this – I’m off”.

Anne Mallin, 54, said she heard Mr Carlton “shouting at the top of his voice” during an outburst on October 24, 2012.

She said: “I observed him to be shouting at one pupil, ‘Take that smirk off your face’ and ‘Are you stupid?’.

“I was shocked by what I saw. I observed his face being a deep red – the child looked startled.”

“It was clear in my mind Mr Carlton was out of control, out of order. I have never witnessed this before.”

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arlton’s behaviour was described by the GTCS as fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher

Mr Carlton told the GTCS at the hearing in early October that he suffers from work-related stress, high blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome.

He said he should not have been left to teach “miscreants” at Drumchapel and Castlemilk high schools and said city council officials should “hang their heads in shame” for not supporting him.

But the General Teaching Council for Scotland found seven charges against Mr Calton were proven and removed him from the teaching register.

The GTCS concluded in its report that Mr Carlton’s views on managing pupils’ behaviour were “entrenched”.

The report added: “[Mr Carlton] has not reflected appropriately on the situation or demonstrated any insight into his conduct and has not taken any action to remedy the deficiencies in his professional conduct.”

The GTCS said Mr Carlton’s mental health might “mitigate to an extent some of his conduct”.

But appropriate support was in place and he was teaching on a “much reduced timetable”.

“Taken as a whole [Mr Carlton’s] conduct, which took place at two different schools, is so
serious that it is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher,” stated the report.

Mr Carlton declined to comment at the conclusion of the hearing.

By Jenny Kane

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Body found in the Alness area identified as missing Wakefield man Tue, 21 Oct 2014 12:49:13 +0000 Police Scotland have confirmed that a body recovered from the Alness area on Monday 20 October has been identified as that of Mark Burgess.

The 58 year-old was last seen at his home in Wakefield at 10:30pm on Wednesday 15th October and his body was recovered around 1800 hours yesterday.

Police stated that there were no suspicious circumstances.

Dingwall and Wester Ross Area Inspector Paul Daley said: “Police Scotland would like to thank members of the public for their assistance with efforts to trace Mark.

“Our thoughts are with Mark’s family and we would ask the media to respect their request to grieve in private at this difficult time.”

The next of kin have been informed and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

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