Hamilton Park racecourse say public demand has prompted them to create a series of funeral reception deals.
Family members can dedicate a race to their loved one from £650, broadcast live on Racing UK’s TV channel, as well as featuring in the day’s race card.
Relatives can also arrange for the ashes of deceased racing lovers to be scattered at the race course in a designated flower bed just beside the wining post, following it with a drinks reception to celebrate the life of their loved one.
Kathryn Jones, general manager with Sodexo Prestige at Hamilton Park, said: “We see so many aspects of life celebrated here at the racecourse from Christenings to school proms, graduations and weddings.”
“It may prove the perfect way to celebrate the life of someone who loved visiting the racecourse.”
Clients who choose to have a memorial race can hire an Executive box or a hospitality table in the prestigious Duke restaurant to continue the celebrations.
They can choose six members of their party to be accompanied to the Winner’s Enclosure to meet the winning owner and jockey before presenting them with the wining trophy.
There is also a pre-packaged catering option, ranging from tea and sandwiches to a sit down 2 course meal, from £5.50 per person.
The unique service was created after large numbers of requests from relatives of passionate annual members to be laid to rest at their favourite place.
Kathryn Jones added: “We get lots of requests to have ashes scattered on the track and many people asking to hold memorial races to commemorate loved ones who enjoyed spending time at Hamilton Park.”
Racing has been staged at Hamilton since 1782, and it is now part of Scotland’s great sporting heritage.]]>
OLYMPIC hero Sir Chris Hoy has said he has no immediate plans to start a family despite stepping down from top-flight sport.
The 37-year-old six-time gold medal winner says he will spend more time with his wife Sarra, after announcing his retirement in April.
But the cycling legend, in an interview at the weekend, said he and Sarra want to enjoy themselves – without responsibility.
He married Sarra Kemp, a lawyer, in 2010 at a ceremony in St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, his hometown.
Asked if it was time to start a family, he said: “No it’s not on the cards yet.
“We want to enjoy ourselves without responsibility for a while.
“It’s a luxury, to be able to dedicate yourself wholly to one another.”
Hoy said Sarra took a year out of her job to support him during the Olympics.
He said: “It’s Sarra’s turn to come first now.
“She took a year-long sabbatical to be with me during the Olympics, she’s supported me all the way through.
“Everything had to revolve around my training, my schedule.
“Now, we are enjoying having time for one another.”
He added: “She’s had to put up with my busyness, will all the publicity. She’s been brilliant.”
Tam Baillie, has claimed that the “pendulum of safety has swung too far” as many professional carers and volunteers are scared to touch a child that is not related to them.
The comments come ahead of a meeting of a panel of child experts this week, which will debate “Touching children shouldn’t be taboo, it should be an expectation.”
The panel includes Mr Baillie and a number of teachers, care workers and academics.
Mr Baillie was appointed by the Scottish Government to champion children’s issues.
The group will look at why touching children, such as patting them on the shoulder, is almost forbidden in schools.
The debate is being held as part of a Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Edinburgh.
It will hear that touch can be help reduce stress as well as being emotionally soothing. It will also question why adults have become so cautious.
It comes after a number of high profile sexual abuse cases against children have heightened public concern. These include Operation Yewtree which is investigating allegations of child abuse by Jimmy Saville, and others.
Mr Baillie said: “The pendulum of safety has swung far too far so that we don’t have a natural relationship with children and so that people, especially males, are wary of being misinterpreted if they hug a child or whatever. There are stories of people not wanting to engage with children or not wanting to volunteer if they feel they might be under too much suspicion.
“Of course we have to ensure our children are properly protected, but we have to be much more attentive to the messages that come from children if we are to get ourselves out of the position we’re in now, which is almost too hot to handle.”
“This is a serious matter and it’s to do with how touch is actually necessary for children’s development. There is something very fundamental about touch.
Gillian Hunt, workforce learning and development manager at Edinburgh City Council’s children and families department said: “We are doing very well at keeping children and young people safe and we feel what we want to do is have a conversation about how we connect with children. We do have really mixed ideas about what is acceptable and what isn’t.
“One of the stories we have been told is about a parent sending a child on a school trip with suntan lotion and a note to the teacher to apply it to their nose and arms, and the child coming back sunburnt. Teachers are sometimes on the point of saying ‘I can’t put suntan lotion on a child’. It’s a conversation we need to have.”
Alison Todd, director of children and families of the charity Children 1st, said: “Touch can be vital to children’s development and happiness. In our early years’ work with parents and carers we talk a lot about the importance of showing children they are loved.
“We encourage parents to use physical contact, such as cuddling their children, because this can reduce stress, soothe a child and demonstrate affection.
“In other settings things are not so clear cut. Adults, for instance, may lack confidence in knowing when physical contact is the right thing to do or when it is inappropriate.”]]>
Judy Murray is planning to build the Murray Tennis Centre for Scotland.
The mother of world number two Andy Murray, says a new centre would make tennis “accessible” and “affordable” to all.
Murray is currently trying to find a site for the centre near Dunblane, where her sons first played tennis.
Despite planning for the centre, costs may prove too much for her project.
It has been estimated that to establish the publicly accessible tennis centre she has planned could cost more than £15m in initial funding.
The 53-year-old has previously spoken about the lack of tennis facilities in Scotland.
A number of public tennis courts across the country have been demolished or left in disrepair.
The mother of two won 64 titles as a player in the 1970s, and has been coaching for more than 25 years.
She has often been praised for developing the talents of her two sons; Andy and Jamie.
Now the coach of Britain’s Fed Cup team, Murray would like to pass on her decades of knowledge.
She said: “This is my big goal. I want it to be something to leave behind. It would absolutely kill me if Andy finished his career in five years’ time of whenever and we didn’t have much to show for it here in Scotland. The opportunity is there. I’ve got to do it.
“Ideally, the centre would be somewhere near Dunblane. The town and its surroundings are where it all started for me, so I’d want the community and families to be right at the heart of it.
“We have this huge opportunity in Scotland. Tennis has gone through the roof and every kid in every primary school will know something about tennis and Andy. But I don’t think tennis in Scotland has been able to capitalise on the profile, because we have insufficient facilities or an insufficient tennis workforce.
“Andy has been in the world top five for five years now. He has been in a number of Slam finals and has won the Olympics. Yet in all that time there have been just two new indoor tennis courts in Scotland – both at private clubs.
“Former, that is very sad. Right now in Scotland we have this huge opportunity, but thus far we haven’t taken it.
“If you asked me if there was one big thing I would like to do, this is it: to establish a tennis base for teaching, coaching and playing.
“It would be a legacy in people, who could share knowledge and knowhow of teaching kids to play and love tennis. And I’d want it to be a centre where tennis was accessible and affordable to all.
“Ideally it would be a community club, with a team of people and a mobile outreach programme, so you could send coaches out to schools, clubs and rural communities.”
Last year Murray slammed a lack of PE in school for creating “overweight” youngsters.]]>
Sir Chris Hoy has stated that he will not be coming out of retirement for the Commonwealth games next year.
The six time gold medal-winning cyclist has said he is now looking forward to focusing his time on wife Sarra.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, The Scot said: “It’s Sarra’s turn to come first now. She took a year-long sabbatical to be with me during the Olympics, she’s supported me all the way through.”
“Everything had to revolve around my training, my schedule. Now, we are enjoying having time for one another.”
Hoy retired from the sport earlier this year stating that he could no longer “perform at a level which would do myself and the team justice.”
Wife Sarra also spoke of his retirement.
She said: “Any decision would have been the right decision. If he had wanted to continue it would have been fine, if he had wanted to retire it would also have been fine.”
Recently, the cyclist has been targeted by internet trolls after he warned that Scottish Independence could harm Scottish sports.
The comment led to some calling him a “traitor” to his country.
Hoy said: “There’s some stuff on the web that’s best not seen.”]]>
Charity Scot-pep have said they were “extremely concerned” after police in Edinburgh raided several massage parlours across the city.
Over 150 officers were sent in to seven saunas across the capital, including one on Dundas Street and another in Roseburn.
The charity, who aim to protect the health of prostitutes, raised their concerns after it emerged that officers had questioned both workers and customers on the streets outside the saunas.
During the raid, 30 women of various nationalities were interviewed by police.
Social workers accompanied officers, to provide support for any potential victims.
The operation by Police Scotland follows concerns over the lenient approach previously take to prostitution in the capital.
Previously Lothian and Borders Police had been accused by critics of taking a blind eye to Edinburgh’s sex trade
However, support has also been shown in the past for the cities liberal approach, which has a number of licensed saunas.
Supporters believe that Edinburgh’s approach makes it easier to protect the health of those in the sex trade and that without them prostitution would be driven underground, putting workers at risk.
A statement released by the Scot- Pep said: “Scot-Pep are very concerned about reports we received from women involved in the raids and question the assertion that this is about keeping people safe. Is it safe to instil fear amongst sex workers of police and social services?
“We remain extremely concerned as to whether this is a taste of things to come in light of the attempt to introduce a bill to criminalise the purchase of sex. We advise all sex workers to take extra precautions at this time.”
Edinburgh MSP, Margo MacDonald tried to get a bill put through Holyrood which would allow Edinburgh to keep its prostitution tolerance zones.
The MSP said: “If this is a portent of a future change of direction for the management of prostitution, then we can only hope that it does not sweep aside decades of greater success achieved by Lothian and Borders and Grampian police in dealing with prostitution.
“That was achieved as a result of policies pursued by Grampian Police and Lothian and Borders Police, which differed from those pursued by Strathclyde Police.”
A statement from Police Scotland said: “Three people in locations in Edinburgh and Fife have been charged with drugs offences, including supply and cultivation, and it is estimated that assets worth in excess of £500,000 have been seized.
“Large amounts of cash, electronic equipment and documentation relating to business matters have been recovered.”
Highland and Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, recently proposed a Purchase of Sex Bill, which would lead to the prosecution of those buying sex, rather than those who working in the trade.]]>
Disruption caused to roads across the country is set to be minimised with the introduction of a new technique which enables workers to fix underground piping without digging up the entire road.
Work that has previously taken days to complete, is now being done in mere hours by drilling a small hole in the road rather than large trenches.
The new approach is being pioneered in Glasgow, but looks set to spread to the rest of the country by the end of the year.
Scotland’s official road works watchdog body has welcomed the move as significantly cutting the length of time that drivers are caught up in disruptions.
The technique has been under a two-year trial by Scottish Gas Networks.
The firm have successfully used the method to fix gas leaks in pipes underground.
Gas leaks account for 80% of the SGNs repairs, and are often the most disruptive to traffic as they are unplanned.
The company also hope they can use the new technique for other work such as replacing gas mains.
The keyhole method could also be used by other firms, such as water and electricity companies.
It is also thought that the technique could be used by local authorities when repairing potholes.
The method further reduces disruption as man-hole-like covers can be used to conceal the hole when work is not immediately taking place.
Known as the “core and vac” technique, it involves a two-foot in diameter hole being drilled into the road, which is lifted out, and then put back after the work is completed.
Then workers at ground level are able to use long-handled machinery to work on the pipes below.
Gus McIntosh, Innovation and new technology manager at SGN, said: “The quicker we can get into roads, get out of roads and get them reinstated and the traffic moving again the better for everyone – and that’s exactly what core and vac delivers.”
The Scottish road works commissioner Elspeth King said: “I regularly remind organisations about the importance of reducing the time taken to carry out works to keep disruption at a minimum.
“I want to encourage any new ways of working which can minimise disruption. One innovation which I am giving my support to that of keyhole technology.
“Use of SGN’s core and vac technique can reduce the time taken for a repair from three to five days to five hours. This has a significant impact on reduced road congestion and inconvenience to other road users.
“I consider that this technique will have a significant impact on the time taken to carry out gas mains repairs and look forward to seeing its use increase in Scotland.”
Neil Greig, policy and research director of the institute of Advanced Motorists said: “This looks like an excellent example of technology being applied to reduce delays to drivers and improve the quality of reinstatement.
“The proof will only come in the long term, however, and to date the utility companies have a mixed record on the standard of their repairs, which often leads to big bills for councils to remedy their failures.
“In ideal conditions I see no reason why this should not work, but on our streets which are already littered with potholes, trenches and patches it may be a different story altogether.”
A spokesman for Scottish Water said that they would be looking at the new technology to see if it was “suitable” for them.
He said: “If there is damage to a road caused by a burst water main, it is generally more widespread than is the case with other utilities who encounter problems under the roads.
“However, we will look at this technology to see if we can find a suitable use for it in the future.”]]>
The 59-year-old shocked fans earlier this year when he announced on his website that he had terminal cancer.
Since the announcement, Banks has posted a series of blogs about his disease and his life in general.
His final book, The Quarry, describes the last few weeks in the life of Guy, a man who is terminally ill with the cancer.
The book details the emotional and physical strain that cancer has on its sufferers.
Guy is cared for by his 18-year-old son, who views the disease as “personalised” and as a “betrayal.”
Banks began writing his final novel after he was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer in March.
A month after he was diagnosed Banks went public and told fans he was unlikely to live more than a year.
While The Quarry is fiction, it is also partly autobiographical and will offer readers a further insight into the disease which has gripped its author.
The book includes graphic and detailed descriptions of Guy’s cancer, which wreaks havoc on his body.
A similarity between Banks, and his protagonist is their distaste for alternative treatments.
In the novel, Guy tells one friend who suggests such options: “You can keep that bollocks.”
More subtly, Banks had recently thanks fans who had offered “medical advice – especially those with links to tests and trials, and published papers.”
Banks is known for his series of popular books including The Wasp Factory and The Crow Road.
Earlier this year, the author took to his website to inform fans of his terminal illness.
He wrote: “It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
“The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late-stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year.”
The author also wrote that he had asked his partner Adele Hartley “if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow.”
Banks has also used his website to thank fans for their support, which made him feel “treasured” and “loved,.”
“I feel treasured, I feel loved, I feel I’ve done more than just pursue the craft I adore and make a living from it, and more than just fulfil the only real ambition I’ve ever had – of becoming a professional writer.
“I am deeply flattered and touched, and I can’t deny I’ve been made to feel very special indeed.”]]>