Cathkin gets a wind farm

A Glasgow housing scheme could become the site of the UK’s first community-owned urban wind farm, reports the BBC.

This is rather cool. Cathkin Braes is a windy place. Castlemilk needs money. Everyone’s happy.

Except, of course, for the dismal anti-windfarm people, Views of Scotland, who the BBC have to quote in order to appear fair and balanced. How can people who claim to be so concerned be so uninformed? F’rinstance, this from SWiM’s Bob Graham, in an anti-wind petition to the Scottish Parliament: Turbines from the current generation have a mean output of 2MW. However, because of their inefficiency and the random nature of the wind, no turbine has produced more than 27 per cent of its production capacity. That equates to just 0.25MW.

Notwithstanding that 27% of 2MW is 560kW, we can manage better capacity factors than that here in Toronto. Maybe I’ll phone Bob Graham every time we’re over his so-called production limit …

Scots, wahey!

We’re in Scotland. I’d forgotten how green it is at this time of year. We’re getting sun and very occasional snow, so it’s feeling vaguely Canadian.

Some things have changed in Glasgow. “The Unique”, the famous chip shop in Govanhill has gone. It seems that the brothers who ran it retired. They had the best chicken and chip dinner ever. CF Nash has gone too. You could get any kind of stationery product in Nash’s. They had the Christmas sale every June.

Kirkintilloch is looking not bad. We walked along the canal, then made sure that the Indian Cottage’s curry is still as good as it ever was (it is). There was also pie, beans & chips and a yum yum in there somewhere. It’s all a blur.

Glasgow Science Centre needs a Wind Turbine

Glasgow has a Science Centre. Glasgow Science Centre has a 150m tall tower that is supposed to turn with the wind. Unfortunately, its main bearing has been broken since 2002, and it has been closed to the public.

Glasgow is a windy city. I spent more than 30 years of my life there. You could put a wind turbine there, and not merely would it be attractive, it would be educational and would earn some revenue for the centre.

If WindShare can build urban wind turbines, so can Glasgow.

a great place to be *from* …

[Bit of background here. I’m Scottish, but I live in Toronto. Canada is big, Scotland isn’t.]

There’s this thing I like to call The East Dunbartonshire Conspiracy. I used to live in Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshire. It’s a small central Scotland town, rapidly becoming another suburb of Glasgow.

Since coming to Canada, most of the expat Scots I have met are from East Dunbartonshire:

  • The LCBO guy in Toronto Union Station is from Kirkintilloch, about 100m from where we used to live.
  • Another LCBO guy on the Danforth is from Bishopbriggs, where I used to work.
  • The GO Train customer relations person who called me about the new proposed train station at the end of our street (yay!) grew up in Bishopbriggs, and has relatives I think I worked with when I was at Collins, the publishers.

So what’s this all about? Why are so many people leaving East Dunbartonshire for Toronto? Is it the horror of living at 56°N, with dark, windy wet winters? Who can say?


We sampled Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips (2638 Danforth Ave, just east of Main) tonight. Mmm. Though the halibut was not the Scottish customary haddock, it was really good. The chips were the best. I haven’t had ones this good since frequenting The Unique in Glasgow. All it needs is mushy peas, and it’d be perfect.

I was pleased to hear a few Scottish voices in the crowds. We know good food when we see it.