Category Archives: Cumbernauld

Introducing Clyde the Thistle Man

Now that the London Olympics are finished, the next big sporting occasion to look forward to is the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.   The official mascot of the Games was unveiled this week as a Thistle man named Clyde.  Clyde is the brainchild of Cumbernauld schoolgirl Beth Gilmour whose mascot design was chosen from more than 4000 entries in a UK-wide competition.

Beth, who won four tickets to the Games opening ceremony as part of her prize, said: “My idea was that Clyde was friendly and sporty. On my entry, I drew him running and winking so he’s a wee bit cheeky as well. He’s exactly how I pictured him.”

and Glasgow 2014 chairman, Lord Smith, said: “Beth’s design captured the imagination and the spirit of not only the Games, but also of Glasgow and Scotland.  Clyde is the cheeky but friendly face of Glasgow 2014 and will take the Games message to the people of Scotland.”

Clyde, named after the our City’s famous river, was introduced in a short animated film narrated by 2014 Games ambassador Billy Connolly.  It tells the story of how the thistle was planted by Captain Bristle and taken around the Commonwealth on HMS Shipshape.  The captain then returned to his base on the Clyde, where the thistle came to life.

The excitement is starting to build – I’m sure that Clyde will be popping up all over the place in the next 2 years – keep your eyes peeled!!!

What’s it called?

Now that the aforementioned roadworks have gone from the M80, it is possible for drivers to enjoy the full effect of the Cumbernauld Mermaid.  The 33ft high mermaid, named Arria and designed by artist Andy Scott, overlooks the A80 northbound to the north of Auchenkilns junction in Cumbernauld.  The £250,000 publicly funded work is the latest in a long line of monolithic sculptures springing up around the country in the name of public art.

Her form, similar to a giant metal mermaid, features two huge swooping arcs inspired by the Gaelic name for Cumbernauld, “comar nan allt”, which means “coming together of waters.”  and it is hoped the work will help Cumbernauld start ridding itself of its dismal image that has seen it win the Carbuncle Award for poor architecture.

The poem “Watershed” penned by award-winning Scottish poet Jim Carruth is displayed at the foot of the sculpture, which sports a retro hairstyle meant to evoke the optimistic early days of the 1960s-built new town.

People generally don’t have anything particularly nice to say about Cumbernauld, but lets not forget some of its plus points:

  • It was the setting for the film Gregory’s Girl.
  • It is within easy commuting distance of Glasgow but is just seven miles from the picturesque Campsie Fells.
  • House prices are lower than in much of the Central Belt.
  • The £40million Antonine Shopping Centre opened in 2007.
  • It is a business hub boasting the world headquarters of AG Barr and Yaskawa Electronics and the UK base of OKI.
  • It has its own airport.

Hmmm … maybe it needs a little more than a mermaid statue.  If you were to ask local residents I’m pretty sure they’d say that Cumbernauld needs burning down and rebuilding, especially the town centre. It needs new shops, new restaurants and new bars … something to liven the place up at night.   Lets hope this is just the start of good things to come for the area.

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