The Ardross-man


April 2019

The Cupboard under the Stairs

Last time, I told you about the Easter Egg Hunt I organised for my kids (Easter Egg Hunt 2019), well it got really interesting for me when I was photographing my daughter finding her egg in the cupboard under the main staircase leading up to the church gallery.

I noticed some names written on the back of the cupboard door. Some appeared fairly new and were written by a black marker pen.;

John S. Hughes, J.W.G. Neil, Allana MacDougall and Joyce C. Inglis” with “Alec Bingham” printed in pencil below this and “H. McLean” printed to the left of it.

Does anyone know these people? I would love to find out when this was written (no charges of vandalism will be sought LOL).

But my attention was drawn to an inscription to the left of this list of names. It was in pencil but the handwriting is in beautiful scroll;

David & Shona, Saltcoats, 1873

It’s a long shot, but if anyone has any idea who David and Shona is, I would really appreciate hearing about it.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about my efforts to save the Barony St John buildings, check out our Facebook page The Barony St John Regeneration Project or contact my charity, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety via or look us up (ScotCPS) on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Goodbye for now.

Easter Egg Hunt 2019

Every year since taking over the Barony St John in Ardrossan, I have held an Easter Egg Hunt for my children.

In the first couple of years I just planted Easter eggs around the church, split the church in half and sent my son searching to the left and my daughter off to the right. It worked well but last year I wanted to mix it up a bit so I introduced clues to a bigger egg.

So how good are you at riddle solving?

Last year’s clues to where the eggs were hidden were “Heart, lungs, liver, kidneys” and “Arial Calibri, Times New Roman, WingDings”.

The answer to my daughter’s riddle was Organ (as everything in her clue are organs in the body) and she found her Easter egg hidden behind the church organ.

My son’s riddle answer was Font as his clue was a list of fonts or text styles used in computer writing. His egg was hidden under the lid of the church baptismal font.

So, the challenge was on to come up with new clues for this year.

My daughter loves Harry Potter so her clue was “Like Harry Potter before he left for Hogwarts, your egg can be found sleeping here”.

And for all you Potter fans, you’ve probably guessed that it is the cupboard under the stairs.






My son is older and needs a slightly tougher clue so his was “Another word for urine and the first part of A.D. as in 2019AD. This one should tickle your ivories”.

And hopefully you’ve guessed that this is “pee” and “Anno” (as in Anno Domini), so his egg was inside the church piano.



Happy Easter folks 🙂

Fashion Show 2019

To help raise funds for the renovation of the Barony St John buildings, a unique Fashion Show took place on Sunday in Saltcoats – twenty two of the thirty models were blind or visually impaired.

The event was held at M&Co Saltcoats and also highlighted how, over the past two years, some of the models had attended my charity, The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety’s confidence boosting safety classes, specifically designed for people with low or no vision.

Having established that many people struggled to maintain their previous confidence levels when diagnosed with a vision impairment and, as their vision decreased, would prefer to stay indoors rather than face a noisy world, full of dangers and threats that they could no longer see, I set about developing a course that could address these issues.

Why you may ask?

Well, Hate Crimes against disabled people have risen by 51% in the past year alone however people who are blind or vision impaired are more than twice as likely to be attacked than a sighted individual, mostly due to the fact that they cannot identify their attacker. I felt that this had to be addressed and so I worked with a variety of organisations for the blind to develop this course.

Last year, the course development was concluded and I began to offer free of charge in our Barony St John Centre, the Forth Valley Sensory Centre in Camelon, near Falkirk, and in Deafblind Scotland’s Learning & Development Centre in Kirkintilloch.

The course went on to win the “Pioneering Project Award 2018” at last year’s Scottish Charity Awards.

As the confidence levels of course participants built up, their anxiety levels decreased and so did their fear of being attacked and soon they began to venture out more, leading richer, fuller lives again…some for the first time in over thirty years.

The Fashion Show on Sunday was the culmination of all this training, showing the renewed confidence the course participants had received as they strutted their stuff on the catwalk in front of an audience of almost one hundred people.

It also highlighted the re-launch of my charity’s weekly Personal Safety classes for the Blind and Visually Impaired, which currently run free of charge at the Forth Valley Sensory Centre and will soon be running at the Barony St John Centre in Ardrossan and Deafblind Scotland’s Learning & Development Centre in Kirkintilloch.

If you know of anyone who would benefit from our training, contact me on 07900 950599.

Here are some photos from a fab day.

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