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This section gives details of selected events taking place in and around the Central Belt of Scotland this fortnight. Events are listed by area and then alphabetically. All submissions should be accompanied by a contact phone number for our lnionnation. Days out compiled by Thom llibdin.


I MILLS OBSERVATORY Mon—Fri. 3—10pm. Sat. 2—5pm. Mills Observatory. Balgay Park. Dundee. 0382 67138. Free. Most of the observatory is open to the public, with slide shows and exhibitions. On a clear night you can use the ten-inch telescope.


I ANTIOIIES FAIR Sat 6. l 1am—5pm. Burgh Halls. The Cross. High Street. Linlithgow. 30p (Children free). Small. friendly fair. with plenty of antiques and collectables at ‘middle of the road’ prices. A good selection of china is expected. with particular interest for collectors of Scottish pottery from old works such as Bo’ness and the surrounding coast. Tea. coffee and catering will be available.

I CALEOONIAN CANINE OOC SHOW Sat 5. 9.30am-4pm. Royal Highland Centre. lngliston. Edinburgh. £1 (50p). Best get there in the morning if you want to see all the dogs exhibited in this six-monthly canine beauty competition. Over 1500 dogs are expected in six catagories: Terriers. Toys. Utility. Gun. Working and Hounds. Catering will be provided by Crawfords.

I ROYAI. OBSERVATORY Daily. 1—5pm (Fri. l—9pm). Blackford Hill, Edinburgh. 668 8405. £1.50 (75p); Evening star- gazing £1.50. Excellent exhibition: ‘The Universe’ uses models. videos. computer games and photographs of space to explain the workings ofthe finnament. Star shop for astronomical paraphernalia at earthly prices. The observatory’s Popular Telescopes are Open every clear week night from 7-9pm for a visual tour of the night sky with an experienced astronomer. Phone after 4pm on the day to book. Lecture: ‘The Night Sky In February’ 28 Jan.

I YEAR OF THE DOG Sat 5. 2—5pm; Thurs 10. 5.30—8.30pm. Royal Botanic Garden. lnverleith Row. Edinburgh. £4 (£2) and £5. The Chinese New Year is on Fri 11. but the Botanics are running a couple of early workshops in collaboration with the Commonwealth Institute. The Saturday date is for families, with up to two adults and three children per group and the Thursday date for over sixteens only. Both workshOps will teach about the Chinese New Year celebrations. with emphasis on Chinese horoscopes. costumes. dances. traditional beliefs. food. plants and herbal medicine. Being on Chinese New Year's Eve. the Thursday workshOp will include a mini buffet with traditional food and dfink.


I BOTHY BALLAOS Sat 29. 7—1 1pm. Elgin Town Hall. Elgin. Tickets £3.50/£3 from G. Morrison & Son: 0343 547 016. Tickets are going fast for this competition of full-on. belting-out unaccompanied

songsters. Only the winners and runners

up at other Bothy Ballad competitions around Scotland are invited to take part at Elgin. The ballad tradition comes from the farms around the North East. where people had to make their own entertainment and got into the way of passing on the ballads. Ticket price includes a plate of stovies and a dram of The Macallan.


I COATS OBSERVATORY Mon/Tue. 2—8pm; Wed. Fri/Sat. 10am—5pm; Thurs. 2—9.30pm. Oakshaw Street. Paisley. 041 889 2013. Free. The observatory is an interesting building in its own right. from both architectural and historical perspectives. Every Thursday. weather permitting. public viewing is possible through the observatory's ten-inch telescopes from 7—9.30pm. (Public use of telescopes ends on the last Thursday in March).

I RECORD N’ POP FAIR Sat 5—Sun 6. 10am—6pm (Sun. 10am—4pm). SECC. Finnieston Quay. Glasgow. £2. Details from 0533 711977 (SECC Ticket Hotline: 041 248 9999). See Photo Caption.

I SCOTTISH CARAVAN, CAMPING, BOAT ANO lEISURE SHOW Wed 2-Sun 6. [lam—9pm (Sun 6. 11am—6pm). SECC. Finnieston Quay. Glasgow. £4.50 (£2.50). (SECC Ticket Hotline: 041 248 9999). Those who delight in taking their home to their holidays will no doubt be looking for a new rig to parade along the traffic-jams of the Dordogne and the Highlands. Highlights of the ‘biggest display of boats. caravans. motorhomes. camping equipment and associated products under one roof in Scotland' will be a sail hoisting competition and a wind-surfing simulator that’s so realistic it even promises to get you wet. wet. wet!


l lam—5pm. SECC. Finnieston Quay. Glasgow. £3.50 (£2.50). (SECC Ticket Hotline: 041 248 9999). The club’s annual Championship show features over 600 exhibits of cats from a myriad of pedigrees. Among the rarer breeds will be examples of the giant Maine Coons. Snow Shoes. the new Singaporea and the ‘completely adorable’ (according to our Susan) American Rag Dolls. Guest appearance from Arthur of TV advert fame and a whole section devoted to real household moggies. Over 50 trade stands will be selling everything on the pet- related front and full catering will be on hand.

I WINTER WILOFOWl Sun 6. 2pm. Drumpellier Country Park Visitor Centre. Townhead Road. Coatbridge. Free. 0236 422257. Take your binoculars for a last chance to look at the winter migrants on the lochs.

The recent warm spell had limited the off- piste skiing as The List went to press. However. with judicious grooming. the resorts are able to keep their pistes open. Although not as brilliant as at the start of the season. skiing is better than it has been for years.

I OLENCOE Chairlift company: 08556 226. Closed Tue/Wed. The closest resort to Glasgow and Scotland’s first commercial resort. The first tow opened in 1956. Fresh. wide snow cover reported on all pistes. despite losing snow from the lower slopes.

I NEVIS RANGE Chairlift company: 0397 705825. Scotland‘s newest and hence most modem ski resort boasts the UK's only gondola system. The highest pistes in

Scotland are at the top of Aonach Mor (4006 feet). Creche facility: three to seven years. Complete runs up top. but mild rain and driving winds have taken the edge off what was ‘pristine’ snow cover. The ‘Goose‘ is holding the snow very well.

I CAIRNOORM Chairlift company: 0479 861 261. Scotland's most famous ski area.

.close to the skiing town of Aviemore so

there are lots of things to do off-piste. The resort is reckoned to be Scotland‘s largest. boasting 28 runs. Lost some snow from the ridges which are no longer skiable. but the runs are full of ‘nice. soft snow with lots of depth'.

I GLENSHEE Chairlift company: 03397 41320/41343. Edinburgh's closest resort. The three valleys of Glenshee offer 38 pistes on 40km of runs and a massive uplift capacity of 18.500 skiers an hour. Creche facility: over two years. Lost a bit of snow to the mild spell. but the main runs are fine with firm packed snow.

I THE LECHT Chairlift company: 09756 51440. Scotland‘s best resort for absolute beginners. with easy green and nursery slopes right next to the car park. Creche facility: over three years. All runs are complete. although off-piste is beginning to break up. and there is ample snow with good cover on the nursery areas.

I RACES OK. Scotland isn’t the same as the continent. but you could take a cow bell along if you happen to be on—piste at the same time as a race is on. And it makes for an added distraction while waiting for the ski lift.

Sat 29/Stlll 30 The Lecht: NE. Scotland Children's Championship.

Sat 29/Sllll 3O Cairngorm: Bearsden Championship.

E114 Glenshee: Rydens Scottish Schools Boys Race.

Sat 5/Sun 5 Cairngorm: North of Scotland Senior Championship.

Sat 5/Sllll 5 Glenshee: East of Scotland Children’s Championship.

Mon 7 Glenshee: Scottish Prep Schools Race.

I RECORD ll’ POP FAIR: Sat S-Sun 6, loam-6pm (Sun, warn-4pm). SECC. Finnieston Quay, Glasgow. £2. Details from 0533 711977 (SECC Ticket Hotline: 041 248 9999). Search for those sounds from the 503 all the way up to Rave and Techno on the ‘couple oi hundred‘ stalls expected at the sscc this weekend. It should be child's play to pick out a bargain, especially on the Michael Jackson specialists stall. Among the memorabllla stalls will be JWS from lancashire who promise that they’ll be bringing a Fender Stratocaster signed by Real: Marvin and Bruce Walsh (only a grand to you mateyl), items oi clothing worn on stage by the likes oi Cher and Annie “0901. signed programmes, cheques, handwritten letters and even Angus Young’s schoolboy oottit worn on stage with mm which includes a signed cap and is

authenticated by Sotliebys.

The List 28 January-10 February 1994 61