Born in Braeholm in the sixties I spent many a weekend learning how to swim and control my shivering in Helensburgh’s outdoor pool. I enjoyed running along the promenade and visiting what was probably my first real bookshop.
Now sadly closed, Bookworms was nothing short of an Aladdin’s Cave to me. It was there that I first immersed myself in the heady aroma of paper and polish and discovered titles by Enid Blyton and J R R Tolkien.
When I look through the list of influential and groundbreaking people who have emerged from this unique estuary town I am wonderfully excited to be named as a Heroes Centre Ambassador.
Everything from the man who invented TV to the massively talented Hollywood actress who starred in The King and I, the output from this fairly small town seems almost excessive. There are also some great writers in the mix like W H Auden, a good friend of the fore mentioned Mr. Tolkien, and A J Cronin, the man who wrote ‘Doctor Findlay’s Casebook’.
The Heroes Centre is pulling an assortment of artefacts together linked to the hall of fame heroes: manuscripts, movie regalia, and much more which will hopefully inspire future generations to come.
With fond memories of Helensburgh’s La Scala Picture House, the fact that the new centre will also be a fully functioning cinema is extremely good news, not only for movie addicts like myself but for the local shops and businesses in the town.
With plans for a digital education centre looking at ‘new media skills’ and training areas, it seems to me that the Heroes Centre will multitask, ticking many boxes for Helensburgh, Scotland, the UK and, most probably, the world.
There is no doubt that our lives will become ever more entwined with this new digital world that’s already upon us, and that such a centre of excellence can only enhance, attract and inspire the people who will form our future.