The Courier’s Impact 100 list for 2014 continues with positions 50-26. See Friday’s paper as the countdown continues.
50. Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew (Last year: 74)His Year: RAF Leuchars closes next May but already all jets have relocated to Lossiemouth and 1 (Fighter) Squadron’s move was completed in September. There was no formal flypast at Leuchars but a clutch of Typhoons took off, with the final two taking off individually. One did a vertical climb straight into the clouds then RAF Leuchars Stations Commander and Air Officer Scotland, Air Commodore Gerry Mayhew, took off very low and waggled the aircraft’s wings as he did so. A circuit over Guardbridge followed with the aircraft heading towards the sea before returning and shooting up to disappear into the clouds. Thus, the era of permanently stationed fast jets at RAF Leuchars came to an end.
Panel View: Air Commodore Mayhew has presided over the leaving of Leuchars, a momentous time in the story of the British armed forces and of the local community in Fife. As the last commanding officer, he has ensured a place in history for the Fife base and its proud heritage.49. Professor Sue Black (31)Her Year: 2014 saw the opening of the Val McDermid Mortuary at the University of Dundee, after serious fund-raising efforts to bring this million-pound, state of the art facility to the city. Professor Sue Black oversaw the campaign in her role as a world authority on forensic anthropology. She heads up the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) which has also been awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education 2014. This year, CAHID also launched a unique post-graduate programme, an MSc in anatomy and advanced forensic anthropology and Professor Black was appointed one of 28 new Royal Society Wolfson research Merit Award Holders. She was co-author of a report on Syrian detainees and featured as the subject of Radio 4’s The Life Scientific.
Panel View: Dundee is now at the forefront in forensic anthropology and human identification in no small measure due to the personal influence and professional excellence of Professor Sue Black. She has attracted a top class team to CAHID and as well as her academic credentials, is credited with putting a human face, in more ways than one, on the work she does.48. Stevie May (new)His Year: The local lad who scored 27 goals, two of them against Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup semis to take St Johnstone through to the final, Stevie May became a cult hero and instantly recognisable talisman figure. His “May 17” T-shirt (17 was his squad number) was regarded as an omen for the Saints, as May 17 was – you guessed it – the day of the final. During the summer he was sold to Sheffield Wednesday and has been called up for Scotland squad duty.
Panel View: Characters are few and far between in the beautiful game these days and Stevie May can lay claim to bringing back a bit of fun into football, as well as making serious inroads into St Johnstone’s goal difference tally and selection of silverware. Fans north and south of the border will watch his Scotland career with interest and a lot of hope.47. Colin Montgomerie (85)His Year: The best golfer who never won a major, Colin Montgomerie hit 50, took to the seniors tour and began racking up the titles – two in America this year and the Travis Perkins Open, a European Senior Tour Event. Moves are continuing to pursue the building of a golf and tennis academy of excellence in Scotland, working alongside Judy Murray. Colin also spearheads the Elizabeth Montgomerie Foundation, created in memory of his late mother, who died from lung cancer. He contributed more than £1.2 million towards the cost of the new Maggie’s Centre being built in the grounds of Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire. “We didn’t have that kind of facility when Mum was ill and I wish we had,” he said.
Panel View: Colin Montgomerie could hardly be called a late developer, with one of the most successful careers in professional golf but he seems to have come into his own in his 50s, making an amazing mark at senior level and garnering legions of new fans all over the world who like the look of the new, laid-back Monty. He is also completely committed to the work of the foundation named for his mother and has used his contacts and influence to raise funds to underwrite a large number of worthwhile initiatives.46. John Paterson (new)His Year: John Paterson oversaw a major renewal of two docks at Montrose Port and led the charge to bring new businesses to the town. An ambitious, multi-million pound redevelopment, with the two projects costing almost £15 million, has transformed the Angus port into a major North Sea Oil and gas service terminal poised to attract lucrative business away from main rivals in the north east. Montrose can now handle larger cargo and oil and gas ships, as well as vessels servicing the renewables industry projected to come from the offshore windfarms planned for the Tay and Forth areas.
Panel View: John Paterson has decided it’s the right time to retire now that so much has been achieved. These major improvements and forward-looking projects have significantly changed and upgraded what is the only major port in Angus and one that has an economic impact on the whole area. Over the past four years, with the support of Angus Council and his colleagues, he has taken the port and town forward to make it ready for new challenges and ventures in vital areas of industry.45. Sophia George (49)Her Year: BAFTA-winner for her family friendly puzzle game Tick Tock Toys, University of Abertay graduate and chair of her own company, Swallowtail Games, Sophia George also made history by becoming the first ever Games Designer in Residence at the Victoria & Albert Museum. She sees computer games as an “incredible artistic and creative medium,” blending pure art, animation, character design, architectural design and music with the V&A very much at the cutting edge, opening up its collection for interpretation by a game designer. She created a game called The Strawberry Thief, inspired by a William Morris textile in the museum’s British Galleries which reached 60,000 downloads within its first two weeks. As well as being a maker and creator, she is also an influential figure for the future of her profession, active in calling for more women to enter the games industry and in getting the public involved in events, open studios, school projects and workshops.
Panel View: Still only in her early 20s, Sophia has made a major contribution to the world of gaming which is expanding its influence all the time in the modern world. Her work and her achievements show Dundee at the centre of this huge and powerful industry and offer a great role model to young people in Scotland looking to work on a global scale. Her links to the V&A also ally her closely with the forthcoming Dundee project on the Tay.44. Hamish McHamish (new)His Year: A fluffy ginger cat who roamed freely in the streets of St Andrews, becoming a local celebrity in the process, Hamish McHamish had a statue unveiled in his honour in April this year by Provost of Fife, Jim Leishman. The statue was created by Fife sculptor David Annand and stonemason Colin Sweeney; it was the idea of Flora Selwyn to establish a Greyfriars Bobby-type monument to St Andrews’ own famous four-legged friend. A fund-raising appeal brought in £5,000 for the project. Hamish’s untimely death in September brought on-line tributes from around the world and the laying of flowers at his statue.
Panel View: A characterful and colourful cat captured the hearts of a town and of a wider world, bringing out the best in a community and in individuals who contributed to marking his presence in St Andrews. It’s an uplifting and touching story, highlighting the role that animals often play in brightening up the lives of their human friends.43. Raith Rovers (new)Their Year: The Kirkcaldy club beat Rangers in the Ramsdens Cup Final this year, with John Baird scoring the winning goal. The game and the win for Raith made headlines across the world and brought back memories of the team’s League Cup win against Celtic 20 years ago. Led by player/manager Grant Murray, the 2014/15 season is the club’s sixth consecutive season in the second tier of Scottish football.
Panel View: The stunning victory, after extra time, underlined Raith’s never-say-die attitude and showed that there is a wider world in Scottish football in what has become a very different set-up over the past few seasons. Dancing in the streets of Raith, indeed!42. Stuart Mackenzie (new)His Year: Stuart Mackenzie made his mark – literally – on Scottish politics this year when the unemployed Scottish independence supporter threw eggs at Labour MP Jim Murphy in Kirkcaldy High Street as the No campaigner spoke from his Irn Bru crate as part of his 100 towns in 100 days tour. A court later heard that Mackenzie became “irritated” at Mr Murphy’s failure to answer questions, walked to a nearby Tesco and bought half a dozen eggs. He missed with his first three, missed again from closer range, then approached the MP and physically struck him with the eggs before making off. He handed himself in to police after massive media coverage of the incident and was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.
Panel View: As a political statement, it’s not amongst the greats and for most people, flew in the face of what was largely a reasoned and well-argued debate on a serious subject. But Stuart Mackenzie certainly hit the headlines as well as the MP for East Renfrewshire. With Mr Murphy now in the running to become leader of the Scottish Labour Party, it remains to be seen whether Mr Mackenzie’s career of direct action will follow the same trajectory.41. Dundee FC (new)Their Year: The Dees won the Championship title to return to the Premiership in 2014. On a day of incredible drama, as nearer rivals Hamilton Academicals were winning their match 10-2 (against the unfortunate Morton), Dundee needed a fingertip save from Kyle Letheren in the dying moments to clinch the win and the league title. Paul Hartley took over from John Brown mid-way through the season and has established Dundee in mid-table, back in the top flight.
Panel View: A famous victory and a nail-biting finish gave Dundee fans excitement and sheer relief as their team made it back to the upper level of the Scottish game. In November, David Clarkson also became only the second player in the team’s history (and the first since the 1920s) to score in his first six matches.40. Hayley Scanlan (50)Her Year: The Dundee-based designer made it two out of three this year when she carried off the Scottish Young Designer of the Year gong at the 2014 Scottish Fashion Awards. She was also winner of this top prize in 2012. With her own studio in the city now in its fourth season and a global presence, which means her work has been worn by celebrities, pop stars and made it to TV’s The X-Factor, Hayley is also an official ambassador for her home town. Her commissions can also be seen as part of Scottish Dance Theatre’s award-winning SisGo.
Panel View: Hayley made her mark back in 2012 and has now cemented her place as one of the country’s most interesting and high-achieving young designers, while maintaining strong professional and family ties in Dundee. She has created a real niche in the cut-throat and highly competitive world of fashion and has the kind of recognition that make her a role model for other up and coming young talents to emulate.39. Adam Newth/Paul MacMillan (new)Their Year: It’s been a year of firsts for the young team at Castlehill, a fine dining restaurant in Dundee’s Exchange Street that in its first year of business, became the first independent eatery in the city to gain two AA rosettes. It’s young chef Adam Newth’s first time as a head chef and owner Paul McMillan’s first restaurant but nothing daunted, Castlehill carried off the Scottish Restaurant of the Year award at the inaugural Food Awards Scotland in September. It also got rave reviews from The Courier’s secret diners, gaining 48/50!
Panel View: Dundee’s reputation for good eating has been hugely enhanced by the arrival of the very classy Castlehill which has raised standards and awareness and very quickly made itself a benchmark of excellence in the city and beyond. The success, enthusiasm and sheer talent of such a youthful team bodes well for the place and for the discerning diners of Dundee.38. Stephen Leckie (new)His Year: Stephen Leckie is the high profile Chief Executive Officer of the Crieff Hydro Hotel Group which expanded in 2014 to take in Peebles Hydro and its sister hotel, The Park. A management deal with Freedom Hotels now takes the hotels under Stephen Leckie’s management to eight, including The Isles of Glencoe and The Oban Caledonian. He is also chair of Crieff Community Council, president of Perth Chamber of Commerce, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Perth & Kinross and chair of the Scottish Tourism Alliance. Crieff Hydro will also be featuring in a forthcoming series of Great Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo which was filmed this year.
Panel View: Tourism has rarely been more important to the economy of the nation, especially in a year when the eyes of the world have been on Scotland and visitors have flocked here from across the globe for two of the biggest sporting events of recent times north of the border. Stephen Leckie is a leader in his field, with a dynamic outlook and approach to making Scottish hospitality, already renowned, the best on offer wherever people choose to spend their time and money.37. Gary Robinson (new)His Year: The brainchild of Wave 102 presenter Gary Robinson and made by local film-maker/photographer Scott Sigsworth, a Happy Dundee video, based on Pharrell Williams’ hit song, went viral this year, with over 100,000 views on-line. Featuring famous faces including Lorraine Kelly, Lord Provost Bob Duncan and Oor Wullie, plus local Dundonians, it was shot at landmarks across the city to showcase the place and the fact that Dundee is apparently “the smiley-est city in Scotland.” Gary’s tussle with a snarky seagull also made headlines when the breakfast show host was dive-bombed on his way to work by a particularly aggressive bird, sustaining nasty injuries.
Panel View: Four minutes of exuberant fun, Happy Dundee captures the essence of an ever-changing city with its smiling face turned firmly towards the future. It’s a way to show what’s going on, capture a bit of real atmosphere and to let the global audience see what it’s all about on the streets of the City of Discovery. Seagulls not necessarily included, of course…36. Bradley Neil (96)His Year: In his 18th birthday year, 2014 was the best season of his career for young Bradley Neil who is also in contention for the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. The Blairgowrie teen had already achieved seven top 10 finishes before claiming the 119th Amateur Championship at Royal Portrush. He won one of the biggest titles in the game with a combination of skill, good form and calm under pressure. He was the first Scot in 10 years to lift the trophy and follows in the footsteps of players like Matteo Manassero and Sergio Garcia. His efforts earned him a place in the Open Championship at Hoylake, at the 2015 US Open and an invitation to the Masters.
He was also part of Scotland’s European Nations Cup-winning team and on the winning side for Great Britain & Ireland in the St Andrews Trophy. He rounded off his season by playing in the Junior Ryder Cup over his home course and earned a domestic awards double.
Panel View: A hugely promising young player, Bradley Neil is making a real impression at a high level and looks set to have the game and the temperament to take his career as far as he wants it to go. He is a real prospect for individual and team success in the near future.35. Rev Alberto de Paula (new)His Year: The Rev Alberto de Paula led an exodus of members from St James’ Church in Broughty Ferry to form the new Broughty Ferry Presbyterian Church. Originally from Brazil, Mr de Paula had been at St James’ for nine years but decided to leave the church, along with members of his congregation, due to what he called “a respectful disagreement” with the Kirk’s views on matters including homosexuality and humanism. Concern was also expressed at the long-term intention of Dundee Presbytery to have one or two ministers to serve Broughty’s four churches which it was claimed would leave the “growing and vibrant” congregation of St James’ without a designated minister. The breakaway church’s first Sunday service achieved standing room only with around 100 worshippers attending at temporary premises; the church now operates out of new premises in Brook Street.
Panel View: It is always a major event when a new church is brought into being and this move by the minister and members of St James’ highlighted not only the differences and disagreements currently being discussed at all levels of church management in Scotland but the strength of feeling amongst people and communities that they often feel is not being addressed or taken into account.34. Val McDermid (95)Her Year: Scotland’s own queen of crime came out with the winning vote to have her name attached to the new morgue facility at the University of Dundee, part of which is now known as The Val McDermid Mortuary of which she confesses herself “very proud.” She produced no fewer than three new books – her Jane Austen reboot, Northanger Abbey, crime novel The Skeleton Road and non-fiction Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime, a history of the subject with which she is now indelibly linked (thanks in part to her friend and fellow Courier 100 lister Professor Sue Black; No 49). Forensics was Radio 4’s Book of the Week, read by Val herself, and she maintains a busy schedule of events from Australia to Scottish local libraries. She was named a “National Treasure” in The Independent Rainbow List of influential gay and lesbian figures and added to her support of her beloved Raith Rovers by becoming shirt sponsor of the team for which her late dad, Jim, was a talent scout. She was also vocal in her support of the Yes campaign during the referendum debate. An episode of Radio Scotland’s Off the Ball was interrupted when a stalker, against whom a court judgement was given last year, attempted to ask a question.
Panel View: Val McDermid is one of the best known writers in the world with an international profile, a working class Scot who uses her name and influence to promote causes she believes in. A clever, witty and sharp observer of humanity, she is also a generous supporter of everything from football to forensic science.33. David Dorward (new)His Year: Dundee City Council chief executive David Dorward brought down the curtain on an impressive 43-year long career in public service when he announced his decision to retire.
One of the leading lights in Dundee’s economic and cultural renaissance, Mr Dorward began his career as an accountancy assistant with Perth & Kinross County Council in 1971.
He later served as depute director of finance with Tayside Region before becoming Dundee City Council’s finance chief.
In 2009, he took over the top job with responsibility for a £500 million budget and 6,000 full-time staff.
He has been instrumental in deliverin Dundee’s £1 billion waterfront regeneration project and his service to the region was recognised last month when he received the inaugural Outstanding Contribution prize at The Courier Business Awards.
Panel View: The panel agreed that Mr Dorward had made a huge contribution to life in east central Scotland. Courier Editor Richard Neville said Mr Dorward had been the lynchpin between civic Dundee and the business community and his energy and passion had effected real change in the city and the wider region.32. Mark and Kim Liddiard (new)Their Year: T in the Park is one of Scotland and the world’s most visible public festivals but plans to relocate it have met with resistance. The suitability of moving such a major operation from Balado to the Strathallan Estate has been questioned and sparked objections by a Perthshire couple who live adjacent to the festival’s new home. Mark and Kim Liddiard of North Mains Farm wrote to Scottish ministers asking for a review of the planning process which led to the organisers, D F Concerts, having to apply for full planning permission, including an environmental impact study and consultations with the public. T in the Park attracts around 90,000 revellers each year and is moving to the 1,000-acre estate in Perthshire after safety fears were raised about a pipeline at Balado. The Liddiards, along with other Strathallan residents, felt they had not been properly consulted and that the move could have a major impact on local wildlife (including bats, nesting ospreys, kites and wild salmon spawning on the Machany Water) and lead to road and transport chaos.
Panel View: Local concerns have led to a major re-think on the re-siting of one of the country’s major and most popular events and shows that local people with strong feelings and detailed arguments can indeed make a mark where decisions affecting their communities and amenity are concerned.31. David Paton (new)His Year: The Mo-Fest chairman has helped build Montrose Music Festival over the course of seven years into a major event. This year, it managed to attract rockers Status Quo, one of the biggest bands in the world who have recently re-invented their back catalogue with an acoustic take on their greatest hits. It was the first time the festival had hosted an outdoor event on this scale, attracting thousands of people – the May event usually brings in around 8,000 music fans and this year there were even more. There were 200 free gigs in 24 local venues and the town centre was cloSed to accommodate visitors.
Panel View: Since 2008, David Paton and his team have worked incredibly hard to put Montrose on the map and this year’s headliners (following in the footsteps of Toploader, Eddi Reader, Deacon Blue and The Proclaimers), definitely took the rock cake! They are a very enthusiastic and well-organised team and will already be working hard to top that for 2015 and introduce many more visitors to the delights of the Angus town and its hinterland, to benefit the whole community.30. Jenny Marra (new)Her Year:The Dundee-born Labour MSP for North East Scotland has risen to become the shadow minister for youth employment and deputy finance spokesperson but has had a good year as both the originator of a private member’s bill on human trafficking and as a name to reckon with for the future leadership of her party. Although she turned down the chance to stand as Scottish Labour leader in the wake of Johann Lamont’s shock resignation, hers was one of the first names in the frame for the post and for the deputy leadership before she firmly announced she had no intention of standing. She became co-chair of Jim Murphy’s leadership campaign, however and is in an interesting position as the party goes forward towards the General and Scottish Parliament elections in 2015 and 16. Her proposals to combat human trafficking in Scotland were given full effect and she commented: “Scotland will be a beacon to the world with these robust anti-trafficking laws once they are passed.”
Panel View: Jenny Marra is widely regarded as one to watch in the next few months and years and is already being highlighted as a potential big name for her party and country.29. Greg Drummond (new)His Year: In his Olympic debut, the 25-year-old from Forfar was part of the men’s team under skip David Murdoch that took curling silver at the Winter Olympics in Sochi this year. The team’s game of the tournament was a 6-5 playoff match to beat Norway, with a win against Sweden to guarantee a silver when Canada took the gold. Formerly of Forfar Young Curlers (FYC), he also received the Paul Harris Fellowship medal from Forfar Rotary Club and gives regular inspirational talks to schools and young people. He tweeted his support for the Union during the referendum campaign
Panel View: A silver medal in his first Olympics made it a memorable year for Greg Drummond, who is also passionate about promoting his sport to other young people he hopes will follow him onto the ice in years to come to keep up a proud record for Scotland in curling.28. Eve Muirhead (21)Her Year: Skip Eve and her rink went to Sochi as one of Team GB’s main medal hopes. Recovering from a slow start – and heart-breaking defeat to Canada in the semi-finals – she delivered the last stone in the bronze medal playoff to beat Switzerland. With Euro and World golds to her credit, Olympic gold next time round would complete the set in 2018! The team came back from the recent European Culring Championships with another bronze medal to their credit.
Panel View: Perthshire’s Eve Muirhead has become the face of Scottish curling and its image throughout the sporting world. She has shown true grit and determination to come back from difficult moments on the ice and is regarded as one of the modern era’s best sporting hopes as skip of Scotland and Team GB.27. Noah Duncan (15)His Year: Noah Duncan’s bravery in beating cancer not once but twice has continued to inspire. Since the 11-year-old from Rosyth was placed 15th in our Impact 100 list last year, he has become only the third youngster in Scotland since 1958 to receive Scouting’s answer to the Victoria Cross and was personally congratulated by Chief Scout Bear Grylls when he won the Cornwell Scout Badge.
This honoured his courage in coping with gruelling treatment and the loss of his left eye to the disease, as well as the way he turned his ordeal into a positive means of helping others through work with Cancer Research UK, Clic Sargent and running junior marathons. His mum Brenda told his story to encourage walkers on Scotland’s first March on Cancer event, part of the Stand Up to Cancer Campaign.
Panel View: Stories like Noah’s are an inspiration to everyone, not only youngsters suffering from the same disease but to everyone, adult or child, able-bodied or not, who can help to raise money and awareness to fight the scourge of cancer. He is an example to us all.26. Dr Jacob George (new)His Year: Dr Jacob George, senior clinical lecturer in clinical pharmacology and acute medicine at the University of Dundee Medical School, is the lead researcher on a study looking at soluble drugs and their potentially detrimental health effects due to their high salt content. The researchers looked at almost 1.3 million people over a period of seven years. Soluble drugs are necessary for those who have difficulty in swallowing tablets but so that people can be as informed as possible as to how much salt, if any, is in the drug they are taking, Dr George recommended that the salt content be put on the labelling.
Panel View: This is a study that could impact on the lives of literally millions of people across the world who take soluble drugs to treat a wide range of conditions. A change in labelling is a hugely important step in keeping people up to date about exactly what it is they are taking and in adding to our knowledge of what goes into the tablets we take, sometimes on a daily basis.