Westburn Village Voices: Ian Whiteford

Photograph by Raymond Keith

Photograph by Raymond Keith

Village Voices’, a portrait of Westburn contains photographs by local photographer Raymond Keith and interviews by Digital Sentinel reporter Craig Tyrie. The photos and stories are of people who live in Westburn celebrating the variety of community life there.

The exhibition was supported by Westburn Village Neighbourhood Council, Prospect Community Housing and WHALE Arts Agency.

Below are the photographs and interview with Ian Whiteford who speaks about his involvement in the Edinburgh Lions Club and the Park and Drive Community Centre.

You can listen to the interview with Ian here:

Photograph by Raymond Keith

Photograph by Raymond Keith

If you are unable to listen to the interview here is a transcript of what was said:

My name is Ian Whiteford. I’m a charity worker for the Lions Club International. I’ve done a lot of things for charity and we have raised a lot of money with all the different kinds of events that we do.

How long have you lived in Westburn?

I’ve been in Wester Hailes for over forty years and I’ve been in Westburn for eighteen years, well nineteen years and a bit.

What’s your favourite thing about living in Westburn?

Everything. I like, I’ve no got anything against Westburn. Like I say I get on well with everybody.

Were you involved with any of the community events that there used to be?

Well I used to do the Wester Hailes Park and Drive Community Centre, before it got burned down. I helped run that.

What sort of stuff did you do?

From disco to bingo, you name it we done it. We had a lot of meetings in there. We done a lot. I can remember all the good stories in Wester Hailes.

So you are involved with the Lions?

I get involved with that. We do a lot of stuff to help raise money for different charities. We have over 200… 220 branches all over the world. We do a lot of things. We done something for Malawi. They didn’t have a library, so we built a library and they were short of books so we sent over 20,000 books to Malawi to help open up the library.

We supported a girl she was away doing a project or something and she was short of money and they sent us a letter, so we sent some money over to help her to go to where she wanted to go.

How long have you been involved with the Lions?

I’ve been there for eight years now.

Is there any sort of good events or things you’ve been to with the Lions Club?

Everything’s all good to me. As long as its making money for the charity I’m not bothered. I’ve supported quite a few of them with all the events I’ve done. I’ve helped the Royal Blind, the diabetes, Marie Curie, we help with a lot of types of cancer. I’m proud of everything I do.

I dress as a Lion. I’m a mascot for the Lions Club. Its only certain events I do you know, Leith Links, Dalrie or Corstorphine. Those three I used to do for the Lions CLub dressed as a lion. I don’t just do it in the same place it’s all different things I do. I’ll say ‘Give me another ten, fifteen minutes then give me a breather to take my hat off,’ because it can be very hot. It can be sweltering like anything. I say god almighty I can breathe now *laughing* but I don’t mind doing it. It keeps me I’m proud of what I do as long as the bairns are happy. I’ve seen some of them greeting maybe come out of their buggie and they say ‘oh my god’ they think I’m horrible but after they calm down a bit and come to talk to me. Some of those bairns go to my tail round the back and start pulling it!

Thanks for listening or reading this Village Voices you can find the other interviews and photos here.

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