The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Pilot Polly pops in at Glasgow Prestwick airport

Record-breaking pilot Polly Vacher MBE stopped at Glasgow Prestwick Airport on Tuesday on the second day of her Wings Around Britain challenge.

A reception was held in the airport’s Aviator Suite where Polly and Pauline Gallagher, her passenger for the Glasgow to Prestwick leg of the trip, met chief executive Mark Rodwell and members of the Prestwick branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

She told them: “It’s great to be back in Scotland, I love it here and I’m really excited about this new challenge, especially as I will get to visit so many different parts of the UK, meet lots of amazing people and hopefully achieve my goals at the same time.”

Polly is attempting to land at more than 200 UK airfields in Golf November, her single engine Dakota Piper aircraft, between May 21 and July 31 to support and promote the Flying Scholarships for the Disabled scheme, which was founded in 1983.

A disabled person will accompany Polly on each sector of the trip whenever possible. Yesterday’s companion Pauline, 30, is an Air Cadets Flying Officer from Greenock and suffers from cerebral palsy.

Polly is also hoping the trip will raise the profile of her book Wings Around The World, the proceeds from which go to Flying Scholarships for the Disabled.

Prestwick chief executive Mark Rodwell received a certificate from Polly to recognise the airport’s part in helping the challenge by hosting the reception and waiving the landing and navigation charges for Golf November. 

He then purchased a copy of Wings Around The World and had it signed by Polly before she set off again.

Mark commented: “It’s amazing what Polly is doing and it was a pleasure to meet her. She has the full support of everyone here at Glasgow Prestwick and, I’m sure, everyone in the aviation community.”

Polly, who is past retirement age and lives in Oxfordshire, learned to fly with her husband Peter in Australia in 1994.

She later became the first woman to fly solo over the North Pole in a single engine aircraft, the first woman to fly solo in the Antarctica in a single engine aircraft and the first woman to fly solo around the world landing on all seven continents.

After leaving Birmingham Airport on Monday, Polly flew north to the Isle of Man and then Glasgow.

The short flight to Prestwick was made early on Tuesday afternoon. Following the reception, Polly headed for Campbelltown and then on to Gigha.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Game On at Ayr College

COMPUTER buffs with a passion for gaming will be able to merge entertainment and education this coming September when Ayr College opens the doors for its new Higher National Certificate in Computer Games Development.

(Picture shows: Ayr College’s Computer Games Development Course Leader Jim Scullion.)

The HNC in Computer Games Development has been created as a direct result of the industry’s demands for skilled staff and each module reflects the increasing employment opportunities available within the industry. Modules range from 3D Modelling & Animation, Human Computer Interaction, Games Design and Programming and a Computer Games Development Practical Project.

Jim Scullion, Ayr College’s Computer Games Development Course Leader, comments: “Scotland employs over 500 professionals in the computer games market, generating an annual turnover of £20 million and producing world famous titles such as the Grand Theft Auto series, Lemmings and Harry Potter.

“With the creative industries forecasted to grow by 10% per annum, the industry in Scotland is screaming out for more fresh talent - Ayr College wants to respond to this demand by training the game developers of the future, keeping Scotland at the top of the charts in this lucrative field.”

The new HNC in Computer Games Development addresses the lack of a Higher National Certificate in the gaming field. A qualification at this foundational level will provide students with a new route to employment, as well as expanding opportunities to progress to the HND in Software Development at Ayr College or access to the second year of a Games Development degree course at University.

The students can also use the transferable skills gained on the course to branch out into other technological areas such as healthcare, medicine, the military, business and management disciplines.

For more information on the HNC in Computer Games Development course or any other qualification available at Ayr College please call 01292 265184 or email