The Advertiser has just drawn my attention to some silly poll running Alloa down. This poll is mean-spirited. And I reject it.
To counteract it, me and my team knocked together a quick list of things I most admire in Alloa. Let me know what your own favourites are. Perhaps we could make our own list of great things in this town.
1. The shopkeepers.
I love hitting the High Street at lunchtime as do my team. The fresh food and good chat at Cafe Enjoy and the Sandwich Club always provide the goods. The great pair at Syriana bring gorgeous food from Syria to Alloa in the evenings, at fair prices. And of course there’s the amazing Anna’s Larder, a fixture at the heart of the town. These shops are all Alloa institutions, the produce is outstanding.
2. The charitable community
There is an incredible sense of solidarity in Alloa. None of us are blind to the difficulties that poverty, isolation and ill health can bring. But as severe as these challenges are, there are many good people here who devote their time to helping their neighbours. The Wee County Veterans, for example, bring veterans together to socialise. And the Men’s Shed do outstanding work in the community – as well as being a source of great company and endless crack for any visitor. And then there’s Jayne Linfield who works between Morrisons supermarket and Wasps community club, supporting foodbanks and young football players alike. They all contribute, and all deserve our gratitude.
3. The Ochils.
The Ochils look great from any perspective.
4 The really superb public art.
Alloa got in early when it came to the artwork of Andy Scott. He made all six of the remarkable roundabout sculptures in and around Alloa, before going on to be commissioned for huge projects such as the Kelpies. They’re brilliant, and an asset to the town.
5. The pubs.
The wider Alloa area has a bevvy of good options to enjoy a pint or glass in Alloa. I recently stopped at the Mansfield Arms (I know, I know, its properly in Sauchie. But still…) for a pint of their home brew ale to help them celebrate being named finest pub in the Wee County. We all have our preferred spots for a wee tincture. But in any of them, we can raise a drink to this fine town.