Town name change in the offing to attract more tourists

                             Drumtartan, a jewel in the crown of Scottish tourism.

By Liam O’Heanai

West Dunbartonshire Council will consider a motion this week to officially change the name of the town to Drumtartan.

The Scottish Tourist Board is helping to finance the initiative, which could lead to Dumbarton joining towns such as St Andrews, Helensburgh and Oban in a 21st century drive to double the number of visitors to Scotland.

Loch Lomond is already, along with Edinburgh, one of the jewels in the crown of the tourism industry, attracting 5 million visitors every summer.

And Dumbarton Castle is slowly establishing itself in the top ten of the most popular places to visit.

In order to qualify for the huge Scottish Government grants available, West Dunbartonshire’s councillors have been told they will have to wear the kilt at all times.

Residents too will be asked to wear kilts on high days and holidays.

An Alexandria company which specialises in the design of new tartans has been asked to come up with one for Drumtartan in which black and gold, the colours of Dumbarton FC will predominate.

It has been suggested that the title of the Council leader will also be changed to Heid Bummer and that all schools will add Gaelic to the curriculum.

The Provost and bailies have been instructed to wear their ermine-collared, ankle-length velvet robes to keep their legs warm during long meetings in the freezing Burgh Hall in Church Street, which was recently refurbished at the astonishing cost of £15 million and counting.

Still counting, but can’t convert that to the new Scottish currency.

Council staff have been asked if they can help out on the day by cleaning the toilets and bringing in their own towels and toilet paper lest any of the VIPs attending meetings there are caught short during their visit.

They have been told that tea bags (preferably from M&S) and Nescafe from Farmfoods in the High Street (a ploy to increase footfall there) would be welcome to help entertain the VIPs and top up the beverages stock in the canteen.

Biscuits nor cakes will be allowed and beverages are barred from the council chamber itself on anti-obesity grounds.

The new Health and Social Care Partnership are determined that this edict will be strictly adhered to.

One suggestion that the cash-strapped council should nip across the road to St Augustine’s church and put the arm on the Rev Kenny Macaulay in the Food4Thought food bank for the occasional cup of sugar was dismissed out of hand.

Piped bagpipe music will be played constantly in the Council Chamber since it has been decided it will be preferable to the droning voices of councillors attempting to make speeches during the likes of the recent Budget meeting.

A soloist will be invited to volunteer to sing Dumbarton’s Drums, the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, Beautiful Vale and Come All Ye Bankies.

The new Chuckle Brothers, Councillors Jonathan McColl and Ian Dickson, will do a comedy turn and Cllrs Karen Conaghan, Marie McNair and Caroline McAllister will dance Gilbert and Sullivan’s Three Little Maids from Schools.

On the day of the Tourist Board visit, all the streets in Dumbarton will be officially closed at the Bonhill Road rail bridge and Castle Street.

The traffic coming into the town will be diverted from Bellsmyre roundabout along the scenic route of the A82 Loch Lomondside road over Blackhill, through Helensburgh and Cardross and back to Church Street.

“It won’t be as bad as last time we diverted traffic round the town and sent confused drivers on a 50-mile mystery tour,” said a Council spokesperson.

Council officers have been told to keep spaces for the Tourist Board cars in the car park behind the Burgh Hall and to ensure that no members of the public take up vital spaces.

The Fire Brigade who have been running a car wash there to raise funds for the austerity blighted council have been told to take the day off.

Media releases about the visit have been prepared for the large contingent of journalists who will be covering the visit and the meeting.

However, only those writing and taking photographs for news organisations which are members of IPSO or some similar quango will be allowed into the chamber.

And none of them, most definitely none of them, will be permitted any interviews with the Provost on penalty of being ejected out into the landing.

Instructions have gone out from his SNP bosses that he is to be kept well away from the media.

Opera glasses will be left on a side table to allow the journalists to read the names of the councillors and officials on the tiny ID plates in front of them.

Officials and members of the council are to be given tutorials on how to use a microphone before the big day.

And the chamber will be set up so that the main body of members and officials will be sitting with their backs to the press and public.

It has yet to be decided whether it will be the members and officials themselves who will wipe the white Formica-topped tables before the meeting.

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