As the sun rose on the morning of January 1, 2023, who knew what an eventful year lay ahead of me, both personally and professionally?

Cup finals, chats with movie stars from my favourite films, fiery budget meetings, litter-picking dogs, partying in a whisky distillery and electric go-karts, a more random bag of content you’d be hard-pressed to find, and one you don’t get sitting in an office.

Going into your second year in the journalism industry is a bit of an odd feeling. Year one, you are fresh-faced, eager, not yet hardened by the realities of local journalism and the challenges that come with the sector.

You also get a sense of de ja vu, with the progression through the year bringing up the same occasions to mark and often, similar people to help tell their story and to give a voice to.

So, it was with a sense of renewed joy that I kicked off the new year speaking to keen cyclist David Maxwell, who opened his new bike shop DM’s Cycles and Repairs on the site of a former tattoo parlour in Alexander Street.

Clydebank Post: David wanted to start his dream bnusiness before 40David wanted to start his dream bnusiness before 40 (Image: Stock)

Clydebank Post: The smash caused both road and rail delaysThe smash caused both road and rail delays (Image: Stock)

Any look back at the news in Clydebank from the previous 12 months would be missing something if it didn’t include the annual truck crashing into the Kilbowie Bridge, a lorry getting stuck just before noon on the first day of February.

A smaller type of vehicle was up next for me, this time taking to the track to try out the town’s new electric go-karts at ScotKart.

I was granted a behind-the-scenes look at the new look Teamsport Clydebank, fresh off the back of a £250,000 revamp.

Gone were the old noisy petrol karts for new electric ones, and I was kindly given a 30-minute first-try tack session against staff at the popular entertainment site.

I learned, to the dent of my pride, not to try and overtake at 40mph on a hairpin bend.

One thing many won’t know about me as I have played amateur football on a Saturday morning all my days.

However, as father time continues to tick on, I’ve hung up the early morning boots for Friday night football in the form of the ever-growing over-35s league.

I sensed my story wasn’t too dissimilar to that of many of the new Clydebank over-35s outfit, run by teacher Kevin Gallagher.

Clydebank Post: Not a bad first season for the 35sNot a bad first season for the 35s (Image: Stock)

The team finished seventh at the end of September in their first season in the summer league.

A story that ended up getting picked up by bigger titles across Scotland was when I met Trinny, the litter-cleaning dog from the area.

Trinny’s owner Alanna Jackson went viral on social media when she started posting videos of her Border Collie cleaning up Clydebank.

April began with locals to Clydebank High feeling like fools after being awoken at 5am by the sound of a “non-stop” alarm coming from the school.

I ventured out to knock on doors along Durban Avenue to find out just how bad the sound had become, with one resident telling me they had been “plagued” by the noise for a week.

The council managed to identify the alarm and disconnect it.

April also saw the town’s football club reach a cup final for the first time in six years.

The Bankies faced off against Auchinleck Talbot in the Indigo Unified Communications West of Scotland Cup Final in Irvine at the end of the month and fans travelled in their droves to support the team.

I joined them and (sorry Bankies) after an early missed penalty, Clydebank went down 2-0.

Around this time of the year, we at the Clydebank Post began working closer with reporters at our sister title the Glasgow Times, with us all moving into one office and becoming effectively, one newsroom and one team.

This gave me the chance to share one of my favourite articles from 2023 with not only the Post buyers but with Glasgow Times readers as well.

Who knew we had a man who, not only was picked to represent an amateur football select team at the tender age of 49 but was also an international superstar DJ as well.

Clydebank Post: David is living life as he performs around the worldDavid is living life as he performs around the world (Image: Stock)

David Forbes started playing for Drumchapel Amateurs in 1988 and through the years had split his time between taking to the pitch on a muddy park in Glasgow and entertaining the masses in places like LA, Argentina, London and Australia.

DJ Forbes had racked up over 1000 games for the Drum team and thousands more air miles to boot.

I then got speaking exclusively to another man in the arts, one of Clydebank’s favourite sons, James Cosmo.

As a boy, Braveheart was never off the TV and, apart from Mel Gibson’s infamous Scottish accent belting out the war cry, Cosmo’s performance as Hamish’s dad in the film was always a highlight for me.

So, there was a bit of fanboy about me as I spoke to Cosmo about his Clydebank schooldays and his newly launched whisky.

Clydebank Post: Braveheart was a constant in my house growing upBraveheart was a constant in my house growing up (Image: Stock)

The warm side of this job, particularly with a local paper, is that you do have some semblance of power to help residents in the region.

This happened to me on three occasions throughout July and August.

One of the quirkiest stories from the year was when a Drumchapel resident contacted me about wonky road markings.

Glasgow City Council painters had left the streets in an “embarrassing” state but not long after I wrote about them, the squinty lines were fixed.

Clydebank Post: The road markins in DrumchapelThe road markins in Drumchapel (Image: Stock)

It was a similar case with Clydebank resident Evelyn O’Donnell, who couldn’t use her disabled parking space outside her home because CityFibre contractors had dumped sand in the bay. 

Not long after, the sand was gone, with CityFibre even gifting Evelyn flowers and chocolate by way of an apology.

Clydebank Post: To be fair to CityFibre, they gave Evelyn some flowers and chocolateTo be fair to CityFibre, they gave Evelyn some flowers and chocolate (Image: Stock)

And who could forget 91-year-old Cecil McMonigle, who hadn’t had his hedge cut all summer, a service he was due thanks to the council's Care of Garden Scheme.

Cecil reached out a few weeks later to say his hedge had been trimmed.

Clydebank Post: Cecil wanted the council to come fix his hedgeCecil wanted the council to come fix his hedge (Image: Stock)

Later that month, Barry Twigg-Adair and his husband spoke to me from an airport in Gran Canaria where they had been stuck for days due to the air traffic chaos that crippled UK flights for a week.

In October, I reported on the continued success of Clydebank’s well-known boat chippy McMonagles, fresh after taking home the Best Takeaway Restaurant in Scotland at the takeaway awards for the second year in a row.

And just as the festive season was creeping ever near, a story that went wild in the area was two Clydebank youngsters launching their own influencer modelling business.

Yes, Aaliyah Tausney, 19, and Kanesly Tait, 21, started NovaUK, and you as readers loved it, with tens of thousands clicking on the article.

A breathtaking year, topped off with plenty of festive awards for youngsters around the community with their Christmas card designs.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all in the community, here’s to more of the same in 2024.