Torrance, East Dunbartonshire
|Scottish Gaelic: An Toran|
Torrance shown within East Dunbartonshire
|Population||2,480 (2001 census) est. 4000 (2008)|
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||East Dunbartonshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||East Dunbartonshire|
|Scottish Parliament||Strathkelvin and Bearsden|
Torrance is a village in East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, located 8 miles (13 km) north of the Glasgow city centre, the name of which comes from the Gaelic An Toran which means 'under the hills'. Torrance used to mainly consist of farmland, but in 2001 had a population of 2,480 and this is expected to have increased in the 2011 census. The village was once famous as a resting place for workers on their way to the Campsie Fells 4 miles (6.4 km) north. The Forth and Clyde Canal has a wharf in the village, and the A803 runs along its southern edge. The village has an active community charity whose aims are to improve the village facilities.
The village of Torrance is located in 'The Eleven Ploughs of Balgrochan'. The 'Eleven Ploughlands' are part of the estate of the Grahams of Mugdock, which had been feued in 1630 to local occupiers by the Marquess of Montrose. The feuars, originally holding their land unenclosed, each received an enclosed piece of land in 1735, as was common at the time. The village of Torrance developed some time later.
For several years, the canal wharf at Hungryside was Torrance's main connection with the outside world. However, this began to change in 1879 with the opening of a train station by the Kelvin Valley Railway Company.
Torrance offers local amenities to its residents including one hairdresser,one beauty salon, tennis courts, health centre, mechanics, garden centre, bakery, a post office, chemist, Chinese takeaway and newsagents not to mention the large and new Torrance Church of Scotland  at the foot of School Road and St. Dominic's RC Church at the top. The local SCOTMID won Milk Retailer of the Year in 2005.
Torrance has three pubs; the Wheatsheaf Inn, the Torrance Inn and the Village Inn with another bar in the bowling club.
The surrounding East Dunbartonshire area is also an affluent area with many new leisure facilities. East Dunbartonshire was voted the second best district in Scotland to reside in during 2007. Torrance had, for many years, an irregular once an hour bus service into Glasgow. However, on the 10th of June 2011 it was announced the community would benefit from better transport links. As it was, SPT operated a once an hour service, however, from the 19th of June an additional First service (27A) would operate 7 days a week at once an hour intervals. It will operate at around 25 minutes past the hour with extra journeys at peak times. First Glasgow have withdrawn their Service X86 from Torrance which operated twice daily, each way.
Torrance Primary School
The village is the location of Torrance Primary School which has around 250 pupils. It has three pitches, one of them is rock, another red ash and another which is ash. Primary 7 pupils transfer onto Boclair Academy in the nearby Bearsden.
Torrance Community Initiative is a registered charity aiming to provide new custom-built community facilities in the village.
The land held in "trust" by Torrance Community Initiative for the benefit of the community is a 10-acre (40,000 m2) site. Unfortunately the planning permission granted in 1977 for a multi-use clubhouse for the former land owners - a boys' club, was never brought to fruition. The land was designated as Green Belt in the 1990s, although it forms an intrusion between two parts of the village and most people believed it was simply Greenfield, where legal restrictions on development are less severe. When people learned it was Green Belt, this became an emotive issue and the basis of the campaign against development.
Currently football can be played by youngsters on the grass pitch which is maintained by the council. The other main users are dog walkers, children playing etc. Torrance has some lovely areas of countryside to explore and allows for a huge and varied amount of wildlife to thrive. This land owned by the community has a moderate biodiversity as evidenced by recent surveys for bats and trees. The argument therefore is whether the loss of some open space with this ecological status outweighs a limited development for the benefit of the community. Some in the community see a greater community benefit by not building on it, while others are supportive of building. The Torrance Community Initiative is committed to the preservation of green belt, but believes the community would be better served from using some of the land for a custom-built centre, funded by building a limited number of houses. While the council initially were supported the aims of TCI in the believe that the village wanted a new centre, it withdrew that support following a campaign against TCI's proposals.
The draft of the new Local Plan has removed any reference to a review of leisure facilities and states that people in Torrance do not want a new community centre. Since then the council has proposed the closure or community take-over of the larger of the two halls. Neither community hall is listed and both suffer from neglect and lack of resources over many decades. East Dunbartonshire Council said that they will not build a new centre nor upgrade the existing ones. However, a council official agreed that anything was possible and that potentially they could be upgraded. The local hall has, in fact, been purchased from East Dunbartonshire Council by the community and is now run by The Caldwell Halls Trust, a group consisting of local residents. The Trust has embarked on a plan to upgrade the hall and so far has installed new windows, decorated the interior of the main hall, installed new vestibule doors and new lighting in the main hall. Meanwhile the football team has ceased to play matches on the pitch as regulations require running water and electricity to be provided, but a local resident now runs 2 boys teams who play and train on the park.
Outline planning for the new community facilities was rejected by East Dunbartonshire council in May 2008. This included the residential development of 20–40 houses to fund for the community facilities on a 9.8-acre (40,000 m2) site held in trust for the community by the Torrance Community Initiative. Reasons for rejection were that the land is designated greenbelt and the council had not yet done a long overdue review of current facilities as identified in the Local Plan.
Torrance is a relatively safe area. Little crime occurs. On Thursday the 9th of June 2011 CCTV Cameras were placed around the Main Street along with signage claiming Mobile CCTV is also in operation. There are several Neighbourhood Watch schemes in the area.
Torrance is part of Ward 5 (known as Bishopbriggs North and Torrance) within East Dunbartonshire Council and is represented by three local councillors whose term of office will end in 2012.
- Billy Hendry from the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
- Anne McNair from the Scottish National Party
- Una Walker from the Scottish Labour Party
- Award winning voice over artist and actor Lewis MacLeod.
- Musician Tommy Reilly
- George Pirie (artist)
- Norman Pirie, biochemist
- Sally Magnusson, broadcaster
- Arthur Montford, sports broadcaster
- Torrance web
- Torrance Community Initiative
- First Glasgow Torrance Timetables -Timetable Information for Torrance to Glasgow services.
- Scotland's Census Results Online Accessed on 18 April 2011
- "History of Torrance". TorranceWeb. TorranceWeb. Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- Torrance Parish Church
- St Patrick's Index
- Torrance Community Initiative Accessed on 18th April 2011
- Bendoris, Matt. The Sun (London) http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/scotlandfeatures/3186027/Impressionist-Lewis-MacLeod-They-love-love-me-doing-Macca.html
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