June 2, 2012 by Grace Franklin
Summer has started. The Govan Fair has been! The splendid spectacle of a grand procession following the newly crowned Govan Fair Queen through the Burgh, is still as winning a formula as you can imagine. And in other parts of Glasgow similar events will be taking place. Though, it has to be said, none will be as old as the Govan Fair which dates back to 1756 when it was started by the local weavers’ Guild. The fact that Glasgow’s West End Festival cannot afford a grand parade this year, is a striking outcome of the current economic situation.
Local people who value their heritage and traditions can still make things happen even if there isn’t too much cash. Govan Fair organising committee, led by the amazing Dot Courtney, have produced the event on the inevitable shoe-string. Others around the city are having to do the same. But it doesn’t spoil the day, simply gives the organisers bigger headaches.
What is clear is that while people have a happy time celebrating there are folk round the corner being hustled away by the UK Borders Agency and forcibly removed to countries they don’t come from to ensure ‘targets’ for ‘removal’ of ‘failed’ asylum seekers are met. It is interesting to speculate what the Weavers of old would have made of that situation.