There is sweet music coming from Govanhill Baths.
A baby grand piano is now in the foyer thanks to Play me I’m Yours charity and GBart – the Baths’ own art group. And it will be played soon – on Wednesday 12 February at 7.30pm – by Dave Anderson, Louise Cairns, Aislin Quinn, Tom Urie, Peter Shand and others. Donation at the door to hear them make music on this dream instrument which will remain indefinitely in the building.
This is just one event in a year of celebration. The foundation stone was laid in 1914 and the place opened three years later.
The Toddlers’ /Training pool is being refurbished and is expected to be ready for use by Monday 24 February for the ‘Wee Splash.’ At that point, the dream of many people in Govanhill to ‘swim again in Govanhill Baths’ will come true – to one third of the way.
The other two pools will take a bit longer to come into use again. But in time, through a three phase, development, programme, they too will be available and everyone will be able to ‘swim again’ in what will be a Wellbeing Centre. The Centre is being shaped within the Edwardian Baths which were closed more than ten years ago by Glasgow City Council to the great surprise and anger of the local community.
Since then, a vocal and active group of people has championed the re-opening of the place as a health and well-being centre. And that is happening. Formed as a Trust and as Friends of the Govanhill Baths the supporters have appointed an administrator – Jim Monaghan – and promoted a programme of events to encourage more and more people to come in and see how the plans are developing and the space is being used. So drop in on Wednesday 12 February at 7.30pm and hear for yourself the new sounds coming from the Govanhill Baths.
The shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde could remain but at the loss of Fairfield, Govan as a shipbuilding yard.
That was part of the message today from Charlie Blakemore, Director of Transformation at BAE Systems which operates yards at Govan and Scotstoun.
The company is currently exploring two options:
1 – to continue to build warships at both yards which are across the river from each other, with improvements to do so costing £100 million.
2 – transform Scotstoun yard into a world class, covered, single site, shipbuilding centre at a cost of £200 million.
Clearly favouring the Scotstoun option, Charlie Blakemore said: ‘Both sites badly need investment. We lease Govan from Clyde Port Authority but we own Scotstoun and it has the footprint to create an acceptable and safe working environment.’
He also emphasised that with option 1, partly built ships would have to be ferried from one yard to the other costing more and adding about one third to the time of any project. But two vessels could be under construction simultaneously at a new Scotstoun.
Showing a video prospectus for future workers at BAE Systems – as expressed by present workers – Mr Blakemore said: ‘ This is a really exciting time for us. This journey started two or three years ago and we want it to take us to into world class capability.’
The video illustrated how improved working conditions and procedures – such as video conferencing, creche provision, modern offices and visualisation of the ship on the stocks – improved the employee’s working conditions. He said: ‘No one was press ganged into saying what they said.’ He added: ‘We have got to make the Type 26 frigates affordable.’
Right now BAE Systems is working on the design of Type 26 ‘global combat ships.’ A four year assessment phase stared in March 2010, is ‘making excellent progress,’ said a Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson. ’A main investment decision is expected to be made by the middle of the decade (around 2015) when the number of vessels will be decided. It is assumed that around 13 will be needed for service in the 2020s to replace the current Type 23 frigates.’
Last year BAE Systems announced it would close its shipbuilding facilities in Portsmouth to concentrate its production on the Clyde. Apart from the loss of more than 800 jobs in Portsmouth and its heritage of hundreds of years of shipbuilding, there will be the loss of around 800 jobs in Glasgow’s BAE yards as current work is signed off.
However, Mr Blakemore pointed out that 1000 workers will still be employed in the two Clyde yards until the MoD decision is made. ‘The shipbuilding heritage of the Clyde is one of the core strengths of this business,’ he said. ‘Govan workers and skills could still be employed at Scotstoun and people can still be proud of Clydebuilt and all it stands for.’
Local MSP Nicola Sturgeon welcomed BAE’s commitment to the Clyde and investment in Scotstoun, but expressed concern about the threat to Govan. She said: ‘As a Glasgow MSP who used to represent Govan shipyard, I very much hope that a two yard option can be the way forward.’ But she used the issue to take a swipe at Referendum ‘No’ Campaigners: ‘The No camp said a Yes vote threatened Govan, but the fact is that a plan for Govan yard’s closure is happening now – on Westminster’s watch.’
Lunch at the Shed is worth having this weekend and next (Feb 1& 2 and Feb 8 & 9) for you can have ‘Cocktails for Two’ included in your entry to the Southside venue.
This delightful show tells the story of Cole Porter through more than a dozen of his songs.
Acted and sung by Noreen Boyle and Chris McLaughlin, it brought the style of the times and the meaning of the words into 2014. Their voices blended beautifully. Their on-stage chemistry brought home the poignancy of love.
Interestingly, several people in the audience who were born long after the Cole Porter years, said they didn’t think they’d know any of the songs. Afterwards they told how they found themselves singing the words. So guess whose music will be downloaded as soon as they get home!
‘Cocktails’ at The Shed on Langside Avenue is light on the pocket and uplifting to the spirit. It was written and directed by Isobel Barrett who is working hard with The Shed owners to extend the famous building’s use from just a weekend nightclub. Isobel has other shows lined up so email her at: email@example.com for details. It’s worth getting on her ‘A’ list as the venue is ‘intimate.’ As she said herself: ‘These lunchtime shows are a way for different artistes to showcase their skills.’
The venue is at top of the former Marlborough suites known from the 1920s as ‘the’ place to have a function on the Southside of Glasgow. A lift takes today’s visitors up without question. The interior has amazing murals of Glasgow city buildings created by artist Adrian McMurchie which are a joy to the eye as you sip your polystyrene cup of instant coffee waiting on ‘Cocktails for Two’ to arrive.
Scots – Chinese artist Frank To will have the first exhibition of his abstract paintings in Glasgow on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 February in the ALEA casino at Springfield Quay.
Entitled ‘Afterglow’ it is part of the casino’s Chinese New Year celebrations.
Glasgow-based, Frank has a growing international reputation as a leading contemporary figurative painter having exhibited alongside renowned international artists such as Banksy, Jimmy Choo and Antony Gormley. He already has work in the collection of DundeeUniversity.
Said Frank: ‘Although I’m better known as a figurative painter, it was my abstracts which originally caught the attention of collectors of my work, including Sir Patrick Stewart and Deloitte.
‘My abstracts are typically large scale and there is a distinct oriental influence in the use of elements such as fire and water and the deployment of bold and broad brush strokes. I inherited this from my mother, an accomplished painter of Chinese calligraphy. She taught me Chinese calligraphy and I still use many of these techniques and materials in my abstracts.’
Paul Rety, managing director at Alea Glasgow, added: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Frank, a leading local contemporary artist, to play a key part in our Chinese New Year celebrations through this exhibition – which is the first art exhibition we’ve had. We want to show our gratitude for the support we receive from the local Chinese community by pulling out all the stops to make this year’s celebrations bigger and better than ever!’
Frank’s ‘Afterglow’ exhibition will be on show in the casino’s Face-to-Face function room from 6.30pm both evenings. It is open to anyone over 18, though the casino operates a Challenge 25 policy – meaning a person could be challenged to prove they are over 18.
With six months to go to the Commonwealth Games, protesters will continue their challenge to drop Atos as a Games sponsor. The French company’s IT wing is responsible for all the information technology connected to the games, especially the delivery of the results.
But the Atos health care company is the one which causes concern. It has won a multi million pound contract from the UK Government’s Department of Work and Pensions to screen people on benefits and decide who is fit to work.
According to a Westminster Parliamentary reply in 2013, more than 2200 people in the UK had died before their Atos assessment had been completed. Some were terminally ill, others committed suicide.
Said Anti-Atos protesters’ spokesman, Sean Clerkin: ‘We consider Atos is unfit to be a sponsor of the Games. It is targetting the poor and vulnerable who are really suffering. Ours is a moral campaign. We will continue to bring this to the notice of other sponsors and ask them if they really want their company to be tarred with the same brush.’
The protesters have systematically challenged sponsors of the 2014 Commonwealth Games to disassociate themselves with Atos by dropping that company as a sponsor. One of the most recent to be approached was lawyers Harper Macleod. (see photograph below)
A large number of people are being wrongly evicted for rent arrears when part of their arrears has been bedroom tax.
In the first case of its kind in Scotland, a tenant in Glasgow was saved from eviction last week, thanks to overlooked legislation.
It took an ordinary member of the public and a community minded lawyer to bring this scandal to the notice of Glasgow Sheriff Court.
An average of 150 people a week are now being ‘ejected’ – the court term for eviction – because social landlords take them to court for non-payment of rent.
This number has risen dramatically since the bedroom tax has kicked in.
Accountant Theresa Stirling, who has been studying this area of law, was in Glasgow Sheriff Court recently to offer help to people about to be evicted. She said: “One tenant clearly did not understand what the Sheriff meant when he told her she would be ‘ejected.’ The lady – who has a teenage granddaughter living with her – told him that she was paying off her arrears. And then she asked him: ‘Do I get to keep my house, now?’ This highlighted to me she did not understand what the Sheriff was saying because she certainly would not be keeping her house if she was ejected.’’
At this point Theresa jumped up from her seat in the public gallery and persuaded the Sheriff to re-look at the case. “By law, a person paying money towards a debt of arrears should not be in the eviction process, far less have a decree granted against them,” said Theresa.
She found lawyer John Flanagan willing to take on the case.
When he investigated the tenant’s situation he found several reasons to stop eviction. He said:‘I was able to show that eviction should not go ahead because part of the tenant’s arrears was caused by the bedroom tax and as this particular person had been a tenant in the property since 1996 her Housing Benefit should not have been cut for under-occupancy of a spare bedroom. There is legislation which says that tenants in that situation are exempt from such cuts. This seems to have been overlooked by Government and Local Authorities.’
A former Glasgow City Councillor, John Flanagan formally requested the Court to allow his client time to apply for a housing benefit review because in this tenant’s case, her rent arrears were wrongly calculated. Her case will be re-presented to the Court in a few weeks.
‘This is the first time the legislation around the bedroom tax has been tested in Scotland. Some lawyers are referring to this as a ‘loophole’ but it is not. It is there in law,’ he said.
Theresa Stirling has been so incensed by the large number of people she’s seen wrongly in line for eviction because of the so-called loophole that she has brought the situation to the notice of the Court of Session and every elected representative she could think of in Scotland, the UK and Europe.
She added: ‘It is an extremely worrying state of affairs. Actions are being taken to Court prematurely, based on wrong and misleading information and causing great distress to an increasing number of people. It needs to stop and this case may be the first sign that justice will be done.’
Celtic Music Radio raised more than £3455 in two nights of music for those affected by the Clutha tragedy.
Ten people died when a Police Scotland helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults pub on the riverside at Stockwell Street in Glasgow on Friday 29 November 2013.
Sparked by an offer from singer/songwriter Bill Adair to play at any such event the radio station would be holding, it set so many talented folk who were Clutha patrons and friends signing up for the gig, that it had to be extended to two nights.
Held in St Andrew’s in the Square, the playlist read like a Celtic Hall of Fame.
On Friday 10 January, Bill Adair led the programme, followed by Tom Fairnie, Haggerdash, Steven Clark, Craig Brooks and Jai McDowell, Arthur Johnstone, Adam McCulloch, Lori McTear and Rudegin.
On Saturday 11 January the music came from: The O’Cajunals, Paddy Callaghan, Mary K. Burke, Celtic Fire, Frank O’Hare, Fiona Cuthill and Stevie Lawrence and that was just the first half!
The final segment of top-tapping songs and music was provided by Bill Adair, Pauline Alexander and Edwin Gallacher, Paddy Callaghan and band, Moira Kerr, and Mick West and Frank McLaughlin.
Run by volunteers in Glasgow, Celtic Music Radio can be heard on 1530AM, mobile smartphone apps and online at www.celticmusicradio.net. The two nights of music for the Clutha can be found there.
The money raised will be distributed equally between the City of Glasgow Clutha Appeal Fund, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Family Support Trust, Scottish Police Benevolent Fund and the Scottish Ambulance Benevolent Fund.
Said Ross Macfadyen, Celtic Music Radio station boss: ‘We thank everyone involved in these two nights. It is the community coming together to help and shows that the spirit of Glasgow exists.’
The wrap up included everyone singing new verses to ‘I Belong to Glasgow’ by Bill Adair. They include the lines: ‘But tragedy came to the Clutha, And the whole of the land shared the pain, Still this wonderful town will never be down, And we’ll build up the Clutha again.’
And singer Mary Cavanagh read a poem by Rolf Campbell entitled ‘St Andrew’s Eve’ telling the story of the fateful night and naming the people who lost their lives. He wrote a prologue for Joe Cusker who died many days later.
Some of the people who were in the popular pub on the night of the crash attended the concerts.
A meeting place for musicians, singers and poets the Clutha will be re-built. One of the music makkers who had fond memories of the place from his early days in the business, was Billy Connolly. He flew from New York when he saw the news and laid flowers near the spot in tribute to those who died and the people who were injured.
Two school boys named Daniel, stepped into a lion’s den today unaware of the fact they were creating history.
Daniel McGreechin (12) in primary 7 at Tinto Primary and Daniel Ojonile (11) of the same class at neighbouring St Conval’s Primary were selected to be in a photograph which launched a new scheme of football coaching for both schools together in Tinto’s state of the art, all-weather pitches.
This is the first time a denominational and non-denominational school in the area has worked as closely together on such a project.
And, according to Bailie Josephine Docherty, the Newlands/Auldburn Councillor who engineered the coaching and the use of the Tinto facility: ‘It’s unbelievable we’ve actually achieved this.’
The sessions are being given by youth football coaches from Celtic and Rangers Clubs and both Club mascots attended for the photo shoot.
Celtic coach, James McCafferty, and Rangers coach, Brian Matthews, agreed it was a good venture. ‘If we can work together – and they see us doing that – they can play together,’ summed up the Old Firm’s amicable approach. One half of each primary class will be paired with half of the other school’s class. The children get to know each other, learn to play football together and gain respect for each other.
Aberlour Child Care Trust is also involved in the scheme which will run weekly for about three months. Said Paul McNamara of Aberlour’s FACTS programme: ‘This programme stands for Football, Anti-sectarianism and Cyber-bullying Training in Schools. It is an ideal opportunity for us to discover if any of these issues are being experienced among these young people. We can concentrate on the words used and explain that words which are not even acceptable in banter today were commonplace a few years ago. Through this, sectarian attitudes can be addressed and defused.’
The combined football coaching idea came to Bailie Docherty when, on behalf of the City, she hosted a table at a Commonwealth Games banquet last autumn. She said: ‘A Jamaican athletic delegate asked me why our footballers were so poor when we have all these parks. He was astounded to learn that almost every green space has a ‘No Football’ or ‘No Ball Games’ sign on it. That set me thinking and this combined football coaching session is the outcome.’
She added that she was particularly pleased that the all-weather pitch at Tinto Primary School was getting wider use. ‘It is a community facility created with public money but it is not easily available to the wider public.’ The St Conval’s school has no football pitches. All of their pupils who attended the first coaching session walked for 25 minutes to the Tinto School because the hire of school buses is ‘prohibitive’ said teacher Eileen Corr. ‘We took the healthy option,’ she said, smiling.
Tinto’s head teacher, Mrs Monique Kirkwood, said: ‘We are absolutely delighted at this opportunity to work with St Conval’s and for the children to work together. It will help break down barriers. We hope it will be the beginning of many more opportunities.’
Bailie Docherty said: ‘I couldn’t have done this without the help of Aberlour people. They are good at thinking out-the-box to achieve objectives. When this is seen to work, there is no reason it can’t be rolled out across the city.’
Added David Kelly of Aberlour: ‘It is exciting to be a part of this project. It is the first time the government has put serious cash behind sectarian problems in Scotland. The agenda is not set from the top. Our remit is to listen to what the young people themselves are saying; how they express their views and see if there is any trend that needs to be tackled. This way, we hope to make sectarianism a thing of the past.’
Tinto School’s next door neighbour is the Netherauldhouse Evangelical Church. Pastor Don Palmer told this website: ‘We wanted to use the school’s pitches. But there was too much red tape and the cost was prohibitive – a minimum of £40 an hour. We run various kids’ clubs and would love to be able to use the pitches at the school as we’re cramped for space here.’ He said he hoped the combined schools’ football coaching programme was an indication that the Church’s prayers would be answered. ‘That facility should be used to its maximum capacity as it is a community facility. All kinds of church and community groups should be encouraged to use it. That would be a Win Win situation because this is a deprived community and there is no public space for children to play. And something as good as the all-weather pitches next door should be inclusive of people in the community not exclusive.’
An initiative by Glasgow City Council will ensure every S1 school pupil will have £10 deposited as a ‘Starter for Ten’ in a credit union account.
The Future Savers scheme was launched by City Treasurer, Councillor Paul Rooney at Lochend Community High School in Easterhouse on Wednesday 8 January 2014 and is the first of its kind in the UK.
Cllr Rooney said: ‘We want to give every young Glaswegian a safe and secure relationship with a credit union that is responsible to its members and to its community. They will start to learn about managing money and will have the opportunity to save. If, years from now, they need to borrow; they will have access to a lender who knows them well and will help them – rather than simply see them as an opportunity to make a profit.’
More than 4000 school pupils will be eligible to receive Glasgow’s ‘Starter for Ten’ this year. The hope is this will keep them out of the hands of high cost, pay day loan companies.
It is one of the initiatives from a cross-party group in the Council which investigated the extent and impact of payday loans. Their research estimated 100,000 residents are regularly using non-standard forms of credit – fuelling a city market worth more than £57 million a year.
Other steps include the Council refusing to lease any of its commercial property to payday lenders and working with the £13 billion Strathclyde Pension Fund to ensure no direct investments are made in the trade.
Councillors are also lobbying Westminster and Holyrood Governments to reform how lenders are allowed to operate – and to give local authorities greater planning powers to prevent high-cost lenders from swamping local high streets and town centres.
The council has already blocked computers on its networks from accessing payday loan websites and has successfully encouraged some of the city’s biggest employers and institutions to do the same.
At the same time, the Council is offering incentives to credit unions to be more visible in their communities. This includes rent subsidies and rates relief.
Glasgow is already recognised as the country’s credit union capital, with one in every six UK accounts held in the city.
The Future Savers scheme is set to boost that membership even further, with thousands of new accounts likely to be opened every year.
Cllr Rooney said: ‘It is clear that many people who use a series of short, expensive loans actually need longer-term credit, but often perceive it to be quicker and easier to get money with payday lenders. However, if someone already has a relationship with a credit union, it can respond quickly and offer affordable, sustainable finance when it is needed. It can also help them to save and to manage their money well in the long term – payday lenders are not interested in that.’
The 2014 New Year’s Honours List includes Professor Seona Reid,
who was Director of Glasgow School of Art for 14 years until September 2013. She has becomes a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the Creative Industries. She led the Mackintosh Conservation and Access project which included the refurbishment of the School’s Rennie Mackintosh building and the creation of the new building opposite which is scheduled to open in 2014 and is to be named after her.
She is one of the 611 women honoured making this the first time that women outnumber the 584 men on the List.
Three Glasgow based people have been made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). They are:
Liberal Democrat politician, Robert Edward Brown of Rutherglen, for his services to politics. Currently a Councillor in South Lanarkshire he served as a Councillor on Glasgow District Council for 15 years and was also an MSP for 12 years from 1999 when he was Deputy Minister for Education and Young People.
He was Vice Chair of the Steel Commission which published its report ‘Moving to Federalism’ in 2006. He was also a leading member of the Home Rule and Community Rule commission, chaired by Sir Menzies Campbell whose report Federalism: the best future for Scotland was published in October 2012.
Glasgow University Professor Peter Wilson Macfarlane, FRSE Emeritus Professor of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences for his services to healthcare. He is a world renowned electrocardiologist who pioneered the use of computers in hospital based ECG interpretation.
William George Turkington who as Head of Office (Pakistan) at the Department for International Development, has been honoured for his work and humanitarian assistance in Pakistan.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire, (OBE) go to: lawyer Mrs Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh for her services to business and to the Asian community in Scotland.
Mrs Alison Mary Gilchrist, DL for her services to business and to the community in Renfrewshire.
Dr Rose Mary Harley for her services to International Aid and charity.
Deputy Chief Constable Neil Allan Richardson, QPM, Police Scotland for his services to Policing in Scotland.
In South Ayrshire Mrs Lorraine Roslyn Stobie who was lately head of Southcraig Campus, has been honoured for her services to children with special educational needs.
Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) include: John Barrie for services to Badminton. Iain Brown, Infrastructure Support Manager Afghanistan, KBR, for services to the armed forces and the defence industry. Professor Rosslyn Crocket, Director of Nursing, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, for services to Nursing and Midwifery in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Troon based, Paul James Foster for services to bowls. Principal Teacher Mrs Wilma Gilluley in the Personal, Social and Health Department of Airdrie Academy for services to education and charity. CLIC Sargent fundraiser Mrs Eileen Granger for charitable services. Thomas Kelly as founder and manager of Johnstone Credit Union for services to financial services and the community. Dunbartonshire based Mrs Christine Anderson MacPhee for services to Scottish Highland Dancing. Councillor Eileen McCartin of Renfrewshire Council for political service. Joseph O’Raw, historian for services to military heritage in Lanarkshire. Mrs Lesley Ann Potts, senior manager, PWC for services to energy efficiency and the Green Deal and voluntary service through Changing Faces. Mrs Agnes Satherer Robertson, lately Chair of Renfrewshire Children’s Panel Advisory Committee for services to the Children’s Hearings System in Scotland. Gulam SIDDIQUIE, General Secretary of Lanarkshire Muslim Welfare Society for services to cultural integration and to the community in Lanarkshire.
Order of the British Empire (BEM) is given to: Simshill based, Ms Patricia Creegan Cockburn for services to the community in Glasgow. Anthony George Davey, Chair of Cardross Community Council for services to the community in Cardross, Argyll and Bute. Motherwell based, Mrs Margaret Davidson for services to the community in Lanarkshire. Mrs Sheena Winifred Edwards for services to the Girl Guides and to the community in Kilcreggan, Argyll and Bute. Mrs Valerie Fisher, Panel Member, Children’s Hearings System Scotland for voluntary service to vulnerable children and young people. Eric Millward Flack for services to tennis and to the community in Drumchapel and Blairdardie. Mrs Jessie Griffin for services to charity in Forth, Lanarkshire. Miss Alison Margaret Mackie for services to Falkirk Ladies Football Team.
The British Empire Medal BEM, goes to Mrs Margaret Harper Miller of Springboig for a second time, for voluntary service in Glasgow. She is one of the few people to be awarded a second BEM because of the length of her service. She started in 1939 during World War 2 by collecting necessities for wounded and displaced people through the Women’s Voluntary Service. At the age of 103, she is thought to be their longest service volunteer and is still helping to run a stroke club locally.
Other BEMs include: James Robert Neilson for voluntary services to the elderly and to people with disabilities through the Seagull Trust Cruises in Ratho, Midlothian. Mrs Anne Elizabeth Phillips, manager, Peacocks Restaurant, McEwen’s of Perth for services to business and tourism in Perthshire. Johnstone based, Mrs Nanette Josephine Reid for voluntary service to social housing in Scotland. Mrs Maria Louisa Righetti, founder of Michael’s Movers for Parkinson’s, for her services to charity. Dr William Sinclair Scott for services to the Scouting movement in Lanarkshire.
In other parts of Scotland Knighthoods went to: Professor Adrian Peter Bird, CBE FRS FRSE Buchanan Professor of Genetics, University of Edinburgh for services to Science. Professor Godfrey Henry Oliver Palmer, OBE Professor Emeritus, Heriot-WattUniversity for services to Human Rights, Science and charity. Born in Jamaica, he is was the first black university professor in Scotland. He is a brewing and cereals expert and an anti-racism campaigner.
Made Companions of the Order of the Bath: Derek William Feeley, lately Director-General, Health and Social Care, Scottish Government, for services to Healthcare. Dr Philip John Rycroft, Director General, Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for services to the UK’s devolved and coalition Governments.