Glasgow Museums has challenged all visitors under the age of FIVE to complete 25 tasks by visiting all nine museums in the city and discovering fun things to see and do in each place before they reach their fifth birthday.
Designed especially to entertain and inspire the under fives, the hunt for the fun is led by a furry friend called Museum Mouse. In a free booklet which can be picked up in all of the museums, the mousie character describes what can be enjoyed where.
Youngsters can hunt for a dragon at the Burrell, imagine they are inside a whale at GoMA or dress up as characters from Sleeping Beauty at Kelvingrove Museum. They can count the many different animals carved on the Doulton Fountain outside the People’s Palace, or copy the funny expressions on the heads in St Nicholas Garden outside Provand’s Lordship. At the Riverside Museum, children can show off their firefighting skills with an interactive fire engine game. St Mungo’s has a scarier version of eye spy with its huge window overlooking the Necropolis. And Scotland Street School offers school uniforms, classroom re-enactments and playground games from past times.
At Glasgow Museums Resource Centre – the only venue requiring pre-booked tours or workshops – the young discoverers can use hat, binoculars and torch to search for Museum Mouse’s trail.
Local youngsters Cameron, Molly and Eva (pictured below) completed all three challenges at the People’s Palace before proudly collecting their stickers at the Enquiry Desk.
Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham, said more than 3 million people attended the city’s museums last year. ‘Our museums can open up a whole new world to even the youngest of visitors. If parents can spare a little time to help the under fives enjoy the many adventures detailed in this new booklet, they could give their child a lifelong love of exploring, investigating and enjoying arts and culture. I think that is a truly wonderful gift to give the next generation.’
More information on museum opening times, transport options etc at: www.glasgowmuseums.com
Another day another Manifesto. This time the SNP fanfare launched ‘ Stronger for Scotland’ their 1757 word document setting out their stall for this General Election.
Greeted by party faithful in a climbing centre in Edinburgh, Scotland’s First Minister received a standing ovation lasting many minutes before she got to the rostum. She emphasised she was offering ‘the hand of friendship’ to everyone who: ‘wants real and positive change that will make life better for ordinary people across these islands.’
Said Nicola: ‘The SNP – if we are given the chance – will be your allies in making that change.’
Starting by pledging to the people of Scotland that if they voted SNP the party would make the Scottish voice heard ‘more loudly at Westminster,’ and would ‘stand up for Scotland and fight your corner.’ She then went on to promise the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland: ‘If the SNP emerges from this election in a position of influence, we will exercise that influence responsibly and constructively…and bring to that task eight years’ experience of government – of successful, effective and stable government.’
The manifesto highlighted plans to: end austerity; permit modest spending increases and a ‘slightly slower path to eliminating the deficit completely.’ Nicola said this would allow ‘at least £140 billion extra to be invested in infrastructure, support for business, protection of our public services and policies that will help to lift people out of poverty.’
Asked why England was ‘scared’ of the SNP, she replied that she did not believe ordinary people across the UK were scared. ‘We’ll play a constructive role as long as we are part of the system. We do not seek to bring down a government. We believe we have common cause with people of like mind everywhere in the country.’
And in a direct challenge to David Cameron she said: ‘I oppose any attempt to undermine the SNP at Westminster.’
Not yet registered to vote? You have till midnight tonight – Monday 20 April 2015 – to claim your right to vote. There is a simple online form asking about 11 questions including your national insurance number if you have one. Said Alex Robertson, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission: ‘If you aren’t registered by midnight on 20 April, you simply won’t be able to vote on 7 May.’ He urged the 7.5 million unregistered people to go to: www.gov.uk/registertovote In the past five weeks around 1.8 million people have registered. Following a recent promotion by the Electoral Commission and Twitter, 300,000 people aged between 16 and 24 registered. But only if an individual is 18 by voting day, can they vote in that election. ‘We’ve had a big push,’ said a spokeswoman. ‘At 1 December last year 7.5 million people had not registered or re-registered.’ If a person moves address, they will need to re-register at the new address. Every vote counts, especially when the outcome is on a knife edge according to all the polls.
Jim Murphy launched the Scottish Labour Party’s manifesto today with promises of give-aways for young people, 1000 extra nurses, 500 more GPs and a £200 million Cancer Fund as well as a £200 million Mental Health Fund.
Surrounded by (mostly) young party workers in bright teeshirts the Leader of the Scottish Labour Party said: ‘Labour will keep university tuition free and we will give the poorest students an extra £1,000 on their bursaries.’ For those who don’t go to university he offered: ‘We will invest £1,600 – the equivalent of tuition fees – in every 18 and 19 year old who isn’t in college, university or apprenticeship. This will be an investment, not just in their potential, but in Scotland’s future. We want to offer hope to our young people again.’ He also emphasised the £8 an hour minimum wage and the banning of zero hours contracts.
Margaret Curran – who has been the Westminster MP for Glasgow East – introduced Jim Murphy at the rally held in the Tollcross Leisure Centre. She told the audience of several hundred: ‘We can win against the odds if we put in the right effort.’ She won back the seat for Labour at the 2010 general election with an 11,000 majority. Traditionally a Labour stronghold, the seat had been snatched by the SNP before that.
The rally was closed with a rousing speech by former miner David Hamilton who commented: ‘We are not the SNP. Labour is a party for people who think for themselves.’Saying how hard it was for him after the miners’ strike when he was unemployed for two and a half years, David said: ‘People lose confidence when they’re out of work. It can affect their mental health. They should be paid a training wage to get back into work. Once back working, they gain confidence again. And the job should be paying a minimum of £8 an hour.’
But outside the fervour of the manifesto launch one local constituent – mature student and father of three, John Docherty said: ‘Manifestos looks good on paper. But they don’t practise what they preach. Labour has lost their way. My back ground has been a Labour voter – my father was a shipyard worker. My family history is socialist. But I recently joined the SNP. That’s the party that shows solidarity – community solidarity. Labour doesn’t get the community bit.’
And 22 year old Rebecca Black, taking a strictly timed lunch break from her £6.50 an hour job which will last 13 weeks said: ‘It would be good if I got money when I go to college next term. But I think they all tell lies and you don’t know who to trust so I don’t think I’ll vote.’
Great new show coming up at the SHED at Shawlands Cross. Not to be missed!
Thursday 9 April 2015
Today nominations closed for candidates for the UK Parliamentary Election. In Glasgow, a total of 51 people are now contesting seats in the city’s seven Parliamentary constituencies. All the seats were held by Labour MPs (names in bold below)
In the Referendum last year, 53.5% of Glasgow’s voters backed independence. The turnout – at 75% – was the lowest in Scotland.
Voting for the General Election takes place on 7 May 2015. Here is the list of candidates:
Simon Robert Bone, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Andrew Elliot, Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Cass MacGregor, Scottish Green Party
James Marris, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol
Stuart Maskell, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Katie Rhodes, Socialist Equality Party
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour Party
Alison Thewliss, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Chris Young, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Margaret Patricia Curran, Scottish Labour Party
Kim Long, Scottish Green Party
Natalie McGarry, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Liam McLaughlan, Scottish Socialist Party
Gary McLelland, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Andy Morrison, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Arthur Misty Thackeray, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Martin Bartos, Scottish Green Party
Russell Benson, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol
Patrick Grady, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Lauren Anne Hankinson, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Angela McCormick, Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Ann McKechin, Scottish Labour Party
Jade Elizabeth O’Neil, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Jamie Robertson, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Glasgow North East
Willie Bain, Scottish Labour Party
Eileen Janet Gladys Baxendale, Scottish Liberal Democrat
Jamie Cocozza, Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Geoff Johnson, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol
Zara Kitson, Scottish Green Party
Anne McLaughlin, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Glasgow North West
Moira Ann Crawford, Scottish Green Party
James Wallace Harrison, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Roger Lewis, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Chris MacKenzie, Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol
Carol Monaghan, Scottish National Party (SNP)
John Robertson, Scottish Labour Party
Zoe Hennessy Streatfield, Scottish Communist Party
Tom Harris, Scottish Labour Party
Ewan Hoyle, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Stewart McDonald, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Brian Smith, Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Kyle Alan Kerr Thornton, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Alastair Whitelaw, Scottish Green Party
Glasgow South West
Bill Bonnar, Scottish Socialist Party
Ian Davidson, Labour and Co-operative Party
Sarah Hemy, UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Gordon Alexander McCaskill, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
Isabel Nelson, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Christopher Stephens, Scottish National Party (SNP)
Sean Templeton, Scottish Green Party
The food co-operative at the University of Glasgow is well under way for this semester. Every second Friday from 3.30pm till 5.30pm they hand over the pre-paid vegetables ordered online. Today – Friday 13 February 2015- the people on duty in the foyer of the Queen Margaret Union were (from left) Ambi, Eva and Grace who is showing the new Food Co-op bags which can be purchased for £3. They have been hand-printed by Esme Armour at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) and are made of bamboo. For more information go to: www.glasgowunifoodcoop.com
A Thames tidal wave of enthusiasm gave the current Govan Fair organisers a flotilla of good ideas to improve the stability of the annual event.
Adrian Evans, Director of Totally Thames, a Festival spanning the length of that great river which flows through the heart of London, was guest speaker at a seminar on the Govan Fair’s future this week. He outlined the ebb and flow of events which led to Totally Thames. His inspiration was the exceptional artist George Wyllie. ‘He brought this huge origami boat and floated it down the Thames in the 1990s,’ said Adrian. ‘That made a big impression on me. It was immense. It was amusing and made me realise Govan – where he came from – was a special place.’
The festival he has developed from nothing on the Thames now has many very good working partnerships with businesses along the length of the river. His organisation is responsible for around 25% of the events while the others arise locally and are included in the Totally Thames programme. He urged the Govan Fair organisers to: ‘Look for the opportunities. Pursue them aggressively and celebrate the fantastic and unique history you have.’
Architect Andy McAvoy left Govan at the age of five but admitted he’d been ‘infected by the Spirit of the Place’ on his return in recent years and acknowledged George Wyllie had been an inspiration, too.
Andy has spent at least three years researching the buried history of Govan. ‘It was a gathering place. It was the confluence of two rivers – the Kelvin and the Clyde. So people could wade across from North to South and from East to West at low tide. The Weavers would taunt their Deacon to come out of the Water Row Inn in an annual ritual to take up his post. That led to the ‘Ghost of Water Row’ an art work in light set on the site where that inn had been.’
Andy’s research showed that a Fair predated the procession which is almost the only current activity. ‘There was commerce and interaction of people. There was a horse fair and a labour fair. Where commerce was, people gathered. But ship building caused a massive re-writing of the landscape. That’s when Lady Elder stepped in with Elder Park to have a green space protected for people.’
The Govan Fair has probably been in existence since well before 1756 when there is some documentary evidence to show it flourished. Andy outlined the various ups and downs of the Fair and said that Lord James Stringfellow, Govan Fair Chairman who chaired the seminar and Liz Gardiner of Fablevision who introduced all the speakers, were issuing a call to arms to bring in new energy to develop the Fair in a way that could be sustained and would grow the event.
The fair at present is mostly an annual parade on the first Friday of June with shows being set up last year because of Lord James’s show family connections. Other entertainments and attractions are being considered to encourage more local community participation.
The ‘incredible history’ of Govan and its Fair was supported by Graham Jeffery of the University of the West of Scotland and Director of the Creative Futures Institute and Dr Alan Leslie of Northlight Heritage concerned with archaeological excavations.
They referred to a bus from Gdansk with local people aboard tell the local history of their shipyards and city to visitors. This idea had been successfully adapted for Govan and could be again. And the site of Doomster Hill – currently under a car park – should be reclaimed as an ancient place of justice and important meetings.
The seminar was held in the Board Room of the re-furbished Fairfield Offices on Govan Road by courtesy of Govan Workspace.
It was followed by a walking tour of Govan which included the Old Kirk, the Pearce Institute, Doomster Hill and Water Row, the derelict Govan Graving Docks and the vibrant Film City which was once Govan Town Hall.
As Celtic Connections world music festival got under way, snow fell in Glasgow. Around 4pm it started to snow more heavily. By 7.30pm there was a snowman at Charing Cross, but not a gritter in sight.
Christened Jack Frost by the creative local family who made it, the snowman may – or may not- be around when the Burns Conference starts at the neighbouring Mitchell Library on Saturday 17 January.
The 1,068 volunteers who helped make the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, ‘the best ever’ have been honoured by an exhibition in the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green. The displays will run till 3 August 2015 – the date the Games finished in 2014.
Co-curated by some of the Volunteers, the exhibition features objects from the Commonwealth Games journey. These include the only remaining costume of the Games mascot, Clyde, an iconic teacake seen in the Opening Ceremony, uniforms, photographs and other memorabilia.
Entitled ‘Our Games’ the new exhibition challenges pre-conceived ideas of who can be a volunteer and encourages visitors to add their own experiences of the Games.
Natalia Baltramaitiene, who communicates using British Sign Language, was among the first volunteers to visit the exhibition. She said: ‘The Games was my first volunteering experience and I loved every minute. I met many wonderful people and this has encouraged me to carry on volunteering. I’ve kept my uniform and bags, but it’s brilliant to come to the People’s Palace museum and see so many great memories.’
Volunteer Frank O’Hare said: ‘ Being part of the Games was, for me, like meeting your brothers and sisters in the streets. I’d definitely consider doing it again and I’d encourage anyone thinking about volunteering to give it a go.’
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The People of Glasgow were the magic ingredient that made the Games such a success. Our Host City Volunteers were the face of Glasgow and offered a welcome bursting with warmth and passion and pride.’ He added that the exhibition hopes to inspire people to volunteer. ‘Now we have a whole army of positive role models who will encourage even more people to give volunteering a go. That’s a legacy to be proud of.’
Every one of the 1,068 Host City Volunteers was given intensive training and is featured in ‘Our Games’ exhibition via a large screen projection. Corresponding community exhibitions are on display at community centres in Netherton, Barmulloch and Castlemilk.
For more information on volunteering in Glasgow visit: www.volunteerglasgow.org/volunteer/search or call Glasgow Life volunteer inquiry helpline on 0800 027 6402.