Singing all the way to the Referendum

September 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The audience was on its feet for the rousing Freedom for All delivered by the entire band of musicians with Alan Bissett centre stage in yellow T.

The audience was on its feet for the rousing Freedom for All delivered by the entire band of musicians with Alan Bissett centre stage in yellow.

A packed auditorium at Oran Mor had the YES campaigners on their feet after a rousing evening of fine music from musicians such as Dick Gaughan, Mary Ann Kennedy, Shooglenifty, Kathleen MacInnes and Eilidh MacKenzie – to name fewer than half of the artistes who donated their time and talents.

Billed as Songs for Scotland and produced by Kevin Brown, it was fronted by Alan Bissett who had some great ‘light bulb’ jokes to illuminate the proceedings with much laughter.

Under the magnificant ceiling art work by Alasdair Gray and the banner reading:  ‘Let us flourish by telling the truth’ world class musicians rooted in Scottish and Gaelic culture played for almost four hours.  From Gaelic hip-hop (Up-Ap) from finely dressed Griogair and DJ Dolphin Boy, to the MacKenzie clan from Lewis, the audience was in tune to the upbeat mood.  Countryside ranger Adam Ross’s catchy ‘ I can’t dance to this music anymore’  had everyone clapping along and echoing the sentiment.

The entire cast of musicians crowded the platform at the end to sing SAORSA – Freedom for All – by Ailean Domhnullach. And as Mike Small, Editor of Bella Caledonia said in his introduction: ‘For this one evening let the lyrics of hope replace the voices of doom. Let the pibroch replace the pollsters.’  There was no doubting the hope of everyone was: ‘We will win!’

This was gently framed with a reminder to stay friends and remain civil with everyone.

 

 

 

Glasgow’s own plan Bee

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Councillor Matheson and PlanBee Ltd director Warrne Bader with some of the bees which have moved into the City Chambers hives.

Glasgow’s plan B has nothing to do with the Referendum!  It is the Council’s strategy to increase the population of honeybees in the city. Around 120,000 bees have been installed in two insulated beehives on the roof of Glasgow City Chambers.

Vital in the food chain, this kind of bee is under threat because of pesticides and climate change.

Council Leader Gordon Matheson – who is also chair of Sustainable Glasgow – said: “Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat and also pollinate trees which helps reduce air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Numbers have dropped dramatically so Sustainable Glasgow is helping reverse that decline by installing these hives.

“I hope the bees will flourish and help us ensure Glasgow remains a Dear Green Place for generations to come.”

PlanBee Ltd is the company which provides the bees, the hives and the training programmes. Council staff have swarmed to be trained in hive management.

Bees can travel up to three miles to find their target flowers.  Said Warren Bader of PlanBee Ltd: “Glasgow is a fantastic garden city. Bees can be safer in a city than in the countryside where a lot of farmers use pesticides and plant monocultures (just one type of crop) which isn’t healthy for pollen production. In a good summer the bees can produce plenty of honey.” He added: “Unless you are a flower, the bees really aren’t interested in you so no one should be worried!”

Wax from the bees will be used as furniture polish in the City Chambers. What happens to the honey will be decided when the quality and quantity is known.

Glasgow aims to become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe by cutting carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 / 21.

Already it has a network of electric car charging points; solar powered parking meters; Green Wardens; electric vehicles in the council fleet and a Green Energy Services Company to promote and oversee renewable energy projects. The Stalled Spaces initiative has seen 32 disused spaces in Glasgow brought back into use as community gardens, performance space and locations for public art installations. This scheme will be rolled out across Scotland.

Next year Glasgow plans to hold Green Year 2015.  Twelve months of activities will celebrate the city’s green credentials and encourage others to do their bit for the environment. Twitter: @greenglasgow.

Daredevil at 82 leads the way

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Lorne Brown, an 82-year-old retired newspaper design and layout expert, plans to abseil from the Titan Crane at Clydebank on Saturday 14 June 2014.

A renowned piper,  he is doing this in aid of research into Vasculitis. The condition is a dangerous inflammation of the blood vessels. This can result in irreversible damage to organs and even death.  Lorne was struck down by Vasculitis and not expected to recover. However, he has regained a remarkable degree of health and has even re-started his Munro ‘bagging’ plan.

Recently, he gave a short talk on the history of the bagpipes to international students at Wellington Church INTERNATIONAL WELCOME CLUB and encouraged volunteers to try playing a tune – more difficult than it looks.

Lorne instructs one student how to get a sound out of the pipes.

Lorne instructs one student how to get a sound out of the pipes.

Donations are welcome: www.justgiving.com/Lorneabseil

in aid of research into Vasculitis by the Lauren Currie Twilight Foundation

 

June 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

GOVANHILL & CROSSHILL COMMUNITY COUNCIL

 

Scottish Referendum Discussion

Don’t know ? Come Along
It’s too important for politicians, alone.

Monday 9th June 2014 at 7pm

Samaritan House,  79 Coplaw Street,

 Govanhill G42 7JG

 Speakers and public discussion

ALL WELCOME

Removal of stone starts at the Mac

May 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Experts from Historic Scotland started to remove damaged stonework from the  Western gable of the Mackintosh Building at Glasgow School of Art (GSA) today (Friday 30 May 2014)

Historic Scotland stonemasons remove damaged stones from the School of Art.

Historic Scotland stonemasons remove damaged stones from the School of Art.

Shortly before, the Scottish Fire and  Rescue Service formally handed back the building to the School of Art. They had been on site 24 hours a day since the dramatic fire last Friday.  Fire crew members posed for photographs with  GSA personnel before being cheered and clapped out of Hill  Street by students and staff.  A piper led the fire tenders away.

Both Muriel Gray,  Chair of the Board of Governors and Professor Tom Inns, Director of the GSA, recorded their heartfelt thanks to the fire service for their ‘quite amazing,’ work.  According to Muriel Gray, ‘intelligent and professional strategy ‘ by the fire crews at the height of the blaze enabled 90% of the structure and 70% of the contents to be saved.  But the Charles Rennnie Mackintosh library has gone.

Said Professor Inns: ‘The students returned to the campus today and the GSA is now focussing on its academic work moving forward towards graduation. ‘  Students who lost work in the fire have been given Phoenix bursaries to enable them to produce new work. The fire occurred on the last day for students to hand in Degree submissions.

‘We have been overwhelmed by the number of messages of support from the local community in Glasgow and friends across the world, and the generosity of individuals and organisations in offering expert assistance to help us in these difficult times,’ said Professor Inns.

The Scottish Government has promised up to £5 million to match funding raised by the School for the re-construction of the West wing of the unique and world-renowned building.

The Architects Journal will present a special architectural award to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for its ‘extraordinary efforts’ in saving the well-loved place.

Only the night before the fire, the GSA’s Reid Building won the prestigious AJ 100 Building of the Year. This accolade  recognises the best completed structure from the top 100 architectural practices in the UK. The Reid building is across the road from the Charles Rennie Mackintosh building and it was the unanimous choice of the judges. Degree show work will be exhibited in the Reid building.

To offer support: http://www.gsa.ac.uk/support-gsa/how-to-support/mackintosh-building-fire-fund/

 

 

Art Club times it nicely

May 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Lord Provost places the time capsule in the foundations with, looking on,  Paul Dowds, Chairman of The Art Club Property Company and of the Trustees,  Deacon Convenor Hamish C Brodie and Lord Dean of Guild Raymond Williamson.

The Lord Provost places the time capsule in the foundations with, looking on, Paul Dowds, Chairman of The Art Club Property Company and of the Trustees, Deacon Convenor Hamish C Brodie and Lord Dean of Guild Raymond Williamson.

The Glasgow Art Club has placed a time capsule in the foundations of their Gallery at the start of a major refurbishment programme. But they hope to resurrect it in 2043 – ‘Some of us might be here. It’s only 29 years away!’ quipped Paul Dowds who chairs the Club’s Trustees and its Property Company.

Retired civil engineer Paul has masterminded the time capsule project.  ‘In 2043, the Club will celebrate 150 years of being in this building. It will be up to the club members then to decide, but the way the time capsule is placed, it will be easy to bring out again. They might want to have a look at what was going on in 2014 when we started renovating the Gallery.’

Lord Provost Sadie Docherty had the honour of placing the heavy capsule in the foundation space.  In congratulating members on the development of their Gallery,  she said: ‘The Art Club is a Must See Attraction in this city. The response to the recent fire at the Glasgow School of Art shows how much we all care about art.’

The capsule contains newspapers and photographs of the fire. It also has art works from 17 of the Club members, a photograph album of Club Trustees and Club project groups as well as a history of the Bath Street building which has been used by artists and people associated with the art world since opening in 1893.

The Glasgow Art Club was formed from two adjacent town houses by the famous architect John Keppie who was a member at that time.  He designed an exhibition Gallery to replace the two gardens at the rear of the property. A young Charles Rennie Mackintosh (CRM) worked for Keppie and was known to have done some of the ornamental work for the Gallery.

Under 13 layers of wall covering, the Gallery’s Charles Rennie Mackintosh frieze was found. It cannot be renovated. ‘But we do have the original sketches and it will be replicated,’ explained Paul. ‘A Mackintosh frieze without the fee!’

Nevin of Edinburgh has been tasked with that work. The company restored ceilings in Stirling Castle.  Chris Allan, formerly Deputy Director of the Hunterian Art Gallery, is in charge of the working drawings being created from the original CRM sketches of the frieze.

Art Club Trustee Celia Sinclair gives members a progress report in the Gallery which is being refurbished.

Art Club Trustee Celia Sinclair gives members a progress report in the Gallery which is being refurbished.

Immediately before the placing of the time capsule,  Trustee Celia Sinclair outlined the progress of the different phases of the £1.2 million repair and renovation work. She said: ‘After the recent tragic events (the fire at the Glasgow School of Art) disaster development is on everyone’s mind. ‘  That, and the various stages of the roof, exterior and Gallery work were detailed for members who have raised the funds themselves with help from Historic Scotland and the Lottery Heritage Fund among others.

Celia, who was on the roof herself recently to inspect the work said: ‘The roof and the chimneys are beautiful!  Fine detail such as original roof clips, has even been replicated.’

She paid tribute to the many people who worked on the different parts of the projects at the different stages and said: ‘Everything is on programme and within budget.’

The Gallery is expected to be completed in the autumn with a celebration dinner for members planned to mark its re-opening.

Guarding the new fire exit.

Guarding the new fire exit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelvingrove Bandstand re-opens

May 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ed and Ruth Gillatt with the re-furbished Kelvingrove Bandstand behind them.

Ed and Ruth Gillatt with the re-furbished Kelvingrove Bandstand behind them.

Kelvingrove Bandstand re-opened today to the sound of music.  And the people who had campaigned since 1992 to keep it, were pleased.

Ed Gillatt one of the leaders of the original ‘Save Our Bandstand’ which became ‘Friends of Kelvingrove Park’ said: ‘The Council was going to demolish it and let a developer build a pub. But it was worth saving. I’m delighted it is now up and running again. They’ve done a great job.’

Added Abdul Khan who led the legal battle all the way to the Court of Session: ‘This is a public park for everyone. It’s not a place to drink.’

Following the formal cutting of the ribbon ceremony by Lord Provost Sadie Docherty, former Councillor Pat Chalmers MBE, who now chairs the Board of Glasgow Building  Preservation Trust which led in the £2.2 million re-furbishment of the amphitheatre, praised the campaigners. She said: ‘The Friends of Kelvingrove Park gathered the community around this project. They’ll think it ironic they are mentioned here today. But they are to be congratulated. Their voices were crying in the wilderness for a long time but now they have achieved their vision.’

She thanked all the key partners in the project and presented gifts to representatives including four apprentices: Robert McGowan, Christopher Tennent, Jamie Ramsey and Adam Forteath.

Apprentices Robert, Christopher, Jamie and Adam with their presentations.

Apprentices Robert, Christopher, Jamie and Adam with their presentations.

Said Robert, a bricklayer: ‘It’s a good outcome. It makes me realise how things are always changing.’ Added Adam, a metal worker: ‘An Hop, the company I work for, restored all the metal work including the railings round. It looks pretty good!’ Jamie, a joiner, said: ‘This was interesting to do and different from normal.’

The only discordant note came from wheelchair musician Maki Yamazaki. A baritone horn player who was one of the Brass, Aye? group which played as the audience assembled, said said: ‘I was really glad they’ve made the stage accessible (with a hoist lift). There is not bad access from Kelvin Way down to the stage though it is a fairly steep slope. But there are only steps in the amphitheatre, no ramps. I’d like to be included in the audience not sitting in front of my friends as I have to do.’

Maki cannot sit beside any friends because her wheelchair will block a passageway.

Maki cannot sit beside any friends because her wheelchair will block a passageway.

A spokesperson for the project said that space for wheelchairs and baby buggies had been included at the entrance from Kelvin Way.  ‘They can get a very good view from here,’ said the spokesperson.’  Anyone in a wheelchair would then be sitting behind any friends who would be seated on the wooden benches in front of the space.

After the formal opening,  musicians from Hillhead Secondary School and Glasgow Gaelic School entertained the crowd.

Three of the four accordionists from the Glasgow Gaelic School with, behind them on stage, the fiddler players from the School

Three of the four accordionists from the Glasgow Gaelic School with, behind them on stage, the fiddle players from the School

The Bandstand will be used to show the opening and closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games in July on big screens. It is understood tickets will be available for those events but they will not be free.

 

 

 

 

The art of welcome by children

May 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Children aged between 8 and 12 are invited to create their own WELCOME art work to celebrate the Commonwealth Games.   Organised by Global Minorities Alliance (GMA), the organisation which campaigns for persecuted minorities of any denomination anywhere in the world, the art workshop will be held in the Crypt Cafe of Wellington Church on University Avenue G12 on Saturday 7 June from 10am till 4pm.  Book via GMA email: info@globalminorities.co.uk   The children’s creations will be on display in Glasgow University memorial chapel during the Games in July.

Have a look, too, at the latest blog by GMA Vice Chair Shahid Khan on the plight of  Aasia Bibi in Pakistan.  The mother of five was sentenced to death in June 2009 convicted of blasphemy after a heated argument.

Poster for the Art Worshop on Saturday 7 June.

Poster for the Art Worshop on Saturday 7 June.

Much of the Mackintosh saved

May 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The blaze early in the afternoon.

The blaze early in the afternoon.

Firefighters’ efforts have saved 90% of the Glasgow School of Art and up to 70 % of the contents – including students’ work – it was stated tonight while the building still smouldered after a major fire which started around 12.30pm.
The unique building was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and has been a world attraction as well as a working School of Art since 1845.
In a release from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Assistant Chief Officer Dave Boyle said: ‘Crews have been working absolutely flat out during this very challenging incident and it is clear their effort and skill has saved this treasured building and many of the items it housed.’
The building was busy with students meeting today’s deadline to hand in work for their final degree shows. Everyone exited quickly and no one was injured.
Said ACO Boyle:‘The priority from the outset was to save life. But we worked closely with Glasgow School of Art staff to ensure firefighters conducted an effective salvage operation.
‘We are very conscious the Macintosh is a world renowned building that is a key feature of this great city, and that the artworks it stores are not only valuable but also cherished.
“We are acutely aware this period is the culmination of years of endeavour for students and that their irreplaceable work is inside the Mackintosh.
“Work to save everything that can be saved is ongoing and we will continue to work closely with GSA staff and students throughout this operation.’
A spokesperson for Glasgow School of Art added: ‘We would like to express our very sincere thanks to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service for their tremendous efforts throughout today.’

Mackintosh building's charred roof visible beyond the (green) £50 million Seona Reid Building across the street, which won the AJ100 Building of the Year Award 2014 only hours before the fire started.

Mackintosh building’s charred roof visible beyond the (green) £50 million Seona Reid Art School base  opposite, which won the AJ100 Building of the Year Award 2014 only hours before the fire started.

Still smouldering at 8pm

Still smouldering at 8pm

Fire destroys Glasgow School of Art masterpiece

May 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Fire has destroyed Glasgow’s unique School of Art designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

A projector in the basement  exploded around 12.30 today and the masterpiece was set ablaze.  Firefighters were still dousing the fire at 6pm and were expected to be on site for hours after that with three aerial rescue pumps in use.

Appliances from across Glasgow and West Central Scotland were at the scene within four minutes of the first 999 call. Search and rescue teams entered the building wearing breathing apparatus and led a number of people to safety. But no one was injured.

Said Chief Officer Alasdair Hay: ‘This is likely to be a protracted incident and crews have been working extremely hard to tackle what is clearly a very significant fire.  The priority throughout this operation has been to protect life but salvage operations are also underway.’

Neil Baxter, Secretary of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland said: ‘This is the loss of a dear friend. It is desperate. People have been crying in the streets of Glasgow and throughout the world. The loss is beyond belief.’

Muriel Gray, chairman of the Board of Directors of the School said: ‘This is a double blow and couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Today was the last day for students to hand in work for their degree shows. While it is a nightmare and there are a lot of very upset people here, everyone is incredibly supportive.’

Just hours before, the new £50 million Seona Reid Building across the street, won the AJ100 Building of the Year Award 2014. The unanimous choice of the judges, The Steven Holl designed building was recognised as the finest to be completed by any of the UK’s top 100 practices during the past year.

Stuart Robertson, Director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society  said the blaze and the loss of the building and its contents was ‘a human tragedy.’

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