The countdown to Christmas has officially started in Glasgow as Olympic Bronze medallist, gymnast, Beth Tweddle, joined the Lord Provost to switch on the city’s Christmas lights.
Lucky Clyde 1 competition winners Liam (4) and Beth (8) Lindsay helped flick the switch that turned George Square into a sparkling, twinkling wonderland in front of 15,000 delighted spectators. The grand finale was a spectacular 10-minute firework display from the roof of the City Chambers beautifully captured in Ian Watson’s photographs.
The crowd was entertained by Clyde 1’s George Bowie and Suzie McGuire, an acrobatic display by some of the country’s up and coming gymnastic stars from the Glasgow School of Sport, Michelle McManus, Stephen Purdon, Dean Park and others from the cast of the Pavilion’s ‘The Wizard Of Never Woz’, together with the RSNO Choir. Glasgow 2014 mascot, Clyde, also kept the crowd moving with a special appearance supported by some funky dancers from Destination Dance.
The Lord Provost, Councillor Sadie Docherty, said: “What a wonderful night!. The crowd loved it and so did I. This was my first year switching on the lights and it was magical. This really was the perfect way to start the festive season.”
The switching on of the city’s Christmas Lights is part of the ‘Glasgow Loves Christmas’ campaign. It incorporates Glasgow’s unrivalled shopping and celebrated Style Mile as well as a programme of festive events throughout the city. Full details of the ‘Glasgow Loves Christmas’ programme are available from www.glasgowloveschristmas.com. And more wonderful photographs can be seen there too.
Thanks to sporty schoolgirl – 12-year-old Beth Gilmour from Cumbernauld – the Commonwealth Games 2014 now has an official mascot! Her design for a thistle figure with purple hair, green body, golden running shorts, and a saltire flag running vest won a UK wide competition which attracted 4000 entries.
Named ‘Clyde’ after the River Clyde, the mascot was unveiled with great excitement today (Thursday 20 September 2012) at the BBC Scotland HQ in Pacific Quay, Glasgow.
Beth met Michael Jamieson, Olympic silver medal swimmer and Rebecca Adlington, Olympic bronze medal swimmer. ‘It hasn’t sunk in yet,’ said the schoolgirl badminton player who also swims. Earlier she’d commented: ‘It’s amazing to see Clyde come to life. I hope everyone loves him as much as I do.’
Hosted by Sam and Mark, children’s tv personalities; the event saw Mascot Clyde swing into the arena from the upper reaches of the BBC’s vast interior, much to the delight of the crowd.
The story of Glasgow is stopping shoppers in their tracks at St Enoch’s Centre. And Saturday 14 January between 12 noon and 4pm is the final chance to catch the beautifully choreographed promenade performance by dancers from Visual Statement. They are re-telling the tale of the city’s coat of arms – the Bird, the Bell, the Fish and the Tree. The inspirational performance by Nicola Gilmour, Brian McIntyre, Pauline McGlinchey and Cheree Thompson as the respective symbols, along with a dozen other dancers aged from 10, is a modern symphonic piece by Danny Dobbie assisted by Brian McIntyre and Wendie Reid. A movable sculpture commissioned by Visual Statement and designed by Andy Scott will add an extra dimension as the dancers move in and out and on to it. The music is the tranquil ‘A Little Scottish Fantasy’ by Vanessa Mae and ‘For Unto Us A Child Is Born’ by Handel. This is one of the many events during a week long celebration of St Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint. Also known as St Kentigern, the medieval monk’s miracles involved, at different times, a bird, a tree and a fish. On Friday 13 January, around 350 young people will see a performance of the tales by five Glasgow schools with a senior pupil from Lourdes Secondary being the compere in the City Chambers. That afternoon the third Molendinar Awards will be presented to celebrate Glasgow’s local history and archaeology as seen by school children through their own local links. More than 30 schools have entered with the final 12 schools being showcased at the awards presentation in the city’s Banqueting Hall. Molendinar is the name of the burn that runs into the Clyde and it was alongside it, near what is now the High Street area, that St Mungo (St Kentigern) is thought to have settled. Framed certificates will be presented for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of the three categories – Pre 5: Primary 3; Primary 4: Primary 7 and Secondary. Winners will also receive a plaque to display in their school. The Molendinar Awards project brings to the community an awareness of Glasgow’s rich cultural heritage and is designed to support schools in the work they do linked to the local and wider community. Topics schools work on include local history, local family, local developments, school history, the community, tourist Glasgow, modern life and festivals in the city. Entries range from posters, power point presentations and DVD animations to songs and poems. Bailie Jean McFadden, Executive Member for Education, is delighted by the enthusiasm shown by pupils and hopes to see more schools participating next year. She said: ‘The Molendinar Awards are a tremendous opportunity for our schools. We have some very creative and talented young people as shown by the standard of entries this year. I know the judges had some very hard decisions to make. I hope the enthusiasm continues and that we will see more and more young people participating in the Molendinar Awards over the next few years.’ Glasgow City Council Leader, Councillor Gordon Matheson, will join Bailie McFadden in presenting the winning pupils with their framed certificates on Friday. He said: ‘The pupils have enjoyed all aspects of this competition and I’m sure that they will be very excited to find out who the winners are.’
Sailing down the Clyde took on a new meaning when an enormous ‘slice’ of an aircraft carrier was loaded onto a barge at BAE’s Govan yard on Sunday 31 July to be transported to Rosyth for the next stage of production.
It took six months of planning and a 10-strong team to move the 8,000 tonne mid-section block 200 metres out of the shipbuilding hall on Friday 29 July, across the specially reinforced tarmac of the yard to the quayside for loading. The highly technical operation took one hour and used 64 remote controlled transporters.
The block – Lower Block 03 – is a mid section of HMS Queen Elizabeth – the first of the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy being created in Govan. This was the first time the general public had sight of the giant warship embryo which was manoeuvered into place within the hour.
Said one on-looker from the luxury flats across from the yard: ‘It was incredible to see. The block is so big. It is difficult to imagine the size of the complete ship but you realise a little more when you see the people walking around the block looking like little toys.’
Steven Carroll, Queen Elizabeth Class Project Director at BAE Systems, said: ‘I’m extremely proud of the team’s huge achievement of successfully moving the mid section of the hull out of our hall on time.’ He said it was: ‘built to an exceptional standard’ and added: ‘This is a fantastic showcase for British engineering. It is the culmination of months of preparation and is only possible because of the strong partnership with our Carrier Alliance Partners, the skills of our workforce on the Clyde and the thousands of people working on the programme across every region of the UK.’
After being moved out of the hall, the block was loaded onto one of the two biggest sea-going barges in the world in preparation for her 600 mile journey round the north coast of Scotland to Rosyth where the aircraft carrier will be assembled. That voyage begins on Tuesday 16 August. On the same day, more than 50 cyclists from across the Alliance, will leave the Govan yard to ‘beat the block’ by peddling the 500 miles round the North of Scotland to Rosyth in the hope of getting there before the mid section of the hull arrives. The gruelling challenge expects to raise £10,000 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
As a member of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, BAE Systems is working in partnership with Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence to deliver the nation’s flagships. With advanced construction underway at six shipyards across the UK, the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier programme is sustaining thousands of skilled jobs.
The steel for Lower Block 03 was cut in July 2009. When loaded onto the barge it was more than 20 metres high, 60 metres long and 40 metres wide.
Approximately 350 Govan-based employees will follow the block to Rosyth where they will work with Babcock workers to complete the assembly phase of this section of the ship.
Construction of Lower Block 04, the largest and most complex section of hull, is progressing in Govan. Production on the second aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales, started in May.
BAE Systems is also manufacturing the forward and lower stern sections of the hull at its Portsmouth facility, along with the ship’s forward island structure. Additionally, the company is responsible for the integration and testing of the ships’ complex mission and advanced communications systems.
Each 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier will provide the armed forces with a four acre military operating base which can be deployed worldwide. The vessels will be versatile enough to be used for operations ranging from supporting war efforts to providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief and all will be operational by 2020. The QE Class will be the centre piece of Britain’s military capability and will operate at least 12 of the carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter jets.
An apprentice on the Clyde has beaten of piping hot competition to land the prestigious ShipWeld 2010 title- awarded to the most talented, well…welder.
David Crawford, aged 19, in his 3rd year as an apprentice with BAE Systems, was one of 11 finalists from UK shipyards that squared off down at Govan shipyard on the Clyde. During a gruelling 6 hour showdown it was David who flamed to victory, during a series of intricate and intensive welding challenges.
Wiping the sweat from his brow, David said: ‘This is my first time competing so I’m really pleased to have won. I’ve enjoyed taking part and it’s given me the chance to put the skills I’ve learned throughout my apprenticeship into practice.’
One proud man was Scott Graham, BAE Training Coordinator at BAE on the Clyde, who heads the 200 apprentices at Govan shipyard. Said Scott: ‘I would like to congratulate all of the apprentices for getting to this stage. They have shown a high level of proficiency, not only in the competition but also in their apprenticeship training and they should be very proud of their achievement.
BAE Systems, the global defence company, operates on a worldwide scale and has a proud history on the Clyde. They recently launched HMS Duncan from Govan and announced that a £5.4 billion contract to build 2 aircraft carriers was safe despite massive cuts to defence budgets, securing many jobs on the Clyde for the forseeable future.
by Lynsay Keough, photo Stuart Maxwell
Rarely-seen images of Glasgow will go live on the web next week and an open day in the City Chambers will be part of the 5th Historic Glasgow event.
The new website is www.historicglasgow.com and will be housed within the See Glasgow website, www.seeglasgow.com.
Visitors at the open day on Tuesday 14 September will have a chance to see films of Glasgow, discover Govan’s history, see how the River Clyde’s role evolved through the ages, and get an understanding of Glasgow as a place of pilgrimage for people of different faiths.
There will also be a presentation on the Red Road flats by Mark O’Neill of Glasgow Museums and, for sports fans, “How Glaswegians played through Sport and Architecture” by Ged O’Brien.
The new website will include 200 images rarely seen by the public, a children’s page and, of particular importance, a teacher’s resource page to help them bring local history alive in the classroom.
Bailie Catherine McMaster, member of the Historic Glasgow working group,said: ‘The 2010 Historic Glasgow event will once again give everyone interested in exploring Glasgow’s history the opportunity to find out more on the subject. The new Historic Glasgow website will reveal even more of the hidden history of the city. I am sure everyone will be interested to see these rarely seen images of a changing Glasgow over the centuries. They give a fascinating insight into how this great city of ours has evolved.’
Tuesday 14 September, 12.30 – 3.00pm
Glasgow City Chambers
Words and Photograph by Stuart Maxwell
Glasgow’s world famous Tall Ship has set sail for the first time in ten years. It left her mooring at Yorkill Quay, Glasgow Harbour at 1pm on Wednesday 18 August and headed West in full sail, towards the open sea.
Around 200 people watched as the crew prepared the ship for departure. The barque, built in 1896, is 245 ft long with a 37.5ft beam. Eventually, to gasps of joy and thunderous clapping, it was ‘up anchor! ‘The Glenlee was released from the quay.
The Tall ship was then towed down the Clyde by two tugboats and was due to reach Garvel dry dock, Greenock, at 5pm. This trip, however, represents only a sabbatical. In Greenock, the lady will receive a £1.5 million renovation and is expected home in approximately three weeks time.
The Clyde Maritime Trust, which owns and maintains the Glenlee, decided a renovation was necessary after it was announced she would tie up alongside the new Riverside Museum, due to open in spring 2011.
Frank Brown, Chairman of the Clyde Maritime Trust, was delighted to see the ship navigating water once more. Said Frank: ‘This is the Glenlee’s first return to Garvel dry dock since her restoration in 1999 and it is an exciting time as this move has been three years in the planning. The work carried out at Garvel will fit Glenlee for her thrilling new chapter at Riverside’.
Quite a makeover is planned in Garvel. The ship’s hull will be cleaned- no small task- and the back deckhouse will be altered to resemble more closely the ship’s original blueprint.
Since returning from Garvel in 1999, Glasgow’s Tall Ship has attracted over half a million visitors. In the world, it is one of five ships of its kind originally made on the Clyde, and is the only one tied up in Scotland. Of the other four, three can be found in USA and one in Finland.
The Glenlee was built in at Bay Yard, Port Glasgow, in 1890, one of ten steel vessels ordered by Archibald Sterling, a Glasgow shipping firm. After four trips around the globe and surviving fierce storms, the Glenlee was adopted by the Spanish Navy in 1922 and dispatched as a training vessel. In 1992 the Clyde Maritime Trust decided to bring her home.
Hamish Hardie, Vice-Chairman of the Trust, was part of the team that towed it over 1,000 miles across the Atlantic after purchasing the ship for 8 million pesetas…. or £40,000. Said Hamish: ‘ I bought her in an auction while she was lying in Seville. It was really fabulous to watch her sail away today and she’s in such good condition. I had a similar feeling when she left Spain. She took up many years of my life and I am very attached, but she’s in good hands. The city of Glasgow has always looked after her’.
The Glenlee was crewed and transported by Henry Abram and sons, a Glasgow shipping company, established in 1899. As they worked their magic and the elegant ship sailed down the Clyde, memerising all, it was hard not to notice a poem, written on a wall: ‘ A thing of beauty is a joy forever’.
Football grounds, bowling greens, dog tracks, ‘doocots’, racecourses, blaes pitches, athletics tracks and swimming clubs; our city has had them all. Ged O’Brien’s book, Played in Glasgow, is a modestly-sized but mighty anthology that covers every sporting nook and cranny since Victorian times.
This is part of the superb Played In Britain series, backed by Historic Scotland and English Heritage. The volume is subtitled ‘charting the heritage of a city at play’, and is a store of information for those of us who choose to look beyond the elegant stone facades, towering steel skeletons and pretty, manicured lawns.
Beyond Hampden Park, the home of Queen’s Park and Scotland’s international team, there are retrospectives on the homes of Rangers, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Clyde and the bullish ranks of Glasgow Junior football.
O’Brien also looks at the homes of the city’s many rugby teams and enjoys our rich bowling heritage, all recorded with excellent photography and detailed with the care of a first-class reference work.
Played In Glasgow has a section on swimming baths and clubs, from the elegant but forgotten municipal pools of the late 1800s to their 21st century heirs and the architectural wonders of the Western and the Arlington Baths clubs.
The book also strikes a nostalgic tone with a look at the city’s remaining red ash ‘blaes’ pitches and takes a flight into the world of the Glasgow pigeon fancier and their home-built doocots. Neither does it neglect cricketing heritage nor pass by the huge achievements of our many athletes over the years.
With one eye on Glasgow’s place as host for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this book is a roadmap that shows us how far we have come, what we have won, what we have lost and hints at what could yet be.
A blend of social and cultural history and a treat with archive and modern photography, sometimes evocative and occasionally controversial, Played In Glasgow is an essential addition to the book collection of anyone who has an eye for their city’s sporting heritage.
LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW has three copies of Played in Glasgow to give away.
For a chance to win your own copy, just write and tell us which football teams play their home games at Hampden Park.
Send your answers by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put ‘PLAYED IN GLASGOW COMPETITION’ in the header field and remember your name, address and a daytime telephone number. You can also enter by snail mail, please write with your answer to Played In Glasgow Competition, Local News Glasgow, YAM Publications, Third Floor, 142 West Nile Street G1 2RQ. Don’t forget all your contact details.
This competition closed at 9am on Monday, May 24.
Clyde shipbuilding could be a beneficiary of BAE’s four-year, £127m contract from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to develop a new generation of warships for the Royal Navy.
The Type 26 frigate line would replace the Type 22 and Type 23 vessels. While the contract team will be based at Bristol in Avon, BAE yards including those on the Clyde and at Portsmouth could be in line to build the ships when construction begins in earnest.
While the development contract will go ahead, the Type 26 series of warships will face the hurdle of a defence spending review.
Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth told Parliament: ‘It is our duty to provide key equipment that will ensure the UK is properly prepared to meet its own defence needs in an ever changing world, and continue to play an important role in maintaining global security.
‘Programmes like the Type 26 not only ensure the Royal Navy continues to have cutting edge capability but also sustains the industry that supports them. The commitments the MoD has made will protect skills and employment, and preserve the industrial capability needed to carry out future programmes efficiently, in a way that represents value for money.’
The contract team consists of 80 people and that will rise to around 300 over the life of the contract. The four years of work and the team’s findings will also reflect the findings of the government’s defence spending review.
BAE at Govan and Scotstoun is nearing the end of its programme to build a fleet of Type-45 destroyers. Work is also proceeding at Govan on the build for the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, which should enter service between 2016 and 2018.
Thrillseekers are being asked to sign up to help a good cause and take a 1,000 foot zip slide ride across the River Clyde.
Charity Action for Children wants brave souls to sign up for a slide from one side of the river to the other and help raise funds for an appeal to help neglected youngsters.
The big charity jump off will take place on Sunday, 21 March at Finnieston from a specially erected crane.
Action for Children estimates that around 100,000 children in Scotland have entered 2010 at risk of neglect. This is more than the total population of Inverness or East Kilbride.
Those who take part in the zip slide will be given training for their big trip. There will also be live music and refreshments available. It all promises to be a great day out – and all for a great cause.
Details of how to register are available by calling Action for Children Scotland on 0141 550 9024 or by e-mailing email@example.com.