Tuesday 26 February 2013
The race to find £2.7 million to create a Mountain Bike and Activity Centre at Cathkin Braes was launched today.
‘We already have £50,000 promised,’ said Anne McChlery, Director of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust which is behind the project. ‘It’s a big ask so late in the day, but we are confident this Centre will be ready for the Commonwealth Games next year.’
She praised the ‘synergies’ of an already popular mountain bike track being created at Cathkin Braes by Glasgow City Council and the willingness of Glasgow Archdiocese to allow a redundant, B-listed, church building to be adapted as a centre for the mountain bike activities and for local community use.
Architects responsible for the proposed transformation of St Martin’s Church are award winning Elder and Cannon who are based in Glasgow. Their feasibility study and appraisal plans were commissioned by Ardenglen Housing Association Ltd in Castlemilk.
Said architect Alison Hesketh who with colleagues Stephen Hoey and Tom Connolly has devised the plan: ‘The main challenge is to get this open for the Commonwealth Games and to accommodate a wide range of facilities. There will be a community cafe, performance space and education activities as well as mountain bike changing facilities and a bike repair workshop all contained in the church building on Cathkin Braes and all easily accessible.’
Lord Provost Sadie Docherty: ‘This is very much a community led project. I’m delighted to see this proposed Commonwealth Legacy project emerging to support the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Track.’ She said the iconic church building had fantastic memories for many Castlemilk people who attended the Sunday discos run by the church. ‘They led to a lot of marriages…’ she added.
Councillor Archie Graham, who has Executive responsibility for the 2014 Commonwealth Games said: ‘This is a fantastic project. It builds on the challenging mountain bike course which is already well used. It promotes cycling, puts a derelict building to good community use and encourages a healthier lifestyle. We should celebrate all of that. And it comes with a panoramic view of Glasgow!’ He added: ‘Once the elite athletes have gone, there will be something tangible for everyone. I forecast that when 2019 comes and the Games are reviewed, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike and Activity Centre will still be up there among the best legacy projects.’
Local cyclist Colin Hyslop, a member of the very active Mitchelhill Community Group which is one of the key partners driving the idea said: ‘We are getting positive feedback all the time. On Sunday, out on the Track, I could hardly get cycling for people asking me when would the Centre be ready to use? My only concern is that it won’t be big enough!’ The facebook page has already got 687 ‘likes’ and more than 2000 people use it each week to get information on cycling activities at Cathkin Braes.
On behalf of the Archdiocese, surveyor Kenneth Crilley said: ‘The church building is an architectural jewel in Castlemilk. This project will bring it back to life and allow it to be used by the wider Glasgow community. We are all delighted at the prospect.’
More than 500 people attend the Gaelic speaking church during Doors Open weekend. ‘We’d love to have that number every Sunday!’ said the St Columba’s Church elder, Donald MacKechnie at the St Vincent Street ‘B’ listed building.
Despite their Doors Open day banner being ‘pinched’ and despite major repair work still underway following the storms early this year, the church welcomed visitors in true Gaelic style with tea and home baking in the hall and quiet time to walk around the sanctuary and savour the atmosphere. A Gaelic language service is held at 10am and one in English at 11.30am each Sunday in a worship tradition going back to 1770. But the forward looking congregation is on facebook as well as in the history books so have a look at their artistic pages.
This was one of more than 100 buildings taking part in this year’s Doors Open festival in Glasgow. Seminars, talks, walks and artistic events were woven around the core weekend of 15 and 16 September 2012.
And the rain did not deter people from attending or taking part. The East Glasgow Concert Band played under a canopy at the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre off Kelvin Way. And they needed the cover as the rain came down through most of their very tuneful 30 minute set. Conductor Kirsty Martin, a music teacher, said: ‘We’ve played in worse weather! It snowed last year at the Fort shopping centre.’ With their music ranging from Elton John to Queen and from film themes to ‘Yakety Sax’ it was real top tapping stuff. ‘It’s really good to be playing here, ‘ said Kirsty. ‘The more people who hear us the better.’ The wind band was started almost 25 years ago by people who’d learned an instrument at school and wanted to continue to play as a hobby. Now covering a wide age range from school pupils to retired – but mostly early 20s – the band welcomes interested new players. Check their Facebook page or turn up on Tuesdays for the 7pm start to rehearsals at St Andrew’s Secondary School in Carntyne.
Among the bystanders enjoying the playing in the rain were 9 month old Millie Fleming whose mum Cheryl was in the band, and retired librarian Olivia Scott who remembered attending concerts in the Kelvingrove Bandstand in summers past.
‘I’ve still got all the programmes,’ said Miss Scott. ‘You could follow what was being played through the numbers on the programme which were supposed to be matched by a number on the stage. But often the man on the stage would forget to change the number as each new piece of music was played.’
Such memories of music in the Bandstand are likely to become fact in the future if a dedicated partnership led by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust has its way. The derelict site is to be redeveloped in time to be used for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. ‘Fundraising is going quite well,’ said Anne McChlery Director of the Trust who was standing at the Bandstand site throughout the rainy Doors Open Sunday to inform visitors about the project. ‘We’ve raised £900,000 to date and are confident we can reach the £1.5million target.’
Closed in 1999, the site became derelict and is on the Buildings At Risk Register. But a band of valiant supporters kept campaigning to bring the place back into use. Built in 1924, it could accommodate 3000 people seated and 7000 standing for open-air performances. Earlier this year an agreement was reached with Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and Glasgow Life on a plan to develop the site, access funding and confirm users. Page/Park lead the design team. Further details from Miranda Lorraine at GBPT : 0141 221 6061 www.gbpt.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is new hope that Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre will be revived in time to be used during the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
As the Easter holiday started, Glasgow Building Preservation Trust announced that their long-running campaign to restore the venue had passed Round 1 of the Heritage Lottery Fund process. Said Anne McChlery, Director at the Trust: ‘A first-round pass means the project meets criteria for funding. We believe it has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money. The application was in competition with other supportable projects, so a first-round pass is an endorsement of outline proposals. We now have up to two years to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.’
The Trust and its partners – Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life, Architectural Heritage Fund, Friends of Kelvingrove Park and the local community – have development funding to cover draft design costs for this stage. During 2012, the project team will be concentrating on refining the design proposals and fundraising to secure the estimated £1.4million to bring this historic and social landmark back to life. But it is ‘full of asbestos’ said Anne, so that has to be removed before further checks on the building structure can be made.
Said Anne: ‘We are keen to record people’s memories of the bandstand as it was an important cultural venue. Initially designed for brass bands in the 1920s it was well used up till about 1999 when Radio Clyde had majour groups there. It even hosted poll tax demonstrations! We want to capture that cultural heritage and welcome anyone with memories and pictures to come and share them with us.’ The project Design Team comprises: Page/Park architects; nbm cost consultants; SKM structural engineers; Harley Haddow services engineer.
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage assets and has invested over £536 million in Scotland.
Before the gallows was packed away, the performance of The Martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie was being considered for revival in 2015. That will be 400 years after the man was hanged at Glasgow Cross.
The story of the Scottish Catholic priest who was tortured, tried and convicted for treason in the climate of major change in the run up to the Reformation was told and re-told 11 times during Lentfest in churches in and beyond Glasgow.
At the final night in St Aloysius’ Church, Garnethill, the dramatic events unfolded before an audience of around 200. Principal actor, script writer, director and van driver Stephen Callaghan, showed clearly how this man died to defend religious freedom for everyone. The cast presented a moving story that made sense of history.
Stephen – who is also Director of Lentfest, an arts and music festival promoted by the Archdiocese of Glasgow – said: ‘This has been so worthwhile. We have a wonderful cast and crew from all over Glasgow and beyond and of different backgrounds and faiths. Each has brought something unique to the play. I hope the play will inspire people to find out more about St John Ogilvie.’
As the final bows were taken, one of the youngest cast members stepped forward spontaneously and thanked Stephen for how she had been welcomed into AGAP Community Theatre. ‘I knew no-one when I arrived,’ said the 16-year-old. ‘Now I have many friends.’
Many of the audience knew little of the martyr Saint John Ogilvie before they arrived, but they left with a new perspective on the freedom to follow any faith today in Scotland and how this has been won by martyrs like St John Ogilvie.
The performance was one of the last major music and drama events held for Lentfest. But during Holy Week there will be ‘Women at the Cross’ in St Alphonsus’ Church on Monday 2 April at 7.30pm.
At University of Glasgow Memorial Chapel there will be the free art exhibition depicting many different artists’ interpretation of events around Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. The exhibition is open 9am till 5pm. Among some of the University’s own artefacts will be Roman nails of the type used in the time of Christ for crucifixion.
On Sunday 15 April at 3pm there will be Ecumenical Stations: Via Lucis: Stations of the Resurrection with prayers and meditations led by the University of Glasgow Chaplaincy Team, Rev Stuart MacQuarrie, Fr John Keenan and Strathclyde University Catholic Chaplain, Fr Brendan Slevin OP, held in Glasgow University’s Memorial Chapel.
Kinning Park Community Complex is being spruced up thanks to Barr Construction and Johnstone’s Paints. They have donated 200 litres of paint which will be used by volunteers to give the busy centre a much needed make-over.
Built in the early 1900s as a primary school. It was saved from closure by a longterm sit in by local people who saved it for community use. The building is host to a range of activities including Zumba classes, public meetings, sports clubs, music workshops, art shows and live music events.
The venue has been crying out for re-decoration for sometime but the committee feared funds would be hard to come by as the income they receive from tenants and groups who use the facility is tied up in the everyday running of the building.
Barr Construction and Johnstone’s Paints work together on such projects as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. Said Barclay Chalmers, managing director of Barr Construction: ‘We are committed to working with local communities to support initiatives which provide resources for people and generate training and employment opportunities. We were happy to step in and donate paint along with Johnstone’s Paints as part of our ongoing drive to keep Scotland’s communities alive.’ Johnstone’s Decorating Centre on Watt Street, near Kinning Park, supplied the paint.
Colin Begg, a visual artist and director of Kinning Park Complex, said: ‘At a time when money is tight, support from Barr Construction and Johnstone’s Paints makes a tremendous difference to our facility. There is so much going on here for local people and we’re starting to drum up a reputation as the place to be in the arts community, so keeping the place in decent nick is really important to us to keep attracting users.’
The facility is entirely community-run and currently welcomes hundreds of people each week.
Local Councillor Allison Hunter – who was born and grew up in the area – stopped by the complex to support the project and meet those involved. She said: ‘Kinning Park Complex has been a huge asset to the local area for many years and is well deserving of a make-over as it is a truly fantastic facility. I am grateful for this kind donation and hope people continue to use the centre for many years to come.’
The chaplaincy of Glasgow University is working with the Archdiocese to promote Lentfest – an arts festival held during the preparation time before Easter.
Twenty-nine artists from across the UK will take part in a major exhibition of Stations of the Cross and Resurrection at the University.
The strong line-up includes Peter Howson, Jolomo (John Lowrie Morrison), Anne Devine, Sandy Moffat and Richard Demarco alongside regular participants such as Sarah T. Bookless, Brendan Berry and David T. Collins.
Lentfest Director, Stephen Callaghan explains: ‘The popularity of the exhibition topic illustrates the timelessness of Biblical subject matter and the diversity of the artists will no doubt ensure a wide range of interpretations. We’ve never had so many artists take part and not all of them are Christian so it will be interesting to see what they come up with.’
Archbishop Mario Conti, Lentfest’s patron, added: ‘I am delighted that we have the support of the University of Glasgow Chaplaincy for this exhibition and I hope that many people will visit it during Lent and use it as a means of reflection and prayer.’
Among the highlights of Lentfest will be a new play about the martyrdom of Saint John Ogilvie who died at Glasgow Cross in 1615. A weekend of music workshops will be led by James MacMillan and Father Guy Nichols from the John Henry Newman Institute for Liturgical Music in Birmingham. The first performance of Graham Hair’s new version of ’The Seven Last Words’ with liturgical dance is also scheduled.
Glasgow University’s multifaith centre is expecting VIP visitors next year. The Rev. Stuart MacQuarrie, senior cleric at the church in the Square said: ‘We expect the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Right Rev. David Arnott and Glasgow’s Archbishop Mario Conti. We also plan a service for couples being married.’
Apart from the Lentfest exhibition, Glasgow University’s multifaith centre (the chaplaincy) is expecting VIP visitors. Said Rev. Stuart MacQuarrie, senior cleric at the church in University Square: ‘We expect a visit from the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, Right Rev. David Arnott and Glasgow’s Archbishop Mario Conti. We also plan a service for couples being married.’
Both Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and the National Museum of Scotland in Chambers Street, Edinburgh, have clocked in their 1 millionth visitor.
Less than four months after re-opening, following a three-year, £47 million transformation,
the National Museum of Scotland welcomed its millionth visitor. That person was among the party from Stockbridge Primary School
The landmark figure has been achieved eight months ahead of predictions, and outstrips the previous record figure for a full year. The Museum’s highest attendance then was 833,324 visits in 2007/08, the year before it partially closed for redevelopment.
Visitors from across the world have poured through the Museum’s impressive new street-level entrance and into the spectacular Grand Gallery, from where they have been able to enjoy 16 new galleries. The beautifully-restored Victorian building only last week won the Andrew Doolan Award for the Best Building in Scotland for 2011.
Over 8,000 treasures are on show, 80% of them for the first time. The Natural World Galleries with their life-sized T.rex, and the Museum’s re-positioned Millennium Clock, are among the objects proving the biggest hit with visitors. Another firm favourite is the Window on the World, the UK’s biggest single museum installation, which features an array of nearly 900 objects representing the diversity of the Museum’s collections.
A spectacular opening ceremony on Chambers Street in July saw nearly 6,000 people pass through the doors in the first hour. Now the entire first year target has been reached in under four months.
National Museums Scotland is building on this success with a programme of blockbuster exhibitions in its new, larger, purpose-built space for special exhibitions. The first major new shows will feature Ancient Egypt and a Russian Empress when ‘Fascinating Mummies’ and ‘Catherine the Great’ open in 2012.
Gordon Rintoul, Director, National Museums Scotland said: ‘To reach this monumental visitor figure so far ahead of our predictions is an incredible achievement. Years of planning, fund raising and hard work have gone into realising our vision of creating a world-class museum that sits firmly at the heart of Scotland’s cultural landscape. To receive such a positive response from the public is truly amazing. People really are voting with their feet and giving a massive endorsement to all of the dedication, knowledge and creativity of our staff and supporters. We are delighted.’
Equal enthusiasm was shown at Glasgow’s £74 million Riverside museum which is now become the city’s most popular attraction since it opened on June 21. On June 25 more than 15,000 people streamed through its doors.
Councillor Gordon Matheson, the Leader of Glasgow City Council was on hand this week to welcome the 1millionth visitor – 7 -year-old Sam Irving and his family from Dumfries. Said Councillor Matheson:’ The public response to the Riverside Museum has been phenomenal and the museum has coped brilliantly. The place has comprehensively beaten the visitor number projections and is now a ‘must see’ attraction in Glasgow and Scotland. I’m delighted for Sam that he is our 1millionth visitor and we look forward to many millions more in years to come.’
The Riverside Museum houses more than 3000 exhibits in over 150 interactive displays demonstrating the quality of ’Clyde Built’. From massive steam locomotives to recreation city streets of the 1900s, the cathedral-like structure provides a stunning backdrop to showcase the innovation and ambition of Glasgow which was ‘Second City of the Empire.’
Sam said it was ‘cool’ to be the VIP 1 millionth visitor. The family were on their second visit and Sam’s favourite display was the bikes: ‘Because I like to go out on my bike at home.’ His mum Susan, added: ‘It’s a fantastic place and great for kids with all the interactive displays. It’s also good for Sam’s dad who was a mechanic and acts just like a big kid himself when he’s here. It’s a great day out for all the family.’
The Museum has played host to big events such as a seafood festival and a spellbinding performance by Scottish cyclist Danny MacAskill whose bike is one of the exhibits. Highlights at the Riverside include the Wall of Cars, the hanging Bicycle Velodrome, the South African Locomotive, No 9 Tank Engine, Motorbike Deck. For more information see: www.glasgowmuseums.com/riverside
A world-class badminton coach, Mrs Qinghua Song, gave a master class to pupils at Scotland’s School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy in a strenuous workout session at Hillhead Secondary School this week.
Based in Glasgow’s twin city Dalian, Mrs Song coached the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Ladies Singles badminton champion Zhang Ning and also the 2008 Olympic champions Du Jing and Yu Lang. Said Angela Porter, Director of the Glasgow School of Sport: ‘This has been a wonderful opportunity for our young people to learn so much – not just about their sport, but also about competing at world level. We hope this visit will be the start of a long and fruitful partnership between Liaoning Table tennis and Badminton Centre, where Mrs Song is, and Glasgow School of Sport. Ultimately we hope this will lead to our young players spending time in Dalian being coached by world champion players.’
Mrs Song is visiting Glasgow till 23 September following an agreement first discussed by the Mayor of Dalian when he visited Glasgow’s Lord Provost in 2008.
She visited Scotland’s only School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy. At Hillhead High School’s Confucius Classroom, she was given a tuneful welcome from a piper from Glasgow’s Gaelic School and entertained by award winning Highland Dancers. After lunch, Mrs Song took charge and put students from the School of Sport through their paces under their High Performance Badminton Coach, Craig Robertson.
Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Councillor Robert Winterhad hosted a civic reception for Mrs Song the previous evening.
Twinned with Glasgow since 1987, Dalian is a northern coastal city in China with a diverse economy ranging from agriculture to light industry to petrochemicals.
The Scottish School of Sport currently has 127 pupils from 12 different local authorities covering a variety of sports skills and is a designated National Centre of Excellence. The sports students have represented Scotland more than 200 times and won two gold and one silver medal at Commonwealth youth level and one each of gold, silver and bronze in Olympic competition.
After the Master Class, Ian Anderson, Head Teacher at Bellahouston and the School of Sport said: ‘Mrs Song’s visit offers further evidence that, in Glasgow School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy, we are determined to set the highest possible standards and to allow our young people to learn from the best in the business.’
People who have led teams coping with emergency situations around the world, were in Glasgow this week to share their knowledge at the Resilience Symposium organised by the Emergency Planning Society, and held at the SECC.
A key speaker was Bob Parker, Mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand when the first earthquake struck that city. He described the impact of the disaster on the community and explored the role of leadership required at the critical time. David Brunsdon, Director at Kestrel Group Ltd, Risk and Emergency Management company outlined the challenges for businesses recovering from the NZ earthquakes.
Dr David Johnston, Associate Professor and Director of the Joint Centre for Disaster Research, discussed the social and economic impact of the earthquake in Christchurch.
Eric Ouannes, General Director, Médecins Sans Frontières in Japan, dealt with the medical and humanitarian response to the relief effort in Japan after the recent earthquake and tsunami there. He examined the co-ordination, the challenges and the safety issues that had to be addressed.
Professor Patrick Regan, an expert in Radiation and Environmental Protection at the University of Surrey, focussed on the Japanese nuclear power crisis and its impact on the UK.
Emergency and resilience professionals from around Scotland and the rest of the UK, attended the new event which had an associated exhibition – Emergency Scotland 2011.
Two vulnerable asylum seekers have been given less than 24 hours’ notice to move out of their accommodation.
This has happened despite assurances by the UK Borders Agency that families would receive a minimum of three days’ notice before being removed and despite Immigration Minister Damian Green’s promise that people would be given 14 days’ notice.
In one case, a single mum from Iran with two school age children, has lived in her Glasgow City Council accommodation for two years. She has been told to go to YMCA accommodation. In the other case, a single man was told to leave his council flat and move into Angel property.
Said a spokesperson from Unity, an asylum support agency: ‘It is shocking that anyone would be treated in such a way but reprehensible that it should be done with no regard to their medical background.’
Robina Qureshi, Director of Positive Action in Housing, said: ‘Despite assurances, the UKBA are carrying on regardless with their inhumane tactics. We call for the actions of the UKBA to be investigated by the Scottish Affairs Select committee. The UKBA’s behaviour is nothing less than contemptuous.’
The situation has arisen because the housing contract between Glasgow City Council and the UKBA agency has been withdraw by UKBA.
PAIH’s supporters are being asked to contact elected representatives and other key people, to demand an investigation and assurances that no more 24 hour eviction letters will be sent out to the remaining 600 refugee families.
More information on: Twitter: http://twitter.com/PAIHLTD