The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made their first formal visit to Glasgow yesterday.
They spent the morning meeting young people at the city’s recently opened £113 million Emirates Arena. The flagship venue will host badminton and track cycling events in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It is a key part of the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018. Later this year the Junior Track World Championships and World Youth Netball Championships will take place there.
During their tour of the state-of-the-art facility the Royal couple watched pupils from the Glasgow School of Sports and other aspiring athletes, training in athletics, track cycling, badminton, football and netball. They then viewed a Glasgow 2014 exhibition where they met young people including Beth Gilmour who designed Glasgow 2014 mascot Clyde and apprentices who were employed as part of the Commonwealth Apprenticeship Initiative. They also met Mahad Ahmed and Jasmine Main – young ambassadors for Glasgow’s bid for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games – and some City Building apprentices who worked on the construction of the Emirates Arena.
Next they went to Drumchapel’s Glasgow Club Donald Dewar. There they launched a Scottish pilot of the innovative Coach Core project. Launched last July just before the London 2012 Olympic Games, Coach Core aims to inspire and train the next generation of sports coaches across the UK.
It is hoped that the Glasgow project will form an important part of the legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the city’s bid to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.
The Royal Foundation is partnering with Glasgow Life and the Hunter Foundation on the initiative.
Chair of Glasgow Life and the Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, Councillor Archie Graham, said: “This visit highlights our shared vision and commitment to sport in Glasgow, from investing in world-class facilities such as the stunning new Emirates Arena through to our partnership with The Royal Foundation, which will create coaching opportunities at a grassroots level. Sports coaches are at the very heart of sport in Glasgow and we are honoured that their Royal Highnesses chose the city to launch the Scottish pilot of the Coach Core initiative. London 2012 inspired a generation and we want to continue that journey through the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. Coach Core will help us do that.”
Sir Tom Hunter, Chairman of The Hunter Foundation which has provided funding to The Royal Foundation to enable the delivery of the Coach Core programme in Glasgow, said: “Coach Core is an exceptional model of positive social intervention because it uses sport to enable lasting change at grassroots, community level. We are delighted to have supported The Royal Foundation in bringing this important initiative to Scotland. Our hope is that the apprentice coaches employed by Glasgow Life each year will deliver transformational change in their communities through sports development. We’d also like to see Coach Core in every local authority in Scotland through the leadership of The Royal Foundation and Glasgow Life.”
Glasgow 2014 Chairman, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: “We were absolutely delighted to show the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge how young people are an integral part of the journey towards the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the biggest multi-sport event Scotland has ever seen.
“Young people have been involved in all of our major milestones from the creation of our official games mascot, called Clyde,
to the design of the official Glasgow 2014 tartan and right through to the Commonwealth apprentices who work on delivering the Games at our Glasgow headquarters.”
Glasgow 2018 Youth Olympic Games ambassador Jasmine Main said: “It was a fantastic experience being able to tell the Duchess of Cambridge about the city’s plans to host the Youth Olympic Games in 2018.”
Thursday 21 Febrary 2013
They rolled out the red carpet tonight at the re-newed Olympia building in Bridgeton to launch Scotland’s first ever Mediatheque.
More than 2500 films and tv shows can now be viewed FREE in a comfortable booth in Bridgeton Library one of the popular facilities within the iconic building.
Among the amazing scenes on film are Jamaica Street in 1901, Ardrossan Sports Gala’s boxing event in the 1920s and Sean Connery telling the story of the revival of Glasgow’s Fairfield shipbuilders in the 1960s. Other treasures are Crystal Spirit showing how writer George Orwell lived on Jura in 1946-48 suffering from tuberculosis and writing ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’.
Said Simon McCallum, Curator of Mediatheques for the British Film Institute (BFI) : ‘This is all about our heritage. There are films here that have, perhaps, been shown only once on tv – like the rare footage of Crystal Spirit.’
Karen Cunningham, Head of Libraries and Cultural Venues for Glasgow Life welcomed the many guests to the launch. She said: ‘It is important to hold events like the launch of Mediatheque in libraries. Libraries are even more relevant today with literature and events – and now film in Bridgeton – interlinked.’
Local resident Grace Donald, who was one of a group of local people actively consulted from the time it was decided to renovate the B listed Olympia building, said: ‘Clyde Gateway has done us proud. What they’ve done for Bridgeton with this and other developments couldn’t be better.’
Clyde Gateway recognised the historic significance and the local importance of the former theatre and cinema dating from 1911. They chose Page\Park Architects to redesign it. Four new floors have been added at the side and are available for commercial renting. The facade and dome have been retained and refurbished. The ground floor is now busy as the local public library and learning centre with a cafe and now the Mediatheque. A boxing authority is expected to take occupation of offices on the first floor in March.
Concierge and security officer Jimmy Pope said it was remarkable the effect the new building had on people. ‘They are positive and proud. It brings back memories of many years ago. And they act like they were 18 all over again and coming into the back seat of the cinema.’
There is even a queue to get into the library: ‘It’s as if we’ve never had a library before!’ said one resident. ‘But the old library was almost just round the corner.’
In an amusing speech, film buff Bailie Liz Cameron said she was: ‘very very proud that the BFI had created Scotland’s first Mediatheque in Bridgeton Library. As Chair of the current Film Festival in Glasgow she added: ‘I love film and want everyone to love and enjoy it. The Mediatheque is a way to give something to the community and create a Hub.’
She forecast that people would be flocking to the Olympia building from all over Glasgow and beyond to see films and tv programmes.
Chris Travers, Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences for BFI described the Bridgeton Library Mediatheque as: ‘The doorway into the riches of film archives. A kind of Tardis for the family. It is exciting that our screen heritage can be unlocked.’ He said more would come as film archives were digitalised.
Councillor George Redmond, speaking as a Board member of Clyde Gateway, said: ‘In Bridgeton, dreams can come true.’ He instanced several local people who’d gone on to act in leading roles in various films, having been inspired by the films they’d seen at the former cinema at the Olympia. And he led a toast that the Mediatheque would do the same for another generation.
Photographs by Ian Watson
A state-of-the-art library and learning centre opened this week in the £10 million refurbished Olympia building at Bridgeton Cross.
As well as an extensive range of books, newspapers and magazines, the library has 32 PCs, online learning, a community room and a children’s area. It will offer computer courses and reader development programmes. There are also enhanced business resources and a rich collection of local and family history archives. The ground floor library is the first part of the Olympia Building to open to the public. A new boxing gym will be occupied by Amateur Boxing Scotland early next year and office space on the top floor is also available.
First opened in 1911 as a variety theatre, the landmark building later became a popular cinema. In its declining years it was a bingo hall before closing in the 1990s.
Bowing to public pressure, Clyde Gateway bought the red standstone, turretted, premises in 2009. Refurbishment started in 2011 and was completed in October 2012. One of the highlights of the refurbishment was in February this year when the restored original dome was lifted back into place.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “Libraries are at the very heart of our communities. New life has been breathed into the Olympia and this library will play a vital role in the life of Bridgeton for generations to come.”
Councillor George Redmond, the Vice-Chair of Clyde Gateway said: “The opening of the library is the latest chapter in what is becoming a thrilling story of the regeneration of the Bridgeton and Dalmarnock communities. There is an incredible transformation across the whole area. This fantastic new library really does have the best of everything and I have no doubt it is going to be very popular with residents of all ages.”
Grace Donald, an 87-year-old lifelong resident of Bridgeton said: “The Olympia has always been very special to me. I spent many a happy night at the cinema with my husband and my children. I was really upset when it closed its doors. That was a very low point in Bridgeton’s history. I never dreamed that I’d ever get back inside the building so it’s a big thrill to see what Clyde Gateway and Glasgow Life have done. I’ve lived here all my life and I know that Bridgeton Cross has never looked better.”
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: email@example.com
In the Silverburn road show challenge : Everyone’s A Winner! individuals can cycle a mile in the Mall to raise funds for the Hub. More than 300 people did that last Sunday to take the fundraising past the £2000 mark.
For every mile cycled, Silverburn donates 60p to the Pollok Sports Hub.
The Sports Hub is the local umbrella charity which supports sports teams and encourages more young people to become involved in sport and more residents to use the Hub facilities.
Commenting on the efforts so far, Silverburn’s General Manger, David Pierotti, said: ‘For just 60 seconds of your time you can put money towards a potential future local Olympian.’
Kevin West, Sports Development Officer with Glasgow Life plays a large part in the Community Sports Hub and has been massively involved in the challenge on the mall. He said, ‘The funds raised by Silverburn will go towards raising the capacity of the sports clubs to provide Pathways not just for young people to participate in sport but also for local people to become involved as volunteers.’ The funds will go towards equipment, promotional materials, training and access opportunities.
The static cycle effort is stationed outside Debenhams until Sunday August 12. Further information on the Everyone’s a Winner’s road show: http://style.shopsilverburn.com/events
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.
Tea for Thought
Date: Wednesday 14 March 2012
Venue: The Burrell Collection, Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, Glasgow G43 1AT
Join Curator Yupin Chung for a talk ‘A Cup of Spring Tea’ to explore Burrell’s delicate collection of tea ware, followed by a unique event ‘Chinese Tea Tasting and Poetry Reading’ at the Café. You will have a chance to try Mini Dragon Empire Biscuits specially baked by our chef.
Curator’s Talk | 12.30 pm, FREE, drop in
Tea Tasting | 2.00 – 3.00 pm, FREE, but as places are limited please book in advance by phoning 0141 287 2550
The Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow in association with Glasgow Life and Glasgow Museums.
A promise by First Minister Alex Salmond has given hope to 50 East End families that the £18 million Tollcross Aquatic Centre can provide a replacement for their doomed day care Centre.
The Accord Centre in Dalmarnock will be demolished to make way for a coach park for the Commonwealth Games. In preparation for that, more than 100 people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome and complex learning needs have been dispersed to other centres in the city. But more than 50 families have rejected the proposed alternatives to the Accord believing they had been promised a ‘like for like’ facility.
A year ago, Alex Salmond visited the Accord Centre to see for himself what the situation was. Since then behind-the-scenes negotiations and discussions have been taking place with Glasgow City Council officials and elected members and the Scottish Government.
In a personal letter to one of the Accord Centre families, Alex Salmond said this week: ‘I am keen to follow through on the Scottish Government’s commitment to ensure that the legacy of the Commonwealth Games benefits the whole community of Glasgow. While recognising that you will be disappointed that Glasgow City Council has decided that those who use the Accord Centre are to transfer to the Bambury Centre, there is a real opportunity in the medium and long term to influence the shape of the new Aquatic Centre when it is adapted for community use following the Commonwealth Games in 2014. This brand new, modern, resource could be adapted to offer a similar facility to that which you saw when you visited the Harry Smith complex in South Lanarkshire.’
After that visit to South Lanarkshire one of the carers told this website: ‘I wept when I saw it. It was everything we could wish for. There was a swimming pool, gyms, film room, cafe, art room and facilities for people with special needs like our sons and daughters. But it was also open to the public in a way that was safe for the vulnerable users but integrated with the general public.’
Alex Salmond’s letter continued: ‘The longer term plans (at the Tollcross Aquatic Centre) include a range of opportunities for people with learning disabilities such as the development and use of a community hall and function rooms. There is also the possibility of first floor accommodation in the Spectator Gallery which would provide an opportunity for a range of activities. And Glasgow Life staff are investigating how to incorporate personal changing and support areas into existing plans at the build stage of the current development. I know from discussions with my officials, that colleagues within Glasgow City Council are keen to explore and develop this option with you and I would encourage you to do so.’
He concluded: ‘The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the Games Legacy includes recognition of the needs of people with a learning disability. The longer term plans for the Aquatic Centre present an opportunity to make a positive, tangible impact on the lives of such people. I have, therefore, asked my officials, working in conjunction with Glasgow City Council to prepare a funding package to ensure that a modern facility is created within the Tollcross Aquatic Centre after the Commonwealth Games in 2014 have taken place.’
In November, a confidential report was produced by the Joint Improvement Team made up of representatives of the Scottish Government, NHS and Cosla. According to Glasgow City Council, the report ‘rules out the possibility of Tollcross Aquatics Centre being used as a learning disability centre prior to the Commonwealth Games. There is also a question mark about having a dedicated centre after the games. But it makes clear the desirability of people from the Accord/Bambury Centre using Tollcross as part of their everyday activities.’
Councillor Matt Kerr, Executive Member for Social Care in a statement issued this week said: ‘I welcome this report and the conclusion that the Bambury Centre is a suitable base for people with learning disabilities. That Centre offers a real opportunity to deliver a service that will encourage greater social inclusion for service users. Considerable effort has gone into producing the report and so its recommendations will be taken very seriously by the Council.’ He continued: ‘Since reforming our learning disability services, people are showing they relish having greater flexibility to follow their own interests and aspirations. Using the Bambury Centre allows us to strike a balance between people taking greater control over their lives and retaining a centre.’
The move of the remaining families from the Accord Centre to the nearby Bambury Centre is imminent.
The Bambury Centre in Barrowfield, was recently purchased by West of Scotland Housing Association and is being refurbished. Part of the building, with its own entrance, will be reserved for the former Accord users as a meeting place where they will go out from to different activities.
After the receipt of Alex Salmond’s letter one of the East Carers Group said: ‘ I am very, very pleased with the letter. This is what we’ve been campaigning for. We are not talking about access to Tollcross. We want a fully functional day care facility. The Bambury Centre is the epitome of Glasgow City Council’s approach. It is a shabby after-thought. Our families are not being treated with the dignity they deserve. I cannot understand why the Council is not welcoming Tollcross and incorporating the facilities we’re asking for. They are being dragged kicking and screaming to this. They have been given £150,000 of public money for a feasibility study into making Tollcross suit the needs of vulnerable people but they are not fully engaged with the idea. We want a fair replacement for the Accord Centre. The only people who don’t see this are Glasgow City Councillors.’
Grace Harrigan, an official spokesperson for the East Carers group said: ‘We welcome the commitment to provide modern day centre facilities in Tollcross. But we’d like it nailed down. This is not about access to Tollcross. By law, all new buildings should be accessible. Shame on Glasgow City Council if, after spending £18m on the Aquatic Centre at Tollcross, they have not included the needs of some of their most vulnerable citizens.’
In October at the Council meeting where the decision to close the Accord Centre was taken, Grace was one of three parents evicted from the public gallery for shouting at the Labour Councillors presenting the case for closure. Because of that, she believes she was targeted when she attended the February Budget meeting of the Council. Not only was she taken out of the public gallery by attendants but she was told she was banned for life from the City Chambers. On the day she told this website: ‘I was doing nothing but listening. Then the attendant came over and said I was disrupting the meeting, took me out of the building and told me I would never be allowed back in.’
This week, in response, a Council statement was received about the incident: ‘A member of the public was asked to leave the City Chambers after being warned by staff about their conduct during the budget debate. No-one has been banned from the City Chambers as a consequence of this incident.’
A long term supporter of the Accord campaigners, community activist, Iain McInnes told this website: ‘This letter from Mr Salmond is good news. We’ve waited a long time for this. However, this is not victory. It is positive input along the road. When we get a letter saying Tollcross will be available for day care, offering facilities which have been available in the Accord Centre, and more; then we will believe the campaign will have succeeded.’
The Princess Royal delighted more than 150 special guests at Glasgow’s new £74 million Riverside Museum when she formally opened it today. (Friday 11 November 2011)
Pupils of St Constantine’s Primary School in Govan who are on the Junior Board at the Museum and who had designed one of the interactive games which are proving so popular, had a ringside view as the Royal party left. Said Luis McCann who with Claire Wasige, is current champion at their game: ‘The best thing about today was the Princess.’
That was echoed by Councillor George Redmond, Chair of Glasgow Life, who escorted the Royal visitor through many of the exhibits: ‘In four and a half months we’ve had 945,000 visitors here, which is quite remarkable. Everyone who had played a part in this has looked forward to this day.’
Lord Provost Bob Winter as Lord Lieutenant who stands in for the Queen on occasions in Glasgow added his thanks to everyone ‘behind the scenes,’ in particular. ‘The design, building and operation of the Riverside Museum is wonderful. The project was delivered on time and within budget. The sheer dedication of the entire team is remarkable and everyone should be rightly proud of the treasure trove we possess.’
The Princess Royal, too, was clearly enthusiastic about the Museum. After unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit, she said:’It has been a pleasure to see this place that has had rave reviews. The praise is entirely appropriate.’
On congratulating everyone concerned she added: ‘Long may the visitors continue.’
The Princess Royal also went aboard the Tall Ship Glenlee, one of only five Clyde built sailing ships of that kind afloat in the world. Moored in front of the Museum, it has recently undergone a £1.5m refurbishment. Said Dr Christopher Mason, who heads the Trust which runs the Tall Ship: ’It is always good to get royal recognition for staff and volunteers – it is a great boost to everyone’s morale. The Princess took great interest in our work and we hope she will come again.’
A new collaboration between Glasgow Arts and Hopscotch Theatre Company will bring a fun filled pantomime to ten community venues starting from Wednesday 23 November.
Not only is the credit crunch beginning to bite, but Mother Goose (played by Paul Kozinski) is ageing fast and has spent all the rent on wrinkle cream. When her Lucy the goosey starts to lay golden eggs it looks as if her worries are over. But the dreadful Demon King (David McGowan and Ross Stenhouse) has his greedy eye on the Golden Goose and that spells trouble…
Scripted and directed by Ross Stenhouse, the production is a modern take on the traditional tale. It has plenty of singing, dancing, laughs, magic and audience participation. And tickets at £3 and £2 are selling fast which supports the theory that communities have a thirst for live performance.
First stop will be the Lodging House Mission in Gallowgate on 23 November with the last of the 10 shows being in Castlemilk on Saturday 17 December.
Writer, director and actor Ross Stenhouse is a founder member of Hopscotch Theatre and said: ‘Hopscotch are delighted to be performing our pantomime for Glasgow Life for the first time and are looking forward to entertaining audiences all over Glasgow. There will be fun and laughter, boos and hisses and golden eggs aplenty when that goose gets loose aboot the hoose.’
Councillor George Redmond, Chair of Glasgow Life, said; ‘I am excited at our collaboration with Hopscotch Theatre Company this Christmas, to bring all the fun of panto into the very heart of our communities across the city. Encouraging a love of the arts is a wonderful gift to give our children. That often starts with shouting at the pantomime villain and getting involved in a traditional festive show like this one.’
For more information on Mother Goose Community Pantomime visit www.glasgowlife.org.uk/arts
Dates for the panto are: Wednesday 23 November, Lodging House Mission, G1;
Friday 25 November, Bellcraig Community Centre, G23;
Saturday 26 November, Barmulloch Community Centre, G21;
Friday 2 December, Penilee Community Centre, G52;
Saturday 3 December,The Whiteinch Centre, G14;
Thursday 8 December, Drumchapel Community Centre, G15;
Friday 9 December, Pollok Community Centre, G53;
Thursday 15 December, Shettleston Community Centre, G32,
Friday 16 December, Saint Francis Centre, G5;
Saturday 17 December, Castlemilk Community Centre, G45.