Friday 22 February 2013
There was no real score kept of the football match today between students from Hollybrook Academy in Glasgow and counterparts from Maerkisches Berufskolleg in Unna, Germany.
But the friendly game – possibly 8 -8 – played at Toryglen indoor football centre, was great fun. It was followed by a visit to
Hampden Football Museum.
Said Mary Farrell Head Teacher of Hollybrook in Govanhill: ‘We have a jam-packed itinerary planned for our visitors, including trips to the Riverside Museum, Anniesland College, Xscape and orienteering in Mugdock Park.’
Some of the local students – aged up to 18 – and the German visitors – aged up to 23 – plan to hire kilts for their final fling – a ceilidh at the end of the two week visit. Said DJ NotNot alias Declan McNaughton (16): ‘We’ve sorted out the music for the night. There will be chart stuff, ceilidh music and music the German visitors want.’ Added DJ Barbie alias Stephen McLauchlan (17): ”All the equipment is organised as well as the lighting and the food.’
The two schools for young people with additional support needs, have been in touch through an initiative funded by the British Council supporting a bilingual Comenius Project.
Said Hollybrook teacher Silke Bryce, who is German and taught English before coming to live and work in Scotland: ‘This is a two year sports and leisure project. It allows an exchange of teachers and students and stimulates them to learn about each other’s country, culture, life style and language.’
The Glasgow students aim to travel to Germany next year but they haven’t worked out yet what they can do about kilts…
Celebrating his 100th birthday, Hugh Baillie considers his secret of long life is: ‘Living a normal life. And not having too much to do with the drink.’ But his younger brother Sandy – a mere 92 – blew the gaff: ‘Only the good die young!’ he quipped.
Most of Hugh’s family of two children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren – and brother Sandy – attended his special birthday party in Sherbrooke Lodge care home in Pollokshields. Hugh and his late wife Peggy were married in September 1939 as war broke out. They lived together in Sherbrooke Lodge in recent years until Peggy passed away 18 months ago.
A railway worker since leaving school at 15, Hugh was in a reserved occupation, critical to the war effort, so not allowed to join the forces.
He spent a good number of years operating the signal box at Central Station, before retiring after 50 years’ service.
A keen golfer – he played off a handicap of 8 – he had at least one game a week at Blairbeth Golf Club until he was 95. Brother Sandy was head green keeper at Gleneagles and Turnberry when each was a railway hotel.
Born in Govanhill, Hugh has lived all his life in the Shawlands, Pollokshields area. He enjoys being in Sherbrooke. ’There’s a couple of nice wee groups (of friends) here,’ he commented.
Sherbrooke operations director Lissa Ameur presented Hugh with a bouquet of flowers. And all the residents joined in the party after Hugh received his birthday card from the Queen on Saturday 16 February 2013.
Until recently he and Sandy and a third brother who lived well into his 90s, would attend model railway exhibitions.
Hugh’s grandson Chris Baillie is a silver medalist having run the 110 metre hurdles in the last three Commonwealth Games. He’s now in training for Glasgow 2014 Games and hopes to be chosen to run there.
With the life style Hugh is enjoying at Sherbrooke Lodge, there’s a real chance he’ll be at the Games to cheer his grandson on.
by Alastair Brian
Children from Holy Cross Primary School in Govanhill got a GIANT surprise on Monday 18 June, when present day giant, Big Rory paid them a visit.
Primary pupils from across Scotland had been encouraged to create artworks based on the myth of the creation of the Giant’s Causeway during a fight between legendary giants Finn McCool in Ireland and Benandonner in Scotland.
The competition was sponsored by Tourism Ireland in celebration of the new Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre in Northern Ireland. More than 400 children entered, and the winning piece was created by 12-year-old Iman Adlain, a Primary 7 pupil at Holy Cross Primary.
The talented winner has been rewarded with a trip to the stunning Giant’s Causeway with his family and was presented with his prize by Big Rory the Giant who stands 9 feet high.
Award-winning Scottish children’s writer Teresa Breslin visited the school alongside Big Rory, and held a storytelling session, recounting the legendary tale of the Giant’s Causeway and the feud between Irish Giant Finn McCool and the Scottish Benandonner which resulted in its creation.
She said: ‘I am delighted to visit Holy Cross Primary School to present Iman with his prize and to join his school mates in celebrating his success. I’m always eager to get involved with projects which encourage children to develop their artistic and reading skills, and I was delighted to witness such a high volume of entries.
‘Schools from all over Scotland produced artwork of an extremely high calibre, and Iman’s representation of Benandonner is very colourful and unique. He’ll now have the opportunity to see this most amazing natural phenomenon when he visits the Giant’s Causeway with his family.’
The £18.5 million Visitor Centre at the Giant’s Causeway is due to open in July 2012 and will use the latest technology to guide tourists around Ireland’s only World Heritage Site. Niall Gibbons, chief executive of Tourism Ireland, said: ‘With the opening of the highly-anticipated Visitor Centre scheduled for next month, there has never been a better time to visit the Giant’s Causeway and we are delighted to invite Iman and his family to experience it first-hand.’
Further information on the Giant’s Causeway and what’s happening in Northern Ireland this year can be found at www.discoverireland.com
By Alieu Ceesay
The election season is upon us with one of the first hustings being Govanhill and Crosshill Community Council`s event on Monday16 April at Samaritan House in Coplaw Street.
Prospective candidates – aiming for one of the four seats in Southside Central ward – were quizzed by the public. Among the issues raised were social care, crime, privatising of council services, fuel poverty, benefits and the local economy.
The meeting was chaired by Iain MacInnes the Community Council`s Secretary, who called on the candidates to fight for the local community and to oppose all forms of privatisation in the city. He said: ‘There is a national debt but the austerity crisis is contrived. The need for the punitive, austerity measures being imposed on communities across the country, is a fallacy.’ He also questioned why so few resisted the ‘unsound, illogical economic orthodoxy.’
Moira Crawford, Green Party candidate, said that if elected on Thursday 3 May she would campaign for a city-owned energy company which would sell its surplus to the National Grid and use it to improve the City’s housing for the benefit of people. She also promised to work with residents and community organisations.
Labour Candidate Dr Soryia Siddique said she would fight for the building and refurbishment of local primary schools and the provision of up to five months of additional care for all three years olds as well as the creation of 1000 jobs each year for young people.
Anne Marie Millar has served the area as a Labour councillor for nine years and is now standing as an Independent candidate. She claimed her efforts achieved an investment of £13 million in housing for Govanhill. She promised to continue to work with residents, community organisations and the police to make neighbourhoods and streets safer and address knife crime and domestic violence; anti social behaviour and the regulation of private landlords. Although the crime rate has fallen the fear of crime still remains, she said.
Jahangir Hanif, SNP, who is seeking re-election to the Council, said it was time for regime change at the City Chambers. He pointed to the SNP’s successful campaign which halved the cost of chauffeured cars for councillors. He berated Labour’s record on ‘the state of our roads’ and was sure his party, ‘as the new majority,’ would do much better on infrastructure.
He added: ‘We will be campaigning to keep council tax frozen to help hard pressed households and for the council to do more to help local businesses create new jobs for young people.’
Robert McIlroy, Conservative, who is standing in Newlands and Auldburn ward represented local candidate Thomas Connor. The Conservative party would fight for weekly bin collections instead of fortnightly ones. ‘Waste must not be left uncollected for a long time,’ he said. He also advocated investment in roads and pavements.
William Bonnor, Scottish Socialist Party, emphasised the democratic accountability of the Council. ‘Local people should be consulted on the issues affecting them,’ he contended.
David Jago, Liberal Democrat, said rules must be enforced to ensure that private landlords are better regulated. In addition, he called for more money for housing.
Gavin Mc Nae, local resident, highlighted that none of the candidates had given recognition to the Community Council for mounting a sustained campaign on slum housing in the area.
Iain MacInnes told this reporter that it was the Community Council’s efforts that led to the Scottish Government taking notice of the dire housing problem. In March 2010, Housing and Communities Minister, Alex Neil said ‘hit squads’ could be set up to tackle Govanhill’s poverty and housing issues. Iain said: ‘this was translated into a ‘task force’ by Labour’s then Councillor, Anne Marie Millar. Through that, a hub was created to coordinate acute housing problems. But this put the issue into the doldrums. After being treated as a political football, the hub seems to be back on track.’
Iain said that the Community Council would continue to: ‘Campaign on housing in particular and on other relevant issues brought to our notice.’
One person asked if the panel would join him in opposing the current care ‘personalisation’ plans being presented as choice when, in reality, they were being used, cynically, to create cuts to services for vulnerable people and their families.
A question relating to the Commonwealth Games was: ‘How do the candidates feel about Glasgow hosting the ‘public relations’ front line for some of the countries which have abysmal human rights records?’
A member of the public said that money could be saved by abandoning the opening and closing ceremonies at the Commonwealth Games. ‘The money could be used to reinstate services cut by the Council. She went on: ‘The ‘Games are really about land deals and building contracts; there is little by way of a sustainable legacy for the people of Glasgow.’
Police are continuing enquiries after an 8 year-old girl had money and her mobile phone stolen in Govanhill on Wednesday 11 April 2012.
Around 4pm a young man was in Govanhill Park sitting on an inflatable red fitness ball, normally used for gym exercises. He approached the girl, stole her money and her mobile phone before making off.
The suspect is described as Asian, in his mid teens to early twenties, between 5 ft 5 and 5 ft 8 inches in height. He was wearing a black jacket over a long brown tunic and brown, loose fitting trousers.
Police officers have been carrying out extensive enquiries in the surrounding areas and are reviewing CCTV images in an effort to find out more detail about the suspect.
Detective Inspector Scott McMillan said: ‘Given the time of day, I’m sure there were people out and about in the park and the surrounding area. Someone may have noticed the man sitting on the red ball or may even have witnessed the incident. I would appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity at the time to get in touch with us. Any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could help us trace the suspect. I would like to reassure local people, who may have concerns, that there will be a heightened police presence in the area and officers are there, not only to gather information but to provide reassurance to any concerned local residents.’
Anyone with information is asked to contact Cathcart Police Office on 0141 532 4900. Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be given in confidence and anonymously.
It’s already in lots of diaries – the Southside Festival on Saturday 26 May. Participation meetings have been held – giving the steering group useful feedback and generating interest. Another will take place on the Monday 19 March from 7.30 at the Govanhill Baths, 126 Calder Street, Govanhill. Glasgow. G42 7QR. All interested will be made welcome.
One of the topics will be the next Streetland Arts Festival as an essential part of whole.
Artist Luis McGill Art and his ‘Glasgow Venus’ project is likely to be a major player this year. (see picture)
The Glasgow Venus topic is ‘Occupation’ This is widely interpreted – from ‘occupying’ architecture in 3D to the all-female, three piece band Terminal Parade Local ‘occupying the architecture with experimental sound.’
Local resident and community artist Eilidg Graham will chat about what occupies her most as a community artist here and abroad at her annual residences. This will be done within the setting of a boxing ring so that people can experience the contrast in occupations.
Other contributions are anticipated from:
- Christina, a Govanhill resident who has raised her family in the area. She is a published poet, photographer and Youth Community Arts facilitator.
- Dr Katie Stewart, singer songwriter, seasoned local performer and partricipant in Govanhill Sculpture Group.
- Tilly Gifford local connected Environmental Artist ‘GSA’ shows her sketch book during her occupation with sharing and extending the seed bank globally during a hundred days psyching through monsoon and desert heat.
- Luis McGill will be showing his 100-year-old recycled silver work of The Glasgow Venus in miniature and in manikin-sized ‘occupation’ of Govanhill’s community buildings – including the Calder Street Baths. Other work by Luis on the Venus theme will be shown in ceramic, acrylic, on canvas, in pastel, mono print, motif, street art and in animated films of The Glasgow Venus.
- Not to be missed!
A tidal wave of joy swept through Govanhill on Saturday 4 February when film star Peter Mullen formally opened the first phase of the Calder Street baths. Several hundred people turned out to celebrate the occasion which was the justification of an 11 year running battle by the local community to reclaim the shuttered building.
‘United we will swim,’ is their motto. And that dream took the determined residents from the day the listed building was abruptly closed by Glasgow City Council and long term protesters evicted with such force that the angry community rioted in protest to Peter Mullen accepting a golden key from an Edwardian styled swimmer to unlock the front door.
It now leads into the original entrance hallway with various spaces functioning as offices and small meeting rooms. Progressively, the building will be brought into use with the three pools all included in the plan. Many new features are in the offing – including a cafe, an indoor garden and flexible space to use as a cinema or entertainment area.
Long term supporter Piper Craig McFarlane, in his Ancient Hunting McFarlane tartan, was delighted to play for the important opening.
Local resident Michael Rodger got into the swim of things in the tailor made, striped, swim suit. While the crowd assembled, Voicebeat choir entertained with many songs old and new including some of the campaign’s old rallying verses. As ‘Freedom is coming’ wafted around the tiled foyer and ‘This pool is my pool…. it belongs to you and me’ echoed through the new offices, mild concern spread among the organisers as one of the main guests – Glasgow City Councillor Archie Graham, overseer of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, failed to materalise in time.
More songs filled the gap till a harassed and apologetic Councillor arrived having been delayed.
Then everyone went outside to take pictures of Peter Mullen, the Edwardian Swimmer and the other VIPs such as local MSP Nicola Sturgeon who is on the Board of the Govanhill Baths Trust.
Peter Mullan gave a witty speech recollecting his boyhood spent in the pool. ‘If you stayed in too long over your time, the attendant put your towel in the water. So you had to borrow a bit of your pal’s towel to get dry.’
He taught his daughter to swim at the Govanhill Baths. ‘I couldn’t believe it when they were closed. It is amazing you’ve got to this point with phase 1A complete and I congratulate everyone concerned.’
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said she’d supported the reopening of the Baths ‘even before I was elected.’ She went on: ‘It is my task to say Thank you to the Campaign and a huge thank you to Fatima Uygun and Andrew Johnson who refused to let the pool die. Their tenacity has delivered this amazing opening today.’
While Councillor Archie Graham said he was delighted to be at the event, he said he’d checked there was no water in the pools yet – ‘I was afraid I might be thrown it!’ he joked.
He recollected his boyhood days of walking from Gorbals to the Calder Street Baths – ‘which seemed miles and miles away.’ He emphasised that the Council was about to launch a ‘community assets transfer’ scheme. ‘We cannot provide all the services we once did, because of the massive budget cuts we have to cope with,’ he said. ‘But something like this pool could be transferred to the community and that stands, four-square, with what you have been doing in making this into a Community Health and Wellbeing Centre.’
Ill health prevented Joe McFadyen, superintendent for 20 years at the Baths, from attending the opening.
Said Andrew Johnson who chairs the Community Trust which now runs the place: ‘This is a fantastic and emotional day. We are celebrating 11 years of a long, long journey to get here. But the journey’s only just begun,’ he warned. ‘The second part of the journey is all about funding.’
The next event will be a film premiere on Saturday 25 February in one of the pools which was used as a ‘set’ while the film was being made.
Andrew Johnson, Chairperson of the Govanhill Baths Trust received an extra special birthday present this week: Historic Scotland approved a £400k grant for Phase 1 of the Baths project.
Being developed by local people for local people into a Wellbeing Centre, the Baths are a community focal point. Work has started on the foyer of the listed building to make it usable space where the Trust’s office can be located.
Closed at short notice by Glasgow City Council more than ten years ago, riots erupted because of the way peaceful, long term, sit-in protesters were evicted and the building sealed.
Since then a powerful linking of local community groups of diverse backgrounds has worked to re-open the Baths. With the help of the Historic Scotland funding and other funders this will now happen.
Before he went away to celebrate the extra ordinary birthday present, Andrew said: Everyone agrees that the pool should be up and running again. It is part of Glasgow’s heritage and legacy. We aim to have it open for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.’
A new network has been set up to help reduce inequalities among people in minority ethnic communities.
Called Alliance Minority Ethnic Empowerment Network (AMEEN), it aims to provide advice and advocacy particularly in housing issues.
The brainchild of Sofi Parveen who is now Chairperson, and friends, it is designed to provide holistic support. Said Sofi: ‘Even though I speak fluent English, I found it frustrating not to be able to access the support I needed and to have to face inequalities in trying to find a job. This organisation will spearhead these issues. We aim to empower families from different cultures and backgrounds. By doing so we will make a powerful statement.’
Funded by Scottish Community Foundation, the group has a working base in Torrisdale Street in Govanhill. It has a drop in session in the nearby Larkfield Centre, Inglefield Street on Tuesdays from 1pm till 4pm and in St Ninian’s Episcopal Church, in Albert Drive, Pollokshields on Thursdays from 1pm till 4pm.
The volunteers who will provide the support for AMEEN clients will be trained and given personal development opportunities.
At the launch event, dramatised accounts of some real life experiences were acted out to show how advocacy can bring a suitable solution to sometimes difficult-to-handle problems.
Said Sofi: ‘Advocacy can play a powerful role in helping people resolve issues of unfair treatment or discrimination.’
Westminster MP Anas Sarwar, reaffirmed his commitment to helping disadvantaged communities in tackling inequalities. ‘He has been brilliant,’ said Sofi. ‘He understands the kind of inequalities we are confronting.’
MSP Hanzala Malik also attended the opening event. ‘He has expressed a supportive attitude,’ said Sofi.
The Housing Support Project aims to help families and individuals who are currently needing advice and support in housing matters. They will be offered free, independent, confidential and culturally sensitive help from AMEEN.
The organisation can be contacted on: mob 07403491660 or email:email@example.com Languages currently spoken include: Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Igbo and German as well as English.
One of the first donations to Govanhill Baths Community Trust’s new charity Emporium in Victoria Road, was a Chinese dinner set from MSP Patrick Harvie. He had lodged a motion of support for the Trust’s efforts to re-open the Baths in Calder Street as a Health and Wellbeing Centre.
A strong supporter of the Trust’s work, he said their offices are about to move into the Baths building to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the closure of the public facility by Glasgow City Council. Said the Green MSP: “The move of offices will be a landmark moment in this hard-fought campaign.”
His motion at Holyrood commended the: “impressive hard work and energy of the Trust’s committed volunteers over the last decade.”He added: “I believe the baths will benefit hugely the citizens of Govanhill and the surrounding area.”
Raising funds towards the £12m needed to re-open the Baths, the Emporium was described by Patrick Harvie as: “a really great example of how creative, positive and passionate people can be when it comes to investing and supporting their communities. I wish the Govanhill Baths Community Trust success and look forward to being invited to the opening of the baths as well as the wellbeing centre!”
The next major fund raising venture will be an auction of art works from Thursday 17 March to Saturday 19 March. See www.bathsauction .com
Emporium manager, Inga Zaiceva is delighted with her job in Victoria Road as it gives around five times more space to display goods for sale, than the previous shop in Calder Street. She said: “The Baths and Wellbeing centre are badly needed. There are people in this area without showers. The community health problems of overweight and lonelieness need to be addressed. The re-opening of the Baths would help a lot to improve things.”