Two contemporary films, shot by the only crew to be allowed into the Upper Clyde Shipyards during the Work-in are to be screened in Glasgow next month. And one of the original filmmakers, Ann Guedes, is flying in from Lisbon to take part in a series of panel discussions around the showings. This is the next event marking the 40th Anniversary of the famous Work-in.
The radical film collective, Cinema Action, formed by Ann, her deceased husband Eduardo Guedes and Gustav Lamche, followed the action around the Work-in as the Stewards took over the yards and prevented their run-down and butchery planned by the then Tory Government. The result was two unique films from the struggle. UCS 1 – a short (23 min) film depicting the workers strategy, how they gained community support for their campaign and took the fight right to the door of the Heath government; and Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde, a longer (83 min) documentary study of the Work-in, concentrating on the workers and shop stewards and their activity, running the yards and highlighting their fight to ‘keep what is keepable’.
The films will be shown, along with a short history UCS 40th Anniversary , produced by Kevin Buchanan of the STUC written by historian John Foster, and narrated by prominent actor and director, David Hayman, over three nights 21-23 March 2012 in Glasgow’s Mitchell Theatre. Tickets are available via the Glasgow Concert Halls website – www.glasgowconcerthalls.com
David Hayman will also be taking part in one of the panel discussions (on Friday 23 March) along with Ann Guedes. He said
“These films remind me what an extraordinary time it was. Suddenly a new way was possible in our world due to the courage of a group of hard-working men and women who seized the day with boldness and imagination. People power in action.”
Jimmy Cloughley, was one of the UCS Joint Shop Stewards committee, and had special responsibility for Communications both inside and outside the yard. He said that allowing the film crew in, paid off.
“We wanted to ensure that the viewpoint of the workforce was recorded, and Cinema Action did that job admirably. It was an historic struggle and an historic victory, and these films give a real flavour of the times. They are truly unique.”
Stephen Farmer was an apprentice during the Work-in. He was given the job of taking the crew around and got to know them very well. He says: “Ultimately I was laid off once my apprenticeship finished, but Cinema Action kept me on to continue working with them! Too often with working class history things aren’t well recorded, and I’m proud that I did my bit, both in taking part, and in helping to ensure this one was recorded.”
The Work-in lasted 16 months from July 1971-October 1972 and finished when all four of the yards threatened with closure won a future. The 40th Anniversary celebrations have involved two sell-out concerts, an exhibition, a lecture by Professor John Foster and receptions given both by Glasgow City Council and in the Scottish Parliament. The events have been funded by UNITE, the union, who are one of the main inheritors of the unions involved in the Work-in.
Born April 5, 1934
Died November 24, 2010
Proud Garngad man, Tom Fitzpatrick, who died aged 76, was an intrepid press photographer during Scotland’s golden age of journalism in the 1960s and 70s. Then the country’s leading newspapers sold in excess of 700,000 copies a day and competition for exclusive stories and pictures was at its fiercest. The Scottish Daily Express and the Daily Record, both edited and printed in Glasgow, battled headline to headline and picture to picture for the coveted title of Scotland’s best-selling popular newspaper. Photographers, like Tom, fought for the “scoops” that would propel their title to the top of the circulation league table.
Working for the Express, Tom twice won the title Press Photographer of the Year and also Sports Photographer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards.
Born at 487 Garngad Road, his house is still standing despite major redevelopment around it.
He was the youngest of three sons and attended St Philomena’s primary school where he excelled academically before going on to St Mungo’s Academy. He was also an altar boy at nearby St Roch’s Church in Garngad.
Aged 15, he started as a lift boy in the Daily Express building in 1949. He moved on to be a copy boy in the darkroom before becoming a photographer with the Daily Express and Evening Citizen.
A Requiem Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Noel Woods, in St Joseph’s Church, Tollcross, Glasgow, when Tom’s son, Robert, gave the eulogy.
He said: ‘Few of the journalists of that era could be accused of soft-heartedness or sentimentality. They made their name by sheer hard work.’
Reporters who worked with Fitzpatrick included big by-line people such as Stuart McCartney, David Scott, William Allsop and Andrew McCallum.
Fellow photographers included Ronnie Burgess, Ray Beltrami, Jack Middleton, Harry Turner and, occasionally, Fleet Street stars like Reg Lancaster, father of singer Rod Stewart’s glamorous wife, Penny, who flew up from London on royal visits.
Another good friend was the New York-based celebrity photographer Harry Benson who originated from Gorbals.
While hard news stories were the lifeblood of the Express, Fitzpatrick’s greatest love was photographing football matches.
An avid Celtic supporter, he always covered the Parkhead club’s matches, including all their European games. He was entrusted with the opposition’s banner by Celtic captain Billy McNeill to take back to manager Jock Stein in the dugout. Fitzpatrick was hugely proud to have been behind the goals in Lisbon, taking photographs, when Celtic won the European Cup in 1967.
After national service with the RAF in Germany between 1952 and 1954, he returned to the Express until the Beaverbrook operation was shut down in 1974 making 1,800 journalists, photographers, engineers and print workers, redundant.
Following this calamity, Fitzpatrick invested a great deal of time, effort and money in the ill-fated Scottish Daily News workers’ co-operative, in the Albion Street printing plant. When that failed, he freelanced before joining the Evening Times’ picture desk where he worked with distinction until his retirement.
He met his wife, Elizabeth, at the dancing and they married in 1957. When Tom died following a short illness, they had been together for nearly 60 years and had had four children; Thomas, Robert, Lisa and Mark and had 16 grandchildren.
Because of snow storms, grid-locked roads and abandoned rail services, many of Tom Fitzpatrick’s colleagues could not attend his funeral so a gathering will be held to raise a glass in his memory at the Press Bar in Albion Street, Glasgow, on Friday, December 10, at 1.30pm. All former colleagues are welcome to attend.