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.
Photographs and text by Stuart Maxwell
The congregation of Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Gorbals shared their short pilgrimage to Bellahouston Park to celebrate Mass with Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday 16 September, with the LOCAL NEWS GLASGOW. Here is a view of this historic visit.
The 50-strong congregation met at 12 noon outside Bridge Street underground where Father Edmund, Church Guardian, handed out information packs and the all-important wrist band allowing entry.
Each person has paid £20 for the privilege of taking part. Many in the congregation had been at Bellahouston in 1982 when Pope John Paul II visited.
Retired Labour Councillor, James Mutter, was one of them. He remembered: ‘ It was a great day, with almost 300,000 people crammed in. There’s going to be lot more room this time’. An estimated 100,000 were in Bellahouston Park this time. He added: ‘This brings back memories for I was with my sister the last time and she’s dead now.’
Alighting at Ibrox, the congregation started the two miles walk to the park with a local resident playing the flute to entertain them. Said James: ‘I’ll just about make this but might need a wheelchair back!’
Arriving at Bellahouston, there was a sea of flags blowing in the wind as people jostle to get to their allotted spaces. Blessed John Duns Scotus folk were in zone 26, to the left of the stage. They had plenty to keep them interested as they wait for the Popemobile to arrive from Edinburgh, where the Queen had formally welcomed His Holiness.
Children’s choirs from local schools and singers such as Susan Boyle and Michelle McManus led the praise throughout the day.
Despite a strong police presence, the atmosphere was relaxed and the happy anticipation felt by members of the congregation, seemed to be shared throughout the park.
St Helen’s Primary school chanted to the whole of Bellahouston Park: ‘Welcome to Scotland, Pope Benedict’.
Father Edmund commented: ‘Everyone here is united in their faith, including those of my congregation. Having the Pope visit us, gives us a feeling of great solidarity.’
A sea of yellow umbrellas went up to show where the priests were for those taking Holy Communion.
A large proportion of the people attending the event were young people and the Pope spoke to them directly: ‘You face many temptations – drugs, money, sex, pornography, alcohol. These things are destructive. The only thing that lasts is the love of Jesus Christ. Search for Him. Know Him. Love Him. He will set you free.’
Added the Pontif: ‘the Church belongs to you.’
Home Start Glasgow South celebrated their 10th birthday on Saturday 7 August with a magic-tinted Family Day at Pollok Park.
Home Start is a charity where volunteers offer practical support and advice to young families who, for many reasons, are struggling to cope in their homes. To celebrate 10 years of offering this service, friends, families and volunteers-past and present- gathered in Pollok Park.
Kids and adults alike were dazzled by Fuzzy the Clown’s logic-defying magic show before Scottish pop star, Michelle McManus, released a batch of balloons into the air to commemorate the day. Glaswegian Michelle, a former winner of Pop Idol and current host of The Hour, is a proud patron for Home Start.
With balloons jostling in the air, the candles were blown out and the rather large birthday
cake was cut and divvied out. Rumours circulated that the cake had been a lot bigger on arrival. Fuzzy the Clown was unavailable for comment!
A single father, having digested his wedge of cake, said: ‘Home Start has been invaluable to my three children. As a single father, sometimes you need help. I have kids of three, five and six-years-old and Home-Start has been so supportive.’
Worried that your family might be in danger of crisis or breakdown? Or do you just want to talk to someone about family related worries? Call Home Start on 0141-585-6712 or visit their webisite www.homestartglasgowsouth.org.uk