What a summer for sports, rain and wacky happenings. The Olympians’ Parade through Glasgow is underway as this is written. The crowds have turned out as only Glasgow people can – happy to stand side by side with folk from Kirkcaldy and even far flung parts of Lanarkshire – to cheer on their sports heroes.
The sun shone as it does most afternoons. Then you get the waterproof hood ready for the monsoon which tends to fall around 6pm.
And wacky happenings include the fantastic events which will be part of DOORS OPEN weekend Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 September. Govanhill Baths will have the toddlers’ pool filled with water and the new front foyer space can be seen for the very versatile event platform it is proving to be. While not on view at DOORS OPEN, synchronized swimmers have used the pool for an upcoming National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) production to be performed in the Calder Street Baths later in the year. Even if you have other things to do this weekend, drop them and go opening doors in some of the 100 buildings which will be open to the public and expecting you in!
Get all the uptodate info from their website: www.glasgowdoorsopenday.com
There will be a big splash of VIPs on Saturday 4 February 2012 at the opening of the first phase of Govanhill Baths in Calder Street.
War Horse director Peter Mullan, local MSP Nicola Sturgeon and City Councillor Archie Graham who is responsible for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will all be there at the historic launch.
The formal opening of the front part of the building as offices is the first tangible sign that the Govanhill Baths Trust will be able to re-vamp the entire building into a Community Wellbeing Centre. And with Historic Scotland, this week, confirming their support with funding, the next phase of work can get under way.
Said Andrew Johnson who has led the fight to retain the Baths in community use: ‘There is a great sense of relief and of achievement that we’ve managed to get this far – there has been so much support and work from so many people over the years. The Govanhill community’s return to the baths is the result of 11 years of hard work and commitment by many people in Govanhill, the Trust and the Friends of Govanhill Baths.’
A complex cocktail of funding from a wide variety of sources, support in kind by sponsors NORD Architecture and trojan efforts by local supporters see the dream beginning to come true: the Baths will return to public use. As the motto of the Trust says: ‘United We Will Swim!’
The listed Edwardian building has three pools, sauna and Turkish suites and was a major community hub till it was closed dramatically by the City Council after a long sit-in by protesters more than ten years ago.
Saturday will see the formal opening of the front part of the building. This houses the Headquarters of the Trust and its Centre for Community Practice. The Centre provides a series of community based programmes including healthy eating (Govanhill Grub) Create (an Arts programme) and dedicated learning and leisure facilities for local people.
The proposals for the next stage include the reinstatement of the learners’ pool, the ladies’ pool, the sauna and Turkish suite and the installation of a cafe, an arts suite and a greenhouse garden. The Historic Scotland funding has to be matched and ownership of the building has to be transferred by Glasgow City Council to the Baths Trust.
Said Andrew Johnson: ‘The ownership is a condition of Big Lottery funding and we’re negotiating with the City in the hope that that
can be achieved.’
The pool is making waves in other directions too. In October the National Theatre of Scotland will take one of the pools over for a three-week production. The legacy from that is expected to be a refurbished pool. In November a massive UK Sports injury exhibition will be located at the Govanhill Baths.
Meanwhile the Baths Trust is looking for photographs and memories of events held in the pool in past times. Contact them via their website: www.govanhillbaths.com
The National Theatre of Scotland is launching a nationwide search to find a piper for the critically acclaimed production of Black Watch. Open auditions are being held in Glasgow on Friday 16 July 2010 at the National Piping Centre from 12.30pm to 7.30pm.
This is a unique opportunity for a Scottish bagpiper to join the cast of Black Watch and tour the UK and the USA.
The successful candidate will be a Scottish male, aged between 18-30, physically fit, able to play the bagpipes to a high standard and be available from Monday 23 August 2010 through to the middle of next year.
Candidates are asked to bring their bagpipes to the audition and be prepared to play The Black Bear. If successful they will progress to the next round and be asked to read a small section of script and sing a traditional folk song. The casting is being held by Anne Henderson, the Casting Director for the National Theatre of Scotland. All other roles have now been cast and this is an opportunity to play the part of Macca.
Black Watch is based on interviews conducted by Gregory Burke with former soldiers who served in Iraq. Viewed through the eyes of those on the ground, Black Watch reveals what it means to be part of the legendary Scottish regiment, what it means to be part of the war on terror and what it means to make the journey home again. John Tiffany’s production makes powerful and inventive use of movement, music and song to create a visceral, complex and urgent piece of theatre.
The production has now played to more than 113,000 people across three continents and has garnered 22 awards. Most recently the production won four Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Director, Best Theatre Choreography, Best Play and Best Sound Design. The company also won its first US award with the New York Drama Circle naming Black Watch ‘Best Foreign Play’.
The open auditions will take place on Friday 16 July at
The National Piping Centre
30-34 McPhater Street
Glasgow G4 0HW
0141 353 0220
Potential candidates are asked to visit www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/jobs before attending for more information about the job.
If unable to attend the casting day, candidates can email a CV and photograph to: firstname.lastname@example.org with Role of Macca in the subject line.
Very Glasgow, Very Gallus
by Lynsay Keough, photos Stuart Maxwell
‘Very Glasgow, Very Gallus,’ said Scottish Government Minister Stewart Stevenson, when he saw the plans, a year ago, for the “Phoenix Flowers”. The Cowcaddens art project was formally opened by him on Monday 28 June 2010 and the fifty, giant, pink, orange and yellow flowers were finally in bloom.
‘The Phoenix Flowers Project creates a vibrant gateway between the Glasgow city centre, the North of the city and the Forth and Clyde Canal and I’m delighted to have been able to open it today,’ he said. ‘This project represents a key milestone in the overall regeneration of the North of the city, and credit must go to the businesses, community groups, residents and schools who have all played an important part in this work.’
The towering aluminium flowers, which range in height from five to eight metres and which have two metre wide petals, are part of the award winning transformation of a run down underpass near Cowcaddens underground on the site of the former Phoenix Park.
They form part of an important and colourful gateway between the city centre and the developing creative and cultural neighbourhood on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal at Speirs Wharf. This is just one element of the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership’s plans to revitalise key hubs on the Glasgow stretch of the waterway which also includes Maryhill.
The £1.5 million project won a Scottish Design Award in the ‘Future Buildings and Spaces’ category. It was commissioned by the Glasgow Canal Regeneration Partnership and was designed by 7N Architects and rankinfraser landscape architecture.
The idea of developing Speirs Wharf into an important cultural centre is already becoming a reality. Scottish Opera purpose-built their production studios in the area in 1997. And the Royal Scottish Academy for Music and Drama, the National Theatre of Scotland, Glasgow Academy Musical Theatre Arts (GAMTA), and the Tollhouse Studio now all have premises on the banks of the canal.
Steve Dunlop, Director in Scotland for British Waterways said: ‘The Phoenix Flowers project has already become a major talking point with Glaswegians and creates new interest in an area that has been neglected for many years. We hope, in time, they will continue along the canalside.’