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.”
Science writer Duncan Lunan is a busy man. He has just had a book on the Green Children of Woolpit published and has two most interesting and in-depth interviews on a podcast for the Flat Earth Society.
Entitled ‘Children from the Sky’ the book explores theories around the appearance of two green coloured children suddenly appearing in a medieval village in England. They were dressed strangely, spoke a language totally unknown in the area – which was a busy pilgrim place where many travellers passed through – and who not only caused a great stir at the time but who are still being discussed today.
The podcast gives him time to give his detailed reasoning behind the book but also to explore other areas of professional interest to him ranging from outer space to Glasgow’s modern standing stones circle which he helped create.
He is still working on research on the Green Children by tracing the descendants of the girl who survived into adult hood, married and had children. The green boy died some time after being found.
Another book by Duncan is about to be published: The Stones and the Stars: Building Scotland’s Newest Megalith This tells the story of the creation of the modern stone circle Duncan devised and had built in Springburn Park. Said Duncan: ‘These two books have taken 18 years and 32 years to find publishers – it’s great to have them come off at last!’
Duncan’s wife Linda is developing a career as a photographer. Her image of an equinox sunset has been used by publishers Springer for ‘The Stones and the Stars,’ book cover and some of the illustrations in the green ‘Children from the Sky’ are Linda’s too. Both Linda and Duncan signed copies of the latter title at a meeting of the Theosophical Society in Glasgow on Thursday 23 August. It can also be found in the CCA in Sauchiehall Street and ‘Plan B’ in Parnie Street.
Dr. David Clarke, an Honourary Research Fellow with more than a dozen books published on supernatural belief, UFOlogy and contemporary legends, plans to use some of Linda’s photographs in his forthcoming History of Astronomy in Glasgow.
On Tuesday 21 August, BBC Radio Suffolk interviewed Duncan about his book Children from the Sky. This can be heard online in the Lesley Dolphin slot where Georgina Wroe sits in and talks about green things including farming, food and the green children of Woolpit.
The 02 Mela started with a splash on Saturday 23 June when the heavens opened as the major Asian styled, two-day festival got underway in Kelvingrove Park.
In the dry, sunny moments just before then, photographer Ian McIntyre caught some of the musicians as they were rehearsing on one of the three stages at the event. Ironically, this stage wasn’t allowed to operate when the rain descended. But the other two went ahead with their scheduled performances despite tiny audiences huddling under brollies patiently listening to their favourite Bollywood and Bhangra and other stars.
Apart from the Forestry Commission’s play space for children which was covered and busy with crafty little ones making things, having their faces painted and lapping up story-telling sessions, the rest of the park was awash with water and devoid of people till well into the afternoon.
A few brave folk scurried about under umbrellas but most of the stall holders sat glumly with tents full of unsold, lovely goods. Things brightened up mid afternoon when the rain stopped and some of the anticipated 20,000 visitors braved the elements to explore the multitude of stalls, events and entertainments.
Similar wet weather is forecast for Sunday. But it won’t stop the music.
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.