Rain didn’t stop play at the FORK Gala day on Saturday 9 June 2012. A line up of more than 11 groups performed despite heavy rain between the sunny spells at the annual event run by Friends of the River Kelvin. While the music flowed from noon till 7pm, stalls provided information and things to buy as well as ‘handknitted hamburgers’ . Children had an arts programme painting a collage of the natural environment around the River Kelvin, and an amazing puppet show. Professionally guided canoe trips were ‘just amazing,’ said one happy voyager. All of the activities were centred on FORK headquarters – the Ha’penny Bridge House in the Botanic Gardens at the junction of the tracks leading to Wyndford and Kirklee.
Said new FORK Convener, Sally Johnston: ‘This has been another exceptionally good and very enjoyable event, despite the rain. We thank everyone who helped and who took part. We plan to hold social evenings in Ha’penny Bridge House in the autumn for members. Before then, we hope to launch, officially, the very colourful boards painted by local school children, which protect the windows of Ha’penny Bridge House.’ For more information on Friends Of the River Kelvin, including their next Saturday morning litter pick-up on 7 July, see their website: www.fork.org.uk
The River Kelvin Angling Association (RKAA) are planning a clean-up on Saturday 2 June alongside FORK – Friends of the River Kelvin – who are preparing for their Big Gala on Saturday 9 June at their headquarters – Ha’penny Bridge House in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens.
Volunteers to help with both groups’ cleaning up activities are invited to be at Ha’Penny Bridge House (HBH) at 10.30. Pickers-up and gloves are provided. Said Allan Twigg, FORK treasurer who organises the regular FORK clean-ups: ‘We’ll be preparing HBH for the Gala and also want to clear part of the foundations of the Flint Mill which has become overgrown. Should anyone have loppers they can bring, they would be useful to cut back rhododendrons too, though we hope to borrow some from the Botanic Gardens.’
The FORK GALA on Saturday 9 June is a highlight of the West End Festival. Last year the event, planned to finish at 4pm – was still going strong at 6pm because so many musicians were happy to play, the weather was warm and people were having a great time browsing and buying at the stalls and listening to the music.
Said Allan: ‘On the day of the Gala, we need all the help we can get from early in the morning as we start setting up around 8 am, throughout the day to help with the Gala and late in the afternoon to clear up.’
FORK is an organisation of people who are keen to keep the integrity and the beauty of nature around the River Kelvin in the city and are committed to its care and maintenance on a volunteer basis. Founded 20 years ago by Mark Eden-Bushell who is now Ambassador for the work, FORK has been a social and an environmental success story which continues today under a new Convenor – Sally Johnston – and an enthusiastic team.
The annual gala includes a chance to try canoeing, find out about local campaigns and charities and volunteer activities and buy things like books and crafted goods. The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Glasgow Conjurers are just two of the many organisations who take part and help to make the event a great success.