Glasgow launches into a great new era with the Transport Museum and a river ferry to get to its door. The proud claim that ‘Glasgow made the Clyde and the Clyde made Glasgow’ was true early last century. So far in this 21st century, the River Clyde is dead of any meaningful, daily, traffic around the city. Perhaps the ferry fielding small numbers of people from Govan’s Water Row to the exciting Riverside Transport Museum will be the start of a renaissance of river craft plying the water. Certainly a one-day Regatta (organised from Bristol!) will brighten things for the day on Saturday 16 July for those who chance to find out about it.
With the Glenlee so majestically moored at the entrance to the Riverside Museum, it is a fitting location for such a fascinating ikon which sheds light on even earlier maritime exploits. But where are the visual references to the world class war ships which are now reaching the end of their production cycle at Govan and Scotstoun yards? Will the Riverside Museum transport us into a new age when water craft will ease the congestion on roads and the damage to the planet of the infernal combusion engine? We’ll find out as the tide ebbs and flows.
Govan Road marks the dividing line between Glasgow Southside and Glasgow Pollok for the Scottish Parliament constituencies. And on Saturday 16 April it saw the SNP on one side of the road and the Labour Party on the other.
While the Labour Party had a stall and leaflets and loads of red ballons on the new Govan Cross Public Square, the SNP had star of screen and stage, Elaine C. Smith marching shoulder to shoulder with Nicola Sturgeon who aims to retain her seat in Glasgow Southside.
Said Elaine, who switched from Labour some years ago: ‘The question is – who will represent Scotland best? Who will fight Scotland’s corner? I believe it is the SNP and I’ve supported Alex Salmond for several years. He gave me advice on how to approach people when out canvassing. Believe it or not, speaking face to face with strangers is quite nerve-wracking for me because I’m used to facing an audience who are sitting in the dark and at a distance! So Alex’ advice was – talk about anything other than politics. Let that person raise the subject that is on their mind and then address it.’
Nicola, who was fresh from launching the Party’s manifesto, glossed over the fact that the spot for the photo opportunity included a Subway sandwich shop in the background. It was into another branch of that franchise that the Labour leader Iain Gray rushed when he tried to avoid a group of Citizens United Against the Cuts campaigners who wanted to speak to him.
But in Govan the sandwich shop was shutter and across the road the Labour Party team, led by Johann Lamont who is fighting to retain her Glasgow Pollok seat, was out in force. Councillors Alistair Watson and Jahangir Hanif were there and Councillor Stephen Curran who is standing against Nicola Sturgeon, had already been to Govan and gone on to Pollokshaws in his campaign trail.
Carefully ignoring each other, the two party teams lobbied passersby, especially those heading for the busy Saturday market at the Water Row side of Govan Cross. The votes cast on Thursday 5 May will finally show how many people have crossed the road, politically.