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
Lentfest continues with exciting music and drama.
Don’t miss the only performance of the hauntingly beautiful Stabat Mater by Pergolesi in Glasgow this year. It will be sung on FRIDAY 16 March at 7.30pm, by two soloists from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland who are giving their last performance in the city before going to London to join London Opera companies. Both alumni of the Conservatoire and having graduated with distinction, Soprano Maria Kozlova and Mezzo soprano Beth Baxter will be with the St Patrick’s Ensemble in the glorious acoustic of St Mungo’s Church in Townhead.
This will be the premier of a new Stabat Mater setting by young Scottish composer George Tongchai Duthie and was commissioned by St Patrick’s Ensemble for Lentfest this year. In 2009, the group made its sold-out debut in Edinburgh’s Greyfriars’ Kirk. They were subsequently invited to perform the Vivaldi Four Seasons at the Usher Hall in May 2010. In November 2011, the ensemble returned there to perform works by Vivaldi, Dvořák and Hans Gál.
Tickets £8 (£5 concessions) available from 0141 554 1333 or email@example.com
The interest in Lentfest events this year has been an exhilarating experience for the organisers. Said Stephen Callaghan, Lentfest Director: ‘The growth and demand has been almost overwhelming. There has been response from almost every dioceses in Scotland and interest from Venezuela, Russia and Italy. For some people the event they attend this Lentfest may be their only experience of Church for a year. I believe the Holy Spirit is at work.’
Among the drama events is the absorbing production of the Martyrdom of St John Ogilvie. Written and produced by Lentfest director Stephen Callaghan
himself, it is based on the dramatic events that surrounded the death of Scotland’s martyr, John Ogilvie, who died at Glasgow Cross in 1615. Because the actor rehearsing to play the part of Ogilvie, had to move to another part of the country at the last minute – the understudy Stephen Callaghan – had to step in by default. Performed by AGAP Community Theatre which includes many people who are acting for the first time, the touring production can be found on the following dates and locations among others: Saturday 17 March at 7.30pm St Gregory’s, Wyndford; Sunday 18 March at 2.00pm (Matinee) St Martin’s, Renton; Friday 23 March at 7.30pm St Helen’s, Langside; Saturday 24 March at 7.30pm St Lucy’s, Abronhill. For full details and for the entire programme for Lentfest check the website: www.agap.org.uk/lentfest
The new Wyndford Community Centre put on its first event proper on Friday 6 August, hosting the second Community Environmental Awareness Day.
The new centre was opened on the 17th July by Lord Provost Bob Winter and symbolises the strength of community spirit in the Wyndford area. After the building was closed as a primary school, the local community united, determined the building should remain at their disposal. A £500,000 investment from Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and Land and Environmental Services allowed the creation of the new centre. Whydford Primary was one of two primaries closed in the area in recent times.
Friday’s Environmental Awareness Day saw more than 300 people from the local area, and across Glasgow, walk through the new doors. Kids enjoyed balloon artistry and mini-treks on two ponies, Blue and Sprouts. A host of stalls offered environmental advice and the flash new cafe inside the building made sure no tummies rumbled.
In attendance was Liberal Democrat MSP Robert Brown. Said Robert :’It was a tremendous day which clearly attracted local people in to see the facilities. The place was humming during the time I was there. It is a matter of huge regret that the Council closed both local primary schools in Wyndford but the superb campaign by the parents produced the commitment to provide the centre.
‘The facilities in the Centre are impressive and will be a major asset for the Wyndford community – children and adults alike.’
In a separate room North United Communities chipped in, blending an endless supply of tropical smoothies, with fruit supplied by Barr construction- who are responsible for the new Tesco on Maryhill Road. The development has stirred resentment in the local community, with the superstore expected to have a ravaging effect on independent shops. Whether or not this offering of fruit will smooth things over, the resulting drinks from the blender were certainly guzzled down with enthusiasm.
North United Communities will be running an office in the new community centre, having previously operated out of Ruchill Community Centre. North United work to integrate youths and families, suffering from a range of social problems, into society.
The day was organised and ran by Wyndford Residents Association (WRA), in collaboration with Cube Housing. Cube, sole organisers last year, approached WRA to assist this year, in effort to make the event more expansive. It would appear, despite the lashing rain that fell throughout, that the day was a success.
Linda McGrory, vice-secretary of WRA, said the day was ‘brilliant’. Said Linda:’Despite the rain. The days was a great success. The kids just loved it and think we got a good mix of fun and information. It was shame about the weather, but we’re lucky this centre has such cracking facilities inside.’
Indeed, but spare a thought for Blue and Sprouts, those poor ponies had to stand in that rain all afternoon!
By Lynsay Keough, photos by Stuart Maxwell
The new Wyndford community centre is now open.
Lord Provost Bob Winter and Councillor Jim Coleman, executive member for Land and Environmental Services, marked the occasion by cutting the ribbon to the new Maryhill centre and outdoor facilities on Saturday 17 July.
The centre is expected to become a focal point for people of all ages with sports and fitness facilities, a learning and educational base, state-of-the-art computer gaming areas, a stage for drama plays and performances and a stylish café. There are also outdoor play facilities and a multi-use games area.
The launch followed a period of extensive refurbishment of the former St Gregory’s Primary School building and the neighbouring former Wyndford Primary School. The centre and its facilities were developed thanks to a £500,000 investment from Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and Land and Environmental Services. This was done following a long battle by local residents to retain the two schools in community use after they were closed.
Glasgow Community and Safety Services will manage the much-needed recreation centre which is open five days from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.15 am till 9.30 pm. The Services have been working closely with the local community to ensure the centre offers the range of activities and services best suited to residents’ needs.
CUBE Housing Association, which has come under stark criticism from the local community in the past, also welcomed the development as it provides a new channel for communication which could help the Association improve its profile. Their Chief Executive, Lynn McCulloch, commented : ‘It’s because Cube belongs to Wyndford that we are deeply involved in bringing a new community focus to “The Barracks” as it is called locally. Losing the two primary schools was a blow but it brought out a determined spirit. This new facility is the result.
‘It is natural that we should be part of this for Cube is owned and run by local people and is completely committed to the resurgence of Wyndford within a revived Maryhill. The centre will host our ‘Positive Pathways’ project which provides support and opportunities for young people. That project will relocate from the old Wyndford Recreation Centre to the new facility. It will also be the home for a new employment skills course we set up with Glasgow North Regeneration Agency.
‘ The centre gives residents a new place to meet with us and we can put up exhibitions about all the home improvements we are currently doing. It also brings together many local organisations and shows that we can work together even more!’
Lord Provost Bob Winter said: ‘I’m delighted to open this centre, which is a real asset for the local community and will provide much-needed resources for local people.
‘I hope it will become a focal point and that the activities on offer will increase over time and develop alongside community needs.
‘This state-of-the-art centre is a fantastic resource and will improve the quality of life for residents of all ages in this part of the city. It is a platform for change.’
by Lynsay Keough
A new community centre in Wyndford, Maryhill, will open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday 17 July. Lord Provost Bob Winter and Councillor Jim Coleman, executive member for Land and Environmental Services, will cut the ribbon at 11 30 am.
The launch follows a period of extensive refurbishment of the former St Gregory’s Primary School in Wyndford Road and the adjacent Wyndford Primary School.
A day of free festivities and entertainment will run from 10.30am till 4pm for local residents. As well as the opportunity to see inside the new centre, visitors will be able to take part in football, hip hop dance, performing arts and a climbing wall.
The centre will be a focal point for people of all ages with sports and fitness facilities, a learning and educational centre, state-of-the-art computer gaming areas, a stage for plays and performances and a stylish café. There will also be outdoor play facilities and a multi-use games area.
A competition will be launched for local people to come up with a name for the new centre with a winner to be announced in early August.
Funding of £500,000 to set up the centre came from Glasgow Community Planning Partnership and Land and Environmental Services. Glasgow Community and Safety Services will be managing the much-needed recreation centre and has been working closely with the local community to ensure it offers the best range of activities and services to meet residents’ needs. It will be open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday, from 9.15am to 9.30pm each day.
Lord Provost Bob Winter said: ‘I’m delighted to be able to open this centre, which is a real asset for the local community and will provide much-needed resources to local people. I hope it will become a focal point for everyone. The activities on offer will undoubtedly increase and develop with the needs of the community. This state-of-the-art facility is a fantastic resource for local people and I’m confident it will improve the quality of life for residents of all ages in this part of the city.’
Parents at the re-occupied Wyndford Primary School in Maryhill staged a water fight in defiance of council attempts to end their protest. The building was previously occupied during the Easter holidays by the Save Our Schools campaign. On the last day of the summer term, a group of parents decided to re-occupy the building to protest against the school being lost to the community. Wyndford Primary is one of 20 schools and nurseries targeted for closure by Glasgow City Council. As previously reported in the LOCAL NEWS, Wyndford has been the focus of a sustained protest campaign by a group of parents trying to save the school and others across the city. Speaking inside the occupied building, Nicola Rathmill said: ‘We have had at least six people at all times inside the school. A council workman came one morning and said he had to check the gas. Before we knew it, he had cut the cold water supply. So we decided to have a water fight in defiance. The council say that they want to use the building as a recreation and family centre. Well if the building is good enough to be used for that it is good enough to be used as a school, that’s what the community really needs.’ Nicola has a son in primary one at Wyndford. He will now have to travel 1.4 miles to Kelvindale primary and 58 other children from the school will be travelling on an unsupervised bus to Parkview primary. Nicola went on: ‘The council are telling these kids that they are not worth educating in their own community.’ SNP councillor Billy McAllister was present at the school during the water fight, to show his support. He told LOCAL NEWS: ‘The school is the only thing in this densely populated community. It is used for community meetings and for children’s sports such as football and badminton. This event today shows that the community spirit is still alive and kicking.’
A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: ‘The parents are in the building without permission. The school is closed and will not re-open. The protest is futile.’
While officials were inside looking at the empty shell of a building, about 10 parents arrived and some of them chained themselves to the railings outside.
‘We’ve got to make a stand,’ said Laura McKenna who has a 3-year-old son at Wyndford nursery. ‘Closing the schools will destroy the whole community. They expect us to take our kids a 45 minute walk to a nursery in Summerston. You can’t put a wee one on the bus by themselves. Buses only take one baby buggy at a time and what are you supposed to do to get the older children to school at the same time?
When she exited from the building, MSP Patricia Ferguson, told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘I know these parents well. We’ve had discussions about the situation. I agree with them, it will take the heart out of the community and I’ve made my views known to Glasgow City Council.’
The affected schools are Ruchill Primary, Our Lady of Assumption, St Gregory’s Wyndford and St Agnes’s.
Before the parents had descended on the building, Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland and Billy McAllister, Chair of the Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust had both expressed their delight at the funding. Said Colin McLean: ‘This is exciting news and is an important step forward in the revitalisation of modern Maryhill.’
Billy McAllister added: ‘This very substantial grant is crucial for unlocking the balance and deliver our ambitious and much-needed community project. More than five years’ hard work has been put into this. I am confident we soon will be celebrating the re-opening of this much-loved hub.’
Councillor George Ryan, Executive Member for Development and Regeneration at Glasgow City Council, said: ‘This is another step towards the full restoration of the Maryhill Burgh Halls and the Maryhill Leisure Centre. When completed, some of the area’s most celebrated buildings will be restored back to their rightful role in the heart of the community.’