Doors Open Day – Garnethill Synagogue

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News

Doors Open Day Garnethill SynagogueGarnethill Synagogue – the first purpose built for Jewish worship in Scotland – attracted more than 400 people – of many faiths and none to their Doors Open Day. The Jewish house of worship was opened in Hill Street, near the School of Art, in 1879. It was re-consecrated in 1998 after a £660,000 refurbishment and is still a regular place of worship. Said Gerald Levin, the Synagogue President for the past ten years, ‘We had 35 schools with a total of 700 pupils visit us this year up till the summer holidays. We also have a lot of visitors, especially in the summer. They are our saving grace because we need 10 men aged 13 and above to make up a quorum for our Shabbat services. While we have around 200 members they are scattered.’  Since 1987 the Garnethill Synagogue has been home to the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre. Director Harvey Kaplan, told the LOCAL NEWS, ‘Our permanent exhibition space was opened formally by Stewart Maxwell, Minister for Communities and Sport during the summer. Hundreds of people come here to research their family history.’ The Centre documents and illustrates the religious, organisational, social, economic, political, cultural and family lives of Jews who have lived in Scotland since the 18th century. The Centre has published authoritative books such as ‘Hannah Frank, A Glasgow Artist’, ‘Second City Jewry’ and ‘Glasgow Jewish Journeys.’ On Doors Open Day most people who visited the Synagogue found their way to the Archives Centre too. The Centre’s website is: or Harvey Kaplan from Scottish Jewish Archives Centre



Doors Open Day – Govanhill Pool

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow South, Local News

A staggering 1,000 people queued for hours to enjoy tours of Govanhill Baths, during the annual Doors Open festival. The facility – closed seven years ago by Glasgow City Council despite massive opposition and a lengthy sit-in by local people – now has a future. Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) was set up specifically to re-open the B listed, Edwardian Baroque-styled building dating from 1917 and their plans were on view for all to see.

Govanhill Baths

Between £8.5 and £10 million will be needed to transfom the place into a Sports and Wellbeing Centre and the Trust aims to open on 21 March 2011- 94 years to the day when it first opened its doors. 

The plans show that the three existing pools would be kept along with many of the original features. There would be a Turkish sauna, a rooftop garden, a café and an asthma clinic as well as a gymnasium and theatre/cinema, crèche, housing complex, retail and community space.  

Andrew Johnson, Chairman of the Trust and one of the original campaigners, said: ‘We believe the people have turned out on Doors Open because the closure of these baths by the Council hit a deep-seated nerve. People were treated with so much disrespect when the pool was closed.   I believe they have come to the Baths Doors Open day to make a statement against undemocratic decisions and because they believe that a community has a right to make its own decisions about its destiny and needs’

Danny Alderslowe, Southside Councillor for the Scottish Green Party, who took part in the 140 day sit-in, said: ‘The opening has been an emotional day for me. I feel horror at the negative impact the closure has had in terms of the health of the local people.’Esther Saussman helps tidy up the pool