124th Birthday Celebrations for the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green
& Our First Annual Gray Day Celebration announced for 22 January 2022
You are invited to join us at 12noon -2:00pm on Saturday 22nd January 2022 outside the People’s Palace for its 124th birthday as we celebrate the anniversary of its opening “for ever and ever” by Lord Rosebery, 22 January 1898.
Last year we had a musical celebration in the sunshine. In 2020, we celebrated inside the museum with songs and a birthday cake. In 2019, the celebration was in West on the Green, as the Palace was closed as dangerous and in need of repair. Covid has kept it closed for most of the time since.
This year we will tie a giant yellow protest ribbon round the building. It hugs our neglected social history collection and utterly destroyed Winter Gardens. The ribbon represents drawings that shows our anger against Glasgow Life and Glasgow City Council. It affirms that the building and its collections belongs to the people of Glasgow and that those in power must take bold action to restore it to us. It is not for sale, not for reimagining and not for repurposing. The yellow protest ribbon represents our immediate demands that they open the doors for full access now.
There will also be music, freebies and stories. We would also like you to bring along a birthday card with a message to Glasgow Life and the Council which we will send on to them on your behalf.
We are determined to see the building repaired, renewed and restored so future generations can both enjoy it and immerse themselves in the history and culture of Glasgow as well as basking in the healing warmth of the Winter Gardens.
Alasdair Gray, the artist and writer (1934-2019), was a great supporter of the People’s Palace and this will also be our first Gray Day in his honour. His exhibition The Continuous Glasgow Show, 22 January – 1 June 1978 opened the Winter Gardens to the public for the first time since closure for demolition in 1966.
Alasdair also designed the logo for the Friends of the People’s Palace in 1977 and again for its reincarnation (above) in 2018. To his credit, Alasdair in the last year of his life twice refused the Freedom of the City on the grounds that he disagreed with the way the city had neglected the People’s Palace”. Alasdair was on the staff of the People’s Palace for almost a year throughout 1977-78, producing a series of contemporary Glasgow portraits for the museum collection. He also designed the logo for the Friends of the People’s Palace in 1977 and again for its reincarnation (above) in 2018. To his credit, Alasdair in the last year of his life twice refused the Freedom of the City on the grounds that he disagreed with the way the city had neglected the People’s Palace.
For information on Alasdair Gray and the People’s Palace see his Life in Pictures, chapter 14 (Canongate 2010)