On Peoples’ Palaces
As reported by Angus Calder in the London Review of Books
Just seventy years after Friday, 31 January 1919, when troops and tanks stood by to quell a mass rally, in Glasgow’s George Square, of West of Scotland workers campaigning for a forty-hour week, the event was remembered in the People’s Palace, the museum of labour history on Glasgow Green.
A bronze bust of Willie Gallacher by Ian Walters was not so much unveiled as proclaimed. It sits at the top of the building, in the room where Ken Currie’s controversial Rivera-style murals of working-class history can be seen around the ceiling: but the speeches were made in the Winter Garden downstairs, where heavy rain dripping through the glass roof and a chill which gnawed one’s bowels did not dismay the two hundred people who had gathered to honour the man who from 1935 to 1950 was Honourable Member for West Fife (Comm.), and an activist long before that on the Clyde Workers Committee. Continue reading
People’s Palace 122nd birthday, 22 January 2020
Messages from people who could not be with us:
From actor John Cairney and his wife Alannah O’Sullivan. Both were very active in the 1990 campaign to help the People’s Palace.
Unfortunately, Alannah and I can’t be with you.
We genuinely wish you and all at the People’s Palace a deserving 122nd Happy Anniversary! The People’s Palace for me growing up nearby in the East End made it a very special place indeed, and I was grateful for it. It still belongs to the People of Glasgow as it speaks for all of us, not only by its longevity and continued credibility, but for fully representing the beating heart of the city.
To mark the 122nd anniversary of the opening of the People’s Palace/Winter Gardens, the Friends of the People’s Palace, Winter Gardens and Glasgow Green will be holding a commemoration event this Wednesday:
11.00am to midday, Wednesday, 22nd January 2020,
at the People’s Palace, Glasgow Green.
There will be a designer-cake for the event, plus music and short contributions from speakers. If you’re free, please come along.
Keep an eye out for further details on our Facebook page:
Glasgow Green was featured in this great article on ‘Glasgow Live’ on 30/11/19.
They list seven intriguing facts you might not know about the 146 acre public space next to the River Clyde, which attracts around 2 million visitors per year, and has played host to some of the most important historical events in Glasgow.
13 January, Feast of St Mungo, patron saint of Glasgow who first named the settlement Glas Chu, ‘the dear Green place’.
17 January, birthday of Matt McGinn of the Calton (1928-1977) whose ashes rest in the Winter Gardens
19 January 1736 Birthday of James Watt
22 January (1898) opening of the People’s Palace ‘for ever and ever’.
17 March, Feast of St Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. People went to Flesher’s Haugh to gather shamrock.
4 April 1817 Birthday of Hugh Macdonald (1817 – 1860), author of Rambles Round Glasgow; monument on the Green Continue reading
A look at coverage of the Green in the news archives, from 1853 to 1899
Glasgow Constitutional 16 July 1853 Glasgow Fair on Glasgow Green
Hylton’s Royal Menagerie, Glasgow Fair. 10am – 10pm. Lions, tigers, leopards, panthers, hyenas and howling wolves, with birds,beasts and monsters of the deep. + brass band. Pro bono publico
Paisley Herald 27 March 1858 Glasgow Green in Danger
Letter from IRLG against coal mining on the Green. ‘The old Unreformed Town Council would have been ashamed to have anything to do with such a job….the present Council…the only one in the kingdom capable of perpetrating such a barbarism as wilfully spoiling a public park, and that park the ancient Green of Glasgow, used by our forefathers for ages back.’ Continue reading
7pm, Thursday 7 November 2019
Glasgow Green is Scotland’s oldest public park and not surprisingly, there are many songs, poems and stories about it.
On this special evening, we will be looking at films supplied by the National Library of Scotland’s Moving Image Archive at the Kelvin Hall. These include two full- length short films: From Glasgow Green to Bendigo (1961, on the world-wide operation of Templeton Carpets) and The Green of Glasgow (1962, produced for the Schools Museum Service and used as a teaching aid on the history of the Green up until the 1990s.)
Admission is free, so bring your popcorn and enjoy a great Glasgow night out!
Duration: 90 minutes
A Friends of the People’s Palace, Winter Gardens and Glasgow Green event
Venue: Calton Heritage and Learning Centre 423 London Road, Glasgow, G40 1AG
7pm, Thursday 7 November 2019