Event – “Doon the Watter” Monday 17th July

Winter Gardens Update – The STV coverage has raised a number of questions for us.

We were recently  interviewed as part of  STV’s news article on campaigns to save Glasgow’s Glasshouses. As part of the news article a Council Spokesperson said that the sum of money needed to restore the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace was £36million. This was news to us! Where did this figure come from? We are trying to find out more…

Here is what we know:

  • We have had one encouraging meeting with Glasgow Life in April. At this meeting we asked them how much was required to restore the Winter Gardens. They did not have an exact figure.
  • Glasgow Life has now taken over the management of the Winter Gardens while Glasgow City Council retain ownership.
  • The Glasgow People own the PP&WG. Opened by Lord Rosebury in 1898 to the people of Glasgow “for ever and ever”.
  • Glasgow Life intend to submit funding bids in Sept 2023
  • The Restoration of the PP&WG is in the Glasgow City Council’s Strategic Plan 2022-27. The Plan sets out four Grand Challenges for the Council to deliver against. Within Grand Challenge one – Reduce poverty and inequality in our communities Mission 4: Support Glasgow to be a city that is active and culturally vibrant Commitment no 13 is to “Secure investment for the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens”.

Strategic Plan – Glasgow City Council

  • GCC has set aside £2.9million from the 2023 budget towards the Winter Gardens
  • Glasgow Life have now confirmed that they will be looking for £30+ million.
  • We are corresponding with MSPs & Glasgow City Councillors from all parties as we believe that it is a cross party issue.
  • The Winter Gardens contributes to several Council’s policies including its Biodiversity Action Plan


Here’s what we do not know:

  • Where the Council spokesperson, in the STV news article, came up with the figure of £36million?
  • The breakdown of the costs of £36million. Has a feasibility study been carried out? And if so, by whom?
  • What funding bids Glasgow Life is preparing?
  • How will Glasgow Life use the New Practice Consultation Report?
  • Glasgow Life’s plans for the Winter Gardens?


Opportunities for the Winter Gardens:

The opportunities are wide-ranging and should be fully investigated, some ideas are outlined below, and we are sure that there will be many more.

  • The seventy thousand plus people who have signed the petition want to see the Winter Gardens restored with plants and as a community resource, the “palm court orchestra “atmosphere of the WG. The need for planting and the importance of the WG to the people of the East End and beyond Petition · Save the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens for the City of Glasgow · Change.org
  • The Winter Gardens has a vital role to play in serving the local community. It was and should be again a versatile and beautiful space, promoting well-being for all who spend time there, planting a vital part of creating this tranquil atmosphere.
  • The Winter Gardens provided an opportunity to promote education on biodiversity and climate change in so many ways: working with children on nature projects; working with universities on research projects; and so much more.
  • The Winter Gardens was an extremely attractive venue for weddings, concerts, events, and functions and this could be widened to help create a sustainable facility.
  • The Winter Gardens could also be a hub serving wider climate change activity within Glasgow Green. 


What you can do:

 We ask that all our supporters contact their local councillors, their MPS and their MPs to urge them to support the request for funding the restoration of the Winter Gardens

Councillors and Committees – Glasgow City Council

Current and previous Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) | Scottish Parliament Website

Contact your MP – UK Parliament








History walks on Glasgow Green

The next dates for the History walks are Saturday 22nd July and Saturday 26th August

at 10:30am meet up in front of the People’s Palace

The history walk around Glasgow Green is lead by Peter Mortimer, local historian.  Peter has a wealth of knowledge about the history of the East End of Glasgow and the importance of Glasgow Green in that history. Find out about  the famous Templeton’s Carpet Factory, the last person to be hung in public, and James Watt discovery of the steam condenser.

Walks are approximately one and a half  hours long, informal and chatty. Peter happy to answer any questions. The walk is the same as last month, giving those who missed it last time a chance to take part.

Why not pop into the People’s Palace afterwards  for a  coffee and some cake. 

The Elastic Band at PP 125 year celebration

Voices from the Green

125th Birthday Celebration

On 22nd January 2023, we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the Peoples Palace and the Winter Gardens at Glasgow Green – with music from The Elastic Band and Eileen Farrelly, and poetry from Christie Williamson.

Attendees included local councillors from Bridgeton and Gorbals, and there were well-received speeches by Paul Sweeney, MSP and George Parsonage MBE – the noted Clyde river rescuer spoke of the importance of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, and the avoidable neglect of the glasshouse.

Actor Bruce Downie as Lord Roseberry re-enacted the opening speech of the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens from 125 years ago – a gift which was “To belong to the people of Glasgow Forever and Ever”.

View some photos of the event … Continue reading

Winter Gardens Celebrations – Roy Aitken, Celtic Team Captain 1988




 1988 was the centenary of the Celtic Football Club, and they chose to have their celebratory exhibition in the People’s Palace. The 1987-88 season was an especially good one for the Club and the exhibition was one of the most popular to have taken place in the People’s Palace.

Captain Roy Aitken posed with some of the Club silver in the Winter Gardens for publicity purposes.  Behind him is the figure of Antinous (111-130AD) beloved of the Emperor Hadrian, who commissioned many statues of him after his untimely death.  He is depicted as an Egyptian Pharaoh or god and was given a Celtic scarf for the photograph. 

The massive statue was a reproduction obtained for Kelvingrove’s Archaeology Department in the early 20th century. 

Celebrating the Winter Gardens

Hi there,

To keep our campaign going to get the Winter Gardens restored we are asking supporters to send us photos of their celebrations at the Winter Gardens. Please send us photos and a few lines of text of your celebrations at the Winter Gardens. It maybe a wedding; attending a concert; a school outing or just having a day out with family and friends at the Winter Gardens. Please send to mail@friendsofppwggg.org.uk

Once we have received a good few contributions we will set up a gallery on our website. looking forward to seeing your happy events.

We are starting with a Whistlebinkies concert in the 1980’s – Whistlebinkies in the Mist

The mist was created by Des McGuire’s smoke machine which enveloped the People’s Palace stage during Mayfest 1984. The Whistlebinkies L-R: Peter Anderson, Eddie McGuire, Rab Wallace, Mark Hayward, Stuart Eydmann, Mick Broderick.







Photos from the Tryst folk festival in 1986 showing Eddie McGuire conducting The Whistlebinkies & guests, rehearsing his new piece The Piper’s Return in the Winter Gardens.

Here’s another one from that day (Mayfest rehearsal 14th May 1986) left to right Eddie McGuire (composer), Ninian Perry (bass), Mary Ann Kennedy (harp), Rab Wallace (lowland pipes), Martin Hughes (bombarde), George MacIlwham (highland pipes), Judith Peacock (clarsach)

Photos courtesy of Anthony Brannan; Anthony Brannan Photography.

Info from Ruth Gillett 


Seasons greetings to all our supporters

Saturday 10th December 2022 – Talk on the Collections of the People’s Palace by Elspeth King hosted by the Historical Association



Saturday 10th December 2022 at  10:30am

Talk on The Collections of the People’s Palace by Elspeth King

Hosted by The Historical Association, Kelvinside Hillhead Parish Church Hall, Saltoun St, Glasgow G12 9AR

. All welcome.

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