aren‘t after you.‘

‘Social history has been undersupported politically. and underfunded. It‘s not just a question of money. but of push behind it.‘ says Councillor Martin Hilland. Chair of the People‘s Palace sub-committee. The problem. he suggests. is not one ofpersonalities. ‘The whole museum world is so middle class and Anglophile. That‘s what you‘re I fighting against. It‘s not just the odd councillor or official who doesn‘t like Elspeth (although that can sometimes be important). The key problem is that the museum world can‘t talk the same kind oflanguage that the People‘s Palace talks.‘

Despite problems of

comprehension. it appears the M O N D A Y 2 9f h J A N U A R Y

message has finally got through.

Julian Spalding. the ebullient new director of Glasgow Art Galleries and Museums wants to expand and

build on what has already been achieved at the People‘s Palace. A proposal for the creation of a Social History Department is awaiting the rubber stamp from the Council. while Spalding talks of the need to ‘relate all aspects ofsocial history together.’ and ofcreating a network ofvenues in outlying areas of the city where more ofthe People‘s Palace - - —-

collection could be seen. - D 5H1 F E B R U A R Y

‘I thinkin many ways Elspeth‘s -——~ -~

best work is yet to come.‘ says

Martin Hilland. "Things are H T changing in the city. I wouldn‘t like

to overstate it. But there is a wider

range of people now who are H I P

interested in social history.‘ After

fifteen years defendingthe real " ""“ "‘ ‘— history ofGlasgow. Elspeth King T U E S D A Y 6? h F E B R U A R Y _ may now be required to move onto H i r M— v the offensive. expanding the service which the People‘s Palace has E provided: ‘I feel very bad we haven‘t

done more for the big peripheral

housing schemes. I feel we should be N I museum of the people seems out there collecting and recording

neglected and impoverished. It is a because that‘s where the heart of cruel observer who suggested that Glasgow now is.‘ she says. _. _ _. ,_ __ _ __ ,. .,-.. . the People‘s Palace is popular for the Where you might expect some sort M O N D A Y 1 2 t h F E B R U A R Y same reason asthe Barras.butthat ofwelcome forthe new department. - -. —-—— ——.—.---———--———-———— -—» ~ the Barras are better displayed. yet Elspeth King shows no enthusiasm. there isahintoftruth in it. King I Her pessimism may. however. have , herself admits that she sees other a stronger foundation than a simple a W B curators coming in and mentally unwillingness to share. The Keeper . saying. ‘Goodness. what a mess. ofSocial History will be a new post And there‘s a cat sitting in the middle with responsibility for all the social ofit. This woman is entirelyoutof history operationsin the city. says ~»----——--—~ —-—-——« -—'-— ~-r-—- - -— ~ - hertree.‘ Julian SpaldingThisisthejob which T H U RSDAY 20th F E BRUA RY Looking back on her seven Elspeth King is effectively doing at ' " "" ' " " “" ' " predecessors. Elspeth King suggests present. As Depute Keeper of Local that the People‘s Palace has been History. she is responsible for the . underfunded since it opened in 1898. museums at Ruther len and K M D ‘Each and every one of us has been Provand‘s Lordshipgas well as the c e living on a precipice.‘ She tells a People‘s Palace. Understandably. story about a Captain Durand. who she feels her own job is about to be 0 was curator until 1947. ‘He advertised. a suggestion which both developed a pen-nib complex. He‘d Julian Spalding and Martin Hilland ask for a supply of pen-nibs from emphatically refute: ‘Elspeth has her ______ __________. _~_,___ __ _ ____,____ _ _L___--_ __ ,___ _ Kelvingrove. and they‘d send him a enemies, but I don‘ think this is art year‘s supply in an envelope - three ofthe plot.‘ says Hilland. p W E D N E S D A Y 2 1 St pen-nibs. So he went around the Nevertheless. King is despairing: ‘l Barras buying up pen-nibs. When I feel like a dinosaur.‘ she says. 'I 0 saw him as an old man in his nineties, would have been much better offin n r I r he still had stacks of pen-nibs that 1898. I might become extinct quite I s a he‘d carefully saved.‘ The example soon.‘ is, perhaps. extreme. but King clearly feels that she is under attack; The Fabric ()fGlasgow, ten banners ‘1 used to think it was me until 1 stitched b_i'loca1s. depicting the spoke to my predecessors; she history()fGIasgow's East End, are Tickets from Ripping Records, Virgin and or Door. laughs. ‘Mind you. just because 0" (“VP/‘1." ‘1’ ’h" Palace “’1’” l5 ' THE NETWORK WEST TOllCROSS EDINBURGH you‘re paranoid doesn‘t mean they February a ' '

The List 26 January 8 February 1990 5