_ Save Our

David Puttnam: ‘appalled'

Plans to change the Hillhead Salon in Glasgow from a public cinema to a private sports hall have met with strong local resistance. According to the Save Our Salon campaign, over 10,000 people. nearly all ofwhom

live or work in the environs of the Salon, have signed a petition against the proposal. Among the non-residents to lend their support are Sir Richard Attenborough. the Glasgow-born producer Ian Smith and David Puttnam.

Built in 1913, the Salon is the oldest continuously run, purpose-built cinema in Britain. While the building itselfis unremarkable, the interior decor is of great architectural significance. As revealed in The List 180, CAC Leisure are planning to sell the cinema to the adjacent Western Baths private members club who intend to flatten the rake, or slope, of the floor.

A planners report on the proposal, which requires listed building consent but needs no change-of-use permission. is due to be considered by the Glasgow City Council in the imminent future. Neil Baxter of SOS told The List that the campaign has made two specific representations to the planners:

I Because the building is listed for its historic importance. the change from cinema to sports hall makes a mockery of the change-of-use regulations.

I The important decoration is designed to fit in with the rake of the floor. Ifthe floor is levelled, the interior decorative scheme will look utterly ludicrous.

In an open letter to the campaign, David Puttnam said he is ‘appalled at what seems to be a total disregard of an invaluable piece of British Cinema history.’

The List is happy to support the campaign. When the cinema is saved, it will be important to ensure its continued use as a community resource. To this end we urge all interested parties, particularly CAC Leisure and SOS, to meet to discuss the Salon’s future. (Thom Dibdin)

_ Tackhng homelessness

Shocking new stastics irom Shelter— the campaign organisation tackling homelessness have revealed that 20 per cent oi homeless people in London have come down from Scotland, and 31 per cent oi these are from Glasgow. To combat this, Run For Cover, a newly termed West End-based ‘homeless task iorce’ aims to iniorm the local community about all aspects of homelessness.

Events organiser, Richard Wales, commented: ‘We want to reach young people who have no ilxed abode and those who are at risk oi becoming homeless to iniorm them oi the alternatives. We will publish up-to-daie iniormation about sources oi aid as well as serving as an educational resource centre working with youth groups, schools and interested lndlviduals.’ As part oi their mission, this autumn Run For Cover will be producing a video on the homeless situation in Glasgow.

As iunds are urgently needed to keep the group's work going, a sponsored run is taking place in Kelvingrove Park on Sunday 20 September. Entry is tree ior individuals sponsored ior 25 minimum and teams oi iour sponsored tor 220 minimum. Otherwise the entry fee is 23.50/212. Application iorms are available irom all city centre sports shops or can be obtained, with iurther iniormation, irom PO Box 989, 612 9ET. (Michael Paterson)

Swept off the streets

One all-year-round show on the streets oi Edinburgh that went largely unnoticed this year was the continuing sickly charade oi the homeless who proliierate in areas at the city such as the Grassmarket and Bristo Square. However, during the prestigious Edinburgh International Festival, most oi Auld Beekie's pavements and gutters were out oi bounds to the homeless community at large. Alastair Duii, top Edinburgh criminal lawyer, publicly voiced his anger recently on bail conditions placed on

three homeless men who had allegedly committed a breach oi the peace in the Grassmarket area. Mr Ouli told The List: ‘With the Festlval coming up, the powers-that-be obviously decided that Edinburgh's problems such as homelessness should be kept hidden irom the tourists. The ball conditions themselves state that these men, and in eiiect the homeless oi Edinburgh, should keep away irom areas such as the Mound, High Street and Princes Street. tThese are, in eiiect, exclusion orders oi which the purpose is usually to protect a person irom a violent source. This, however, is a whole new ball game.’

The three who were arrested lace trial in November. One wonders whether this sort oi treatment will continue until the Euro Summit, when councillors and the police force will be hoping tor a smooth run with no embarrassments. (Mark Baln)

[— On the move

Late summer has brought about a rush ofcomings and goings in Scotland’s arts and media circles; none without a note of controversy. Leading political broadcaster Donald MacCormick will be returning home to Glasgow as presenter of Scottish Television’s political programmes as well as other shows including a late-night serious chat show. MacCormick, a former BBC Scotland political reporter, has gained much respect for his television work south of the border, including stints on Newsnight, Tonight and Question Time. Scottish Television were on the receiving end of much criticism three months ago when the company sacked political editor Colin Mackay and, in this light, MacCormick‘s appointment is as likely to be attacked as applauded. Meanwhile, Radio Forth chief executive Richard Finlay has been

appointed chairman of Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre, following the departure of Lord Prossor a move announced some time ago. Edinburgh-born Finlay is also an executive director of Radio Clyde Holdings and a director of Lothian Health Board. Elsewhere, Christopher Bishop announced his decision to quit the post of chief executive of the Royal Scottish Orchestra in the coming year. Earlier this year, player members of the orchestra‘s board tried to have him removed, criticising his style of management. Bishop, former managing director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, plans to pursue other musical interests in London.

Finally, interviews are about to begin for a director for the successor to Glasgow’s Third Eye Centre. Since the centre went into

.liquidation, it has been running with

a skeleton staff under the name Centre for the Contemporary Arts. More settled funding structures will be put in place when the new organisation is constituted in December. (Alan Morrison)


I Asbestos law: The families of Scots dying from asbestos-related diseases could benefit from a change to the law on damages ifa bill raised in the House of Lords by Lord Macaulay of Bragar goes through smoothly. As reported in The List 168, claims for compensation against employers in Scotland currently die with the victim and, in the case of asbestos-induced cancer mesothelioma, the last stages of this terminal illness are usually too swift for a damages case to go through the courts. No parliamentary time was allocated for a private member’s bill to rid Scotland of this legal anomaly, but by raising a bill in the Lords on the resumption ofParliament, it is hoped that it could pass onto the statute books early next year.

I John Wright: It is with great sadness that The List reports the death of Mr John Wright, manager ofthe

Grosvenor Cinema in Hillhead for the last eleven years. An enthusiastic cinefile, he started out as a projectionist and spent his whole life working in the cinema except for a spell in the Royal Navy. He worked in several Glasgow cinemas, including the Tivoli on Crow Road, the Classic and the Classic Grand in Jamaica Street.

I No more in the pink: That west coast Saturday institution, the 108-year-old sports paper affectionately known as the Pink, rolled off the presses for the last time at the end of August. Despite having lost its blush some fifteen years ago, the Pink remained a must for football fans until the earlier production of Sunday newspapers took its inevitable toll. However, staff at Glasgow’s Evening Times are not too despondent as there will be no editorial redundancies, with energies being redirected into the new tabloid Weekend Times.

4The List 11:2-4-Septcmber 1992