Don’t be alarmed — Billy Connolly‘s banana boots are safe — but the People’s Palace is undergoing a major refurbishment in time to celebrate its approaching 100th birthday.
Curators admit that the rnuseurn‘s exhibits illustrating Glasgow‘s history have grown in a piecemeal manner which lacks a clear focus. ‘lt‘s good to dip into but difficult to learn from — there‘s no clear narrative structure.‘ says Glasgow Museums‘ senior curator Mark O‘Neill.
The first phase of the reorganisation. which will continue until the museum's centenary in 1998, is to establish a new exhibition area on the top ﬂoor to allow exhibits currently in storage to be permanently displayed. The space will be divided into three themes — politics. work and housing. The rnuseurn‘s strength in telling the story of portrayed is its history of civic pride. including the city council‘s own self- promotional efforts over the last 50 years. ‘Glasgow has always been
assertive as the upstart city in the west putting Edinburgh in its place.‘ says ()‘Neill.
In the housing section. the reconstruction of a single-end. the museum‘s most popular exhibit. will be enhanced. with reconstructions of tenement and tower—block life also added. The team of curators and
People's Palace: celebrating Glasgow’s history
Changing times on Glasgow Green
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‘We will still have the “people‘s vision". but it is difficult telling that without also saying Glasgow was a good place to make money.‘ says ()‘Neill. ‘lt was a great capitalist city and we want to show the tensions in the city.‘
Another side of Glasgow that is being
designers working on the new exhibits
grassroots political organisations like trade trnions and co-ops will be extended by tackling other sides ofthe city‘s history. also plan to incorporate film archive footage into displays for the first time, and there is the possibility of using some form of interactive technology.
()ne of the more intriguing themes that will be addressed in the next phase of the museum‘s reorganisation is alcohol and temperance — a subject closely linked to the city‘s history. ‘()bviously alcohol is one of the traditional means ofescape for people without much hope and that's been both a big problem and a sotrrce of tremendous fun.‘ says ()‘Neill. ‘The temperance movement has always been strong in the city with a lot of religious and political energy put into saving people from drink.‘
However. surely nobody would begrudge the People‘s Palace staff a wee celebratory drink‘.’ (Eddie Gibb)
What do 150,000 people look like? It you were one of the brave souls that squeezed onto Princes Street, up the Mound or, die-hard that you are, down the Tron, then there’s your answer.
Nobody seems to have a bad word to say about Edinburgh’s three-day Nogmanay celebrations, apart from possibly a few hundred irate punters who all tried to retrieve their jackets from the Assembly Rooms cloakroom at the same time. But it that’s the worst criticism, it seems churlish not to call the whole thing a success.
Already thoughts are turning to next year and a major priority for the
: Edinburgh Tourist Board is persuading
? more traders, particularly restaurants,
' to open on New Year’s Day. With just
1 about ever available bed space booked up, from lowly 38.85 to the mighty live-star hotels book-ending
Princes Street, there were a lot of : hungry visitors.
‘What I noticed was a lack of eating places,’ says tourist board marketing manager Gordon McGuIloch. ‘We’ll be saying to people, “look you’re in the service industry and there’s business to be had out there”.’
, Unique Events, who organised ' Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, are
Edinburgh’s three-day sell out
considering spreading next year’s programme over tour days and holding more ticketed events. Tickets tor the New Year Revels sold out within hours of going on sale.
Meanwhile, in Glasgow 15,000 headed for George Square, which was sealed off to control numbers. That event was declared a success but there was no official word from the city council about the possibility of a repeat performance next year. ‘The success of the event would tend to suggest it will happen again,’
, according to one source. (Eddie Gibb)
Scotland‘s first gay sexual health project. which opened in Glasgow in September. has been almost overwhelmed with interest and is expanding the facilities it offers. Tire Steve Retson Project provides a weekly clinic for gay men at Glasgow‘s Royal Infirmary. and has just announced a link-up with the hospital‘s own Citizens Advice Bureau.
Bureau manager Alister Blades says that the move has come because people‘s needs are not always simply medical. ‘It was felt we could help with a more holistic approach,‘ he says. ‘lf someone is in multiple debt. and the cause is a relationship breakdown. people don‘t necessarily want to have to explain to a stranger that it is a same- sex partnership.‘ he explains. ‘We aren‘t creating a ghetto for gay men — obviously sexuality isn‘t always relevant. We will offer advice across a wide spectrum from consumer problems. to debt and benefits.‘
Colin McKillop. Gay Project Worker with Scottish AIDS Monitor says they are aiming at a broad approach to gay
rnen‘s health needs. ‘We are trying to move away from the idea that it is just a kind ofclap clinic. We don‘t want
; people just to think “Oh no. I've got a l discharge. I‘d better get along to the
3 Steve Retson Project."
1 The project named after gay health
1 campaigner Steve Retson who died last ' year. has provided users with
i everything from sexuality counselling
0 HIV tests. It is easier to use a service
A healthy interest in the same sex
where your sexuality is taken for granted. MacKillop argues: ‘ln the past gay men who thought they had picked up a disease would go to a general clinic. Staff wouldn’t necessarily know they were gay and if they managed to come out and tell them. staff weren‘t specifically trained for that. You would hear horrific stories where people were asked “Do you play the rrrale or the female role?” The staff at SRP are either gay or gay friendly and attuned to gay men‘s needs.‘
When it opened. the intention was to provide a drop-in service. btrt the weekly session is frequently booked up in advance. Between ~11) and 50 gay men attend each week. ‘Staff are rushed off their feet.‘ says McKillop. ‘there is definitely a need to expand the service.‘ (Stephen Naysmith)
The Steve Relsnn Project is u! (i/usgmv Royal Infirmary every 'l'uesduy nig/il 5.-i’()—8.3()pnr. The URI ('ilizens Advice Bureau is open all week but offers a service .V/Jt’t'f/it‘U/i)‘ m guy men (in 'I‘llUSdU'YS 5. 30—8. 30pm.
I Festival plan The Edinburgh International Festival is trying to secure lottery money to convert the Highland 'l‘olbooth at the top of the Royal Mile into a Festival Centre. The proposed £7 million conversion would create new headquarters for the Festival administrators and act as a visitor centre promoting the Festival throughout the year. If the £4 miliion sought from the lotter'y‘s Millennium Fund is secured, the project could be
, completed by the end of 1998.
' I Opportunity knocks Fancy yotrr
chances as the next Terry Christian? OK maybe not. but if you think you could do a good job of presenting a ‘yoof telly‘ prograrmne this could be your break. Later this month. a television production company will be inviting anyone aged 16—21 to send a five-minute video demonstrating their whacky presentation skills. They will be shown on Channel 4 in April and the best presenter will be chosen by a public phone-in. The winner will front
the new magazine Wale/i This Spare; ‘a
totally original concept that is set to change the face of youth TV‘. For further details call 0891 114433.
I Theatre workshop Auditions have opened for places at the Scottish Youth Theatre's theatre and video skills summer school which is open to anyone up to the age of 21. The closing date for applications is 15 February. Call Susan Fraser on ()141 332 5127. I Drug busting The drugs industry should be taken over by the state as the only effective way of starting to curb abuse of hard drugs such as heroin. according to Willie McKelvey. the MP who chairs a Scottish select committee on drugs. ‘More people are beginning to think the unthinkable,‘ he told Sent/and on Sunday recently. ‘Whereas at the moment we‘re supplying methadone to addicts as a heroin substitute. we could in fact supply clean heroin with a view to stopping them injecting.‘
4 The List 13—26 January 1995