There are more than 285 competitive bagpipe bands in the United States, made up of thousands of pipers and drummers. Bands are divided into grades based on skill: Grade 5 is the lowest, akin to Little League; Grade 1 is the majors. In May 2014, the Massachusetts-based Stuart Highland Pipe Band was promoted to Grade 1, and next month they'll be facing off against other top-level bands in Glasgow at the annual World Pipe Band Championships. But first, the Stewies made their North American debut at the premier level at a competition in Ontario: Blowhards: On the road, down the bottle, and across the border with Boston’s greatest competitive bagpipe band. [more inside]
Your next favorite band is probably from Glasgow. Sure, we know Mogwai, Belle & Sebastian (previously and very previously), Frightened Rabbit (previously), The Twilight Sad, Glasvegas, and Chvrches (previously). Step inside for some of Glasgow’s current talent explosion. [more inside]
The Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and recently voted Britain's favorite building of the past 175 years, has been devastated by fire. While the stone exterior of Mackintosh's greatest architectural masterpiece may survive, Mackintosh's interiors are presumed lost.
1973 news report on the training of Glasgow bouncers, This Week: Documentary about 1960s Glasgow Gangs
So the infamous deep fried mars bar has reignited debates about Glasgow as the unhealthiest city in the UK. The Economist has also weighed in with their view on life expectancy in Glasgow, touching on the city's industrial history. The issue of Glasgow as the unhealthiest and most dangerous city seems to be at odds with Glasgow as a friendly city, and despite continued efforts to improve its reputation, Glasgow still seems to be afflicted by negative evaluations.
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax.
Grierson believed strongly that the filmmaker had a social responsibility, and that film could help a society realize democratic ideals. His absolute faith in the value of capturing the drama of everyday life was to influence generations of filmmakers all over the world. In fact, he coined the term "documentary film." [more inside]
Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
The Scots voice of the Spanish revolution [Embedded DivX video 1hr15m; also downloadable] Ethel MacDonald was a young working class Scots woman who hitch-hiked to Barcelona to do her part in the war. There she became the English-language voice of the anarchist movement as a radio station announcer. Newspapers at home dubbed her the "Scottish Scarlet Pimpernel" for her role in helping comrades escape the crackdown that followed the May Days. Her remarkable story is told in this recent drama-documentary.
Empty Cathedrals. Tenement closes. Glasgow artist Frank McNab documents the communal entrances sans nostalgia or sentimentality. Gets it just so damn right! His 'Thoughts' and 'Projects' need a little more work however.
"John Smith, Youngest, of Crutherland, was given the honorary degree of LL.D in 1840. In 1842 he announced the bequest to the University [of Glasgow] of his runs of publications from learned societies, and his volumes of ephemeral items. These came to the library on Smith’s death in 1849." Some examples: Playbill, Theatre Royal, York Street. Broadsheet account of an attempted prison break. Radical Party election ballad. See also: Glasgow Broadside Ballads: cheap print and popular song culture in nineteenth-century Scotland and Glasgow Broadside Ballads: The Murray Collection
So you can sing along this evening. Happy New Year from Glasgow where our Hogmanay event has been cancelled due to storms.
3,000 photographs of Glaswegians taken by Glaswegians, between 1989 and 1992.
The Kingston Bridge, a neglected urban bridge in Glasgow was recently resurrected as a public work of art by Leni Schwendinger. Lighting was added under the bridge to highlight the architecture but it also reacted to use. The more traffic flowing on the roads above, the more red is displayed, as the tide rises, blues dominate, resulting in some pretty cool, ever-changing public art on a grand scale.
The Subway Challenge! Can one man get off the Glasgow underground at one stop, race the train to the next and get back on the same train? Mebbes aye, mebbes naw. (What? Want more underground? Here are some great photographs from before and after its 1970s restoration)
Best laid schemes? Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan [click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums* would be cleared; new towns* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire*. In 1971*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century. *All links contain embedded video goodness.
Celtic's Taliban?. Glasgow smeltic fans are a disgrace to Scotland