Bridgeton Library has launched a series of free events which will explore the history and memories of past times. From historical walks with local historians to a rock ‘n’ roll celebration of the 1950s and 60s, the library team is inviting the local community to share their memories and help to record their own version of the area’s heritage.
Principal Librarian, Sally Clegg, said: “There is such a rich and varied history in and around Bridgeton and we’ve put together a programme which we hope will appeal to young and old alike.
“Whether you want to delve in to your own family’s past and discover who your forefathers were, or reminisce about the steamie or school, the library has all of the skills and expertise to help you.”
Bridgeton started as a small weaving village in 1705, when the third John Walkinshaw marked out a portion of his Goosefauld estate for rent. However, not much interest was shown until 1775 when Rutherglen Bridge was constructed across the River Clyde and the area became known as Bridge Town. A major employer was carpet manufacturer James Templeton & Co.
Bridgeton's most notable feature is the Bridgeton Umbrella, built in 1875, the Victorian cast iron structure has been a meeting point at the centre of Bridgeton Cross ever since. Bridgeton Library is one of Glasgow’s Carnegie libraries, deftly designed by the Invernessian architect, James Robert Rhind.
The Bridgeton Umbrella recently underwent a £1.1 million makeover and a new Robert Burns Memorial was unveiled in recognition of the Bridgeton Burns Club which dates back to 1870.
A permanent tribute was also erected to three locally-born servicemen who were awarded the Victoria Cross for valour in the Crimean War and First World War.
Bridgeton is enjoying the fruits of significant investment, aimed at regenerating the area, including £400,000 to revamp the Tullis Street Memorial Gardens, £2 million to purchase the Olympia Building, £400,000 of upgrade and improvements to Bridgeton Station and £9.7 million to be spent on the construction of Eastgate, the new HQ for Glasgow Community Safety Services.
Local councillor and Chair of Glasgow Life, George Redmond, said: “Bridgeton is currently enjoying a fantastic urban renaissance, with millions of pounds being invested in our community. But as we look forward, it’s important to look back and understand the history of an area and people who were bound by common ties.
“I’m delighted that the staff in Bridgeton Library are leading the way and offering everyone a chance to enjoy a trip down memory lane and I’m keen to ensure more communities across the city follow suit.”
30th October 2010 10.30am
Heritage Walk in Bridgeton
A walk in the past, present and future – explore Bridgeton’s history on foot with local historian Peter Mortimer. Meet in the Library at 10.30am. Following the walk refreshments will be available in Bridgeton Library.
9th November 2010 2.30pm – 4.00pm
Scotland’s People and Family History
Scotland’s People – searching for your family roots on line. A free taster session – places limited to 12 – please book in advance at the Library.
11, 18 and 25 November 2010 2 – 4pm
Recording the Past
Part of the libraries participation in the BBC's Landscape project and BBC First Click campaign. The event will encourage the audience to gain computer skills by uploading their photos to the Landscapes website. Come along and bring your old photographs of Glasgow. Staff from the Digital Learning Team will be onsite to assist.
7th December 2010 2.30pm
School Days, Wash Days and Yesterdays – join us for a look into Bridgeton’s past, bring your memories and your stories. Refreshments will be available
9th December 2010 6.30pm
Did you see Bill Haley at the Odeon in 1957? What about Cliff at the Empire or Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent during their week-long stay.
Using newspapers, photographs, memorabilia and memories of those who where there, we’ll be looking at the early rock’n’roll acts that played Glasgow 1957-1963. See fans waiting outside Cliff’s digs in Maryhill. Hear about the Headmistress that banned her pupils from going to a Beatles concert. See Jerry Lee Lewis stopping a riot and then starting his own at the Kelvin Hall. Jiving allowed! Join Eddie Caven and the Library staff as we rock and roll into Christmas.
All events are free and open to all – come and join us in Bridgeton Library, Landressy Street or call 0141 276 0870.