Monday, 30 June 2008

Fair Enough

Although not as grand as it once was, the Govan Fair is still an occasion not to be missed. A cavalcade of floats entertained us and all the participants seemed to be having fun.



As long as we're enjoying ourselves, that's the main thing!


Interior of Brechin's - Cheers!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Hey Nicola - howzaboutabitabuntin'?

The queen waves to her loyal subjects Hey Nicola - howzaboutabitabuntin'?
Awright Sandy! The Gorbals Team strays onto Govan territory

Friday, 6 June 2008

The Fair, The Fair, The Govan Fair

Blue skies and sunshine herald a very fine start to the Govan Fair. There's a smart little breeze blowing though, and this is what alerts me to the lack of any bunting flying between the lamposts. Oh, come on, let's make an effort! No wee flags signalling a high day in Govan's calendar? Shame.
At the edge of the scruffy raised planter by the shops, a rickety wooden table stands. It's covered with flags and trumpets to blow and colourful balloons and cowboy hats in pink and black. A few people are stopping to look but it's a bit too early to buy - only half past ten and the procession doesn't leave Fairlie Street till quarter to eight tonight.

And it's just leaving quarter to eight when I begin to wander along to take my favoured place outside the PI. Sun is still shining and wind blowing, and the streets are busy and buzzing with excitement and good cheer. Now the sellers are doing brisk business as they make their way along the crowd. Huge balloons in shape of hounds and birds and dolphins are sailing above the streets and everyone has a flag or crazy ribbons to wave aloft.

Cousin Ned arrives and we go for a walk down to the Clyde. There's plenty of time before the queen. On the waste ground is a filming encampment; vans with props stacked up outside them with mild mannered boys watching over the goods. I'm sure they'll be fine. Who'd want a pile of old wooden chairs and spinning wheels anyway?
A thespian sort of fellow is walking towards us with a beaming face. He is wearing tight jeans and clogs. A warm scarf is flung carelessly over his shoulder.
I ask what they are filming.
"Oh, er, it's about the weavers," he says, smiling but looking past me.
My mind is on the Govan Weavers Society, this being their night, and so I ignore the fact that he seems to be in a hurry and press on.
"What, about the weavers in Govan in the olden days?"
"Em, well, no, it's about Harris tweed, em, from Harris".
"So, not about Govan?"
"No, we're just using the big hall in there because there wasn't anywhere in Harris big enough for us to use for the filming".
He means the Pearce. "Oh right," I say, and we proceed to the river. But we've wasted time and decide to turn back to the fair.
An elderly man scoots alongside us in his motorised wheelchair, a pan loaf in a basket on the front.

There are lots of familiar faces in the crowds tonight, and dogs too.
A film camera is on the balcony of the Pearce Institute and an Asian family standing below are making their own home movie, the children dancing daintily in satin robes.
A young guy stops by me for a minute. He swills from a can of lager, 35p printed on it in metallic red. On his shoulder sits a tiny wee dog, long haired and nippy. Two ladies have a laugh about it and it snootily deigns to be petted by them. The owner is in high spirits and laughs with the ladies before dodging away to see some pals.
An 8 year old boy, away in a dream, is displaying some funky dance moves at the edge of the road. His parents are watching him fondly.
Women stand in groups chatting and some people sit contentedly on the kerb while others keep making their way along the street, always searching out the best viewing point.
Horns are hooting and there's shouting and laughing and sometimes a cry. We can hear the approaching pipe band in the distance.
From time to time, balloons float away from their owners and disappear over the rooftops.