Friday, 24 June 2011

Kittle Corner

A corner is always a great place to congregate, and even better, is a corner on crossroads. You have four ways to look up and down, and three other corners to keep your eye on. The dynamics of the corners vary, from darkly brooding to high spirited, from the exchange of pleasantries to bubbling cauldrons of trouble.
It still fills me with wonder when I walk between the tenements of Shaw Street, that an orchard once grew where Govan Housing is now building their skanky flats, all gless and cheap materials.
I read here that the corner of Shaw Street and Govan Road was once called Kittle Corner and that folk were maybes a bit scared to walk by there on account of getting a slagging.
Yeah, I can relate to that. It can be daunting to scuttle past the New Harmony Bar, when the drinkers are standing at the doorways, lighted cigarettes in hand, making drink-addled comments or shouting raucously to the other corners and sometimes at you.

This evening is grey and warm and at the Shaw Street door of the New Harmony, stands a couple of men and a woman chatting together. Another women is further away from the group, standing at the kerb, watching them and sometimes addressing them.
It's been dead warm today and the heat remains in the air, someone actually has a parasol up in the tiny cemented garden in front of their dusty windows.
The woman at the kerb has got on a padded quilty kind of coat, grey-ish white, buttoned up and trousers tucked into a pair of boots. She's in her 50s but her fair hair's pulled back into a high ponytail and she's carrying a message bag.
One of the men at the pub door is wearing long baggy shorts and a red football top and the other is old school, with a shirt and trousers held up by braces. The woman is dressed for summer, barmaid style, strappy top and capri pants.

The women are conversing back and forward and it goes along the lines of, "Aye, did ye well?", "Aye Ah did", "Naw, ye nivver," and so on.
Padded coat starts to walk towards the pub door and the other woman draws up and then boof, padded coat reaches forward and smacks pub lady on the face. All of a sudden there are legs and arms flailing all roads as the young chap tries manfully to restrain the pair, attempting to separate them and keep them apart. Pub lady has managed to grab padded coat by the shoulders and is pushing her head downwards onto the street when another man skips out the pub door and from behind, firmly takes hold of her arms, forcing her to let go. This leaves the first man to deal with padded coat and as suddenly as the attack flared up, it seems to die down with padded coat getting an intense talking to and the pub lady being snaffled quietly inside.

Kittle; awkward, dangerous . . . ticklish?

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Spot Of Sightseeing

The floats trundle off towards Elder Park and this year lots of people linger around Govan Cross, posing for pictures with the Govan Baby and then promenading along the banks of the Clyde where final preparations are being made for the opening of the Riverside Museum.

Strains of Scots fiddle music from the tall ship soar across the water, where many of us stand with our noses pressed up against the wire railings, keeping us out of the rrrrre-generation of the rrrrriver.

On our way back along Govan Road, we see Ladbrokes glass door has been smashed but all is harmonious in the warm atmosphere of Govan's street corners.

Oh Aye, The Fair

Hang on, here's the medical side of the Southern team, just let out for the evening.
A Fire Engine from the line-up of vintage vehicles bringing this year's procession to a close. Yet again, thanks for your sterling work in the great chip pan fire of 73,

Wee Raberta got a lucky bag off Sunny Govan Radio. I never, but she let me take a picture of hers.

The Big Vans Can Vamoosh

We're having a great time tonight. Flags are flying and there's a great atmosphere in the warm sun. Sorry to cast a negative comment, but here goes . . .
This year we welcome Dobbie's Garden Centre, newly opened at Braeheid. So, maybe they haven't seen the Govan Fair before and if not, then ok, fair enough. But, the thing is, it's just not good enough to put in your works' van and leave it at that. We're really looking for the transformation of the back of a lorry, with some kind of theme, connected in some way to your business. Thanks a lot for joining in though and we look forward to seeing your big flower display next year. Something akin to Chelsea.

Same goes for you Asda. No excuse for you, you've got plenty of maddies working for you who could put on a fine show.

Sun Keeps On Shining Over Govan

Think this is the contractors who are building the Southern General complex or something. I'm not enjoying taking these photos, hopeless at it and can't concentrate properly on who's who.
Great wee footballing club and more unity in the community types.

Pipes And Drums

A hearty welcome to St. Francis' Pipe Band who visit us each year from their community upstream.
A popular vehicle every year, with caramel wafers hurling out the windows into the crowd. This is a beauriful vintage motor with the fine livery of Mr Thos. Tunnock of Uddingston.
The dance troupe has tripped along in the evening heat and entertained us every step of the way!

It Takes All Sortz

It was bound to show up, and here it is; buzzword of the moment, Sectarianism. SOS right enough.
Now here's Baldaidh Ruadh, of GalGael, a specimen of the indigenous species if ever you saw one.
And a carnival theme from Dot's Spot, who do themselves proud every year. C'mon wee Govan shops - why don't more of you get involved!

Whatever Floats Yer Boat

Now come the floats, I dash across the road to try and find pals and see if someone else will take these photos, but nae luck. This shot is looking down Pearce Street. The group is the Fairfield Anglers.
Nice to see the boffins from the Science Centre along the road, but I do think you could have been a bit more inventive. Thanks for comin though.

A Pipe Band, didn't get the name though, got distracted by someone.

Brechin's Is Better

On towards the Cross, past Brechins where a throng of open-air drinkers spill on to the pavement. I take a quick pic of a shimmering tower of balloons quivering in the stillness.
Suddenly I see Wee Eck, upon whom I haven't laid eyes for, we reckon, 25 years. What an occasion!
The Sheep's Heid solemnly advances.

The Govan Fair Queen, majestic in her carriage.  At this point I realise my photos have the hideous Govan Shopping Centre as backdrop, so I race up the road a bit.
Brechin's is better.
The Attendants.

And the Politicians.
There's Nicola, waving her flag - she follows me on Twitter btw.

Meet And Greet At The Govan Fair

After our Govan Fair dinner, we saunter en masse along the Govan Road. The streets are busy with people tearing about but scant sign of the police who were so very much in evidence at the Fair 2010.
The Black Man gazeth down upon the proceedings, casting a fatherly eye over us all.

Flags wave from a few Burleigh Street windows where folks appreciate their vantage point and enter into the night's festivities.
Likewise, a wave from the great and the good on the balcony of the revered P.I.

The commoners down below catch up with old pals and share gossip and news.

Cheery Bubbles

Glad to see Harry the Hat, with whom I colluded in a counterfeit racket in days gone by. He's selling bottles of giant bubbles which he cheerily demonstrates for this year's pic. 
Harry has got to be the Govan Fair salesman of the year, every year.  He lays out his wares on a blanket on the ground at the end of Harmony Row and makes a tidy turnover from satisfied customers. .
Cheery bubbles Harry, and on we go!
What a balmy evening on which to sit outside Govan Old and watch the world go by. Glorious Govan.