Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Rebirth Of The Govan Baby

Flaming June, flaming awful weather anyway. The sky is grey and I return for a jacket after setting off to Govan Cross, or as the newly laid paving stones in front of Govan New are to be designated, "The Squerr".
The Govan Market stalls are set up with some high falutin stuff for sale, including all kinds of olives from Provence, vintage jewellery, decoupage cards and handbags, sweeties and the butcher's van.
I buy ma da a dvd of the Centenary Celebrations of Govan High for £6.99, reduced from a tenner.
Me and Hoi Polloi wander about a bit before meeting up with the rest of the clan for a long wait in the freezing cold wind. We stake our place right in front of the baby, who is swaddled today in a red ribbon, ripe for cutting.
No, this isn't a scene from a public hanging. The very tall women in Victorian dress are prancing around on stilts - not sure why. I remember when I was growing up, all the older generation were very short in stature.
Over in the white marquee there are speech makers galore whose voices drone on and on lauding all the sponsors and hailing all the construction companies and agencies involved in this rrrrre-generation. We must hear the same names ten times over. Anyway, we stand our ground and eventually the action moves to the Aitken Memorial Fountain.
Ms Susan Hanlon of the Central Govan Action Plan talks some more.
And then comes this man. Take a good look. Take a good long look. He starts his speech by saying something like, "I perhaps shouldn't say this in this company, but my background is in planning and many, many years ago, I was responsible for the Govan area."
Is that right? You've a cheek to show your face. As if restoring a fountain and sticking down some paving slabs makes up for the acres of homes and community you destroyed and left as waste grun.
Bum on, yer bum's yer ain.
It's chilly for the outgoing Govan Fair Queen on one of her last duties.

The Kirk Minister and the Priest of St. Anthony's tell us about the good Doctor John Aitken, his life and work.
The great grandsons of Dr Aitken approach the very beautiful fountain and cut the ribbon with a wee pair of scissors out of Ikea. Come on, where's the silver ceremonial pair?
Lots and lots of pictures now. A concert's starting over in the marquee but the sentiments of the day thus far seem to be summed up by a big wumman who turns on her heel with the cry, "That wiz a load a' sh**e".

3 comments:

Ellen said...

Thanks for that Lady Govan, it was lovely to see the photos. I was scanning the faces to see if there were any familiar ones but sadly no, although I know my cousin was in the crowd somewhere.
Great to see some of the men still wear bunnets. My dad always wore his every time he went out. It was something of his that we kept after he passed away.
What's next for Govan Cross (or The Square) is it complete?

cake eater said...

is the govan baby on a mobile phone?

flyingscot said...

Brilliant. Was over some time later for cycle round Govan. I cannot see why anyone would cross over from new museum at 3 quid return to visit Govan unless more was done to attract folk.
PK (ex-govanite)