Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bran' New

Today, a big fella stops me and his lordship as we approach the close mooth.
"Have ye seen so'n'so?" he goes, and we go "No."
He's a tall man, slim build, early thirties, rid-heided with a bulbous nose and a face like a well-skelpt bum.
"He's no aboot? Ah wis tae see 'im aboot five" he asks again.
His lordship goes on, "He's always away by quarter to five."
The chap doesn't lose a minute in his quest for a sale.
"Hey, big man, you interested in a coupla bran' new iPads?"

Thursday, 21 June 2012


Around 4pm, a deep and distant thrum sounds across the river. The grey sky is shifting from luminescent light to intensifying dark until a bank of rolling blackness descends over us and thunder booms ever nearer.
An eerie stillness descends over Govan. People clear off the streets and stand in doorways to watch Nature's display.
Lightning suddenly flashes in a fork across the sky and almost simultaneously there's a thundering crack of immense power and noise.
Loudest ever I heard, it shakes us and the building!
And again - together with a lightning flash that rips right across the sky, from horizon to as high as you can see.
Our own Govan Baby, born at the Govan Fair weekend, watches and listens at the window and is lulled by the magnificent storm.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dead Man Walking

We drive into a teatime fracas. On one side of the street are two men, mean and middle aged. They are both roaring and bawling, faces twisted and menacing. Opposite is a younger woman, half kneeling in the middle of the road, yelling and screaming back at them. We are forced to stop in front of her and as we draw up the two men turn about heel and storm off.

At this, the girl runs to our window shouting, "Gonny phone the ambulance," pointing over to the kerb where we see a man lying crouched over with blood pouring from a wound on his head.
"Gonny phone," she's saying over again and again and her face is chalk white, her wide blue eyes staring out behind her knotted fringe.
Her pal is sitting up and the blood all over his face is dripping off his nose and smeared across his hands.
His lordship dials 999 and asks for Ambulance Service, gives our Govan location and describes the scene. 
All the while, the man is sitting so very still and silent, not stirring, not groaning, no movement, no noise.
Looking back on it, he must have been summoning up every ounce of strength and willpower for in the next instant, just as 999 is asking for his condition, he rocks forward and in one lurch, rises to his feet and stands there, swaying for a moment. as though in slow motion. Suddenly, he lumbers forward with unsteady gait; a Frankenstein monster, blood soaked and frightening. His steps are slow but determined and he staggers down the road and won't be stopped by anyone.

Friday, 1 June 2012

O What A Terr

On our way back along Govan Road, I snap after-party evidence. Abandoned garden furniture outside the P.I.
Some ungrateful wretch's unfinished and discarded Caramel Log, cast into the deep window ledge of the P.I. If you didn't want it, you should have let someone else grab it in the scramble.
Still making merry at the door of the P.I.. The Boxing's on here tonight.
A wee pic of the polis. Two women shout, "Aye hen, get a picture a them, jist staunin' there wi that racket gaun oan," referring to a noisy row between a screaming woman and a roaring man emanating from a top floor window.

I think we need more spectators next year - spread the word, and if you can get on float, then go for it! Here's the words of the Govan Fair chorus to get you in the mood;
"The Fair, the Fair, it's the Govan Fair.
It only comes but once a year, but O, what a terr.
Everybody's happy, everybody's therr,
Meeting friends and neighbours to see the Govan Fair."
See you in 2013 - first Friday in June!

Apres-Fair Stroll

The evening's fine and nobody's ready to go home yet, so we take a stroll through the rivi, past the mobile village that ain't moving anywhere and down to the River Clyde.
The Museum has been opened for almost a year now - it looks pretty good; a nice view for us on this side of the watter.
View east to Tobacco Lord City . . .
And west to the lost city of Atlantis . . .

The Govanites Disperse

And so, good burghers, that is it. That's all for The Govan Fair 2012. A rather short affair in these times of economic doom and gloom. Seems like there were fewer people and definitely fewer floats; a quieter atmosphere all round.
A thank you banner is draped over the balcony at the P.I. from The Govan Fair Association, marking the centenary of Govan's incorporation into the city of Glasgow - wait a minute, are we celebrating that?
The Black Man gazeth down from on high, steward and overseer of the Govan Fair, through times of plenty and the lean days, since 1894 and on into the future, whatever it may hold.

Get Well, Eat Well

Every year I moan on about how rubbish the Southern General's effort has been and, blah blah blah, how good it used to be in the olden days when they had live operations and blood squirting everywhere. And tonight is no different, but this time everyone protests and says the hospital didn't only have a big blue box on top of a lorry - they also had a fine old Corporation double decker and there were zombies and skeletons sitting on it. Apologies SG if this is true. I suppose I must have been so busy complaining I didn't notice you had 2 entries to the cavalcade. 
And no, I didn't get a Tunnock's Teacake as I am dedicated to taking the pictures this year.
Seems Dobbies didn't get my message of last year. A works van with a poster taped on? Surely you're all about displays! Thanks for coming though and thanks for the giveaway. It'll go down well in Govan's window-boxes.

Football And Funk

A good turnout from Park Villa Footballers and a funky sound from Galgael - only just got the Gle-'ska' this very minute when looking at the picture. I've been thinking some Polish guy had made the poster for the front of the lorry.

The Floats Roll On By

Not sure who this is - but I think it's the Govan Reminiscence Group, followed on by our piping friends from upstream at the Gorbals and, as usual, an excellent effort by Dot's Spot.

Dance School And Govan Fairground People


Cap'n Hook, or Blackbeard the Pirate maybe, walks alongside a double decker filled with Glasgow Sightseers. Sorry, not sure who they are - I'm concentrating on camera skills.
"A sick spoof" is how Cousin Ned describes it. If you were making a comedy prog about an area of poverty and deprivation, you may raise a few ironic laughs with a gaily decorated float sponsored by the local merchants of misery, the Pawn. Well, ha ha, we can hardly believe our eyes at the children frolicking about the lorry advertising H and T Pawn. Get your kwikloan today, APR between 151% and 282%. Ever benevolent, they're chucking cheap colouring books and pens to us.Y'know, I saw this float getting dressed up at Southcroft Street earlier this evening and I innocently thought it was something the school was putting in.
Oh well, Pawnbrokers have been preying on Govanites for many generations now, so I suppose they've every right to join in the festivities.
Check out the Pawn wumman's apron - yes, you're right. It really is a Ten Pound Note.

The Sheep's Heid Advances

Without fanfare, the Sheep's Heid suddenly advances into view, carried aloft by the sturdy councillor, Stephen Dornan. They're both looking well.
The skirl o' the pipes next, accompanied by some able drumming, heralding the approach of . . .
The Govan Fair Queen, 2012, looking very regal.
Her attendants smile and wave joyously . . . as does honoured guest,
Maurice Chevalier.

Fly The Flag

Join the merry party as we stroll along the Govan Road on this pleasant summer's eve. First sad note is the absence of Harry the Hat, with whom I once collaborated in a counterfeit cash fiasco. For the past umpteen years, he's set his wares on the pavement across from St. Anthony's. Harry, of the Wine Alley, celebrated his 81st birthday last year and was fighting fit and in good form, selling bubbles, spinning tops, flags, balloons, et cetera. Where is he this year I wonder?
It may be the diamond jubilee weekend, but this wee man's sticking with the saltire. 
Crowds are gathering around the Black Man. Is it my imagination, or do things seem quieter this year? Well, yes on one count for def; there's no Sunny Govan radio wagon blasting out the music with a local dj whipping us into fervour. Just the hum of chat and a few shouts up and down the road as people take their positions.