Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Financial Transactions

My mum taught me the ways of banking, deposits and pay-ins, records and receipts, cheques and cash. We would enter the vast banking hall in St. Vincent Street, imposing and intimidating in its polished splendour of marble and wood, to carry out our transactions in a quiet and reverent manner. Such temples of finance cannot be compared to today's Govan branches of Scotland's banks.
Lino floors and walls in need of a lick of paint are not so daunting, but strangely, there still hangs in the air, a sense of nervous foreboding.

A mother and daughter stand in the queue beside me whispering about how much money to take out. "What do ye need?" asks the mum just as the daughter asks, "What'll I need?"
We shuffle forward in the line. They are dressed similarly in joggy bottoms, sandshoes and longish, light jackets. Their hair is in matching ponytails of light brown, though mother's has a few streaks of grey. Daughter, a little taller, looks down at her mum and says firmly, "Ah'm not askin for it."
And mother purses her lips and frowns.

An elderly man takes his turn with the teller. "Ah'm needin to take money oot to get ma new glesses," and as he does so, he taps his specs very lightly, and the leg detaches from the frame and the glasses fall off his nose. "Oh!" he exclaims, "See that!"
The teller smiles and waits for further instruction.
"Ah've got it written on a bit of paper how much Ah need," he says, pushing a scrap through the glass screen.

Mother and daughter have fallen into whispers now as they discuss their private financial business till their turn comes up. We are both called forward at the same time and the girl must have found her courage as I hear her enquire timidly, "Em, could I take four pounds out."

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Redeemed And Renewed

Govan New is undergoing a bit of a facelift. Good to know some of our HS family membership money's drifting back to Govan. Will def renew again this year.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Out With The Weedkiller

The bonny banks of the River Clyde at Govan. Old paintings show a pleasant, pastoral scene; salmon fishing, wee boats sailing, swimming in the summer. In more recent years, it's been a site of industry, the building and maintenance of mighty ships, employment for men of skill and vision. Docks and quays were dug out and developed bur in time, these fell into disuse and sad neglect. Nature reclaimed the banks and a wilderness pushed up through the cobbles and coping stones.
Today, land clearance is maintained by weed killers in white protective suits, spraying chemicals onto the land and into the air.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Soapy Suds, Semmits & Drawers


A bit of a step down from the steamie of yesteryear, but a welcome sight in Shaw Street. A nice wee Laundromat so's Govanites can keep clean and fresh at decent prices.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

M'Uncles' Map

Thanks to m'uncle Ronnie for his fine map drawing skills and great memory. He's not a proud man and says if you want to correct anything, you should post in the comments with your credentials and whereabouts. Just watch yersel'.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Shaw Street & So Forth

A favourite street in Govan, Shaw Street, cos if you walk down it - ignore the naff new flats half way down on one side - you are still in old Govan, 20th century style, 19th century even. It's a dream street with a healthy mix of residential homes, business and retail, tenements and high backs. It's been lucky in Govan and Govan's lucky still to have it as for the most part, it's escaped the planners' wrecking ball.
A polis told me that it's one of the baddest streets in all of Glasgow, Scotland even. That's why it's got the cctv swivelling up and down it, keeping watch on the baddies who've lived up its closes for generations. And that's why you'll see the polis making forays into Shaw Street, usually from the Govan Road end, as was the case yesterday when a disturbance awakened residents from their early morning slumber and prevented folks getting into Watsons for rolls for breakfast.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Silly String Daft

We've went silly string daft this year. Even the polis got into it.



Huge props to all those gallus enough to stand on the platform of the bus as it sped along. Those who'd casually hold onto the metal poles, facing direction of travel and as the bus slowed, would simply drop off the back.  Also, to all who'd run for the bus as it pulled away and make heroic leaps onto the platform, often aided by fellow passengers already standing on the platform.
You'd do anything not to have to wait for the next bus, eh?

Procession 2015

Few snaps as the procession strolls by . . .

At The Sounding Of The Trumpet

Stalwart band of the Salvation Army. serving Govan for generations.
Hope their fine building in Golspie Street stays safe forever more.

We Are Not Removing, By Jove

"We. Are. Not. Removing!"
The cut glass tones of the Mary Barbour Society ladies sound more akin to Guildford than Govan. 
"No, indeed, my good man! We are certainly not removing!" soars above the crowd in defiant RP.
Three dusky maidens slink by, "Right on, sista," says one, nodding her tousled curls. "We're with ya."
Govan Housing must be birling in their office.
Hahaha - we laugh later as we fondly recall a story from the days when folk used to pay visits to their friends and relatives of a Saturday evening.
A posh aunty, who always wore a fox fur stole and talked wi a mooth full o' bools, was sitting by the window in the front room of 571 with the family. Over the road is The Three Ells, downstairs is The Bells.
"What's the time?" someone enquires.
Aunty cranes her neck round and looks down on the Govan Road. "It must be efter helf pest nine," says she, "for the pubs are all shyite."


Heralding The Fair 2015

The Islay bird, aged 4, has a meltdown when I say no to a clear rattle filled with water and glitter. "You've already got those amazing bubbles from Harry! Look! Look!" I call as I wave the wand frantically outside Brechin's. It's no good, she's just not going to stop till she has the glitter bomb in her possession. "That's it. We're goin to have to go home," I say desperately, looking round for her mother, whilst thrusting a two pound coin in return for some Hong Kong plastic.
It's put to good use as she dances around, waving it aloft as the dignitaries pass, the Sheep's Heid, and the Pipe Band from up river. 

Govan Fair 2015 - An Early Start

It takes quite a bit of effort to convince everyone that the Govan Fair is actually set to start earlier this year. No one will believe it, even though I show them on a website and say I saw a sign in a window. Most of the family shake their heads - and not only cos the time has changed. Cousin Ned again refuses to be part of the artzgradz wee pet project. haha!
So, not the usual leisurely get together before spilling onto the streets to watch the floats roll by, but a hasty gulp down your dinner - if you get a chance - and back out the door.
By half six, the Govan Road is swarming with people heading back from Elder Park and the greatest show on earth at Zippo's Circus tent. Gangs of teen boys nip along and teen girls strut. Maws and paws struggle along with prams and trailing weans. Plenty of the raucous shouts and cries and the sun has managed to put in a bit of an appearance to help us get in the mood.
Outside the Harmony, two ladies of a certain age bemoan the crowds. The blonde is dressed in a sort of ebony crepe de chine, all floaty, and her accessories are chunky chains and bracelets of gold, rings dazzling on her fingers as she slowly lifts a cigarette to her ruby red lips and draws in deeply. Her friend is showing more flesh, a maxi dress in white with splashes of tropical colour, complemented by a deep bottled tan, a la saint tropez. Both teeter on spiky stiletto sandals, and addressing an unkempt man who is eagerly buzzing round them, one whines "It's aw right, wiv goat time. Wur no goin up the toon tae la'er oan."
Wee Raberta - stuff a your nightmerrs hen.
Harry the Hat
May your bubbles ever blow bright on the fair winds of Govan