Protest Music – Songs from the Govanhill Baths Archive

Welcome back to the Archivist’s Blog! This week I’ll be sharing with you some of the musical treats we have here in our collections.

My task right now at the archive, and for the foreseeable future (!), is to create ‘Box Lists’ of the collections. Essentially this means creating a written record of all items we have in our stores, with the aim of making them easier to access.Yesterday I finished sorting through my first box, which is part of the ‘Save Our Pool’ series. These items all relate to the political actions launched by the Govanhill community between 2001 and 2004 to protest closure and gain support for reopening the pool. The materials are fascinating, ranging from flyers to legal documents, collection boxes to surveys.

However what stood out most to me was the wealth of musical items from this exciting time of the Bath’s history.

Govanhill Baths Piano

By late April 2001 the occupation of the Baths was well underway, the community having first taken control of the building on March 21st. To commemorate the success of this direct action, ‘Southside Against Closure’ decided to publish a book of protest songs. The result was ‘The Govanhill Official Souvenir Songbook Volume One’.

'The Govanhill Official Souvenir Songbook Volume One’

‘The Govanhill Official Souvenir Songbook Volume One’

This booklet consists of 17 songs, a mixture of original compositions and re-workings of pop and folk songs. It’s a fantastic example of the British political musical tradition, and captures the excitement and energy that galvanised the community at this time.

Also contained within the box are several rough drafts of songs found in the songbook. One that stands out is a tune addressed to the Labour Councillor Charles Gordon, the then Leader of Glasgow City Council. The song, though untitled, is sung to the tune of ‘The Wild Rover’, and uses humor to pressurise the politicians to act. Particularly funny is the chorus:
“So it’s come on Charlie, Gonna Gie Us a Swim, Cos I’m a wild swimmer, Won’t put my trunks in the bin”.

Rough draft of the Govanhill version of 'The Wild Rover'

Rough draft of the Govanhill version of ‘The Wild Rover’

Handwritten Songs

Later in 2001 many of the songs featured in the songbook were recorded and put onto an album entitled ‘The Song Factory’, released through Red Rattler Records. We have several copies of the album in the archive. I’ll try and upload one of the songs to the blog later in the week.

CD Photo

 

 

 

New Year, New Volunteer at the Archive

Hello Everyone!

My name is Alex Duthie and I’m a Masters student at the University of Glasgow currently studying for a MSc in Information Management and Preservation (or to put it more simply, Archives!) In the past I’ve been lucky enough to work and volunteer at the Scottish Mining Museum and the Scottish Fisheries Museum. I have a passion for recording the social history of Scotland, hopefully honoring the stories and struggles of ordinary folk throughout time.

I’m happy to say that I’ll be helping out Paula at the Baths Archive over the coming months. My main job will be to sort and catalogue the materials, allowing people to find interesting items simply and quickly. I also hope to contribute regularly to this blog, sharing with you some of the amazing items the Baths and the wider Govanhill community have generated over the years.

Alex Duthie - Archival Assistant

I’ve already had the pleasure of handling a range of items relating to the ‘SAVE OUR POOL’ period of the Bath’s history, and will be uploading some pictures in the coming days.

Stay tuned…

Vacancy for Board of Trustees

The Govanhill Baths Community Trust is looking for new Board members who are committed to helping the Trust re-open the Baths as a Wellbeing Centre and contribute to the social, cultural and built regeneration of Govanhill as a community on the Southside of Glasgow.

These are exciting times for the Govanhill Baths Community Trust. After 14 years of determined campaigning the GBCT has been awarded substantial grant money to begin work on bringing the building back into operation. Current funding in place will cover both the development and design of the project and the restoration and refurbishment of the building.
The refurbishment is scheduled to begin in 2017 and will bring into service the Ladies’ pool, Learners’ pool, Turkish Suite and Sauna, Gym, Rooftop Gardens, a Community Kitchen and Multipurpose community spaces. While the former public washhouse, or ‘steamie’, will be turned into a theatre venue and community events and arts space.
Applications are invited from people who are willing to share their knowledge, skills or experience voluntarily in one of the following areas:

• Legal
• Charity Accounts and Finance
• Fundraising
• Public Health
• Social Enterprise
• Formal swimming and sports clubs and associations

Visit our website to find out more about the wide ranging work of the GBCT. To request an information pack please email info@govanhillbaths.com

The Board currently meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at the Govanhill Baths at 99 Calder Street, G42 7RA.

This is a voluntary position.

Deadline to apply: 1/02/2016

Registered Scottish Charity No: SC036162 Company No: SC314823

Pledge2017

New Fly Fishing course with Govanhill Baths

Fishing is more than just a fun way to spend an afternoon, it is a great tool to help you to become happier and healthier. Here are the top 6 ways that fly fishing is good for your health:
1. It keeps you moving, its exercise that doesnt cause you pain.
2. It helps you to relax- Getting away from the daily stresses of life, even for just a few hours, can help you to recharge your batteries and relax.

3. It lowers your blood pressure.
4. It promotes dexterity- Everything about fishing, from attaching your hooks to casting your line, can help to keep your hands, wrists, and forearms nimble.
5. It gets your outside- Being outdoors gives you an opportunity to get out in the sunshine and breathe fresh air. Your body will thank you for the additional oxygen and vitamin D!
6. You catch your own dinner!

No one would pretend that fishing could replace regular trips to the gym or eating healthy, but its mental and physical benefits are a great start to becoming a healthier, happier you.
The 10 week course will teach every beginner everything you need to know about fly fishing, from preparing your own flys to casting. Why not sign up now. Contact Jim at Govanhill Baths Community Trust

Restored Save Our Pool Banners

Happy New Year!!!!

Very happy to share with you our two newly restored banners. Huge huge thanks to Ania Zapotoczna from Rags to Riches for the great job she has done. This ensures the banners will continue to illustrate the Save Our Pool campaign and the occupation of Govanhill Baths for years to come.

Paula

 

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