Spring is just around the corner and between a jam-packed programme, a new fundraising campaign, and community consultations, we’ll be keeping ourselves busy.

Regular workshops and courses, informal gatherings, and cultural events are all part of our programme this season.

With knitting, cooking, theatre, drama, yoga, upcycling and even angling, there’s a great variety to suit different age groups, interests, and budgets. Courses get added all the time, so drop in to hear about other ongoing activities.

Following on from the highly successful This Is Not A Fashion Show of 2014, Rags to Riches will again be turning the big pool into a catwalk on 14 May for an evening of upcycled fashion. We will also be hosting screenings in association with the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, theatre productions as part of the Southside Fringe Festival and a whole host of one-off and regular events. To see everything on offer, look at the PDF of the programme, or visit our online calendar.

With a new team member dedicated to working with the community in Govanhill, the next few months will be filled with opportunities for all community members to get involved and help us develop the Baths to work for you. The Baths belong to all of us, and we will depend on your advice and help as we get ever closer to reopening. If you have any ideas now on the best way to reach your community, email Katie at outreach@govanhillbaths.com to get in touch. Watch this space!


The Govanhill Baths Community Trust are proud to announce that after 14 years of determined campaigning the historic baths refurbishment will begin in 2017!

The total investment to restore and refurbish our beloved building stands at £4.1 million, from sources including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Big Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland, Glasgow City Council and many many donors and hardworking volunteers who have helped us achieve so much.

We are almost there, but we still £200K more to reach our target. We know we can do it.

During 2016, there will be many ways to help us reach this target including taking part in “I am a Govanhill Swimmer”, Sponsor a Tile, attending a production of The Steamie, and The International Light Show.

Sign up now to help us with our first campaign

As part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival 2016, Govanhill Baths Community Trust will be presenting a programme of movies and plays in association with Govanhill Theatre and Southside Film Festival.

We kick off the laughs on with The Southside Comedy Film Festival on Friday 12th March, screening Zoolander. On Saturday 13th March there is a matinee double bill featuring the Marx Brother’s classic Duck Soup and Howard Hawk’s His Girl Friday. The film festival finale is on the saturday with Mel Brook’s laugh-a-minute western Blazing Saddles

From March 22nd through to 26th Govanhill Theatre present Paula Vogel’s twist on ‘Othello’, Desdemona a Play About a Handkerchief directed by Bruce Downie.

Tickets for these and all events at the Glasgow International Comedy festival are available at www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com or from the ticket hotline 0844 873 7353

This week I’d like to introduce some of the challenges that we face in trying to run and preserve the archive here at Govanhill.

Govanhill Baths Exterior

Govanhill Baths Exterior

Though the building is spectacular architecturally, an Edwardian municipal bathhouse is far from a conventional archive space. Our archival collections are stored in the former ‘Ladies Hot Baths’, on the upper floor of the building, with our ‘office’ being kept in a cubicle!

As renovations are an ongoing process, this part of the building is currently without heating , so it can get pretty chilly. Moreover, the roof is somewhat insecure and so conditions are at times damp. The fluctuation in temperature and moisture is a particular concern, as stability of climate is key when attempting to secure the long term preservation of paper records.

What’s more, due to broken windows I’ve even had the pleasure of being visited by local pigeons whilst sorting through materials!
Despite these challenges I believe that the archive at Govanhill is a great example of how community projects can flourish in even the most tricky of circumstances. We have decent storage in the form of two large shelving units and protect the items through the use of watertight plastic boxes. The shelves are then covered by a tarpaulin to protect them from the worst of Glasgow’s weather. We also have a number of ‘standard archival boxes’, which meet international regulations. Within each of our boxes are ‘Silica gel’ pouches, which combat moisture.

Shelves (2) Office - Laptop & Printer (2)

These materials were procured by our chief archivist Paula Larkin, with the help from a grant provided by the ‘Heritage Lottery Fund’. It was this endowment – gifted as part of the Bath’s centenary celebrations in 2014 – that allowed for the archive to be established. Though not a large sum, this money has provided a decent and stable facility for the keeping an archival collection.

The heritage money also allowed Paula to buy a laptop and scanner, which will hopefully in the future allow us to digitize our collections so that more people can have access to them!

It goes to show that with ingenuity and a few modest resources local groups can safely store precious items. At Govanhill we’re able to secure items to a professional standard and keep them close to the people who care about them most.

Morning all! As promised, if a little late, here’s one of the tunes from ‘The Song Factory’ album mentioned in last weeks blog. It’s a rendition of ‘The Wild Rover’ re-imagined by Alistair Hulett as ‘The Bold Swimmer’.

Alistair was a key figure in the Save Our Pool campaign, using his talents as a singer and songwriter to raise awareness of the cause. There’s barely a song on the album which he didn’t have something to do with! Alistair was a gifted musician and political activist who sadly passed away in 2010. He had a long and distinguished career which spanned five decades, writing music which encompassed the best of folk, punk and rockabilly. I don’t have room here to do justice to the man’s achievements, but please do take a look at his website.


Alistair Hulett

Alistair Hulett

During the early occupation of the Baths, Alastair’s songs played an important role. Every Wednesday, in order to commemorate the start of the occupation, the 21st of March 2001, people would gather outside of the Baths and sing campaign tunes. These musical demonstrations helped the movement gather momentum, not to mention raising the spirits of the activists inside!

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




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…

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

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

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.