Annual General Meeting

Govanhill Baths Community Trust AGM will be held on Tuesday 25 August at 7pm at the Baths.  All current members are entitled to vote but all local people and supporters are welcome to attend.  As the Baths refurbishment moves in to the next stage, the reinstatement of two of the three pools; the Turkish baths; and major repairs to the structure of the building; there has never been a more exciting time to get involved with the Trust.

The community hub we set up three years ago is full of local groups and individuals taking part in classes, community groups and meetings.  Our community programme is delivering opportunities and new skills to the people of Govanhill and beyond.

We are looking for dynamic, enthusiastic and positive individuals who can contribute to the work of the Trust.  There are lots of ways to get involved from occassionally volunteering, contributing financially through donations or subscription membership, or just coming along to add your ideas and voice.

Our campaign is celebrated across the country as a fine example of a community working together to take ownership and control of vital public assets.  You can make a difference.  For further details of how to get involved see https://www.govanhillbaths.com/get-involved/  or call Jim Monaghan on 0141 433 2999.

Govanhill Baths Community Programme

GBCT are pleased to announce that our regular community classes will be starting up again at the end of the month.  Govanhill Grub, the weekly cooking group starts on 22nd July, it’s a great way to learn about food, cooking, learning and then eating a meal together, and it’s all free!  Our free Yoga for Beginners classes kick off the following week, every Monday there will be a class for women only, and a mixed class on Thursdays.  And dont forget the weekly knitting and crocheting group Cast-Offs.  They meet every Monday 12.30-2.30, everyone is welcome from beginners to experts.  For further information on these courses and groups, or to register to join, email info@govanhillbaths.com or call Jim on 0141 433 2999

Baths Film Hits the Road

Fran Higson’s film United We Will Swim… Again about the 14 year long struggle to save Govanhill Baths has started a tour of the UK, screening at swimming pools, community centres and other events across the country.  Fresh from the premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, the tour kicked off on Saturday at Templemore Baths in East Belfast.  This weekend there will be two separate screenings in Manchester, at Withington baths and Victoria Baths and one in Leeds.  From there the tour goes to Oxford, London (twice), Brighton and ends in the West Country at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Film Festival.

There will be a tour of Scotland in the autumn reaching out to other campaigns and self-organised community groups.  Fran is hoping that the film can inspire other communities and campaigns to organise and fightback, if you are interested in screening the film in your area contact her at franceshigson@gmail.com

Meanwhile you can keep track of the tour by liking and following the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-We-Will-Swim-again/359208607570092

End of an era as Baths leader Andrew Johnson retires from the Trust

In 2001, when Glasgow City Council decided to close the baths in Calder Street, a very varied group of people came together to fight the closure. Andrew Johnson had seen 4 of his children learn to swim here as part of the highly regarded Kingston club, and was one of the earliest to start organising against the closure.
Over the next 14 years Andrew, more than anyone, guided and led what became one of the most effective and historic political campaigns in Glasgow’s history. The campaign against the closure became a campaign to re-open and a campaign against demolition. In 2004, in response to the council’s decision to seek a buyer, The Govanhill Baths Community Trust was formed. Andrew became Chair of the Trust and, in that role, forged an organisation that has exceeded expectations and now stands on the brink of refurbishing the building in to a “Well Being Centre”.
It is this vision of a centre that goes beyond swimming, a community asset that addresses the physical mental and social health of the community the people most associate with Andrew.
It is virtually impossible to find words to fully describe his contribution, such was the impact of his leadership and guidance over the years. The gap left by his departure will be hard to fill.
Govanhill Baths Community Trust wishes to thank Andrew for all he has done for this community. When the pools reopen and Govanhillians swim again, it will be a legacy that many people share but he can be more proud of than most. It is hard to imagine how we could have continued the campaign over a decade and a half and reached the stage we are at right now without him. He is, and always will be, a legend in the history of Govanhill Baths.
Thank you Andrew.

Closure of The Emporium Charity Shop

It was with deep regret that GBCT had to make the decision to close our Charity Shop, The Emporium.  The shop opened in August 2001, initially at a site in Calder Street and then to the popular site on Victoria Road.  Rising costs and the recession have hit many similar shops and we could not justify the costs eventually when rents and other costs continued to rise.

As well as raising much needed funds for the campaign to save the Baths, it served as a social place, where people visited and volunteers formed friendships and learned new skills.  The volunteers were a great team who were great advocates for the Trust and, to many local people, the public face of the campaign.

But the success and impact of the Emporium was largely down the work and dedication of one particular person, our shop manager Inga Zaiceva.  She was respected greatly by her volunteer staff and also by the wider community.  Her multi-lingual abilities meant that she was often the “go to” person for many of Govanhill’s Eastern European community.  She was always there for advice and help.

Inga’s vibrant personality brought a new layer of supporters and volunteers to the Baths.  In her time with us, her professionalism and skills played a huge part in taking the Trust to where we are now, ready to start the next phase of refurbishing the building and swimming pools.  She deserves our heartfelt thanks for her contribution over 8 years and will always be respected and remembered as an integral part of the history of Govanhill Baths.  We wish her all the best and success in the future.

Events at the Baths in May

May is a very busy month at the Baths with a whole range of events centred around the Southside Fringe.  As well as an extension to GBCT’s “100 years of Govanhill Baths” exhibition in the foyer, GBart will be hosting “Concrete Ribs”, an exhibition of new work by Helen de Main, Sarah Forrest and Carla Scott Fullerton in the former ‘ladies pool’ from Sat 9th May.

Govanhill Theatre Group are staging two plays for the Fringe in the Steamie, “Wasted” by rapper/poet Kate Tempest runs from 12th until 16th and “Strike a Light” a musical based on the 1888 ‘matchgirls strike’ in London’s East end by Fatima Uygun, Colin Poole and Jim Monaghan is on the following week.  Throughout the period of the Fringe there will also be a gallery in the Steamie showing original art by local artists.

On Saturday 16th May we will be having a “Pop-up” sale in the main pool, including books clothes and other items from our charity shop the Emporium and upcycled products from our Rags to Riches project.

Full details of these events are available in the ‘Whats on’ section of this website and at www.southsidefringe.org.uk

Celebrating Our Centenary: Book and exhibition launch

100 years since the laying of the foundation stone of the building, Govanhill Baths Community Trust is delighted to announce the formal launch of a permanent archive and centenary publication. United We Will Swim: 100 Years of Govanhill Baths, published by Luath Press, documents the rich, diverse and inspiring story of Govanhill Baths and the community that it serves.

It includes seven newly commissioned essays, with a foreword by Lesley Riddoch and an introduction by Andrew Johnson, Chair of Govanhill Baths Community Trust. These explore its significance as a historic building, creative hub, a community resource in terms of health and diversity and the grassroots campaign to save it. Throughout the book there personal memories from users of the Baths that have been captured as oral histories, alongside a wealth of images of the building, the people that have used it and objects from the archive.

The archive has been developed by Paula Larkin and a group of volunteers and houses a broad collection of materials related to the physical building, it’s users, the campaign to save it, and it’s current use as a community hub. It also documents the building through each phase of development on its journey to fully reopening as a Wellbeing Centre. The archive is a unique community resource for current and future generations to use.

To showcase objects from this archive we are also launching a permanent display area designed by NORD Architecture, which will show a range of material in the collection including newspaper clippings, photos, objects, documents. A temporary exhibition will complement this presenting press reports from the last 100 years.

We formally opened the exhibition and launched the publication on the 19th March. The exhibition also features Future Archive, new work by artist in residence, Ailie Rutherford. Ailie has been working with local groups and individuals on the creation of artworks; these include screen printed notes for the People’s Bank of Govanhill and Talking Soap.

Read more about the project

Stalled Spaces 2014-15

We plan to give new life to the underused garden at the back of Govanhill Baths Community Trust on Kingarth Street and develop a community garden space; a place of rest and reflexion. The project will create a ‘Wildlife Garden’ with wildflowers and innovative upcycled planters installation with a discreet tree seating.

We aim to work with local residents in partnership with South Seeds, Urban Roots to redesign the area to allow wildlife to flourish.

Our second ‘How to…’ guide booklet will be produced and an illustrator will sketch each sessions to provide drawings and step by step instructions.  

Wellbeing project moves forward!

The Princes Regeneration Trust appointed as Project Manager

The Board of the Trust is delighted to announce that the Big Lottery Fund has awarded us a major development grant of £34k to take forward Phase 1 of our scheme to refurbish the baths. Big Lottery’s endorsement means there is now a fantastic future ahead for these historically-important and well loved Baths as we press ahead with the development of our wellbeing centre.

GBCT in collaboration with Southside Film Festival presents

Govanhill Baths have joined forces with Southside Film Festival to bring you three award winning cult films during the festival. They include With Nail and I, In the Loop and Best in Show and The Bill Hicks Story. For tickets see http://www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com/shows/