When I was wee, and my dad took me to the People’s Palace, I couldn’t believe we’d got in for nothing.

I’d been to the art galleries with the school, but this museum felt warm, welcoming and do-able.

I sensed in my dad, a sense of ownership, as he told me about what it meant to him and why it should be cherished by all of us citizens of Glasgow.

He played tour guide and showed me the painting of the bridge over the Clyde which seemingly changed direction, as you ran from side to side.

Then the picture of a carnival crowd scene, which you had to scour to pick out Charlie Chaplin.

Also the painting at Glasgow Cross of a boy looking at a painting in a shop window, which is the very same picture that we were looking at!

As the years have gone by am sure, like me, at a party or wedding in the Winter Gardens, you’ve been dripped on by rain or felt the chill of an East End wind mess with your hairdo through cracked panes, but now the business of health and safety have intervened, and the threat of closure is a critical moment in our history.

Built on one of the last common greens in the city and pledged as a gift to the poor of the city, you’d think its upkeep would have been a priority for those representing the people of Glasgow.

Years later I took my Dad back to show him the new exhibit; an archetypal single-end, from the Gorbals slums, an exact replica of where all nine of his family had lived.

He was tickled when he recognised the voices of the actors who had recorded the wee family drama of a mum and her son on Hogmany, that was played out as part of the display, as they were the voices of my son and myself.

Decades later it’s still part of the exhibit! Which does tell a story of a museum which has now for too long needed a re-vamp. It’s been shamefully neglected both inside and out.

You know how much I love grassroot initiatives, so along with more than 25,000 folk I’ve signed the Change.org petition to express opposition to our Palace being treated as a lost cause.

I understand the Council’s budget concerns whilst spending the public purse, although it doesn’t feel right to charge folk to visit any of our museums – maybe a nominal fee with exceptions is needed?

However, I remember Callum McKenzie raising tons for Glasgow Print Studios with his annual event ‘The Loveliest Night of the Year, held in the Winter Gardens of the Peoples Palace, in the 1980s.

With all in attendance in fancy dress, you couldn’t get a ticket for love nor money.

I can’t help thinking it might be right and fitting that a contribution to the up keep of our Palacewould take the form of its people in their finest glad rags having a ball; let’s get together and provide people with a platform to contribute in the form of a series of fabulous fundraisers and save this utterly Glaswegian phenomenon.


You remember Billy wearing his Banana Boots!