I love the Citz - and I’m not alone

My Thanks for the Memories features are lovely stories to write.

These tales of old Glasgow delve into the city’s fascinating past and aim to bring its characters and communities to life.

Since we launched the regular Tuesday slot, readers have rushed to share their memories of growing up in Glasgow.

Apart from one mysterious voicemail message, from an elderly lady who told me she could give me “stories about Bridgeton that would make your hair curl and your blood run cold, hen” it’s all been positive, and full of affection and warmth.

We will soon be relaunching our visits to libraries around the city, to gather stories and photographs from local people.

These are the stories that could be lost forever, if we don’t capture them while the storytellers are still around.

In recent weeks, I’ve had the chance to focus on the city’s theatres - firstly, celebrating 150 years of the Theatre Royal, and then rejoicing in plans to redevelop the Citizens Theatre in the Gorbals.

Coming to the theatre in Glasgow was a real expedition for me, when I was a child. Living in the northerly wilds of East Kilbride, the city was a thrilling, faraway place, full of adventure and possibility, and almost no roundabouts whatsoever.

From Christmas pantomimes starring Sydney Devine - my aunt actually lied to us about where we were going, in case we point blank refused - to film outings at the GFT arranged by progressive teachers, I can still recall the excitement of a trip into town.

For a huge part of my teenage and student life, the Citizens was my spiritual home.

I loved its daring, different approach to everything; I loved its unique, brave take on the classics and its commitment to homegrown talent. And I’m not alone in my affection for this fine old institution, which is about to get a fantastic multi-million pound makeover.

Since running a piece this week, I’ve been inundated with stories from readers sharing their love of the Citz, past and present.

I also discovered many interesting facts - for example, did you know that the remnants of an old bowling alley are also housed beneath the theatre? Or that for a long time, pantomimes at the Citz always had thirteen letters in the title?

It’s been fun writing about our city’s artistic past - and a real reminder of how lucky we are in Glasgow to have such brilliant theatrical heritage.