Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens S04

While there seems to be nothing more than a lot of irritating whining coming from the corner where the people who claim to care about the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens live, I note that one of Glasgow media sources has put together a short, and VERY interesting, summary of the site’s history, looking in particular into the uses to which the glasshouse has been put over the years.

It tells how the building came to be located on Glasgow Green, an area of land gifted to the people of Glasgow by the city’s bishop in 1450, and the only real public leisure space available in the east of the city. This was something previously on seen in the city’s more affluent west end, not its industrial east.

It’s well worth taking the time to read through, rather than just skim over.

While some campaigners are calling for the Winter Gardens to reopen as a botanic gardens again, some have pointed to the venue’s varied history as evidence that change could be an option too.

When it was originally constructed, the People Palace and Winter Gardens were a museum and meeting space for people in the east of Glasgow, with concerts performed as well as a library installed.

The idea of creating a museum for the people of Glasgow’s east end had first been floated in 1866, though official plans did not materialise until 1889. Glasgow’s City Engineer, Alexander Beith McDonald, designed the building in red sandstone, with a curved roof of steel and glass supported by iron columns for the Winter Gardens.

Work finally began on the £32,000 structure in 1894 and the building was opened in 1898 to host 770,807 visitors in its first year alone. It originally provided an exhibition area to display art, a natural history collection and displays on the city’s industry.

Interestingly as well, the Winter Gardens was the site of regular music performances, which filled the huge glass auditorium. One photo provided by Glasgow City Council shows a concert performance by the Orpheus Choir in 1910, with hundreds of people squeezed inside the venue.

At the opening of the Palace and Gardens in 1889, its commissioned (sic) Lord Rosebery spoke to a crowd of 3,500 people. He declared the venue open, saying it was “open to the people for ever and ever”, before calling the location a “palace of imagination”.

The purpose of the building was for the enrichment of the east end, offering libraries and other resources to allow education and development opportunities.

However, the vast glass structure of the Winter Gardens could not last forever without maintenance, meaning that the Gardens were closed for almost two years around 1998 to allow restoration work to take place. Renovations at the time took place particularly at the rear of the building around the Winter Gardens. The grand reopening of the structure was scheduled to take place in time for the 100th anniversary of its original construction.

My memory is bad enough at the best of times, and I didn’t even know about this closure and renovation until very recently. To use a common expression, my world fell apart around that time, and I lost touch with things such as the People’s Palace for some years following.

The reason I became aware of the renovations (there is no reference to the work anywhere in the building, although I have been told there is a plaque or marker somewhere inside the entrance, referring to the 1998 work, but I have yet to trip over it) was after noticing that the window which can be seen illuminated in the pic below (at the rear of the top storey of the sandstone building, where it meets the glasshouse roof) is absent from early photographs.

See this post for some clues: People’s Palace Viewing Gallery – Part 3… a question is raised

I haven’t made the trip referred to (to the paper archives), so have no more info. Maybe one day.

However, while the reference given is to renovations carried out in 1998, I have aerial pics dating from the year of the Glasgow Garden Festival, and these show work being carried out to the building, and that was some ten years earlier, in 1988, not 1998, and that window, and its partner, can be seen in those images, together with wooden shuttering on the glasshouse entrances.

The window provides a viewpoint over Glasgow Green, and matches a similar structure added to the other side of the roof, housing the running gear for the Palace’s lift, which is actually the reason for the additions – necessary to accommodate the lift shaft, and lift gear room over it. Unfortunately, while many lifts have date/info plaques installed to show when they were commissioned, the car in the People’s Palace has no such information displayed (I know, I looked).

Of course, no Glasgow building is complete without a fire lurking somewhere in its past, and the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens are no exception.

Of course, as previously noted, I have no knowledge of events at the time, regardless of how significant they were.

In January 1998, though, disaster struck the Winter Gardens, as 40 firefighters tackled a fire at the museum. Five separate fire engines were called to the Glasgow Green scene, with the fire at least 30 metres by 20 in the single-story glass conservatory.

The history of the Glasgow People’s Palace and Winter Gardens – from concerts to closures

See also this article from 2016 (from the same source):

Everything you need to know about the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens

21/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens S03

It’s been quite a while since anything bubbled up in my news feeds about the Winter Gardens attached to the People’s Palace – the last summary is dated 04 November 2018, more than 7 months ago. (There may, of course, have been items I didn’t see).

Now that it has resurfaces, I have to say the news is not good.

And I don’t mean for the Winter Gardens!

The first item that landed on my virtual desk was news of a so-called ‘protest’staged outside the City Chambers in George Square aimed at saving the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

I’m sorry, but I really do have to ask “Saving them from what?”

The People’s Palace has re-opened following a short closure while alterations were made to accommodate the extended closure of the Winter Gardens.

The Winter Gardens have been closed for an indefinite period on safety grounds, which are valid as stuff has been falling randomly from the roof – which is glass. That stuff’s both heavy AND sharp!

The protesters appear to be a small but noisy group who seem to be ‘making stuff up’ to justify their own existence:

Roughly 100 protesters descended on George Square with banners to call on Glasgow City Council to re-open the Winter Gardens with straightforward repairs rather than repurposing or reimagining the venue.

The protest was particularly opposed to the private nature of council meetings on the fate of the Winter Gardens, fearing that plans would put “profit before people.”

Part of the protest description reads: “We oppose decisions made behind closed doors to steal away the People’s Palace and keep our Winter Gardens closed and neglected.

Protest held outside City Chambers to save People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

The second items was really just an expansion of the claims being made by this group.

I’ve made bold the specific responses from the council to these claims. Sadly, this group of (yet MORE damned) activists seems more interested in whipping up disquiet rather than doing anything productive or helpful.

Fears are growing that the prolonged closure of Glasgow Green’s Winter Gardens is to accommodate a new commercial operation for the glass house.

A series of council reports and internal emails seen by Glasgow Live have referenced the commercial viability of the Winter Gardens, while emphasising the need to establish a ‘sustainable’ future.

One report entitled ‘Palace for the People/People’s Garden’ and circulated in an internal email chain on February 4th makes repeated reference to the financial viability of the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace.

The report says that the venues must be “economically sustainable”, while pointing to the Wales Botanic Gardens, Kroller Muller and Jupiter Artland as examples of how the garden could be run – despite the fact these attracts charge an admission fee.

Glasgow City Council have confirmed, though, that no direct entry fee will be charged to enter the exhibit.

A different internal report, circulated on January 18, also mentions cost. The outcomes section at the end of the brief report and internal agenda says that aims to: “Identify opportunities for shared investment, partnerships, increased income and reduced costs.”

This item then goes on with a whole load of ‘Smoke and mirrors from campaigner Mairi Robertson Carrey:

Speaking to Glasgow Live about the ongoing closure of the Winter Gardens, campaigner Mairi Robertson Carrey said that examples such as the Kibble Palace show that the council could and should mend the Winter Gardens faster.

She said: “There are too many question marks over the future of the Winter Gardens. On the other hand, the Kibble Palace in the west end was restored with no questions raised at all.

“We want a restoration of the Winter Gardens not a reimagining. We don’t want to see it repurposed and new ideas tested, we just want to see it mended. However, all the decisions have taken place behind closed doors. We’ve been locked out of the process.

“Such an iconic building means so much to so many people in Glasgow and deserves protection. The only real public amenity in the east end is the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens, so we can’t lose them.

“The fear is that if the council finds a way to begin charging for entrance, they could roll it out across the city. It could be a testing ground for ways to charge for Glasgow Life museums across the city as a whole.

However, a spokesperson for Glasgow City Council confirmed that the Winter Gardens will remain free of charge when they eventually reopen – though made it clear final decisions were still to be made on how the space would run in future.

A spokesperson said:“All of Glasgow’s nine civic museums, including the People’s Palace, remain free of charge. That will not change.

Fears raised over how People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will fund repairs

I find it sad that this group is, and this is of course just my interpretation of their actions, doing more to harm the future of these assets than protect them. I’m reminded of arguing parents, fighting about their problems, while the kids die of starvation and neglect.

Rather than embrace and explore alternatives to the existing venue management and funding, which can hardly now be claimed to have worked well given the situation we have arrived at, this mob just want anything new to be shouted down, and have more of the same delivered. I liken their demands to taking a headache pill to deal with a brain aneurysm. You feel better, but your ‘cure’ kills you.

Previous systems may have worked in the past, with apparently bottomless financial reserves to call on, but these are days of austerity, years when the Council Tax was frozen, budgets have been cut, and things like ‘equal pay settlement’ have magicked more than £500 million from the council’s coffers.

I could go on, and touch on things like new payouts for personal care and the (growing numbers of) elderly, or funding for new transport schemes and cycle routes (which also now appears to be looking for yet more ‘new’ money to buy out, and run, a bus company).

This group just doesn’t seem to have any concept of reality – or has some other agenda of its own.

If something doesn’t feel ‘right’, it can pay to look behind the ‘front’, and see if something else is going on.

The group is quick to point at ‘secret’ council meetings – maybe the favour should be returned.

People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens

Let’s discuss it over a round of golf

I note that the council is also expected to hand some of the thousands I pay in Council Tax over to some folk who think I should be subsidising them to hit a ball around a carefully curated lawn, using a bent stick.

Guess what, the ‘concerned MSP is a golfer!

There are three 18-hole courses – Littlehill, Lethamhill and Linn Park – and three nine-hole courses – Knightswood, Ruchill and Alexandra Park – operated by Glasgow Life.

Shutting the courses was considered when budget plans were being drawn up by the council earlier this year.

However, the option was not included in the SNP authority’s final budget, which was agreed at a meeting in February.

It is believed the closures would bring savings of more than £1m.

Glasgow Life said it would not be commenting further into the consultation had closed.

A spokeswoman previously said: “We manage six public golf courses on behalf of the City Council. Low usage figures combined with a substantial annual deficit incurred in the maintenance of these facilities has led us to open a consultation with all interested parties, including golfers, non-golfers, and local communities, as to the future provision of these courses.

MSP ‘concerned’ about proposal to axe public golf courses in Glasgow

Looks like past members trained in the school debating society have got hold of this one, and has carefully dug up reason to argue against even the consultation, never mind any decisions that may come from it!

A campaign group in the east end of Glasgow have hit out at a consultation by the city council into golf courses, saying it is not open for long enough.

The Save Whitehill Pool Campaign as well as Friends of Alexandra Park are disappointed at the length of time that the council are collecting public opinion on golf courses, worrying the Dennistoun course could face closure.

Last month it was announced that the council was opening a consultation with the public to determine the future of the city’s golf courses. Low public engagement has led to a deficit in the leisure budget, forcing Glasgow Life to consider tough decisions.
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Options being weighed up include reducing fees, restricting opening hours or scrapping public courses in Glasgow.

In a post on Facebook, though, Save Whitehill Pool, who are campaigning to maintain all leisure and fitness facilities in the area, claimed the consultation was inaccessible to those without good internet literacy, not open for long enough and that the council were missing a chance to ask questions in person.

Campaign to save golf in Alexandra Park as council weighs up course’s future

It would almost be funny, but for the worrying diversionary nature of all the side issues being raised by the council’s critics.

More (of the same):

Glasgow’s golf club consultation blasted by councillors as authority prepares to make decision on future of six venues


How strange…

After the nice campaign group pointed out that Glasgow City Council had not had the consultation open for long enough, the period was extended.

Not the sort of response campaigners like – how can they whine and complain?

A consultation on the future of public golf courses in Glasgow has been extended by two weeks.

Glasgow Life , the sporting and cultural arm of Glasgow City Council, announced today extra time has been added due to “continuing interest” and a huge number of responses from residents.

They had opened discussions on whether to bring the axe down on six of the city’s dedicated sporting facilities last month because of “low usage” and a “substantial annual deficit”.

The process had been due to end last night, but controversy has surrounded the consultation, with a number of councillors and members of the public raising concerns about the proposals and branding it a sham.

They suggested a decision had already been made by authority officers, as well as by SNP elected members.

Glasgow’s golf club consultation extended by two weeks due to ‘huge response’

Ah well…

Give it a few more weeks and if (or when) the decision about the golf courses is announced, and it is not in accordance with the decree issued by the campaigners, they’ll still be able to jump up and down. wave their arms in the air, and cry “SHAM”, and demand another hearing, and do it again and again until they get the result they want.

07/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

So, the People’s Palace IS open

I did say I might divert for a look at the reopened People’s Palace – and I did.

Small point, I only saw the outside since I arrived at 5 pm on the dot, in time to see the staff closing the front door.

Well, I hadn’t planned on going inside anyway, just wanted to make sure it was open (since Easter is not quite here yet).

Nice to see it active again, and you might be able to see that door is no longer locked shut.

This pic is too wide to really see the detail of the signs, but these were plain white last week, just stating the museum was closed until Easter.

You can see it is now coloured (header and footer), and it now lists the opening hours.

I also wanted to try a shot from the near side of the fountain, as I hadn’t tried this before and had been wondering if the shot could be made without a ridiculously wide lens.

It can, easily, I’m happy to say.

I was so used to taking the shot from the hillside on the other side of the fountain, I never even thought to try it before.

Click for bigger.

People's Palace Reopened

People’s Palace Reopened

I’ll have to organise a wander in.

Of course, the Winter Garden at the rear of the building is still closed, and the new fencing and gates are securely shut and locked.

A little bit unfortunate, and a nuisance for cyclists, as the bike racks are located just at the side entrance to the glass house, so bike parking not available thanks to the fence and locked gates.

Guess visiting cyclist will just have use their imagination, and the surrounding cast iron fences and other fixtures.

Winter Garden access closed at Peoples Palace

Winter Garden access closed at Peoples Palace

If this is new too you, and you don’t know why, see the story beginning here.

07/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace looks set to reopen as planned during Easter 2019

Having done a lot of jumping up and down when closure of the People’s Palace (temporary, while works were carried out to provide emergency exits), and Winter Garden (effectively permanent until something in the order of £7 million can be raised for restoration) was first announced, the media and those looking for some free publicity by making a lot of noise about the closure, but not actually doing anything to help other than make stupid, time-wasting claims/comments, seemed to dry up and disappear.

It has now been announced that the People’s Palace will reopen during the Easter holidays, with some £350,000 of work being carried out to make it safe, and replace facilities that were previously located in the Winter Garden.

Following a £350,000 programme of works, the city’s social history museum will open independently of the Winter Gardens during the school holidays.

The Winter Gardens requires window replacement costing up to £7m.

The People’s Palace has seen several alterations during the works, including the addition of a new cafe and shop on its ground floor, access to public toilets and a new fire escape, which was previously located within the Winter Gardens.

School groups will be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor of the museum, replacing the former space available within the glasshouse.

The museum reopens with a new photography exhibition, which captures daily life in the city in 1955.

Recent view of the Winter Gardens open while work was being carried out.

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The People’s Palace is just that; it’s the official residence of the stories, the images, and the memories of the people of our great city, entertaining and informing Glaswegians with displays of how we lived, worked and played in years gone by.

“There was an understandably strong reaction to the suggestions of the possible closure of the People’s Palace, a clear demonstrations of its affection amongst the Glasgow public. So I’m pleased that it is now scheduled to reopen and vindicates our pledge that we would undertake the work to allow it to remain open while a long term solution is found to the challenges of the Winter Gardens. The People’s Palace collection belongs to Glaswegians and we’re glad they will continue to enjoy access to it.”
‘End of its life cycle’

The Winter Gardens will remain closed indefinitely.

The structure is in need of repairs.

The sealant used to secure thousands of windows in the glasshouse has reached the end of its life cycle and requires wholesale replacement.

Glasgow’s People’s Palace prepares to reopen after works

Winter Gardens’ future unclear as People’s Palace reopens

People’s Palace set to reopen after £350k repair works

I took a run past at the weekend, and the place was tight shut, with no new notices attached.

But the Doulton Fountain, in front, was back on and in full flow.

People's Palace and Doulton Fountain

People’s Palace and Doulton Fountain

Obviously not a current pic, as the lights are on!

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Work goes on at the People’s Palace and Winter Garden

Despite the tall tales of media whoring MSP Paul Sweeney about plants being killed, work is progressing at the People’s Palace and Winter Garden on Glasgow Green.

Although I couldn’t really take decent pics from so far away, I can assure anyone who was taken in by the trendy little vote hunter that there is plenty of greenery apparently alive and well inside the glasshouse (and as I noted, many of the plants were removed well before the closure anyway).

What disappoints me is that there doesn’t seem to have been a petition to get him dumped. Voters should remember stuff like that.

I don’t even pay attention, yet it looks to me as if his name pops up every time there is some free publicity to be had for someone jumping up and down wanting to be a ‘champion’.

The People’s Palace still appears to be on course to re-open at Easter.

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

13/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Time to make events pay their way, NOT the hosts – especially when our Winter Gardens are rotting

I wonder if people are generally aware that lucky events like the Commonwealth Games (dumped on Glasgow in 2014), The Olympic Games (probably never coming to Glasgow, thank goodness), and now the first ever World Cycling Championships (set for August 2023, don’t have to PAY for the privilege of disrupting the cities they take place, or all the work needed to allow them to take place.

Glassgow was ‘taken’ for something like £300+ million by the Commonwealth Games, and is now being asked for £15 million in advance of the cycling event.

As usual, the promoters are blackmailing the hosts with promised of wonderful returns and benefits which they will lose out on if they don’t throw money at the organisers, and bring the event Glasgow.

GLASGOW councillors are being urged to approve £15million towards the city hosting most of the events in the first ever World Cycling Championships, taking place in August 2023.

The world governing body for cycling, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), revealed last year a plan to combine around a dozen existing individual cycling world championships into one major event every four years.

Following an approach by Glasgow and EventScotland, the UCI has given an exclusive opportunity to Glasgow/Scotland to present its case to host the first championships. The final submission, including funding commitments from the major partners, has to be made by February 2019.

A report to city councillors stated: “This will be the biggest cycling event in the world with over 100 countries represented and over 200 World Champions being crowned during the course of the Championships. The huge media interest will guarantee worldwide broadcast coverage delivering massive international profile for both Glasgow and Scotland.

CHANCE For Glasgow To Get On Its Bike For Historic Hosting Of World’s Biggest Cycling Championships

I’m not even going to waste more of my time digging into this.

You can read more of the fantasy in the linked article. It’s pretty much a self-explaining fiasco.

What I will say is that it’s a scandal that I would NOT mock dopey MP Paul Sweeney if he questioned it with the same vigour he did after hearing ‘tale telling’ about the plants in the People’s Palace Winter Garden.

But, I doubt we’ll hear as much as a squeak.

That this famous and long established Winter Garden should be languishing in closure for the lack of £7.5 million while there is a farcical demand for £15 million to be poured into a transient event that lasts for a few days is little short of shameful.

And gets even worse when we reflect on the dead shell that was Tollcross Winter Garden, closed after some 2011 storm damage, and could not be spared a penny when the millions were being squandered on the Commonwealth Games, and in particular the swimming pool in the sports centre only a few metres from that glasshouse.

As they say…

Somebody need to GET A GRIP!

Tollcross Winter Garden – ignored while millions were spent on an adjacent Commonwealth Games venue…

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

People’s Palace Winter Garden – closed while £7.5 million is searched for, but £15 million is being demanded for a cycling event…

Closed Winter Garden North

Closed Winter Garden North

18/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

For those suffering People’s Palace Winter Garden withdrawal symptoms

While the People’s Palace is only close until April to allow modifications to be carried out to entry/exit facilities, there’s no escaping the extended closure the Winter Garden will endure until anything up to £7.5 million is ‘magicked’ to allow extensive maintenance work to be carried out the 100+ year old ironwork and glazing.

I took a casual walk around the beds shortly before many of the plants were removed and sent to other glasshouses.

Strangely, unlike some moronic attention-seeking MPs, I anticipated that Glasgow City Council might do something.

Quite why I should be smarter than an MP I don’t really know.

Then again, I don’t get any free publicity, or noticed by media by making a fuss one way or the other.

These pics are not really in any special order, not have they been processed to get the best out of them – they’re just a photographic memo.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You can see the later appearance of the beds when I caught them being cleared shortly before the closure day.

11/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace Winter Garden closure clue

Just a quick update, away from the stupid politics some people seem to think is helpful.

As soon as the Winter Garden was closed, the windows were treated to a coat of the white stuff used on greenhouse or glasshouse windows, presumably to deter sightseers – even though access is now limited by security fencing.

Closed Winter Garden West

Closed Winter Garden West


Closed Winter Garden South

Closed Winter Garden South


Closed Winter Garden North

Closed Winter Garden North

07/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Is MP Paul Sweeney just making stuff up as his Winter Garden claim dies?

It’s said that one of the ways to detect lies is to see if the story you are being told keeps changing, since anyone telling the truth doesn’t have to keep changing their story as it pulled apart, so they have to make it up as they go along.

I spotted some apparent rubbish being spouted by some MP called Paul Sweeney yesterday, and published some of my own pics taken recently in the Winter Garden at the People’s Palace.

Today, after the leader of Glasgow City Council issued a statement debunking his claims, he decided to…

Change his story (his original claim was that the heating had been turned OFF).

Labour MP Paul Sweeney raised concern for the gardens’ exotic plants after claims the heating had been turned off and all active maintenance halted.

He said the move would be considered “an appalling act of civic vandalism”.

But Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, rubbished the suggestion and accused the MP for Glasgow North East of “making things up”.

She tweeted: “The heating will stay on, the most important species have been moved to other glasshouses & the remainder will be maintained as required.”

Mr Sweeney responded: “Not according to a senior official in the parks department who I spoke to today.

“The heating has been turned down to a ‘minimal level’ and they said they won’t be maintaining remaining plants as none are regarded as of ‘horticultural value’, but that is beside the point isn’t it.”

Row after MP claims plants at Glasgow Winter Gardens will die due to closure

Give it up man –  you’ve been caught out.

Nobody votes for a liar.

This isn’t the ‘Old Days’, when all you had to do was kick Glasgow Council and nobody checked what was being said.

So long as it was bad or negative, everybody just believed it whether it was true or not.

SOME of us have moved on.

Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal

04/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow City Council’s rebuttal of MP Paul Sweeney’s fantasies

I’m beginning to think my recent suggestion that Glasgow City Council is just an easy target for anyone wanting to get themselves noticed by making some daft claim about it, misrepresenting its actions, or just plain making stuff up, is closer to reality than I thought.

I make no secret of listening to such people years ago, shaking my head, and going ‘Tut-tut’ as I read their brave outbursts against the council of the day – but I’d also have to say that I never checked any of their revelations as they never referred to anything that mattered to me, or that I cared about.

These days, there seems to more appearing that I do have at least a slight knowledge of awareness of, and the signs are not good – for those telling tales about Glasgow City Council.

Recent irritations came from cycling activists, then there was more nonsense from pollution campaigners. Both notably attacking the council, rather than supporting policies it is actually implementing, and saying it is doing nothing, or not enough (in their view).

Now, a MP has decided to get a free ride and some publicity to make his name with claims that Glasgow City Council is destroying the plants in the People’s Palace Winter Gardens, which have just been forced to close on safety grounds.

Accusations by a Glasgow MP that all heating and maintenance of the People’s Palace Winter Gardens has ended have provoked outrage in city residents.

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, hit out at Glasgow City Council in a tweet, where he claimed that all tropical plants in the winter gardens would die after the heating was turned off.

The tweet read: “Shocked to learn that all heating and active maintenance of the People’s Palace Winter Gardens has been ended by Glasgow City Council this week.

“That means all the tropical plants contained inside will now die off. This is an appalling act of civic vandalism and must be stopped.”


Instead, he chose to profit from the claim first, and got this response while spreading his name.

Hundreds of Glasgow residents replied to Mr Sweeney’s tweet to express their anger over the alleged decision.

By running with the allegation, he gets a free publicity, and wins fans.

Once thrown, mud sticks, and few of those who responded to his tweet will care about what followed as they join the ranks who ‘Shoot first and (don’t bother to) ask questions’ later.

However, Glasgow City Council has denied the claims, saying that the heating has not been turned off and many of the plants have already been moved to other gardens across the city.

A spokeswoman said: “This is not true and we have not turned the heating off in the Winter Gardens and have no intentions of doing this.

“We want to reassure any concerned citizens that we have already moved the plants of significant horticultural value, as previously agreed, to our other glasshouses across the city and we will continue to maintain any remaining plants.”

Frankly, I’m not really even interested in what he said/claimed afterwards.

All quotes from…

Glasgow City Council hits back at MP’s claim of ‘appalling act of civic vandalism’ at People’s Palace

He, and others like him, should be forced to declare details in public, identify sources, and provide evidence, since they are MPs and should be fully accountable. Not just open their mouths and let their bellies rumble!

I knew this was nonsense, as I had visited the Winter Garden just before it closed, as seen in previous posts, and also took pics inside.

These show how many of the beds had already been cleared of plants even BEFORE the building was closed to public access.

Had I known they would come in useful to counter the scurrilous publicity-seeking allegations made by Paul Sweeney, I’d have taken a lot more, but they were just taken as part of a collection for a later post about the days before the Winter Garden was closed.

Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal

I don’t usually support calls for people to lose their jobs, but I can think of at least one who’s demonstrated enough lack of trust to suffer that, and maybe at least one other – IF what that one said was to be believed.

03/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Au revoir, People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Although I collected some specific pic sets recently (they haven’t made it into the Blog), intended to help my withdrawal systems in the coming weeks, with the People’s Palace closed for modification for about 12 weeks, and the Winter Gardens closed until someone prints off something in the order of £7.5 million to deal with its ‘old age’, I couldn’t resist ‘Just One More’ as a slight disruption to my travel plans for the day landed me on Glasgow Green late in the day.

This pic is significant – being taken on 31 December 2018 means that the People’s Palace was on its last day for visitors prior to closure for building mods to add a fire escape route, since the Winter Gardens doors are no longer an option.

However, the Winter Gardens closed one day earlier, and is the reason for the aforementioned mods since the People’s Palace only has one entrance/exit at the front. Should a fire break out AT that door, anyone inside the building would be trapped. There are, of course, windows, but these are 1898 windows, so not so easy to get yourself through quickly, and doesn’t cater for everybody.

The glasshouse is completely dark, but you can see some lights in the museum building.

Quite apart from just wanting to get back in, it’s going to be fascinating to see what the planners came up with for the new emergency exit, or fire escape.

Steps and ramps were added to all three access points when the building improvements were carried out about 30 years ago, but two of those (plus a non-ramped door) belong to the Winter Gardens, leaving only the front door of the museum building.

Don’t miss the little tease of Templeton’s carpet factory behind.

Click for bigger.

People's Palace Open Winter Gardens Closed

People’s Palace Open Winter Gardens Closed

This wasn’t real!

I’d say just a false alarm, but when I asked at the time, they weren’t sure if it was, or had been a malicious call.

You can see the one front entrance and the rails of the ramp and steps.

Peoples Palace fire alert

Peoples Palace fire alert

Bonus pic

Coincidentally, I came across this early illustration of the Templeton Carpet Factory just the day before, in Kelvingrove.

So I get to use it.

Templeton Carpet Factory Illustration

Templeton Carpet Factory Illustration

31/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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