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"I have very fond memories of the Garden festival.
My wee boy was three when it opened and I lived in Broomloan court
high flats. It was a dreary life, then came the opening. Armed with
my season ticket (which I got reduced price because of being in
the area) I descended on the festival site. It was wonderful. I
had never seen anything like it. I went nearly every day for hours
- sometimes all day! I have some fantastic photos of my son with
oor Willie sitting on the bucket, and looking at the world through
rose coloured glasses. The flower displays , plants and exhibits
were truly amazing."
"I remember the atmosphere. As soon as you
walked through the gates you could feel the magic. I particularly
remember my first trip on the Coca Cola Rollercoaster. My oldest
boy, David was with me. He was just big
enough to get on, so I had to be brave! Somehow we managed to get
seated right at the front which at the time I thought was OK. I
changed my mind very quickly as we were hauled up the launch slope.
Peering over the front of the carriages into a void made me pray
that the harnesses were as safe as they looked! We were left hanging
for what seemed like for ever and then whoosh! we were in free-fall.
The rest of the ride was a jumble of shaking, looping and twisting
the likes I had never experienced. As we stopped at the half way
incline I tried to relax. David was grinning like a Cheshire cat,
I was grimacing! The reverse journey was just as much fun. By the
time I got off I was green. My legs were like rubber and I had lost
any notion I had had for a wee bite too eat! Don't get me wrong,
I loved every minute of it. I discovered the secret of the Thrill
Ride the second time round.....you had to scream your head off to
really enjoy it and keep the blood from rushing to you feet.
What a blast!"
I look back on the Glasgow Garden Festival with a great deal of
nostalgia. The year before it opened I actually helped with the
preparations for it. I helped build the Oor Wullie Wildlife garden.
It was an incredible day out and I particularly liked the trams.
It felt very strange to be taking a joyride on what was once everyday
transport in the city. A man I know in New Kilpatrick Church in
Bearsden said the Edinburgh tram took him back to his student days
at Edinburgh University. It was really fantastic and I hope it's
not too long until something similar is put on again in Glasgow.
My friends and I had saved our money for ages to
buy our festival passes and watched the countdown clocks with anticipation.
Every trip near the area from my home in Ibrox to the City Centre
we'd peer from the upstairs windows of the bus hoping to see how
things were going.
Then the day came and we ran from the Shields Road underground station
to get the "wee train" to take us to the entrance. We
waited and waited, then, when we got to the gates, proudly showed
our passes and in we went. What
next, the trams, the train, the boat ride, the roller coaster? It
was all too much. We decided the tram was too slow so we ran all
the way along where the trams went and down the 'high street' then
where...It has to be the tower, but we'd go the long way by train
so we stood and waited for the train. Away it went along the Govan
road side past the nature exhibits then past the Laing showhomes
and across the bridge. The whole time peering up looking at the
tower. Then the train stopped. Off we got and waited in line. It
seemed to take forever then it was our turn. In we piled and up
we went, every time pointing out somebody elses house or building
we knew all too well. Before we knew it we were on our way down
and running off to the next adventure. The Coca-Cola Roller. To
this day my stomach never forgave me, but it was all worth it. We
were there almost every day, but never grew tired of finding something
else different to do. Now I can sit and watch the video memories
and enjoy one of the best summers I remember in Glasgow. Now I'm
over 3,000 miles away and miss things - memories like the Garden
Festival and the great people of Glasgow..
Saint John, NB, Canada
In 1988 my two sons, who played for the City of
Berwick Pipe Band in Australia, and my wife, took of for the Edinburgh
Tattoo, to play with the Rats of Tobruk Pipe Band (also from Melbourne).
While they were in Edinburgh, they had the opportunity to play in
Glasgow as well and one of the playouts was at the Garden Festival.
I was stuck in Melbourne, unable
to make the journey to Scotland, but was able to enjoy video of
the Festival ( and the Tattoo) when my wife and sons returned to
Melbourne. Maybe the next time Glasgow puts on a similar show I
will get to see it.
regards from Down Under
Ron Berry, Ex Daily Express and other newspapers. Left Glasgow Sept
I was only wee when I went (I think I must have
been five or six) and what I remember is the bears which talked
to you, the musical pipes by the river, and those squares that when
you jumped on them made musical noises. Whatever happened to them?True
to form, it was raining one of the times we were there! I also remember
the giant tap and the garden tools from
Cumbernauld which now live beside the motorway. I was so sad when
I outgrew my t-shirt and it started to get used as a duster! I remember
only a little, but I'm sure I loved it all!
My memories of the garden festival will always be
special ,my daughter Kailey was christened there at the small glass
church that was built for the festival. My own church St Kenneths
of Linthouse near Govan had been knocked down, and as I now live
in the U.S.A. I wanted my daughter christened in my home town. My
mum who had been attending the church every Sunday asked the minister
if he could do it. Anyway it caused quite a stir as it had never
been done. Songs of praise was there so it was on the television,
was funny he kept fixing his hair for the cameras. It was in the
Govan press newspaper and I am sure a few more. I saved all the
brochures and her christening papers of that day it was great and
my American husband got to enjoy all the Scottish festivities. I
felt bad when they took it all away it was a shame , people could
be enjoying it to-day!
All the best
from Eleanor Pullen, Atlanta,Georgia,
My memories of this are fond as my husband and I
married in June of 88. We could not afford to go on honeymoon so
decided to visit the Festival with family and relatives who were
on holiday from Wales. What a wonderful day out we had. The sun
was scorching and the atmosphere was electric. I am only sorry that
the plants, shrubs etc did not remain after the Festival had closed.
A wonderful occasion for young and old alike.
Although I lived in Southern England, my sister
lived in Glasgow and I generally visited two or three times a summer.
She was convinced that it was going to be great- so convinced that
when it was announced that a season ticket would cost only £12 she
bought them for all the family. The result was that I spent many
days at the Festival- twelve in fact- making it a brilliant bargain
- only £1 a long, long day out. I loved every minute even when it
rained and most days it didn't - sometimes it was scorching hot.
For the fun of it we tried all the different forms of transport
to get there. One day, we took the underground to the nearest station
(was it West St?) and took the "road train" to the gates-
this felt really weird - only 30 years before when I had first moved
to Glasgow, people had warned me about these notorious dark streets
and here we were bowling along the middle of them in a jolly Italian
"Lotto". Another time we parked by the exhibition centre
and walked over the Bell's Bridge (and wasn't that a beautiful sight?
- puts the new Thames bridge to shame) but my favourite travelling
experience was parking somewhere near Renfrew and bowling along
the M8 on the top of the free Park and Ride double decker bus -
the views both north to the Lomond Hills, south over to Paisley
and southern Glasgow and east towards the city and on our return
- well, if you haven't sat upstairs on a double decker bus on a
glorious long summer June evening travelling towards the mouth of
the Clyde, you haven't lived.
Ah, I was supposed to be remembering the Festival and I haven't
even mentioned that - well, take it from me it was worth every penny
and more and I still have my Festival key ring fob so that constantly
throughout my day I am reminded of that special time; yes, even
the logo was absolutely right!
Snowden's Childrens' Fountain at the GGF was sponsored
by the Royal Bank of Scotland plc. It was moved to the north (State
Porch) entrance of Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. Like most
Glasgow fountains it spent a lot of time "turned off".
For the last few months, it has been flowing freely and has proved
a popular attraction to Kelvingrove Park.
After the massive storm damage at Renfield-Saint Stephen's Church
at Charing Cross, Glasgow, the Church of Scotland Pavilion fountain
is again operational in Bath Street.
The Taggart drama about the Garden Festival - ROOT OF EVIL - is
now available on PAL VHS Video. Other GGF commercial videos are
PENTECOST SUNDAY (26 minutes filmed on May 22, 1988 at the GGF)
and FESTIVAL IN FOCUS - an electronic picture book of the GGF (30
minutes, 200 colour transparencies, with soundtrack, prints available).
Stanley K Hunter
Readers may be interested to know that the site of the Glasgow
Garden Festival is now the home of Glasgow's Science Centre and Scotland's first IMAX Theatre.
Tell us what you remember about your day "Out
of This World".
Send your recollections to THE GLASGOW WEB SITE.
Selected responses will feature on our web site!