Wednesday, 17 November 2010


Just to let you know... Channel 4 have rescheduled the Secret Millionaire featuring GalGael to tomorrow - Thursday 18th November at 9 p.m.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A celebration of Colin's life.

Thanks to all who attended or contributed to our event to commemorate the life and achievements of our own Colin Macleod. Around a hundred people braved the terrible weather to turn out and we kicked off with haggis and neeps to warm us up for the rest of the evening and thanks to all the kitchen posse once again. We had songs, tunes, poems and reflections all relating to Colin who passed away five years ago on November the 2nd.
It was great to see some faces from the past among the audience as well as folk who never met Colin but wanted to be involved.
It was celebratory event where we looked at Colin the guy who inspired us, made us laugh, and who let us see what is possible when we work together to build community with nature and with each other.
Recordings of the event should be broadcast soon on Sunny Govan Radio- we will keep you posted.

Thanks also to all those who attended our recent annual general meeting. Again, we were very happy with the turnout and Gehan, myself and all at Galgael would like to extend a very special thank you to Mhairi Hearle, Alan Edmonds, Penny Cousins, Wendy Reid, Ronnie Renton and our Alastair- our non staff board members. They have put in a huge shift recently when things got a bit difficult on a couple of fronts and we would like to express our gratitude for all the skills and hard work they bring to GalGael.

Thursday, 28 October 2010


The life of Colin Macleod
- 5 years on

Monday 1 November, 6 – 8.30 p.m.
GalGael Workshop 15 Fairley Street

As All Hallows Eve gives way to All Saints Day and on the eve of the 5th anniversary of Colin’s passing, we invite all who share a connection to come together for an evening of story, poems and music.

In our day-to-day work at GalGael, in reaching out to others, Colin’s life is as relevant now as it was then. With this in mind, we’d love your company for an evening to connect with what it was about Colin that inspires us rather than remember sadness.
Please bring inspiring memories, stirring poems and songs to share. Please leave behind heavy-hearts and booze.
Please help get the word out by passing this on.

We hope to see some familiar faces on the night but please don't feel bad if you can't be there - life has a habit of being busy, which is why we're a bit late getting the word out. So we understand & it's enough to know people are around.


The Secret Millionaire

Remember, we will be featured along with two other Govan projects on Channel 4's Secret Millionaire on the evening of November 21st. We are all dying to see it and hope we get positive feedback on the back of it. I'm not giving away any more information so you will just have to tune in and see what happened.
GalGael also have a five page feature in Novembers Scots Magazine which you can pick up for £1.99 in a good newsagent.

The Big Tidy

Thanks to all participants, volunteers and staff who helped in the recent big clean up of all corners of the GalGael premises. We closed doors for a week and blitzed the workshop, the sailing loft and other areas to get rid of all the stuff that has been hanging about for years. We recycled and gave away some of it and the rest went in the skip. We still have a few outstanding tasks but we are feeling the benefits already of having things in a bit more order.
The clean up gets us another step closer to refurbishing the kitchen area as well as opening up the sail loft as a potential space for wool craft as well as meetings and events.

Our wood storage area near the shipyard is also undergoing a good muck out and Tim and his team are supplying our burner in the workshop with some winter fuel as they get our stock of timber sorted out and ready for drying.
Tidy house, tidy mind as they say.

Star Student

Congratulations to Patsy Anderson on receiving an award from Cardonald College on being their best outreach student. Patsy claimed her award in the theatre within National Stadium at Hampden in front of a full house with her nearest and dearest in attendance. She is a wonderful lady and totally deserves her award for all the spirit she has displayed and for inspiring those around her.
"If their were more places like GalGael then there would be less need for medication" says Patsy and I am sure many of our participants would agree.
(pic to follow)

Monday, 6 September 2010

Blaze scare next to the GalGael workshop

Monday September 6th 2010

Sixty fire fighters managed to bring a blazing pile of burning tyres under control just a few yards away from the GalGael workshop. Emergency service vehicles filled the length of Fairley St and a cordon was set up around the area. Ibrox underground had to be closed as the blaze raged. GalGael staff evacuated the building. We were very lucky that the wind was carrying the flames away from our premises or it might have been a whole different story.Three exploding gas bottles were heard though do not seem to have caused any damage either.

The plume of smoke could be seen from Ayrshire but fire fighters brought it under control relatively quickly. Thanks go out to the Fire Service who saved the day, the GalGael women who arrived first and cleared away flammable containers and wood away from the danger area and to the Whitefield Centre for the tea and for accommodating us while we nervously waited as the firemen tackled the blaze.
As far as we know no one was injured. We will bring you more information as it comes.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Sail and Oar event Millport, Cumbrae

Despite numerous hurdles, all our hard work paid off at the sail and oar festival at Millport on Cumbrae. It was our biggest ever event and it stretched us to the limit but our efforts fell into place and we were also blessed again with brilliant weather.
It was amazing to watch traditional boats moving about the bay under sail or being rowed as families watched from the beach. There was a myriad of activity on both land and sea for the two days, with our usual crafts displays as well as raft races, boat trips, a music marquee, tug of war, kids boat pool, ceilidh and much more.
The local community were delighted with the event with many of them being involved in the organising or just having fun with the activities.
It was fantastic to meet the Basques, Galicians, Portugese and the Irish crews as well as those from various parts of Scotland, they all helped to make it a wonderful, colourful occasion that many wish to repeat.
A special "well done" goes out to Gehan our Project Manager for her hard work and for doing such a mighty shift. She pulled out all the stops to make it happen and deserves much praise for the success of the event. Also, thanks to everyone who worked their buns off to make it the great weekend it was.

Try the link below for pics to get a flavour of the event.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Lettuce give thanks

This is no ordinary lettuce.....this is a Govan lettuce.
Yes, harvested from the market garden in Elderpark by GalGael volunteers and various other members of the community, and theres plenty more to come. Our stalwart gardeners have been involved in planting a wide array of fruit and vegetables which are now ready for harvesting for local community munches. Using recycled materials like tyres, railway sleepers, glass doors and so forth, the whole garden is a wonderful example of imagination and resourcefulness. You can visit the site on Govan Road on Saturdays between 11am and 4pm.
(No jokes about leaks in the Clyde Tunnel !)

Follow this link to see the glamorous Dougie Munroe model some fresh vegetables.

Walk for Nature

Thanks to Gill Coombes who stopped in at GalGael on Thursday 15th July and held a workshop as part of her Walk for Nature. Gill is travelling around the UK, spreading the word on how we can all do our bit to be kinder to the planet our communities and ourselves by living a greener lifestyle. We were very inspired by her and will do our best to build on what we already do while looking at new ways to be better global citizens. Good luck for the rest of your journey Gill.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival

We returned once more at the end of June up to the Moray coastline to the beautiful harbour of Portsoy for their annual festival, and we seem to be building up a respected reputation for our crafts and boat displays and for the work we do here in Govan. Once again we had a great time and the weather was fantastic. First Minister Alec Salmond was keen to visit us and we give him a tour of our crafts demonstrators and he was very happy to offer photo opportunities to those who asked. If you want a flavour of the event follow this link for pics;

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Govan Fair 2010

With the guys in sharp suits and the dames in glamorous evening wear the GalGael "Swing yir Kilt"Big Band hit the streets at this years Govan Fair. Tuxedos and tartan were the order of the day to get Govan swingin'. The band backed up vocals from the "Flat Pack" who crooned their way through streets lined with finger- clicking Govanites. Many thanks to Rhiannon Campbell who did sterling work in creating our artwork for the float and to Frank McKeown and everyone else who helped out.
Also big thanks to Recoil Breakdown Services for the use of their vehicle.

See more pics at;

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Lord High Commissioner visit.

We were very pleased to welcome the Lord High Commissioner, his wife and their retinue (posse) on Saturday. They appeared to be very inspired by the GalGael workshop and the work we do here. It was also nice to catch up with our old friend Rev. Richard Frazer from Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh. Lord Wilson and his wife Natasha had a good blether with the guys at the workbenches who commented how friendly and approachable they were. It is an important element of what we do here, to engage with people from all faiths, cultures and backgrounds to break down preconceptions and to realise that behind it all- we are all just people.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

GalGael Bute Forest Benefit Gig 4th March

As part of our ongoing open evenings on a Thursday night we held a benefit gig to support the community buyout of the Rhubodach forest on the isle of Bute. It was a cracking night and very well attended - over 80 people crammed into the workshop to hear about the buyout project and to immerse themselves in a night of music, poetry and rap. The entertainment proceeded once everyone was fed - no mean feat considering the turnout! Alastair McIntosh opened up the proceedings by explaining the nature of the buyout and the progress thus far. The music was kicked off by our very own in house bard Tam McGarvey who treated us to a 'bit of voodoo' and one of his own numbers 'Elvis for a day'. Next up was the wise woodlouse from the hearth of England, poet George Hardwick. George's poems struck a real resonance with the folk at GalGael - 'Whether you know it or not you shine like a star'- especially the poem that involved the gifting of a beautiful wooden staff to be completed by Rory, one of the youngsters in attendance that night. Then we were treated to some 'not so scary rap music' courtesy of little Jimmy Davis - who was making one of his first public appearances and performed admirably. Luke Concannon followed with a couple of his original compositions and the night culminated in a world exclusive. Luke and 'MC Ali Mac in the house' treated us to a rousing number entitled 'Homage to Young Men' - a poignant piece that got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy. By way of an encore and farewell, everyone, led by Luke all joined together in one final group singalong. Bits and bobs of this night were recorded and broadcast on Sunny Govan Radio 103.5FM.

This was merely ONE of our ongoing open nights down at the GalGael. Every Thursday from 5pm our doors are open to come and share our skills with yours and vice versa. Food and love guaranteed - hopefully see you there soon

31st March 2010: GOOD NEWS

The forest buyout has been approved by Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham

GalGael Hoolie Show on Sunny Govan Radio 103.5FM

Sunny Govan Radio 103.5FM have asked us here at GalGael to produce a monthly HOOLIE show - a sort of audio diary of a month in the life of GalGael. We have produced two shows so far that went out at 7pm on Wednesday 1oth and 17th of March. These programs featured interviews with staff and trainees alike. Thanks to interviewees Omair, Norrie, Gloria, Tam, Marie, William, Gehan and Luis in particular - who provided us with a beautiful original song called 'The Activist'. It has been decided that a monthly show would have a greater variety, with less pressure than a weekly deadline so that the Hoolie show has a more effective impact. We intend to try and record for posterity everything that the GalGael is involved in from the 'Navigate Life' course to the Open nights on Thursday, not forgetting the Friday away trips and everything else that makes up the GalGael melting pot.

This is a great opportunity to get our voice, our message out there, so it is heard by more and more people. We will keep you updated on show scheduling times as they become apparent.

Finally a big thank you to everyone at Sunny Govan Radio for this exciting joint venture

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

GalGael now on Twitter

You can now check out Twitter for GalGael up to the hour goings on.

Its easy to sign up at;

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Bliadhna Mhath Ur (Happy New Year)

To everyone on the blog mailing list or those just having a browse- all the best for 2010 from all at GalGael.

We have another busy year ahead including getting started on a new fifty foot Birlinn and also organising our end of the Dorna project which will see traditional boats and visitors from various parts of France and Spain heading for the Firth of Clyde for an event organised by GalGael on the Isle of Cumbrae in the summer.

We finished 2009 with the Birlinn 400 conference at the Pearce Institute and many thanks to all those who made it possible. It was a fascinating event with wonderful presentations on different aspects of the history and design of the Birlinn as well as the culture surrounding it. If you would like to find out more about the Birlinn or contribute any information online then please visit-
To catch up on closing news for 2009 follow the links below.
Latest on our course participants-
GalGael article in The Gaurdian-
Dorna project