Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Word Up

The Partick Fayre was revived as part of Partick Housing Assocation’s 30th anniversary in 2004 and the two day event kicked off today in a new venue, the playground of Dowanhill Primary. Usually it’s on Mansfield Park, but the organisers decided that just in case the refurbishment of Mansfield was under way this year, another site would be needed. Experience in the council has taught me it takes twice as long to get something done as you might think, especially when multiple funders are involved, but fingers crossed (as it were) the Big Lottery will put the final piece of the jigsaw in place in the autumn.

I was delighted to be asked again to open the Fayre (see photos – one of which looks as if I might take someone’s eyes out with those scissors!) – it’s a good mix of fun and information, with stalls from community groups and organisations as well as activities for children and young people. The Partick Annexe Healthy Living Centre had a very popular stall dispensing fruit smoothies and providing therapists for stress therapies. I tried an Indian head massage for the first time and wish that was available every day of the week in the Chambers – when I had a reiki session at the Annexe in June, I’d left my Blackberry switched on and literally didn’t hear it bleeping and ringing away, that’s how relaxing it was !

One stall was publicising the literacy programme at the Annexe, and it’s something I feel is absolutely essential – being a librarian, I strongly believe in the liberating effect of being able to understand and interpret the written word and the empowering benefits of self-education. Jimmy Reid famously said that Elder Park library was his university , and as long as people try to dumb down libraries and make them into nothing more than cheap internet cafes and dispensers of chick-lit then we are abdicating responsibility for the educational function of the public library service. Looking at the obvious correlation between the spoiled ballot papers in the Scottish parliament elections and literacy levels in the constituencies with the highest incidences, it really proves the truth of the cliche that knowledge is power, when illiteracy prevents people from exercising their electoral choice.

The final photo is of me presenting the Whiteinch boys football club with the Glasgow Harbour trophy – and in years gone by I would’ve been gutted that the Partick St Peter’s team didn’t win, but now I represent the wider ward…



August 3, 2007 - Posted by | Partick

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