Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Guardian Article on GalGael

Follow the link to read Libby Brookes' article (9/12/09) on GalGael, heritage and Scottish History. Interesting comments at the foot of the article worth checking out

Monday, 9 November 2009

Happy Birthday Nel.

Many happy returns to our wonderful office manager Helen Hollywood on her birthday (not telling which one though). We had a good wee swaree in the reception area where trainees, volunteers and staff joined the celebration. One of the staff (not telling which one though) who is occasionally also known as Mr Elvis Prestwick provided some music in the style of the King (in his latter years). Thanks to all who helped out with the food etc and we hope Helen had a good day and liked her presents.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Booking essential - to book click here
or call 0141 427 3070 or email:

Thursday, 22 October 2009


We would like to welcome our latest intake of participants to Galgael's Navigate Life course. We hope they enjoy their time here and make the most of the opportunity. It's great to see the workshop so full of activity.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

GalGael BBC film project

Participants from our Navigate Life course were involved in the filming, sound recording and editing of a ten minute film which looks at the some of the work we do here in Govan. The film features trainees, volunteers and staff who give accounts of their invlovment with GalGael. Thanks to the BBC LAB staff for providing us with this wonderful opportunity which was greatly enjoyed by all who participated.

(click link below then click on the Govan link on the animated heading)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Poetry Reading at the GalGael

If you check out this blog regularly you will know we at GalGael enjoy a bit of poetry and try to encourage folk to write it too. We were lucky enough to welcome poet James J. Lafferty who gave us wonderful readings of his work to beautiful harp accompaniment from Noel Donnelly. Thanks to Alastair MacIntosh for setting up the occasion which was very well attended and we were glad to welcome some new visitors to GalGael among whom were some of James' family. Hopefully we will put some of his work on our poetry blog for you to have a look at, it really spoke to the folk at GalGael and James kindly did a very emotive reading of of our own Colin MacLeod's poem which you can read in our Poetry blog

Monday, 31 August 2009

Berlin Exchange

Well done to the girls from LISA in Germany who have just completed their three week exchange to GalGael. Lisa is a community boat building project in the city of Berlin and some of the group visited Glasgow last year so we are hoping to send some GalGaelians to Germany in 2010. The group have been working on oars for Orcuan while here and managed to get some time to visit Glencoe and the Wallace monument. We had a braw wee ceilidh to see them off and the even did a sword dance. Good luck lassies.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Orcuan trip to Iona

Orcuan is presently bearthed at the marina at Ardfern in Argyll waiting to head back to Crinan at the most suitable opportunity and then home. The crew had intended to sail her to Iona but due to bad weather and various other problematic issues the trip had to be cancelled. On the good side, some of the trainees and volunteers managed to get in some valuable sail training and had a good time on the water. The trip was to commemorate the 400th anniversary Statutes of Iona where James V1 attempted to undermine the traditional ways of life of the Clansfolk. Another reason for the trip was to deliver some stones. These were to commemorate the "Black stones of Iona" which seemed to have been very significant for centuries as a site over which binding oaths were made by clan chiefs on important matters and those who broke the pledge were accursed. Three good size stones were delivered across land by a team of stalwart GalGaelians who sited them on top of the highest hill on the island.

Film nights at GalGael

We have recently started to screen some films in the GalGael workshop to create awareness and stimulate discussion on various social and environmental issues. We have showed two to date- "Farming for the future" and "How Cuba survived peak oil". Both were very inspiring and thought provoking and we hope to continue with screenings every six weeks or so. Thanks to Anneruth Strauss and Lusi Alderslowe for getting it all going.

Glasgow River Festival 2009

While we didn't have any boats on the water this year, this was probably our biggest and best land based display at the Glasgow River Festival. The Clyde Waterfront marquee was stuffed to the gunnels with our ever growing body of crafts people including wool craft, pottery, carving, furniture making, basketry, and outside we had the blacksmith, wood milling, survival skills, pole lathes and of course battle re-enactment. The public seemed to love it judging by the feedback and it was good to be back on our old pitch next to the river. Thanks again to all who made it a great event- our staff, trainees, volunteers, crafts people, and to Mark and the team from Clyde Waterfront.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival

A large contingent of GalGaelians were up in Morayshire to attend this years Portsoy Traditional Boat Festival. We were blessed with great weather and a lovely wee spot next to the sea. Our marquee was a popular attraction and we made some good contacts even though we were slightly away from the town centre . It was a long journey but well worth the while and the event had a real holiday atmosphere. Some of us kipped in the marquee while others used the local scout hall. In the evenings some of us headed down to the town for a small refreshment by the beautiful 17th century harbour. We all had a great time and thanks to the organisers an people of Portsoy for their warm hospitality. You can see more pics at;

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Glam-Gael at the Govan Fair

Having won first prize two years running, we had a lot to live up to at this years Govan Fair.
Glam was the name of the game and we didn't hold back. Some great footage coming up soon- especially Diarmid's groovy dancing in his Village People construction worker guise.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Red Nose Day Total

We have finally recieved the totals from all the teams who rowed like warrior poets to raise funds for Comic Relief. We estimated we would raise around £1,500 - the final total was;


Well done to all who were involved and we look forward to doing something similar next year.
Lets get more boats & more people back on the Clyde doin' good stuff.

Bronze Casting Success

We finally succeeded in casting the bronzes from the Tramway project in the GalGael workshop. Our last effort failed but being out of the cold wind and a different metal mix helped us get the bronze melted and ready to pour within about forty minutes. It's an amazing process to observe and thanks to Kirti Mandir for doing the project and sharing his wonderful skills.
It was a lovely wee occasion and the folk from the Hidden Gardens and Coach House Trust got to see the bronze being poured into the molds and the finished work being broken open.
You can check out more of Kirti's work at;

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Orcuan Update

Oor Rosie has been busy helping to get Orcuan prepared for summer sailings and our intended voyage to Iona. The boat is propped up at Rothesay Dock where teams of course participants and volunteers are doing their bit to scrape off the dirt and give her a fresh coat of Stockholm tar. Rosie has been coating the oars, rudder and tiller which are all at the workshop. Shouldn't be too long before we are back on the water.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Progress Update from Barmaddy Farm

On our latest work trip to the farm we continued from where we left off, carrying on with re-wiring and decorating the big bedroom in the farmhouse plus planting some seed tatties in the garden. Once again we took a full van load of gear from Govan including a couple of large wooden crates for the Failte project near Oban who we potentially may be doing more work in the future. These are by way of saying thanks to Sid, who helps run the project and who has assisted with many of the jobs on the farm, particularly the wiring and electrics. Once the wiring is finished the last of decoration in the bedrooms can be completed.
Sid and GalGael participants Nico and Ryan also mucked in with not only the internal work but also the gardening programme by planting spuds in the front garden. Since time was tight we rattled together two raised beds using straw and earth. hopefully the tatties will come through - unless the mice get them first.
We managed a few other wee jobs and payed Peigi a visit. Peigi's family lived on the farm and she has been a great source of information on farming life at Barmaddy before it was taken over by the Forsetry Commission. A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

April Update

It's mid April and there's quite a lot going on at Galgael at the moment. Orcuan has been taken out of the water and is propped up at Rothesay dock -down the river at Clydebank. We are taking teams of volunteers down to give the boat some care and attention to get her ready for the sailing season.
We have a new intake of trainees on the course and they seem to be getting on well and enjoying things so far.
We were also involved in setting up a bronze casting project in the Hidden Gardens at the Tramway theatre and gallery. Wax models were sculpted by staff from the Hidden Gardens and Coachouse Trust with assistance from Rhiannon, one of our volunteer artists.
The Tramway laid on a lovely evening with superb food and live music on a sunny but cold Thursday evening. All had wonderful time although it proved very difficult to metal to the desired pouring consistency so Kirti Mandir, artist and bronze caster wisely postponed the pour to a later date. We hope to be continuing the project in the GalGael workshop in the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Visit the link below to see MSP for Govan, Nicola Sturgeon's visit to the GalGael workshop in September 2008.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

GalGael Win Award

It was a huge buzz to attend the Evening Times Community Champion Awards ceremony at the Pearce Institute on Thursday 26th March. We picked up the Team Award which;

" recognises the life-enhancing work of community teams, organisations, charities or a group of volunteers. For example, any group involved in fund-raising, organising community events or making the community a better or safer place."

We were very honoured to be picked from some very worthy nominees and other groups who do such great work in the community, as far as we are concerned they are all champions too.
The prize covered groups from the South West of the city and winning automatically puts us up for nomination for the City wide award which will be held in the Glasgow City Chambers in October.

For more info see the link below. Don't worry, I didn't make an acceptance speech. T.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Stakeholders Event

Thanks to all our stake holders for attending our event on Fri. 6th March and to all visitors and participants who sat in to listen. Our staff went over the main items from 2008 and outlined some of the directions our timber and voyaging teams will be pushing towards in the coming year as well as some of our planned core activities. We welcome all the suggestions put forward from the floor and we will keep you posted, probably via the blog, as things progress.

Red Nose Day on the Clyde

(Yes, you see right. Helen rowing a boat)

Comic Relief Day on Friday 13th, saw Orcuan doing her bit for charity in the basin at Pacific Quay. Seven teams from various local agencies and organisations donned costumes and red noses to row against the clock to raise funds for a good cause. We will keep youposted as to how much we raised soon. Winners on the day were Glasgow Council Dev.& Regen. Services but every one seemed to enjoy the occasion. It was certainly something we would consider building upon and it was great to see people using the Clyde. We would like to thank all the teams who turned out to support the event;

(pic by BBC)

Cardonald College

BBC Scotland

Glasgow SW Regen. Agency

Big Lottery

Job Centre Plus

Glasgow Dev. & Regen. Sevices

& The GalGael Trainees,Thanks also to- All our volunteers and trainees who helped out. Sunny Govan Radio, Seaforce,ScotEnt, Glasgow City Council, The Harbour Master and Loch Lomond Seaplanes and the Science Centre.

BBC link;

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Lepers Bell

Norman Maclean recounted some of his early life in Glasgow when he was transplanted in Ibrox from the heart of Gaeldom. The reading from his new autobiography "the Lepers Bell, Reflections of a changling" gave a snippet of a fascinating life with many highs and lows, giving us an insight into one of Scotlands living national treasures. the reading was fimed for a forthcoming TV documentary which will be shown to co-incide with the release of his book in autumn.

Monday, 23 February 2009

John Muir Trust Article.

Use the link below to read Alastair Macintosh's article in the latest John Muir Trust Journal featuring Galgael.

Late Feb. Update

Just to remind you. Norman Maclean will be giving readings from his new autobiography this Thursday at the GalGael workshop (more info on post below). We hope to have some live music as well as food, so all are welcome to attend.

On the Afternoon of March 6th we will be once again welcoming Luke Concannon from the chart toping band Nizlopi (remember the "JCB song "?) with his friends from "The Manjinga 7" - who will be helping Luke to do a song writing workshop with our trainees and volunteers then giving us a performance later in the afternoon. Food- as always, will be available. Performance will be just after 3pm in the workshop.

Thursday evening taster sessions are gathering momentum. In the workshop we had work being done on a rowing boat and some Medieval weaponry being made in the metalwork area. We hope to build up a small stock of this for re-enactment events etc. The front shop was heaving with activity. Anneruth was tenderly showing a young child (wee Thomas)and his mother (Samantha) the wonders of woolcraft while six feet away the girls were practicing bodhran with young Josh playing AC/DC riffs on the guitar. Three feet in the other direction, Alan was giving boxing lessons. It was a bit mental but it's early days yet. (Anneruth has a viscious left hook by the way)

If you are interested in coming along on a Thursday evening, please contact us.

Alan and Keith trading punches.

Josh, Laryna and Alison at the guitar and bodhran session.

Condolences to the family and friends of Jim mcCulloch who past away a few days ago. Jim loved sailing and was making great progress in gaining his certificates and qualifications. He also supported GalGael by doing various electrical jobs in the workshop.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wood for our new boat arrives in Govan

The first delivery of larch trees to be used for the construction of our new boat has arrived and we are expecting a similar amount to be dropped off tomorrow. The Scottish Environment Minister Mike Russell, offered to help us out last year and put us in contact with the Forestry Commission in Appin who duly offered their support, so thanks again folks.
It only took about ten minutes for the hi-ab to lift the huge larch logs off the truck and stack them up. We still have a bit of work to do before we start on the construction but it shouldn't be too long before we are milling the logs. Well done to all who helped clear the space to allow the delivery. We will keep you posted with progress.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Thursday Evenings

Our premesis on Fairley St. is now open on Thursday evenings and we are offering people from the local community, our friends and participants an opprtunity to try out various activities and crafts. The first two weeks have gone well and things are starting to take shape. Taster sessions on offer so far are pottery, guitar wool craft and art and we will be expanding on this soon. If you fancy getting involved then get in touch. 0141 427 3070

Norman MacLean at GalGael

Our good friend, comedian, piper and all round Gaelic entertainer, Norman MacLean will be giving a reading from his recently completed autobiography at the GalGael workshop next week. I had a sneak preview and I won't give too much away but Norman is one of Scotland's most colourful characters and a bit of a legend in Gaeldom, so it's well worth a read. The event will also be filmed for a forthcoming TV documentary about his life and times. The event is on 26th Feb. Doors open at 5.30pm at 15 Fairley St, Ibrox. Tel. 0141 427 3070.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Another boat almost finished.

Davy and Jack are making progress with the 2 man sailing canoe or "McGregor" which was designed by Ian Oughtred.The construction boat was initially started by a gentleman who unfortunately took ill and was unable to complete it but our two intrepid volunteers took to the task.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Plane Castle Event

19th and 20th Jan 2009

While Barak H. Obama was preparing for innaugurtion as the first Afro- American president of the USA, our staff and directors were preparing GalGael's activities for 2009/10. Billited in the very grand and extremely homely Plane Castle, Stirling we held our annual planning session to set out our strategy for the coming year. In the face of the current financial crisis we may have to tighten our kilts a bit in some areas but GalGael have a reputation for resourcefulness and resilience. It was a long session, held over two days and we were all happy enough we made good progress towards offering our course participants and volunteers the best chance to get into positive life improving opportunities.

We also fitted in some time to socialise in the evening and meet a new potential board member.
Further details will be posted soon.

Many thanks to Mhairi Hearle, Gehan and Helen for organising the proceedings and to John and Nancy for their wonderful hospitality and use of their superb facilities.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

GalGael 2009

Its January and we have just had our first intake of course participants of the year. Thanks to all the volunteers, friends and anyone who helped with all the jobs, big and small that keep the Galgael spirit alive. Heres to you all and hope you will stay onboard as we journey through 2009.