Friday, 2 May 2014

MayDay celebrations start with a cracker

2014’s MayDay celebrations have started with two excellent events and a considerable increase in the interest levels.
1915 Rent strikes in Glasgow
Last Saturday, the new Friends of MayDay (GFoMD) organised ‘Walk through the War’ had its first outing and a small but interested band took a couple of hours to visit a number of Glasgow sites associated with events linked to different campaigns connected to the First World War.
Starting at the site of the notorious Duke Street Jail – used to imprison suffragettes, anti-war campaigners and strikers – the walk wound its way via George Square, the Clyde and Bath Street to the old St Andrew’s Hall building. The rain kept off and the history of those radicals still fighting while war raged was laid out through the city!
Good news for fans of these walks is that a joint application to Glasgow’s Doors Open Day organisers on behalf of GFoMD and the Scottish Labour History Society has been successful, and both the ‘walk through the War, and a variant on last year’s East End Walk (from Bridgeton to George Square) will feature in this year’s (September) programme.
From First War to Spanish War
Then on Thursday, a different war featured, as Calton Books launched their reprint of John and Willy Maley’s play From Calton to Catalonia based on their father’s experiences as an International Brigader in the Spanish Civil War. It’s available from Calton Books – their FB site is here
Willie Maley was present to introduce the book and expand on the fascinating character that his father must have been. Particularly good for an ex-colleague of mine – Dougie Hay – to get a mention! And proving that Glasgow is the biggest village in the world, the MayFest connection came full circle – the first outing of the play was part of that lamented festival!
Some great music, from Chris and Paul of The Wakes wound up a cracker of an evening!
March and rally to the Cabaret
A great start to this year’s mayday celebrations! On to the MayDay rallies on Saturday across Scotland, and in Glasgow on Sunday! And remember to get your tickets for the Great MayDay Cabaret at Oran Mor on Monday night. Tickets across the bar in OM, on line from their website,  or from the GFoMD stall at the O2 Academy Rally on Sunday.

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