Empire Exhibition, 1938

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Postby Sharon » Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:21 pm

Cool! I look forward to it :)
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Empire Exhibition 1938.

Postby Dugald » Sat Nov 25, 2006 12:33 pm

As a young resident of Govan in 1938 I watched with great interest for a long time, many of the preparations for the Empire Exhibition. Many times we, the boys on Crossloan Rd., walked up Helen St. or Craigton Rd. to see what was happening in the park where we used to roll our Easter eggs. The big new fancy Cunarder tram cars started running past our street and up to the top of Craigton Rd. and then onto the new track laid on Jura St. right to the very gates of Bellahousten Park, from where could be seen most of the bright new pavilions, including the two superb Scottish ones. The second city of the Empire was a hive of industry, had done a great job, and had much to be proud of. The forthcoming summer promised to be an exciting one, and if you had a 12/6 (twelve 'n a tanner) season pass, you were set for a whole summer's entertainment; if you didn't... well, there was always the railing.

There was much hustle 'n bustle and excitement in Glasgow associated with the forthcoming visit of King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth to perform the opening of the Bellahousten Park, and for the kids around 43 Crossloan Rd., Govan, there was an added interest...one of their own, Leading Signaller Johnny Brennan, R.N., from their very own close, would signal by semaphore from atop the Exhibition Tower, and set in motion the parade that would take the royal couple to open the Exhibition.

On the day the Exhibition was due to open, various military detachments formed up on Helen St. near the White City Dog racing track.The streets were absolutely jammed with spectators. There were many bands, brass and pipe, and all kinds of military orders being barked hither and thither. Our vantage point was right beside the band of the R.A.F., a very smart looking lot attired in uniforms more like those of Hussars than airmen. Shortly before the parade got under way the air was rent asunder by the flypast of about twenty heavy bombers of the R.A.F. heading towards the city centre...a sight not at all common in 1938 Glasgow.

We never did see Johnny's signal from atop the tower, but the parade did set off and we followed it up onto the Paisley Rd and along to the main entrance. The crowds were so thick that even we Govan urchins couldn't make our way up to the main entrance and got bogged down well out of sight of the royal couple opening the Exhibition, but very much in the grip of the unbelievable excitement.

King George and Queen Elizabeth did open the Exhibition and it was a marvelous success. I paid admission once with my father, went once with a school trip, and visited it many times on my own by going through the railings (not an easy task!). It was truly a fantastic summer's entertainment. Leading Signaller Johnny Brennan, R.N., went down with H.M.S. Exmouth in the Cromarty Firth a bit more than a year after the Exhibition closed , and some of the Exhibition's infrastructure was used to accommodate French Alpine troops evacuated from Norway in 1940, then by German POW's in 1943...all a far cry from the heady Exhibition days of 1938.

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Postby crusty_bint » Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:09 pm

Fantastic Dugald! Cheers for sharing :D
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Postby retired tiger » Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:14 pm

Great story Dugald ::):
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Postby gap74 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:09 am

Some small pics I acquired recently, some of which appear to be officially available prints, some perhaps taken as a personal momento. Apologies for the quality of some, looks like they might have reacted with the prints on the page opposite.

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Gary
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Postby gap74 » Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:12 am

Oh, also found some nice colour home movie footage here:

http://www.bestlaidschemes.com/moviezon ... exhibition

Gary
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Postby Apollo » Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:49 am

Thanks for those.

Snapshots give a better impression of the atmosphere than posed/official shots.

Interesting to compare something like this with the disaster of 'The Dome'.

Funny how we can't do things today, given all the 'resources' available, that we seemed to be able to do so well in days gone by when we didn't have things like PC, Project Managers and 'consultants, facilitators, experts and advisers' Ooops, maybe I just pinpointed the problem :wink:
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Postby cumbo » Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:54 pm

What a fantastic set Gary,Apollo your right again :wink:
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The Exhibition.

Postby Dugald » Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:44 pm

Thank you for the gallery of great pictures Gary. I enjoyed them all every one of the many times I've gone through them. I found the photos at 'ground level', with all the close-ups of the people, particularly interesting (ah wis looking for maself!).
Cheers, Dugald.
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Postby tarzan-bridge » Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:10 pm

Found this will try to get a better picture later

[img][img]http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g307/billc1/HPIM0855.jpg[/img][/img]
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Postby Simba » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:00 pm

Found a book of my brother's, about Glasgow's Exhibitions, including 1911 1938 and 1988. Will be having a read of it after my exams, and I shall post anything interesting I find.
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Postby John » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:13 pm

Thanks Gary. I really enjoyed looking through those photographs.

Do you mind sharing where you got them from?

Cheers

John
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Postby gap74 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:20 pm

Picked them up on the monster that is Ebay, looks like they were from a personal album that some chap had split and was selling off page by page. There's writing on the cardboard mounts, but it's white writing on a dark background, and is too faded to read in most cases.
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Postby nodrog » Tue Feb 06, 2007 1:04 pm

Empire cinema at the Empire Exhibition:

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Designed by Alister G MacDonald for the 1938 Empire Exhibition, which ran from 3 May - 29 October. The Empire was designed as a 'newsreel' cinema, but also had a small stage for live performances. It seated around 600. MacDonald also designed the Peace Pavilion at the exhibition.

The image below shows the cinemas location on the exhibition site, near to the main entrance, and how the foyer was set perpendicular to the body of the auditorium:

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When the exhibition closed, the cinema was one of the buildings that was dismantled and sold on, becoming the Empire in Lochgilphead, where today it still stands (much altered) as a guesthouse, the Empire Travel Lodge.

http://www.scottishcinemas.org.uk/glasgow/empire.html
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Postby brickwall » Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:32 pm

Some odds n' sods:

Beer Exhibition Note: Tennents was first sold in draft at the '38 exhibition

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An excuse to post a former Tennents Lovely

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Finishing the Grand Stairs

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Night Shot

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Aerial Shot

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Finishing the Engineering Display

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