Soviet Union 1951

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Soviet Union 1951

Postby Socceroo » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:05 pm

A wee selection of some of the photographs retrieved from the Scotland - Russia (formerly USSR Society) Trusts's archives which should be figuring in their website which is being launched soon.

These photo's were retrieved from negatives, and they are of an early trip to the Soviet Union by Glasgow members of the Scotland - USSR Society on a Cultural Exchange.

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On the site of the construction of Moscow State University

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Posing outside Cathedral in Moscow

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Strolling in the Soviet sun

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Visiting a bearing assembly line

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Viewing screen print designs

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View of a Soviet Government building complete with requisite Stalin Banner and Government Cars

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Visiting a Pioneer Camp
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Postby Pgcc93 » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:35 pm

If you hadn't mentioned that they were taken in Russia circa 1951 I woulda thought they were from anywhere in Europe of that era.

Whilst on the subject I worked with a bloke who went on an exchange to Russia in 1956 when he was in his teens it was arranged via the ASLEF Railway Union I think?
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Postby HollowHorn » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:40 pm

Good to see pics of events that I know very little of.
Other than presenting a piece of "Glasgow" history, SR, what are your thoughts on those days in general & that trip in particular? Is it now just an embarrassment, given the near universal rejection, if not of the idea, then certainly of the reality of Communism?
Sincere question btw.
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Re: Soviet Union 1951

Postby Toaster » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:56 am

Socceroo wrote:Posing outside Cathedral in Moscow

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Don't know about the rest, but that's not Moscow - that's the famous "Bronze Horseman" statue of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg (Leningrad as was). Unless there's an exact copy in Moscow...

Another picture of it here http://www.saint-petersburg.com/monuments/bronze-horseman.asp
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Postby Vladimir » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:31 am

Different photo...

Is it now just an embarrassment, given the near universal rejection, if not of the idea, then certainly of the reality of Communism?


Only in the UK (and US, Aus, NZ etc.) HH :wink:
Last edited by Vladimir on Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Toaster » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:37 am

Vladimir wrote:Different photo...

D'oh! Not awake yet...
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Postby Apollo » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:49 am

Vladimir wrote:Different photo...

Is it now just an embarrassment, given the near universal rejection, if not of the idea, then certainly of the reality of Communism?


Only in the UK (and US, Aus, NZ etc.) HH :wink:


From the cynic's POV - Communism has never actually been tried on a large scale, although I'd venture to say that it would probably be successful on a small (community?) scale.

The USSR (again, only IMHO) wasn't an example of the concept as it was Capitalism run wild in the extreme, without any checks - witness the excesses and lies of the 'great leaders' who were the only ones to profit from the labours of the population, with their luxurious lifestyles, dachas, priority traffic lanes, ultimate power, corruption, secret police, production targets, great plans etc. etc.

I speak in these terms only of the 'leaders' not the people who suffered under them. Without the magic of television, mass media et al, the leaders were able to enforce their will, and influence people around the world. My grandfather was one so taken, a true 'flyer of the flag' in London Road, to the fear of the rest of the family, and he would also voice his thoughts at Speaker's Corner on the Green.

(Only a view, I really don't have enough knowledge/interest to enter a debate :oops: )
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Re: Soviet Union 1951

Postby Socceroo » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:04 pm

No Toaster, it most certainly is not Moscow. That particular photograph is titled "Strolling in the Soviet Sun". It was the photograph above it that was titled "Posing outside Cathedral in Moscow".

The photographs are a small selection of a couple of hundred taken during a trip to the Soviet Union in the Summer of 1951. The group travelled to most corners of the Soviet Union on that particular trip.

I have got some cracking behind the scene Soviet Circus and behind the scenes Bolshoi Ballet photo's.

I'll answer HH's point later once i have sped read through my Karl Marx library Comrades :roll:
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Postby macca734 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:20 pm

HollowHorn wrote:Good to see pics of events that I know very little of.
Other than presenting a piece of "Glasgow" history, SR, what are your thoughts on those days in general & that trip in particular? Is it now just an embarrassment, given the near universal rejection, if not of the idea, then certainly of the reality of Communism?
Sincere question btw.


Communism works fine as a concept, until you introduce basic human nature.

The ideal that if everyone wears the same stuff, reads the same literature, acts the same, and hears the same crap over and over again, they eventually will all strive to one common goal is just another crateload of horses shite. It smacks of something invented by the rich and powerful to salve their consciences as they get rich off the backs of those they exploit.

Sure, there are parallels to be drawn with capitalism or calvinism but the appearance of free choice is better than no choice at all. People will always want what they cant have and stuff they cant afford but thats aspiration and desire for you. To limit what people see and read just to suppress those desires is just sick.

Socialism / Communism works great if you're a selfless hippy but you can stick it up your arse, I'll stick with market forces and running my own life thanks.
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Postby Socceroo » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:19 pm

Thanks for answering HH's question to me macca666.

Now if i can offer a few points.

No HH i don't see the trips they made were an embarrassment, why would they be? Do you infer that they were connected to Communism in the sense that those visiting the then Soviet Union were on some sort of pilgrimage or promotion of Communism...they were not.

Tens of thousands of trips were organised to the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1991 by the members of the then Scotland - USSR Society and it's later travel companies Sovscot Tours and Blacksea Holidays. The earlier trips pre 1961 pre date the travel companies and were Cultural Exchanges.

The trips initially were to foster relationships between Britain and the Soviet Union at a very difficult time during the Cold War and demonstrate that the ordinary folks in the Soviet Union were just the same as the ordinary folks in Britain. Remember this is at a time that Government sponsored propaganda in this country had the Soviet Union labelled the "Red Menace".

The Scotland - USSR Society was strict in it's constitution and membership rules about anyone seen to be promoting religion, political allegiances, racism, homophobia and sectarianism. It is perhaps a good code which some people posting on these forums should follow.

Some members of the Scotland - USSR Society were Communists but as soon as they stepped over the threshold of the Society they were reminded that it was a Cultural Organisation if they dared preached their politics.

The Society was collectively outspoken on occasion when it saw breaches of human rights. It made representations and petitions to the McCarthy hearings in the USA and offered refuge in Scotland to Paul Robeson the actor / singer who was being singled out for his outspoken views.

The Society at that time had members such as Hugh McDairmid the poet, James Robertson Justice and Alastair Macrae the actors, Compton Mackenzie the writer and Sir Fitzroy MacLean who was amongst many other things in his colourful life - I believe - a Tory MP.

The Society also had most of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley City and Town Councils from all sides of the political divide as members.

Some of the individuals in the photographs posted earlier went on to do some very useful things in terms of Anglo - Soviet relations. In the early - mid 1970's they organised the Edinburgh Conversations which were essentially peace talks between American, British and Soviet academics.

These talks went on each year for several years and which ultimately encouraged Military Generals from each side to meet. This was later recognised by the American Government as the incubator for the early SALT talks.

So no, i don't think they were embarrassing trips.

And since Macca666 answered my question...here is one for him. Are you always a dickhead or do you practice it in the mirror?

Good night folks pubs in Shawlands beckon.
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Postby HollowHorn » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:29 pm

Excellent & informative answer, Socceroo, forgive my ignorance, I was barking up the wrong tree entirely. :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Postby Apollo » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:37 pm

I commend the answer too. Particularly noteworthy in its focus on the real subject of the initial query, the exchange trips, which I'd never heard of before. My education continues :)
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Postby macca734 » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:52 pm

Socceroo wrote:
Thanks for answering HH's question to me macca666..............

And since Macca666 answered my question...here is one for him. Are you always a dickhead or do you practice it in the mirror?



Awwww are you chucking your toys out your little commie pram? If the question was meant exclusively for you why was it posted on a public forum? Are you saying only people who agree with you or your wanky politics can post in your threads. Typical pinko; trying to suppress freedom of speech.

Theres a good reason communism has more or less died on its arse in the developed world; its pish, plain and simple. I noticed you used your reply to slate me rather than anything I said about your poxy beliefs and never offered anything in support of them. Says a lot that.

And when a dickhead who posts his political affectations on a website about a city calls me a dickhead, I take it as a sign I'm doing something right. Now fuck off to your Shawlands pub.

(Mount Florida? Whereabouts in Shettleston or Tollcross do you stay?)

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Postby Socceroo » Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:09 am

No macca734 I am not a Communist :)

And no i am not throwing my toys out the Pram. I gave a fairly detailed answer i thought, to Hollowhorn and Apollo on where they were coming from and although the photo's at first impression (as similar photographs have done with in the past with me) convey a certain impression, the truth is as with most things in life is that we should not jump to conclusions on first impressions.

I jumped to a conclusion earlier tonight when i called you a dickhead and for this i am sincerely sorry.

Actually, what i should have said is that you are about the saddest individual that i have ever came across on an forum and you should really go and take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

I see that the forums have been pretty quiet tonight and that is quite understandable with a sad wee boy who is an attention seeker like you around. People are not intimidated or amused by you they are quite frankly embarrassed for you.

Think about that. Goodnight.
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Postby macca734 » Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:23 am

Socceroo wrote:No macca734 I am not a Communist :)

And no i am not throwing my toys out the Pram. I gave a fairly detailed answer i thought, to Hollowhorn and Apollo on where they were coming from and although the photo's at first impression (as similar photographs have done with in the past with me) convey a certain impression, the truth is as with most things in life is that we should not jump to conclusions on first impressions.

I jumped to a conclusion earlier tonight when i called you a dickhead and for this i am sincerely sorry.

Actually, what i should have said is that you are about the saddest individual that i have ever came across on an forum and you should really go and take a good look at yourself in the mirror.

I see that the forums have been pretty quiet tonight and that is quite understandable with a sad wee boy who is an attention seeker like you around. People are not intimidated or amused by you they are quite frankly embarrassed for you.

Think about that. Goodnight.


So how was the trip to Shawlands then?

You jump from one thing to another. First it was about answering YOUR question. I'm also responsible for the threads being quiet? Then I was a dickhead and now I'm a saddo. Fuck sake, make your mind up.

I dont care if you're a commie or not, I was merely noting my opinion of a throroughly flawed system of governance to which you took extreme umbrage. This, to me, belies a certain petulance on your part where you dont like other people answering questions you deemed to be directed at you, so much so you mentioned it twice. That makes you far sadder than me. Your apparent sadness is compounded by the fact that you claimed to be going to a pub on the other side of the city but you replied within minutes of me posting.

I'm not here to intimidate or amuse anyone. This is a moderated forum; if you have any problems with anything I've said I'm sure you can go greeting to the mods or even back to me with something you no doubt think sounds dead clever but for fucks sake learn how to develop an argument or even a point.
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