City’s Walk of Fame comes a step closer

12 Nov 2009

By Gerry Braiden, Evening Times

IT will be a tartan version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, with a cast list which could range from The Simpsons' Groundskeeper Willie through to Sir Alex Ferguson, AC/DC's Angus Young or even a giant of science like Joseph Lister.

But rather than the pavement of the world's entertainment capital, the celebration of those Scots who have made their mark in the world will adorn the riverside of the nation's biggest city.

Tomorrow the go-ahead is expected to be given for "Glasgow's Greats", a tribute to those Glaswegians who have made a contribution to Scottish success and ingenuity in all fields of life.

Focusing on Glasgow citizens, alive or dead, the idea is drawn from the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, the 3.5 mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard embedded with more than 2,000 stars featuring the names of film, music and TV stars.

The Glasgow scheme would see a series of plaques set in pavements and walls with each one designed to relate to the individual whose achievement was being marked.

A selection panel of people from a wide cross section of Scottish life is proposed to select candidates for the plaques.

But Glasgow residents will also be invited to get involved in the selection process.

Names suggested yesterday as potential candidates included Charles Rennie Mackintosh, anti-slavery campaigner James Oswald MP, Robert Stewart, the man who brought Loch Katrine water to Glasgow, Billy Connolly, Kenny Dalglish, or those who did their greatest work in Glasgow such as James Watt or Lord Kelvin.

First raised as a potential tourist attraction by the SNP opposition in the city over two years ago, the estimated cost for Glasgow's Greats is an initial £120,000, while sponsorship will be sought for plaques from organisations or businesses associated with the individual to be featured on them.

They will be a maximum size of 60cm x 60cm and use a range of materials to give them robustness and durability.

The intention would be for the trail of plaques to begin at Glasgow Green and extend along the River Clyde Walkway to the SECC.

An initial 20 plaques would be installed in Glasgow Green, with additional plaques installed later, while there would also be an accompanying leaflet prepared to promote the trail and explain each plaque.

It would also help the transformation of the River Clyde in becoming part of the city's tourism trail, "create a dynamic cultural attraction" and play a role in the promotion of the city in and around the Commonwealth Games.

Councillor George Ryan, executive member for development and regeneration at the council, said: "Glaswegians have made a huge impact on the world, and the Glasgow's Greats project would celebrate the achievements of people in all walks of life who have contributed to the success and renown of the city and Scotland.

"The recognition of 20 of the city's greatest sons and daughters would also be an attraction to the people of Glasgow and our visitors.

"I am sure many people would be very interested in such a project and look forward to hearing people's thoughts on who should be recognised.

James Dornan, SNP group leader, added: "The news that the council is taking up this longstanding SNP proposal is to be welcomed.

"The original idea for the walk of fame came from Councillor Patricia Gibson.

"The paper proposes two members of the selection panel be councillors. I hope Councillor Gibson will be invited to be a member of the selection panel."

Reproduced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • Glasgow Green in the city

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