Films of the Clyde at The Lighthouse

22 Apr 2009

Following the hugely popular exhibitions Sadness and Gladness (2007) and Films of the Glasgow Empire (2008) The Lighthouse and Scottish Screen Archive (National Library of Scotland) have got together for a third collaboration, this time focusing on the River Clyde. The Lighthouse, Scotland's National Architecture and Design Centre, will show rarely-seen footage from Scottish Screen Archive's rich collection of amateur and professional films along with recently recorded interviews with people for whom the river has played an important part in their lives. An associated programme of events and activities ranges from boat trips on the Clyde to opportunities to make contemporary films of the river, and a creative writing project with Glasgow primary schools. The Clyde: Films of the River 1912-1971 runs at The Lighthouse from 20 June - 20 September 2009.

"Over the last three years The Lighthouse has been celebrating Glasgow's social history as documented by generations of remarkable amateur and professional film makers in this series of collaborations with Scottish Screen Archive, " says Catriona Duffy, Exhibitions Manager at The Lighthouse. "For our third project we have turned our attention to the Clyde, which throughout the 20th century played a seminal role in the lives of Glaswegians both as a place of work and play."
 "Whilst the physical and social landscape of the area has changed beyond recognition in recent years, the Clyde continues to be a powerful influence on the lives those living along its banks. It is the focus of major regeneration projects from Glasgow to Ayrshire, with the mighty Titan crane at Clydebank, once a centrepiece of the shipyards and now an award-winning visitor attraction, symbolising a thriving new riverside economy. Meanwhile in a tradition dating back over a century each summer the Waverley paddle steamer, which features in the films being shown as part of the exhibition, still takes passengers 'doon the watter' every day."

As part of the exhibition The Lighthouse is also building an on-line archive of people's memories of and meditations on the river that will be available for people to enjoy both at The Lighthouse and at home. From today people will be able to upload stories and images to story box via The Lighthouse website.

"Whether it is a memory of holidays doon the watter and what it was like to work on the passenger steamers or with holiday-makers, tales of the ship yards or a blog from one of the new developments along the river we want to hear from you," adds Catriona. "Simply go to The Lighthouse to upload your stories and images."

A major programme of associated events has been developed for the project, which includes a very special Creative Writing project with Glasgow Primary Schools being supported by the Evening Times.

Ali Bell, Acting Education Director at the Lighthouse explains, "The Clyde: Films of the River 1912-1971 offers a fantastic opportunity for young people to learn more about the River Clyde and its rich and colourful history. We hope that this creative writing project will be a catalyst for the sharing of family memories and stories, with parents and grandparents inspiring the youngsters with tales of their experiences of the Clyde."


  • Archive image of The Clyde, courtesy of The Lighthouse/Scottish Screen

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