Citizens Rose Garden, Laurieston Glasgow

Gorbals Healthy Living Network Retakes the South Side

Student Tours Scotland had one of those weird moments today when you meet someone fantastic in Glasgow. Generally I meet someone was great but fantastic is rare. These people are everywhere in the city but they are always so busy being fantastic that you never get to meet them.

The Gorbals is a massive area south of the River Clyde in Glasgow consisting historically of five areas: Gorbals Village; Hutchiesontown; Laurieston, Tradeston and Kingston as well as more recently including the so-called New Gorbals. Sadly, since the post-war madness of demolishing old buildings it is also an area lacking in population. Thankfully Glasgow City Council have seen sense and have given the go-ahead to a large scale regeneration of this historic area. 

Tucked away in a forgotten corner of Laurieston just off Gorbals Street and Bedford Lane lies one of Glasgow's lesser known parks - the Citizens Rose Garden. Facing the Citizens Theatre, it lies in the heart of Laurieston. Four large tower blocks loomed over it on each side - only one of these remains. All around it diggers, machines of various size and many different people in hard hats mill around in the ruined shells of the community. Sadly the park had fallen into disrepair.

Over the past few months as my Number 21 First Bus passed through the area I noticed that the park was undergoing a transformation. Every day some little change was slowly bring life back into this small garden. Today as my bus passed from Glasgow City Centre to Rutherglen I noticed two people working tirelessly to cultivate the area. I got off the bus to investigate.

I'm glad I put my journey on hold as meeting Sarah and her colleague from the Gorbals Healthy Living Network (GHLN - www.ghln.co.uk) was a treat. Sarah explained that, with the help of Glasgow City Council she was gathering support from many folk from various different backgrounds. Together they were bringing this park as well as an area of Oatlands (in the neighbouring area of Glasgow) and the Gorbals Rose Garden back to life.

It's fantastic to see such dedicated people bringing life to an area that, although it may only have around five years left before it is engulfed in the Laurieston Redevelopment, badly needs it.

I hope they realise just how much of a difference they are making and urge you all to stop by and say howdy and lend your support.