Scotland: Baths and halls re-open in victory for local community

Kenny McLachlan, late chairperson of Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, had the last laugh from beyond the grave, when red faced council bosses agreed to re-open Maryhill’s popular Burgh Halls and Swimming Baths.

Submitted by afraser on March 6, 2006

A Council run swimming pool, fitness suite, and games hall will open 2008. Building work is scheduled to start in 2006 – according to secret documents seen by the Burgh Angel.

The main Burgh Hall is planned to re-open 2009 – with weddings being the first order of business.

The main dance hall holds 200-300 guests, and planning officials believe this will quickly become our areas most sought after wedding venue, fetching lets of up to £400 per night.

Also planned are offices for local firms and projects, a café for local people with outside garden area, recording studio and rehearsal space, meeting rooms for use by local groups, and a child day care centre.

All this comes after 20 years of closure, when council bosses swore the halls and baths would never be re-opened for ordinary people to use.

Private property developers were poised to turn the buildings into yuppie flats. But the local peoples campaign has triumphed in the end.

Maryhill was an independent Burgh until it became part of Glasgow City Council 1891, and the Burgh Halls – built 1878 – was the centre of Maryhill government.

• Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust is now functioning again and would welcome new members – to join, pay £1 per year to Maryhill Burgh Halls Trust, c/o Hunter Reid, Cube HA, 70 Glenfinnan Road Glasgow G20 8JX, Tel: 945 4726.

• Kenny McLachlan, founder of Maryhill Burghs Trust is also famous for leading the victorious 1980s teachers strike, as the then President of the EIS. He was also a member of the Communist Party and volunteered for the Spanish Civil War – although was turned down as being too young; and then served as a paratrooper during the Second World War.

See picture, right of one of the twenty stained glass images, Maryhill Burgh Halls had of the workers of Maryhill. These are in storage in the Burrell Collection – but will be back in their proper place when the Burgh Halls reopens.