Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Glasgow's Sikhs 3: the Pollokshields Gurdwara

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -

 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice.

Today is Sunday, 28 April, 2013 and we are off to Polloksields for the opening of the new Gurdwara. 

Here we are in Albert Drive; the procession will turn the corner here down Darnley St

Not sure what this is about - nowt to do with procession  anyway

Hanging shoes as a memorial is a relatively recent phenomenon in Glasgow - my guess is this one commemorates someone killed hereabouts. For another example, of shoes in Boston following the bombing there - see

Respect People

There is the Gurdwara - wonderful building

The fine tower of the Strathbungo Parish church in  the background. See

We are above Pollokshields East railway station

A welcoming letter from a neighbour

Another welcoming letter from a neighbour

Back to the Darnley St corner and the bike

Dome and church tower again

Axe the Bedroom Tax

This dapper chap  is Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government's Minister for External Affairs and International Development. He is an interesting figure. When the polls for the last Scottish council elections closed, I heard him  on Radio Scotland just after 10 pm claiming that the SNP had captured Glasgow - it was only a matter if the party had an overall majority.   Of course they didn't win Glasgow, nowhere near, but it was a very creditable performance that would have been hailed as a great success, had Humza not made his wild boast.  He has successfully ditched the baggage from his political origin in  his cousin Osama Saeed's Scottish Islamic Foundation; but is a bit of a loose cannon. He recently made a comment in Holyrood about a Labour opponent expecting the Messiah - all part of political rough and tumble one would say, but I expect we will wait a very long time before Humza makes any parliamentary jests about the coming of the Mahdi. 

One to watch most certainly. here is a good Independent Jack Hurley piece on his performance on Question Time -

Passing cyclist. . .

. . .part of this group

A lady has just appeared handing out leaflets from the Yes  independence campaign -  this one was not wanted

Leaflet dispensers over there

They are bringing a table over

Hmm - seems a bit ill-mannered to me to impinge on the Sikh procession  this way.The rival Better Together lot   are not here, but if they were also here it would introduce a note not conducive to the joy of the day.

An outrunner bringing news of the procession

There they are down there

Filming the filmers

The fencing is the martial art Gatka. See

For the meaning of Sikh symbols see

Ah, here come our delightful west of Scotland politicians.

The wee guy with the dark glasses is the Glasgow City Council leader Gordon  Matheson, who does not have his troubles  to seek at the moment. See

Beside him is Nicola Sturgeon, MSP and Deputy First Minister and former favourite of Bashir Maan and other well-kent Muslim figures for her and the SNP's opposition to the Iraq and Afghanisrtan invasions - but since the SNP's embrace of gay marriage, now not such a favourite  -

Am not really a fan of Sturgeon, but in the case of gay marriage she has been resolute in doing the right thing despite the criticism from some faith groups - good for her.  For Sturgeon and the SNP council candidates in George Square see 
When Worlds Collide: Botham's Great Walk, the SNP Rally, Cricket and Glasgow, Bernard Ponsonby and the Monstrosity

Absent from  the line up seems to be the local Labour councillor , Bailie Hanif Raja
who was caught claiming on Pakistan television that he was elected despite the opposition of Hindus and Sikhs -

'Glasgow politician Hanif Raja was disciplined after claiming he was elected in May despite the efforts of the "Indian community".
Tory councillor David Meikle questioned whether Mr Raja, who was awarded the MBE for inter-faith relations, could remain as one of the council's bailies.
Mr Raja gave an interview to a Pakistan television network on the day of his election in May in which he alleged, in Urdu, that Sikhs and Indians had not voted for him because of his views on Kashmir.
One translation had the Pollokshields councillor saying: "I have been presented with so many obstacles from the Sikh and Indian community. I got a backlash when I went to them for votes.
"They said to me 'we can't support you because you support Kashmir'. I said to them: 'If you don't want to give me the vote because of this then fine, this is my ideology. I won't ever compromise on this'."
After the Labour Party was alerted, Mr Raja apologised for "any offence" caused by his "clumsily worded" statements. The remarks caused outrage in the Sikh community, as Sikhs campaigned and voted for Mr Raja.
A Labour spokesman said: "We require all our councillors to uphold the highest of standards and Mr Raja has apologised profusely."

Mr Raja has an MBE for his work in interfaith relations. Glasgow politics - business as usual.

Australian flag there

Nice doggie

Adding petals to the ledge


Happy in the rain

Sharing headscarves

The Khalsa flag

Heading out

Shoes in boot

Been a great day

Cycling back, we notice that the last Glasgow's Smiles Better poster - in Chisholm St -  has finally gone.

But sometimes, as today - Glasgow really does smile better.

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. My other wee blogs are

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters (only £3.06!)

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -

Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from 

No comments:

Post a Comment