Glasgow group speaks out about missing museum collections

by Rebecca Weinberg

Glasgow group Friends of People’s Palace, Winter Gardens, and Glasgow Green (FPPWGGG) are raising awareness of missing museum artefacts, some of which haven’t been seen since 1995. 

Members of the group have been canvassing outside of the People’s Palace each Sunday, spreading their message to the general public. 

Following two successful protests outside George Square’s City Chambers, Glasgow City Council promised to abandon alleged plans to privatise the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens. 

Among the promises that GCC made, is the statement that they would “Revitalise and enhance the People’s Palace museum displays”.

However, former curator of the People’s Palace Elspeth King revealed to UWS News that many museum collections have been removed from the Palace for more than 20 years.

An old Subway poster currently on display at the People’s Palace.

“Much of the People’s Palace collections are displayed in other Glasgow museums without the correct information or contextualisation. 

“Categories of collections, important to the story of Glasgow and now almost entirely missing in the People’s Palace include ceramics, stained glass, trade union banners, cast iron, printing and publishing history, and textile and engineering history. 

“In 1998, the entire history of the city from prehistory to 1750 was removed from the collections and displays. The majority [of these pieces] will be in store.”

From 1st of December 2019 – 6th of January 2020, the group featured a missing object a day on their Facebook page, chronicling the history that has been lost since the 90s.

Canvasser and committee member of FPPWGGG Margaret Cochrane, spoke about the importance of the People’s Palace for Glaswegians.

“We want items that were taken out of the building to be brought back in, and social history to be updated – and not just to be focusing on the social history of the 60s and 70s. There’s such a lot of things that Glaswegians don’t know about Glasgow. So, we want that all reinstated. We want the young people to know more of the history of Glasgow.”

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