Glasgow Conversations



Meet the people energising our culture today.


  • Meet Rosie Robertson of the Calton Heritage and Learning Centre


    Meet Rosie Robertson, manager of the Calton Heritage and Learning Centre. In this interview, you'll hear a lot about the Calton, an area of Glasgow even some of us living in the city either have never heard of or at least think about very little. Rosie lives and works there. She talks with passion and integrity about its proud working class history, how the identity of those living there has been lost over the years in the face of lazy ignorance and indoctrination.She explains why people are more than the labels given to them, and what happens when those labels are thrown endlessly in their face. She talks emotionally about hope; how the guidance she received when she was younger shaped her ultimately into an inspiration for her son; how the work carried out every day in the centre, and by its partners and like-minded local organisations, encourages, guides and inspires those in the community who otherwise might have had no direction other than to the bottom rung of the ladder.I, and a great many others in Gl

  • Meet Anne Mulhern of the Willow Tea Rooms


    Meet Anne Mulhern, owner of the Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow. Listening to Anne you might begin to understand just how influential Charles Rennie Mackintosh continues to be not only for architects, designers and artists around the world, but also for them wot aren't, in this instance a lady who moved on from redundancy, learned how to cook, and before our local love of Mackintosh had really sprouted, took the lead from one of the most pionneering women in Glasgow's history in recreating the intricate delights of the Willow Tea Room in Sauchiehall Street, a venture borne of Mackintosh and one Miss Cranston in the early years of the 20th century.Anne talks passionately about the history of the tea rooms, the challenges she faced setting up her three magnificent rooms around the city, her influential roles in Glasgow's Leading Attractions and the Glasgow Mackintosh group, and how all of this breathtaking work falls into place in the city's perpertually developing culture.These days in Glasgow you can't open a caf

  • Meet Ian Elder of the Lighthouse


    Meet Ian Elder of the Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture. As Ian quotes in this fascinating interview, design is a restlessness with the status quo, and listening to his description of what he does day in day out from this breathtaking building in the centre of Glasgow, you might come to appreciate just how vital it is to Scotland's perpetual innovation in the creative industries both locally and beyond.He talks about how the Lighthouse works to promote not only the aesthetics of design work but also how it can impact and empower peoples' lives and business. Walking through its doors and spending some time here will introduce you to the pioneering work of one of our most famous sons, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and Ian speaks eloquently about how that work has filtered through the ages to inspire design and architecture today. He tells us about some of the groundbreaking exhibitions and work sprouting forth in the Lighthouse, how local design talent is encouraged here, why he had to wave

  • Meet Liz Scobie of the West End Festival Glasgow


    Meet Liz Scobie, chair of the West End Festival. On the exciting day the hotly anticipated 2015 festival programme was unveiled, listen to Liz as she goes through some of the highlight events happening this June, starting of course with the parade on 5th June which will be the largest of its kind in the UK you'll experience outside London. This year's parade theme is "bloom", taking into account that this seeming juggernaut of a festival is turing 20 years old. I say "juggernaut" as it's been such a success in Glasgow that over the years it's become a fixture we all just tend to take for granted. In this interview, however, Liz explains why it's not as permanent as you might think, and that the organisers are so thankful for all the continued support, funding, energy and volunteering that helps them get over the line every year. She talks about the hard work behind the scenes that doesn't get much notice beyond the gloss of the world class programme, and why it was felt necessary to run the fundraising specta

  • Meet James Dean of Platform Glasgow


    Meet James Dean of Platform Glasgow. This interview is for those, even in Glasgow, whose muscle memory associates the east end of the City with nowt but crime & poverty. It's for those who've been to the Barrowlands for a gig but stepped no further into the perceived darkness beyond. It's for those who feel there's no point exploring the empty, forgotten, barren land east of Glasgow Green when there's the delights of the city centre & west end on offer.Before this interview I knew a little about what's going on in the east end. After it I realised that I just knew little. My eyes were well and truly opened during this conversation at the Bridge, a breathtaking space in Easterhouse that for the last 9 years has been pulling together all the good things in the community and showing it off in style. James talks quietly with passion about the art, music and culture being tapped by Platform every day with a myriad of events, festivals, concerts, installations and arts projects in the area. He tells us abou

  • Meet Alan Govan of the Mugstock Festival


    Meet Alan Govan of the Mugstock Festival of Music and Merriment. In this enthralling interview, listen to Alan talk passionately about how to put on a not-for-profit, but totally ambitious community festival from scratch. He took a long-standing dream moulded only a little by sheer punnery, and transformed it into a crowdfunded sensation that's going to blow Glasgow's socks off in August this year.How he and his outstanding team of volunteers have managed to amass the world class line up (some of which is revealed exclusively in this interview) is pretty mystifying, but more impressive is how it's being designed with diversity in mind. You can look forward to artistic, scientific, and downright captivating installations & events dotted around the festival site, all geared towards putting on a weekend of pure merriment for all ages and types, and you'll hear about the innovative ways to get there & camp.Mugdock, stunningly popular as it already is, is about to be put firmly on the map!

  • Joe Smillie of the Glad Cafe


    Meet Joe Smillie, venue manager and director of the Glad Cafe in the southside of Glasgow. In this conversation, Joe talks about the cafe's beginnings, and its growth from a humble bar to the beating heart of something absolutely magical taking root in the local community.Learn about the Glad Foundation, Glad Rag Mag, Glad Academy, Glad Rags Thrift Store, and the many arts, film, street food and musical events gravitating every day around this spectacular venue, including what's in store in the coming months. Listening to Joe's laid back, matter of fact chat, you'd be forgiven for thinking that he doesn't really appreciate just how jaw-droppingly inspirational this place is, and you may come to agree that it's the work of people like Joe, his mum and the amazing team around them, work they just get on with day in, day out, that continues to revitalise and re-imagine Glasgow from the bottom up.So visitors to Glasgow, and folks living across the water who think there's a full stop at the end of the west end &am

  • Crawford Smith of the Southside Fringe


    In the very first interview for Glasgow Conversations, meet Crawford Smith, the co-founder of the Southside Fringe festival in Glasgow. Hear him talk passionately about the humble origins of the Fringe which he started with Corinna Currie and which has now transformed into an amazing few weeks on the festival calendar every May, operating now from inspiring community hub, the Govanhill Baths. He talks about the challenges they faced in setting up and developing the festival, how its grown over the years, and the amazing events lined up in 2015. Make sure you pick up a programme and book your tickets at