Shoppers in Springburn were invited to take a step back in time last week to celebrate the area’s rich industrial past as part of a major arts project.
The prestigious National Theatre of Scotland chose Springburn Shopping Centre for a special performance inspired by the days of the trams.
A “Clippy” ticket collector from yesteryear entertained the audience with tales of the past and invited them to tell their stories and memories.
Part of the shopping centre was transformed into a pop-up train station and waiting room.
The special performance was part of the theatre group’s international arts project The Tin Forest, created for the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme to celebrate creativity and invention. Members of the theatre’s creative teams have been working in post-industrial cities across the country, including Springburn.
Tomorrow night, the area’s iconic Winter Gardens will be lit up with hand-made lanterns for a further outdoor theatre event at 6.45pm to mark the official transition from winter to spring.
Creative director behind the “Clippy” performance, Philippa Tomlin, said: “We wanted to hear real people’s stories and felt this was a good way to do it.
“We created the old-fashioned waiting room complete with the Clippy character from the days of the trams in Springburn.
“She sees the end of the steam trains approaching and hides herself away. And she can’t move on until the audience tell her their memories and just as importantly, their hopes for the future.
“The tale was written in conjunction with Springburn Writers Group who were terrific.”
The Tin Forest takes its inspiration from a scene in the best-selling book of the same name by children’s author Helen Ward where an old man turns a junkyard into a flourishing forest, creating flowers and lanterns out of jam jars and tin cans.
The theatre group have been asking local people to make their own flower-shaped lanterns to illuminate long-forgotten places near their own homes, as well as take part in tomorrow night’s special light-up event.
Creative teams have been working with schools in the area and Balornock Primary School put a special appeal for jam jar donations to make their own lanterns.
Several pupils from Saracen Primary will plant a ceremonial seed in the park, setting off a sound and light display projected onto the park’s beautiful Grade A-listed Victorian building.