|Scottish Gaelic: Cnoc a' Ghobhainn|
Calder Street in Govanhill
Govanhill shown within Glasgow
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||Glasgow City Council|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Glasgow Central|
|Scottish Parliament||Glasgow Southside|
Govanhill (Gaelic: Cnoc a' Ghobhainn) is a district in the Scottish city of Glasgow. It is situated south of the River Clyde between the Gorbals, Mount Florida and Queen's Park. The council ward has boundaries of Dixon Avenue and Dixon Road to the South, Victoria Road to the West, Butterbiggins Road to the North, and Aikenhead Road to the East.
The history of the area is linked to the Dixon family. A prominent ironmaster, William Dixon opened blast furnaces to the North of Govanhill which became known as 'Dixons Blazes'. A company village called Fireworks Village was situated on the site of the later Burgh of Govanhill. The area itself was formed in 1877 and the main avenue that runs the length of it is called Dixon Avenue. Some of the local streets were name after the daughters of William Dixon Jnr; Allison Street, Daisy Street, and Annette Street. Successive waves of immigrants from Ireland, Pakistan and more recently Poland and Slovakia have given the area a rich multicultural identity.
Govanhill is home to one of Glasgow's original Carnegie libraries, deftly designed in the Edwardian Baroque style by James Robert Rhind. The library is situated on Langside Road at its junction with Calder Street.
Govanhill has historically acted as an arrival point for a number of waves of migration. This historic role has been explored through a community led project - the Govanhill People's History Project, which will be published fully in 2014.
Since the area's foundation it has played host to migration from Highland and Lowland Scotland, Ireland (particularly Donegal), Italy, Jewish communities predominantly from Poland and Lithuania, South Asian communities (particularly Pakistan) and East and Central Europeans. This diversity is reflected in the local shops, the languages spoken in the street and in the people found locally. A recent social survey found that 53 languages were spoken in only 13 of the area's housing blocks. The area has long been Scotland's most culturally diverse neighbourhood. Of the 15,000 people living in the neighbourhood, approximately 40% are from ethnic minority communities, with Roma from Slovakia, the Czech Republic and, increasingly, Romania making up 3000 of the local population.
Govanhill is home to a thriving creative arts community, including Dance Factory Dance Studios in Calder Street, Twisty-Headed Man Company on Butterbiggins Road with The Chalet in Dixon Avenue and South Side Studios in Westmoreland Street both home to successful visual artists and other creatives. Since 2009, the area has had its own arts festival - Streetland, which usually takes place in early summer in venues across the area.
The baths were designed by A B McDonald and opened in 1917 after the architect's death. They contained hot baths in the upper storey and three swimming pools on the ground floor. There was a seating gallery around one of the pools for spectators attending events such as galas. There was also a wash-house or "steamie" at the rear of the building, which was converted to a launderette in 1971.
For many years, the usage of the baths was in sharp decline, with access to the general public being severely limited by "specialist" sessions where only certain members of the paying public were allowed in, and as a general amenity they proved to be non-viable. After the council closed the baths, the campaign to save Govanhill Baths began in December January 2001 which resulted in an occupation of the building by left-wing activists from March 17 until August 7, 2001 when Sheriff’s Officers accompanied by police removed the protesters and boarded up the pool. Since then, a growing community has continued campaigning for the redevelopment and reopening of the facilities to residents of Govanhill and surrounding communities. The Govanhill Baths Community Trust organises fundraising events, sends out regular newsletters and runs the highly popular Govanhill Baths Open days in which members of the public are shown round the building for free.
On 31st October 2013, the Baths played host to its first marriage ceremony.
Notable current and former residents include psychiatrist and author R. D. Laing, born on Ardbeg Street in 1927.
Brian Francis Connolly (aka McManus), lead singer with popular 1970's glam-rock band Sweet, was born in Govanhill on 5 October 1945.
Johnny Rodger Writer and Lecturer in History and Theory at Glasgow School of Art
Govanhill is home to the notorious "House of Blood" named after the 2004 brutal hammer killing of the same name carried out by Edith McAlinden, 40, her son John, 20, and pal Jamie Gray, 19.
- Provan, Gillian (27 September 2012). "Writers bring poetry to life in the heart of the city's famous landmarks". STV. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Crosshill and Govanhill Community Council
- Govanhill Baths Community Trust
- Twisty-Headed Man Company
- Southside Festival