The People's Palace And Winter Gardens

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Glasgow Green Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

The People's Palace And Winter Gardens Glasgow Reviews

sarahelaine sarahela…
648 reviews
The People's Palace Mar 01, 2014
The People’s Palace is a small social history museum (and large-ish greenhouse) on Glasgow Green. It was first opened in 1898, and refurbished around 100 years later. Originally intended as a sort of combined adult education centre and pleasure garden, it now houses displays on lives and work of the people of Glasgow, from the beginning of the industrial revolution to the present day. It also still houses a “winter gardens”; a large, beautiful Victorian glass house for palms, flowers, and the compulsory tea room.

Since the 1940s, the People’s Palace has been less a reading room and art gallery and more a social history museum, showing displays about how people lived, worked, the conditions they were in and the political history of the area. This means that, to an extent, it wears its politics on its sleeve; there is the perfectly preserved desk of a well-known socialist campaigner (note for some American readers;!on our side of the pond, that doesn’t mean communist- the museum is not advocating armed redistribution of wealth. Well, not much. Maybe a bit. But that's Glasgow for you.) and some murals depicting the massacre of some early trade unionists 200 years ago and the fight for representation and freedom since. There are also reconstructions of wash houses, displays on how Glasgow suffered in the blitz, and quite a lot about the temperance movement which tried to discourage people from drinking alcohol (alcohol relative to wages was much more expensive then, and children went hungry because daddy was in the pub, so it was a huge campaign a century ago). There is, at the moment, a temporary exhibition commemorating life in the Red Road Housing Estate, recently demolished tower blocks, bringing the displays up to date.

The main attraction for me is the winter garden, the large greenhouse with its palm trees and bird of paradise plants. It is not as big as you would get in any botanic garden, but it’s lovely.

The whole museum was refurbished about 10 years ago, to reglaze the windows and restore it to its former glory. A short walk outside the city centre, it’s an interesting counterpoint to the great grand museums of Kelvinside, and a nice place to kill some time. Entrance is free, disabled and buggy access not bad at all.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sarahelaine says:
I spent two years in Massachusetts - it was an incredible opportunity and I had a great time, and met some very lovely, very clever people. But yeah, some of the media had definitely been on the old Kool Aid. I remember them picking up one - well, it wasn't even a riot, it was a minor disturbance, like a couple of dozen people for an hour or two, whilst I was out there and it was all BRITAIN DESCENDS INTO THIRD WORLD CHAOS! And the perfectly nice, perfectly clever people I worked with obviously took it with a pinch of salt but it was still weird to watch!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2014
Travel2014 says:
Fox (news?) is like Jim Jones' kool aid.
I understand everything you mean. I live in a southeastern state at the moment. Oh, the stories I could tell.. they'd really make you laugh if they were not so terrifying..!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2014
sarahelaine says:
Yes, I should probably have put "American media" there. But I do a lot of online learning in economics and the number of people who seem to have swallowed the fox media line that *any* socialism means nationalising all industry and moving to Russia in 1958 always puzzles me. It's not even like I'm a raging leftie (well, not *that* much) - it's just I've got used to having to explain the difference!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2014
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Dr_Seuss Dr_Seuss
216 reviews
History Of The People Living In Glasgow. Jan 13, 2010
I like this place,as it is different from most museums. The People's Palace documents the lives of the inhabitants of Glasgow, rather than a history of the city.It has a small winter garden attached to it as well.

Could only put the cost as very cheap, but in fact, like almost evey gallery and museum in the city, enterance is free.

Cacn be reached by public transport or tour bus, but it's not that far from city centre and it's quite a nice walk ( See Glasgow City Centre South and South East Blog).

As you walk across Glasgow Green the first bit you really notice is the glass roof of the Winter garden at the back of the People's Palace. Once you get there though right in front is the recentlly restored Doulton Fountain.

The Doulton Fountain was built for the Empire Exhibition in 1888 and was originally in Kelvingrove Park. It is the largest Terracotta fountain in the world, and has four sides to it representing the 4 main parts of the British Empire at the time( India,South Africa,Australia and Canada). This was the first time I had seen it since it was done up, and it looked great even covered in ice :-D .

Before going in it's worth walking on a wee bit to take in the former Templeton's Carpet Factory. The owner wanted something grand and the architect modelled the factory on the Doge's Palace in Venice. The colours on the wall are superb. No longer a factory , it is still in use and has offices restaurants and pubs in it now.

Entering The People's Palace I headed first into the Winter Garden. i't not very big but has a nice feel to it and was lovely and warm on a cold winters day. here you will find toilet facilities and a reasonably priced cafe.

I headed upstairs to the exhibitions area. Each section is pretty small, but there is a lot of culture to look at. The first part looks at the effects on the citizens of Glasgow during the wars. They have examples of rationing,people's gas masks and an Anderson Shelter ( a corregated iron hut that people were meant to dig a whole in their gardens to bury it and shelter in it during air raids :-O) .

There is a booth where you can try and get to grips with the local language. Officialy it IS English but sounds nothing like it :-D

There is section on alcohol and the problems it has caused over the years in Glasgow, and there is a section that was taken from the old jail in Duke Street where you can have the 'Cell Experience'. A short video presentation here has the prison officer that took the last man to be executed in Glasgow, in Barlinnie Prison, talking about the experience and process. There is a list of all the people who suffered public execution, and the offences they commited to merit such a punishment, on Glasgow Green before that was stopped in the late 19th Century, and the window there looks out to where the gallows stood. They have the bell from Duke Street Prison that was rung after the condemed prisoner was dead.

There is a bit dedicated to holidays, when folk didn't travel ( no TB in those days) and the popular thing for folk to do was to go 'Doon The Watter' where they would sail down the River Clyde. For many it would only be a day trip, though some would stay in the resorts along the Clyde coast.

On the second floor there is recognition of the politics in Glasgow. Traditionally Glasgow, as a whole, is a very left wing city ( there hasn't been a Conservative Member of Parliament here since 1983) probably due to the Trade Unions involved in a lot of the heavy industry the Glasgow was built on.

There are a load of union banners, womens sufferage and various political ones, from those supporting the anti-Franco Repulicans during the Spanish Civil War to more recent anti Poll Tax campaigns.

In 1919 there was a General Strike in Glasgow,campaigning to get the working week reduced to 47 hours. The protests focused around George Square, and police lost contol and a riot ensued. The Government,fearing a Soviet style revolution, deployed the army onto the streets. To make sure orders were followed all Scottish soldiers were confined to barracks.Tanks were put on the streets and heavy machine guns placed on top of strategic buildings to stop any further gatherings. This was the last time that the British Army deployed against their own people on mainland Britain.

It's not all doom and gloom. Part of the exhiit looks at culture and has a big painting of 'The Big Yin' Billy Connolly and has the Banana Wellie Boots here wore on stage while he was still a more local comedian performing mainly around Scotland.

There is also an example of a 'Single End' the type of one room tenement style housing many families in Glasgow had to live in.

And just to prove it's not just me, there is a display cabinet with a selection of popular drinks and along with the beer and the whisky and all is a bottle of Irn Bru. For those that haven't read any of my stuff or seen photos I take anything between three and six bottles of the stuff away with me on all my travels. So it is defiately part of the Glasgow culture, It's even in the museum :d

The People's Palace is a great place to while away a few hours, and to learn a bit about the actual people who made and live in this city

Forgot about it only being 10 photos for a review :-O so will stick the rest into the City Centre South/South East Blog bit
The People's Palace And Winter Gar…
The Doulton Fountain
Templeton Carpet Factory from insi…
The Winter Garden
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
M-m-m says:
Very helpful, thank you! :)
Posted on: Nov 21, 2012
huibdos says:
[ I don't like uploading for a review, so I only blog:]
Posted on: Jan 14, 2010

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