The Fair Glasgow group is dedicated to promoting the heritage of Scottish Showpeople and fairground culture.
We are a group of Scottish Showpeople, artists and researchers who meet regularly to plan and discuss projects, and support greater public awareness of the largely Glasgow based Scottish Show community. Aproximately 6,000 Scottish Showpeople live in the city limits of Scotland’s largest city, and have made a major contribution to its popular culture over the past 200 years.
Our group originated from a major collaborative Heritage Lottery Funded project of the same name in 2013, between The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel, The Showman’s Guild (Scottish Section), The Scottish Traveller Education Programme, Fablevision, and Edo Architecture. It was initiated in 2012/13 as part of practice-based doctoral research by the socially engaged artist t s Beall, based at the University of Glasgow (Theatre Studies) in collaboration with the Riverside Museum (part of Glasgow Museums), and funded by the AHRC as a Collaborative Doctoral Award.
As the Fair Glasgow Museums Working Group we were able to plan major events, displays and reinterpretations of collections at the Riverside Museum, working with Glasgow Museum Curators (most notably Heather Robertson). Led by artist Dr t s Beall and artist and Showman’s son Dr Mitch Miller, public policy expert Dr Andrea Salvona (who joined the group in 2016) the group continues (2013-present) its work through new partnerships and opportunities, including:
- Sharing and gathering the history of Scottish Showpeople
- Promoting and protecting the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Scottish Fairs
- Finding creative approaches to sharing fairground heritage through events, performances, films, and other artworks
- Coordinating research and development on issues important to Scottish Showpeople
- Influencing policy on a local and national level, and acting as advocates for Scottish Showpeople regarding legislation and licensing (for issues as diverse as housing to the event licensing)
- Improving the range and quality of resources available on the subject of Scottish fairgrounds.
Our goal is to encourage and enable individuals from Show communities in Glasgow to work collaboratively with various partners to gather research and develop activities that highlight the impact of Fairground Culture on Scotland. This blog highlights our work and signposts useful information, research and references for those with an interest in Scotland’s Showpeople.