Glamour & Grit: Carpets of Distinction, Dr Helena Britt

Carpets of Distinction: Designs, Design Studios and Designers of James Templeton & Co., Helena Britt

Dr. Helena Britt is a lecturer in the Department of Fashion & Textiles at The Glasgow School of Art. Research activity encompasses aspects of historical and contemporary textile design. Postdoctoral projects include Interwoven Connections: The Stoddard Templeton Design Studio and Design Library, 1843-2005. Doctoral research examined the role of the designer educator in the development of digitally printed textiles. Helena is Chair of the Association of Fashion & Textile Courses. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art and has worked as a textile designer for a range of clients.

Glamour & Grit : The Glasgow Architectural Ironfounders – Innovation & Global Reach, Dr David Mitchell

The Glasgow Architectural Ironfounders - Innovation & Global Reach, Dr. David Mitchell

Dr David Mitchell MSC IHBC ProfICME FSA Scot by day is Director of Conservation for Historic Scotland. Member of the Institute for Historic Building Conservation and the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers. Member of the English Heritage Advisory Board and CyArk, a US Non Profit to digitally document and share world heritage. Alumni of the US State Department Fellowship programme. Interested in ironwork conservation and the history of the industry in Scotland, particularly Walter Macfarlane and Co.

Glamour & Grit: A Solid Background, Professor John Hume

A Solid Background: 1780 – 1865:

Glasgow had by 1864 matured as an industrial and commercial city. Since the 1780’s the city reputation as a mercantile community had been complemented by the rise of cotton spinning & weaving, and by the development of the marine engineering, locomotive building. The sophistication of the city by that time was clearly seen in the creativity of its architects, the best of whom were of European status. This talk will aim to provide a solid background and a consideration of the ‘Gilded Age’.

Prof. John Hume is an Honorary Professor at both the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews. He was a lecturer in Economic and Industrial History at the University of Strathclyde. After a career with Historic Scotland as an Inspector of Scotland’s Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings,he eventually retired as Chief Inspector of Historic Buildings in 1999. Prof. Hume is currently a Chairman for the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments and an Advisor to the Church of Scotland General Trustees Fabric Committee. He lives in Glasgow and was instrumental in setting up many local heritage organisation such as the Forth & Clyde Canal Society and has written all major reference books on Glasgow’s Industrial Heritage.

Glasgow’s Stained Glass: Colour & Light

The name “stained” glass, is a misnomer which refers to a process originating in 14th century Britain. Previously, Silver Nitrate was used on glass as a yellow pigment. Unlike other colours, when applied it soaked right into the glass itself, thereby creating a permanent yellow stain.

All stained glass featured in this exhibition dates mainly from the 19th and 20th centuries onwards. Unfortunately, earlier examples of this fragile art form are rare. Most windows dating from the 16th century and before were destroyed through Reformation violence, or by centuries of Scottish weather and neglect. Colourful glass had no place in the newly reformed Scottish Kirk, so it was not until the 19th century that the art of Stained Glass in Scotland once again began to flourish. Stained glass windows added an authentic medieval touch to buildings being designed in the fashionable new Gothic Revival style, but over the decades various art movements have provided inspiration for stained glass artists. Post-war, memorial windows dominated, but after 1918 the exploration of personal and contemporary style became predominant. Artists like Douglas

Strachan and Crear McCartney emerged, proving that this ancient art from was both modern and relevant. Now that we are paying closer attention to our built heritage than ever before, we should not neglect our stained glass. Its inclusion in a building istransformative,andithasamagical quality which makes it deserving of our attention.

This exhibition celebrated not only Glasgow’s stained glass, but our attempt to preserve it digitally. An ambitious three month project to create an online database of stained glass began in September 2014, in conjunction with RCAHMS and the Scottish Stained Glass Trust.

This database, though small, will grow over time, providing researchers, artists, and students all over the world with a wonderful new resource. One day, we hope that all of Scotland’s stained glass will be catalogued, and we see this project as the beginning of this journey.


Find the database at:

Download the Glasgow’s Stained Glass: Colour & Light exhibition booklet.

All content and photographs by Rachael Purse MA (Hons) MSc.


City Portals: A Heritage Project for Schools

Where will your portal take you?

In Glasgow, some of the most striking features of our built environment often go unnoticed due to their structural function. Entrances, including doorways, archways and gateways, are not normally recognised for their aesthetic qualities but pupils from four Glasgow secondary schools, Hyndland Secondary, loch end Community High School, St. Mungo’s Academy and St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, were sent out on a mission to photograph entrances in a unique and striking way!

The basic brief was used as springboard to help the participants to improve their photographic skills, while actively engaging with their environment. The pupils were encouraged to focus on the form and shape of different entrances, and to look out for specific details and features. Three photographs from each school were chosen to go on display in a public exhibition at Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

The Project took place from May to June 2014 with the winning images being exhibited from October to December 2014.

Glasgow Game

The Glasgow Game was developed by Glasgow City Heritage trust and was launched in December 2010. The game is designed to engage players with Glasgow’s iconic buildings and develop people’s understanding of the city’s unique architecture.

The game features:

  • Scotland Street School
  • Glasgow School of Art
  • Central Station

The game is aimed at anyone who wishes to learn more about Glasgow’s built environment. Users can play in English, Arabic and Polish.

To play the game, click here: Glasgow Game 


Commonwealth Lecture Series, 2014

Glasgow City Heritage Trust, in collaboration with Architecture and Design Scotland and The Lighthouse organised a Commonwealth Lecture Series. Speakers travelled from various countries to speak at the series, which primarily focussed on placemaking and sustainability. Lectures covered a wide range of innovative and exciting topics.

Commonwealth Lecture Series: Hamburg City Park – Frank-Pieter Hesse & Heino Grunert, 3rd September 2014
Commonwealth Lecture Series: How Barcelona Became a Tourist Destination – Lluis Bosch, 13th August 2014
Commonwealth Lecture Series: Traffic Management in Historic Cities – Pierre Laconte, 16th July 2014
Commonwealth Lecture Series: Sustainable Development in World Heritage Cities – Elene Negussie, 4th June 2014

Victorian & Edwardian Swimming Baths of Glasgow

In the 19th century private baths clubs were established as places to relax for Glasgow’s middle-class gentlemen. In contrast, the living conditions of the city’s expanding working-class population were poor. The Tenements they lived in were cramped and lacked baths or indoor toilets. The Baths and Wash Houses Act was passed in 1875, to solve these issues. Public baths were more practical than their private counterparts, combining a wash-house or ‘steamie’ with bathing and swimming facilities.

Swimming Baths are a wonderful part of Glasgow’s sporting and social history, and this exhibition celebrated them. These buildings can and should be preserved and given a second life once more at the heart of the community.

All research and content by Rachael Purse, University of Glasgow Postgraduate work-placement in 2013/14.

Commonwealth Lecture Series: Hamburg City Park – Frank-Pieter Hesse & Heino Grunert, 3rd September 2014

Glasgow City Heritage Trust, in collaboration with Architecture and Design Scotland and The Lighthouse ran a Commonwealth Lecture Series in 2014. Speakers travelled from various countries to speak at the series, which primarily focussed on placemaking and sustainability.

This lecture illustrates Hamburg’s green and urban development, plus the city’s background and transformation into the green network of today.

Frank-Pieter Hesse, former Head of Conservation and Planning for the City of Hamburg will speak about ‘The Hamburg City Park – Its Genesis, Change and Preservation’. At nearly 150 hectares, the park is home to various recreational spaces including gardens, playgrounds, cafes and a forest. Hamburg City Park is also home to numerous sculptures, a planetarium and an outdoor theatre. The unique spatial design makes Hamburg City Park a gem of people’s parks in Germany and around the world. The lecture will address whether the irregular or architectural structures are suited to meet the new use requirements of the modern city park associated with the public park movement. Both the historical discussions about its design and and their impressing result justify the assessment of Hamburg City Park as a cultural monument of national, historical, urban and artistic significance. The lecture will deliver insight into the genesis, alteration and preservation maintenance of Hamburg City Park.

Heino Grunert from the City Development & the Environment department from the City of Hamburg will focus on ‘100 years Green Legacy: Hamburg City park and the development of the green network’. Since 1993 he has worked at the State Ministry of Urban Development and Environment, Historic Gardens and Parks of Hamburg. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hamburg grew rapidly like many other industrial cities in Europe. However, there were many problems with hygiene and health in certain parts of the city. During this period Hamburg only had a few public gardens which, although aesthetically beautiful, served no real purpose as a recreational space as sport and play were banned in these areas. At this time, Hamburg intensively discussed a new public park for everybody. Hamburg City Park opened in 1914 with the neighbouring town of Altona (which today is a part of Hamburg) also building another large city park. Both parks were completed at the end of the 20th century with both towns obtaining autonomous green administration in 1913/1914.

The Hamburg City Park - Its Genesis, Change and Preservation

100 years Green Legacy: Hamburg City Park and the Development of the Green Network

Commonwealth Lecture Series: How Barcelona Became a Tourist Destination – Lluis Bosch, 13th August 2014

How Barcelona Became a Tourist Destination

Lluis Bosch is the Head of the Routes and Publications department of the Urban Landscape Institute of the Barcelona City Council.

It may be hard to imagine now, but only 25 years ago, Barcelona was not at all a touristic city. Most tourists arriving at Barcelona airport would hurry off to their seaside resorts and avoid the metropolitan area. Gaudí’s works and those of the rest of the masters of the Modernisme movement (the particular Catalan Art Nouveau) were all but unknown to the general public –and in many ways disregarded by art lovers and specialists.

Today, however, with more than 8 million tourists every year –and with over 85% of them stating that they come attracted, above all, by its Art Nouveau architecture-­‐ Barcelona has become the 3rd touristic magnet in Europe and the most popular Art Nouveau heritage capital worldwide.

The talk explains how this evolution has happened: what part of this success is owed to conscious, deliberate policies of the authorities and what part can be traced to other, more coincidental or external causes? It will also delve into the debate –now very alive in the local media-­‐ of whether such impressive touristic success of Barcelona will in the long run be beneficial or harmful for the city’s image, the preservation of its heritage and the quality of life of its citizens.