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Monday, 3 June, 2002, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
A city divided over the Jubilee
Hazelwood Garden Party
Local residents attended the Hazelwood party

The sun split the sky above Glasgow as the city showed its own divisions over how to mark the Golden Jubilee.

Events were not exactly plentiful in the Scottish city - and those which did take place highlighted the differing opinions on the Queen's 50-year reign.

A combination of apathy and antipathy were on display as Tommy Sheridan and several other carriers of the socialist flame punted the message that the people of Britain should be citizens rather than subjects.

Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan addressed the crowd
The event was held in the shadow of the People's Palace on Glasgow Green - a place which, as writer James Kelman reminded the crowd, has a rich history of left-wing gatherings down the decades.

But across the River Clyde there was a very different take on events in a leafy part of the city hidden away near Bellahouston Park.

A celebration had been organised in the grounds of Hazelwood House, a nursing home in the midst of a clutch of houses recently designated a conservation area.

The sound of piano music alerted the ears to the existence of the event before the bunting pointed the way to a picturesque garden and a gathering which could not have been more different to that in Glasgow Green.

In front of a striking house adorned with a Union Jack, many people sported home-made bunnets which ranged from the demure to what looked like a mini royal carriage.

Close-knit community

The gentle strains of pianist Iain McIlhenney alternated with the sounds of piper Scott Gibson and the occasional sing-along.

This was a gathering of a close-knit community living in 36 houses, along with former residents taking a trip back in time.

They sat and basked in the sun as they enjoyed the traditional fare - from bottle stalls to a buffet and from a treasure hunt to the "crowning glory" hat competition.

Trevor Schuster-Davis
Trevor Schuster-Davis transformed a tea cosy
Residents Association Chairman Trevor Schuster-Davis - himself sporting a nifty crown fashioned from an old tea cosy - said the Jubilee was a good reason for a celebration.

"I'm delighted at the number of people who have joined in at a local event. People have made a big effort," he said.

He said it was a double celebration which was marking the area's achievement in receiving conservation area status as well as the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

"Most people still respect her for the devotion and service she has given to the country for 50 years.

"I think it is nice to give thanks for that. Most people applaud that," he said.

Bouncy castle

Local Labour MSP Gordon Jackson said: "Quite apart from the Jubilee, where the community has an opportunity to come together and express itself as a community - whatever the occasion - I welcome that."

However, opinions differed a touch among those gathered in Glasgow Green to declare themselves "citizens not subjects".

The Scottish Socialist Party event shared a few things with any other garden party, with the face paint, bouncy castle and stalls all present and correct.

Piper Scott Gibson
Piper Scott Gibson provided music at Hazelwood House
However, these stalls eschewed bric-a-brac in favour of political tracts, Scottish Socialist Party hats, the campaign for a Republican Scotland and a stand dedicated to Che Guevara.

His face also featured on the backdrop to the stage, which was flanked by red flags as a couple of hundred people gathered to hear Tommy Sheridan's address.

He told the republican rally that he was opposed to the institution of the monarchy rather than the individuals.

"It is the institution that symbolises the gross and unequal division of power and wealth across the whole of our society," he said.

He pointed to a newspaper opinion poll which had suggested that 34% of Scots thought that the country should be a republic rather than a monarchy - a figure which rose to 63% among the 18 to 24 age group.

'Shameful' behaviour

He said people were starting to realise that spending millions on the monarchy was "not sustainable".

He also attacked the politicians who had "sycophantically" celebrated the Golden Jubilee on the Queen's visit to Aberdeen.

Those same politicians were also criticised by James Kelman, who said he found their behaviour "shameful".

However, it was not all serious-minded politicking in Glasgow Green.

The SSP party was held in Glasgow Green
The line-up also included comedians and musicians, while Mr Sheridan himself was not averse to the odd gag.

The event kicked off late due to problems with a faulty generator.

However, the SSP leader suggested that the multinational oil corporations had been trying to scupper the event, before revealing that someone had foiled this plot - when they found that they actually had some petrol in the boot of a car.

He declared himself pleased with the turn-out, despite having significantly less publicity than the official Jubilee events.

"We were determined to make a stand and a declaration that we are citizens, not subjects," he said.

"This is the alternative Jubilee with real people instead of the real Jubilee with sycophants."

Television show

In amongst the anti-monarchy sentiments were others who were simply unconcerned by the whole jubilee celebrations.

This was summed up by student Craig Smith, 22, at Glasgow Green, who said: "I don't think people are actively against the Royals.

"I don't bear the Queen any ill, but I don't see what the Royal Family has to do with how I live my life.

"It is like a television show, but one I don't pay a great deal of attention to."

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See also:

03 Jun 02 | Scotland
02 Jun 02 | Scotland
01 Jun 02 | Scotland
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