Some Thing Is Missing: An Overview

In July 2013, a group of us embarked on making the Some Thing Is Missing project come to life. Since then, we’ve been joined by more volunteers, gone through many stages of stress, anxiety, joy, and success, and discovered a whole heaping lot about the wonderful community and history of Govan.

As a part of this, we went on a number of road trips to interesting places in and around Glasgow. From our week 1 trip to Inchinnan/Loch Lomond/Dumbarton Rock (a welcome break after the previous days 8,000 year history info dump), to a whip round other contested sites including Kelvin Meadows, the Sighthill Standing Stones, a visit to the Gorbals, and the old Govan Graving Docks. We also took a trip to the National Archives in Edinburgh to have a gander at some land deeds and maps of Govan. Our trips were facilitated by a number of expert witnesses including Tom Manley, Ingrid Shearer, Andy Wightman, and Tim Clarkson.

We went down to the site of Doomster Hill with Ingrid and Dr. Kenny Brophy in an attempt to map out where the Hill was likely to be and give us a better idea of the scale of the thing – and, let me tell you, it would have been a hell of a thing if you could have seen it in all of it’s glory.

All of this information we gathered was then taken around schools and community groups around Govan in an attempt to get the youth of Govan interested in and involved in the community and history of the place they live, and try and drum up support from the older community.

After a trip to the Govan Loves Christmas event with the switching on of the Christmas lights for a final push of spreading the word, all of this work was capped off by a tremendously good fun event at at Brechin’s Bar; We showed our documentary and had a range of music, supplying the crowd with a free pie and a pint.

All in all, the last 7 months have been stressful, occasionally exceptionally hard work, but at all turns it was fascinating and a great deal of fun. The team would like to thank all of the people who have helped us along the way; Ingrid Shearer, Tim Clarkson, Tom Manley, Andy Wightman, Dr. Kenny Brophy, and everyone that we interviewed and spoke to in and around Govan; Maria Suarez without whom we would have been able to do none of the things that we did; Laura Breaden and Louisa Taylor, for guiding us along the way and putting up with a near constant barrage of questions and pleas for help; Rory MacMilan and Nick Quinn for a variety of technical help; Everyone at Fablevision who had a hand in helping us as we stumbled our way through this process; Shambles Miller, Martin Heron and Esther Bain, Katie McArthur and Celine Brooks, Callum O’Connor, and Jake Beveridge for providing us with a wonderful array of music at our event; Brechin’s Bar for hosting said event; and everyone else who helped us out in any way, shape, or form.

It’s been tremendous fun, and without all of the above people we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it. You’re all pretty great.

(Music in the above video; “Alice’s Song” by Shambles Miller)

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Andy Wightman Interview

We recently had the privilege of interviewing Andy Wightman, who is a respected and well regarded land rights activist and academic. For Iain and Carly this was a new experience and initially Iain wanted to run away as he had quite a profound expectation of disaster.

Iain had previously watched Andy before on various BBC documentaries and had also read the Common Weal which Andy was involved in. He arrived and was instantly friendly and supportive to the nervous volunteers.

The training that took place beforehand made Iain slightly nervous as he felt unprepared. Carly learned about using a new type of camera, the Sony EX1. Both volunteers also had a practical tutorial on three point lighting and the use of radio mics. Carly had an academic understanding of the use of lighting and sound and seeing it in action was exciting. The group prepared by reviewing camera framing techniques such as the rule of thirds, use of headroom and talking room.

In hindsight more preparation would have been beneficial as Iain was slightly overwhelmed with pressure. However, Andy was talkative, professional and confident. He was well versed in the topic and put everyone at ease.

The interview was primarily concerned with three questions: Who owned Water Row, How community groups could get ownership of land, How community groups could use the land. Other topics came up during the interview to give us a broader view into the issue of land rights.

The interview was a resounding success and both volunteers were happy with the things they learned. Carly gained more practical experience whilst Iain had learned skills which could translate into other situations. In addition the volunteers feel more confident both in their interviewing skills and in their use of equipment.

Andy said at the conclusion of the interview that interviews are a two way process and said that the interviewer is just as important as the interviewee.

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Two More Than Most Event

After almost 6 months of work, Thursday December 12th marked the celebration of the Some Thing Is Missing project thus far, and the culmination of this part of the project. But don’t worry, there’s more to come in the New Year!

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 21.45.36

The event itself was a great success, with a packed out function room in Brechin’s Bar being held rapt by the documentary we made during the summer, enjoying a free drink and pie, and being thoroughly entertained by a host of greatly talented musicians.

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 21.43.52
The process to get to the event was one filled with learning opportunities; turns out event management has a hell of a steep learning curve! But we made it through, and in the end it was a grand night for all.

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 21.43.29
We’d like to thank everyone who helped get us across that finishing line and make the event a success; Lou, Laura, and everyone at Fablevision and Fablevision Studios, Audrey and everyone at Brechin’s Bar, Stewart and his wonderful sound team, the annoyingly talented Shambles Miller for hosting, the equally talented acts for being there and entertaining us with words put to melodies, and of course everyone who came along for making the night so great!

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 21.40.11To borrow some patter from Shambles; You’re all very nice and wildly attractive.

(Video Music:”Are You Having Fun?” by Josh Woodward –

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School workshops

The Something is Missing Team decided to communicate our historical findings to the community of Govan by running workshops with local primary schools and community groups. By doing this we wished to gather responses to our findings, but also to gather thoughts about Govan in general, living in Govan, and thoughts about Govan’s future. We hoped that, by taking part in these workshops, we would learn a lot as a team, but that the participants would also have some new thoughts and ideas.

STIM Signs

On the 1st November we ran an afternoon workshop with St. Saviour’s Primary School in Govan.  We also ran a similar workshop on the 14th November with Riverside Primary School which followed the same format. Both workshops were with Primary Level 4 children (aged 8-9 years). We were welcomed to the school by the teacher of the class we were going to lead. We had assigned roles within the workshop, so when the children entered the space, we quickly introduced ourselves and began the warm-up. The children were always very happy and responsive, and were very energetic.

Warm up

After the warm-up, we sat the children down and quickly outlined a few historical points about Govan. We showed them an old map of Govan and pointed to the outline of Doomster Hill. We explained the importance of this hill and its supposed purpose in the medieval times of Govan. We then went on to explain about the important ship-building in Govan in more recent, modern history.

Happy days

After this, we got the children up on their feet and led them through some theatre exercises. We began by asking the children to walk around the room and freeze in individual poses. The idea was that the children would initially pose in a ‘helpless’/sad situation and then would afterwards pose in a solution to that situation. For example, we asked them to pose as if they were very hungry; then we asked them to pose as if they had just been given a pie and were really full and happy. Following this, the children posed in their own idea of what a sad situation was, Some poses performed were losing a toy, or having homework to do, or fighting with their family. We asked them to think about what the solution could be to these poses, and the children came up with solution poses: finding the toy, doing the homework, or making up with the family member. We explained to the children about finding solutions in real life, and suggested that this could be easy or difficult.

Off with their heads !!   Acting Out 2

Next, we did some group scenes with the children. We led them through a medieval scene, a ship-building scene and finally a modern-day scene in the location of Govan. We followed the same format as before, getting the children to decide upon a sad situation for each scene and then coming up with a solution. The group scenes were fun and the children came up with a wide range of ideas and had loads of suggestions. One solution to two lords rebelling in medieval times was that the king should chop off their heads!

off with their heads !! part 2

Finally, we asked the children to draw and write on colourful card hands we had cut out previous to the workshop. We asked them to write about what they liked about Govan or what they would like in Govan’s future. Lots of shop names were mentioned as favourites, as well as going to the park. At Riverside Primary, there was a storm of responses from the boys suggesting “No girls allowed in Govan” and the girls responded with “No boys allowed”. It was suggested that Govan should have a swimming pool that was free for everyone, and a theme park and a zoo with lots of animals.

Hands prints

We were very impressed with how attentive the children were, as well as having high-energy throughout the entire workshop. We felt that we had shared with them about the history of Govan. The children had also considered solutions to problems, both as individuals but also in groups and in relation to the locality of Govan. We were happy to get so many responses from the children on the colourful hands, which we will be displaying to the public at our Celebration Evening at the Brechin’s pub in Govan on the 12th December from 7pm along with a screening of our film and music performances.

Many thanks to Riverside and St. Saviour’s Primary School for allowing us to hold these workshops.

Happy days 2

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Govan Loves Christmas

While the ‘Govan Loves Christmas’ Event was taking place in Water Row on Tuesday afternoon, we took the opportunity, working with GYIP, to set up a stand and talk to local people about Doomster Hill and the history of the site.

GIR3 Girl and boy

Some people already knew about Doomster Hill, but weren’t sure where it was, or the significance of it. It was a good opportunity to talks to people while their hands were ‘trapped’ and their handprints drawn.

GIR3 Hand CU

These temporary handprints will be put down on the car park in January to symbolically mark out Doomster Hill (The exact location is hotly disputed). We had a lot of interest in our stand – 80 people left their handprints and around 100 people stopped to talk to us. Special thanks goes to our sponsor 3M who provided the temporary road marking tape for the handprints.

GIR3 Help me

One of the boys is wanted for repeated pen-nicking! If anyone has any information, please contact us!

GIR3 Kathy Board

We look forward to seeing some of you at our film screening next week in The Brechin’s on Govan Road next Thursday 12th December at 7pm. See post below for details.

GIR3 policeman and boyMany thanks to our sponsor 3M who donated the large tape for the handprints.


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Event In December

How much would you pay for a film screening followed by a night of live music at which you get a drink and a pie?

If you said “Nothing,” you’re probably a horrendously Scrooge-like character, but you’re also in luck! As that’s exactly what we’re charging for our event in December which does all those things and more! We’re pretty nice like that, eh? Book a ticket, come along, and have a good time! Any other order to that process is not likely to produce the same results.

Hosted by the inimitable Shambles Miller, we’ll be showing our short film in the function room of Brechin’s Bar in Govan followed by some live acoustic music from a variety of performers. It’ll be a grand ol’ time. And you’ll have a Pie and a Pint (of beer or cider, or a glass of wine, or even a soft drink, if that’s your thing), and some cracking company is assured! Especially if you come along, am I right?! (… too much?)

And it’s all free! Free, I say! If you click this word right here, you can book yourself a ticket and guarantee that you’re going to be part of the fun.

So come along, learn some stuff about Govan, listen to some quality music, and get yourself good and drunk. Huzzah!

TMTM Poster Final

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Two More Than Most

Two More Than Most is the culmination of months of work from the team on the Some Thing Is Missing project.

Through our research came to learn so much about Govan; about its heritage, its history, its importance, and its people. The film explores these three aspects of the amazing place that is Govan using a quote from historical archaeologist Steven Driscoll as its inspiration: “Govan has had two eras of greatness — that is two more than most places.”

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