It’s all square in Glasgow stand-off

editorial image
Share this article

It’s amazing how certain parts of towns and cities can provoke such intense reactions from people.

Just look at the recent reaction to Glasgow City Council’s plans to alter George Square.

Grand visions went on display, which would sweep away the area’s remaining greenery as well as its many fine statues.

The council must have presumed it could wave the plans through.

But such was the negative reaction from the public, the scheme was unceremoniously dumped.

The local authority had forgotten that George Square is considered almost sacred in the eyes of Glaswegians.

In short, you mess with it at your peril.

How do such places end up provoking such strong feeling?

In George Square’s case, it is the focal point of the city and the part many people remember even if they’ve only visited once.

There’s also a folk tradition attached to it. The square has hosted dozens of concerts and galas.

And, 94 years ago on Thursday, it was the venue of an infamous riot when thousands of striking workers clashed with the city’s police, an event that will forever be known as the Battle of George Square.

Back then, employees worked an average of 54 hours a week. It’s little wonder they were angry.

Times have changed of course, but the square has remained largely the same since.

Until the council decided to step in.

It’s unlikely to make that same mistake again.