Press Release: Film is made for Govanhill Baths as they celebrate their 100 year anniversary

Press Release: Film is made for Govanhill Baths as they celebrate their 100 year anniversary.
Frances Higson
Film maker, Fran Higson is making a documentary film as a 100th birthday present for the Govanhill Baths. 


Govanhill has 53 languages and 60 nationalities in the space of one square mile – it is the most diverse community outside of London and up until 2001 the Calder Street Baths was a cornerstone facility in this community. 


Despite a report citing Govanhill Baths as an exemplar for Black and Ethnic Minorities (BME) to gain access and integration through sport, Glasgow City Council closed down the popular facility in the face of fierce local and city-wide opposition.  There followed the longest community occupation of a civic building in British history.  After 141 days sheriff officers evicted the protesters and boarded up the building – there were violent clashes with the police and the day has since  become known as ‘The Battle of Calder Street’. 


The protesters firstly as ‘Save Our Pool’ in 2001 and then as The Govanhill Baths Community Trust from 2005 have campaigned for 13 years to save the building.  It was launched as a Wellbeing Centre’ by Nicola Sturgeon, actor Peter Mullan and depute City Council leader Archie Graham in 2012.  It now provides a wide range of community based activities and facility’s, however the ultimate goal of getting water back into the pools has yet to be realised.


Andrew Johnson, Chair of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust says “This film will be a valuable tool for the Trust as we endeavor to raise the funding required to get the water back into our pools and our Wellbeing Centre fully up and running”


Fran has worked as a volunteer and pulled in the help of friends, students and people she’s met along the way.  “I’ve got some fantastic footage; wonderful stories and great interviews, but need a bit of financial help to get the film finished”  She has set up an Indie-go-go funding page to raise the money needed to pay for an editor, essential archive footage and a sound dub – and is appealing for people to support the film by making a donation.


The local branch manager at Santander has agreed to double the amount of money raised on the Indie-go-go crowd-funding campaign.


Fran Mobile:07939 157575
Founder member of The Camcorder Guerilla Collective – , she teaches Social Screen at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and producing credits include The Magdalene Sisters and Orphans


Andrew Johnston Mobile: 07779 995483 –  the Chair of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, and one of the original activists who fought to keep the baths open as a public resource after its closure by the City Council in 2001.