On Wednesday 17th August the walking group got the opportunity to visit and receive a tour of The GalGael Project in Ibrox. We meet with Dorothy Graham, Programmes Manager, and were immediately treated to a tea or coffee before we even started our tour, a very welcomed idea.
We split into two groups for tours as there was a large group of us that day, and in a fun way to choose who went first we decided those who had hot drinks should stay and finish them! As a tea drinker, I took the second tour. Dorothy explained the history of the project which was started in 1997 by Colin Macleod, a community activist who wanted to build a sense of community after failing to stop the motorway being built. He had family roots in the northern Scottish islands and was interested in sailing and boat building, especially traditional wooden boats.
The project began as a boat building one and grew into other wood crafts, with boat building still at its heart: on our visit no less than three boats were in various stages of completion. Participants learn basic wood cutting and carving skills before going in to build simple items like boxes. Once the basic skills are mastered they can choose to make just about anything, we saw small ornamental items, furniture, musical instruments (including a harp and piano) large scale ornamental pieces and even a spinning wheel.
On the tour we were taken through the workshop and shown the various areas of space available, including some areas rented by professional wood craftsmen who then work alongside the other participants. No prior experience is needed and we were told most people have never worked with wood before they started.
They have an open evening every Thursday and we were invited along if we could make it, it is open to anyone and a meal is served -participants and community members alike attend with family and it sounds like a great social gathering. The project was amazing and I would suggest anyone interested in working with wood take a look at their website which can be found at http://www.galgael.org/