Growing up in the East End of Glasgow within ten minutes of paradise always felt like a beautiful thing – at times tough and gritty but always honest and humble.
Places like the Calton, Barrowfield or the Gallowgate are proud and industrious working class communities that, despite continuous attempts at soulless gentrification which inevitably leads to horrific social cleansing through rent raises, have still managed to retain their true spirit.
And all of this despite being the victims of shameless smear campaigns of negative labelling conducted both consciously and subconsciously by the mass media or careerist city councillor.
Moreover, the East End, by and large, always seemed to me to be more of a Celtic area despite pockets of obvious opposition strongholds to be found in Bridgeton, parts of Duke Street and Haghill to name a few.
Put another way, if Glasgow was to be a stadium, then the East End would be the ‘Celic End’. Certainly, this is how my biased East End eyes viewed things through the green and white tinted specs that I usually wear.
However, what had never previously occurred to me until a few years ago when I stayed south of the river, was that Govan, a place forever twinned in many minds of those of the Celtic family with Rangers, was actually home to a loud and proud band of Celtic families, pubs and all things ‘Tim’.
It turns out that the Govan Rd is not ‘behind enemy lines’ like I had initially and ignorantly thought.
Green, White and Govan
There is a strong and healthy Celtic culture that is and always has been there.
A kind of green and white subculture that has for decades now been banging the hooped drum that big bit louder than most places in order to maintain a fortified presence in the greater Govan and Ibrox area, which is largely associated with the Rangers.
Simply put, Govan has a strong Celtic identity that ought to be further known to those of the Celtic family.
We are rightly proud of the Celtic and Irish diaspora which is evident in countless CSCs from ‘The Amazon to Borneo’ as the WolfeTones tell us, but perhaps we should appreciate those closer to home a wee bit more every now and again.
That is why beginning on Monday the 3rd of September, I will publish my own take on the long associated ‘Tim-ness’ of Govan.
This will be the first of a few articles, published on Mondays, that will explore the issue in greater depth.
The articles will cover issues ranging from identifying and celebrating Govan born Celtic players as well as honouring the Celtic pubs in the area whilst also detailing a history of Irishness within the greater Govan area.
Additionally, the inclusion of priceless knowledge from academics like sociologist Seán Damer, who was a one time resident of the greater Govan area, will also feature.
Lastly, the views of long standing and eminently respected member of the Celtic family, Govans own Matt McGlone, will also feature substantially.
In the meantime, if you have any info you would like to share that fits the ‘Govan-Celtic’ narrative then please do not hesitate to get in touch here via the site (contact page) or via my own Twitter @seanmcdon_org.
Until Monday comes…
Keep the Faith
Hail, Hail 🍀
Image Credit: St Anthony’s RC Chapel, Govan (www.scotcities.com)