Thursday, 20 December 2012

Everything Changes.

Change is good. Yes, I understand that and I know everything changes though the years, buildings become ruins, new buildings are built in their place, rules change, people change.
When we become older our childhood memories become more important to us, we want them to stay the same, perhaps hoping to relive them one day.

When I was growing up the highlight of the Christmas season was a visit to George Square in Glasgow city centre. The Christmas lights around the square usually had a theme to them. There was a nativity scene and an enormous Christmas tree lit with full size coloured light bulbs. The Salvation Army band were always there playing Christmas Carols. I remember taking a gift to lay at the tree for the children in hospital.
Kelvin Hall Glasgow (Wikipedia)
From the age of twelve to sixteen I was a member of the Girl's Brigade and every Christmas a double decker bus was hired to take us, along with the Boy's Brigade to the circus and carnival at the Kelvin Hall. It was usually the only time that most of us had a proper outing as we never had money to go to theatres or such like. I can still feel the excitement of waiting in a large queue to walk up those wide steps of the Kelvin Hall and into the circus where we would be astonished at seeing lions, tigers and elephants just a few feet away from us. Acrobats would swirl through the air defying gravity and we would gasp at their daring. When the circus was over we had the carnival to look forward to and a chance to do our own thing without parents watching over us. If I close my eyes I can smell the sawdust and the elephants and much pleasanter smells like hamburgers and hot dogs. We loved the waltzers, the ghost train, chair o'planes, and the funny mirrors. My friend Louise and I would long for this night at the fair, not least because we often fancied one of the boys and at that time we weren't allowed to go on dates.

About 10pm we boarded the bus home but not before a drive round George Square to ooh and aah at the Christmas lights. That was Christmas for us, and my husband who lived on the other side of the city had the same experience with his Boy's Brigade, he was maybe even there on the same night.

Forward forty years and of course things have changed. We no longer have a circus, at least none with animals as we realised it was needless and cruel. The carnival is now held in the huge Scottish Exhibition Centre and The Kelvin Hall is now a sport's centre and Transport Museum.
Last Saturday hubby and I took our 16mth old granddaughter to George Square to see the Christmas lights and relive some of that childhood magic.

 After we had found a parking spot and struggled to put up the buggy (what is it with those things?) We walked back to the square anticipating the memories it would revoke. Granddaughter certainly liked the lights, she was smiling and laughing as soon as they came into view. There was a helter skelter, waltzers, chair o'planes and little train and an ice skating rink and the usual queues for everything but for me they were out of place and should have been in  the Kelvin Hall.
 I hadn't visited George Square for years and the last time I was there I loved the little market stalls selling all things Christmassy, but where were they?
We headed for the tree, here was when I expected the memories to come flooding back, there was no lights lit on the tree, if I looked really closely I could see tiny bulbs like the kind I have on my tree at home,where were the full size coloured light bulbs?
 No gifts under the tree now just a collection box.
We watched the children and adults skating, having a great time as the pop songs blared out, but where was the Salvation Army band with my Christmas Carols?
I looked for the nativity scene, yes it was still there, I told hubby I was going over to take a photo and when I returned my granddaughter wanted to see it too, I was quite touched at this and pointed out who everyone in the scene was, but she was too excited at the "moo" and I don't blame her,it was rather big.
So yes, change happens, and everyone there was enjoying the skating,the pop music and all the razzmatazz and it was lovely but I mourned the carols,the tree lights and the Christmases of my youth and my husband agreed with me. Nothing stays the same and yet I suppose this was more exciting for youngsters.

Perhaps when my granddaughter is a bit older we will see it more through her eyes and it will be making memories for her and that's what it's all about,isn't it?

I'd like to wish everyone who reads my blog a lovely Christmas full of happy memories.
My granddaughter enjoying the fun.
Merry Christmas and thank you being with me through the year and for taking the time to read my ramblings.


  1. Have a Merry Christmas!! :) I'm surprised that slides are still referred to as 'helter skelter'. Thanks to Charles Manson, that expression has a whole other meaning in the states.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful evening both filled with memories and making new ones with the little one. We just got our shopping done and I hope to get out and tour some Christmas light displays they have in the city. My cousins are coming in on Saturday but unfortunately my son and granddaughters are delayed till after Christmas because of car problems so Bill and I will be seeing those lights without the girls. Have a great Christmas Anne and many blessing on you and your family.

  3. It's just that particular kind that are called that. Normal slides are called slides. I don't know anything about the words being associated with Charles Manson.

  4. Maybe the lights will still be there for you to take the girls when they make it. Have a lovely time Jen.

  5. What a wonderful evening you all had.

    Enjoy your festivities - and I hope 2013 is very kind to you.

  6. I know what you mean about memories. It was always hotter, colder, larger, brighter but as you say,it's all about giving the kids memories for their tomorrow's. Have a great Christmas. Rosalind x

  7. Your granddaughter had a wonderful time, I'm sure. And how cute she is. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  8. Lovely memories of the girls brigade. I know having animals there isn't fair on them but as a child must of been wonderful. You are right about change but it can be hard. I haven't seen a salvation army band this year thinking about it. Have a wonderful Christmas too. Thanks for sharing :)

  9. Things do change and we mourn the things we miss and remember. It's still good to see new things and to remember the old.

    A very happy Christmas to you and yours, Anne, and all the best for 2013.

  10. Thanks Inger.Hope you have a lovely time too.

  11. Yes it's funny how we expect things to be the same as we remember when it's just not possible.


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