Socialist Worker

Govanhill baths - How a united fight saved the hub of a community

by Donna Borokinni
Issue No. 2459

Fighting to save local swimming pool

Fighting to save local swimming pool (Pic: Govanhill baths campaign)


United We Will Swim… Again is an exhilarating 25 minute documentary about the campaign to save Govanhill Baths in Glasgow.

It takes you on a political journey beginning in 2001 when Glasgow City Council announced it was going to shut down the local swimming pool. Local people launched a campaign to save it.  

Director and producer Fran Higson is a member of the Camcorder Guerrillas, a group that makes films to raise awareness of social issues. 

Fran told Socialist Worker she wanted to make the film because “the building was buzzing”. 

“I want to make films that inspire,” she said. 

Participants give first hand accounts of how they built a campaign involving the whole community. 

They explain how they dealt with the dirty tactics of the police, the council and the media. Govanhill Baths is a social space that was well used for over 100 years.

It took ten years, but the campaigners saved the building. It is still a social hub for people to come together to learn, share, engage, create and grow.

Fran said,  “Even though they don’t have water, it’s still amazing.

“The campaign has tenacity and longevity and the alchemy of the people and community involved has made it a success.”

Everyone should watch his film and see it as a guide to how to fight back. Eventually we will swim again. I look forward to that day.

United We Will Swim…Again. Directed by Fran Higson. At the Edinburgh film festival and touring Britain. Facebook United We Will Swim – againcamcorderguerillas.wordpress.com

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Tue 23 Jun 2015, 16:07 BST
Issue No. 2459
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