Monday, 13 October 2014

Everything We Have Ever Missed

We were lucky enough over the summer to have photographer Alastair Cook in residence at The Dutch Gable House as part of the Absent Voices project. Last weekend saw the launch of a book of poetry and photography created in and inspired by the Greenock Sugar Sheds - Everything We Have Ever Missed. Featuring double exposure images from Alastair and poetry from John Glenday, the book is a beautiful piece of work which you should try and seek out.
The accompanying exhibition will be at the Dutch Gable House on the middle floor until 21st November. It is one of a series of Greenock exhibitions from Alastair...
Every Memory | 25th September - 24th October 2014Beacon Arts Centre, Custom House Quay: Filmpoem + photographic work with Greenock Amateur Boxing Club

Everything We Have Ever Missed | 25th September - 21st November 2014
Dutch Gable House, William Street: new 35mm photographic work with poetry by John Glenday

McArthur’s Store | 25th September - 20th December 2014
6Art, George Square: wet plate collodion photographic work from the McArthur’s Store Residency
You can enjoy one of Alastair Cook and John Glenday's filmpoems below....

Filmpoem 41/ Alba from Alastair Cook on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Starcaster - Behind the Scenes

Last week saw the premiere of our Starcaster film, supported by Creative Scotland.

This behind the scenes documentary explores how the film came together and also features some short films created in The Dutch Gable House by volunteers who came along to our workshops on film-making and scriptwriting over the summer.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Doors Open Days

As ever, there's a great line up of buildings to visit in Inverclyde on Doors Open Day.

Dutch Gable will be open 10 - 4 Saturday and 10 -3 Sunday, and we have a few wee exclusive treats for you, especially for the weekend.

Magic Torch will be launching their new storybook, 13 Commonwealth Tales, and thanks to National Lottery Celebrate funding, it will be available for FREE over the weekend. The fully illustrated book retells folktales from commonwealth countries featuring all sorts of strange and wonderful creatures.

There will also be an opportunity to see a preview of Magic Torch's new Battle of Largs Exhibition which reinterprets the gothic poetry of Greenock writer John Galt into a series of atmospheric comic art pieces.

Downstairs in the Green Room, we'll have our World War One cafe again, with a chance to pick up a copy of the commemorative newspaper from our Working the War project, which shares Inverclyde news stories from throughout the war. We will also be showing a recording of the popular drama performance created by St Columba's pupils and performed at the Albany earlier this year.

And on Sunday only, artist Alastair Cook will be along to do some of his collodion photography, and if you are very lucky, he may put his Conservation Architect hat on for a moment and tell you a wee bit about the backhouse as well...

We've also been helping out a wee bit with the Tobacco Warehouse open day, and you really don't want to miss that either. So...hopefully see you over the weekend somewhere or other...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Inverclyde Archaeology Project - Thursday 19th June

A wee reminder that Inverclyde Archaeology Project will be holding a public meeting in the Dutch Gable House on June 19th at 7pm to gauge public support for an archaeological group in the area. From this meeting a steering group will be formed to plan ideas and organise digs, talks and walks, etc,. All welcome!

You can find out more info on the group on their Facebook page, here's a promo vid they have put together...

Monday, 9 June 2014

Violet Skulls Midsummer Market - 21 June

Vintage clothes, paper flowers,'s all very pretty at Violet Skulls Midsummer Market, 11 - 4 Saturday 21st June.

I think there may even be some Vintage fairytale films showing on our screens. Smashing.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Working the War - A New Front

As keen readers of the blog will have read, Inverclyde Community Development Trust have secured £28,500 from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to work with local young people to explore personal histories and archives relating to the First World War.

Working Closely with pupils from Saint Columba’s High School in Gourock, the main goal of the project is to produce a drama, as well as a broadsheet style newspaper focusing on the personal stories of the War, on both the home front and the battlefields. 

Over the past few months the pupils have been gathering research from newspaper archives, books and every other resource available. On Monday 26th of May, our young researchers took a trip to Stirling Castle to have a look at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum. The visit to the museum proved to be extremely useful, and a great deal of information was gathered. One notable piece of information was that of the 1st/5th Battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were mobilized from Greenock, and were involved in the ill fated Gallipoli Campaign.
Anyway, without giving away too much information about our final outcome, here are a selection of photos which show the pupils researching, and enjoying their time at the Museum.

Research Stage 1 - Tea, Biscuits, and Books

 Stage 2 - The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum / Stirling Castle

Ready and Willing to Go!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Building Blocks

People ask us every day what our plans are for the Dutch Gable House and The Back House. For now, most of that is about running really excellent cultural projects and events from our interesting and bohemian wee space, but over the last few months in particular, we have also been able to focus on some of the longer term structural plans for the building.

Obviously, the house is a listed building in a conservation area, it's no mean task to make it all fit together.  So we've been very glad to have Dominic Quigley (of Quigley Architects) in working with us on plans for the next few stages of the renovation. Dominic has a real interest in heritage himself, and also runs 6Art, a smashing gallery based in George Square, Greenock - well worth a wee visit.

So, if you are interested in what's buzzing around our heads at the moment, well, we're currently looking for funding to tidy up the front of The Dutch Gable House itself (just a wee lick of paint and some work on the windows), get some work done in the lovely bumpy courtyard and of course to begin the proper renovation and restoration of the Back House into a new community space for learning and exhibiting. With the Back House, we want to make the space feel new and interesting while not losing the character thats kept it alive these last 250 years. We're also exploring options for a new community studio on the top floor of Dutch Gable

The Back House pipes don't enjoy rainy days...
These things take time, and in some instances we'll be way into next year before we have decisions on some of the projects we have planned. Its also very likely we'll be looking at other more direct forms of fundraising to undertake works which will need doing before winter. Naturally it's challenging to still have projects running in the building when it's not quite "done" yet, but it's also really important to us that the space feels alive and useful.

We've also been lucky enough to get involved with the excellent new Building Resources Investment and Community Knowledge programme from Princes Trust, a new programme specifically designed to help communities all across the UK use community heritage assets effectively.

We'll keep you posted here on the blog on how its all going, and hopefully be able to share more detail with you on a display during this years Doors Open Day in September. Meantime you can hopefully enjoy some of the other projects and events we have on offer throughout the summer.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Working The War

Inverclyde Community Development Trust have secured £28,500 from Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to work with local young people to explore personal histories and archives relating to the First World War.
The project, based at the historic Dutch Gable House, will create a drama and a  broadsheet style newspaper style based on the personal stories of those who left the area to fight the war, but also, crucially, the families of those left behind who served the war effort in other ways – such as working in the Torpedo Factory.
Pupils from Saint Columba’s High School have already started their research in the Watt Library archives, and are developing the script for their play with local playwright Dan McCahon. The play will be performed in the Albany theatre over the summer.
Project coordinator Kay Clark explains how the project developed, “We created a number of short drama pieces through the Identity project last year, one of them Guerra Guerra focussed on the experiences of the Italian community during the Second World War, some of the young people involved had enjoyed the project so much they wanted to try something else. The idea to explore the First World War was really driven by those young people, but as usual, we’re all learning things we’d never known about our town and our area.”
Trust Operations Manager Paul Bristow said, “This is the first in a series of projects which are going to be working from Dutch Gable House over the next year. The Dutch Gable is all about stories, and so I’m really pleased that we are able to respectfully explore the human impacts and histories of the First World War story in the centenary year.”

Torpedo Factory - Secret Scotland

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Magic Torch - Uncommon Tales Preview

Here's the very first page of Magic Torch's Uncommon Tales, with artwork by Andy Lee, in which we can see Sir Glen deciding to take a wee journey away from our very own Dutch Gable House....bonus points if you can name some of the folks walking by..

Uncommon Tales will be out later this year, and so far features Wendigo, Anansi, the Serpent King of Lesotho an unusual mermaid and some Sri Lankan demons...

Friday, 9 May 2014

Pirates and Mermaids - A Fairytale for Adults

In association with The Beacon Arts Centre, we're delighted to share with you a unique storytelling experience, Pirates and Mermaids...

Cameron is in NYC. Eilidh lives in Scotland. The technology in their pockets keeps them constantly in touch but you can't hold someone in your arms over Skype and a text doesn't show you someone's smile. A challenging, ambitious and universal story told on a very human scale, Pirates and Mermaids is an uplifting and surprising show about true love, family advice, favourite sweets and what whisky can do to you.

There are two shows on Friday 16th May, 6pm and 8pm.

Tickets £10 available from the Beacon Box Office or online...

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Free Comic Book Day

You know that May the 4th is International Star Wars Day right? But did you know that this year, May 3rd is also Free Comic Book Day. No really. It's a thing.

Pop into the Green room at Dutch Gable House on Saturday May 3rd, for one day only, you can get a FREE copy of Magic Torch's Tales of the Oak comic, and free badges from their new 13 Commonwealth Tales project.

We'll also be showing some comic documentaries in the Secret Cinema and showcasing some classic comic images on our screens.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Gies Peace - Radio Radio

Check out Gies Peace on facebook

And check out the work of the volunteers so far at next weeks showcase event in The Beacon Arts Centre, on Saturday 3rd May from 5 - 7.

Monday, 14 April 2014

White Gold Open Event - Tonight!

White Gold is an ambitious, site-specific performance set in Greenock’s iconic Sugar Sheds. Brought to the warehouse for storing, sifting, refining and presenting, White Gold is woven together from vivid and touching stories gathered across Inverclyde.

As audiences walk through the show, artists, performers and 200 volunteers will bring narratives to life through drama, movement, original music and breathtaking aerial performance. Surprising, poignant and deeply moving, White Gold gives the community of Greenock top billing as the nation’s stars.

An original creation conceived and overseen by Mark Murphy, directed by Simone Jenkinson and Joseph Traynore of Cuerda Producciones. It is produced by Iron Oxide and includes Cuerda Producciones from Argentina, All or Nothing Aerial and DJs/musicians Tigerstyle. Part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.

Volunteer cast and crew

Volunteers are currently being sought to join the White Gold cast and crew, working with a talented team of artists and theatre professionals.

Cast Members, Assistant Stage Managers, Runners, Lighting Design Crew, Site Crew and Stage Crew are all required. The positions are accessible to anyone 16+, with a willingness to learn and there are a number of roles available, depending on how much time each volunteer has to give.

To find out more please come along to our Open Evening at the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, on Mon 14 April from 7.30pm-8.30pm. You’ll have the chance to talk to the team, see the aerial performers in action and find out how you can get involved with White Gold.

For further information or to request a pack on the opportunities above please email 

We have been helping the White Gold project with their story collection for this performance, you really want to get involved with this unique event.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Gies Music @ The Dutch Gable

Contact for more information and to get involved...

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Absent Voices vs Dutch Gable House

Meredith Lawder by Alastair Cook

If you made it along to the Absent Voices pop up exhibition at The Beacon last Friday, you would have been lucky enough to see some of the progress made so far by the artists and community volunteers in documenting the social history around the Sugar Sheds. We were especially taken with Whinhill Primary and Yvonne Lyon's new Greenock folksong classic The Swanky Docker.

As part of Absent Voices, we are really pleased that photographer Alastair Cook will be running a short residency in The Dutch Gable House. Alastair will be working throughout the summer demonstrating and working with an antique photographic process called wet plate collodion, dating from 1851. An entirely chemical process, many of Greenock's great and good have been historically captured using the process, and hopefully we'll be showing a few of those photos as well. So come and meet Alastair, talk about Greenock's history, then become part of it. If you are interested in getting involved contact

You can see more examples of Alastair's work in photography and film on his blog and facebook page
Alastair has also offered to dress up in a traditional Victorian Photographer cape and top hat during the project just to make it all even more authentic. But we probably won't make him do that. We'll see.

And if photography isn't your thing, there's plenty other ways you may wish to get involved. A range of other workshops are taking place across Inverclyde, including introduction to stained glass and glass painting. These 6 two hour classes will introduce participants to basic stained glass techniques such as glass cutting, pattern making, leading and glass painting - each participant will design and fabricate a design of their own choice. There's also an introduction to glass casting and a series of urban sketching classes and drawing trips. All overseen by local treasure Alec Galloway. If you are interested in any of these workshops, email for further information.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Heritage Double Bill


So this week, local Heritage fans can enjoy two very different events...all good.

The Absent Voices project are having a pop up exhibition at the Beacon Arts Centre where the team will be displaying some of the work in progress created so far and will also be signing people up for workshops in stained glass, urban drawing and collodian photography. There will also be live music and special guest Jimmy Watt will talk about being part of the Urban Drawing programme. (We actually hope to have a rather special wee Absent Voices announcement ourselves shortly, will just tease you with that for now...)

And once you have enjoyed the artwork, it's time for some dancing, at a free entry 1980's disco event as part of RIG Arts Are Ye Askin'? Heritage project. Fri 28th Mar'14 8pm til late, Cruden Hall, Greenock. Music by Kodac Disco. Free entry tickets available from The Exchange cafe under Cruden Hall.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Violet Skulls Market - Today!

Don't forget the extraordinarily pretty Violet Skulls Market is on in The Dutch Gable House today from 11 - 4.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Gathering 2014

If you are lucky enough to be heading off to Scotland's voluntary sector conference The Gathering at the SECC on Wednesday 19 / Thursday 20, come say hello, we're at Stand 26.

The Trust will be there with Magic Torch to promote some of our new workshops and development programmes as well as dishing out a few very nice freebies..such as our EXCLUSIVE Newark Products Haiku Coasters. Yes Haiku Coasters. 

We've also got a nice new Dutch Gable House leaflet which we'll be sharing around, but you can also read it online on our scribd page.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Time Travelers Unite! Yesterday!

Skimming through the old Greenock Telegraph newspaper index for information on the Gable House and William Street, we stumbled across an interesting heading from 1983 which reads: “Time Capsule lowered into the foundation stone of the Dutch Gable house” 

Now, this is the first time anyone here at the Dutch Gable house has heard about the time capsule, and to be perfectly honest, the whole thing is a bit of a mystery to us. We can't help but think that getting a hold of it would be a good opportunity to hop in our own little time machine and have a look back at an 'older' Greenock. Having only discovered the article we have yet to take a trip to the Watt library to seek out a copy, but that hasn’t stopped us dreaming up ideas of what’s buried inside: Pictures of Greenock, Diaries, Video Footage, Letters and correspondences... Knight Rider annuals, The A-team video tapes, He-Man action figures or an original Hungry, Hungry Hippos board game... 

Yeah, the ideas got pretty ridiculous, pretty quickly.

So in writing this short post we have a few questions for you, our loyal readers.

  1. Where exactly is the foundation stone of the Dutch Gable?
  2. Did you know about the time capsule and did you contribute to it?
  3. What do you think has been tucked away safely in the capsule since 1983?
  4. If we buried a capsule this year, what would you like to see in it?

We’ll keep you updated as we find out more information on the capsule, but in the meantime, we’re looking to see if you can help us.

Friday, 31 January 2014

The Comet - The Paddle Steamer that Made History

On Monday 10th February the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock, will be hosting a small exhibition on Henry Bell and his historic steamship, the P.S. Comet. The exhibition will until run until the evening of Wednesday 26th February, culminating in a drama detailing the life of Henry Bell, and his plans to bring steam powered travel the the Clyde. Tickets cost £10 Adult, £8 concessions and can be collected from the Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock.

The drama will also run on the afternoon of Wednesday 26th February, however this showing is exclusively for local schools, sponsored by Inverclyde Community Development Trust, and any schools wishing to obtain FREE tickets should contact our Heritage Development Coordinator, Kay Clark on, or call Dutch Gable House on 724765. Tickets are limited, so act now to avoid disappointment.

If you're a keen subscriber to our blog you'll know that the team here at The Dutch Gable have a bit of a soft spot for the paddle steamer, having done a short series of posts which you can view HERE.

But that's not all!

Identity @ The Dutch Gable will be lending a few bits and bobs to the exhibition. So if you're one of the unfortunate few who have yet to see our Comet Animation, featuring pupils from St. Johns Primary School in Port Glasgow, or have not seen out P.S. Comet documentary, then we strongly encourage you to get along to the Beacon!

Thursday, 30 January 2014


It seems like such a loooong time since Christmas now, and Spring has yet to arrive, so to pass the grim and chilly February, we thought we'd tell you about some of the things we have lined up in the Gable for this year. Just, a wee teaser for now, much more detail on all of these to follow soon...

Our volunteers are busily researching the history of the Gable and the streets surrounding for an upcoming exhibition, and they have also been helping collect stories for the White Gold project in the Sugar Sheds. The Gable research group continues to meet every Tuesday morning on the middle floor from 10 - 12.

We are delighted to be working with Greenock Burns Club (the Mother Club) on bringing some of their archive out for display, they now have a dedicated space on the middle floor, which will shortly feature an exhibition on Burns and Highland Mary.

The hugely popular Violet Skulls Market will open its doors on Saturday March 15th, and Magic Torch will be once again running a series of storytelling evenings and training sessions and premiering their new Viking exhibition based on John Galt's legendary gothic poem. Our Newark Products shop also has a whole new range for spring which will be unveiled soon.

Our new WWI project, Working the War, will also be kicking off shortly. While later in the year, we'll be helping launch another new children's storybook and sharing further comic strip adventures of Sir Glen Douglas Rhodes, one of the Gable's more mysterious residents. Plus we'll be running comic making sessions for folk who want to tell their own tall tales. Oh! And an exhibition exploring John Donald's Old Greenock Characters...

All of this while we continue to work in bringing in further funding to develop what's on show and protect the Back House to make it another space available for community heritage and events...So it's all go.

It only works with your support though, so meantime, remember if you have a story you want to share, or even an idea for something you would like to try, just pop in or drop us a line.

You can keep up to date with all Gable events and news via our Dutch Gable app, on the blog here, or via our facebook page.