The last instalment of Loose Ends led to the Donald Dewar statue at the top of Buchanan Street. As I walked along the side of the Clyde one Sunday in December, I thought about the next connection. It would be a statue. I had considered going to the Isabella Elder statue in Govan but as I walked, I realised that the La Pasionaria statue, one of the four of women in Glasgow, connected even better. The statue was put up at the behest of the Labour Party, of which Donald Dewar was a member, plus of course it is another statue in Glasgow. It commemorates those who went to fight Franco and fascism in the Spanish Civil War. At the base of the Dolores Ibarruri statue are her words: ‘Better to die on your feet than live for ever on your knees’. 65 Glaswegians died in the conflict. The statue, unveiled in 1974, sits on Clyde Street right by the river, facing south. Beneath it sat flowers including a fairly new bouquet of red roses, in memory of a lost friend. There was another story there.
I read later that the statue’s inception was controversial. Apparently, according to the Discover Glasgow website, Conservative councillors weren’t too happy with the statue and their opposition led to it being underfunded and unveiled without fanfare.
To the connections, then, and I decided that my walk would take me to the next connection, a piece of street art. Luckily there’s not a shortage of that around Glasgow.