A group of local residents travelled through to Castlemilk, Glasgow yesterday to visit Cassiltoun Housing Association and to find out about the work being carried out there. The visit included a walk round Castlemilk Park Woods, and a tour of the award-winning Castlemilk Stables building. But it was also a chance for people from both communities to share their stories and exchange ideas. We found that the history and issues of both areas were in many ways very similar, leading to interesting discussion and the opportunity of future joint initiatives.
The visit was in response to a shared activity last year, when Cassiltoun HA came over to Wester Hailes as part of the Community Connections Festival. They saw the totem pole and took part in a social history walk before creating a 3D model of the totem pole using a 3D printer. Cassiltoun residents invited the Wester Hailes residents they had met as part of this visit to go over to Castlemilk to see the work they had been doing with an area of woodlands.
May was an ideal time to visit the woodlands which were full of bluebells and wild garlic. Richard Bolton, the Community Woodland officer showed us round, explaining that the area had formed part of the Castlemilk House estate. The house was finally demolished in 1969, and the historic woodlands were neglected for decades. The Cassiltoun Trust worked with other partners including the Forestry Commission, to clear and conserve the woods as well as improving access and encouraging the local community to become involved in looking after the woods. As we walked through the tree-lined paths seeing the flowers and hearing all the bird song, it was hard to believe we were in the middle of Glasgow, surrounded by housing. We even saw a heron!
The group was also shown round the Castlemilk Stables which was originally a Georgian stables block for Castlemilk House and was one of the few buildings left from the original estate. Cassiltoun Trust raised £4.5 million to renovate it and the award-winning building is now used by Cassiltoun HA and others as office and community space.
Everyone from both communities really enjoyed the day and agreed that we should organise another visit and meeting to follow up on potential ways we could share joint projects.
You can find more information about the places we visited at