…rediscovering the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival

The 1988 Garden Festival changed how the world sees Glasgow, and how it sees itself. The buildings, objects and artworks are gone forever – or are they? Visitors remember different things – did you take a ride on the Coca-Cola Roller? It’s now thrilling visitors to a Suffolk theme park. Did you see Glasgow from the top of the Clydesdale Bank Tower? It now stands by the sea in Rhyl, Wales.

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Coca-Cola Roller

Zone: Science and Technology
Sponsor: Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages Ltd
Current situation: known

Clydesdale Bank Anniversary Tower

Zone: Water and Maritime
Sponsor: Clydesdale Bank PLC
Current situation: known

‘Floating tap’ fountain/exhibit

Sponsor: 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival Visual Arts Programme
Current situation: unknown

The Motherwell Tree (George Wyllie)

Sponsor: 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival Visual Arts Programme
Current situation: Known

Dalian, People’s Republic of China Friendship Garden

Zone: The Rendezvous
Current situation: known

Man With a Fish on his Head (Stan Bonar)

Sponsor: 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival Visual Arts Programme
Current situation: Known

Coca-Cola Roller

Zone: Science and Technology
Sponsor: Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages Ltd
Current situation: known

This site is building a record of the hundreds of pavilions, sculptures and other attractions that delighted visitors over that unforgettable summer, more than thirty years ago. We’re researching these features, and discovering what has survived… but we need your help! Here you can share information, images and memories of each part of the Garden Festival. To date, we have identified 293 Garden Festival objects, and collected 584 images of them.

Clydesdale Bank Anniversary Tower

Zone: Water and Maritime
Sponsor: Clydesdale Bank PLC
Current situation: known

The project hopes to create a proper legacy of the Garden Festival, through public contributions, research, detective work and over multiple media. We’ve carried out ‘Digging the Festival’ – an initial archaeological investigation (supported by Glasgow City Heritage Trust), to discover what – if anything – remains of the Garden Festival in the only part of its site that has not be built upon. Read the report here. In the meantime, browse the records, see what we know so far – and get in touch if you have anything to tell us about the lost features of Glasgow’s 1988 Garden Festival.