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.
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 980 images of them.
The project hopes to create a proper legacy of the Garden Festival, through public contributions, archival research, interviews and general detective work – over multiple media. We’ve carried out the first stage of ‘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.