Last updated: 11.40am, Thursday 9th January 2014 by

Official opening for heritage and learning centre followed by twilight candlelit vigil for victims of 1889 Templeton's carpet factory disaster

The east end community of Calton has held a day of celebration AND commemoration.

The local community remembered victims of the Templeton's carpet factory disaster with a candle-lit vigil just hours after the official opening of a new heritage and learning centre.

1st November had special significance as it marked the 124th anniversary of the 1889 catastrophe that robbed the community of many young women and girls.

Twenty nine young weavers were killed when a wall was blown over at the site of the original Templeton’s carpet factory at nearby Glasgow Green.

The anniversary was chosen for the official opening as it allowed Calton residents to remember the past while celebrating a new community hub which marks a bright future for the area.

The ceremony was performed by former Calton Councillor Ruth Simpson who was instrumental in helping the dream of a new community hub become a reality.

Ruth spoke of the tremendous effort by local people to create the centre and also of the determination by “Calton women” which has helped the community over many decades right up to the present day.

The Calton Area Association along with Thenue Housing successfully obtained funding for the centre from The Big Lottery and Glasgow City Council.

Betty Cosgrove, who chairs the Area Association, said: “This is a dream come true. For five years we had been campaigning for a community hub after local people told us it was the one thing they wanted.

“It was a special day for Calton – not just because of the official opening of the centre but because it was an occasion when we could remember local women and girls who so tragically lost their lives in the carpet factory disaster and whom we will never forget.”

Charlie Turner, Chief Executive of Thenue Housing, said: "The local community has been campaigning for a much needed facility like the centre for many years. Much hard work has gone into the effort by many local people. Thenue Housing is proud to have played its part in helping turn the Calton Heritage and learning Centre into a reality.

“The candle-lit remembrance of the girls and women who died was a highly appropriate way of marking a very important day for Calton.”

The remembrance occasion is now to become a yearly event and held, as it was last week, in the restored memorial garden originally created for the victims and now overlooked by the heritage and learning centre.