Autumn 2023 Magazine
AHSS Magazine Autumn 2023 is now available online
This year marks 150 years since the first official football match between Scotland and
England, so it seemed appropriate to feature some sporting heritage. A programme of works
has seen the Gala Fairydean Rovers Football Club stand restored to something like its original
condition. Although the interior has changed considerably since Peter Womersley designed it in 1962,
the striking concrete canopy now ‘floats’ once again above the terraces. James Grimley, whose firm
Reiach and Hall Architects undertook the work, puts the site and architect in context.
Also on a sporting theme is an article by Will Jess about the Arlington Baths Club, the oldest
swimming club of its kind in the UK, having been founded in 1870. The club is also a long-standing
AHSS member, so I was delighted not only to feature it within these pages but also on the cover.
Members will be aware that the AHSS has long campaigned to change the VAT treatment
of work to existing buildings. To summarise, while new build construction is zero-rated, the
conservation, repair and adaptation of existing buildings attract 20% VAT in most cases. In his
article, William Gray Muir argues that broader tax reforms are needed. By adopting a French-style
approach, private individuals would be incentivised to repair and maintain their properties, thereby
benefiting the construction industry, the economy, and the government’s coffers.
This issue’s ‘Spotlight’ article by Susan Bradbury highlights the plight of the stained glass (literally)
illuminating churches across Scotland which are threatened by closure, dereliction, and unsympathetic
conversion. The artistry, social history, and value to communities are considerable. I urge you to read
about Jane Haining, memorialised in a panel at Queens Park Govanhill Church, if you have any doubts.
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