WHETHER it was during the long run-up to Glasgow’s reign as European City of Culture 1990, or the year itself, many striking sights presented themselves on the streets.

The one on the near right was seen in the city centre in July 1989.

“While some people”, reported the Evening Times, in a brief photo caption crowded with bird-related puns, “have been crowing about the city’s dramatic rise in status, 20 people have been ruffling feathers in the streets as they publicise events for the Year of Culture.

“Known as ‘The Birds’, they have donned exotic, startling and awesome bird heads...”

The creator of ‘The Birds’, Stephen Taylor Woodrow, had previously devised ‘The Living Paintings’ - men and women covered in acrylic paint who stood against a frame for seven-hour shifts.

The dawning of the Year of Culture arrived with considerable fanfare; this paper promised at the outset that it would give full coverage of what it called ‘Glasgow’s Year’ and expanded its arts pages to six days a week.

In September 1990, the paper’s eye was caught by the spectacle of dancers entertaining, or bemusing, audiences on the Underground (far right).

“You are about to embark on one of the strange and wonderful adventures that is part and parcel of living in Glasgow, Cultural Capital of Europe”, our arts reporter said.

“Lurking in the Subway, with intent to amuse, mystify and entertain you, are Glasgow Independent Dance, a group of professional dancers and teachers. They are part of White Rabbit Tours Inc., a tentative title for a positive experience.

“On the platform you will meet 49 strangers. You and they are the audience. Mingling with these strangers will be seven dancers and seven pupils from Castletown Primary School in Castlemilk.

“For the next hour you will be whirled round the Inner Circle. You will stop at several stations, where you will see the story of Lost Girls and their ghastly nannies unfold. The audience becomes part of the show, in a way yet unrevealed. Curiouser and curiouser as another Lost Girl once said”.

The “strange experience” was directed by Jacob Marley, from London, who had last worked in Glasgow at the Third Eye Centre (today the CCA) when he collaborated with Stephen Taylor Woodrow on a production, The Second Sitting.

On the strength of this, and a rather impressive CV, he was invited by Glasgow Independent Dance to direct and choreograph the show.

Our arts reporter continued: “There will be lots of surprises, as a little bird ,,, tells me that Clanjamfrie, the anarchic Glasgow group, will be joining in at some stage”.