96 days to go

This morning I spoke at a conference in Edinburgh which reported on young people's views on Education and Poverty. This afternoon I presented an award at the iMPress School Media annual event, This evening , back in my constituency, I called in on a fascinating local history exhibition in Innellan Village Hall and then finished up at the Toward School BBQ,

On the way through to Argyll from Edinburgh I dropped in on the public opening of the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show and spoke to the Art School staff in their new building, facing right across to the old one, very visibly scarred by the fire three weeks ago.

The Director, Professor Tom Inns , took me to see the work of the final year students on display in the Mclellan Galleries. These students have been the worst affected by the fire with 30% losing all of their final portfolio and we have been working with the GSA to make sure their will be no detriment to their studies.

When we were in the Galleries Tom took me into the back rooms to see some of the items that had been saved . There was a strong smell of smoke in the place , clinging to everything , and this image tells part of that story - eight Rennie Mackintosh chairs plucked from the burning ( along with lots of other things) by the great fire crews and the dedicated Historic Scotland staff but, alas, at least 80 items of original furniture were destroyed.

Yet the GSA was lucky. It could have been much worse and the plans to restore and rebuild are already under way. The spirit , determination and ambition of all involved are wonderful.

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