Castlemilk Cooks Up Memories

This project was started by Bridget Crossan, a Castlemilk resident who participated in our visual art group. Bridget started to realise how important food – or rather meal time – had become throughout lockdown for her and her family. She suspected this might be something shared by other families, so started a Facebook page in order to share recipes and memories of food and the Castlemilk area.

The page took off and members engaged extremely well with the concept. Through this Bridget developed the idea of a book, this would contain costed recipes along with stories, poems and memories. This is where Nemo Arts was asked to be involved, we provided the technical and design skills to make this project a reality. Each week we worked with a core group of people from the community to work on the design and content. This project culminated with a printed book and e-book for distribution throughout the community and beyond. 

“Last year around August time I was approached by Cassiltoun Housing Association regarding funding that had become available for residents to come up with ideas of things that could benefit the community.

I have always loved cooking and baking and feeding people and I love how food can make people come together and talk. People sitting around a dinner table is a great social ice breaker. I had originally thought of a small booklet of people’s meals that promoted memories for them from family, school or about the community of Castlemilk.

I started a Facebook page, and it became very popular. Paddy McKenna from Castlemilk Community Chest Fund told me there was a possibility of more funding and an opportunity for Hugh McCue to bring his expertise to the project. Wow, I could never have imagined this would be happening to my wee idea. A block of 12 weekly Zoom classes were started each week and members of the Facebook page were invited to join in if they wished.

Hugh spoke through what he planned and honestly my booklet idea was becoming an actual book!! Hugh worked out the layout and look of the book, he would give me tips on how to take pictures of food and when people sent recipes to the page, I would save them and reprint them into a better format which I would then share with Hugh, he taught me so much by explaining it with great patience and time (I even learned how to use OneDrive and Spreadsheets for Food Costings!! GO ME) each week we agreed on the content and he would add it to each page making it look honestly amazing.

Then the printing was beginning. Hugh set up an order form on the Facebook page for me and orders were coming in fast. Finally my wee idea of a wee booklet to give out around the community full of memories, recipes and good old Glasgow banter and humour became what it is now a beautiful book. We had a launch night and Hugh gave a lovely talk. The book has been going crazy, with requests for both printed and e-book copies, the orders from local residents have been amazing and even requests and orders for copies from all across Glasgow and further afield John O Groats, Aberdeenshire, Skye, London, Ireland, Northern Ireland, America, Canada, Spain, all being ex residents of Castlemilk.

The success of my ‘wee book’ would never in a million years be like this if it wasn’t for Hugh from Nemo Arts with his talent and experience in publishing my ideas. I would honestly not be who I am today without Nemo Arts. As well as teaching me what they have, the biggest thing for me is they have shown me how to feel comfortable within myself, and that even if I’m not good at something it doesn’t mean I can’t, I can still do it my way. Losing my career to ill health my confidence went also, but through Nemo Arts I’ve found confidence in myself again I had completely lost. The project is amazing, and I cannot speak highly

enough of it, it has even had an impact on my family dynamics because it has helped me. I cannot thank them enough and hope that one day I can get to the studio”

Bridget Crossan