Tuesday, 21 January 2014
Pollok.Priesthill.Nitshill.The Bundy.Gowanbank.Silverburn.Schools, Memories, and Pubs.
Maybe it was simply because it was outside our own area and we were regarded as unwelcome incomers by some of the local kids but a few five year olds from my scheme in the early days even jumped from the bus while it was moving and did a runner before it reached the school gates. Well, the lucky ones did as one of them ended up with a broken leg as a result of a mistimed departure at too fast a speed on exit. Although painful this meant extra time away from Gowanbank so it wasn't entirely the reckless move it seemed.
I didn't find it that bad and only escaped from the school grounds once while being chased by a gang from another scheme. I managed to climb up then jump over a high wall into another compound nearby and ended up in what I presumed to be a boys remand home surrounded by much older children who all sported close shaven haircuts and looked really hard. Looking at an old map however the only building sited that close to the school grounds with a high wall was a priests house so maybe it was a bunch of visiting young recruits for the priesthood I'd bumped into. Anyone else remember another adjoining courtyard near Gowanbank in the early 1960s that would have a bunch of black attired teenage male skinheads exercising in it? I was so young at the time its hard to remember what it actually was but it left a strong impression on me.
Anyway I was soon persuaded by them to climb back over the wall again and take my beating like a five year old. Great advice guys. Thanks! What's for you will not go by you I always say. How true!
St Paul's High School in Pollok. After a couple of years the new primary schools in Nitshill opened and we were spared the chamber of horrors that was Gowanbank and allowed to finish our primary school education in them instead. I remember I actually enjoyed going to school after that for the first time.
This school used to be called Craigbank Secondary and was a Protestant school at that time. It changed to St Paul's to take the place of nearby Bellarmine, which closed down in the late 1990s? I think.
The other large secondary school in Pollok was Crookston Castle which was situated right beside Crookston Castle itself. This school is also long gone but a range of photos can be found on the web by typing in Crookston Castle secondary school then- images. Judging by some of the old photographs of pupils it seems slightly more upmarket than Craigbank or Bellarmine but I didn't know it that well. Due to the declining numbers of families living in the Pollok area which has almost halved its population in 30 years St Paul's is the only large secondary left in the area with Protestants going to Rosshall Academy in Crookston road.
Discovered this interesting link here about Sick Building Syndrome in Rosshall.
As I was visiting Silverburn anyway I nipped across to visit the Pollok Kist which is a small room of exhibits like a local museum in the Pollok Civic Realm building nearby. Unfortunately the room was shut when I visited as it was late on in the day and I had to be content with the other exhibits of old Pollok on displays outside. Bellarmine School stood near here until it was demolished. The Bundy stood within the triangle of Cowglen Road and Barrhead Road. We used to wait for the bus right beside the first row of tenements in the Bundy and it had some reputation, maybe because it was one of the oldest parts of the scheme and looked as if it had been built by the Romans. I seem to have a memory of all the tenement close windows being bricked up instead of having glass in them but that would have been around the early 1970s when it was half empty and going downhill fast. As a scheme it didn't last long. Built around the late 1940s and demolished in the late 1970s to make way for the Pollok Shopping Centre which opened in 1979. This is now Silverburn and I'm convinced it's named 'tongue in cheek' after the number of shopping trollies that used to lie abandoned in the grey waters of the nearby Brock Burn as no-one looking at the Brock Burn now ( named after the badgers that used to roam its banks) as it flows and sometimes floods through Pollok has the word 'silver stream' in mind.
The partly subterranean 'Silver Burn.' On a good day dishwater grey is the best it gets. 'Rancid Trickle' doesn't sound as attractive a name though for a shopping centre.
Brockburn Road. If you lived in North Pollok it was probably easier and quicker to walk up to Paisley Road West at Cardonald where a scattering of pubs awaited you. The Pines, The Argosy and the Quo Vadis were always popular haunts.http://www.oldglasgowpubs.co.uk/quovadis.html
A cracking and bizarre link here to a local character. See drunk dog halfway down the page. You couldn't make it up! A normal day out in Pollok! (Giving alcohol or human chocolate to dogs by the way is a very bad idea as it can seriously damage both health, internal organs and temperament in a short space of time.)
This view above was taken recently and shows the converted flat roofed tenements on the left hand side of Brockburn Road. On the right just out of frame is the Pollok inn which is still open.
Pollok main roundabout. Not much changed here apart from the glass fronted 'Wedge'
As I have enough photos for two more posts this final essay on Pollok will be split into three.
Here endeth the first part as I'm away for my dinner now. Switch to a picture of Oor Willie's empty bucket..... Part two to follow next week.
For anyone interested two previous posts on Pollok can be found on this blog July and August 2013.