As I,m collecting information for my latest book and needed some new photographs of Glasgow's east end I had a day out in Glasgow's oldest park. Glasgow Green. It's one of the largest public parks in the city and also one of the flattest throughout it's length which is quite an achievement for a city built over Drumlins (leftover glacial moraine forming dozens of small rounded hills which litter the entire area (a drumlin swarm is the correct term) and give Glasgow city landscape views a distinctive rolling appeal to the vision and feet. Probably the reason why its fine citizens used to fall over occasionally in the street when they were discombobulated by all the inclines surrounding them and couldn't get up again but outsiders put it down to excessive alcohol consumption of course. Many of Glasgow's public parks to the north, south and west are built on or over Drumlins, former leafy estates preferred by rich merchants on hilltops to escape the factories and squalor in the crowded streets below.As the factories and docks gave them their wealth in the first place in many cases they had to live close to their main source of income and keep an eye on things.
The east end is one of the flattest districts in Glasgow which made it ideal for factories and the prevailing wind direction of most Northern European cities is mainly west to east anyway meaning that any smoke, vapours and smells from industry didn't annoy the posh folks living in the west end. Most of the large industrialized cities in Britain follow this same pattern dictated by the wind but the east end is gradually altering now that large factories no longer produce harmful emissions to the same extent.
In 1889 one of the walls constructed for the above carpet factory collapsed in a gale landing a mountain of bricks on the weaving sheds below. 29 working weavers died, most if not all of them young women.
Three sculptures adorn the front entrance.Founder Brother Walfrid, manager Jock Stein and footballer Jimmy Johnstone.
I've been here before of course but it was the new building on the other side of the road I was interested to see as this area has been transformed. I used to work occasionally in the old Barrowfield estate in the 1970s-1980s when all the tenements were still standing. An exciting place to be on a summer evening. The east end has changed a great deal from the bad old days. Although residents will always look back fondly at the good things in their childhood I still remember the apprehension as a teenager when my gaffer at that time, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow and thought nothing of it as this was his own area said we would be working around Easterhouse, Garthamlock, Blackhill, Bridgeton and Barrowfield. As a young apprentice from the south side of Glasgow, although brought up in a large council scheme, this was still a daunting prospect as this side of the city had a grim reputation. The weird thing about the old Barrowfield was that instead of gangs having separate areas, estates apart from each other, it was divided down the main street despite being a relatively small scheme.
A glimpse of a Glasgow that no longer exists. Maybe that's a good thing for youngsters growing up today.
Although we are in the middle of a UK wide austerity drive at the moment there's much better housing and social conditions now in Glasgow so it would be a shame to see it slip backwards after all the hard work. This area is only now recovering from many decades of urban decline in its past.
A video of an illegal and very dangerous free ascent of Shanghai Tower. At 650 metres the second tallest building in the world. They even climb through the cloud level here, Jack and the Beanstalk fashion. Strange how governments worldwide are using the internet to control, modify and generally find out as much as possible about individuals habits and personal information yet the more they try to wipe out any element of risk and control peoples health and encourage cutting out bad habits (restricting smoking, drinking, promoting healthy eating ....nanny state interference etc) the more the daredevils in society do things like this :o)
Link to my comedy adventure novel Autohighography about Glasgow and Scotland here and also my other book A Guide to Walking and Cycling around the River Clyde and the Firth of Clyde with over 80 routes and 148 original colour photographs. First couple of chapters of each free to read here.