Monday, 2 October 2017

Glasgow Green. Hunterian Museum. Partick. Yorkhill Hospital.

                                               ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
Summer this year has been pretty rubbish in west coast Scotland. Nearly every day for months now its been frequent heavy showers, cold and dull. Mind you, only one spring/summer/ autumn/ winter in four is ever any good in Scotland, i.e. above average temperatures, maybe two weeks of sunshine in a row when it stops raining and clear blue air when people walk into the parks in T -shirts, without any waterproofs carried or an umbrella beside them- confident of a sunny day ahead without a soaking.
Maybe this blog's title gives a somewhat false impression of our soggy little country but it does rain here a lot... all the time. I did put summer down first in the above paragraph then changed it to all four seasons as sometimes it's very hard to tell the difference which is which, like the popular comic postcards sold here depict. (photo of a lone sheep in a field grazing under pouring rain (summer) then occasional snow and heavy rain (winter/ autumn/ spring etc)
This September has been officially colder and duller than normal and summer just past was the same... plus more rain. Maybe that's the main reason why I haven't been up a mountain for ages.
Anyway, this post is a mix of two separate trips myself and Alan did over two different occasions. One by bike and one on foot. The first photo is a cycle along the canal near Anniesland and the second is us cycling through Glasgow Green beside the River Clyde done on the same day. The reason they are posted together is that we covered a lot of ground and toured some very different areas on the bikes so the photos are arranged into matching categories rather than when they occurred.
 This post being all about tourist attractions. Above is the Doulton Fountain, reputedly the largest terracotta fountain in the world and looking good now after years sitting neglected and water-less in the past.
Some sort of choir seemed to be gathered under it when we arrived, seen here, but by the time we reached them to find out what was happening they'd disappeared back onto their tour bus again. The People's Palace, a wonderful history museum of Glasgow life through the ages and tropical winter garden is also captured in this photo. (Heated glasshouse hidden behind building.)
An overview of Glasgow Green with the hi rise flats of Hutchesontown/ Gorbals in the background.

The magnificent former carpet factory beside Glasgow Green draws every eye with its colourful design.

The River Clyde and Hutchesontown flats. It was a lovely sunny day... until the rain arrived.
On a different day of sunshine and heavy frequent showers we decided to visit the University of Glasgow, seen here, and the Hunterian Museum inside the university buildings. We had scouted out this area on the previous bike trip and decided it was perfect as a wet day alternative as it provided plenty of handy shelter, this time on foot.
Situated under the famous latticework tower this museum is one of the oldest in Glasgow and has been recently renovated. It has a fine collection of Roman exhibits, (Antonine Wall)  glass cases full of medical related topics, and various other interesting items on show. Sadly, the huge black slab of pure obsidian, which completely fascinated me as a teenager, with its remarkable properties, is no longer here.(Incidentally, any mention in back posts or my novel of obsidian was not Game of Thrones inspired but rather formed here in my own youth decades ago when I was unluckily parted from my innocence by a shard of volcanic glass.)  A shame- as that thick slab was really special.
Although a lovely bright building now I do miss the gloomy but mysterious old museum from the 1970s with its completely different range of exhibits. I seem to remember a stuffed gorilla as well at one point lurking here in a corner. I wonder where they ended up?
A photo taken out the window looking across at the University Library and University Art Gallery (modern Art) The U.A.G. is free to visit by the well behaved general public as is the Hunterian Museum.
A view across the rooftops with Coopers round tower then a church spire (Belmont Street district)  and then Ruchill Hospital tower lining up like three ducks in a row.
A closer view of Coopers which used to be a prestigious grocery store in upmarket Kelvinbridge- Great Western Road but is now a pub.
A beautiful old red sandstone building right next to Coopers.
And another one in Govan. As well as any architectural styles in vogue it's the building materials available locally that makes any city, town, or village unique. Glass and steel new apartments and office blocks can be found all over the world now and look much the same everywhere but what makes Glasgow different is its old red sandstone period buildings which give it a different look. Even Edinburgh, 30 odd miles away on the east coast, has different building materials available to it and favours a grey or white stonework as old red sandstone is mainly confined to the Firth of Clyde coast..
Upper Entrance Hall.  Hunterian Museum.
A crest. University of Glasgow.
A better class of graffiti in student-land. Partick. This seems French inspired style wise- somehow. Just in the design alone.
A topical political comment about a well known UK English Tory MP. Partick.
New student flats. Partick. Most of the new building projects in Glasgow at present seem to be upmarket housing estates, student flat complexes, upgrades to the various university buildings with brand new state of the art mega-structures or bespoke properties. There's obviously money to be had in education somewhere but white working class males from poorer backgrounds are still the least likely group to attend university UK wide, according to various reports, and probably always will stay that way so maybe not everyone is benefiting from all this building endeavour. Glasgow now has a massive amount of purpose built new student accommodation blocks like this one for its three city universities and numerous interlinked colleges yet you would think local youngsters from Glasgow or the outlying towns would just commute from home so it's not really for them I would imagine. Doesn't make much sense paying for a flat if you already live in the city with your parents. Although tuition is free in Scotland if you are a long time resident I wonder how many locals really benefit with competition for places to get in so tight, applications accepted from all over the UK and abroad (who, unlike local students, pay much needed money each year into the system) and different grades determining where you end up around the country. Under the present system it all seems a bit of a lottery.

A wall panel. University district.
And another. Snakes are often a symbol for medicine and healing dating right back to ancient Greece.
Yorkhill Hospital and more new student apartments beside the River Kelvin. Partick.
Yorkhill hospital is now largely closed down apart from some smaller departments still open. It used to be for sick children.
Anyone who has been away from Partick for a long time will hardly recognize some of the districts now although Dumbarton Road and Byres Road look much the same.

Speaking of which here's a funny and quirky video I just stumbled across on You Tube recently featuring American singer songwriter Bonnie "Prince" Billy enjoying the nearby Byres Road, trendy student enclave Ashton Lane, and Glasgow's Necropolis. One of my favourite songs is the powerful and poignant 'You will miss me when I burn.' by the same artist who has had numerous songs covered by other singers in the past but this is cheery and fun to watch. A real unexpected treat.


Anabel Marsh said...

Although I’ve heard of Bonnie Prince Billy I’ve never seen or heard him before. It was great to see familiar locations featured in his video, I wonder why he chose here? It certainly has been a rubbish summer, we’ve not been on any hills either.

Carol said...

You've been up as many hills as me this year anyway! And our summer has been so different to yours (despite even the English moaning this year - think it wasn't good darn sarf for a change) - I got so much in the habit of never carrying a coat for a change this summer that I forgot to take it with me for the Coniston mountains last week! Luckily it stayed fine... September has been much colder than usual here though...

Love the Boris Johnson comment - so fanny... I mean, funny!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel,
No idea why Glasgow but he's been around a long time as an artist yet not that well known a face that he can't explore places he visits touring without getting mobbed. For instance, although a prolific singer/songwriter covered by many other performers he could probably play the Oran Mor then visit Ashton Lane and Byres Road for a meal and a drink without any hassle. Once you get too famous you can't really go anywhere normal and end up living in an isolated bubble, despite having loads of money.
Main reason I've heard of him is through other artists performing his songs so I looked him up a few years ago as I kept spotting the name credit on songs I liked.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Surprised it's been good down there in northern England as woeful here. Just shows you how the Jet Stream controls the weather over Britain when it gets stuck in one place. Sometimes heavy flooding over English cities... yet if it drifts 100-200 miles one way or the other- sunshine and heatwaves or waist deep elsewhere not that far apart in distance.

Linda W. said...

Oh I'll trade you summers! You can have the extremely hot, dry, wildfire-ey summer we just had in the Pacific NW. I'll take your clouds and rain! That carpet building is very interesting. Reminds me of the building I work in - the Portland Building. It was voted one of the top 20 ugliest buildings in the world. Google it and you'll see what I mean.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Lovely, almost whimsical, post. I was impressed when visiting the People's Palace - keep meaning to write about it. The Hunterian is still on the 'to visit' thing that impresses me about Glasgow is that so many world-class heritage attractions are free. You touch on social inequality; it has long been a lie that everyone has the same opportunities in the UK. No political party seems to be addressing this in practical terms, though we can say with certainty that things are infinitely better than they used to be. Must admit, I don't hold with the puerile graffiti - sorry... :-)

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Linda W,
I think my sister would trade us both as she lives in the desert in Australia and dreads each new summer season as they are getting hotter and hotter temperatures there. 100 degrees is a normal summers day there... cool even :o)
The carpet factory was inspired by the Doge's Palace in Venice but it's one colour only- dazzling white.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Mike,
I read recently they are trying to change that approach as its rankled for years in the city council that they can't charge visitors money for most tourist attractions here. If you have a family visiting Edinburgh's top tourist buildings can cost you a packet(as you know) while Glasgow's are mainly voluntary donations only.

Rosemary said...

The Templeton's Carpet Factory looks very different to my days when living in Glasgow. I loved its designed which I recall was loosely modelled on the Doge's Palace in Venice.

Linda said...

I love your perspective in all these photos! Thank you so much for sharing.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
It might have looked duller 30 odd years ago as many of the buildings then had 100 years of soot and chimney grime on them before they were cleaned in the 1990s.

blueskyscotland said...

Thank you Linda.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Linda W,
Just looked at various images of your Portland Building from all angles. I can see how it would divide tastes but I really like it. Bold and very unusual. Certainly never seen anything like it before.

Anonymous said...

I posted recently after my European travels that the UK didn't have any decent fountains, now I know different. That one is great. I agree, I like the Portland Building as well :)

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Andy,
Edinburgh, Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens, is a really good one as well( taken away for repairs at the moment) and I seem to remember Cheltenham, near the Cotswolds, having a good one (Neptune's fountain) as I remember visiting it on a really windy day when it was blowing all over the place.