Friday, 6 October 2017

Tall Ship Glenlee. Riverside Museum. Stobhill Hospital. Townhead Interchange. When Progress Steals Our Soul.

                                               ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
This is part two of a bike/walking tour around Glasgow. It was going to be one post but I realized early on I had too many photographs for that.  After our cycle ride along the Forth and Clyde Canal through Glasgow then a northwards loop across the top of the city we ended up in Springburn (seen here on Balygrayhill) after travelling through Lambhill then Milton. Springburn's flats are some of the highest left in Glasgow, both in numbers of floors and position on the top of a hill, making them a distinctive landmark. Next to the flats is Springburn Park, which is where we were heading now as you can do a number of interesting cycle rides across Glasgow's urban sprawl using canal tow paths, quiet back streets, cycle paths and waste ground. It's something I never tire of as its constantly changing- new buildings springing up- entire districts changing-varied landscapes- amazing views- new cycle tracks- interesting unexpected encounters with locals ( "come back here and fight you coward... this is Tongland!") - it ticks all the boxes for me. It can be very green and beautiful at times as you snake through numerous parks, follow green ribbons and assorted woodlands and the possible routes are many. Luckily Alan enjoys it as well, (Alex never did :o) and this time he wanted to see Stobhill Hospital, which is now almost empty. Several of Glasgow's older local hospitals have now shut with everyone expected to transfer into the enormous behemoth on the south side at Govan.
This is it here. The 14 floor Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. One of the largest in Europe it cost almost a billion pounds to build which included a £100,000 two word name change to fit the Queen into the title. It was originally named South Glasgow University Hospital on plans to let everyone know where its situated. As it takes longer for me sometimes to travel into the city centre these days by bus from the outskirts of the city than the journey from Glasgow to Edinburgh I'd imagine this is not convenient for everyone, especially elderly or disabled living on the outskirts. (I know this from a recent trip to Edinburgh where we hit the Glasgow rush hour traffic at peak times and it took an absolute age to get back. Over an hour to my house from the city centre- much less than that between city centre bus stations over 40 miles apart.) Nicknamed the 'Death Star' by amused/ cynical locals, not for its record of patient care but more to do with it's vast size, its towering presence over the community and a 24/7 day and night helicopter landing pad on the roof for far flung emergencies in coastal towns or offshore islands.
Alan cycling around the abandoned Stobhill Hospital. This does have security in place but as we were on bikes and only curious to see it, not to break in, by the time they approached us to tell us it was off limits we were on our way out again. Some of the hospital still seems to be in use so its a bit confusing. Similar to Yorkhill (sick children) in the last post and the nearby Western Infirmary which has been earmarked for demolition to create space for the University of Glasgow upgrade.
A lovely clock tower. As its on a hill this may be a water tower similar to the landmark tower at Ruchill in previous post which is the only part of the hospital there still standing. Maybe because its too complex to demolish with tanks and direct mains pipes under pressure hidden inside. It is a nice landmark.

Taking of upgrades the same thing is going to happen with money (actual cash) which is being deliberately phased out altogether in the near future. Not because people want it particularly but because big business and banks desire it (if you can move money around digitally it cuts costs and creates yet more profit- no money counters- no security guards- no desk staff dealing with customers-far less workers- far less jobs in the industry- pure profit right to the top where its always aimed at- WW3 is happening by stealth right now and people are smiling, waving and running like zombies towards the machine guns. Research has proved time and time again that if you are spending electronically rather than cash you spend more. Another reason to do away with it... for more profit. No wages bills to employ anyone to look after it either. Makes perfect sense. It's also great for advertisers trying to sell you products as with online payments they can capture and track every aspect of your life in fine detail. Getting your data is the new currency for both crooks and companies. Owning your soul in every way has always been the name of the game. Putting you into debt is also desirable for some companies and bosses as it gives you less choice to walk away from them. We nod wisely at the tales of workers in mines in the old days who had no choice but to buy at the local company owned shop, at inflated prices, putting them in debt to the company until they died- insuring a loyal work force. So much better now than then...... or is the eternal game played with humans just better, more sophisticated, cold- hearted complex, and highly secretive today?
This recent BBC 2 programme is really worth watching  and shows how the movers and shakers (billionaires) are stealing our entire world from under our feet then smiling and patting us on the head, telling us its for our own good... and there's nothing we can do about it... as society as a collective unit is intrinsically stupid and will go along with anything. Very easy to sway or manipulate the masses with a few well picked slogans or ideas. Nothing too complex as that will lose them altogether.... just spoon fed baby mush will do. Forget the EU, forget Brexit, (a predictable disaster) forget stopping immigration or European control of the UK-as it will not change the bigger picture... they are just the sideshows of distraction to keep us busy in the meantime. This is our future... to always be conned...every time..every year...if we let it happen. .P.S. Recessions can sometimes be great for big business as you can often bring in sweeping changes or austerity measures under the radar saying its good for the country. Are recessions created deliberately as a game changing catalyst? That would not surprise me at all.

Anyway, after cycling through Springburn we had to find a way to get down to Glasgow Green in the first post through a very busy congested part of the city. Luckily we again found an enjoyable network of quiet back streets, purpose built cycle tracks and open spaces just by following our instincts.
The most exiting part was this elevated walkway/cycle track across- under-and around, the motorway/ interchange/ spaghetti junction complex of roads between  Sighthill and the Royal Infirmary. Most of this route was new to us both and we enjoyed it. Alan well ahead at this point as I stopped for photos. You can see him at the gantry sign.
Looking back at a maze of hi speed roads which we weaved over or under on little used cycle lanes. A real surprise.Some broken glass in places like underpasses so we walked where appropriate to save our wheels.
Royal Infirmary. Ironically this is one of the oldest hospitals in Glasgow, serving the east end, yet still fully functioning. Don't know if there is any plan to shut this place down although its the oldest hospital.
Alan miles in front by now. You can just see him cycling past the hospital in white T shirt. A common occurrence. A keen photographer has to work twice as hard on any journey with friends on bike or foot. Finally caught him up again around a mile later... only to take more photos and fall behind again :o)
As the rest of our bike trip around Glasgow Green is captured in part one, see last post, here's the rest of the West End walking day out- also partly captured in part one.
I'd arranged to meet Alan to visit the Tall Ship Glenlee and The Riverside Museum as well as the Hunterian Museum. Alan came over from Govan to Partick and I got the bus down to Partick to meet him. One thing I hadn't noticed before was how far away the Riverside Museum and Tall Ship is from any public transport. It was a fifteen minute walk from Partick to see these tourist attractions. That might not seem like much but we are fast walkers and fit. There is a medium sized car park at the Riverside Museum but it would be pretty full during peak periods and I can't think of any other major Glasgow attraction that's so far from public transport. I usually arrive here by bike so it's not something I thought about before. When I mentioned this casually to the girl on the reception desk inside she said "fill out a complaint in the visitor book then. I know it's a bit away from the bus routes, especially if its bad weather as there's not much shelter on the way down.A party just came in half an hour ago that got a real soaking." as if she's asked this question all the time by new arrivals. I could tell the way she said it that it was a common complaint she was well used to getting and that she suspected herself visitor numbers might be affected by the distance. Where it was before was the Kelvin Hall- now lying empty but right beside several main bus routes. That's progress I suppose- not always forwards- just relentless. On the bus down from my house there was a heavy localized summer downpour. Not unusual at this time of year.

 Luckily it didn't rain during our hike.Walking towards the Riverside Museum. Much faster and easier to reach by bike.
When you do eventually get there it's worth the effort. The Tall Ship is right next to the Riverside Museum. This used to be called the Transport Museum which gives you a better clue to what's inside.
Transport through the ages.
It is very nice inside. Old trams, buses, cars, trains, bikes, a vintage street with period shops but as Alan pointed out many of the lesser exhibits are hung high above your head on wires so many of the articles are too high to see properly. It's a great building but it does seem rather cramped in this new location compared to the old one. Still very popular though with visitors.
Really nice design and location beside the River Clyde.
Plenty of interest in this classic photo. One of my favourite snaps.
The green and leafy front view with the 'big furniture' proving popular. This cycle track is my usual way to visit it but not everyone can reach it by bike. Maybe the museum will eventually shift into the ship itself then get smaller and smaller for each new generation of visitors as decades of austerity cuts bite deeper until its all nano designed into a matchbox that you explore with a virtual headset :o)
We then entered the Tall Ship- A late 1800s three masted barque which was lying derelict and mostly forgotten in Seville until it was brought back and restored to the river of its birth. (built in Port Glasgow) One of only four sailing ships left built around the Clyde and all are now restored tourist attractions in various cities worldwide. This used to be a paid entry attraction but is now free. So is the Riverside Museum.
It started pouring with rain again so we ducked below decks to keep dry. Crew quarters.
It's surprisingly large below decks with  several levels. You can see how they could pack a lot in. The HGV or container ships of that era. The Tall Ship is also available for corporate events, special day's out, parties, etc...
Ship's cat (stuffed) popular with children and adults.
Down another level via steep stairs. Ships interiors are the original Tardis and usually surprise visitors by being very spacious compared to an outside view.
The view outside where the River Kelvin meets the River Clyde.
Ship's kitchen and turtle eggs. Interesting and colourful but I know from reading various books concerning the days of sailing ships entire islands could be stripped bare of their native bird and animal life in a couple of visits and mass extinctions occurred in places that had often taken thousands of years to built up into a paradise of remarkable complexity in far flung places. For hungry crew, far from land, stripping island's bare of life in several days was a necessity and the notion of conservation didn't exist then. Makes you wonder just how many unknown species were wiped out before they even reached the pages of any history books or records to describe them. The Passenger Pigeon, the Thylacine and the Dodo are only the ones we know about.
Two good day's out.

A lovely acoustic version here of the Chris Isaak classic by Irish singer/ songwriter Gemma Hayes and her friend. The words seem very appropriate for part of this post somehow. It occurred to me to think of it as a mission statement of intent by big business or a protest song to progress as well as a conventional love song. Guess what? It works all three ways very well. ( I always start off promising myself to write straightforward non- confrontational/ uplifting, happy, posts then the Devil descends on my shoulder, whispering in my ear. He waits patiently for this moment at the keyboard each week so it seems rude to ignore him altogether :o)
Really nice version though.


Rosemary said...

Your mention of all these Glasgow hospitals made me wonder what became of the Queen Mother's Hospital - I have just googled it, and was very surprised to learn that it closed in 2010 - my eldest son was born there.

Kay G. said...

So...the Tall Ship AND the Riverside Museum are both free? You are so lucky!
I love both of them, I would love to see them.
Thanks for the video too, I really liked it.
(I adore Chis Isaack too, not only as a songwriter but as a singer as well.)

You know the shot that you said you really loved? Will you be mad at me if I tell you that I liked the one just before that one better? There, you are a friend and you won't me saying so!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
That's another reason why I like to cycle through the urban areas from time to time... to try and keep track of my ever changing city. Must be even harder in ten times bigger London which I used to know fairly well, district by district. I'd be lost completely now 30 years later.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Kay,
Yes, that's one great thing about Glasgow that tourists and locals love. Many of our best attractions are free. Edinburgh wins the scenic beauty and elegance contest hands down but can be expensive and high maintenance like any supermodel.
As I took both photos I don't mind. It's my personal favourite as it's not often you get the Tall Ship, a red sailed yacht and a high speed powerboat into one shot. A once in a lifetime photo. Anyone with a camera in the right position could replicate the other photograph no problem although I do like it as well.

Carol said...

I'd love to see around the tall ship - I've only ever seen them sailing, never been on one - my Dad had a trip on one once and loved it. Strange to think of cats at sea when you think how much they hate water - but I suppose it's only like 'indoor cats' in theory.

I can't wait to see cash go - I hate the stuff, especially since they got rid of pound notes (I'm assuming even your have been banned now). Pound coins are a pocket-destroying menace and weight a ton. The new notes, which I thought I'd like, are slippery and easy to lose. And I hate people paying for stuff by cash - it takes forever and holds up queues! Horrid stuff - dirty as well. No wonder it got called 'filthy lucre' - it quite literally is.

I pay for just about anything and everything with my card - just so convenient. Also it makes it much easier to see what you've spent your month's money on too as, with cash, you have no record whatsoever.

Anabel Marsh said...

I like both the Riverside and the Tall Ship but find the high up exhibits very frustrating. It’s impossible to match the info label to the exhibit and appreciate both without getting a crick in your neck. I have driven there once when we had guests and parked quite easily, but it was mid-week. Usually I walk - by the time I walk to Hillhead Subway and then from Partick i’ve gone almost as far anyway. Despite the difficulty getting there it always seems busy.

I don’t like everything being concentrated at the Southern (yes, I still call it that) and that we would have to rely on the tunnel in an emergency.

I discovered Wicked Game years ago when Jaguar used it on a TV ad. I bought the record not the car.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
I know you don't like cash but some folk do and would be lost without it. What I object to most though is that half a dozen people in a room can decide what happens in society as its potentially more profit for them. That's how WWI and WW2 started- The greedy elite after more power, more materials and territory, more profit- when they were already rich and prosperous....nothing to do with the will of the people. I would prefer a choice. Cameras used to be WIFi connected or USB cable connected for downloading photos onto a computer but some of the modern ones don't give you that option- no USB cable in box. That really bugs me.
Cats were essential on ships for keeping down rats and mice. Many remote islands plagued by rats today were populated by ship rats. Unfortunately, small populations of feral cats in abandoned whaling stations still survive today, clinging on without humans, in remote frozen wastelands in the abandoned buildings, hundreds of miles from the nearest human habitation, surrounded by ice and snow most of the year.Seen it on wildlife programmes. Being a ship cat would be luxury compared to that.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel,
I never really noticed that until Alan pointed it out as he wanted a closer look at something high above his head but it might as well have been on the moon.
Some of the best music is on TV AD's or You Tube these days. In five years of watching mainstream TV shows like Graham Norton, Johnathan Ross etc featuring mainstream acts I can't think of a single catchy memorable new tune, which is remarkable in itself.
There's loads of great artists and music still out there for every taste... just not on TV anymore, except in ads. A real puzzle why that is.

Linda W. said...

That museum building is very unusual, but I like it!

Linda said...

Isn't it nice to have a museum that is free? Your photos are lovely, thank you so much for sharing.

Carol said...

Oh yeah, I know ships cats were for keeping vermin down and that they had a cushy life - you just can't imagine water-hating animals on the high seas!

Didn't know that about modern digi-cameras not having a USB lead - I wouldn't be able to use one of those then as I don't do wi-fi...

And you're right about the elite making life-changing decisions for all of us without involving us and it is wrong. But when it comes to cash, I'm just really surprised we're still stuck with a system which took over just after bartering days.

baili said...

Thank you for sharing such Gorgeous views of Glasgow.
Sounds like really wonderful city!
Your capturing is appealing and very powerful.
Loved the clock tower most

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Linda W.
Designed by Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi/British architect and her team and winner of the European museum of the year award a few years ago. Despite being a walk from the bus routes still one of the top ten visitor attractions in Scotland every year.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Linda.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
I think you can use a card reader as well to download photos but I prefer USB cable. Keep losing or standing on my card reader.

blueskyscotland said...

Thank you Baili,
Glad you enjoyed the photos.

Anonymous said...

Your usual mix of a great urban landscape tour, thought provoking comment and fine music (that's a great version of Wicked Game, Chris Isaak is very under-rated in my view). I saw that Program as well, fascinating yet dispiriting. Despite what we see and are told about social progress, nothing has really changed. The power and money remains with the elite who control our lives in ways we are never consciously aware of. Most people think my views are cynical, I say I'm a realist! :)

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Andy,
Another recent programme suggested it suits governments just fine to keep the lower rungs in poverty despite paying lip service to change. Bosses get cheap, desperate workers so wages are kept low... they can get away with zero hours contracts and unpaid work( supposedly learning the ropes)due to competition for places and it keeps workers from getting too much power and banding together for better conditions if they are fighting each other for jobs.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

(Another) great tour. It is indeed impressive that Glasgow's world class attractions are free - unlike, say, York, which I think is expensive. Love the Glenlee and impressed with the Riverside, but like you I think it is crowded and, as with many museums today, the layout makes little sense. The classic cars stacked up against the wall may make good use of space, but you can only see the exhibits superficially. I never saw the old transport museum, but get the impression that it was much better.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Mike,
I liked the old transport museum as it was right next to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery so two major tourist attractions beside each other, 200 steps apart, and it was spacious and well laid out with ample free parking. The new period street layout and the building itself are the best things about the new museum, IMHO. I also enjoy any new waterfront walkways/cycle tracks created along the River Clyde.