Friday, 17 September 2021

Titan Crane. John Brown's Shipyard Site. Clydebank's New Waterfront Development.

                                                 ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.


 

What a difference a year can make during a pandemic. For almost a year I've been unable to cycle due to an arm and shoulder injury. (caused by heavy lifting of concrete slabs not a bike crash) I'm aware people do cycle one armed but I thought with covid dominating hospitals I would play it safe and stick to walking until it healed as if I did fall off and instinctively tried to save myself with my arms it would only injure it further, maybe permanently. Anyway, it has healed and I've started going out cycling again in the autumn. Not a long ride but a pleasant one. Cycling through Knightswood Park first, see above  and below..... 

On a glorious autumnal morning....

Past these tall poplars....

then along the Forth and Clyde Canal....

Bindweed, Always a flower I associate with an end of season warmth passing into colder evenings as Ra's waning power diminishes daily at this time of year in the north. A white herald scattered along the path at intervals, a trumpet shaped sign of cool morning mists and colder days ahead.

Still warm enough at midday though to work up a sweat on the bike.

 and still warm enough to attract flies. A green-bottle here. A veggie lover compared to its dead flesh/rotten meat seeking cousin the blue-bottle.

 The canal brought me out at the modern Clydebank College. or to give it its proper title... 

West College Scotland... which tells you bugger all about where it's located which is why I prefer Clydebank College... and still prefer 'actress' instead of 'actor.' for that same reason. Why make life more complicated than it already is? If you can switch it one way then why not the other? Brad Pitt- Actress. Tom Hanks -Actress. Makes perfect sense to be interchangeable in 2021. Now that's acting! Personally, I prefer not to have a given name at all and wish to be known henceforth as 'Amorphous Blob' for convenience purposes.


The River Clyde at this point is wide and pleasant and 'amorphous blob' drifted out across the water needing neither boat nor kayak to explore the surface. How convenient is that for a human.... I have spotted seals, otters and a porpoise here on other visits.

 Meanwhile the real me... not 'He, I, Their, or Them' enjoyed a pleasant surprise or two. On previous visits the waterfront promenade extended a short distance from West College around to the Titan Crane.... where it ended. 

 One hundred and sixty foot high (49 metres) and capable in its prime of lifting 150 to 200 tons of material into ships it stood surrounded by other lighter cranes as part of John Brown's Shipyard and engineering works. At the time it was built the world's largest cantilever as one fifth of the world's ships started life in the River Clyde shipyards, the biggest vessels being launched right here at a wide point on the riverbank.. This substantial land area beyond the crane was normally out of bounds to the public, surrounded by a high red brick wall enclosing many buildings and a sizable chunk of waterfront property but now it's all open plan and easy to access on foot or bike.

Looking back at West College from the Titan Crane.


 A wide promenade now exists here...

 and a new green energy heating system...

Along with rows of new housing blocks, still being constructed...


Like these higher apartments. Close up, I was impressed by the complexity of the scaffolding, ladders, planks and stairs surrounding this new build.

Also impressed by the new plant borders. Maybe because it was an autumnal arrangement but it seemed to have a very different colour palette from most borders I've seen. 


The bees loved it anyway, loads of them here... and something I do not remember seeing before. Two bees fighting, locked together in fierce battle.... or mating... couldn't decide which... but I took the opportunity of getting a really close view point. Six inches away from the action.


If a bee was suddenly eight foot tall it would be a formidable adversary. Solidly build wee creature. The  Grizzly Bear of the insect world.


Newly built housing with Radnor Park Flats behind.

Looking further down the River Clyde towards the Golden Jubilee Hospital, Research, and Conference Facility. Presumably, at some point, the waterfront promenade might extend down to here. Already a new section has been built from the Titan Crane running towards Dalmuir. See above photo.

So this brand new walkway was a recent addition I couldn't resist following. From the end of this tarmac path you can head inland across flat waste ground to pick up more tarmac in the form of an empty road, making a large rectangular walk across open ground which was out of bounds before.

This is it here. Waste ground is never waste ground in my eyes though. It has many useful purposes, wildlife and wild flower reserve... Local green space for walking and enjoyment...Teenager hangout...

 Or just someplace semi wild and free to get away from the crowds.... so I hope they do not build houses on all our precious green spaces and leave some brown urban sites untouched. Like this one.... 


From the end of the tarmac this narrow path leads along the river downstream  and even after all this time I still get a kick out of exploring any new patch of land. It's a mystery where this goes but as I'd had enough excitement for one day in the saddle I promised myself I would return. 

 

Looking in the other direction along the path. Terra incognita for me. Some might require an expensive trip to a foreign land to seek out adventure but luckily, these days, with limited expectations and income, I can get that same buzz of excitement in my own back yard. This Dalmuir Serengeti awaits me and invites me in. A happy occurrence indeed.

A link here to what the end product might look like in a few years time.

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/ambitious-plans-develop-old-john-7649485 

Titan Crane info. Panoramic views from the top when it's open.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_Clydebank













Friday, 3 September 2021

Evening Cycle Ride. Hilltop Views. Cruise Ships, Sunset Photo Gallery.

                                                 ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN

Common Spotted Orchid. A few weeks ago I went a cycle ride with Anne in the evening around 7:00pm. It was too warm and tough to walk during the day under blue skies and a relentless sun so we decided this particular evening to go out at night. Incidentally, now that it's the start of September and into Autumn this is the first time in four months ( May, June, July, and August ) that I've started wearing a jumper and trousers again in the house and garden ( to the relief of the neighbours, no doubt.) For four glorious months it has been comfortably warm in just shorts and a T-shirt- nothing else... and sitting outside in the full glare of the sun... just shorts... or a well placed sock.... for modesty purposes. A normal spring and summer for countries around the Mediterranean Sea but certainly not the norm for chilly, wind prone, Scotland... so I've made the most of it, especially during lockdown.  An exceptional year so far and the 4th warmest and driest spring and summer on record apparently for Scotland... 3rd warmest and driest for Ireland/ Northern Ireland  as it's across that curving band where the golden curtain of heat fell this year thanks to a static jet stream. England, Wales and London meanwhile got our usual summer weather, cool, windy and wet. YA BEAUTY!!!!!  THERE IS A GOD!!!!

The flowers and vegetation have responded to this generosity of golden light pouring down and evening walks have been a very pleasant experience with meadows filled with all sorts of wild nature. Buttercup meadow above.

A Common Lizard below.

Our route from Anniesland took us along the Forth and Clyde Canal, seen here, and we were in no hurry, watching swifts and bats skimming overhead at the same time, both competing for flies and other insects attracted to this corridor of still water. ( this was a later shot though taken on the return leg... on the way out it was too early and sunny to see the bats. Needless to say both creatures were far too quick to capture a clear image on my limited response slow shutter speed camera.  ) 

We were heading for a grassy hill above Clydebank which has good panoramic views over Glasgow, Paisley and the Kilpatrick Hills and Gleniffer Braes. Radnor Park Flats here.

 Timed it just right for the sun hitting the town of Paisley, seen here, and Glasgow Airport, ( planes and white terminal buildings clearly visible) which is closer to Paisley than Glasgow but still only 20 minutes away from the city centre district- under 10 minutes by car or airport bus along the motorway.

Looking in the other direction one of the Q.E. Hospital with helicopter pad on the roof and the three cruise ships berthed for a year at Govan docks due to Covid 19 laying them off. These have now left Glasgow and the River Clyde and are back working hard again, taking passengers on holidays around the world's oceans, tropical climes, and sun-drenched ports but apparently the crews on board got on well with the locals here and large crowds lined the banks of the river to see them off, one by one, as tourist ships of this size normally only dock at  Greenock in deeper water, nearer the coast, and it's a sight that might not happen again this far up the river.

 Sunset over hi rise flats and cantilever crane.


The sunset itself wasn't too shabby, evolving through several different looks...

Ending in an unusual upward beam that neither of us had ever seen before. Quite dramatic.

 Mind you sunsets over June and July have been wonderful in general... so here's a selection....

Is Heaven above...

Molten Orange....

The upper realm...


Renfrewshire glory over the woodland ridges....

 Night Town. Midsummer.   10:00pm approaches...Cat and fox time to be out and about. The furry children of the night with the sharp toothed flittermice whirring in the skies above. The seductive but short hunting hours before dawn.

We returned by cycling slowly down Great Western Road in a long descending freewheel and as it was 10:00pm on a weekend it was quiet and still with very few cars, which suited us perfectly. Passing Drumchapel here.

 It was still surprisingly warm and humid given the late hour so a light brief shower of drizzle didn't dampen our spirits at all and we remained cycling in tee shirt mode, no jackets necessary. After almost four months of continuous sunshine, nearly every day, it was gently refreshing and both we and the greenery appreciated it like never before. 

 


You could almost feel the rain hungry trees breathe a sight of relief.... A 'deep south' evening with a hint of 'tequila mockingbird' perhaps as we got a waft of exotic perfume from the wild dog roses lining the pavements hereabouts. Sultry....in fact.

 It only lasted long enough to dampen the streets... and grass.. and us... though before it petered out again which has been the story of rain falling this spring and summer generally.... very little... apart from one recent flash flood.

 Sparkling streets were an added bonus for a photographer and also helped us see the road ahead for any potential obstacles as the natural light diminished. As was my fair and smiling companion. Anne definitely won the wet T- shirt competition hands down.... sadly I just looked fatter than normal :o(          Note to self: Need to hit the bran flakes, brown rice, and porridge for a few sensation empty, cruel, taste free weeks. Food hedonism always has a price to pay.... No salt, no milk, no butter, no sugar....no joy.....just plain brown rice every day... iron will... and a spoon....(big sigh.)

The End....

But I'll maybe put the brown rice diet off until next week.... :o)      Use up the good stuff first....

 As food hedonism is soooooooo much fun....Rhubarb chunks and raspberry ripple ice cream...