Monday 19 September 2022

A New Glasgow City Centre Walk. Murals 2022.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.

A recent solo walk in Glasgow City Centre saw me get off at Anderston Train Station, as usual, then head over the nearby pedestrian bridge to Glasgow's banking and financial district.

 One of the reasons I like this approach so much is that on foot, from this direction, this western edge of Glasgow City Centre feels and looks like a very modern metropolis. Like the emerald city of Oz in fact. Brand new buildings springing up every couple of years to add to the ones already there.

 It's also neat, quiet and tidy here.

 On a bright sunny day this elevated pedestrian walkway into the heart of the financial district always makes me feel sunny and bright inside as well. Probably because I don't have to work there. I'm just a casual visitor. Yippee!  New bank just completed with running track on the roof.



Just like the emerald city of Oz all that glass and steel requires maintenance. There they presumably have flying monkeys to polish all the buildings... as I know for a fact that the Wicked Witch Esmeralda hires them out on contract when they are not harassing Dorothy. 


Here we have similar creatures, skilled at working in high places.

 I thought the Moda Living Complex nearby would have been finished by now but they are still working on it, as you can see here...

 Likewise the new building on Argyle Street, seen here, which is nearing completion.

I then popped down to the River Clyde Waterfront to see the other, (Kingston Street) side of the Barclays Bank Complex. Some of the buildings here are brand new...

Others are old buildings they have managed to save and repurpose. Note the red metal balcony at the rear of this property...


This is the back elevation of the same building. Although it is fairly colourful now it does look unfinished somehow to my eyes and for a few bucks more and a few cans of paint it could look eye-catching and outstanding... from even half a mile away.

 My own idea for it.... to jazz it up a little. Just a thought.... Can you spot a dog and a hippopotamus?

 They are still working on some of it... this may be a multi storey car park at a guess?

 The front profile along the River Clyde Waterfront. They now have the flower borders in place.


Walkway/cycle-track along the front elevation of Barclays Bank Complex.



Decorative border display.


Although I was not really collecting murals I just happened to stumble across a few I hadn't captured before. This is by Mack Colours, the same guy(s) that put murals up in the abandoned
Shawbridge Arcade featured a few posts ago on here. Canary in a coal mine?


Both of these are found along the waterfront beside Clyde Street and the suspension bridge.

 Virus mural?


Suspended Female.

Corvid not Covid. I say 'guys' as there's more than one name tag by the looks of it

Railway Mural.


Glasgow Subway Mural. Nicknamed decades ago as 'The Clockwork Orange.'

All five murals found on Osborne Street near this pet shop and the Saltmarket. When I was a child I'm sure I bought my yellow budgie/ canary, my terrapin, tortoise, and hamster here.


Retro red bus.


Retro 1970s colours. I went to school in this type of bus and this particular colour scheme for many years.  Number 48 and number 49 Nitshill or Priesthill. I could get either, the latter involved a 15 minute walk.  Didn't think anything of it at the time but looking at it now it might only please one half of Glasgow :o)


St Andrews Parish Church. Built 1756. 


Amazing to think this was built only ten years after the famous battle at Culloden 1n 1746 when the Highlands were finally crushed and subdued a year after Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in Scotland to kick-start the Jacobite Rebellion.  1756 was also the year when the Black Hole of Calcutta incident occurred. Poet Robert Burns was born a few years later in Ayrshire.


The adjacent St Andrew's Square. It's a beautiful restored development here but it always feels empty and desolate somehow... probably because you never see any residents coming and going or children playing outside. It usually looks like this. Very quiet.



Does have some lovely stone carving details though in this vicinity. Glasgow's coat of arms and motto.



The bird that never rang.. the tree that never flew... the bell that never swam.. the fish that never grew.... something like that anyway....

A study of a women in black mural....

A series of black and white portraits in this district by a well known street artist. This is just two of them.

Collegelands District.

Avenues and alleyways in Collegelands.


Collegelands and the University District.


Which brought me out at the Ingram Street murals of the four seasons. Autumn.

Summer. Photographed these murals around eight to ten years ago on the blog so I was very surprised how well the colours have held up. Hardly faded at all and still one of the real highlights of Glasgow's mural trail.



Bee in meadow. A mural detail.


Indigenous peoples mural. Merchant city. Painted for the recent Cop 26 and climate change but could also stand for the original populations of North and South America during first contact with Europeans which within a few hundred years of exploration and exploitation managed to wipe out more than 130 million citizens or around 90 percent of the original inhabitants of each country there through disease, slavery, neglect, and torture than most of dead of the various European Wars we celebrate every year and remember to this day. It is what it is.



Same mural. A close up detail.

And across the street... high up on a nearby building... two passionate dancers are entwined.

 And a cracking tasty meal when I got home. Broad beans, sausage, baby spuds with butter, salad cream, fried cherry tomatoes, fried onions, boiled egg. Yum yum.

Wednesday 7 September 2022

Bellahouston Park. Cardonald Cemetery. Pollok House and Gardens.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.

 Another enjoyable outing, this time through familiar districts yet picking out a less travelled path linking them all up. I started out in Bellahouston Park, seen above, but walked sideways instead of exploring up the hill, keeping within the park boundaries as a pleasant green corridor but heading parallel to Mosspark Boulevard in the direction of Cardonald Cemetery.

 It was a beautiful summer's day a few weeks ago in mid August during the heatwave period with very little rain for two months but being Scotland and always ten degrees cooler than stifling London and the South East at 35c to 40c for several weeks the grass was still green instead of brown.

 Cardonald Cemetery came next, another pleasant green oasis in the useful shade, with a few surprises on route.

 Colourful School Mural. From a young child's imagination going by the animal's facial expressions but nice and cheerful nonetheless.

Halfway down the cemetery there is a gate ( I went in through the top gate on Mosspark Boulevard) and came out onto Corkerhill Road. Mosspark on the right here with the wooded Cardonald Cemetery on the left. Could not see a bottom gate where the Cemetery backs directly onto Glasgow Clyde College so retraced my steps to the middle gate in this wall.

 This used to be the individual Cardonald College up until they merged several different colleges together all over Glasgow and Scotland (probably the UK as well) to create several larger super colleges.

 Silverburn Shopping Centre in the heart of Pollok surrounded by miles of woods and gently rolling countryside. A very distinctive building since its upgrade and makeover, (almost like an Aztec or Mayan temple rising from the surrounding jungle) and one which replaced the old Bundy scheme. Although it's well known on here I love the Pollok area for its unique landscapes I'm not being biased but factual when I say it's very different from the other big three township estates of Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk, each holding between 30,000 to 50,000 inhabitants at their peak in the 1970s and each one constructed on the separate four outlying corners of the city. Pollok is the oldest, being built before and after the Second World War from the 1930s to the 1970s (in the case of the deck access estate of Darnley, and the smaller addition of Cornalee,  the last council housing projects to be constructed in this G53 area.)


In the original plans Pollok started out as a low level garden suburb, just like neighbouring Mosspark and Knightswood, build in the 1920s and 1930s, with rows of cottage type houses, wide dual carriageways and streets lined with a variety of different attractive trees and pleasant surroundings, each house with back and front gardens. House types would also have a variety of different styles here.

It's an area that's well kept and attractive to this day. Pollok captured in all its autumnal glory here.The other large estates of Drumchapel, Easterhouse and Castlemilk came slightly later and by that time, 1950s to 1960s, with population numbers in the city still increasing year by year long rows of identical three and four story tenement clusters replaced the garden suburb idea, which took up too much land and was slow and costly to build. Although these tenement new builds housed more people most of these tenement clusters across the city, including those built in Pollok, only lasted 30 to 40 years before demolition whereas the earlier lower level garden suburb districts are still standing 80 to 90 years later.


Continuing my walk down Corkerhill Road past Corkerhill I ended up at the Pollok entrance to Pollok Park. Looking down on Corkerhill Road and Braidcraft Road roundabout here from Hardridge Wood.

Normally entering Pollok Country Park from this direction I would stick to the low level tarmac path beside the White Cart Water, seen here, but instead I headed diagonally uphill on a grass path to the small thin ribbon of woods above Hardridge Road in Corkerhill. The last time I explored up here I was a teenager so I enjoyed these different and seldom visited views immensely.


Looking over Pollok towards the Brownside Braes/Gleniffer Braes above Barrhead and Paisley. Living on the far side of Pollok in Nitshill to this opposite end of the estate we could reach these superb real life 'sunlit uplands'  every spring, summer, and autumn as they sat only a couple of hours walk from our house as children. Walking to the far horizon became an impulse during my later teenage years of curiosity, just to see what things were like close up. I also had better, more comfortable footwear... proper trainers I bought myself rather than cheap black rubber gym shoes required for school or uncomfortable street shoes... once my feet stopped growing. One such teenage walk with brand new Adidas three stripe trainers was to this low wooded hillside I stood on today as I could view it from my own hillside abode many decades ago. " Wonder what's up there?" I thought one morning, looking across at that distant horizon. " a new wood to visit?" So I promptly walked it to find out what it was like by using the much quieter Kennishead Road and Boydstone Road across farmland and grass fields on minor B roads that even today see little traffic on them. I've always liked OS maps and street maps for planning routes and one of my first and most useful was the Glasgow map.

 The distant Leverndale Tower from Pollok Park woodlands. The 'beautiful south' in all its 'splendour in the grass' this stage just starting to turn brown. Half the time on this side of the River Clyde you would never guess you were still within a large city environment.

 That same impulsive 'wonder what's out there?' curiosity took me speeding, lemming like, uncaring, straight over a cliff, towards London at nineteen, although that eventful journey was undertaken by bus.


A zoomed view over garden suburb Pollok towards the distant Brownside Braes. We used to take a bus as well, every weekday, to and from secondary school to reach our school located within central Pollok about nine bus stops away from our own estate so my teenage thoughts once I reached this distant hilltop on foot was probably the same one then that I had today.



An un-zoomed view. You can just make out if you click on the photo above the small white tower in the far distance sticking up (middle of picture) which is Nitshill tower and my house was past that, further on again. It was a long way back after my initial enthusiasm of getting here ebbed... yet I never thought of getting the bus back. That would be cheating! Especially after buying new trainers for walking places. We had simple pleasures back then. Coal fires in the tenement living room under the age of ten before a switch to electric fires to prevent smog in cities every winter. No central heating in houses. Not many snacks or fizzy drinks between meals. No computers or entertainment in bedrooms expect a radio or a record player. It was basic.... and healthy.


Besides... walking in Pollok in any direction was sheer joy- back then and even now. So much beautiful rolling landscapes of woods, small hilltop meadows, and still quiet roadside pavements or grassy swards. Perfect for walking or cycling. A  closer zoomed view of Nitshill Tower and Neilston Pad, one of the notable higher landmark hills in the district.



School's out in central Pollok. Looks idyllic but like any of the big Glasgow council estates in the 1960s to the 1990s it could be rough. Bullying in school was par for the course back then and ubiquitous everywhere in a comprehensive setting. If you were different in any way... too smart, quiet, gentle, different race, came from another city, different accent, interested in weird subjects, not many friends, wrong clothes, wrong shoes.... wrong anything really... you could be a target. Even teachers faced a daily war of attrition. They might be good at their chosen subject but they had to be a ringmaster first and foremost. Lion tamers before they could teach anything. Some did it with the belt. Dishing out punishments for very minor things, like talking in class, even in whispers, and ruling by fear alone. A rare few didn't need the belt having the charisma, coolness, and inner steel of a born leader that was instantly respected. Some didn't have that ability at all, couldn't control the class properly and lost respect. Almost reduced to tears in public or tempted by drink/prescription drugs when they found out they were not mentally suited to the daily battles and daily quips from the same disruptive teenage pupils year after year that made many other surrounding pupils school days an absolute misery. Teenagers brought up in a hard environment, conditioned to pounce instinctively, like predators, on any perceived weakness shown by anyone around them.Teachers or pupils alike. The conundrum of all schools, then and now... locked in a building for years on end with same aged pupils you would willingly avoid, and could usually avoid, at all costs, out on the street. Survival of the fittest... the hardest... and most cruel... at school.. if you wanted to fit in and avoid being picked on...  bullies hunting in packs... or shunned by the rest if a singled out target, completely vulnerable and increasingly alone... as intended....the majority of the rest usually unwilling to put their head above the parapet in case they were next on the list. The same human rules in any large institution where people are confined together... prisons, factories, warfare facilities for troops. Slightly ironic that the place where you are forced to attend by society for education and understanding may well end up being the most extreme or dangerous environment of your lifetime.


Luckily, I could always leave all that institutional nonsense behind, escaping over the fields or into the sylvan beauty existing throughout Pollok in my free time. Another world entirely... away from knives and local gangs.


The magnificent Pollok House. Built in the early 1750s and the home of the Stirling Maxwell family after they left the defensive stronghold of Haggs Castle for a more palatial abode suited to the times. Less warlike and protective... more elegant and showy.


Despite the lack of rain I timed it just right for the nearby Pollok House walled gardens.

Beautiful big blooms for late summer and early autumn. Seasonal late summer/early autumn borders in parks often feature Sunflower, Helenium, or Rudbeckia. This might be Helenium at a guess though no idea which variety this is.

Gazebo and Pollok House.

Bridge reflection on White Cart Water. Pollok Country Park.


Formal garden at its best. Pollok House.


Stone latticework and stairs to the upper garden area.


Red splurge over stonework.


Past water feature at a guess. A now dry basin even before the heatwave arrived.


Mombresia buds. A flower often heralding the last of summer's warmth and the more changeable approach of autumn. I returned to Bellahouston Park via the Dumbreck Road exit completing a very enjoyable circular walk. Two Parks. One Cemetery. Scenic vistas throughout.

Pollok House and classic yellow car.