Thursday 17 August 2023

The Barras 2023 and some wall murals.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN


A couple of weeks ago I was supposed to be meeting Alan at the Barras Market in the East End of Glasgow but being a Sunday I was late trying to catch a bus so I missed him by 15 mins as he had to be elsewhere and had left his mobile phone in the house. Bus services in Glasgow on a Sunday are usually grim so despite leaving my own house much earlier than I normally would on a week day ( when I have a choice of four different buses every 15 to 20 mins Mon to Fri, ) only one of the four buses I could normally get ran a service on Sundays and even then it was cut to every 40 mins. So I missed him. Raindrops clinging to nasturtiums above. Sticky water in action. Another form of surface tension demonstrating the basic laws of physics. Nature always provides us with loads of inspiration. Water gemstones perhaps as a glittering example? I'd imagine rain had this idea first before humans replicated this look with solid objects.

 Cut diamonds mural.

 The original inspiration perhaps to start polishing rough gemstones? After all, this example was right in front of humans all the time as a perfect sparkling reality of what might be possible. Also visible magnification in action with the largest droplet here. Monkey see... monkey do.


So after 20 mins of waiting I realized he was not going to show up so I had a wander around myself with the camera.


Bud Neill mural above Bill's Tool Store. It was a morning of heavy showers but that just meant the streets and market stalls had less customers than normal, rain being a real trade killer for open markets with less footfall on wet Sundays.

 The other half of the mural. Bud Neill was a popular newspaper strip cartoonist during the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s era with a fictional blend of Wild West cowboy influences. local Scottish humour, and World War  II references.  Bill's tool store has been situated in the Barras for decades.

 A mural tribute to the Scottish novel Shuggie Bain, about a young guy growing up in Glasgow. I've got the book in the house somewhere but not read it yet. 

 It is situated on the side wall of the famous Barrowland Ballroom and is so large I had to capture it in two separate photos.


A few other colourful murals in this area.


An old favourite. Glad to see it still there.


An older very faded and slightly damaged mural I've managed to restore back to full colour before it disappears forever. This is the old Barras market. A traditional view as a place for bargains, street entertainment, and gossip with friends while shopping.


The old clay pipe factory, built in 1877, now an occasional arts venue. This was where I was supposed to meet Alan.


A Celtic pub in the Barras. Being traditionally an East End located football team, with Parkhead stadium not that far away, Celtic pubs tend to dominate here. Rangers being located at Ibrox with Rangers pubs scattered around that area traditionally. Makes sense before or after games for favourite pubs to be walking distance away from the football grounds due to the large numbers of supporters involved in one locality.

 Calton Weavers strike mural.

 The other part of it.


Fortune telling mural perhaps....


Tunnock's tea cakes. A Scottish factory making a variety of tasty treats, caramel wafers being another popular one they make.



Ornate Catholic church in the Barras.


A closer detail of it.


Ukraine mural on shop shutter. 

Wall art.

 What the Barras Market area looks like now.... a handful of lanes with some shuttered shops like these, some moveable outside pop up stalls, and several out the elements labyrinthine, almost Dickensian, indoor passageways... all selling a wide range of fancy goods. Not as wondrous or as busy as in it's heyday period (1930s to 1980s) with much stiffer competition nowadays from a plethora of other discount stores but still a unique experience in Glasgow to this day.


Some buildings in the area could do with a fresh coat of paint however... or modernization in some way....


But even the Barras District is gradually changing with a large new supermarket close by and modern apartment blocks springing up in the area.


The most colourful local restaurant being this one.

 Also with an American theme going on by its vibrant some well known Scottish treats...


Sidewalk mural.... and Only Fools and acted by giant budgies...or pigeons.... so plenty to look at as you eat your meal.

 I wandered back via Glasgow Cross District.


Architects often try to imitate certain existing features of their surroundings when placing a new building into the mix. These apartments having the look of an updated medieval castle/ courtyard in some ways with the newer rooftop spire copying the much older version at the back.


Period buildings close by, above.



Glasgow Cross, a mere stone's throw from The Barras. The well preserved older part of the city. If the city fathers had managed to keep and restore more of Glasgow's older districts of period buildings however we would have been much more of a match for Edinburgh's quaint tourist honey-holes of cobbled lanes and alleyways. Glasgow at that time though seemed to be more obsessed with Le Corbusier's vision of a new radiant city springing upwards from the old outdated warrens and communal closes of the early 1800s... demolishing entire old streets and districts... replacing them with in vogue 1950s to1960s visions of concrete hi rise modernity and motorway ring roads.


The remaining older buildings we do have left giving a glimpse of that potentially rich ornate past with a brand new 2023 addition rising above in the background and nearing completion.

On the way back I passed another new addition to Glasgow's infrastructure. On the site of the former Western Infirmary, several blocks rising from the rubble of the old. Probably University of Glasgow student flats.... or other uni infrastructure of some sort.

....and another street mural in nearby Partick. Still raining on and off.


So I might have missed Alan but I still made the most of my time at the Barras. Even with Sunday buses! Angry mural.

 Rock's not dead mural.

And I met a young fox and got to play with it. So a good productive day.


Rosemary said...

Lucky you playing getting to play with a young fox - ours scamper away - what is your secret. Lots of lovely murals, but you can't beat nature - that raindrop on the nasturtium leaf is lovely.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
my main secret is to be quiet but alert near it, watch for it's demeanor changing, and always keep my hands, feet and fingers away from it's teeth.

Anabel Marsh said...

I like wandering round that area too. The new buildings on the infirmary site are academies, not residences.

Anabel Marsh said...

Academic! Autocorrect, huh.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel,
I was wondering as I typed that why they needed so many student flats when West Village is so close but as every other recent new build that shape has been either student flats or a hotel or office block I thought I'd take a guess at it and look it up later. I always think I'll rattle off each post in around an hour and I'm still editing and correcting them 3 hours later if I think of something else to say.

Carol said...

I'd like to see/hear more about you playing with the fox cub - didn't think they'd play with humans...

If you lived here, the buses are more like every 3 hours rather than 3 an hour so you really would have missed the boat if you missed it!

Liked the female? Pirate mural best...

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
I bet you would. It's one I already know well from my local area which is why it's not as shy as most. I see it frequently at night out hunting so it already knows me by sight and smell.
I like that mural as well.
Hope you are feeling a bit better now.

Carol said...

I am perking up a bit thanks Bob. And that's despite pulling a 2-day house clearance at my mother's (with Richard to help) during the week. We were exhausted at the end of the first day and nearly fell asleep over our evening meal in the pub and went to bed really early. But after the second day, we didn't feel too bad and I was fine the next day. So I'm definitely improving...

blueskyscotland said...

Good to hear Carol, Just make sure you are not back doing long hill days too soon before you and your body are ready. 30 years ago I had badly knackered knees from backpacking with heavy loads, painful and crunching to walk uphill or down, even small ones, but a years rest away from the mountains cured them again. Which I didn't think would be possible.

Carol said...

I don't think a year's rest away from the hills is possible for me! But I'm only doing small and insignificant stuff just yet.