Saturday 10 February 2024

Glasgow. Stockingfield Junction. Glasgow City Views. Ruchill Park. A Grail Quest.

                                                  ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN


Another semi urban walk I did recently with hill-walking friend Alan was back along the Forth and Clyde Canal but this time to see the landscape and sculptures/ceramics at Stockingfield Junction. Campsie Hills view above. We would also visit the timber basins at Firhill/Maryhill and the Claypits re-wilding project along with Ruchill Park, all reached along the canal at various stages... and all linked by ribbons of lush greenery snaking and sneaking through the urban sprawl, above or sometimes below, the unsuspecting city.


So Stockingfield came next. An area where two canals meet at Lochburn Road in Maryhill. There's a dangerous road tunnel that goes under the canal at this point built in an age before much traffic with very inadequate narrow pavements, barely wide enough for one slim person to shuffle along. Not wide enough for a female with a pram or kid's on bikes, effectively cutting off the three communities living around it like a modern day moat. A single lane for cars squeezes between pedestrians on the narrow strip of pavement using the tunnel as well and it can be a busy bottleneck at times although a new set of traffic lights improves the situation somewhat. So a new bridge was built to replace one that was here decades ago and fell into disrepair over time.


Not got a photo of the bridge as, unlike Alan, I've been here before several times by bike or on foot. Anybody that wants to see it and the Claypits greenery can look at my other posts by typing in     Stockingfield Junction and Claypits. That should get them. Ceramic detail, above.


Ceramic tribute.


A lovely item. My favourite so far hereabouts.

Next we left the canal briefly to cut down through the quiet back streets of Maryhill to reach the River Kelvin just north of the Botanic Gardens. Here the Penguins live. 

No one knows why...

Sometimes there's more of them... on this occasion far less... What parent could deny a crying three year old with outstretched sticky fingers.... ? Little paws with suction tips and tears aplenty....... to weep on command... to obtain the objects they desire.

Hard Hearted Me! That's Who!!! Stop ******** stealing them three year olds!!! Bad Mummy! Bad Daddy! There should be a lot more photos here of cute penguins but they've all been ********* swiped by infants. Not the vast collection I was expecting for our arrival...that I've seen here at other times previously. Bah Humbug.



********** little bread-snappers!  Never mind. Undaunted we made our way back up to the Forth and Clyde Canal. An underwhelming detour this time.

Passing Kelvinbridge Parish Church here.

And this beautiful, and unexpected Army Reserve Centre.


Back on the canal near Partick Thistle Football Stadium.


And the frozen timber ponds at Firhill. Some parts of the canal, in the sun, were water, others like here in the shade all day stayed frozen.

 New flats at Firhill. Like most people in my situation and income bracket, there's not a lot of spare cash for trips abroad at the moment. Probably like 50 percent of the population in the UK coming from a similar housing scheme/ estate background as mine I would imagine. (or the inclination for flying abroad nowadays if I'm honest due to certain non serious but irritating health issues) Although everyone sees other posts on the internet from various friends about fantastic places they visit every year (Thanks Alice!) and what a larger income might bring you I try to make the best of what I have got on my doorstep instead. No complaints from me as I feel I've already led a very charmed and fortunate life... much more freedom and movement than my parents generation ever had by being a 1960s child and therefore largely avoiding the 9 to 5 40 year career necessary to get the big money for someone like me in the first place. (Not bright. Average intelligence. Low drive to get on in business. Body swerve big promotions that would cut down any spare time away with friends. Secret mission statement. ) Although I gave 100 percent in any job I had I lived for weekends and holidays and had no real interest or ambition to climb any corporate ladders. So I happily led an unconventional lifestyle to get what I wanted out of my time here on this good flat Earth. I had plenty of ambitions... just not for work advancement :). Money has never been abundant or a big incentive either but I gained a huge amount of freedom as a result. For instance.... I was far more travelled and adventurous before I started on here with the blog 15 years ago. Got most of my abroad trips in early while I was still backpacking fit, with good knees. For decades I was a walking God! Home and abroad. This is my static end of life era/period you are viewing now. You all totally missed my best stuff... all the missing years and mountains climbed before the internet arrived. Wah! Sniff sniff.....My hasty youth....  The females... or lack of them......First Munros... then...then.... etc etc as detailed in my book Autohighography. Plug plug. Only ten more shopping months til Christmas. Get it early :o)


One advantage of being static however, as people found during covid, is that you really get to know an area well. Having worked in every part of Glasgow over many decades I know most districts fairly well. Street by individual street in many cases. And a cascade of people. In my head a visual memory of each Scottish city and town and what they looked like during the 1960s to the 2000s any time I visited. For work and pleasure. Jobs I enjoyed as it got me into places I'd never get into by myself. Hell, I'd have paid them for the experience half the time. Often very exciting jobs in the big council estates. Memorable times. A Grail Quest. Even doing this blog so many things I have  photographed in urban areas have now disappeared, been transformed, or altered dramatically, in just the last five years. One of the great benefits of a big city is constant change. I still have a love for that around me. Stockingfield Junction here, above, looking north over the city.


Same place.



 And here. Vintage car sculpture.


Next up on our city tour we ascended two different hill tops for the views over the gleaming metropolis below. Claypits Nature Reserve on the canal near  Firhill district just down from Stockingfield and then Ruchill Park, again reached from the canal via this bridge. Locked at night probably. Student zone. Charing Cross district above from Claypits hilltop.



The wooden bridge linking canal to Ruchill Park.



University of Glasgow. Gallery of Modern Art and Library.( The tall grey building.)  From Claypits.

 University of Glasgow Tower. The old section.


Wyndford hi rise flats.


Port Dundas with folk walking along the Forth and Clyde Canal. Both hills good viewpoints.


Glasgow from Ruchill. New hospital at Govan on far right.

 Park Circus Towers from Claypits.

 Maryhill District.

Cowcaddens from Ruchill Park flagpole. A stunning view.

Said flagpole.

 Winter berries for the birds. Ruchill Park.



It's not a bad life if you can see the beauty and magic of the world around you wherever you happen to live and beauty visits me every single day.... and that normally makes me .....      ......delighted.  

 The River Kelvin.

So wherever you are in life... the secret is to make the best of what you have got. Which I try to do. And a new walk for Alan. I think he liked it.... even though he's not that keen on urban walks normally.




Anabel Marsh said...

My stamping ground! It does start to lose its appeal when you do it too often though.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel, I've been three new local places recently for walks I've never been before and after 60 years of Scottish trips that is something special that is a testament to how many areas hold good walking potential in the Central Belt. When I swapped from bagging mountains I was amazed how many great scenic areas existed in the Central Belt which packs a huge amount in despite it being a supposedly heavily populated area. Plus Alan was new to Stockingfield.

Carol said...

What a beautiful tower Kelvingrove Parish Church has! and the Army Reserve Centre is a lovely building too - looks more like it should be down south in the home counties than up there...

When my parents used to be football pools collectors, I used to look at the coupons and decide on teams I'd select - it was always purely on the names. Partick Thistle was always one of my favourites! So was Queen of the South. I had no idea where they were of course...

When I was working I had no ambition to climb the ladder - for all the same reasons. I went to work to earn money to do things out of work and I always chose jobs with lots of time off. Which is why I worked 24 x 7 most of my life as the shifts were great and you got loads of time off in between them.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Yes, I've always admired that church when you walk down the River Kelvin gorge as it soars several hundred feet above you at one point. I remember the pools and my parents doing them... and spot the ball.

Rosemary said...

Your so called 'vintage car sculpture' could be replicated in huge numbers up and down the country when we are all expected to ditch our petrol cars and go electric!!! I do wonder whatever will happen to them all when you see the volume and number of cars travelling up and down the motorways.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary, Yes yet another thing, like London and other big City Ulez zones, basically forced on us without our consent. The jury is still out about electric cars. Are they more carbon footprint friendly when you see how they are being made? There's never enough charging points up here and long journeys up to the Scottish Highlands might be a problem if you can't get a charge point easily or a free space available. Also they weigh a ton and spent battery disposal creates it's own battery mountains further down the line. Plus some have caught fire and they don't like floods or below freezing weather. Also too few garages have switched over to repairing electric cars so I think old cars will be here a while yet.