Glasgow Gallivanting: October 2017

Canal House, Speirs Wharf

It’s been a quiet month for travel, for me at least – John spent a chunk of it working in China, so I don’t suppose he feels the same. Foul weather has meant I haven’t been very far afield, but I have tramped about Glasgow in between rain storms and have a few local buildings to show you.

Speirs Wharf

A Sunday afternoon stroll with John took us down the Glasgow spur of the Forth and Clyde Canal to Port Dundas. Here, Speirs Wharf has been a residential area since the late 1980s but originated in the 19th century as the canal’s headquarters and the City of Glasgow Grain Mills and Stores. As well as Canal House (above) we found other attractive reflections on our walk.

Temple

Forth and Clyde Canal at Temple

On a gloomy Sunday while John was away, the sun suddenly broke through about 3.30pm. I set off along the canal again, but in the opposite direction. I could almost have been in the countryside until Temple Gasometers came into view.

Temple Gasworks were built in 1871 and closed in 1968, but the two large gas holders, dating from 1893 and 1900, were still being used until a few years ago.

Historic Environment Scotland recently sought views on plans to schedule the structures as Category B Listed buildings. I don’t know the result, but the local paper reported divided opinion between those who wanted them conserved and those who would flatten them. I’d be in the former camp these days, though we used to live very close to the gasometers and I hated them then. Now, I can see their beauty as part of our industrial heritage (and I don’t have to pass them every day which helps).

Also at Temple are Locks 26 and 27. The pub Lock 27, which you can see in the background of the portrait image, used to be our local. It’s still handy for a post-stroll pint but wasn’t open on this day.

Jordanhill

At Lock 27, I left the canal and headed for Jordanhill. Some of you might remember this is the University Campus I used to work at. I swore I would never go there again after my last visit a couple of years ago when it was so sad to see the semi-derelict state of it (the campus closed in 2012 and has now been sold for housing), but that’s where my footsteps took me. Nothing has changed – there is some controversy with the development and local people are protesting about the number of homes to be built with little or no improvements in infrastructure. The handsome red sandstone David Stow Building is one of three that will be kept. The other picture is not pretty, I know, but that’s the entrance I used for work every day.

I found it funny to see the bright blue library book drop still there: locked – I checked. I probably locked it myself five years ago. On the door is a notice informing users that the library closed on 1st June 2012, telling them where to take their books in future, and thanking them for their custom over the years. I know I wrote that and put it up and I’m amazed no-one has ever taken it down. I’m just glad I can laugh, it’s all bygones now. I have no regrets.

Down by the Riverside

Another reason that October has been constrained is that I have been fighting with a broken-down boiler which took 6 visits from 4 different workmen to fix, so I have spent a lot of time hanging round the house. One visit was supposed to be on the Sunday afternoon in the middle of the saga, but the engineer phoned to say that he was still waiting for parts and would come on Monday instead. So we set off down the River Kelvin Walkway and then along the Clyde.

The last time we visited this former pumping station it still showed signs of having been a restaurant (first picture below). Eighteen months later, the restaurant’s conservatory has been replaced with a glass still-house for a new whisky distillery. Exciting!

On the other side of the river, we spotted the Waverley (the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world – red funnels) and Queen Mary (the only remaining Clyde-built turbine steamer which is now being preserved as a museum ship – yellow funnels). We crossed over to have a look.

Both ships are berthed by the Glasgow Tower, a rotating structure which you are supposed to be able to ascend but which spends more time inactive than not. From its podium, we got a good view of the Glasgow Science Centre and some of the other weird buildings by this part of the river.

The last bit

I came across this piece of street art near Glasgow University. It’s by an artist new to me, Pink Bear Rebel, who focuses, I’ve read, on anti-Trump protests and rebelling against the ‘meaningless of life’. I’ll be on the look-out for more.

And the boiler? Well, as of last Tuesday we have heat – just as well, because overnight frosts have returned. It also gives me this month’s Scottish words lesson because it’s been a sair fecht to deal with (sore/hard fight; something problematic).

I hope your October has NOT been a sair fecht!

85 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: October 2017

  1. Su Leslie November 14, 2017 / 22:33

    That’s interesting; but I think I know what you mean. I get quite impassioned about my “neighbourhood” in ways I certainly don’t feel about other places I visit, and I’m sure that’s reflected in anything I write about them.

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  2. Su Leslie November 14, 2017 / 04:20

    I do love your local gallivanting (not that I don’t appreciate sharing in your travels further afield), and that street art is fab. I’m glad the boiler is fixed — I’m hearing from family in Kirkcaldy that it’s a bit nippy now. 🙂

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    • Anabel Marsh November 14, 2017 / 07:44

      That is one way of describing it! Glad you enjoy the Gallivanting – I think I actually prefer writing those to the foreign travels now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine - I used to be indecisive November 13, 2017 / 21:20

    We’ve had many a sair fecht with boiler trouble over the years, so I can sympathise entirely with the frustrations of it all. I’m glad it got sorted out in the end. Thanks for the glimpses of Glasgow and environs – it’s always good to learn more about a place where I grew up bit didn’t really explore before I moved away.

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  4. lisadorenfest November 9, 2017 / 04:08

    I am glad that you were able to return to your old stomping ground at The University at Jordanhill with a sense of humor and without regret. The street art piece is magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh November 9, 2017 / 08:10

      Yes, what’s gone is gone. I just wish they’d get on and redevelop the site, it’s such a waste at the moment.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Helen C November 4, 2017 / 19:44

    Beautiful photos and wonderful story as usual, Anabel. It’s interested to read a little about the place you worked before. I worked at downtown before I retired 4 years ago, and even now I still avoid going there. Ha.
    Have a great day/evening.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. pommepal November 4, 2017 / 09:48

    Interesting architecture. And I forget how cold it can get in your part of the world as we start to swelter into summer

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    • Anabel Marsh November 4, 2017 / 10:23

      Which means I enjoy reading posts from your part of the world as compensation for the weather we have here!

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  7. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy November 3, 2017 / 17:39

    I like the shells of the gas holders – they seem almost like modern art. I’m sure they could be used for something as well – perhaps put tables underneath them, string some lights, and have a nice beer garden.

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