Glasgow Gallivanting: August 2020

River Ericht at Blairgowrie

August was a month of activity on three levels. From the top – we went on holiday! Admittedly, this was our Easter Holiday postponed, but it still felt good to be out of the city for a while. The view above was ours for a week – more to follow in due course.

Level two – at weekends, we continued to walk in areas on the edge of or just outside Glasgow. Sometimes, this meant pretty countryside as below.

At other times we went to places that are not maybe obvious ones to visit, such as Bishopbriggs just over the  Glasgow border in East Dunbartonshire. However, this town has some interesting historical sites we wanted to visit. Mavis Valley, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, existed as a mining village from 1851 to 1955. You can see the rows of houses on the information board below. Today trees have reclaimed the site, but if you look carefully you can still see the remains of a wall here and there.

Tragedy struck Mavis Valley in 1913 when six of the 22 men who died in the Cadder Pit disaster were residents. There’s a memorial to them outside Bishopbriggs Library. (There’s another memorial at Lambhill Stables which I’ve posted about before).

In between Mavis Valley and the library, we came across some quirky critters!

We then walked out the other side of Bishopbriggs to Huntershill, home of 18th century radical Thomas Muir. Here we found a memorial cairn and the Martyr’s Gate commemorating Muir and four other men who were transported to Australia for sedition in 1793-4.

Muir’s family home, Huntershill House, is just across the road, and what a sorry state it is in! For a while, it was owned by the local council who sold it on a few years ago. It’s now on the Buildings at Risk Register – see what it should look like here.

Finally, on weekdays we continued with our lockdown routes after John finished work. We don’t take as many photographs now, but I still have a large backlog of themes that piqued our interest. Today, I’ve collected together some of the many messages that people have sent out during the various stages of lockdown. This bench in Partickhill, for example, has a message which changes daily. On both occasions that we stopped to photograph it we met the woman who created it. She seemed delighted by our interest.

In deepest, darkest lockdown people were sending messages to loved ones they could not meet, and a school gate held a poignant tribute to a teacher who had died.

Some messages expressed thanks, encouragement, or hope.

Children created lending libraries on tables and art galleries on fences.

Even canal boats had something to say.

I wasn’t sure what this was all about until I looked up Conversations From Calais which aims to re-humanise those affected by the refugee crisis by using public space to share conversations volunteers have had with migrants met in Calais.

There were many other political messages in evidence.

And finally, there was the plain odd!

So that was my August – a month of widening horizons. Unfortunately, this week things took a backward step with Glasgow being put into “local measures” because of increasing infection levels. It’s not lockdown, but we’re no longer allowed to visit other people’s homes. Here’s hoping that will have changed for the better by the end of the month. Happy September everyone!


  1. I never tire seeing people’s creativity as in the carved trees and of course slogans are always a bit of a laugh. I won’t say so much about Karen’s as that’s my sister in laws name, she’s not a fascist just bossy.


  2. Always love to see what people write in public. Microcosm of life. ‘No fascists, no Karens!’ We have a friend called Karen. She’s deeply p*****d by that nominal appropriation though not as much as my brother when the punk classic ‘Gordon is a moron’ appeared. Keep walking.


    • I can see your brother might not have liked that song! I know some Karens too (of various spellings) and I can’t think of one who isn’t nice. I’ve only been aware of it since the current crisis began but apparently it’s been a meme for a while. First one I saw was a cat saying “Karen, we have to talk. You’re in my house too much lately“. Thought it was a random choice of name at the time.


  3. You have certainly made the most of your local area. Always surprising how fast nature reclaims former busy communities until they are almost unrecognizable as villages, large works, or hamlets without the help of info boards to give you an idea of former glory..Visited a street recently in the city that is just a flat wood now yet is currently listed online with house prices of homes for sale that no longer exist. Obviously no one checked it out first.


  4. I’m sorry you’ve had to step back a bit in your lockdown. It’s what we should have been doing all along! At least you have expanded your horizons. I love your views in that first set of pictures; what beautiful weather you had. I also love all the messages on the bench and related to COVID lockdown; also the political messages give me some hope. I’m so happy to see you out and about. 🙂


  5. I think your blog is like an archive of all the messages and art that people created over these strange times. We certainly have lived through history! Hope things change for the better soon in Glasgow. We seem to be getting away with it here in the Ribble Valley, though all the surrounding bigger places seem to be in and out of local lockdowns all the time.
    Glad you got to go on holiday. Must have been lovely. Looking Fwd to hearing more about it. X


  6. What fab pictures, again. You obviously had good weather for your holiday. I envy you. Although we are not in lockdown I still don’t feel safe leaving home, so I’m just here champing at the bit. Glad you managed the break though, it is such a lovely feeling to wander in different neighbourhoods.


  7. Anabel – your walks are so encouraging. Hope all settles back into your normal soon. Here, we are still mid-lockdown, small outside gatherings are okay, but things have never gotten past that. But, we are staying much safer than most of the USA, and I won’t argue with success. Cheers – Susan


  8. Good to know you’ve been getting out and about. I have not doen as well, although I have done a lot of gardening, and also nearly ready with my next book 🙂
    Love the notices… I saw a few hand-made rainbows around here, but not much otherwise.