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Posts tagged “Glasgow

Clydebuilt – Glasgow’s Shipbuilding Heritage

Clydebuilt - Glasgow's Shipbuilding Heritage

‘Clydebuilt’ used to be a byword for quality and productivity in shipbuilding, harking back to the days when Scotland was the world’s largest shipbuilding nation and the shipyards on the banks of the River Clyde were churning out the world’s greatest ships. Initially the Clyde was a narrow and shallow waterway, but through conscious efforts directed by Glasgow’s ambition of becoming an important port the river was transformed to fulfill that ambition.The first shipyard was established on the River Clyde in 1712 and since then over 25,000 ships have been built on the Clyde, and over 300 firms have engaged in shipbuilding on Clydeside over the space of several centuries.

Tens of thousands of men worked the shipyards which dominated the banks of the Clyde from Glasgow to Greenock. Yachts, tall ships, steamers, warships, and ocean liners were all built on the Clyde, corresponding with technological advances. Shipbuilding replaced trade as the major activity on the Clyde, which gained a reputation for being the best location for shipbuilding in the British Empire, and the most technologically advanced shipbuilding area in the world, to an extent that at a time over 100,000 people were working on the shipyards and related industries and the Clyde was producing over half of world’s ships. Glasgow had become a major international industrial city, the Second City of the Empire.

The boom and bust of shipbuilding on the Clyde came as a result of the two World Wars. During both wars Clyde shipbuilders made a huge contribution to the war effort, producing more ships than any other shipbuilding area in the country. World War II and the decades afterwards slowly sealed the fate of the area’s industry. The Luftwaffe had targeted Clydebank and the shipyards, causing heavy damage. Other shipbuilding nations rose and surpassed the Clyde in competitiveness and productivity. The jet aeroplane was developing quickly and taking freight and passenger traffic away from the shipping lines. The 1960s brought the great shipbuilding days of the Clyde an end.

Only a handful of shipyards remain on the Clyde. Two major shipyards, in Scoutstoun and Govan, are operated by BAE Systems Surface Fleet Solutions, creating advanced warships for the Royal Navy. A single shipyard remains in Port Glasgow construction car ferries. The shipbuilding heartlands of Glasgow have given way to tourism and 21st century regeneration, giving it a new lease on life. Even so, the glory days of Glasgow’s shipbuilding days are survived by landmarks scattered around the banks of the Clyde, such as the Finnieston Crane, on the left in the photo above and also visible in yesterday’s photo. The cantilever crane was once the largest in the world and only 60 were ever built around the world. Four out of the six built on the Clyde remain to this day to remind future generations of this part Glasgow’s history.

Glasgow Trivia #11: Some quite famous ships were built on the Clyde. Here’s a few you might recognize:
Cutty Sark. Built in 1869, the last clipper to be built as a merchant vessel, she became one of the fastest sail-ships in the world, making record times between Britain and Australia. Now sitting in dry dock in Greenwich, London, she is currently undergoing conservation after being badly damaged by fire in 2007.

Glenlee. Built in 1896, she is one of only five Clyde-built tall ships still afloat. In 1993, 97 years after leaving Glasgow, she was rescued by the Clyde Maritime Trust from being scrapped in Spain. She is now a museum ship known as The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour.

RMS Lusitania. The largest passenger ship afloat when built in 1906, she was torpedoed by a German U-Boat off the coast of Ireland when returning from New York on May 7th, 1915. 1,198 lives were lost, including 128 Americans and the tragedy hastened US entry into WWI.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

River Clyde

River Clyde

There’s a saying that “The Clyde made Glasgow and Glasgow made the Clyde”. Making both of these statements is quite justifiable, as without the ninth longest river in the United Kingdom, and the third longest in Scotland, as well as its access to the sea, Glasgow might never have grown to become Scotland’s largest city. The Clyde, stretching 170 km (106 miles), started as a shallow salmon river which was transformed over the years by Glaswegians to its current form, allowing ships to sail right into the heart of the city.

Due to the Clyde opening to the Irish Sea and the Atlantic, trade with the Americas made the fortunes of Glasgow. Especially sugar, cotton and tobacco were imported, and by 1772 over half of all tobacco shipped to Britain came into Glasgow. With heaps of natural resources nearby, Glasgow grew into a large manufacturing city and its products were exported in massive numbers. Needless to say, shipbuilding became the city’s bread and butter (more on that tomorrow). Before that could happen, the river, which naturally very shallow, had to be made more navigable for large ships. This was achieved by the late 19th century, in time for Glasgow to become a major industrial city and the world’s largest shipbuilding centre.

With the shipyards now mostly gone, the Clyde is undergoing a massive regeneration from Glasgow Green to Dumbarton. The river has been cleaned, the docks closed, and the riverfront is being taken over by residential development, business centres and recreational facilities. A new Riverside Museum should open next sometime next year, to compliment all of the modern landmarks seen above on both banks of the Clyde.

Glasgow Trivia #10: Both banks of the Clyde at the section visible in the above photo used to look vastly different because of Glasgow’s shipbuilding heritage. On the left used to be the Prince’s Docks, built in the 1890s and closed in the 1970s. The basins were filled for the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival. A basin from the original docks still remains on the south side of the Glasgow Science Centre. The larger Queen’s Docks on the other side of the river were built in the 1870s and were filled in with rubble from the demolition of St Enoch Railway Station. These were the furthest docks from the mouth of the river. TheGlasgowStory website has an aerial photo of what the area used to look like, in relation to the university, and another of the two docks.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

The large, impressive and imposing red sandstone building in Kelvingrove Park is the most visited museum in the UK outside London and also Scotland’s most popular free attraction. Built in mostly Spanish baroque style for the 1901 International Exhibition, partially with the profits of the 1888 International Exhibition (construction went over budget and ended up costing over £250,000), the building initially housed the Fine Arts Section for the exhibition. The building itself is a work of art, adorned with a number statues, including a large one of St Mungo on the front facing the University of Glasgow. At night the building is one of the most colourful in the city and nicely complimenting the University. I’ve featured that night view of the two buildings previously.

Between 2003 and 2006 the Kelvingrove was closed to undergo a three-year, £28 million restoration, to restore the building’s Victorian interior to its original splendour. The Museum was reopened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 11 July 2006 and in just six short months overtook Edinburgh Castle as Scotland’s most popular tourist destination. Before the restoration more than 1 million people regularly visited the museum each year and that number has gone up since it reopened.

It’s hard to write about a museum and an art gallery without mentioning what treasures lie within. The Kelvingrove has some 8,000 exhibits on display, up from 4,000 before the refurbishment, with hundreds of thousands of specimens, so I won’t list them all here. Instead of separating the art and museum aspects of the Kelvingrove, the collections are mixed, with one wing dedicated to “Life” and the other to “Expression”, with individual galleries themed. The centrepiece of the vast central hall is a massive pipe organ, built by Lewis and Co., for the 1901 International Exhibition, with daily organ recitals.

Spread around the building are objects from overseas expeditions by such famous explorers as David Livingstone, Charles Darwin and Captain Cook, as well as art and artefacts from dozens of cultures all over the world to which Glasgow traders, missionaries, soldiers and engineers had travelled to. The collections of paintings include works from Italian, Dutch Old Master and Renaissance, French Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, Botticelli, Turner and Whistler. One of the top three collections of arms and armour in the world is in the Kelvingrove and contains many rare or unique pieces ranging from the ancient world to present. Late 19th and early 20th century Scottish art, including the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the ‘Glasgow Style’ school of artists are featured, including furniture and other works by Mackintosh. The natural history of Scotland and the records of animal kingdom are displayed, from prehistoric fossils to garden birds. Archeology collections range from the West of Scotland to Ancient Egypt. There is also a temporary exhibition hall downstairs which currently is displaying arts from “The Glasgow Boys” and previously featured a Dr Who exhibition.

Living in the West Court is also the Museum’s much loved star resident, Sir Roger, an Asian elephant who used to tour the country and resided at the Scottish Zoo in Glasgow before eventually becoming too dangerous and had to be shot. Above him, suspended from the ceiling, is a restored Spitfire LA198. The opposite wing of the Museum is adorned with a work of heads hanging from the ceiling, with varying expressions.

During World War the collections were spread around the UK in secret location, which in hindsight was a good idea as a German bomb exploded on the nearby Kelvin Way Bridge during the War, causing a great deal of damage to the Museum.

Rumor has it that once the building was completed, one of the architects of the building committed suicide by jumping from one of the building’s towers upon noticing that the building had been built backwards, with the back doors facing Dumbarton Road. This, however, is not true, as the museum was built to face the 1911 International Exhibition, not the street. It is because of this most people enter the Museum from the back, so to speak.

Admission to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum free for all, like most of the city’s museums, which is even more reason why it is a must visit for everyone who visits or lives in Glasgow.

Glasgow Trivia #9: By far the most famous of the items in the Museum is a painting by Salvador Dali, Christ of St John of the Cross. Dali created the painting in the summer of 1951 at in his home town of Port Lligat in Spain, the harbour of which is represented in the painting. It is a reworking of a drawing of the Crucifixion believed to have been made by Saint John of the Cross, a 16th century Spanish saint.

The painting was bought by the curator of the Kelvingrove after meeting with the artist in 1952. At the time the purchase created some controversy as many people felt that the price was too high, but apparently Dali had initially asked for £12,000 but the price was negotiated down by a third to £8,200, with Dali also ceding copyright of the painting to the city of Glasgow. Guess he needed the money. Ceding copyright was unusual as it gave away the reproduction rights to the purchaser (think giftshop products, books, postcards, etc…).

The painting went on display in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on June 23rd, 1952, and today it is one of the best-loved works of art in the city. The painting is currently away from Glasgow as it is on loan to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, USA, where it will be on display from August 7th, 2010 until January 9th, 2011, as part of the exhibition Dali: The Late Work.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park

Scotland’s first purpose built public park, Kelvingrove Park provides a fantastic Victorian backdrop to the University of Glasgow and the West End of the city. Glasgow’s city planners in the 19th century had the wisdom to create green areas around the city to contrast the rapid urbanization of the city and in 1852 the City purchased land for £99,569 (around £8million today) to create this green jewel in the West End. One of several such public parks, Kelvingrove was the first and was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton (who also designed the Crystal Palace in London).

There are a number of events which take place within the Park, most notably parts of the biggest event in this part of the city, the West End Festival. The Park plays host to the opening parade and the Glasgow Mela during the last two weeks in June. The above photo is from this summer’s opening events of the Festival on June 13th. The Park has seen several quite a bit larger events in the past, which I’ll get to in the end.

34 ha (85 acres) in size, the Park holds within it a large number of features, the most notable of which is the grand building at the south-west corner of the Park, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and worthy of its own post. In addition, there are five bowling greens, a croquet green, four tennis courts, a children’s play area, a skateboard park, a duck pond, the Stewart Memorial Fountain (erected in 1872), a garden, various statues and monuments, and a bandstand. The bandstand and the adjoining amphitheatre was built in 1924 and was a popular location for outdoor music until it became neglected and vandalised around 1995. Numerous local bands have expressed support for the restoration of the bandstand and there are some proposals for its renovation.

A charitable society, Friends of Kelvingrove Park, looks after the wellbeing of the Park. There are several heritage trails planned out for visitors, one by the society and another by the City Council.

Glasgow Trivia #8: Kelvingrove Park has played host to two International Exhibitions (in 1888 and 1901) and the Scottish National Exhibition (in 1911). Far from merely decorating the Park’s existing facilities, large, impressive buildings were constructed in the Park for the Exhibitions, which have unfortunately since been demolished. Some relics of this part of Glasgow’s history still remain scattered around. The large terracotta Doulton Fountain at Glasgow Green was originally situated in the park for the 1888 Exhibition but was later relocated to its current location. The idealised Elizabethan Port Sunlight Cottages, donated to the city after the 1901 Exhibition, and now used as park workers’ housing, sit south of the University. A small stone circle close to the Gibson Street entrance to the Park roots back to the 1911 Exhibition, when a Highland Village, with some genuine Highlanders, was recreated at the spot. One of the stones is marked with the words “An Clachan 1911″. The most astonishing and famous relic of the Exhibitions is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which I will feature tomorrow.

TheGlasgowStory.com has a plethora of images from the International Exhibitions available for you to visualize what the Kelvingrove Park used to look like.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Kelvinbridge and Great Western Road

Kelvinbridge and Great Western Road

Commonly referred to as Kelvinbridge, the name of the surrounding area, the Great Western Bridge is the third bridge to cross the River Kelvin. The oldest bridge was built in the early 19th century and a second bridge was added in 1840 to carry the Great Western Road across the river. On the east bank of the river at the end of the first bridge was a cottage built for the tollkeeper. Both of these earlier bridges were removed when the third and current bridge, one of the most picturesque in Glasgow, was erected in 1889-1891.

The Great Western Road, at 5km (3 miles) Glasgow’s longest and straightest road, runs from St. George’s Cross by the M8 in the east, to Anniesland Cross in the west. It was originally built as a toll road and now marks the southern end of the A82. Lining the sides of it are some of the city’s finest terraces, and a number of interesting boutiques to spend hours at. The boulevard was serviced by trams until the 1950s.

The site of the former Kelvinbridge Railway Station and the tunnels is just behind where this photo was taken from. The Kelvinbridge Subway Station sits to the right behind the trees, roughly at the location of the old tollbooth cottage. The small seating area on the left, which is always packed on sunny days, is part of The Big Blue restaurant, and the spire of Lansdowne Parish Church is in the background.

Glasgow Trivia #7: The depth stick in the bottom right-hand corner of the photo isn’t just to measure the depth of the River Kelvin, but to remind people of the height of the waters during the December 1994 flood, according to a friendly and talkative local my friends and I met whilst out taking photos along the River Kelvin. The flooding was unprecedented and had a peak flow of 191 cubic meters per second, somewhere along the lines of a 1 in 200 years flood. Because of the abandoned underground Central Line which crosses the Kelvin at Kelvinbridge, the flooding river continued down a secondary path south in the underground tunnels.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

River Kelvin

River Kelvin

Reaffirming Glasgow’s nickname of Dear Green Place, the city’s second river offers a leafy and vibrant streak to the bustling city as it meanders down from the Dullatur Bog north-east of Glasgow to meet up with the River Clyde in Yorkhill. By all standards Glasgow’s second river is quite short, flowing for only 35 kilometers (22 miles). Even then, it holds within it one of the West End’s hidden gems, the River Kelvin Walkway, part of which is seen in this photo taken from the Queen Margaret Drive Bridge, hidden under the trees.

The current state of the River Kelvin ecosystem, after years of regeneration, is thanks to a society called Friends of the River Kelvin (FORK). Formed in 1991, they work to build public awareness and commitment to the care and maintenance of the Kelvin and its tributaries. FORK’s headquarters are at the Ha’penny Bridge House just a little further up the river from where this photo was taken. Their website offers some details on walks one can take along the River Kelvin Walkway.

The Kelvin used to be littered with paper mills, the ruins of some which can still be walked among by the River Side. Most of the mills on the Kelvin have been demolished or left to complete ruin. The easiest to reach remains of a mill within Glasgow are the remains of the North Woodside Flint Mill, which closed in the 1960s. The preserved remains are just behind where the photo was taken from. There are more remains of a mill just across the Kelvin from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. One still remains in operation, the Scotstoun Mill operated by Rank Hovis, south of Partick Bridge on Thurso Street. You’ll recognize Thurso Street from being the home of the Glasgow University Archives.

Glasgow Trivia #6: Because of the refuse from the mills, just fifty years ago the River Kelvin was by definition dead or dying. Decades on, wildlife has returned in large numbers to the ecological corridor, including (according to Wikipedia) the grey squirrel, magpie, grey heron, cormorant, blue tit, great tit, chaffinch, snipe, great spotted woodpecker, blackbird, redwing, carrion crow, kingfisher, mallard, goosander, roe deer, red fox, otter, water vole, mink and brown rat. Salmon and brown trout also inhabit the water of the river, and can be fished (with permit). If you look carefully at the photo above, you can spot a grey heron sitting on a branch in the foreground. All this just a few hundred meters north of Byres Road.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Kibble Palace

Kibble Palace

The larger and much nicer of the two glass greenhouses in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens is called the Kibble Palace. The 2,137m² wrought iron framed house of glass is packed with tropical plants and white marble statues. Oh, and the temperature and humidity is always quite tropical, so if you’re ever cold and close to the Botanics, head to the Kibble Palace.

The Palace was originally designed by John Kibble – a Scottish inventor, engineer and amateur photographer – as a conservatory for his Loch Long estate in the 1860s. In 1873 the palace was taken apart and brought by barge to its current location.

Initially the palace was used for public events and concerts. Some of the last uses of the Kibble Palace were in the 1870s, when Benjamin Disraeli (in 1873) and William Ewart Gladstone (in 1879) were both installed as rectors of the University of Glasgow in the palace. After the latter of those rectorial inaugurations, the venue became wholly used for the cultivation of temperate plants, including a collection of Australian tree ferns, some of which have lived there for over 120 years.

Between 2003 and 2006 the Kibble Palace went through a £7 million restoration programme to fix the corrosion of the ironwork. This involved the complete dismantling of the Palace, and the removal of the parts to South Yorkshire. It was also the first time in over 120 years when the plant collection was completely removed from the Palace, until it reopened to the public in November 2006.

Glasgow Trivia #5: Just behind the spot where this panorama was taken is the abandoned and disused underground Botanic Gardens Railway Station, which was in operation between 1896 and 1939. The line which ran through the Botanics on its way from the Exhibition Centre to Maryhill, the Glasgow Central Line, closed to passenger travel in 1964, and now lies derelict.. Ideas for salvaging the tunnels and station have been thrown around for years, unsuccessfully. for instance, there were plans of turning it into an underground club a few years back, but it fell through because the neighbours opposed it.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Located just across the road from the top of Byres Road, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are a pleasant mixture of a public park and a botanical garden, free and open to the public since the late 19th century.

Established in 1817 at Sandyford, off Sauchiehall Street, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens were originally intended to supply the Department of Botany at the University of Glasgow and to serve as a venue for public events and concerts, although being in private ownerships. In 1842 the 8 acres of land reserved were getting too small and the Botanics were transferred to Kelvinside, where they stand today. In 1891 the Botanics became open for everyone, having been annexed by the City of Glasgow when the Burgh of Hillhead became a part of the city.

The Botanics, although being a fantastic place to go for a picnic and some ice cream on a hot day, are also quite extensive a worthy of exploring. I just recently looked at a map of the Botanics and discovered that there’s still plenty I haven’t explored. Of the two glasshouses, the central one is actually made up of 11 smaller greenhouses. Kibble Palace, the more famous and picturesque of the two glasshouses, I’ll feature tomorrow.

Glasgow Trivia #4: There are three blue TARDIS-esque police boxes in Glasgow, out of some 12 remaining in the UK. The first of these sits to the side of the entrance to the Botanics. The second one is on Buchanan Street and the third at the corner of High Street and Castle Street by the Glasgow Cathedral. There might be one more at the corner of Wilson Street and Glassford Street, but I don’t recall seeing one. (Someone correct me if I’m right or wrong.)

The first police boxes in the UK (different from the TARDIS-like ones) were actually introduced in Glasgow in 1891. Interestingly, until the 1960s, the police boxes in Glasgow were not blue like elsewhere in the UK, but red. More on the police boxes here.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Byres Road at Night

Byres Road at Night

As a University of Glasgow student you will become very familiar with Byres Road, especially considering its proximity to the University. A quick pint with friends on Ashton Lane, studying for exams at a café, browsing the second-hand shops for treasures… Byres Road will add a lot to your time at University. It’s one of the best things about having a campus in the middle of the city, especially in the bohemian West End.

It is at night when the centre of the West End truly comes alive. Well, on most days at least. Sunday to Thursday the streets are populated by students and young people, with older people taking over during the weekend. This is particularly true of Ashton Lane (featured previously). For example, the area inside and outside the converted church at the top of Byres Road (formerly known as Kelvinside Parish Church and now sporting a blue halo on its spire) is packed with middle-aged revellers until 3am on the weekends.

You might be at University to study for the future, but there’s a whole world right next to you for you to experience. Just find the right balance. =)

Glasgow Trivia #3: In the latter half of the 19th century there were attempts to rename Byres Road to Victoria Road, after Queen Victoria. The residents of the area weren’t too pleased with this and kept calling it by the name they preferred. No prizes for guessing who won the dispute. The words “Victoria Cross” and the year “1876” high above the corner of Byres Road and Dowanhill Road are reminiscent of this part of the road’s history. Decoration on the wall of the Waitrose supermarket on Byres Road, both inside the the store and outside, recounts the history of the road.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Byres Road

Byres Road

Shops, restaurants, boutiques, cafés, pubs, charity shops, second-hand shops, estate agents, a candy shop, etcetera. The heart of Glasgow’s West End, Byres Road, is filled with them. The tenements on both sides of the road, and around them too, are populated by an interesting mixture of the wealthy upmarket types and students from the University of Glasgow. These are the reasons the West End’s main thoroughfare is often described as “bohemian”, “chic”, and “artistic”. Add “academic” to that and you have also described much of the population of this part of the West End.

Originally the road ran through a largely rural countryside, with the lands going by the name of the Byres of Partick (a “byre” is a barn for cows). There was little settlement north of Church Street, save for one establishment (see Glasgow Trivia below). Today Byres Road stretches from Dumbarton Road in the south to Great Western Road in the north and is packed with four-story tenements, among other newer buildings.

Glasgow Trivia #2: A tavern is said to have been situated halfway up Byres Road since the 17th century, and still exists today. The current pub, Curlers, is housed in a small 18th century building on the same spot and derives its name from a 17th century pub by the name of Curler’s. The name comes from curling, invented in Scotland, and a large pond used for curling which sat next to the establishment. No such pond exists in the West End to this day. Legend has it that King Charles II, while riding through the area and in need of refreshment, found the pub closed and order of the King had it opened. Satisfied, the King granted the pub a seven-day license, a Royal Charter. Curlers, which is located next to the Hillhead Subway Station and opposite Ruthven Street, is visible in the photo above. Just look for the yellow sign with the curling stone.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Dear Green Place

Dear Green Place
There is more to life in Glasgow than just the University and its campus in the West End. For the month of July I will be posting photos not of the University, but of some aspects and sights of the city itself. The photos are mainly directed at visitors to this site who are thinking about moving to Glasgow and are unfamiliar with the city, but even those of you readers who live in Glasgow might find out something new about the Dear Green Place, places, sights and history outside of the West End Bubble within which many students spend their years at Glasgow University.

“Dear Green Place”, a relatively common nickname for Glasgow (one of the nicer nicknames at least), derives from the Scottish Gaelic name for the city, Glasgu (or Glaschu), which can be loosely translated as the dear green or dear green place. The Scots name for Glasgow is Glesca.

Calling Glasgow a green place is surprisingly fitting, considering the city’s industrial history. City planners in the preceding centuries had the foresight to set up a substantial number of public parks and other green areas around the city, two of which are right next to the University. If you’re looking for more green spaces, there’s Glasgow Green in the east end of the city and Bellahouston Park in the south. The Highlands begin just north of Glasgow and Loch Lomond is a mere half an hour away from Glasgow to the west.

In other words, there’s quite a bit more to Glasgow than just the University, and over the next month I’ll post photos of various parts of the city of Glasgow, including some of my favourite places and sights.

Glasgow Trivia #1: Beginning with the 2010/2011 season, Glasgow will be home, for the first time, to a top-level ice hockey team. The team, Braehead Clan will play their home games at the Braehead Arena. Won’t get the same amount of coverage and interest as Celtic and Rangers, but at least it’s something different.

[Summer 2010 Poll: Where Are You From?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

The Very Reverend Duncan MacFarlan

The Very Reverend Duncan MacFarlan Walking around Glasgow’s Necropolis, by the Glasgow Cathedral, I kept looking around the graves and tombs and mausoleums to find one associated with the University of Glasgow. There are some 50,000 individuals buried there in around 3,500 tombs (according to Wikipedia), so I knew sooner or later we would stumble on what we were looking for. At the top of the hill, right next to the monument to John Knox, was a relatively large monument, one of the largest at the Necropolis, which was dedicated in the memory of a former Principal of Glasgow University.

The Very Reverend Duncan MacFarlan (1771-1857) was Principal of the University between 1823 and his death in 1857. There is more information on Duncan MacFarlan on the side of the tomb if you’re ever around the Necropolis, or you can read a little more about him on The University of Glasgow Story website.

[Poll #12: What is your favourite place to study for exams?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

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The View from Special Collections

The View from Special Collections
A characteristic of Glasgow as a city is its lack of tall buildings. Now, before you cry foul and say “what about the high rises?!?”, allow me to explain what I mean.  Yes, there are high rises, and lot’s of them. The largest concentration of high rises in the UK actually, or so I’ve heard, but even the tallest of them only reach a height of 90.8m, and the Red Road blocks of flats, often mistakenly thought to be the tallest buildings in Glasgow, stand at 89m.

Compare this to the Glasgow University Tower, which stands at about 85m, and the Boyd Orr Building and the University Library a bit shorter than that. Due to this absence of a high concentration of really tall buildings, any tall building in Glasgow offer a nice view of the city. This particular view, taken from the Special Collections on the 12th floor of the University Library, shows parts of the West End and North of Glasgow, some University buildings in the foreground (Adam Smith Building, Bute Gardens, and the  Hetherington Building), the Botanic Gardens, a even Murano Street in the background (can you find it?). Anything else you can find in the panorama? (Click in the photo for larger versions)

See more panoramas from Glasgow University here.

[Poll #12: What is your favourite place to study for exams?]
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© 2010 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

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Morning over Glasgow

Morning Over Glasgow

One of my favourite things to feature on this photo blog are aspects of the University which most people don’t see, either by choice, restriction or lack of knowledge of its existence. I assume most students don’t wander around the various buildings on campus looking for interesting finds, or just to see what the other departments and buildings are holding within them.

The above is a sight which many students won’t see merely because of the circumstances under which this sight is possible. I took the photo at 7.57am from the 10th floor of the University Library. Not too many people around the library at that time, although there were some, hard at work.

The photo looks towards the city centre, and the towers you see in the photo are on Park Circus, just on the other side of the Kelvingrove Park from the University. One day I have to get a shot from the same floor of the libray of the sun setting.

[Poll #6: What is the UGLIEST BUILDING at Glasgow University?]
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© 2009 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

Aerial View of Glasgow University

Aerial View of Glasgow University

The above shot was taken from the window of a plane, which is my way of saying that I’ve now returned to Glasgow now in preparation of the new academic year. I will begin to feature fresh photos from the University next week, as I reacquaint myself with the campus and Scottish weather, check out what’s new, and go check out what’s going on at the museums and art galleries. On Wednesday (September 2nd) I’ll answer the little riddle about University Avenue which I put forth last Sunday. I’d do it sooner, but I need to get a particular photo of the area to demonstrate the answer.

If you click on the photo above you’ll be taken to its corresponding page on Flickr, where, if you move your mouse over the photo, you’ll see that I’ve tagged the few identifiable University buildings in the photo.

Tip: if you’re flying to Glasgow, try to get a seat on the left hand side of the plane, as it seems like the best views of Glasgow and of the University are on the left side of the plane when on final approach and during landing. Don’t quote me on that though, as it’s based on the fact that every single time I’ve flown to Glasgow I’ve sat on the left hand side of the plane and each time I’ve seen the above out of my window.

[Poll #3: Which Academic Faculty do you belong to at Glasgow University?]
Click on the photo above for a larger version. Please rate the photo below!
© 2009 GlasgowUniPhoto.com

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