Monday, 16 December 2013

Glasgow Cathedral

I think I'm like most Glaswegians in knowing that the city has a cathedral (actually there are four) but not thinking much of it. This may be because of its location. It's surrounded by the Royal Infirmary and the view from Castle Street is not impressive. It looks no different to the scores of other churches in the city. The best place to appreciate the scale of the building is from the Necropolis to the east of the cathedral. The cathedral is mostly 15th century in the medieval gothic style. The Necropolis is also worth a visit to see the final resting place of the great & good of Victorian Glasgow.

The cathederal from Castle St (google streetview)
from the Necropolis

in 1693

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Finnieston Crane

The crane is a landmark of the Glasgow riverfront and a symbol of the city. It was built at Stobcross quay in 1932 and was used to load the engineering products of the city onto ships for export around the world. In particular it lifted the locomotives built in Springburn in the north of the city.

The crane working at Stobcross quay in 1957
Lifting a loco, 1952
A loco being transported from the Hyde Park works to the docks. This photograph looks ancient but the tele forks on the motorcycle indicates the late '40s
Loco being transported to docks, 1955

Monday, 11 November 2013

Arnold Clark Vehicle Repair Building

It's not often that an industrial building is fulfilling its original purpose 100 years after construction but this is the case here. Located in Kilbirnie Street on Glasgow's south side this building was constructed in 1913 for an automobile coachwork company and is still used for vehicle repair today.

As a former civil engineer it is of interest to me since it is an early use of reinforced concrete using the Kahn system from the USA.

I spent three years working in this area during the construction of the M74 Motorway. I visited the building a couple of times to take progress photographs of a large viaduct. 

One of my progress photographs from the building

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Finnieston Tunnel Rotundas

I'm sure that a lot of Glaswegians don't know that there are tunnels under the Clyde between Finnieston & Govan, west of the city centre. Three 16 foot diameter tunnels were constructed opening in 1895. Two for traffic and one for pedestrians & a water main. Traffic accessed the tunnel via hydraulic lifts, six in each rotunda building on either bank. There were ferries in this area but the tunnel allowed horse drawn carts to carry a heavier load over the river because they did not have to negotiate the ramp onto the ferry.

The tunnels were not a success and the company running them went bust after a few years. The city corporation ran the tunnels until 1943 when the lifts were removed. The pedestrian tunnel closed in 1980.

The rotundas were eventually renovated. The north one is now restaurants. The south one is currently unused. 
South rotunda

North rotunda (Finnieston crane behind)
North rotunda

Horse drawn traffic in 1897

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Charing Cross & St George's Mansions

The tenement building is Glasgow's defining architectural style and the most extravagant examples can be found on either side of the M8 motorway on Sauchiehall Street & Woodlands Road.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Luma Tower

This was a light bulb factory built in 1938 in the Art Deco style. It has a distinctive tower that was apparently used to test bulbs. The factory became derelict but was rebuilt as housing in the early '90's. It is located in Linthouse (near Govan) in the west of Glasgow.

Doulton Fountain

Located in Glasgow Green the Doulton Fountain is the largest terracotta fountain in the world. It was gifted to the city by Sir Henry Doulton for the 1888 Empire exhibition and commemorates Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and the Empire's colonies.

The fountain was restored by the City Council in 2004.

Queen Vic

Canada - The guy is carrying a moose head as is the custom in that country


Monday, 7 October 2013

Neilston Mill

This is a huge, imposing Victorian structure near where I used to live. It's on the road between my childhood home and the coast at Irvine so I passed it often in my early biking days. Called Crofthead Mills, but known as the Neilston Mill by locals it was constructed in 1881 and replaced an earlier mill on the site that burned down. This is the only remaining mill of many that sat in the valley of the River Levern (or Levern Burn as it's known) At one time it was the largest thread producing mill in Britain and part of the textile industry that dominated this area. The mill closed in 1992 and now seems to used for storage of some kind. A company renting skips operates on the premises.

The mill seems out of proportion to the small town of Neilston. It does not dominate the town, however, since the town is located above the valley that the mill looks on to.

The building is whitewashed brick and though a bit shabby it appears to be in good condition.