Sunday, 9 November 2014

Glasgow Tower

Glasgow Tower was built in 2001 as part of the Science Centre on the south bank of the River Clyde, west of the city centre. The entire tower rotates to give panoramic views of the city from the viewing gallery. Sounds great eh? Well no. The bearing at the base of the tower failed soon after opening causing the tower to be closed for two years. In 2005 the lift failed with visitors having to be rescued by the fire brigade. The tower was closed to the public in 2010 after further problems.

The tower re-open in the summer this year, but…. It isn't rotated when visitors are up the tower and the lifts are not operated if the wind speed exceeds 20 mph, a common event I'd think. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Argyll Motor Works, Alexandria

This looks like an art gallery or a grand public building in the Baroque style but was originally a car factory. It was constructed in 1905/6 to house Argyll Motors. At the time it was the biggest car factory in Europe. The company went bust in 1914 and it became a munitions factory in the First World War.

It was empty for most of the interwar period before becoming a torpedo factory in 1937 until the '50's. In the '60's it is said to have housed "Chevaline"  - a secret nuclear weapons project. The building lay empty between the early '70's and 1997 when it reopened as shopping centre now called "Lomond Galleries"  

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Tolbooth Steeple, Glasgow.

The Tolbooth Steeple is located east of Glasgow City Centre at the crossroads of High St & Trongate and the point where the city centre becomes the less salubrious east end. Completed in 1626 the tower was once part of the Tolbooth Buildings that where the home of the City Council and the location of public execution in days past. The Tolbooth Buildings were demolished in 1921 to allow widening of High St and the construction of a neoclassical quadrant that houses the Bank of Scotland. It was originally intended that two quadrants would be built with the tower in the centre. The tower is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in an otherwise mostly Victorian city. 

Monday, 17 February 2014

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

This grand red sandstone building was constructed in 1901 in the Spanish Baroque style to house the city's art collection.

There is an urban myth that the gallery was built back-to-front and the architect jumped from one of the towers when he found out. Not true, of course.

I visited the museum when I was a child and remember the model ships in glass cases. These were made by the shipyards of the vessels built on the Clyde. They are now in the new Transport Museum. 

The coats of arms of Scottish towns & Countires are carved above these windows

The Jack Vettriano exhibition dissuaded me from entering the premises

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Scott Monument, Edinburgh

Completed in 1844 this is a monument to the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe, Rob Roy etc) It overlooks Princes Street Gardens in the centre of the capital. It is built from sandstone and would have been golden brown when built but is stained black by coal soot. There was a proposal to clean the monument in the 1990's but the only way of removing the staining was by grit blasting and that would have damaged the stone.

An impressive structure in a fine setting but not everybody liked it:

'I am sorry to report the Scott Monument a failure. It is like the spire of a Gothic church taken off and stuck in the ground.' Charles Dickens, 1858.

Photos taken 29 October last year

Thunderbird 3 - Gerry Anderson must have got the idea from the monument!