The Calton and beyond

Just before we get into today’s wee saunter up to the Calton, around the city and even touch upon the history and quirks of the soil that nurtured so many of us, I need to deal with Hamiltontim’s observation that I omitted his own preferred watering hole  – the incomparable Bar 67 – which played such a memorable role in the story of Seville!

Right that’s enough of the insidious connection between pedagogy and Glasgow pubs! :-).

Anyone who has strolled through ‘The Green’ can not have failed to notice the huge greenhouse encased Winter Gardens. In colder times before the onset of the big fireball in the sky, it gave a welcome refuge from shivers, shakes and hypothermia.

Today as we consider what strain of grape to plant in our back gardens,  it offered shade and respite from the scorched earth rays in the sky! It was cooler on the inside than out

Pop through the doors behind the cafe and you are in the heart of The People’s Palace. For most visitors its contents are a whispering reminder of a history that lies just beyond their memory. Many of the tableaux, displays and memorabilia hark back to a revolutionary fist that much of Glasgow and the West of Scotland waved in the faces of oppression.

Look upwards to the ceiling on the top floor and there you will see eight specially commissioned compositions as a mark to the Calton Weaver’s strike in 1787. Here are three of them created by Ken Currie depicting later episodes in Glasgow’s socialist life as it stood collectively against the establishment.  A fuller story and the other pictures can be found at……

And so we hit The Calton – to be honest, I am underwhelmed to the point of despair by this mural just across from St Mary’s.

Here’s some more uplifting stuff – Church itself

The inside and altar

and a reference, right outside, to one of its most famous sons

And so to a wee bit of modern life in Glasgow’s transformed central area – Prince’s Square. The natural shopping and eating venue for the glitterati…….and me.

I still marvel at the ambition, fingers crossed possibly at the engineering that sees so many tons of rolling stock cross Glasgow’s main drag just a few yards above the heads of the pedestrians and traffic  on Argyle Street

But of course time moves on and Glasgow dons the skimpy wardrobe of the more tropical regions and takes on the mantle of ‘The Isar as it flows through Munich.As an aside, on the afternoon of the game against Bayern, when sadly Marcus Hedman had a nightmare,  we were wandering towards the Marienplatz on a bridge over a little island in midstream. The islet seemed to have attracted just about every naturist and sun seeker north of the Alps, while the bridge creaked under the weight of every student of human form and sun reader south of the Shetlands.

I predict acres of bare flesh stretching from Gorbals to Gourock!

But back to some of that radical history so wrapped in the City and country’s outward looking culture.

Dolores Ibarruri –  la Passionara on the banks of the Clyde.

She stands defiant and stares across the river in the direction of Spain, her arms lifted in triumph ….of spirit if not of  the ultimate battle  still not won. But she hasn’t conceded and her words remain an inspiration throughout the world.

And so to the old and the new -the transport of 1896 versus the flying machine of today’s city life

But how’s about a trip doon the water, or round the Kyles.

Finally just a wee quirk of serendipity that grabbed my attention.

As I strolled through Kelvin park the other day, I noticed a wee sign to a lost friend.

It was pasted on this statue which I, in my never far away sense of paradox,  thought  might have suggested to the more imaginative of owners that a somewhat larger black and more ferocious example of  their lost pet may have been responsible!! Perhaps the feline version of the Jekyll and Hyde potion had turned that poor wee homely moggy into……..

For the moment….

Hail hail


8 thoughts on “The Calton and beyond

  1. gerry mcginnis says:

    Being brought up in the Calton in the 60s and early 70s living in a run down tenement on London Road facing the Green this was my backyard and play area and the peoples palace was a second home. The memories come flooding back when i venture back there,when we were Celtic mad kicking a ball from dawn dreaming of being a Jinky…God bless for the memories….Gedhed

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