Glasgow, Scotland – Part 1
First of all, a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to everyone! Can’t quite believe that it is 2012, getting well into the 21st Century, and Buck Rogers hasn’t turned up yet! Missed out on the haggis this year as I was not in Scotland for the celebrations but we brought back a huge Scots steak pie for New Year’s Day dinner which was scrumptious! If you ever visit Scotland, buy a steak pie from a butcher shop (not a supermarket)! There is nothing like it and every other steak pie you ever taste from anywhere else will be a poor imitation! Now comes the hard part! Walking off the pounds put on over the holidays!
Having been to Scotland just before Christmas and passing by my home city of Glasgow, I have been ‘messing’ with my scanner once again, trying to scan some 35mm film shots of parts of the city. Here are a few of my latest attempts at scanning:
When I was a boy in the early 1960s, I lived along the road from John Brown’s Shipyard, next to the River Clyde! I actually watched the QEII being built from the street outside our tenement flat! I remember going with some friends to see the Queen launch her. Unfortunately, the streets were so mobbed with people, we could see nothing, so we decided to go for a walk instead. Now, unknown to us, the Queen was also opening a new building at Jordanhill College! After a while, purely by chance, we found ourselves outside the college gates asking the few people who were there why they were waiting around with flags? They told us they were there to see the Queen! So, our excitement rekindled, we wandered further away from the college to a long stretch of pavement with nobody around. About ten minutes later, the official police cars and the glass covered Rolls Royce carrying the Queen and Prince Phillip drove slowly by! We got a personal wave and smile from both of them! We were just so chuffed! Isn’t it amazing how some things turn out in life!
Even more amazing, but totally unrelated to Glasgow; my sister lives in Perth, Australia and two years ago she came over to visit us for three weeks. On one particular day, we took her sightseeing to York. While we were there, we went into a little souvenir shop! Now I was just ‘gobsmacked’ by this! In this little shop, she met one of her neighbours from her street in Perth, who was also over on holiday, who was staying on the opposite side of England, and had also just come over to York for the day! Neither of them had known that the other was coming over to the UK! Is that not miraculous? Out of the billions of people and places in the world! Amazing!
Getting back on track, I lived so close to the River Clyde that my friends and I would go down there and catch the pedestrian ferry from Whiteinch across to Govan and back, as an adventure. Our mums would have ‘killed us’ if they had known, because it was very dangerous! For one thing, Glasgow was a world famous port and shipbuilding city, and the Clyde docks were lined bow to stern on both sides with ships from all over the world. There were cranes, ferries and dock workers everywhere – the place was teeming with life! We used to pretend that we were travelling to some of the far off places while crossing on the ferry! Also, because of the shipping, the river itself was so polluted that it was a ‘dead’ river! On one occasion, I got a ‘clip round the ear’ from one of the ferry staff for attempting to drag my hand along in the water! He frightened the life out of me when he said that I could catch fatal diseases from the polluted water!
I remember doing a topic on the River Clyde at Primary School and my teacher saying that the River Clyde would always be a dead river, because nothing would ever be able to live in it. How wrong she turned out to be! Now that the ships are gone and the old docklands have been developed, the water is fresh and oxygenated and there are fish, swans and cormorants to be seen, in and on the water, right in the centre of the city! Both of these shots were taken around 7am on a cold winter’s morning! This next shot was taken a few years later!
My goodness, this has turned out to be more of a sentimental journey than I thought it would be! In many places and with many people, Glasgow does not have a good reputation! Unfortunately, it is often linked with gangs, crime, alcohol, drugs and violence! That is not my experience! Yes, these things do go on in areas of Glasgow, as they do in any major city of the world! However, my Glasgow is also a city full of history, diversity, art, culture, fascinating and friendly people and stunning architecture! These photographs are just a snapshot of a very few parts of the city! I hope you like them and I will publish more in due course! I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog and found it interesting! Please drop in again!