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:

One of the last standing Shipyard cranes on the River Clyde!

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!

One of the few remaining Shipyards can be seen just left of centre!

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!

Bell's Bridge with a Shipyard Crane in the background!

Looking towards Glasgow University (the tower right of centre)!

The former Trinity College!

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!


13 thoughts on “Glasgow, Scotland – Part 1

  1. Welcome back, John! Nice seeing you again. And wow, on these photos. Just stunning. I only visited Scotland once, but I would love to go back (I’m vegetarian, so none of that steak pie for me, thank you πŸ™‚ ). Again, fantastic photos. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Katie – It’s nice to be back and thanks for your comment! I have missed posting! It very quickly becomes a habit, doesn’t it? Where and when did you visit when you were in Scotland? Aw! I’m sorry about the steak pie comment! Hmmm! Nope! Sorry! I’m not really sorry because they really are so superb! We have friends here who are also vegetarian! I still haven’t managed to catch up with your posts, Katie, and am just about to go and do that now! Looking forward to it!



      • First thanks for all those likes on my photos! πŸ™‚ Thank you. So glad you enjoyed them, John. It does become a habit posting, but it does get hard too. At some point, I’ll need a break from it or figure out how to make it less time consuming.

        No problem on the steak comment! As a Vegetarian, I’m used to people eating meat, and in fact, I prepare a raw meat diet for my dog and cat, so I’m in touch with raw meat on a daily basis. πŸ™‚ I just don’t buy it for myself.

        i was in Scotland many years ago when I was traveling after college (you know the backpack thing). I just made it to Glasgow. I was tickled, because all the young Scots were doing was cussing, and it was just so cool for my just out of college self. πŸ™‚ I didn’t spend enough time there. It was the first week of my trip, and I had know idea what I was doing. Don’t feel bad about that impression of the curse words. Wales to me was just lots of cats and people I couldn’t understand. πŸ™‚ Now, I don’t take these impressions forward, but they just tickle me now. πŸ™‚ So simple, and just fun to remember that time of life.

        Take care, John! And thanks again for all those likes on my photos. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Nandini – Best wishes to you and yours also for 2012 and thanks for your earlier wishes and for visiting! So far, this post doesn’t seem to have been as popular as some of my others! Maybe the stats will improve over time!



    • Hey Todd – Happy New Year to you and great news on the International Award Prize. Had a look at the photos on via Twitter and they are superb! Really classy shots! You must be really pleased! Now that I am well again, I will be catching up with your posts a.s.p.! Thanks for dropping by!



  2. Happy to see you back in the Blog-o-sphere John!
    What an impeccable set of images. Each composition is perfect and the lighting is excellent. I love these!

    Take good care John,

    • Hi Karen – Good to hear from you and I hope 2012 is a great year for you and yours! The images look good at the size they are on the post but they would be very grainy and not as clear by the time they were printed at A4 size. When I had the film developed years ago the sharpness and clarity was fine, but I can’t seem to get the scanning technique correct and so during that process they lose some of their quality. I am considering sending some to a lab for professional scanning to see how that turns out! I have lots of your posts to catch up on, Karen, and am looking forward to seeing them!



    • Thanks Dorothy – Thanks for dropping by and a Happy New Year to you! Glasgow wasn’t the best place on Earth to grow up, but by far it is most certainly not the worst! My parents lived on a very meagre income, we had very little, but they did their best for my little sister (now 52) and myself! I do love Glasgow, however, as it has many more good memories than bad ones! I am slowly catching up with all the posts I missed when I was unwell, Dorothy, and am looking forward to seeing yours very soon!



  3. I just love to read your stories John ! This one was also very interesting and the photos are beautiful. I think most cities have drugs and violence, why would Glasgow be worse ? From your photos it looks like a pretty nice city !

    • Thanks, Jocelyn! Even when I was a lad, Glasgow had a shocking reputation for gang warfare and violence! I never ever saw it myself, even though my friends and I spent most weekend evenings in the city centre, but it is unfortunate that the reputation still prevails today. The City of Glasgow itself is actually a beautiful city of art and culture! I do agree with you! I don’t think Glasgow nowadays is any worse than any city around the world in terms of drugs and violence, and it is probably better than many, but it is hard to shake off past reputation, even when the city has tried to do so itself over many decades! That said and put aside, I love the city! I visit from time to time, even though I have no family living there any more, and I still think of it as my home! Thanks for visiting again!



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