Saturday, 20 February 2010

Sighthill Towers: Before the Fall

Sighthill is part of greater Springburn. The three large tower  blocks here were demolished in  2009, and I cycled up a few weeks before to take some pictures. There is a wiki entry on Sighthill giving some of the history of the area:,_Glasgow
See also

The light went suddenly (as it does in Glasgow) 
The shopping area (in practice not much used, there is a huge Tesco just a few yards away on Springburn Rd)
The view down Fountainwell Rd from Springburn Rd
Roundabout in the wee industrial park at the foot of Pinkston Rd as you cycle in from Keppochhill Rd. I wondered if the stones were left over from the construction of the Sighthill Stone Circle -  I suppose if there were such a thing as a neolithic roundabout it could look a bit like this.

The railway bridge and Sighthill's Chinese restaurant

Railway track from bridge; lower Fountainwell flats on right

Tunnel from bridge; only trains come and go, but who knows, something else may be living there. Sighthill is a place of old presences

Moving on from the bridge, Fountainwell Rd turns off  at this point from Pinkston Rd to go up to Springburn Rd. (I don't know what the stone symbol means if anything, but it is repeated elsewhere in the scheme; see Sighthill Towers: After the Fall). In the late 50s/early 60s we Townhead boys used to come up here and play on what we called 'Jack's Mountain' (where the stone circle is)  and the 'Stinky Ocean' - a huge pool of abandoned technicolored chemical effluent - which now lies buried beneath Sighthill (it is the residue of the biggest chemical works in Europe - see Springburn)The smell from the 'Ocean' near this point by the pillar can be pretty strong. One supposes that Glasgow Council thought the smell would dissipate in time, as most council smells do. This stink has an air of permanence about it, however. 

Sighthill shopping centre again

The front of this wee grey block doesn't look much better. Like the Red Road Flats, as Sighthill became less popular with Glaswegians, so the council began moving asylum seekers in. After a Turkish Kurd was stabbed to death in August 2001, efforts were made to tackle the troubles of the area. 
Fountainwell Rd - a bendy panorama of smaller flats.
Two of the towers from the other side of Sighthill cemetery.
Another view across the graves
The lodge and  gateway to Sighthill cemetery, Glasgow's second cemetery (see Necropolis) begun in 1839
The lodge is in the form of a small Greek temple; very attractive and of course neglected and graffitoed

The cemetery path. 

Pretty in the sun.  Just like thee and me, Sighthill probably looked this good in the mind of its architect.

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