Friday, 12 March 2010

Buchanan st

Buchanan St is one of the busiest shopping streets in Britain

Donald Dewar MP (1937-2000), a stalwart of the Scottish Labour Party, is regarded as the architect of Scottish devolution, and was described by some on his death as 'the Father of the Scottish Nation' - a description greeted with muted dissent by Alex Salmond. On the morning after Dewar's death, a former Moderator of the Church of Scotland lamented his passing, saying 'we were blessed that he walked among us'. Hair-raising hyperbolic comments such as this are common on the deaths Scottish public figures. Later, when his will showed that he had lots of money and owned property, we became not so blessed that he had walked among us - he was now proclaimed to be a phony and a miser. As Carol Craig observed, both views said more about how Scots perceive themselves than about Dewar. Dewar was also - rather ludicrously - described on his death as 'a Man of the People'. In fact, it would be hard to find a modern politican who was less a man of the people. Once, when visiting a pretty council house, he sardonically quipped 'Very Hansel and Gretel'. Dewar was a scholar, a dedicated politician, and couldn't be arsed pretending that he shared the tastes of most Scots - he just wanted to improve their lives. What he would have made, of, say, Gordon Brown claiming he watched the X Factor, can be imagined. We shall not see his like again. See

Donald (who was not much of a shopper) looking down upon Buchanan St. His plinth had to be raised to protect him from drunks who bashed his glasses and put traffic cones on his head.

Even on a dreich week day. . .

. . .the people come and go, talking of shops and snacks to go

A nice sunny day 

Sloan's market jutting out into the street
Princes Square - a lovely light trap (and money trap too)

The floor mosaic

This is Springfield Court at the back of the Square

The statue is called 'As Proud As. . .'

Glaswegians like style; or rather spending money on style. (I have no idea what this shop sells but it is unlikely to be novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Two poular stops: Whittards and the C R Mackintosh Willow Tea Rooms (where you can stock up with Mockintosh)

John Lewis escalators

John Lewis Christmas lights; for more brilliant decoration see St Enoch Centre

The Apple store. Apple is a religion, and the Buchanan St store is in effect a mini-church

The Argyll Arcade, which links Buchanan St with Argyll St ; I bought an Airfix Spitfire in here c. 1958; boy, Spitfire and Airfix shop now long gone

Glaswegians buy their jewellry here
The pretty Sloan's cafe

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