Tuesday, 30 March 2010

George Square

George Square is in front of the City Chambers. The square was built in the late 18th century and named after George III. The Cenotaph was erected in 1922, in memory of the Glaswegians who died in WWI

The square has been the scene of many demonstrations, with The 'Battle of George Square' in 1919 when tanks and soldiers were deployed against striking workers being well remembered; the tag of 'Red Clydeside' dates from this well-remembered event. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_George_Square
Less well remembered perhaps, is the fact that Glasgow was a Tory city just a few decades later, in the 1950s. See also Red Road Flats 3

The big statue in the middle is of Sir Walter Scott; the one on the right is of Robert Burns, to whom. . .
. . .this seagull was quite attached while I was there

Many of the pigeons in George Square have damaged feet, and some only have one leg. Whereas Burns, of course, often had a leg over

Sir Walter wants a seagull too.

An imposing Sir Walter. . .

. . .he had a fine sense of the ridiculous and would have laughed at the idea of dominating the square in such a manner (finding out his admirers thought he was better than Shakespeare he snorted and wrote 'Not fit to tie his shoelaces'). Mark Twain blamed Scott's novels for starting the American Civil War, as Southern planters became obsessed with the fantasy that they were aristocratic Scots. Scott himself was a man of the Scottish Enlightenment, and would have despised the KKK cult of himself and all things Scottish

The square includes what are said to be the only equestrian statues of the young Victoria and Albert
A more minor poet, Thomas Campbell. He wrote 'Ye Mariners of England'. Not a lot of people know this. (And fellow Scot James Thomson wrote 'Rule Britannia', still lustily sung by Rangers supporters.)
James Watt. . .
. . .contemplating his flower bed

Quantum of Solace: a soldier sets out the wreaths for Remembrance Day

The City Chambers from the side

John St
For a few years, Christmas festival in George Square bore the dismal PC name of 'Winterfest'. One of Labour Council leader Steven Purcell's last rational acts, before resigning his office in 2010 in a haze of cocaine and blackmail allegations, was to abolish this stupid name and announce it would be a Christmas Festival again at the end of 2010. The banner promises 'A Flurry of Festival Fun'
This roundabout looked rather pretty while being erected - like an alien jellyfish
Take a Joyride: 'Haud me back' as Glaswegians say

Glasgow Metropolitan  College catches the dusk light beautifully in October.

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