Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Hillhead (West End)

Glasgow's 'West End' is a fluid shape, its boundaries being a matter of opinion. All would agree, however that Byres Rd is its main drag, sloping down and west to Partick, up to Maryhill and fed by the mean Glasgow University heartland streets (from on right of pic). See also Assorted Festivals and Fetes.

Top of Byres Rd, dominated by Oran Mor steeple

Looking up Byres Rd from Partick Cross
As Alan Coren once observed, Sainsburys is a very good thing as it keeps the lower orders out of Waitrose.
It was thus a happy day for all westendies when Waitrose opened up in Byres Rd at the end of 2009. I used to bring back a bag of Waitrose goodies from the Bloomsbury branch when I had to go down to London for publishing
meetings. Having a Waitrose a few hundred yards away is wonderful; the branch also attracts rare species of waxed jackets and furred blondes from the rich back country round Glasgow.

Flowers outside the Waitrose (April 2010) in memory of Jamie Stott, who used to sell the Big Issue here
You often spot forlorn wee dogs outside Waitrose. . .

. . .this pair were by the cash machine outside in their own little portion of light. . .

. . .How long?. . .

. . .I've been good, really

Waitrose is natural BBC staff territory but the BBC decamped to a shiny new building on Clydeside; Waitrose food parcels are sent to hungry Beeb staffers, it is supposed, This is the old building in Hamilton Drive being demolished. I have issues with BBC Scotland, having been attacked by the station twice, once for supposedly losing the Battle of Bannockburn from a reference book, and once for daring to criticise William Wallace (see my other blog, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know). BBC Scotland is very brave when it comes to attacking isolated loonies (ahem), but has a dark history. Up until the late 70s, few Catholics would bother even applying for jobs at BBC Scotland, the sectarianism was so ingrained; and in the Noughties, the NUJ fought against an equally ingrained and equally disgraceful culture of bullying here. Occasionally, on football broadcasts, you will hear the two words some wag once identified as the funniest in Scotland: 'we neutrals'.

View down Cresswell St to Byres Rd

Looking up Great George St from Byres Rd

March 2010: development of Victorian tenements in Lilybank Terrace, Gt Great George St, into modern flats retaining the facade
Great Western Baths

March 2010: development will begin of James Millar's 1894 Lilybank Church (see Churches). Flats again.

Ashton Lane, just off Byres Rd, is a wee hotbed of cafes, pubs, smart shops, a few popular restaurants and a cinema - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Lane

The Ubiquitous Chip - one of Scotland's most highly trated restaurant has been here since the 70s and as its reputation has grown, so has that of the lane
Dowanhill St from Byres Rd

The old Arnold Clark garage in Vinicombe St. The firm wanted to demolish this rather lovely and historically significicant building - it is the oldest garage in Glasgow, and possibly the oldest garage in Britain. See www.botanicgardensgarage.org.uk
A few weeks on, and the inevitable Ruchill Security (google them) stickers are up
Through the window

Opposite the garage is this little architectural gem, the former Salon cinema. Opened in 1913, the cinema is now a bar and restaurant and is categroy A listed - see www.scottishcinemas.org.uk

Vinicombe St in the summer sun

Observatory Rd from Byres Rd, For the church, see Churches

Church St

Ruthven St from Byres Rd

Ruthven Lane 1

Ruthven Lane2

Ruthven Lane 3

Like every other street, Byres Rd lost its Woolies - this one shut in December 2008

Fittings for sale

Gibson St building by the Kelvin; even under construction it caught the light well

A fine mural and still largely undesecrated

Rainbow over Gt Western Rd

Shopping in Gt Western Rd: get your clearance Persian carpets ncxt door to the Spar
The Coach House Trust shop (see www.thecht.co.uk) behind the big hand

Great Western Rd is a great place to spot fine cars

Wedding Roller outside Oran Mor


Naked Soup, Kersland St
This cracking bike (photographed Dec 2010) belongs to Norman Armstrong  of freewheelnorth. See

This excellent organic/fairtrade shop cum cafe in Bank St. . .

. . closed down in 2009, a victim of the recession, like several ethically based businesses in Glasgow; another was Entrading in Hope St

Kelvin Way in summer

Kelvin Way in winter

Lansdowne parish church and St Mary's Cathedral from the Hillhead bit of Gt Western Rd (see Churches)

Someone has hung a few cards on the tree outside Oran Mor bearing enigmatic messages

Otago Lane is just off Otago St (see Assorted Festival and Fetes), has long-established businesses, one of the best-known secondhand bookshops in Scotland, and an excellent cafe for the gabbers, creators and fans of the Glasgow music and art scene. So of course, it needs developing in the eyes of the money men - their plan for a housing development, however, has sparked of a vigorous opposition from the west-end middle classes and - almost without precedent - has attracted support from all sides of the political spectrum. See www.saveotagolane.co.uk
This cat was looking for trouble, as the nice dog seems to anticipate

Tabby about to take a swipe

Another nice wee dog
'A fresh victim', says tabby
Stand off
Let's not fight

The Alexander 'Greek' Thomson terrace in Oakfield Avenue

Blossom falls on Polling Day, April 2010: Hillhead school on right

Memorial plaques to Hillhead school's war dead

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