Sunday, 26 September 2010

Bellahouston Park 2: After the Pope is Over

Pope  Benedict XVI came to say mass at Bellahouston Park on 16 September 2010. I should maybe have gone to take pics but I found the thought oddly dispiriting and stayed away. I have no problem at all with the Roman Catholic church - it's not my way, but everyone is entitled to their own religions and belief systems and I have felt completely at home in many RC churches - I just don't like this pope, and feel it would be a breach of etiquette to mingle with, and take pictures, of his admirers (as I would have done had I been about when Pope John Paul II visited in 1982).

So I cycled over  the morning after.

Crossing the Squinty Bridge to get over to the south side. (I like the way the Finnieston Crane on the far right combines with the hotel from this perspective to look like a giant stapler.)

For some reason, the old music hall song 'After the Ball is Over' pops into my head and I start making up a new version -

After the Pope is over
After the Pope is gone,
Many's  the heart that's broken
After the pilgrims have gone. . .
[OK needed work]
Quick run down Paisley Rd West and into Bellahouston Park - which has nice yellow and white (papal colours) flowers everywhere 

In the middle at back is the back of the stage. And note the BBC Scotland van in the middle distance. In 1982, when  John Paul was here, BBC Scotland was slowly beginning to change its sectarian hiring policies and you heard of Catholics  getting interviews (and even jobs) there. It's an aspect  of Scottish history rarely discussed on BBC Scotland of course. 
At this point I get chased by security and head up the hill

It is a beautiful day

Scattered wee bands of dog walkers were about - I got the impression  of invisible yet distinct boundary lines. 'Lovely morning',  I said to one - 'Aye -  couldnae move yesterday for a' the holy wullies'. 

These two dogs were prowling about like escapees from a Bosch painting

The Sunken Garden. This is the  basement of Dumbreck House built 1795. No idea what the blocks are - a sunken modern artwork I suppose. For this and other aspects of  the park see the Bellahouston Heritage Trail -
See also my earlier Bellahouston post
My Holdsworth Mistral at rest - Autumnal scene

Monument commemorating  the 1938 Empire Exhibition unveiled by George VI

View down the steps; ghost of King Geordie taking a pic with his Kodak Brownie
Leaving the park now via Dumbreck Rd

Now we have cycled back up to junction of Dumbreck Rd and Paisley Rd West, from  where you get a vision to gladden the heart of any pope, Ibrox Stadium, home of Glasgow Rangers. Rangers signed their first black player in 1914, the Englishman (and army officer Walter Tull), who was killed in action in  WWI. See
They officially signed their first RC player, former Celtic star Mo Johnson, in 1989  (there had been previous  unacknowledged Catholic signings) . See
See also

Now beginning the ride back down Paisley Rd West

View back up in direction of the park

View heading into Glasgow 

Copland Rd - leads to famous Copland Rd Ibrox entrance 
One of the many, many sunbed places in Glasgow

Sign left over from yesterday  - 'NO MORE COVER UPS YOU VATICAN SWINE!'
A rather more mundane sign on the other side

More civil (and anti-religion in general) poster to greet the faithful

Dancing Dodo the other side (quite pleasing combination)

Ibrox Stadium up on right

View up left to Science Centre

Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's Walmer Terrace, described here as
'an austere composition with no ornament but relying on the balance of upright square columns and horizontal lines.' Simply one of the loveliest terraces in Britain.  See
For the Cessnock/Kinning Park area we are now in see

Alexander 'Greek' Thomson Heritage Plaque

Cessnock Underground. Always reminds me of the entrance to the Morlock realm in the 60s film version of The Time Machine 
Festival Park

Squinty Bridge - where we came over earlier. For more Clydeside pics see


Sun catching Bell's Bridge and bouncing on the Clyde

Crossing Bell's Bridge

Back on north side - this is the Armadillo of course 
Waste Land

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and almost home - see

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