Monday, 13 September 2010

Welcome to Glasgow: the Dalmarnock Road

On 25 July, 2010, I cycled out to the Glasgow boundary at Dalmarnock Bridge, just to have a wee recce of the area designated for development  for the Commonwealth Games.  This is how it went.

Cycling down London Rd in the Calton, I turn left at Abercromby St to visit Saint Mary's parish church - see

The church is closely associated with the Celtic player and manager Tommy Burns -see

Looking back down Abercromby St towards the  London Rd 

Calton is an area that has attracted much attention since a World Health Organisation  report described Calton men as having the shortest life spans in Europe,  The WHO got it badly wrong. See 

Abercromby St's Bridgeton Health centre; we shall encounter Bridgeton shortly. Calton is traditionally a Roman Catholic area, Bridgeton largely Protestant, but as so often in Glasgow the boundaries can be fluid
Stevenson St

The old Calton cemetery

The memorial to the Calton Weavers. Calton became  a centre for weaving in the mid-18th century. In 1787, some weavers went on strike because of cheap foreign imports -  others continued working. Violence flared and the military shot dead six demonstrating weavers in September, 1787. Some are buried here. See

On London Rd, looking back at Abercormby St - funeral party outside funeral parlour
Looking up to Bridgeton Cross now and its Rangers pubs. I was last here in February this year  shortly before the Cross was due to be renovated; see
The view back; more people arriving for the funeral
I couldn't photograph this fine building last time I was here as there were guys milling around. Areas such as Bridgeton and Calton require not quite as much to care to photograph as they did before the IRA ceasefire - when some pubs had collection jars for one side or the other - but it's as well to be cautious. The drugs scene also exists in some areas, which - as in many cities - can make photographing street scenes difficult
It's now a bookies, but this was the Trustees Savings Bank when it was built in 1897, with flats above (the roof is a flat drying area for tenant use - architects thought of such things in those days). See the fine Bridgeton Heritage Trail -

Ah - the Bandstand has been freshened up since February. Note the guy in a Celtic top crossing the road. You'll hear people talk as if it's a death sentence to wear a Celtic strip in Bridgeton or a Rangers top in Calton - it's not quite that bad.

Much prettier. Not sure what's  happened to the rest of the restoration project. That's Dalmarnock Rd behind and off the left, where we are heading in a minute

No change here since February
Have to get on - will stop at Bridegton way back  
We've now been cycling down Dalmarnock Rd for a few minutes and have taken a slight detour to look at this church on Old Dalmarnock Rd. This is the Sacred Heart RC Church at 50 Dalmarnock Rd. In this year of 2010, incredible as it may seem to outsiders, both the church and the priests who serve here been on the receiving end of sectarian attacks. See

Much of the media in Scotland, such as BBC Scotland has traditionally never paid much attention to such attacks, and  the Herald coverage of this horrible affair is to be welcomed. For the (very interesting and attractive) church itself see

Gang graffitti 

Now back on Dalmarnock Rd, heading for the bridge

Dalmarnock Bridge, a Glasgow boundary - southern Rutherglen is on the other side

The superstitious believe Dalmarnock Bridge has a ghost - a 'normal-looking' young man who jumps off and disappears before he hits the water. Such is Glasgow life it seems - even if you end it all you probably won't make a big splash

Looking back into Glasgow
Path going east
View east
View west. Over on the right is the Cuningar Loop which  will be redeveloped into an 'Athletes Village' for the Commonwealth Games. See

looking over into Rutherglen

The path into  the loop - will have to come back at some future date to do this trip

Welcome to Glasgow 
Heading back - the route back is one of rusty gates and waste land
A Garden Tidy set - this is surely not  how the council plans to tackle the loop

We are looking up Strathclyde St here 
A helpful sign pointing to 63 Strathclyde St
This whole area reminds me of the Aldershot outskirts  in Hilary Mantel's grim and wonderful novel Beyond Black; stuff goes on here you probably don't want to know about

So this is what Sponge Bob does on his days off
Note sign on left, 'NO SCRAP MEN ALLOWED'. Seems  a bit tradeist
26 Strathclyde St
An old Glasgow dookit ('dovecot'). Most of these old pigeon huts are abandoned, and most of the men who built them  are long gone
Land required

The Bungalow Cafe

An old Co-op in blue

Chap doing survey of traffic

Swanston St
Poplin St

Back on Dalmarnock Rd

The Falcons Nest. A poetic name and no need surely for an apostrophe - the Captains and the Kings depart
Clyde Gateway - everywhere in 2010

Dreadful potholes; the regeneration will probably not mean less of these cyclist-endangering potholes
Celtic park in the distance; see
An intriguing church; built in 1901 as Dalmarnock Cogregational Church 1901, see
. .  .it seems to have become  an Assembly of God church - I have no idea why it has a poster for  Slimming World outside the entrance

Coming back up to Bridgeton Cross

That's Main St directly opposite; just down there on the right is MacKeith Street, where the serial killer Bible John left the body of his second known victim - Jemima McDonald - on 15 August, 1969

 Six weeks after this photo was taken a man was shot in Main St, 7 September 2010

Onto London Rd again now, and among Bridgeton's  Loyalist flags

The beautifully named Crimson Star (it's a masonic thing), one of Glasgow's last true 'free' independent pubs. See
As the website points out, Glasgow's three big stadiums are all within striking distance, but funnily enough Parkhead (Celtic Park) is closest.
'Out of town supporters buses are more than welcome for pre match drinks, pies and sandwiches etc. Get yourself into the mood for the match. We are situated only 15 minutes drive from both Ibrox and Hampden and about a 10 minute walk westwards of Parkhead going towards the city centre along London Road.'
Armed Forces Day flag

Heading back from Bridgeton Cross; Londoner pub opposite - funeral party now gone

Cloud Nine
I have no idea why Lorraine Kelly is the nation's Fairy Godmother and refuse to speculate - I never got to vote on it anyway

The wonderfully named Arcadia St
The beautiful fountain at the end of Arcadia St - Glasgow Green across the road

A man and his dog

Back of Templeton's carpet factory
A lifetsyle option

Templeton St

Note Scottish Unionist Party poster. Not to be confused wth the Scottish Tories - see

The banner says 'Glasgow Welcomes Breastfeeding' which is not actually  true.  Low rates of breastfeeding go with low rates of income - many parts of of Glasgow are poor, and therefore there are periodic attempt to  raise the level of breastfeeding. See 

The Calton bar up there on the corner

The old Glasgow Green Station. Some day it will become a bistro perhaps.
Templeton's is the only carpet factory designed to be a copy of  the Doge's Palace in Venice. See

Barras Bargain Centre: approaching Barrowland

Glasgow punters seem to have an insatiable appetite for sports socks. Sellers crop all over the town

Desirable Designers

The public consumption of alcohol is illegal in Glasgow - but public drunks are not uncommon round Barrowland
London Rd's popular Polish shop

At Glasgow Cross now

Looking back
The Schipka Pass from the back (see main Calton entry). A sign reminds us that a Scot invented the telly. Armando Ianucci's vision of a Scottish hell ('Except for Viewers in Scotland') includes a man in a chair who informs you relentlessly that Scots - unlike other peoples -  invented many, many things, and where Scots will be condemned  to watch things like a 1000-part documentary on John Logie Baird. See
William Wallace = Scottish. Great. 

The view from the beginning of Argyle St across Glasgow Cross; Gallowgate to left, London Rd to right


  1. Pffff, when was the recent blitz. Not enough burnt out cars I say ... At least you haven't spotted a dead cat thrown on to a skip (saw this on a Liverpool street).
    Love the Templeton Building (Paul Hogarth did a perfect painting of this). Where's the Glaswegian humour - that clothes shop should have been changed to 'Undesirable Designers Gear'.
    Have many more comments but that's quite enough for now and now for something completely different :-)

  2. Great photos Ed, I recognise many of the places. I often go through Calton when I go to Glasgow Green.

  3. Many thanks Al, Charles, Anon - it's one of my longer photostories of Glasgow - exhausted at end!

  4. Enjoyed the trip inc.the commentary - I googled Dilmarnock Rd doing family research in the 1920's
    Very artistic with their bandstand/fountain rotundas and that carpet palace! Thankyou

  5. Thanks Julie I try to please! The latest one goes from Charing Cross to Dalmarnock and I will be posting another one soon - a walk from Rutherglen to Gallowgate taking in the last bit of the proposed Dalmarnock Athletes Village. I was there the day after over 60 cops helped evict a grannie from Ardenlea St - you probably know this but in case not that's the street Jeremy Paxman's great-gran lived in - see the Who Do You Think You are Paxman episode.


  6. I was brought up in 25 Dalmarnock Road. I left there in 1969 for Switzerland then in 1979 to Italy, was the best thing I ever did. Your photos have made it more clear to me why I would never return. Although I always tell anybody asking me "I am Scottish". Thanks for sharing your photos.

  7. Thanks Anon - they do say that people leaving Glasgow increase the IQ of the place they are moving to while reducing the IQ of Glasgow!

  8. I must say that I LOVE your "Glasgow Album". I was brought up in Dennistoun and Bridgeton and the memories are so vivid. Your foti's are just wonderful. I miss the people, the hot rolls that we would buy at night under the Umbrella, the tablet from wee Ernie's cafe on Main Street; going to the Olympia to see the latest picture. All gone now. I moved away to America but will never forget my young what ...we were poor....but my, we were happy. Not a care in the world in auld Brigton.

  9. great photos i am sure the east end will look totally different in about 10 to 15 years with more new housing hopefully built on a urban grid to redifine major juctions and bring better shops and re populatate the area the residents of calton gallowgate bridgeton dalmarnock and parkhead deserve better