|It is 15 May 2009 and we are on the Bridgegate (pronounced 'Briggait') down by the Clyde beside the Saltmarket- up there in front of the spire is . . .|
|. . .one end of Bridgegate, the old fish market - now an arts centre called the Briggait. See|
I worked here in 1963 when it was a fish market - unloading boxes of iced fish. The old guys wouldn't let you wear gloves. Bloody nightmare at 5 in the morning. One of the dealers once gave me a bundle of notes to hold and said 'Now you can say you've held £300'.
|But we are heading for the other end of the Bridgegate. On this day, Glasgow City Council finally closed the 200-year-old Paddy's Market in Shipbank Lane. See|
Said a Glasgow councillor: 'the hottest of crime hot spots in the city of Glasgow is Shipbank lane itself' - a rather debatable statement given the problems associated with a much larger market - the Barras at Barrowland. See
However, the Barras can (just about) be sold as a tourist attraction, whereas Paddy's Market couldn't be sold as much of an attraction to anyone above the poverty line- it was once jokingly described as a place where middle-class students came to buy working-class cast-offs, but in truth it was a place where the poor bought from the poor. Not the image the Glasgow marketing men want to sell.
As for the council judgement on criminality, it was greeted with some mirth at the time and acquired extra resonance less than a year later, in March 2010, when the City 's Leader of the Council had to resign after buying cocaine from a dealer in a pub. See
for the occasion - just a few days after the Council Leader's resignation - when asylum seekers marched past a silent City Chambers.
|Shipbank Lane is down behind the wee clock tower|
|The side of the coffin reads PADDYS MARKET DIED 15/5/2009. It is going to be delivered to the City Chambers|
|There was what I thought an unnecessarily sizeable police presence, given the age and condition of the market traders|
|Glasgow High Court down there on the left.|
|The market as it used to be. Old Glasgow has many evocative ravaged-by-time structures such as that arch: the level above could be a portal to the Glasgow region of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere|