Sunday, 9 January 2011

Kelvingrove Park, the Stewart Memorial Fountain - Vandalised Again

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and an alphabetical list of posts  see the  'Introduction' post  -
Often described as one of Glasgow's finest monuments, the Stewart Memorial Fountain in Kevingrove Park (built 1872) commemorates Robert Stewart (1811-6) the `Lord Provost who worked on bringing clean water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow. After years of neglect and vandalism the fountain was restored in 1988, again became a wreck thanks to vandalism. and was restored once more  in 2009. See
For its history see
For Friends of Kelvingrove Park see
It is Saturday 8 January 2011, and the fountain looks splendid against the light

The statue at the top is 'The Lady of the Lake' of Walter Scott's once hugely popular poem set at Loch Katrine

The fountain looks even more splendid facing the sun - sadly it has been badly vandalised as is immediately obvious. Several of the bird figures have been removed. I speak to a concerned foreign lady who says she loves the fountain and the damage has occurred in the last week or so

These cherubic figures on the rim are not original but only a couple now remain - the rest- like the bird figures - have been taken

This chap is looking at a break in the ice to see if one of the figures has been dumped there. . .

. . .but no such luck. They may end up at a boot sale, in someone's garden or just dumped

You can see the centre rod above right - it would have taken some effort to remove these objects

Three rubbish bins have also been dumped in the fountain

One of the wee crowd says that there is CCTV coverage of much of Kelvingrove Park - no idea if this is so or if anything has been recorded. It's a desperate shame this - if Glasgow can't protect something with the historical significance of the Stewart Memorial Fountain then there is probably not much we can protect. See
UPDATE - see comment below


  1. Sunday Evening Update from Friends of Kelvuingrove Park (link above)

    'We have actually heard directly from GCC LES (Parks Dept.) that one of the stone birds was pulled-at by two (possibly drunk) youths who were seen on CCTV at 3.30am attempting to dislodge it - the LES/Parks Dept then decided the next morning (17th December 2010) to remove all the stone creatures (and cherubs) that might be dislodged, and put them in storage until they could be restored when the weather was more suitable for fixing them in place.
    There are other vandalism issues with the fountain - the trash bins pushed into the water and frozen over, two cherubs pushed off their mountings, and also some marker-pen grafitti 'tags' on the south side of the fountain (and on one of the cherubs).

    There was some speculation by LES Parks that this was connected to the University term-time i.e. drunk students, but to me the grafitti looks like younger kids 'tagging'.
    Obviously the CCTV has not worked as a deterrent, but we don't know yet if it will identify the culprits.

    My personal opinion is that the vandalism started with the bins, then the cherub dislodged, then another cherub a week later - with no obvious sign of these problems being fixed for weeks. Then the minor graffiti tagging, then finally the attempt to remove a stone bird. I think it gives some satisfaction to the vandals to see that they have 'trashed' a beautifully restored structure - i.e. making their mark, without it being erased again.
    I think if the bins had been removed from the water sooner - with more park personnel patrolling and replacing minor damage then we wouldn't have seen further more serious attempts... but unfortunately all the parks staff have been relocated away from the Kelvingrove Depot (now the super school) and out to Victoria Park.'

  2. Oh dear!, I really like that fountain/statue. Mind you I haven't been in Kelvingrove park for ages- I think bad weather puts me off.

  3. Hi Charles. Weather is beautiful - if only all the people were also!

  4. crikey, I've just had a look at your 'view my stats' link - incredibly interesting as an insight into how much information is collected and tracked from site visitors. Thanks for making that so transparent - it's a chilling reminder of the footsteps left behind as we tiptoe about the 'free' virtual world.

  5. Har har you have spotted my plan for world domination Parallax! Installed this counter a couple of months ago as it was recommended as a way of seeing how many people visited (or if anyone at all was going to visit).

    I understand nothing of the tecchie stuff but we do leave footprints behind of course - which is how the advertisers track us. The Guardian site throws stuff about Glasgow shops and ecoshopping sites at me!

  6. no seriously Edwin (world domination apart -arf)this is interesting re the amount of info collected.

    It means that other sites monitor this info without the same level of (your) transparency.

    I wonder what collectives think about this? I might just go and ask the UT administrators :)

  7. Hi parallax - can't say I monitor this stuff not even sure I understand it! - I just have a shufti when I come on to see how many have been on but yes it can all be analysed by the collector am sure (that would mean the Stat company though rather than moi though?) Come to think of it they must gather a HUGE amount of data.

  8. Yep Edwin, you're right the Stat company must collect mammoth amounts of (potentially) valuable data - and no doubt there's a market for this data collection once they have maneuvered around the privacy laws - but they offer this info to you as a marketing tool - which gives you the capacity to sub-set this data. What I mean is: from your stats I recognise 1) my IP address. 2) my service provider. 3) my type of internet browser. 4) my operating system. 5)my geographic location. 6)which links sent me to your site. 7) which links I accessed when I left your site. 8) when and how often I visited your site. 9)which pages I accessed on your site and 10) how long I was logged into your site ...etc

    see what a powerful set of statistics this is?

    again, thanks so much for allowing this open portal into the dynamics of your site

    the question now is - why don't other sites broadcast this info - after all hidden knowledge is an accumulation of power...