Monday, 7 May 2012

Speirs Wharf

'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'

- John Aubrey

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 a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -

Today is Saturday, 28 April and we are heading to Speirs Wharf.

We are heading up St Georges Rd -  Speirs Wharf is behind that building in the distance straight ahead.

Love this old  Greek Temple  style  church building; converted to flats in 1988. Sadly the interiors were not saved.

 For more on St Georges Rd (including the wonderful library) see

Now at the Round Toll, Maryhill

Speirs Wharf is up that street in the middle

Truth, Distortion, Circulation. Indeed.

The Glue Factory on the right there is an arts venue. See

Parts of old Glasgow can often pass for  old New York or Chicago

We press on through this gate

Spiky wee structure - a tent? A bonfire in the making? A work of art? So hard to tell in modern Glasgow

Up over that wee wall. . .

. . .and over the fence looking back

We are now on the path beside the canal

Oh dear. Welcome to 'Spiers' Wharf. Alas, misspellings abound in Glasgow signs these days,  even at hospitals. See

From the Speirs Wharf website -

'A notable and impressive landmark across the north Glasgow skyline, our "iconic building on the hill" at Port Dundas, Speirs Wharf is a canal side location, offering unique and unparalleled residential and commercial accommodation in the heart of Scotland's largest commercial city.'

See also

For an interesting gab about Speirs Wharf property prices and the area see

It is Open Locks Day today. See

We'll pop through the gates to look at the lower bit

Looking back

Path is popular with cyclists (such as me)

Industrial Estate over there

We'll have a walk up that road in a few minutes, do a circuit round the back of the Wharf

Speirs Wharf spelled correctly here

Let's follow the barge - the Voyager


A  tight manoeuvre this

Nicely done. 'Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find' - Whitman
The Duckling

The Joint Venture

A charming wee vessel

That is a very pleasing building - nice texture, colour, shape

Heading back now

Let's have a look in here

We are now out of the wharf and as promised, we are going to walk up Craighall Rd, round the back of Speirs Wharf, towards Possil

Note sign on building on left, GAIA-WIND; they opened a year ago and manufacture wind turbines. See

The road is thus nicely flanked by the new creatives and the new industry; long may they both flourish

Looking left into the wharf

With the slits, looks like an old fort wall - note bricked-in entrance

On other side of the road now (very briefly) -  we are a tad exposed

Back on safe side - we have come to the first of many 'To Let' signs along here

Looking back

It is - alas - not uncommon in Glasgow to have mysterious fires break out in buildings hard to let or renovate. See

Looking back

Note old railings

Cafe - Up on the Hill

A nursery that 'couldn't care more' 

Another fine brick building

Not sure Dawson Rd exists any more - it was other side of the road

This is what pays for the Booker Prize

Looking back

Possil Rd over there on the left which is where we are heading; Saracen St straught ahead leading into Possil, one of  the poorest districts in Britain. See

And this is the final road of this junction,  Keppochhill Rd. When  I used to work at HarperCollins in Bishopbriggs, I would cycle up this road (more usually I took the canal path). Once just up there I cycled past a swarm of neds bricking cars - I shouted across at them and they started bricking me.

There used to be a grotty pub on the corner there - will post pics of this junction as it was then at some future point

Looking back

Now in  Possil Rd. This junction could be dodgy to cycle across at rush  hour, suppose still is

It's a bit of a slog cycling up Possil Rd

More 'To Let' and 'For Sale' signs - this time for residential property

Possil Island. Hm. There is a wee island in the marvellous  Possil Marsh -
but don't think that's  what this is about. The locals at the bus stop don't know either.  Maybe an arts project. Lot of that sort of stuff  about. We can't give the punters jobs but we can give them mime artists.

There used to be a striking industrial building up there - must dig out the pics

Portal to Rockville School

A staircase to a lost world

More steps to a lost world

More arts

Looking back

The Essence of Beauty

Path up to canal - barges parked up there

Heading down to Round Toll

Circuit done

Back at the magnificent temple

You want to buy and have the money? Well the buyer queues aren't too long these days

Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is

My other wee blogs are

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Also available for download on Amazon's e-book store is my 100 Brief Encounters (only £3.06!)

Here are some reviews of the print edition (published by  Chambers in 2007) -

Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidle Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from

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