Thursday, 6 September 2012

Welcome to Glasgow 5: Alexandra Parade to Barlinnie

'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  -

 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice.

Today is Wednesday, 8 August, 2012, and we are going to walk from Alexandra Parade  to Barlinnie prison. And see what we shall see.

We have just walked into Alexandra Parade from Castle St - Royal Infirmary on our right

The Infirmary is like a wee town in itself - we'll do a piece on it one day

Walking on

Coming up to Wishart St on our right

Down there is the Cathedral and the Necropolis. See

Heading on

Looking back

A grand old church

The old Wills tobacco factory on right here, a 'B' listed building.

'Designed by Engineers Office of Imperial Tobacco Company, circa 1946, completed 1953. Tobacco offices and factory, massive square courtyard block with symmetrical N front to Alexandra Parade with square central entrance tower rising a storey higher, shallow outer pavilions also reach above main eaves. Red brick with contrasting dressings, windows set in horizontal strips; mainly 3/4 storeys; roofs concealed from street. Set behind wrought-iron railings.'

For some crepuscular winter shots round here, see

Many fine buildings on Alexandra Parade

Painters at work

The jets streams in the sky almost (but not quite) form a St Andrew's cross against a field of blue

Let's press on

Try a couple more first

Nae luck

Indeed - even in this part of Glasgow opticians embraced private practice but the money ran out. Come back plebs!

The sky pulls us back

But into the east we must go. Shopping centre on our left

Looking back

Let's check out the bathroom across the road

Oops - mind the jogger

We tend to forget just how impressive many of our 'ordinary' sandstone tenements are - and how good they look in the sun

Shop  Now! - and the news

Note Dennistoun Baptist Church - going almost unnoticed by the media is the growth of evangelical churches in Glasgow - we see them often on our walks. As well as spiritual solace, they provide a supportive social network

Alexandra Parade Railway Station

Coming up to Alexandra Park. For more on the park see,_Glasgow

Looks like a collision course but fear not - all will be well

UPDATE 4 August 2013

Many thanks to hiszafer - see comment at end of post - for pointing out that in the original posting I messed up the description of the fountain, conflating the delicate wee drinking fountain at the entrance with the magnificent 40-foot fountain inside the park! Many thanks hiszafer no idea how I managed that. Have amended. 

Pretty wee drinking fountain; compare the Govan drinking fountain -see

Inside the park is a much grander A-listed fountain; we must go by at the moment alas -

'The 40 foot cast-iron Walter MacFarlane Saracen Fountain was gifted to the City after the 1901 International Exhibition and remained in Kelvingrove Park for 12 years after the exhibition. In 1914 Glasgow Corporation took the decision to re-site this magnificent piece of industrial architecture to its present location. In 2000 the fountain was restored to its former glory at a cost of £22,000.'

More detail of the top

Pressing on

The fine St Andrew's East Church. . .

. . .and the magnificent 'A' listed  Church Hall -

'James Salmon Junior and J Gaff Gillespie 1899 Church hall with exceptional Art Nouveau work. Snecked ashlar, polished dressings, red tile swept roof.
Single storey building with flank to street, 4 leaded small -paned wide windows with 2-centred arched heads, outer shallow bays breaking eaves, that to left containing entrance. Outstanding Art Nouveau carving (sculpture and inscriptions) to outer bays. Leaded bellcote to end gable.'

We now move seamlessly into Cumbernauld Rd, which  comes in from our right here

Further down there Cumbernauld Rd crosses Duke St and  becomes Millerston St as it enters the Gallowgate. We will do the link to there one day. Meanwhile see


Welcome to Glasgow 4: Rutherglen to Gallowgate, Part 2

Football pitch over there

Nice tiling surviving, as with so many beat-up tenement close entrances

1-Stop News

A wee cup o' tea. Generations of Glasgow mums have sat down for a blether at tables such as this

Looking back

We'll be turning left up here

Interesting wee rise on Aberfoyle St over there on our right - and what does the shop sign say?

What lies over the hill? Alas we must press on

'What are the roots that clutch?'

We must cross over the road  again to head left

Looking back

Looking back

An unexpected vista of green

Looking back

Looking forward

A pretty unusual and rather lovely building this. See the full description at

'Rare survival of iconic streamline Art Deco style super-cinema complex on island site incorporating separate sweet shop, power house and former car park, and retaining much original interior detail. Conceived as amenity element (together with church, library and school) of 1920s housing development centred on Cumbernauld Road.'

Ah those were the days.

See also

This is St Thomas  The Apostle Roman Catholic Church. See

We're turning down here for Barlinnie

St Enoch's Hogganfield Church of Scotland over there. see

A fine parish that hosts a centre for visitors to Barlinnie and has a remarkable claim to distinction. From the website -

'St Enoch's Hogganfield is the parish church for the Riddrie community that includes Barlinnie, and we have been reflecting with Faith in Throughcare Scotland and others on what this might mean for us as a parish church. Ours is the parish to which more people come to visit a relative in prison than to any other parish in Europe.'

They work in partnership with St Thomas (see above) and other churches in the area.

The pleasingly named Riddrie Knowes is off to the right. See

We are bearing left - Smithycroft Rd

Looking back

Love that doorway

Barlinnie is off to our right. . .

. . .up there

Looking back

Can't take close ups - visitors about

The prison was built in 1882. This facade is much later of course. The charming  Barlinnie website is here -

See also

There were 10 executions here between 1946 and 1960, the serial killer Peter Manuel  being the most infamous. I remember singing in the school playground 'Manu-el. Manu-el, now you're dead you'll burn in hell'.

From the wiki entry -

'Each of the condemned men had been convicted of murder. All the executions took place at 8.00 am. As was the custom, the remains of all executed prisoners were the property of the state, and were therefore buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison. During the D hall renovations of 1997, the prison gallows cell (built into D-hall) was finally demolished and the remains of all the executed prisoners were exhumed for reburial elsewhere.'

We go off to the right into the car park and a friendly warder coming off duty tells me the park is watched and taking photos is discouraged. I am about to give my usual spiel about there being no law against taking pictures of buildings from public streets - see

when I remember the car park is not a public street, so i thank the warder and beat a retreat back to Smithycroft Rd

And on our hasty retreat we take another look at this doorway; looks 'Greek' Thomson ins style

We can see the Barlinnie massif over there - let's  cut down a side street and see how close  we get

In Lethamhill Rd

Looking back

Bearing left here; Spey St on right

Let's head up this path

Now flanking the outer perimeter, the fence to our right

No Fly Tipping - indeed

Think we're as close we want to be

Heading down

Looking back along Lethamhill Rd

Other end of Lethamhill Rd

We have cut down Spey St to get to Gartcraig Rd

Looking back up Spey St on our left

We;re going to follow Gartcraig Rd down to Edinburgh Rd

Looking back

Morningside St. Not to be confused with the Edinburgh Morningside

Looking down Morningside St

Coming up to Edinburgh Rd; our plan is to take a bus back into town

Now crossing Edinburgh Rd

Our bus stop (phew)

Let's have a look at the timetable

Bloody hell - half hour to next bus. No wonder we weegies get on our bikes

We've just seen a bus for town pass into Carntynehall Rd; we'll pop over and see if there is an option there

An evangelical  poster in honour of Scotland's great Olympian, Eric Liddell

Nae use - buses no better here

Nice wee 'Greek' Thomson-like detail on that shop front

Looking across to Gartcraig Rd and Barlinnie's chimneys  in the distance

Ah, bus coming. Oh the excitement!

On the bus, coming up to  Cumbernaud Rd

Back in Alexandra Parade

Royston Parish Church up there

Now back in Castle St, passing the Royal Infirmary's old rather gothicly lettered 'Private Entrance'

The Cathedral just off unseen on our left; the Museum of Religious Stuff ('Fort Weetabix') coming up; and where my childhood was is on Collins St coming up on right (set Time Machine for 50 years ago). See Townhead to Duke St to George Square,

Thank you for visiting, dear Browser. 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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  4. Alexandra Parade fountain - the historic listing link and other data you provide with the photos are not the same fountain. All data you have provided refers to the 40 foot fountain WITHIN the park

    1. Many thanks indeed hiszafer - I have amended and have no idea how I managed that! Thank you very much.

    2. I write a blog about cast iron drinking fountains. Can I have permission to use your photos of the Cruickshank fountain on Alexandra Parade? I will of course name you as the source and link to your blog.

    3. Of course you can hiszafer.

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