Friday, 1 February 2013

Sauchiehall St: Recession Street, January 2013

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  -

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Today is Wednesday, 23 January 2013 and we are of for a walk down the stretch of Sauchiehall St from Charing Cross to Buchanan St - and see what we shall see.

Here we are at Charing Cross. For what Charing Cross looks like from the bridge above, see

Looking back: Woodlands Rd on left, St George's Rd on right

Crossing over

The Big Top on our left is a great toy shop - the owners are very helpful. And they have had lovely dogs

You tell us pal

Starbucks. We don't do Starbucks. Even I pay more tax than them

Now turning the corner into Sauchiehall St

Doorway has seen better days

globespan no more

I love it when  I see 'FINE HOLM'

Royal Highland Fusiliers museum over there on our left. Been there for yonks, let's take a closer look

Am not sure, but think that is a letter signed by Churchill beneath the Kilty bag sign. If so, seems a shame to hide it. 

Big Apple to let

There is a bigger Boots further down we will come to. For the moment the street still supports two branches it seems.

UPDATE 4 February

The portrait over there is by an Australian artist called Peter Drew

'Huge faces, almost 8ft high. On hoardings, down litter-choked alleyways, on nondescript streets, in little unloved corners of Glasgow they turned up, usually in sets of two. Some have disappeared quickly. Others have remained for weeks, even months. The first, on Sauchiehall Street, is still there.' His Facebook page is

We'll have  a look at this fine deco building from across the road in a minute

We're over at Elmbank St

King's Theatre just visible there on our right on Bath St. For a walk from there to Glasgow Cathedral, see 

King's Theatre to Glasgow Cathedral: a November Walk

The excellent King's Cafe. My sister was in here with the Jacksons in the 70s. Michael struck up a friendship with my brother who was building a set  at the King's.  Vanished world.

The great Beresford Hotel. See

From wiki:

'The Beresford, situated at 460 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, Scotland. It opened in 1938 to provide accommodation for those attending the city's Empire Exhibition and was often described as Glasgow's first skyscraper, being the tallest building erected in Glasgow between the two world wars, at 10 storeys high. It is one of the city's most notable examples of Art Deco/Streamline Moderne architecture,[1] and is protected as a category B listed building.'

Back in Sauchiehall St. My sister once took Dolly Parton for a walk down Sauchiehall St. She fitted in very well.

All Enquiries. Why are we here?

Garnet St up there

A good purposeful stride, sir

I can't believe it's not Buddha

Escape to Nirvana


Dental Hospital on left. Many a sore jaw has entered here

Kama Sutra Restaurant. For food lovers

Let's have a look at Kama Sutra

Curry and Karaoke, more than you can handle - haud me back
Into view now, we find  Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's Grecian Buildings. For more on this wonderful architect  see

Alexander Greek Thomson
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 2: the Egyptian Halls Part 1: the Interior
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 3: the Egyptian Halls Part 2: the Exterior
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 4: Eton Terrace, 41-53 Oakfield Avenue
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 5: Glasgow City Free Church
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 6: the Sixty Steps
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 7: the Sixty Steps 2 …

The CCA - still the Third Eye Centre to some of us

Great title

Glasgow School of Art up there and Garnethill. See


Let's have a look at the old kiltmaker

Scotty had a kilt made here

Hire for Life - well maybe.  See 'Advice for Life' further down 

Well,  each to his own, but I wouldn't wear it

Ring Andy if you fancy the coffee shop

This is just silly

Let's move on

291 Sauchiehall St, the Party Shop. Let's have  a keek inside the close


This is where they store giant Xmas trees

Warden having a look

Evocative paintings of Burns in the St Margaret Hospice shop

The lass is turning away - nae wonder

A guy doing his job - as a cyclist and walker, I say more power to you sir

Ans so we leave the Burns Unit

Face at the window

Greggs. I used to collect previous-day rolls from the Maryhill Greggs for a Kirk soup run to George Square. Good firm.

The inevitable Cheque Centre

Biggars. Here for Yonks. Great shop

Looking back

Wok this way

Jessops went bust few weeks ago

Jeremy Clarkson wrote an excellent Sunday Times piece on the loss of Jessops - hugely helpful and knowledgeable staff

The Mclellan Galleries. See

A wee film crew

Bradfords. Popular cake shop. Many are the shoppers across the class divide who have taken buns back to Drumchapel and Bearsden

Haggis Pies

Glasgow Film Theatre and Rose St up there

Odd wee wedge of stone - wrong jigsaw piece

Looking back


A big hug

Tesco opening

Celtic shop on our right

The Willow Tea Rooms. Among the most famous tea rooms in the world, for sure. See

Home kit reduced? Buy one wee man

Got a couple of nice books at Book Bargains

No more alas

Any book £2

For more pics from here see
Sauchiehall Street: after the Rain
Sauchiehall St: a Meditation on Scottish Exceptionalism

And for pics of a damp post-rain Sauchiehall St see

Sauchiehall Street: after the Rain 2

Primark - always busy. Buy it cheap and throw it away

The bigger Boots

Tk Maxx

Argos - the name of Odysseus' dog

Take away catalogues

They're back!


Roma beggar on left. Roma beggars and Roma Big Issue sellers are now a common feature of Glasgow's  central and west end streets. No one really wants to talk about this depressing topic, which is not helpful. 

The Savoy Centre - not one of the upmarket arenas

Offices for sale

Another beggar on right. The cops tend to leave them alone

Watt Brothers coming up. People liken it to Grace Brothers but it is actually an efficient and highly popular Glasgow store

Would love to take pics inside one day

Looking down Hope St

Looking up Hope St

Looking back


Another Greggs

Stock Liquidation

Gutted We've Closed

Behind the pane is a Payne - and the pain of job losses

British Home Stores entrance

£1.99 breakfast

Outside British Home Stores we bump into our friend Guillermo. whose Malaga Tapas restaurant in Pollokshields is one of the best in Scotland - he even caters for veggies such as us 

We decide to go in for a coffee

Guillermo tries the breakfast - chefs are never off duty

Looking out at Bath St

Also available at this store

The Works

At Renfield St now

Looking down Renfield St. 

For Christmas 2011  in Renfield St down there, see

Ghostworld: Glasgow Christmas 2011 

Body Shop

Looking back

On the last stretch now

The smaller Jessops store  - also of course closed down

Advice for life, Sadly no more

All Sale £10

Now at Buchanan St - hi Donald

Under the wraps on the right - until 2011 - there was a row of Georgian buildings. See

Donald is under siege sometimes. See 

Desecrating Donald

HMV over there - another High St victim

Let's look inside

The new shopping site here - an extension of the Buchanan galleries opposite is expected by some to finally kill Sauchiehall St.  See this excellent site (great photos of the original buildings as well)  -£100m-extension-scheme-is-blasted__o_t__t_380.html

A wee gallus pigeon

Looking back up Sauchiehall St

looking back at Buchanan St.

Let;s take a quick peek inside that Buchanan Galleries entrance

Back outside - heading home now

Some pigeons having a bath

Note the headline, George Square Revamp Axed. For this  fiasco see

Pavilion Theatre up there on left

A parked dog complaining. For my blog on Parked Dogs see

Help me mister

The Night Life

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor. 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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