Monday, 10 February 2014

The Molendinar Burn: many Stepps to Glasgow Green

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

- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

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. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.

Today is  Saturday 4 January, 2014 and we are off with our friend Alex to Stepps to follow the course of the Molendinar from Frankfield Loch to the Clyde at Glasgow green. Alex has prepared the maps, so it all his fault if we get lost.

From the wiki entry -

'The Molendinar Burn is a stream in GlasgowScotland. It was the site of the settlement that grew to become the kernel of Glasgow, and where St Mungo founded his church in the 6th century. It was later used to power the growing town's mills. Indeed the word "molendinar"is defined as "relating to a mill or a person who works in or lives in a mill".
Its source is Frankfield Loch in Cardowan to the north-east of Glasgow; then it flows through Hogganfield Loch and into the Clyde. It was covered over in the 1870s (by what is now Wishart Street). The point where it flowed into the Clyde caused silting, which allowed a ford to be made at the Saltmarket. This was later dredged and bridges were constructed.

Small parts of the burn are uncovered in the Molendinar Park and beside the old Great Eastern Hotel on Duke Street'

We start at Queen St station

Alex having offee - a luxury my bladder will not allow. For Alex's account of the walk see

Now at Stepps

Keeping Scotland beautiful

Like being in a pinball machine this

Anniesdale Avenue

Ultras Celtic.  Yawn. Even the Jags have Ultras now.  

Moretti. Builders

Stepps stuff

Church building

More orthodox church building down there

We're heading this  way for Cumbernauld Rd

Down Cardowan Drive

The Iron Lady


Cumbernauld Rd

This house has a '2000 AD'   plaque but  don't think it means Judge Dredd lives here

Passing Whitehill Avenue

Stuff dumped

Frankfield  Loch coming up on left

Looking back

Frankfield Loch. And not Frank Ifield Loch, though there may be a shepherd in the distance singing 'I Remember Ewe'

Flora and Fauna

The Molendinar Burn, we suppose. For more on the burn and its course, see the invaluable Hidden Glasgow Forum -

From here on in to Glasgow Green the  burn is mostly under ground

Back on Cumbernauld Rd we pass a Hobbit poster

Hot Foam Car Wash

Leisuretime Amusements. Limited, of course

Melrose Music School

Someone has had a wee cup of tea

New Inn

Approaching Hogganfield Park on left

A Games Legacy for Glasgow

A schoolfriend of mine drowned here, George Mitchell. George was  also the founder of the British Anti-Zionist Organisation (BAZO) so a rumour spread that he had been murdered by Mossad. It seems a very dubious hypothesis to me.  Placid waters drown at least as many of the unwary as troubled ones.
'Says Tweed tae Till, 
Whit gars ye rin still? 
Says Till tae Tweed, 
Though ye rin wi' speed, and I rin slaw; 
When ye drown ane man 
I drown twa'

 RIP George

Bird approaching


From the above - 

'This is Glasgow's most important site for migrant and wintering waterbirds, it is also recognised as a key regional site for wildfowl.
• A diverse range of birds is attracted to the loch, with over 100 different species being recorded at the site .
• Many of the birds have become used to the presence of people, and species such as Tufted Duck, Goldeneye and Goosander can be seen at close quarters.
• Occasionally rarer birds such as Slavonian Grebe can be seen and the Smew is a regular winter visitor.
• The woodlands, marsh (including areas of open water) and grassland are managed for nature conservation and support populations of Skylark and Water Vole.'

A few joggers and dog walkers and families about

Roots clutching like a pair of arms.

“What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust. ”

- Eliot

Old English Sheepdog

Accidental pic

Angling Zone

Swan on patrol

Stops to say  hello to Alex

Cafe Express

Oh dear

No contact  with the water

Lethamhill Golf Course Pavilion. See

Course Description

'Lethamhill Golf Course, located three miles north east of Glasgow city centre, is one of Glasgow's popular municipal courses.  This 18 hole mature parkland course, with many tree-lined holes, is situated right next to the beautiful Hogganfield Loch. The existing pavilion offers golf starter accommodation, office space, toilets, lockers, changing accommodation and vending.  There is also a mobile snack bar on site.'

Golf Course rules. Why can't you share clubs?

Random Security Spot Checks

Alex has discovered the next above ground  Molendinar bit

Leaping across the Molendinar. Not quite as impressive as swimming the Hellespont, but still

Have you locked your car?

Heading out of the park

Riddrie Park Cemetery on our right

Golf course bunkers other side of the road

In we go

The Cross of Sacrifice. There are many war graves here. See

Very useful info here on navigating this large cemetery -

Here we go

And so we leave Riddrie Park Cemetery

In Greenside St

Cat wants in

Greenside Crescent

Onto Langdale St

We are going to be heading down Royston Rd.  The former Speaker, Michael Martin, was the MP for Royston.  See,_Glasgow

Now coming up to Provanmill Rd and the Provanmill Inn.  Now a burned-out ruin, the Inn was once a respectable pub with an old history -

But in modern times it became part of  Glasgow's gangster history -

The back; one of Alex's pics

Glenmill Medical Centre

The author taking a pic of the Ranza Bar and its joined-at-the-hip betting shop. There have been some incidents  outside this bar also -

'Police in Glasgow have launched an investigation after a 29-year-old man was hit by a car and another man was shot - in what newspaper reports are calling a "double gangland murder bid".

A man was believed to have been hit by a vehicle outside the Ranza Bar on Royston Road, near Provanmill Road in the east end of the city, at about 3pm on Saturday.

About two hours later, police said that a 24-year-old man arrived at a hospital with a gunshot wound.

Strathclyde Police said are not yet confirming that the two incidents were linked, but newspaper reports from the scene say the injuries were caused in the same attack.

A forensic investigation is continuing at the site of the incident in Royston Road.

Police would only confirm that both men are being treated in hospital, and are appealing for witnesses to come forward.'

Molendinar Community Centre. See

Molendinar Park. See

Do not hang or climb

Red Road flats in distance

Something War of the Worlds about these lights

The burn is down below

Let's go up the steps

The Community Centre again

A Scots Pine I think? - our national tree

A drowned bike

A memorial

Back on Royston Rd; we bid farewell to the Ranza. Not quite the Prancing Pony perhaps, but then we are a long way from the  Shire, Bilbo 

Ah - we have passed under that bridge many times

Soapy Bubbles

The Red Road flats - less in number when we were last there. See

Red Road Flats
Red Road Flats 2
Red Road Flats 3
Red Road Flats 4: Doors Open Day

Pressing on

Looking back

Old railway ground we suppose

Passing Rona St

Passing an apple tree

Out of focus - but left in as pic of entrance to Glenconner  Park

We are comig off Royston Rd now. . .

. . .turning down Cloverbank St

Cloverbank Gardens.  For more on the area see 

Along here we go

Looking back

We are about Junction 14 of the M8

Dead end

Down here we go

Coming on to Viewpark avenue; M8 above

Weathered plaque opposite. . .
. . .marks the underground course of the Molendinar

As Alex observes, a pretty useless fence

Now coming on to Alexandra Parade - we are running out of battery so for more on the Parade see
Welcome to Glasgow 5: Alexandra Parade to Barlinnie

Now going down Firpark St

Cathedral and Royal on right

Necropolis on our left; see

You used to be able to see the Molendinar here on the left when it was an open sewer. My brother;s flat was in the Drygate to our left. . .

The former Great Eastern Hotel. See

Looking down beside the Great Eastern we can see the Molendinar again

Heading round the back,. . .

Now back on Duke St looking up the Dyrgate, to which we shall return in next post

For more on Duke St see
Celtic Park to Parkhead Cross and up Duke St

Now walking to High St

Now in the High St, heading for Glasgow Green

My right retina began to detach at this point -  few days later I was being operated on at Gartnavel hospital by the brilliant eye team. Now re-attached, thanks Gartnavel

Now at Glasgow Green. See
Glasgow Green: the 2010 Scottish Junior Run

For more on the Clyde bridges, see
Welcome to Glasgow 3: Charing Cross station to Dalmarnock station

Water is high

Barrier has risen

The output is up on our right, hidden by high Clyde

Walking to St Enochs Underground, we pass the Clutha

RIP Clutha Victims

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 

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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