Sunday, 27 November 2011

Broomielaw Quay

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

Today is Thursday, 24 November and we are off down the Broomielaw to particpate in  the protest against the planned development there. For the campaign and for excellent links (including the developer's pitch) go to this  New Glasgow Society page -

and see also

Heading east now along Clyde St; Broomielaw is under the railway bridge; for a bit more on the (now historic) ladies toilet over there and this part of  Glasgow see

Now at the 'Squiggly' footbridge where we are to meet, but a bit early yet.

Let's pop over the bridge to Tradeston for a couple of minutes

Corner of Clyde Place and Tradeston St - going back to the 1850s (when this building was built as a pub), couples will have met here and shared dreams. Go to the invaluable 'Derelict Glasgow' site for more on the building;

From the site:

'Barretts, Clyde Place:
.Located at 52 Clyde Place, G5 8AP, this unlisted former Barretts photographic supplies store sits on the south side of the river Clyde immediately across from the city centre. It is the former Ayrshire Tavern built in the 1850s. This building is a three storey ashlar structure with a pitched slate roof. The west elevation has fenestration, and the east elevation is a former party wall. The former building(s) to the east have been demolished and the wasteground left is currently used as a car park. The stonework has been painted in the past, much of this paint has since flaked off, this along with significant vertical cracks and plant growth highlights the poor overrall condition of the structure.'

Discarded shopping trollies are something of a cliche in photos of dereliction but cliches can tell truths; this trolley will sit where it is this side of the river for months - dumped on the other side of the river, where tourists may see it, it would be wheeched away in hours.

We must head back; For more on Tradeston and Gorbals see

'Earth Rod' - a poetic name for something with a no doubt mundane function

On the bridge now

Kingston Bridge - for what is under the Kingston Bridge flyover on left see last post,

You can see discolouration and what looks to my untrained eye as decay at the feet of the arches. For what the bridge looked like in the plans see

From the site:

'The new bridge is ideally positioned to act as a catalyst for investment, promote confidence in the city and have a fundamental role in the river's regeneration. It connectsTradeston and the International Financial Services District and provides a focus for activities and events, promoting Tradeston as a new urban quarter.'

This is marketing speak, divorced from the reality of Glasgow's poverty and decay - and the rash young men who use these arches as macho climbing frames.

Setting up; media and protestors present

The illustration in the middle is the developer's vision of what their creation will supposedly be like - for a video see the New Glasgow Society's links above

I covet that bike; mine is a Holdsworth Mistral and I love it but that would be good for the train (if not for shopping)

A stanza from my friend Eddie Linden's famous poem 'City of Razors'

A woman roars from the upper      
‘They’re at it again, Maggie!
Five stitches in our Tommie’s face,          
Eddie’s in the Royal wi’ a sword in            
his stomach
and the razor’s floating in the River            

(Eddie will doubtless not be invited to recite it at the putative opening of this development)

View east

View west

The lady dancing is the American performance artist Kate E Deeming; see

Kate's morning dances have been a regular feature down at Broomielaw Quay

and much enjoyed by commuters.

STV interviewer with rucksack

STV taking shots of Kate

Lidl shopping bags going over to Tradeston; not the brand the coonsil  wants to associate  with this development

Cyclist going 'Look Mum no hands'

A giant Irn-Bru can. . .

. . .not really

A wee troupe of performance artists came to join Kate

Media calm

Couple of friendly Polis popped over

No idea who the young artist is but she was brilliant

The hand here reminded me of Mary's  outstretched hand in Leonardo's Virgin of the Rocks

A helping hand from Kate

Group photo coming up

Neil McGuire of the New Glasgow Society being interviewed by STV.  You can see the interview here (for a while)

The great Canadian cartoonist Cinders McLeod (now of the Toronto Globe and Mail) used to do a cartoon strip 'Broomie Law' in the Glasgow Herald which managed to be witty, funny and politically sharp, a rare combination anywhere, which attracted praise from all quarters (including Alex Salmond). Said Tony Benn: 'Cinders is a great cartoonist and helps us to see the truth behind the facade'

Said Cinders:

Broomie Law, whose name was born of a bus ticket in my pocket, is the result of a long journey to find a cartoon that reflects what's going on in the streets and my own cartoon style. I call Broomie the changing face of political cartoons, partly because editorial cartoons are still not seen as an acceptable job for a woman, and partly because many political cartoons have lost the plot. '

The Save Broomielaw campaign  is also about how the plot is being lost in Glasgow: we have needless development of the civilised spaces the city needs to breathe, while world-class buildings such as Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's  Egyptian Halls and Eton Terrace are being left to decay and rot

Join the campaign to save Broomielaw at

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

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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