A Travellerspoint blog

Glasgow

A Walk Along The River Clyde.

We actually walked along the Clyde from the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) to Glasgow Green one morning before going off to Dunblane and then visited the Riverside Museum the next day in the afternoon. However, I will describe the sights on the River Clyde starting from Riverside Museum as that puts them all in a straight line.

The River Clyde was once the centre of industrial Glasgow. Its banks were lined with ship building yards. Nowadays the industry has gone and there is a very pleasant walkway along the north side of the river.

Riverside Museum is a bit tricky to reach. It is possible to get there from Partick or from the SECC. We walked from the SECC. I had thought we could go straight along the river, but this was not possible, we had to divert inland a bit and walk at the side of a major road.

Riverside Museum was built on the site of the former Inglis Shipyard, at the confluence of the Clyde and Kelvin Rivers. This wonderful and highly unusual building was designed by Iraqi-born female architect Zaha Hadid who died in 2016.

Riverside Museum is home to Glasgow's transport museum. As we arrived just as the museum was closing, we did not go inside. However, I have visited the transport museum many times before when it used to be housed in the Kelvin Hall, so I was not too bothered by this. I was there to see the building rather than the museum itself. My photos are not great as we reached the museum just as the skies turned black and a huge rainstorm was about to begin.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum.

In front of the museum a tall ship, the Glenlee is permanently moored. The Glenlee was built in Port Glasgow by the Glasgow shipping firm of Archibald Sterling and Co. Ltd. She began sailing as a bulk cargo carrier in 1896. She sailed around the world four times before being abandoned in a harbour in Seville and left to rot. She was discovered there in 1990 and bought by the Clyde Maritime Trust who brought her home and restored her to her former glory.

The Glenlee.

The Glenlee.

I believe it is possible to take a little boat from Riverside Museum across to Govan Old Church and see the Govan stones. I will try and do this in the summer.

Looking towards Govan.

Looking towards Govan.

About twenty minutes walk east of Riverside will take you to the SECC. As I said above we actually went there the day before visiting Riverside and fortunately the weather was much better with clear blue skies all the way.

The SECC is located in Finnieston and can be reached easily by taking the train to Exhibition Centre railway station - a station that used to be known as Finnieston Station. The SECC originally opened in 1985, and has been expanded twice: first in 1997 with the construction of the Armadillo and then in 2013 with the building of the Hydro. It is built on the site of the former Queen's Dock which closed to navigation in 1969.

The Main SECC Building used to be nicknamed The Big Red Shed as it looked like a giant red painted warehouse. Since 1997 it has been painted grey. I like the Clydebuilt Bar in this building. The SECC Armadillo, which looks a little like the Sydney Opera House was designed by world renowned architect Sir Norman Foster. He also designed The SSE Hydro. These buildings host major events such as concerts, sporting events, award ceremonies etc. The best way to photograph these buildings is to cross the River Clyde and snap them from the other side.

Some reminders of Glasgow's industrial heritage have been retained amongst the new buildings. One such reminder is the Finnieston Crane, properly known as the Stobcross Crane. This is a giant cantilever crane once used for loading cargo, such as steam engines, onto ships at the Queen's Docks. Another reminder of the past are the Rotundas. The Glasgow Harbour Tunnel Rotundas are two circular red brick buildings on opposite sides of the River Clyde. They were designed by Simpson and Wilson, and built between 1890 and 1896. They covered 24-metre deep shafts which led to tunnels which enabled both people and cars to cross underneath the River Clyde. These tunnels have long since closed down as they were too expensive to maintain. The North Rotunda is now being used as a restaurant.

Across the river from the SECC stands the Glasgow Science Centre, as well at the studios of STV and BBC Scotland. The River Clyde has many bridges. One of the most attractive is the Clyde Arc Bridge which you can see near the SECC.

The Armadillo and Hydro buildings.

The Armadillo and Hydro buildings.

Me with the Clyde Arc behind me.

Me with the Clyde Arc behind me.

The North Rotunda.

The North Rotunda.

The South Rotunda.

The South Rotunda.

The Science Centre and BBC Scotland.

The Science Centre and BBC Scotland.

Peter with the SECC.

Peter with the SECC.

The SECC and the Finnieston Crane.

The SECC and the Finnieston Crane.

Clydebuilt Bar in the SECC main building.

Clydebuilt Bar in the SECC main building.

Walking away from the SECC towards the city centre we passed a monument to a terrible fire which took place in the Cheapside Street Whisky Bond Warehouse on the 28th of March 1960. As the whisky and rum in the warehouse exploded it caused parts of the building to fall killing 19 firemen.

Monument to the Cheapside Warehouse fire.

Monument to the Cheapside Warehouse fire.

A short time later we passed a former Renfrew ferry which has been permanently moored and converted into an entertainment venue. The Renfrew ferry used to be a popular way to cross the River Clyde prior to the building of the Clyde Tunnel and many new bridges. The Yoker Renfrew passenger ferry is apparently still in operation.

The Ferry.

The Ferry.

The River Clyde is crossed by many bridges; some ordinary looking, some very fancy The next one to catch my eye was the Tradeston Bridge, nicknamed the squiggly bridge. This is a pedestrian bridge linking Anderston on the north bank of the Clyde to Tradeston on the south bank. It was opened in 2009.

The Tradeston Bridge.

The Tradeston Bridge.

After that my attention was attracted to the Clyde Port Authority Building with its lovely sculptures. This building is located on Robertson Street. It was designed by J. J. Burnet. and completed in 1908. Its sculptures were created by Albert Hodge and John Mossman. Most of them have a maritime theme such as Neptune, seahorses and boats. This was the building which monitored and controlled traffic on the River Clyde.

The Clyde Port Authority Building.

The Clyde Port Authority Building.

Next we passed under what seemed like a whole plethora of bridges and passed the remains of others as we walked under the main rail lines leading south from Glasgow Central Station. The railway is carried on the first and second Caledonian Railway Bridges which date from 1878 and 1905 respectively.

View from under a bridge.

View from under a bridge.

Peter by the Clyde.

Peter by the Clyde.

The next point of interest on our walk was the old Customs House a lovely old building, currently vacant and at risk. Hopefully it can be converted and find a new use. The Customs House was designed by John Taylor and opened in 1840.

In front of this building stands a statue called La Pasionaria. It was designed by Liverpool sculptor, Arthur Dooley, who died penniless in 1994. He never even got to see the finished statue being unveiled as he could not afford the train fare to Glasgow. The statue is a tribute to the British Volunteers of the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939. The statue shows Dolores Ibárruri, nicknamed La Pasionaria or The Passion Flower. She was a Communist heroine of the Spanish Civil War. The statue represents the fight against fascism and reads 'Better to die on your feet than live forever on your knees.'

La Pasionaria.

La Pasionaria.

The Old Customs House.

The Old Customs House.

Next we passed another of the murals that are beautifying the sides of various Glasgow buildings. This one showed a tiger. We also passed the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, a Roman Catholic Cathedral designed in 1814 by James Gillespie Graham.

Tiger Mural.

Tiger Mural.

St Andrew's Cathedral.

St Andrew's Cathedral.

Our next point of interest was the Clutha Bar. Clutha means the River Clyde. Cluthas were up and down the river passenger ferries in bygone days. This pub is well known for its live music. In November 2013 tragedy struck here when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the pub killing ten people: seven pub customers and three police officers. The pub had to close down for a year and a half following this incident. It re-opened in July 2015. The outside of the pub has been decorated by a wonderful mural depicting famous Glasgow celebrities or people with a link to the pub: such as Billy Connolly, Jimmy Reid, Spike Milligan, Frank Zappa and Alex Harvey . The mural is the work of street artists Bob McNamara, aka RogueOne, and Danny McDermott, aka EJEK.

The Clutha Bar.

The Clutha Bar.

The Clutha Mural.

The Clutha Mural.

Next to the Clutha I was impressed by the lovely horse head sculptures on a building I did not recognise. I have since found out it is Briggait, Glasgow's former fish market, dating from 1873. It has now been restored and is currently used as an arts centre.

The Briggait.

The Briggait.

The Briggait detail.

The Briggait detail.

The Merchants' Steeple, dating from 1665 is nowadays part of the Briggait. It was originally part of the Merchant's House which was built here in 1659 . When this area went into decline, most of the Merchants'House was demolished in 1818, but the Merchants' Steeple was spared. The steeple is 164 feet tall. The spire of the steeple is supposedly topped by a copper ship on a globe, the symbol of the Merchants' House.

The Merchants' Steeple.

The Merchants' Steeple.

Finally we reached Glasgow Green which I will write about in another blog.

Posted by irenevt 22:37 Archived in Scotland Comments (2)

A Day in Dunblane

Dunblane in Springtime.

We spent our Easter 2017 holidays in the UK; part of the time we were in Scotland and part of the time we were in England. While we were in Scotland, we visited friends who live in Stirling and they took us for a drive to Dunblane for the day.

View by the river.

View by the river.

Dunblane is a beautiful peaceful place, so it is extremely sad that in many people's minds it is forever associated with the horrific and incomprehensible massacre of sixteen primary school children and their teacher in 1996.

We began our exploration of this little town at its beautiful golden post box. This commemorates Andy Murray, Dunblane's most famous native son, winning a gold medal in the men's singles at the London 2012 Olympics. The post box is on High Street at the roundabout in the centre of the town.

Dunblane's golden post box.

Dunblane's golden post box.

After taking some photos at this post box, we went in search of a bit of Dunblane's history. Dunblane is home to Leighton Library, the oldest private library in Scotland. Housed in a lovely old building, this library is home to around 4,500 books dating from between 1500 and 1840.

Leighton Library

Leighton Library

Just across the road from the library is Dunblane's museum.

Dunblane Museum used to be called Dunblane Cathedral Museum. It is housed in a building that was once the Dean of the Cathedral's House. It has a large number of artefacts from and paintings and photographs of Dunblane's beautiful old Cathedral. It also has a lot of Andy Murray memorabilia which he donated to the museum and a life-size cardboard cut out of Andy Murray to take photos with. The museum has a little gift shop and a pleasant garden. In one of the upstairs rooms it is possible to try on a wide range of tartan clothing if you feel so inclined.

Dunblane Museum

Dunblane Museum

Andy Murray Memorabilia.

Andy Murray Memorabilia.

The man himself.

The man himself.

Re-find your inner Bay City Roller.

Re-find your inner Bay City Roller.

After visiting the museum, we went to Dunblane's star attraction - its beautiful cathedral. This lovely, old building dates from the thirteenth century, though it is located on a much earlier Christian site first established by Saint Blane around the year 600. The cathedral's surrounding graveyard looked lovely amidst the colourful spring flowers.

Inside the cathedral there is a memorial to the victims of the Dunblane Massacre of 1996. On the 13th of March of that year Thomas Hamilton walked into the gymnasium of Dunblane Primary School carrying two pistols and two revolvers. He killed sixteen children and their teacher as well as injuring many more before killing himself. Andy Murray was a pupil at Dunblane Primary School during the massacre.

Dunblane Cathedral

Dunblane Cathedral

Memorial to the tragedy.

Memorial to the tragedy.

Dunblane is situated on a river, the Allan Water. We left Dunblane after visiting the cathedral and visited another little town on the Allan Water - Bridge of Allan. This little town has a great little microbrewery where we often stop for a pint when in the area.

The Allan Water at Bridge of Allan

The Allan Water at Bridge of Allan

Getting a shot behind the bar.

Getting a shot behind the bar.

Posted by irenevt 00:19 Archived in Scotland Comments (2)

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