Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Daldowie Garden Cafe has been and gone

I’m sometime down at Daldowie Crematorium quite often, not only for personal reasons, but because the grounds offer easy access to some interesting areas of the banks of the River Clyde, and the path of the National Cycle Network – Route 75, and Clyde Walkway which runs alongside at many places.

I didn’t manage to get there very often during 2012 though, but always try to wander along at New Year. Last year was memorable due to the snow and frozen ground, which made the walk to the river easier (despite the snow) since it effectively ‘fixed’ the wet and boggy ground found in many places away from the established tracks. Wellies are essential unless you want to walk back home with soggy feet, if you are not visiting in a dry summer). The frozen snow of Christmas 2011 also helped cover the many deep holes which can often catch the unwary, and if you miss spotting one, can find your leg disappearing almost 2 feet or more into a void. In summer, these can be hidden by clumps of grass and other undergrowth.

It was too dull and wet to have look at the river this year, so I just wandered around the gardens, and went to look at “The Garden Cafe” which I had spotted built into a room at the rear of the crematorium building. I’m always there ‘after hours’, to avoid disturbing any parties there attending ceremonies, so the place was shut, but it was obvious that it was in use, from the items on the tables and the counter.

I thought it was a good idea, as the place is nice and quiet, and while I am just around the corner and minutes away, I could see how those travelling some distance to visit the Gardens of Remembrance might appreciate having such a facility to hand – especially with our weather, which can change at the drop of a hat.

Sadly, it seems it was not sustainable, and when I walked around the back of the building, it was gone, together with its sign(s). I guess the number of people using it was just not enough to pay for the cost of supporting it and keeping it staffed.

A look through the window showed the counter was gone, and only a few of the tables and chairs were left scattered around the room, which was otherwise empty.

I shouldn’t really have been too surprised.

When I used to frequent a number of small (and maybe not so small) museums around the country, most of which are now gone, chatting with the staff suggested that they could only keep their cafes open on the basis of keeping them full, and that basically translated into special events, bringing in a lot of day visitors, or pre-arranged coach parties – neither of which is likely at a crematoria.

Good job I had a camera in my pocket the first and only time I saw The Garden Cafe, or I might not be able to convince anyone it was ever there…

Garden Cafe Daldowie

Garden Cafe, Daldowie Crematorium, 2012

Garden Cafe Daldowie

Garden Cafe, Daldowie Crematorium, 2013


January 2, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , , ,

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