Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Baillieston Police Station – A Shut and Open Case

I have to pass the police station in Baillieston every time I go to the shops, and that can be a daily occurrence some weeks, so it came as a bit of surprise when I looked over as I passed the other day… all the windows were shuttered, and the signs were covered too, or removed.

I’d always being going to make a light-hearted fun post about the signs, ever since they appeared a few years ago, and were either the result of a publicity agency being gifted too much money to produce something nice – or someone in the office had bought a copy of Photoshop, and needed to produce something to show how clever they were. The signs were worded in that sugary and cosy language intended to make the reader feel comfortable with the subject, and probably employed a small army of psychologists to make sure nothing that could have alarmed the reader was said.

Then I thought I’d better not actually make that post, lest my light-hearted take on the signs be misinterpreted, or even misused – and now they’re gone. Oh well.

So, back to the old police station in Main Street:

Baillieston police main st

There’s a low building at the back of the Main Street building, around the corner in South Scott Street, which I have since learned was a recreation area and hall, with a snooker table, indoor bowls and table tennis. The hall was also used for social events, popular with the local community (see comment below). I never paid much attention to it, and think it lay unused, and already gained a broken window:

Baillieston police training Sth Scott St

(When I passed a couple of weeks later, all the upper storey windows of the main building were shuttered, as were the windows on the lesser building to the rear).

When I first saw the shutters, I thought the station had been closed as a result of the new 101 phone hotline service which has just been introduced in Scotland:

A new national phone line for non-emergency calls to the police has gone live.

The 101 number aims to take the strain off the 999 service by giving people an alternative way to report non-urgent crimes, pass on information or get advice.

Calls to 101 will cost 15p from both landlines and mobile phones, with an automatic system detecting the caller’s location before connecting them to their nearest available police station.

Via Police launch non-emergency 101 phone line to ease 999 strain | Scotland | News | STV

But a little bell was ringing somewhere, and was telling me this was not so.

In fact, after I thought a bit harder, I remembered that there had been announcement back in 2011, to the effect that the Main Street police station would close because the old building was going to be too expensive to upgrade. Instead, the service would ultimately relocate to the premises formerly occupied by Baillieston’s Social Works Department, in nearby Buchanan Street.

Back then, the move was costed at around £150,000 to bring the building up to standard and install the required technology, and was due for completion in 2013 – looks like they got that right.

The new facility actually exceeds the space required by the police, and will be shared with other services as part of a ‘community hub’ serving the Baillieston area.

Lacking any of the character of the original, the new facility isn’t particularly noticeable – but then again, it’s really just an old Social Works office:

Baillieston police Buchanan St

Even closer in, it’s still not easy to spot. Almost lost behind the bus stop, jumbo wheelie-bin, and (oops… illegally) parked car(s) in the bus bay. I must have walked past it many time in recent weeks, and never noticed it. And it will be even better hidden when the bare trees grow some leaves when it gets warmer:

Baillieston police Buchanan St

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February 27, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I found your article after a recent visit to Baillieston. I was surprised at the old office being closed as I was a serving police officer there in the early seventies and have many fond memories of the place. The building at the rear was known as the recreation hall and had a full sized snooker table as well as table tennis and indoor bowls facilities. I had many enjoyable times in the hall and many off duty social events were held there. My most memorable occasion was when I slipped and fell and broke my arm whilst playing snooker during a refreshment break in 1974. This was an event that haunted me for many years with reference being made to the question of: what was the biggest break at snooker in Baillieston. Answer: My left arm. The links with the Baillieston Police and the local community were long standing and well established. The annual Christmas Dinner Dance was a huge local event and always over subscribed. Unfortunately these things change and I do not think they will ever be seen again. A terrible loss as the links with the community were essential to a good police service.

    Like

    Comment by Jim F | August 28, 2013

  2. Apparently the old police building was haunted . . . .

    Like

    Comment by Lisa Treanor | March 13, 2015


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