Strange case of the Sandyhills Golf Course access gate
I changed my route to the shops recently, as waddling along the same pieces of road day after day can become a bit mind-numbing.
This path takes me along Sandyhills Road, which means passing along the northern perimeter of Sandyhills Golf Course, and the excitement of dodging errant golf balls that come flying out of the sky without warning.
However, on this occasion it wasn’t something moving that caught my eye, but something bolted down and definitely not moving.
Along this perimeter wall, and adjacent to the currently abandoned sandstone mansion known as Victoria Lodge, is a gated access point. A close look shows this to be an old feature, as it has one of those original cast iron bollard in the middle of the path, presumably a Victorian era artefact intended to stop over-enthusiastic owners of wheeled vehicles from accessing the route across the course. The path exits at a similar gate which lies at the end of a short road (about 20 metres long and ending again the course south perimeter fence) between two big houses/mansions on Hamilton Road, and marked “Private Road” by a home-made sign.
The Sandyhills Road end of this path caught my eye because access to it had suddenly been barred by the installation of a section of metal fencing, bolted firmly in place, as seen in the pic below:
This was something of a surprise. While I’m not really interested in golf course (golf: a good walk wasted?) or issues of Rights of Way (too often populated by fanatics), that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in things odd or unusual. This rang a bell from some reading I had done when the Scottish Open Access Code was being prepared, and this was something I was interested in, as it determines what access explorers can rightfully have to sites on Scottish land. The bell reminded me of reading something about golf courses being obliged to offer a right of way across their land for members of the public, but I could not recall the detail or conditions which applied.
I didn’t feel like wandering into the clubhouse, and being mistaken for some kind of Rights of Way activist, so ruled that out.
I did a little hunting around the web, but found little, other than a Scottish Rights of Way web site.
Accordingly, I assembled the details of the spot and sent off an enquiry via email.
This turned out to be a dead-end, as all I got in return was a “Thank for your enquiry” automated response, and instruction to telephone the organisation because it depends on voluntary staff, and they don’t have time to deal with emails.
Crap – at work, I don’t have time to deal with interruptions from client phone calls, but have to drop whatever I am doing and respond to them immediately. But I can leave emails, and deal with them at my “leisure”.
So, no joy from the experts.
Circumstances meant I wasn’t back along that road for a couple of weeks, so when I did next pass the gate I got another surprise – the barrier was gone!
Not what I expected, given that it had been bolted to the existing metal fence, and into the sandstone wall of the lodge.
At least I had the first pic to prove I didn’t imagine it, and you can see the freshly re-opened access point in the follow-up pic below:
So, no answers.
Unless you know better, and can enlighten the rest of us through the comments below…
I’ve lifted the following (edited) comment from below into this post:
There was a meeting with Scotsways, Glasgow council, and the head greenkeeper of Sandyhills Golf Course, Monday, 15 June 2015. The reason behind the meeting to discuss the right of way through Sandyhills Golf Course, starting north from Sandyhills Road through a gate opposite the high flats and following a straight line south to Hamilton Road. The path has an indent on the grass surface. This right of way has been in existence since 1895, with maps to prove. The golf course dates from 1905. The outcome of the meeting was to ensure walking access, which was agreed by all parties, and to make sure access from both north and south be available with no restrictions. Please walk this route.
Here is the latest pic of the gate leading to the right of way, also note the background, where the Elizabeth Lodge once stood, and the removal of some trees.