Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

European architecture award for Riverside

I’m tending to avoid stories that are adequately covered in the mainstream news, unless they’re worthy of special mention, or likely to be missed by those who avoid mainstream news. It’s all pretty glum and grim, and often pathetic as worn out hacks try to keep their jobs by sensationalising everything in an attempt to curry favour with their editors, and keep their jobs for another week.

However, the story of Glasgow’s Riverside Museum winning the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA) is one that deserves a mention.

Riverside is the first Scottish museum to win this award, and joins previous UK winners including Beamish: North of England Museum, and the National Railway Museum in York.

Collecting the odd award or two also helps Riverside shine a little brighter, as it stands in the shadow of the long-established Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and is very much the ‘new kid on the block’. I noticed that eligibility for this award is quite limited, and museums that might qualify need to have been built or extensively refurbished within the last three years.

Commenting on the museum, the judges said:

The Riverside Museum demonstrates brilliantly how a specialist transport collection can renew its relevance through active engagement with wider social and universal issues.

The EMYA 2013 Judging Panel agreed unanimously that the museum fulfils the EMYA criteria of ‘public quality’ at the highest level.

Via Riverside Museum is European Museum of the Year

There’s always one door face in the crowd looking to rain on the parade, and I noticed that one commenter on another site could only manage to say that Glasgow’s transport museum had been going downhill ever since it moved out of Albert Drive (I might add that happened back in 1987, 26 years ago), and that Riverside wasn’t up to much as “Glasgow’s transport museum”, because it did not have a particular type of modern train, once common around the city, on show. And even referred to those in charge as ‘morons’ for having steam engines on display.

I’m almost tempted to make a train-spotter and anorak joke – but will resist.

Locomotives, were a major industry in and around the city of Glasgow in the days of steam… and I don’t think I need say any more on the subject, as anyone who knows their history will know of the various engine works, and how the streets had to be cleared to make way as the completed locomotives took priority as they were taken to the Clyde for shipping. At the river, giant cranes were installed to lift the massive engines onto ships which transported them around the World. Springburn is reputed to have held a 25% share in the global locomotive market, with four major works in the area.

Yes, only a moron would devote any space in Riverside, a Glasgow transport museum, to steam.

(Aye, right 😉 )

Most of the rest of us will just be happy that Riverside is joining Kelvingrove, and bringing awards and recognition to Glasgow.


May 20, 2013 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

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