Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Photo appeal for Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s Sixty Steps

Although I have a ‘dabbling’ interest in Glasgow’s famous, such as Mackintosh (from before he was hijacked by those who merely think he is ‘kewl’) and Thomson, I’m not a fanatic, so can still be pleasantly surprised to learn of features belonging to such artists.

I’m also someone who’s never really been around the west end of Glasgow much, and still think of it as a place where ancient female ancestors were locked up in old care homes of their era, and I only saw them when dragged along with the rest of the family for the occasional visit.

I’d never even heard of the Sixty Steps in their own right, or (to my knowledge) seen them mentioned in anything I read about Alexander “Greek” Thomson.

So, here they are – the B-listed Sixty Steps which connect Garriochmill Road to Kelvinside Terrace:

2010 Funding appeal

Back in 2010, the BBC ran an article raising an appeal, noting that The Sixty Steps were in a state of disrepair and that a Trust had been formed, hoping to gain funds from sources such as the Heritage Lottery Fund once the structure is transferred from private to public ownership, from the residents to the Trust:

Alexander “Greek” Thomson’s Sixty Steps can be found in Glasgow’s West End.

The Steps are the focus of a restoration appeal organised by the Greek Thomson Sixty Steps Preservation Trust.

They were designed by celebrated architect Greek Thomson in the 1870s to provide an access point to Queen Margaret Bridge, now destroyed.

The Trust is hoping the West End landmark can be restored to its former glory.

BBC – Greek Thomson’s Sixty Steps

Now, in 2014, a revised appeal is being made for photographs of the steps, to help in restoring them to their original condition:

An appeal is being made to the general public for any drawings, photographs or images they might have of the Sixty Steps, a little known feature in Glasgow’s west end.

Designed by the architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, they provided a through route from the north of the city to the original bridge over the river Kelvin.

Now, the trust that owns the steps says the public could help with efforts to restore them to their former glory by providing images of the steps over the years.

Estimates for the work run into seven figure sums but one of the architects working on proposals is passionate about the value of the Sixty Steps to the city.

Karen Anderson said: “There’s nothing like them, they are fundamentally important because there is nothing like them, certainly not in Glasgow and there’s no equivalent in Edinburgh so it’s a great project from that perspective.”

The steps are in such a state of neglect that last winter several of them collapsed completely leading to this area being closed off to the public. What those who are trying to save them fear most is that they will go the same way as some of Alexander Thomson’s buildings and be lost to the city for good.

Appeal for photographs in bid to restore Sixty Steps to former glory | Glasgow & West | News | STV

60 Steps, Glasgow from Johan Jakobson on Vimeo.

The Sixty Steps are a much-loved feature of Glasgow’s West End. The steps which connect Kelvinside Terrace to Garriochmill Road were designed by Alexander “Greek” Thomson in the 1870s to provide access to the original Queen Margaret Bridge. The bridge across the River Kelvin has since been demolished, and the Greek Thomson Sixty Steps are currently in need of restoration.

The Trust’s ultimate objectives are to preserve and restore the steps and gardens for continued public use and enjoyment. Also to refurbish and repair the wall, steps and embellishments as well as to replace the railings and lights.


February 8, 2014 - Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , ,

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