Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The shame of neglect behind the games

One of the things that gets right up my nose is the media brainwashing about the 2014 Commonwealth Shames and the mythical ‘Lasting Legacy’ it is promised to deliver. However, I tend not to mention the subject, as I have no desire to be associated with the vitriolic web sites which have appeared in opposition to the event.

I live on the edge of an area blighted by this con, and have yet to see anything being delivered that benefits me. So far, I see a big shed (of no use to me or my lifestyle). razed areas, apparently cancelled housing development, and a load of east end public transport improvements that would have been nice, but were all cancelled once things were underway.

I’ll wait for about 10 years or so, then start digging for evidence of any benefits or ‘Lasting Legacy’ that this brought to Glasgow, or more likely (as I expect) to report on the abandoned and derelict venues, dilapidation following closures, and promised cash bounties that never materialised.

I am, if nothing else, patient, and if I make to 2024 will begin looking for evidence to show that the ‘Lasting Legacy’ was delivered.

However, this post relates to a current sad observation I made while walking across one of Glasgow’s old bridges recently, which could easily have been made into an attractive feature for visitors to admire as they crossed the river, but are instead treated only to to the sight of peeling paint and rusting metal.

The Albert Bridge lies just to the south of Saltmarket, once a busy and prosperous part of the city leading from Crown Street, now largely deserted and forgotten. Shops have tried to set up there for years, and it’s years since I’ve been there regularly, but even the shops I remember are gone, and most of the shop units now lie empty, or look dirty and neglected.

As for the bridge itself, it seems to have received no maintenance for years, and is certainly not benefiting from any ‘Lasting Legacy’, as seen on a pair of cast iron plaques that decorate each side of the bridge.

Once painted to highlight their features – Glasgow’s famous coat of arms – they are now faded, peeling, and rusting:

Albert Bridge plaque 1

Albert Bridge plaque 1

Albert Bridge plaque 2

Albert Bridge plaque 2

In order to see just how much of a difference a splash of care and maintenance (and a little paint) can make to such a feature, it’s only necessary to hop on the Rothesay ferry and have a look at the same sort of thing over there.

Most (maybe all) the street furniture has been cared of for years, especially important given the corrosive nature of the sea spray this is subject to for most of its life, and the coat of arms seen on one of the town’s lampposts gives an idea of how this relatively simple job can make a massive difference:

The top of these posts are pretty good looking as well, and the locals approve too:


March 7, 2014 - Posted by | council, photography | , ,

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