Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Old buildings in Calton

I’ve largely given up on the potential for visiting or studying old buildings in Glasgow.

Most that were derelict or abandoned have been razed in recent years, with the reasonably reasonable aim of improving the appearance of the city, and making it more attractive.

At the same time, I think a number (especially along the river and close to the city centre) which were only recently vacated (as businesses closed) joined them, presumably on the basis that they would never be occupied again, and were not suitable for conversion to flats.

While a number remain, they’re probably earmarked for conversion to accommodation, or will join the first two groups I mentioned if plans fall through, or they’ve not already been converted (not forgetting some are still in use).

So, it’s nice to dive down some streets that are not exactly on the ‘beaten track’ or normal routes, where it’s still possible to find some oldies.

I found this pair down Stevenson Street in the Calton,

The first one started life around 1914, as a grocery warehouse for Andrew Cochrane & Son Ltd, with an office block to the right.

In those days, the growing population of Glasgow helped several large firms of grocers and provision merchants to grow and open branches all over the city, and they needed to warehouse their stock. Those companies set high standards of hygiene and value for money. The firm was still there in 1966., but like most of those multiple grocers and provision merchants were swallowed up by larger concerns in the 1950s and 1960s, as the pattern of grocery shopping moved towards supermarkets.

The two blue signs identify two different occupants: John C. Walker Ltd, Established 1888 (contemporary with Cochrane); and Kemray Hair Care Products. The latter seems to be long gone, with no online references noted.

20 June 2016: Local planners advise building warrants for the demolition of the two Cochrane warehouses has been approved.

Stevenson Street Warehouse

Stevenson Street Warehouse

Not much better in some respects, but since I had to take a wonky wide-angle shot to get it all in, I took a linear shot as well. Maybe better for scale.

Stevenson Street Warehouse

Stevenson Street Warehouse

Masonic hall

Adjacent to the warehouse is an old masonic hall, built after the warehouse and dated to 1936 from a foundation stone in the front wall.

Stevenson Street Masonic Hall 1936

Stevenson Street Masonic Hall 1936

26/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

There goes the neighbourhood

Before getting into this one, let me be crystal clear – I am not member of the “You can’t demolish THAT!” club.

Taking the disastrous £400+ million skip in Holyrood as an example, some buildings can’t go soon enough, and it is a blessing that it’s such mess it will barely last decades, let alone centuries. We have to get rid of the rubbish to make way for future gems.

That aside (far far aside), I’m more of a “We’re living in the past” kind of person.

Not saying that’s good OR bad – just an observation of fact.

I often find myself wondering where the space will come from for new build, especially in some of the more historic towns, where many long-established premises are still in use. Getting inside some of them can be grim, as they can have modification on top of their modification to their modifications.

Glasgow’s Trongate is slowly disappearing, with gap sites already standing undeveloped for years, existing period building lying derelict since the businesses that occupied them departed many years ago (with no replacement), and others just falling out of use, no longer needed by their owners, who are still doing business in the rest of the shell.

These two pics are actually in reverse order – the rear view was actually just grabbed a few weeks ago, purely be chance when passing, but the front view of this part of the Trongate was taken a few hours ago, because I noticed it was a match for the earlier rear view.

Trongate Demolition

Trongate Demolition

While it’s not actually being touched, the closed shops and boarded windows of the building to the left must surely signal its fate is to follow those beside it.

Guess I’ll have to try to remember to keep this one in mind for future visits.

The view from behind.


Lots of clearance has already taken place back there.

Trongate Demolition Rear

Trongate Demolition Rear

26/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment


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