Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Schipka Pass is effectively gone, but…

I’ve no idea why, but I NEVER visited, or was even taken into Glasgow’s once famous (I suppose it still is, since it is still well remembered by many) Schipka Pass (however spelt) at any time in my life. This despite visiting The Barras many many times, and being taken (as a child) to the many auction halls and similar venues that once existed along the Trongate and maybe even into Argyle Street. They were lost long ago, something that still makes me glum as I had always imagined making the same trips for myself, when I ‘grew up’, but their disappearance robbed me of that option, something that still irritates me to this day.

As for Schipka Pass, by the time it occurred to me that it was missing from my ‘Glasgow Experiences’, a look at the place showed that whatever it had been, it was then nothing more than closed doors – deserted other than for the humorous signs it latterly gained fame for.

I really don’t know much about it, but if you look up the name online, you can find out more about it and its past from people who took the time to record their memories. Although largely derelict, it was there until 2011, when it was razed after being set on fire, probably by vandals. But being Glasgow, it’s traditional to call such places an “embarrassment to the council and a prime site which was destroyed by a mysterious fire, so releasing it for development”.

Frankly, there’s not much development going there, that ‘council fire’ story is getting just a little bit tired (I’ve been listening to people parrot it for years now), and the site was not developed, at least not as shops or flats, but as a small park, Barrowland Park.

So, why did I say “but…” in this post’s title.

While I never took any pics (not digital, but I might have something  hidden away on film) of the place as it was, I did take some of the park being created on the cleared site, and discovered something interesting when I looked at the detail.

(You can find some earlier views from before the demolition, and of the demolition, by shoving ‘shcipka’ into Flickr’s search box. Unfortunately all are behind copyright, so I can’t slip an original view in here).

First, the general view.

Schipka Pass

Schipka Pass

I have to zoom in to show the reason.

Schipka Iron Bridge

Schipka Pass Iron Bridge

Three points to note: a derelict set of old stone steps on the right, a stone arch visible just to the left of centre, and horizontal a row of circles visible across the centre of the image.

While I can’t say much about the first two, I did identify the third.

It’s the ironwork of the Schipka Pass Bridge holding up that part of London Road.

The arch below would lead into the tunnel that runs beneath London Road, and onto the site of the long gone train station at Glasgow Cross.

Next, just some fun from another pic of the same area.

Incidentally, those familiar with this scene will know this pic was taken BEFORE the mural with the two Tennent’s boozers was added to the painted side wall with the door.

Schipka Pass Barrowland Park Works

Schipka Pass Barrowland Park Works

Again, I need to zoom in to get to the detail.

Pub Sign

Pub Sign

Two points to note:

Not surprisingly, missing the apostrophe as usual.

The real oopsie – no ‘G’, not even a paint shadow show it was even ever there, on the end of ‘MORNIN’.

A few weeks later (still 2015), all the work is done, and the area is cleared.

Barrowland Park Schipka Bridge

Barrowland Park Schipka Bridge


We now have a clear view of that hidden bridge.

Schipka Bridge 2017

Schipka Bridge 2017

I’m afraid there’s little or nothing to see behind that grille though. B&W archive pics from the 1960s look like the area behind was bricked up, but a look today reveals a grille, so it might have been opened up again at some time, presumably for ventilation.

Of course, there’s an abandoned half bottle there.

Behind The Grille

Behind The Grille

I found a pic taken from the bridge back in 2015, looking towards the Gallowgate with a few that would have been impossible to see when the original buildings were standing.

Schipka Pass Impossible View

Schipka Pass Impossible View

Another two points worthy of note…

In 2017, that same sign with the missing ‘G’ STILL appears to adorn the same spot on the wall.

And these are the later boozers referred to above, on the pub wall.

Mackinnon's Boozers

Mackinnon’s Boozers

I’ve even collected the originals, as they appear on the Tennent’s brewery wall in Duke Street:

Original Tennant's Boozers

Original Tennent’s Boozers

07/11/2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment


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