Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mackintosh Building S01

Since I can’t get into Glasgow, I’m just going to be looking at the first few days of reporting in the aftermath of the GSA fire.

I see figures in the order of £100 million are already being thrown around with regard to rebuild.

As expected, I see the ‘knee-jerkers’ have managed to have attention focussed, and time wasted, griping about sprinkler systems…

Sprinkler system ‘not completed’ before Art School blaze

Given the extent and ferocity of the fire seen in the videos, I’ll be more than a little impressed if investigator can identify any particular source with any certainty. I’m glad to see the Chief Officer has described how involved the process will be, but still expect to see complaints from some that it is taking to long to find someone to blame…

Fire chiefs confident of finding cause of Art School blaze

Fire chief says Glasgow School of Art fire investigation ‘will be lengthy’

A statement about site security has been published (by the contractor carrying out the original £35 million restoration after the 2014 fire):

In a statement it said: “These included a smoke and heat detection system and regular evacuation tests as well as 24 hour, seven days a week security and fire warden patrols by a team of three guards, originally appointed by the client after the 2014 fire and subsequently by Kier.

“We continue to work with and support Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and our client as they determine the next steps for the Mackintosh building and site.

“We have a passionate team of local construction and crafts people, skilled conservators, supply chain and engineering specialists who have worked incredibly hard on this iconic landmark, and together we are all keen to do whatever we can to help moving forward.”

I still fear MP Paul Sweeney is in denial, or looking at different pics and video from the rest of us.

The Labour politician, who is a director of the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, posted videos of the building after being allowed close access by the fire service.

He said: “It was clear that the interior is almost entirely lost.

“The one thing that did strike me was that the main structural beams appear to remain largely intact and are tying the wall-heads back into the building.

“That was a reassuring sign that there hadn’t been any obvious movement in the main facades of the building. So that gives us some hope that, like last time, there can be some hand-dismantling of the upper sections of the building and then a reinstatement eventually.”

For once, I’d love to be proved wrong in my own thoughts, and that he is seeing better signs during his first-hand visits to the site…

Glasgow art school blaze: Displaced residents are promised help

There are some truly weird responses reported in this article.

Just what sort of education have people who say ‘Just pull it down and build something new there’ have?

That’s more like the response seen in a film with an evil villain who lost the original contract, and thinks this is their chance to have the ‘right’ designer given the job.

Demolition or restoration: What should happen to Glasgow School of Art?

We have the plans, and thanks to the first fire, even more documentation of the structure than existed prior to that event.

Reconstruction would not be a sin (if you’ll pardon the expression, the building was ‘built’ first time around) based on those plans, but could be made to incorporate modern safety features, and avoid the horrible, inflammable materials that pervaded the original, and if we are honest, are the REAL reason we saw the blaze accelerate and consume the interior.

The other pic I took recently. Oddly enough, I had reflected on the sort of security that was evident then, as I looked at the detail, and how the public was still denied access to the Mackintosh Building.

Mackintosh Rebuild

Mackintosh Rebuild

I’m left wondering if it was some fire-raising vandal – and if so, have they left the country yet?

18/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

La Pasionaria on the Clyde Walkway

I think I missed this for years, so have finally taken a decent pic and collected some notes.

I was more than a little surprised the first time I came across a pic of this statue, and couldn’t recall ever seeing it. To be fair to myself, in the past I seldom walked on that side of Clyde Street, let alone next to the river on the Clyde Walkway.

The statue, La Pasionaria (The Passion Flower”), is a tribute by the city of Glasgow (and the Labour Movement) to the British Volunteers of the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9. Their fight against fascism is embodied in the statue of Dolores Ibárruri (1895-1989), a heroine of their cause and a leader in the Spanish Republican and Communist movements. The sculpture was commissioned by the International Brigade Association of Scotland in 1974, and produced by the Liverpool based sculptor, Arthur Dooley. His fee of £3,000 was funded following an appeal to Trades Unionists and members of the Labour Movement in Scotland.

It stands about 9 ft (3 m) high, is made of painted fibreglass, and mounted on a rectangular plinth on a steel pedestal made from a vertical steel girder.

Find it near the south west corner of Clyde Street, facing the River Clyde from the Clyde Walkway, where it was erected on 5 December 1979.

Sad to say, the dirty world of Politics threatened the existence of the memorial, and it seems that it attracted hostile opposition from Glasgow’s Conservative Councillors, who vowed to demolish it whenever they unseated the city’s Labour administration. Despite my low opinion of certain aspects of this world, I do think things are better now, and such a threat would not be risked today – if only because of the effect of so-called ‘social media’, and the potential backlash.

The memorial’s construction led to further problems, such as under-funding and its weight. The latter led to a shortening of its girder pedestal before it could be transported from Liverpool. While the sculptor had intended to form the statue in bronze, this was not possible due to the cost.

Dooley reportedly had six attempts to perfect his design for the ‘gaunt, outstretched figure’ of Ibárruri, apparently living in poverty in his Liverpool workshop and staying in a working men’s hostel when in Glasgow.

Thanks to the Political nonsense noted above, the statue was erected without any public ceremony, in case those opposed to it caused some sort of embarrassing incident.

The sad story continues since the subject, Ibárruri, could not be invited to a non-existent unveiling, and the sculptor never saw his finished work, seemingly penniless and unable to afford the fare to Glasgow.

Via City of Sculpture: La Pasionara

BBC Archive article inspired the series ‘Coast’ La Pasionaria Memorial

Having been threatened with being torn down in demolition, it is now A Category B Listed Building in Glasgow, Glasgow Clyde Street, Statue of Dolores Ibarruri, La Pasionaria

See also 2009 restoration appeal article La Pasionaria: the fading icon

There are numerous articles online now, covering the sculpture’s history.

Not bad, given the threat to its existence and lack of ceremony.

Glasgow Clyde Walkway La Pasionaria

Glasgow Clyde Walkway La Pasionaria

18/06/2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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