Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mackintosh Building S44

I think it’s fair to say that some people think that recovery after the fire involves more than ‘bricks and mortar’.

This dates back to November (2018), but only seems to be getting a mention now.

See the absolutely wonderful comment by Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White, at the end of the quote.

I have an excuse for not knowing about this until today.

What’s theirs?

A 28-year-old master’s degree student has set about one of Scotland’s toughest repair jobs.

Harriet Simms is working to rebuild trust between Glasgow School of Art and its fire-disrupted neighbours.

She says she has had to tread carefully but is already encouraged by the reaction of many people.

“It has been mainly positive but some people are still really angry, and that’s why I have been slow and considered and not gone in all guns blazing,” she told the i paper.

“I have been mindful to respect people and to say this is a long-term and considered role.”

One year on from the fire that devastated the world-renowned Mackintosh building for a second time, the area is still in upheaval.

An investigation is ongoing and many questions remain unanswered, foremost being what caused the fire.

Dozens of people who were forced out of their homes for several months are still suffering hardship and trauma.

Street protests held in the weeks following the events of June 15 targeted the Art School and city council for lack of communication and delays in getting people back into their homes.

Several businesses either moved or closed due to the chaos and loss of trade.

She is carrying out research into community participation and design alongside her role after completing a master’s degree at the Art School.

She said: “When I started there was a lot of anger, and a lot of valid anger, because of the trauma of last year.

“For a lot of people it was less about blame, it was more about ‘I want to get on with my life and get back to normal’.”

She has attended local council meetings and helped organise a community fete in the local park.

A multicultural centre has benefited from her input with new furniture, and was gifted student art works thanks to her involvement.

Local resident Uli Enslein said: “It now feels like someone cares – someone is interested in the local people who live here.”

Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White said: “It may seem a bit late in the day for some people, but I see this appointment as a positive way forward.”

A GSoA spokeswoman said: “Harriet’s appointment is a long term commitment on our part and we look forward to working in partnership with the communities around the School on many future projects.”

How Glasgow School of Art is building bridges with ‘angry’ neighbours after fires

Mackintosh Building Scott Street

Mackintosh Building Scott Street

23/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My favourite lump of concrete and rebar is finally gone

My favourite lump of concrete and rebar is finally gone. AND they’ve dropped the screens around the site, so we can see the ground.

Sadly, we can’t see the base of the block, since they’ve also finished clearing that away too, and the ground has been levelled.

It used to be a mass of concrete and twisted rebar too, but I only know that because I was able to eyeball it through a pinhole in the fence, so couldn’t take a pic.

So, all you get is the nice, tidy, cleared site.

(Although I’ve titled this series of concrete-y pics as Dumbarton Road, that’s only for consistency since I started that way. In fact, this is wrong, I’ve learned better, and at this point this road is actually still named Argyle Street.)

Dumbarton Road concrete and rebar gone

Dumbarton Road concrete and rebar gone

That’s all.

23/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will I make it to the Mela?

One of those things I never knew about was the Glasgow Mela – and probably still wouldn’t had I not been sharing some pics with someone, and asked them about some very colourful scenes they said came from Glasgow.

It’s yet another one of those events which shows the glaring difference between the west end, and east end of Glasgow.

Glasgow Mela is the highest profile annual multicultural music and dance festival in the West of Scotland. It is now organised by the Scottish Academy of Asian Arts and takes place in Kelvingrove Park in early summer. The Mela was set up in 1990 when Glasgow was European City of Culture and has grown from being an indoor event at Tramway to an outdoor extravaganza.

I wonder if I’ll make it over there for a look?

Not such a silly question since I’ve recently started a ‘Lucky Streak’ of being knocked out of circulation by things that come out of nowhere, such as the problem with my back that kept me indoors last week, Appeared for no reason, and went away just as mysteriously.

I decided to try a quick, late night, 20 mile trip on the bike, to see if there were any after effects, but it went fine.

Part of this took me through Kelvingrove Park, which was a little surprising.

As expect, since the action starts at 12:30, the place is laid out for the event, with numerous stages and canvas booths for participants, plus lots of toilet facilities, which include loads of hand-washing stations, something I’ve not seen before. Basically drp units with a pair of sinks, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers (and I was so surprised I forgot to take a pic of one, oops).

But the place was also like a ghost town, as not one of them had anything set up, or was occupied by anything.

Like the stage below, although the infrastructure was complete, everything was completely empty.

Kelvingrove Park Mela stage

Kelvingrove Park Mela stage

23/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Typewriter Day

23 June is Typewriter Day.

While some may not even have seen a real typewriter, this day is intended to celebrate this humble device and the amazing pieces of literature it produced over the decades.

I’ve read that the idea of such a device dates back to 1575 and an Italian printmaker, although it was never manufactured (and wasn’t really what we think of as a typewriter today, but the concept was there). 1714 brought British patents from Mr Henry Mill, seemingly more like what we envisage as a typewriter, and even built, although it never went into production, and no examples have survived.

Another was designed in 1802 by Agostino Fantoni to help his blind sister write, another came from Pietro Conti di Vilavegna. It took until 1895 for something to actually go into production with the Ford Typewriter. The rest is… history.

For a visual presentation of the tale, see…

The Curious Evolution of the Typewriter, in Pictures

The typewriter has been consigned to history, except for a few who really like them, and continue to persevere.

I’m afraid I can’t say I’m a member of that club.

While I might like the typewriter as a device, and even have a few stored away, having had to use them for work, and oversee staff using them, the amount of time wasted either correcting typos (with odd erasers, or correction strips), discarding and retyping pages, or tolerating typed manuscripts with errors, simply make them a waste of time and effort.

As a productive tool, I see them as little better than this…

Simple typewriter

Simple typewriter

And I KNOW, as I had to analyse reports on productivity before, and then after, we dumped the typewriters and moved on to word processors and spreadsheets to produce our printed products – which HAD to be printed in hard copy, and signed off as they were potentially fiscal documents.

When I HAD to produce typed material, I consider I was lucky to have the machine seen below, an Adler Tippa portable.

Adler Tippa portable typewriter

Adler Tippa portable typewriter

To my fingers, it had a very light action, and produced a non-standard print compared to that usually seen from a typewriter.

Rather than the usual Times Roman serif, it printed serif characters which had a broad vertical stroke.

I was able to dig out a sample of the print from a (very) old report. This is an actual sample (I had a lot of photocopies), checked by running a finger over the back of the paper. This is an easy way to identify a genuine or typed document, as punctuation marks like commas and full stops always left indentations, or even holes, in the paper since they hit with the same force as a character which had a greater area to distribute the impact force over.

Yes, it did even have a few fraction keys.

Adler Tippa type sample

Adler Tippa type sample

The Tippa has somehow disappeared at some time, and I have no idea where it went.

I still have another portable, but it just has a normal typewriter font, as does an interesting old office machine I have.

It’s rather unique – instead of swinging the type bars like a hammer, to strike the ribbon and paper, it throws them straight out horizontally, like a piston.

My collection includes an IBM Selectric golf ball machine.

23/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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