Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Hint – Try doing research in obvious places BEFORE starting a ‘project’

I’ve passed the former Commercial Bank of Scotland on the Gallowgate hundreds of times over the years, but it’s only recently I began to think I was hallucinating, or there was something happening there.

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland

I couldn’t be sure (that needs a decent memory), but as the bus passed and I caught a glimpse of the window, it looked as if the scene was changing from days to day, and the when I could see in the upper part of the tall window, it looked as if I could see beds.

What looks like a door at the bottom of the clock tower isn’t. It was a door when the building was in use, but is now just a single, fixed, solid panel.

Below the clock is a bucranium, an allusion to the meat market and abattoir which once operated across the road, when this was known as the Butcher’s Bank. That facility is long gone, now just an open site, a few flats were built on a small area of the site, but it has lain derelict for years, and is only now said to be set to see a housing development appear on it.

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland Bucranium and Clock

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland Bucranium and Clock

The clock looks as if repairs have been carried out since the above pic was taken.

The bank’s crest survives over the non-existent door.

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland Crest

Gallowgate Commercial Bank of Scotland Crest

Since the time between passing on the bus was too long for me to be sure of remembering the detail, I ended up making deliberate trips in for a look at the place, to see if it really was changing from day to day.

I backed this up with various pics, which turned out to be interesting, and found that the window were covered (in part) with mirror film – while this makes it impossible to see through such a window during the day, at night it is rendered useless once the inside is lighter than the outside.

While I can’t really use the pics (now that I know more about the building’s fate), I will use a clip from one that came as a surprise.

Gallowgate Bank Window

Gallowgate Bank Window

Yup, that IS the opening of an Assassin’s Creed Odyssey video on a big flat screen TV.

That, plus some other things ended my fun, prompted me to look somewhere else for info (other than my usual historic building records) and find the obvious.

Poking around, I found the old bank building had potentially been under threat some years ago, with demolition being a possibility until a butcher took the place over for few years.

It was also home to a discount fabric seller, called… Discount Fabrics.

There are some pics to be found online of that, but having forgotten to bookmark them as I found them, for some reason I don’t seem able to find them when repeating the search.

However, I had to give up poking around the place after discovering 480 Gallowgate had become 480a and 480b Gallowgate, possibly back around 2007, and that it’s now a pair of flats (worth something under £200 k each, or around £800 per month for rent at the moment). It’s all online, with pics of the interior, on the usual house/flat letting and selling web sites.

Had I just happened to look around the rear of the former bank, I’d have found that this is now the entrance to the flats, complete with security gate, light, and cameras.

480 Gallowgate

480 Gallowgate

Oh well, that’s that as they say – at least I didn’t get lifted for snooping around the place at odd hours when I wasn’t aware it was residential.

And, having learned from this one, I’ll know better if I come across the same signs again, and run away sooner!


14/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment


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