Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Did I find some of George Square’s original Christmas Bells? (Yes I did)

Wandering along one of the routes I’ve not seen for some months, I was surprised to something I thought I was unlikely to see again (and wasn’t lying here until recently).

If I’m right, and these things are pretty rare and recognisable, it’s a pair of animated bells from the string which once hung around George Square as part of its past Christmas Lights.

Unlike the lights seen today, which can probably be assembled from various lighting modules found online, George Squares original Christmas lights were actually made locally, by Glaswegians, and formed the basis for many later display elements seen elsewhere. Prior to that, many of the features were obtained from Blackpool’s illuminations once they had been retired when those were updated. (That wasn’t just true of Glasgow, as I used to visit other illuminations, and slowly began to realise I was recognising items I’d seen before, in larger displays elsewhere).

Many of the elements were based on steel frames with rope lights attached. The rope lights were made of lights strung inside a clear plastic tube. Great fun for those who worked on them since they carry mains voltage and are joined by waterproof connectors. Well, you know what THAT means in Scotland – NOTHING’S waterproof in Scotland 😉

They were substantial, and stored from year to year for reuse, until the budget was steadily reduced, the street displays disappeared, and George Square became the centre of the council’s Christmas display.

Unfortunately, this find was sitting just behind a metal grid fence, so the pics aren’t the best thanks to its presence in front of the bells.

Click for bigger (sharper than the resized version below, and shows more detail).

George Square Bells

George Square Bells

I’ve passed the link to this post and pics on to someone involved in building these things many years ago, and will hopefully find out if they actually are what I think they are.

Update

Remarkably,I was right, and those are a couple of sections from George Square’s original home-brewed Christmas lights.

The story behind them, and their history is both fascinating and surprising.

I had no idea about their background.

If you have an hour or so to spare, and are in the least interested, I thoroughly recommend sitting down with your favourite treat, and enjoying this video from someone who knows better than me.

Incidentally, if you’re not familiar with these videos, I might add that there are more which show some more recent gems and reveals about the squares slightly more recent festive lighting.

 

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18/08/2019 - Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , ,

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