Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Came across The Mackintosh Club (it’s in Helensburgh)

By chance, I happened to be walking down Helensburgh’s Sinclair Street, being nosey (as usual) and spotted the sign for The Mackintosh Club.

I’d almost completely forgotten about its existence, having read about the architect couple (from Kilcreggan) who managed to buy the top floor of the building, the first complete building designed and built in 1894 to Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s design.

I’m not sure when I first came across this, possibly 2016 or even earlier, as I try to dip into news about such things.

You can read more about it here:, in a local feature

Developing the Mackintosh Club

Helensburgh Mackintosh Club

Helensburgh Mackintosh Club

 

Helensburgh Mackintosh Club Signs

Helensburgh Mackintosh Club Signs

If I get back again, I’ll correct my mistake…

Didn’t cross the road and take a pic of the building!

Advertisements

09/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S40

Back in Mackintosh Building S37 I tried to catch the remaining features of the o2abc, a place I’d never even noticed, and was amazed to find was popular. So, I obviously have no life (in the eyes of some).

At the time, street access was still limited and I couldn’t get near enough for a façade pic taken looking west.

The street is gradually clearing, and I was able to add the missing view to the collection.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Notre Dame

I still find it interesting to compare the miserable reaction of some Scots and Glaswegians immediately after the Mackintosh fire, and the open hostility to the building, its potential restoration, and the raising of funds, with the haters not wanting to see a penny of any public money spent on it, and others calling for the remains to be razed to make space for something ‘useful’ instead.

Rather different from the response on the Continent after the fire damage to Notre Dame, where they seem to have been showered with so much money for rebuilding that they might have TOO MUCH!

Of course, the people who are happiest when they are miserable are pitching in as well, arguing the money should go elsewhere (maybe they are Glaswegians, spreading their ‘joy’ around the world)

Since the fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris last week, donations have been pouring in from across the world to restore the structure to its former glory.

Ordinary people and billionaires have pledged at least €750m (£650m; $835m) in the 10 days after the main spire and roof of the building collapsed in a huge fire on 15 April.

One early estimate by French construction economists suggests that the donations may far surpass the cost of repairs.

Amid the wave of goodwill and generosity, critics have argued that the money could have been better spent elsewhere.

But those collecting money for the repairs are urging people to keep donating, saying a price cannot yet be put on the work.

“We should not tell people to stop donating as we still don’t know how much it is going to cost,” said Laurence Lévy of French heritage group Fondation du Patrimoine.

Notre-Dame fire: Has too much money been given to rebuild it?

Man with big money bag

28/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S39

Not really a Mackintosh Building item as such, but more of a spin-off, or just some observations

While the fire at the Mackintosh Building seems to have generated little more than a witch-hunt for someone to blame (and either burn at the stake, or maybe just fire) and given some really really hostile Glaswegians the opportunity to demand the site be razed and reused for something ‘useful’ which, does not need any public money, the Notre Dame fire of last week seems to have brought a more sympathetic response.

There was an almost immediate response which had promises of rebuild and restoration, with no calls for blame apparent, nor any demands that no money e wasted on restoring an old ‘pile of junk.

Also, unlike Glasgow’s fire, there was consideration of arson, which I don’t recall seeing anyone suggest may have been the reason for the blaze.

Interesting?

I found that unusual in a place once known historically as ‘Tinderbox City’ – but to this day, I can’t recall seeing even consideration that arson or deliberate fire-raising was behind the fire.

However, it seems that Notre Dame is not the only such building to have gone up in flames recently, and due consideration to arson HAS been raised in that respect.

Vandals and arsonists have targeted French churches in a wave of attacks that has lasted nearly two months.

More than 10 churches have been hit since the beginning of February, with some set on fire while others were severely desecrated or damaged.

St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, after Notre Dame Cathedral, had the large wooden door on its southern transept set ablaze March 17.

Investigators confirmed March 18 that the fire was started deliberately, according to the website of the Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, an independent organization founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.

Vandals, arsonists target French Catholic churches

Then again, Notre Dame was also being renovated.

Nervous Renovation Ticking

21/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S38

No actual news this week, but I did see a related item in another article, and it is something which I don’t think has been properly reported by the media.

Rightly or wrongly, I get the impression that the only thing the media (and the Art School and its board’s detractors) concentrate on is Blame, and the Cost of rebuilding. The former for no reason other than its lust for a public hanging (it wants more heads to roll), and the latter so it can complain and whine endlessly about that cost, and who foots the bill.

I haven’t seen any mention of this (in any items fed to me)…

It has since emerged it cost the local authority £569,000 to carry out emergency repairs at the Glasgow School of Art when it burned down last June.

“It is easier to retrieve the money from the Glasgow School of Art emergency repairs which cost £569,000 as it was simpler to track the owner.”

This figure comes into public view as it seems that the simple ploy of a tangled web of owners stretching to India means the council might only recover half of £1.4 million spent on similar emergency repairs following the fire at Victoria’s Nightclub along the road.

Councillor Frank McAveety said: “The overall cost for the council to deal with the site is £1.4m which is taxpayer money.
Read More

“At the moment officers expect to recover just 50 per cent of the cost but it is hard to get the full amount from insurers as we do not know where the owner is currently living.

“We are still trying to clarify who owns the building as it has changed hands several times. I believe the current owner is living somewhere in India.

Victoria’s Nightclub demolition and emergency repairs sees Glasgow City Council spend £1.4 million after fire

While I’ve no intention into descending into some sort of nit-picking analysis, it seems that the Glasgow School of Art is getting a lot of kickings, but will have to pay its bills (and these are not even for restoration work), while some property or club owner at a distance enjoys a substantial discount at our expense. If they are ever even identified and presented with a bill which can be enforced.

And at a time when Glasgow City Council could well do without having to squander its funds on compulsory, safety related works on private (moneymaking) enterprises, while public venues go wanting for millions to rescue them.

Just my observation.

14/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S37

With no more news of the ‘Witch Hunt’ following the board of the Glasgow School of Art (personally, I’d be getting my Little Black Book out, and taking note of the names of the most vociferous ‘hunters’ – wondering if they are making so much noise about others in order to divert any attention from themselves), I thought I should acquaint myself with the O2abc building, since it’s one I’d never had reason to pay any attention to. I didn’t even know it was in use, having never seen its doors open. Guess I was never nearby at the right time.

Since the odds on what’s left of the building being left standing for much longer, I took the opportunity of a decent day to fly past and collect a few pics.

At the time, there was a fair amount of work underway in Sauchiehall Street (and there still is, although it is coming to an end), so some views and shooting locations were restricted.

I still managed to get just about the same shot I’d have taken of the front entrance and door, even if there was some large machinery abandoned nearby.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Entrance

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Entrance

Looking west at the corner of the building.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Looking East

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Looking East

Looking east.

At the time I couldn’t really get a decent view by moving further to the left (to match the west view above) as there was too much junk and pedestrian control fencing in place, and took this standing in Douglas Street, but still had to stitch two images together to get the shot I wanted.

So, I’ll have to check back, and hopefully get a second bite at this once the street is cleared.

Click for bigger.

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Stitch West

Sauchiehall Street O2abc Stitch West

So, they cleared the street, and I did get my ‘missing’ pic for the set.

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Sauchiehall Street O2 Looking West

Finally, a look at the Scott Street side.

Some fairly well twisted steel roof beams on show there.

Scott Street O2abc Roof

Scott Street O2abc Roof

The weather got fairly crappy after I took these pics, and I haven’t been back since, so the street may be clear now.

Since we’ve moved  the clocks forward, I should take an evening ride in to see how it looks since I was last there.

07/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Note to self: Pay more attention!

Had I been asked, I’d have said I paid attention to the reorganised exhibits in the refurbished galleries of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which closed for that work to be done between 2003 and 2006, and I even got myself there on the opening day – but soon had problems getting back, until a few years ago. So, I suffered some withdrawal, and valued any chance I had to get there.

And I did look closely, I know I did because I can identify all the ‘new’ little displays tucked into corners with previously unseen items, easy to walk past and miss.

But some recent revelations highlight the odd fact that I’ve missed seeing a lot of the larger items lying in plain sight, and even whole galleries!

That may sound like something impossible to do, but having spent a few days reviewing this odd phenomenon, I think I see why.

There’s the obvious problem of walking through galleries that don’t specifically interest you, and never looking, telling yourself you’ll stop for a closer look one day.

That’s fine, but you really do have to have that day, when you do stop and take that closer look.

Then there’s the more subtle effect of what I’ll refer to as ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’, where you speed past goodies you recognise.

That’s not fine, as you’ll probably miss, or just forget, the fine detail.

Both are solved simply, merely by slowing down and taking the time to look.

In the first case, I realised I always ‘ran’ through the sculpture themed gallery to reach the gallery I was there to visit. And I’m not really classically trained, so that also means I’m not motivated to stop.

In the second case, I’ve admired this clock for many years, and it probably had a much simpler plaque in the ‘old’ Kelvingrove, so I just didn’t pay attention.

Mackintosh Domino Clock

Mackintosh Domino Clock

Now, I ‘ve stopped and read the current plaque, and find that the story of its manufacture on the Isle of Man by a German craftsman interned there in 1917 to be a fascinating in its detail history.

I really have no recollection of ever seeing this story before.

Domino Clock Plaque

Domino Clock Plaque

A few years ago, when I found the small, new, detailed exhibits tucked away in the corners of the expanded galleries of the refurbishment, I made a number of trips to seek out the rest.

Looks as if I’ll have to do something similar again, but this time for the bigger galleries, which I thought I knew better, but obviously don’t.

I suggest you might want to do the same.

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S36

This isn’t strictly the Mackintosh Building, but since other buildings affected by the fire have been given considerable publicity, I thought I should redress the imbalance and include one which has not, so far I’ve noted it mentined in stories fed to me, been given any attention.

Standing directly across from the Mackintosh Building, on the other side of Renfrew, is the relatively recent Reid Building.

Named after Dame Seona Reid who stood down as director of the GSA in 2013, the year before the building was completed, the new structure was given a plain monochrome finish, featuring an external skin of semi-transparent acid etched glass panels with a green tint (actually the glass’s natural colour).

Although I wasn’t able to visit the site for some time after the second fire, and there was no access to view the facade of the Reid Building, I’m reasonably sure I could see evidence of the cladding having been melted by the heat radiated from the blaze in the Mackintosh Building, and of material having melted and dripped or run down the front of the new building.

I could only see this looking from the side and behind, and had no recollection of the structure, and with so little to be seen, didn’t try to take a pic, In retrospect, it would probably have made sense to have tried.

Today, Renfrew Street is open, to view at least (and take pics from Scott Street), if not to walk along, and the state of the facade can be seen.

Still clearly ‘work in progress’.

The damaged glass and cladding have been stripped, the surface behind has been made good, and the fixings which will eventually hold new cladding have been set in place.

Reid Building Fire Repair

Reid Building Fire Repair

Looking a little closer at the detail.

Reid Building Repair

Reid Building Repair

A look at the cladding fixtures, since they’ll disappear from view once the cladding is fitted.

Reid Building Cladding Fixtures

Reid Building Cladding Fixtures

Finally, a reminder of how the facade looked when seen from Scott Street just after the Reid Building was opened back in 2014.

Original Reid Building

Original Reid Building

24/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hill House survey confirms extent of water/weather damage

As the construction of a protective cage around Mackintosh’s Hill House in Helensburgh (built for publisher Blackie and his family in 1904) continues, a new survey using advanced techniques (combining previous survey data obtained in 2003 with new 3D digital survey and microwave moisture readings) has revealed the extent of the water damage. This has resulted from a century of Scottish weather (which we know is wet), and lack of knowledge of how the materials used aged over that time period. Then, the materials were largely experimental.

The method of infra-red thermographic (IRT) imaging records differences in surface temperature, which give an indication of where moisture from decades of wet weather is retained within the building fabric. The technique highlights differences in surface temperature, which shows where moisture from decades of wet weather has accumulated within the building. Combining the three surveys allow building conservators to pinpoint areas of damp, and gain a better understanding of the declining condition of the property.

Carried out in partnership between the National Trust for Scotland, which owns and cares for Hill House in Helensburgh, and Historic Environment Scotland, it shows the extent of the damp and water damage to the building in increasing detail.

“Due to the design of the Hill House, there are many ledges, wall heads and chimneys that have had a history of many attempts to remedy, yet this problem continues.

“We’re also now have additional areas of concern. We have also been able to see the direction that the water is travelling in some of the rooms, in particular in the exhibition room, where there was already clear damage.

“The works to create the ‘box’ are now well under way and we are grateful to the many individuals who have generously donated to help us to tackle these problems. The intention is that the structure will provide a temporary respite for the Hill House pending a long-term solution to the water ingress being found.”

The house and gardens are currently closed to the public but are expected to reopen in late spring.

Mackintosh Hill House damage revealed by new survey

The data shows the direction that the water is travelling in some of the rooms, in particular in the exhibition room, where there was already clear damage.

New survey reveals extent of damage to Mackintosh house

Imaging: Areas of concern Credit: National Trust for Scotland

Imaging: Areas of concern Credit: National Trust for Scotland

19/03/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S36

Interesting…

A damning report into the fire which destroyed Glasgow School of Art for the second time in four years will call for a full public inquiry, STV News has learned.

MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee have been investigating the circumstances surrounding the blaze at the Mackintosh building last June.

Their findings will be published on Friday, however in sections seen by STV News they express grave doubts about the school of art’s management.

Committee members also criticise evidence provided by those involved in rebuilding work following the previous blaze in 2014.

Ultimately, the MSPs feel they have taken their investigation as far as they can, and believe a full public inquiry is necessary.

They argue that the massive cost of rebuilding the art school justifies an inquiry similar to those held into the construction of the Scottish Parliament and Edinburgh trams network.

MSPs call for public inquiry into Glasgow art school blaze

The other media sources later caught up with STV’s early mention of the report.

Glasgow School of Art (GSA) has been criticised by MSPs in a report into the fire which devastated the Mackintosh Building last year.

Holyrood’s culture committee said the school did not give sufficient priority to safeguarding the building.

The blaze ripped through “The Mack” in June 2018 as a £36m restoration project, following a major fire four years earlier, was nearing completion.

The GSA said it intended to “learn lessons” from the report.

The MSPs also said a full public inquiry should be held into the circumstances surrounding the two fires at the building.

The committee’s report concluded that prior to the first fire in 2014, the art school had not addressed the heightened risk of fire to the Mackintosh Building or carried out an adequate risk assessment.

Responding to the report, Glasgow School of Art said: “There are always lessons that can be learned, and we are happy to take forward the most appropriate and helpful as we bring this much-loved building back to life.”

However, it said there were some “factual inaccuracies” in the report.

It also added: “The Mackintosh Building is a national (indeed international) treasure, but it is not lost and it will certainly return.”

Glasgow School of Art criticised over Mackintosh Building fire

There should be a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the two fires in four years that left the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) badly damaged, a Holyrood Committee report has found.

The renowned art school was extensively damaged last June while it was undergoing a £35 million restoration programme following the previous fire in May 2014.

The Scottish Parliament’s Culture Committee published its report on Friday after taking evidence on the circumstances surrounding the blazes.

The report found that in the period up to the 2014 fire, GSA appears not to have specifically addressed the heightened risk of fire to the Mackintosh building and was not convinced an adequate risk management approach had been taken by the art school with specific regard to the building.

The committee also said it was concerned about the length of time taken for a mist suppression system to be installed in the Mackintosh building and questioned whether more could have been done in the interim period to protect the building.

Committee convener Joan McAlpine said: “The board of Glasgow School of Art were custodians of this magnificent building, one of the most significant to Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

“They had a duty to protect Mackintosh’s legacy.

“Glasgow School of Art itself must learn lessons from its role in presiding over the building, given that two devastating fires occurred within their estate in such a short space of time.”

The committee is calling on the Scottish Government to establish a public inquiry with judicial powers.

Public inquiry should be held into Glasgow Art School fires, say MSPs

The other media sources took a little more time to catch up with this.

Maybe the MPs who wanted to be seen to be ‘DOING SOMETHING!’ to get some votes asked them to wait so they could get their names dropped.

I can’t even be bothered throwing a comment at them – they don’t merit it. The eventual finding was made obvious weeks ago, before the hearings even began.

I have little time for those who stand tall and proud AFTER an event, and declare how they are such experts and knew how it could have been prevented.

One simple question effectively dismisses them…

WHERE WERE THEY BEFORE THE EVENT, AND WHERE IS THE RECORD OF THEIR ADVICE BEING LODGED AND REJECTED OR IGNORED?

MSPs ‘not satisfied’ with the role of Art School in protecting Mackintosh building before 2014 and 2018 fires

‘Unaware and uninterested’ Ross Greer MSP condemns Glasgow School of Art’s relationship with the community

Committee calls for public inquiry into both fires at Glasgow School of Art

Four things we learned from the report on Glasgow School of Art fires

 

Mackintosh Renfrew Street West

Mackintosh Renfrew Street West

I’m surprised all those MSPs have not already published another report blaming the GSA for this as well…

Fire damages Shetland’s Fair Isle Bird Observatory roof

Firefighters tackle blaze at island bird observatory

Renowned bird observatory destroyed in ‘devastating’ fire

Vow to rebuild fire-hit Fair Isle Bird Observatory in Shetland

Still…

There’s plenty of time for them to issue a supplemental report, and include it there 🙂

17/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another look at Central Hotel’s clock tower ‘doors’

The recent warm spell that tool the place of last year’s Beast from the East gave me a chance to take a quick climb to the viewpoint at the top of the former Mackintosh water tower on The Lighthouse.

It’s a pity the viewpoint doesn’t have more recognisable features to spot from its height, but a lot of the view is filled by fairly anonymous rooftops, and is also being obscured as quite a few tall building have been added to Glasgow in recent years.

If making the effort to climb the (long) spiral stairway to the top, I’d recommend having a look at something like Google Earth beforehand, and picking some spot to look for, or try to identify while up there, and make the climb worth the effort.

On this occasion, I had just gone up for fun, since I happened to be there, but took the opportunity to update the previous long view in which I had spotted what looked like doors on top of the clock tower of the Central Hotel.

I still don’t know if they are false or not, but they do look real until you look at them in more detail.

This was the first time I noticed them from the tower.

On this occasion I was able to catch a higher resolution view.

Central Hotel Tower Doors

Central Hotel Tower Doors

17/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Entrance light at The Lighthouse

This was just a quick pic of the light fitting installed just inside the entrance to The Lighthouse in Mitchell Lane.

It looks better in real life than in a pic.

Ignoring the two dead lamps (it really could do with a little TLC or maintenance), like most subjects that emit light rather than reflect it, the illuminated parts can be too bright to be recorded accurately without underexposing the surroundings.

I slightly underexposed this to try to counteract this effect, and boosted the shadow detail so the background didn’t become top dark and lose details. Even so, not enough, as the illuminated areas are still ‘blown’. It’s awkward there as the narrow line affects and limits the background light.

Maybe another try on another day.

Given the subject, I was surprised to see the camera stepped in and chose a high ISO setting – an option I usually active as I prefer to use hand-held all the time, and make sure that flash is never deployed.have

Lighthouse Light

Lighthouse Light

10/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: