Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

What exactly IS James Watt holding?

(Please be aware this post is a rapid rewrite of one I just completed and had to revise when a tweet delivered the link to the PMSA entry for the statue.)

While I didn’t expect ANY response (as usual) to one of my posts, it seems I actually managed to catch the eye of one or two readers when I wrote in jest with respect to the instrument or tool James Watt is shown holding in his hands in his statue near the People’s Palace on Glasgow Green.

As the detail is not sufficient to be absolutely sure, I (jokingly) intimated he was holding nutcrackers, with a view to visiting some of those who had failed to pay the royalty on his improved condenser type steam engines, and owed him millions of £££.

It’s been suggested by some he is holding compasses, but even with the crude carving, it would be possible to depict ‘pointy ends’ at the ends of the two arms – after all, the screw and hinge where they join is clearly shown in the carving, so I doubt compasses.

There’s a possibility of dividers, but they seem a little crude even for that (but we found out otherwise, later).

There doesn’t seem to be any attempt to suggest the presence of any sort of scale on either of the arms, or at the hinge, so this device is not going to be measuring either length or angle.

James Watt's Instrument

James Watt’s Instrument

I did try to track down more info about the statue’s origin (online) but apart from a few general forum discussions about its condition and restoration, was unable to find any early history relating to it. It doesn’t seem to be listed in any of our historic references either.

I ended up giving up, as dozens of useless items kept coming up from trash web sites like Tripadvisor, with brain-dead moronic repeats of mentions of people seeing a statue of James Watt somewhere in Glasgow – these sites are a poison that needs to purged from the web one day. They can completely ruin attempts to search for subjects with common names.

I had finished this post with the line…

As someone said on Twitter “Suggestions on a postcard”, or maybe just in the Comments below (perhaps with a pic too, if you have, or find, one).

But even as I was writing it, the answer was already sitting in Twitter, just waiting for me to spot its arrival.

Thanks go to Derek Elder for this one:

Details of the James Watt statue on PMSA (Public Monuments and Sculpture Association)...

James Watt

Statue of James Watt (1736-1819) Portrait statue of James Watt in contemporary dress holding dividers and standing beside a steam condenser.

Commisioned (sic) by W. & J. Martin in 1864, the statue stood in a niche above the entrance to their leatherworks at 8 Baltic Street, Bridgeton. The statue was presented to Glasgow Corporation by the firm in September 1936, prior to the demolition of the building, and erected in McPhun’s Park (Glasgow Green).

Correspondents to the ‘Evening Times’ shortly after the statue was placed in the park complained about its decayed and paint spattered condition and the fact that (at the time) there was no inscription identifying the subject.

Surprisingly out of date though, as the statue was removed from the park in 2003, for restoration, and installed in its new home on the Green at the People’s Palace in 2006. No mention of this on that site by 2018.

I looked to see if this is project is still live – the last news entry is 4 years old, in 2014.

The last event listed is even older, 2012.

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September 9, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

James Watt and his condenser at the People’s Palace

It’s almost embarrassing to think of how many times I must have passed this statue without having any idea who it was or what it depicted.

Trouble is, the most useful path through Glasgow Green passes just behind it, so although I’ve seen the back of the character many times, there’s no obvious indication as to its identity or significance.

In fact, the only reason I did identify was when I saw a pic from the front, which also showed the name.

It is our own James Watt, shown with his invention (NOT the steam engine!), the steam condenser.

It was only while watching a short film about (static) steam engines that I learned just how significant his invention was.

In summary, until Watt came along, all steam engines (Newcomen) were horrendously inefficient with respect to heat efficiency, and wasted most of the heat/fuel that had been used to raise the steam which moved them – they basically threw it away in the exhaust stroke by just exhausting the steam straight to atmosphere AND by cooling the cylinder in order to start the next power stroke.

It was stated that steam engines were probably coming to the end of their useful life in this country as so many forests had been cut down to provide wood to fuel them, and coal was needed for so many other purposes, not just fuelling them. Importing wood by sea was maybe a short term solution, but was both expensive and took up space on boats.

It seems Watt arrived with his condenser just about the right time, and his device allowed steam to be reused in the same engine, and improved efficiency by moving the cooling to the condenser, so the engine itself could remain hot, eliminating the need to heat and cool almost the whole thing with every stroke.

No wonder he was able to get every buyer of his device to pay him a royalty, but it seems he wasn’t that financially adept, and although he became a wealthy man, that was probably thanks to his partnership with Matthew Boulton. They did have to go to court to enforce patents, and in current terms (2016) had just short of £2 million owed. They did win, but probably never collected it all, and the court was, of course, expensive. Still, if that was the disputed amount, you can imagine what the properly paid up figure might have been.

James Watt and Condenser at the Peoples Palace

James Watt and Condenser at the Peoples Palace

Wonder why he’s holding a pair of nutcrackers?

Getting ready to visit the people who owed him money?

Update

After noting a comment about my ‘nutcracker’ joke on Twitter (have they never tried to get money from clients?), I tried to find a definitive reference to the measuring device Watt is holding, but came up empty. There’s a couple of possibilities, but the detail is insufficient for me to risk stating any particular one (and being shouted at for being wrong), although I think it’s safe to assume it is a reference to his background in mechanical engineering .

However…

I did learn that this statue once resided in Dassie Green, not far away, where it ended up neglected and headless.

Removed for restoration around 2003, it was reinstalled at the People’s Palace around 2006 – when it looked a lot better than it does now. I’m not a great fan of weathering and neglect, but he has his head, so I’m still happy.

September 8, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow 2018 bribe?

So, was this ‘free and unticketed’ event really just a bribe by the organisers to divert the people’s attention and make them think they were getting ‘something for nothing’?

They (or I should say ‘we’) lost free access to many parts of Glasgow (and still have in some places, as it has yet to be restored) to give priority to races on our roads, and even this ‘free’ event led to a large part of Glasgow Green being closed off by a perimeter fence manned by security personnel at all times, and only accessible via controlled access points even though ‘free and unticketed’.

I have no idea how well attended this was as I only ventured onto the Green in the evening, arriving around 7 pm or later, to ensure I could get through it without having to alter my usual route too much. Although even then, a number of access points were still denied by closed fencing, and those ever-present security staff, who at least had seats and didn’t have to stand all the time.

Glasgow 2018 Bribe

Glasgow 2018 Bribe

Just make it all go away now – please!

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

My favourite pics of Glasgow 2018

These are the best pics I’ve taken or seen of Glasgow 2018.

(I’d quite liked to have had some pics of the last day, as it was cold and wet, raining frequently if not heavily – but still just the right traditional Scottish ending to this nuisance. However, I’m not daft enough to go out on a day like that!)

(I got my wish 🙂 – see this collection of pics shared on the BBC’s Your pictures of Scotland: 10 – 17 August page. There’s a lovely pic of the thoroughly soaked and sodden road cyclists splashing through Glasgow.)

The CLEARING AWAY of this week plus of madness and disruption to the lives of the good and patient people of Glasgow, and the return of their city to them!

Note the corner of the kerb, cut away and replaced by a tarmac ramp so a few cyclists (no, sorry, my apologies to real cyclists) privileged racers could have a smooth run, and not have to stop or slow down to negotiate the kerb like the rest of us.

I wonder if this will be left, or the kerb will be reinstated?

I’ll watch, and update if this is changed.

It should also be noted that while the rest of the country moans about growing numbers of unrepaired potholes on their roads, there was a full team of road maintenance workmen, plus road surface scrapers, road laying machines, and road rollers repairing this (and other road surfaces around the city).  Again, NOT for the citizens, but this group of privileged cycle racers who were being worshipped throughout Glasgow 2018, with many roads closed so they could have clear passage.

The rest of just have to fight our way through the daily traffic.

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Lovely view.

I could have sat and watched this for hours, I found workers working into the night in a number of places, clearing all the barriers and obstruction away, but it was getting dark and I had to go home.

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Bye-bye.

DON’t hurry back.

Aww… Rubbish – He’s just making this stuff up!

Nope. Sorry, but it’s all true.

I took these pics for myself, during the week before this nonsense started and it became too much hassle to get near Glasgow Green or the People’s Palace.

These are the very road works, plant, and machinery I referred to.

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

 

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

 

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

I really do hate ‘Glasgow 2018’

Another black mark for this.

I just received a gallery of pics for the ‘Merchant City Festival Carnival Procession’.

Looks nice, I’d like the option to have visited – but continue to feel isolated from the city for the duration of the disgusting ‘Take Over’ of the area, and loss of what I consider my ‘Safe Routes’ (via road) into Glasgow during the day, when Glasgow 2018 events are taking place.

The 12th cannot come fast enough, and all this Glasgow 2018 rubbish is cleared out of the city, and the roads are returned to the people, not the elite few who have been parachuted in from Europe.

There was another black mark in the evening, as I was almost barred from getting out of Glasgow Green in the evening, and had to push through what appeared to be the entire French cycling team, which had decided to park itself in front of a gate, caring not for the locals trying to enter/leave the Green.

Why would they do this? A metre to side, the gate would have been clear, and I wouldn’t have been able to moan about them.

Speaking of cycling teams…

I wonder how long the black gunk that has been stick to the road to turn many kerbs into ramps for the cycle racers will be left, or how long and inconvenient the works (which only took a few days to install them) to remover them and restore the kerbs will take.

(I should take pics, but at the moment don’t have the time as the longer routes I take are stealing my time.)

I still don’t know if the host bears the costs of all this work to accommodate these stupid games, rather than the games organisers, as is the case with the equally irritating Commonwealth Games.

Please, Edinburgh…

Try to make out and present a better case for this sot of stuff to be held on YOUR streets in the future.

Or Perth, or Dundee, or Aberdeen, or Peterhead, or Fraserburgh, or John O’ Groats, or Wick, or St Kilda.

Still…

It’s maybe not ALL bad, since we seem to be a UNESCO City of Music, and there’s a musical event in George Square.

I spotted this young lady, from Germany if I know my accents, singing her heart out in the middle of a big empty stage.

George Square 2018

George Square 2018

Not very welcoming though – the place was swarming with ‘volunteers’ and other related staff, almost outnumbering those visiting.

I kid you not, everywhere seemed to have some sort of ‘Event Staff’ in attendance, or watching.

This also sparked of an unrelated thought which often comes to mind when I get near these events.

Why do so many supposedly ‘professional’ sound engineers seem to be blessed with ‘cloth ears’?

While the sound system appeared to be decent, why was it (like so many I have come across) set up so that distortion appeared as soon as the performer got a just a little bit loud?

It’s not hard to set up a system so that it doesn’t do this – why can’t these so-called ‘professionals’ manage it occasionally?

Is their motto ‘LOUDER IS BETTER! – and to hell with quality’?

August 5, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

I found The Site Of Allan’s Pen (it’s on Glasgow Green)

I usually preach “Look Up” to people walking around Glasgow, as there are many interesting finds to make in the city centre by doing this. I’m sure many features are missed by many people, too busy looking in shop windows and the like.

But the more general “Just open your eyes and look” is equally valid wherever you may be.

In this case, I was near the new Polmadie Footbridge works, on a part of the Clyde Walkway that has access back up to the main road, and was wandering around the spot (ok, I was photographing abandoned Buckfast bottles) when I noticed a slightly different stone set in the wall along behind the undergrowth along this path, so had a closer look.

I didn’t realise it had an inscription and was a plaque, since the embedded metal letters and the stone are now almost the same colour under the gloomy light down there, but it turned out to be an interesting spot.

This pic is the best I could do at the time, it wasn’t very light, and flash didn’t help. Unfortunately, the weathered stone and metal lettering appear much the same colour, and even trying to enhance the pic made little difference, such is their similarity.

I’ve tried repeating this on a sunny day, the result was even worse.

The grey stone and the grey metal letters are just too close in terms of colour, and the letter are flush with the stones, so both would need to be cleaned to make a difference.

The Site Of Adam's Pen

The Site Of Allan’s Pen

Fortunately, I have quite a nice collection of Glasgow references to look through, and was able to identify this one, although I had never come across it before.

ALLAN’S PEN

Pen in common parlance means to coop up or confine. In the present instance, in East-end vernacular it is a big close or passage. Thus a close was generally taken to be a passage about five feet wide, but a pen close was always considered to be wide enough for the passage of a horse and cart. Allan’s Pen however, so far as the writer can remember from the remnant of it remaining in his day, through which he has passed many a time, would be about eight feet by eight. It was virtually a subway or tunnel, the side walls of stone and arched with brick, extending from the south-east exit of Glasgow Green to Rutherglen Bridge, and was constructed by Alexander Allan of Newhall to give him unbroken access from his demesne to the river. This was done by turfing over the erection. It was an outrage on the public rights, but no action was taken as happened later in the Harvey’s Dyke case. But the river coming down in high flood with broken ice during the ensuing winter destroyed the greater part of the structure, on seeing which the proprietor made only half-hearted efforts at repair. Meantime his action had incensed the Bridgeton people, who were at that period mostly employed as hand-loom weavers and nearly all strongly imbued with Radical ideas. The result was that every one became Mr. Allan’s enemy, and he, while largely interested in the sugar trade of the West Indies, was also a manufacturer in the city and gave out webs to be woven. In this he was boycotted, as the weavers declined to work to him, even at increased rates. This was the first check that his arrogant and over bearing attitude to the public got.

The origin and history of Glasgow Streets

The plaque seen above appears to have been installed by a descendant.

Creation of the Clyde Walkway removed most, if not all, remaining evidence of the ‘Pen’.

I need to make a return trip, having seen that there may be a further marker on the street above, which I didn’t cover.

There are also recent, but not very old, pics of the same wall while there were still tenements above, and show the wall before the trees and grass were added to the path. Unlike today, the plaque was in the open and obvious, it is now lost behind trees and bushes.

Try here for one such pic.

Return trip

I did make the trip back, and the marker I read of was indeed located on Newhall Street, above the plaque.

Allan's Pen Marker

Allan’s Pen Marker

I didn’t see it as I passed behind it, from which direction the (weathered) concrete marker looks like little more than a broken plank sticking out of the ground (sorry).

There’s a second marker, even less noticeable than the first, probably due not only to their thinness, but also the angle it sits at relative to the road.

Allan's Pen Marker 2

Allan’s Pen Marker 2

While the Sun lit the first obliquely, and picked out the wording, it was behind this one due to the angle, so its engraving was not so easy to make out.

A closer pic shows the detail.

Allan’s Pen Gate refers to the fact that these two markers sit on either side of a short road that leads off Newhall Street towards the Clyde Walkway and Glasgow Green, also the Polmadie Footbridge (being rebuilt as this post is being written, having been closed and demolished for safety reasons some time ago).

Allan's Pen Gate

Allan’s Pen Gate

It’s a pity these markers are not more noticeable, and just melt into the background if you’re not aware of their presence.

Since I was there anyway, I took a more general and wider shot of the wall and walkway where the plaque is mounted, giving a similar, but present-day view of the online pic that shows the tenements and grass/tree free view of the same site some years ago, and prior to the demolition of those tenements.

The plaque is located on the wall behind the space between the two benches.

Newhall Street and the marker are up the steps to the left, and behind the tree.

Allan's Pen Clyde Walkway

Allan’s Pen Clyde Walkway

 

August 1, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Found cat – Bridgeton or Glasgow Green

Spotted this slightly different poster for a ‘Lost’ cat yesterday, hope it is a genuine one.

Not the usual ‘Lost Cat’ poster, but a ‘Found Cat’ this time.

Unfortunately, like many ‘lost cat’ posters, this one has no date, so there’s no way to tell if it’s new, recent, or old – other than by making a guess based on its condition under out lovely Scottish weather. But with the recent dry spell, it could still be weeks old.

Still, it can’t be that old, as this guessing came of age is often harder of the page is properly plastic laminated.

Some are put in plastic sleeves, but as these are really just unsealed plastic bags, they make things worse since they fill with rain water, which can’t then evaporate, and destroy the paper/print even faster as it never dries once it gets wet.

Assuming this is legit, hope the little tuxedo cat gets home.

Found Cat - Bridgeton or Glasgow Green

Found Cat – Bridgeton or Glasgow Green

July 21, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Greening Glasgow Green

It’s been the best part of almost two months since I was able to get to Glasgow Green, and a couple of news items contained references that caused me some concern.

Not that events were held on the Green, that’s fine, and what the place is for, and why the people of Glasgow have the enduring right of access to the area and, as noted previously, used their influence to ensure the council did not grant permission for a coal mine to be opened there after deposits were found below. And that coal is STILL down there.

My problem is this:

The park was reopened to the public on Sunday afternoon after weeks of being fenced off, and council staff are laying new turf on affected areas to make it look green again.

Glasgow Green off colour after summer of sun and music

And repeated here:

The park has reopened to the public after being fenced off while the festival was on.

Glasgow Green has lost its ‘green’ due to sunshine and festivals

I’ve no issue with the festivals, but like the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games, object to be denied access I apparently have a right to – during the stupid games, I found that one event led to the People’s Palace being fenced off, and had I visited on the day after that which I was there, I would have found it closed and fenced off while privileged competitors ran around it.

I say that’s just plain WRONG.

But, on a positive note, when I did return there last night, I found that although the temporary fencing had been dismantled in places, and that the reality may be that the grassed part of the Green was restricted access, and one could still access the Green, and the route along the side of the River Clyde, which would naughty, but perhaps acceptable.

What of the grass, referred to in the two news items referred to above?

While the aerial shots accompanying the stories look alarming (and may have been edited to make them look even worse – the media has been known to do such things), the view from the ground is much less dramatic, although it is still a matter of concern that vast areas have had to be returfed.

Who Pays?

What’s MISSING from those stories is identification of WHO PAYS for the turf and labour.

The people of Glasgow through their Council Tax?

Or is the cost of this work covered by the event organisers?

I’d like to know. How about you?

It’s a good job we aren’t enjoying a hosepipe ban like our cousins down south, as the new turf was getting a little drink to help it settle in last night.

Glasgow Green Returf

Glasgow Green Returf

 

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green – a communal resource

Glasgow Green isn’t just a park, it’s a communal area to which the people of Glasgow have a number of rights, although few are generally exercised, and I wonder how many are aware of them.

That said, if anyone tries to offend the principle of this being the “people’s area”, it generally doesn’t take long for public opinion to be roused, and those people to become rebels.

The same is true of George Square, in the city centre, where the last plans to change that into a more ‘Continental’ venue (with things like fountains) led to the council backing down, after making the mistake of announcing the changes were coming, rather than asking if anyone wanted them. But that’s another story (buried somewhere in this Blog).

While the Green has been tidied and improved, added to, and had some of its features moved around (to their benefit) over the years, any plans to build anywhere on it (or even open a coal mine – which was attempted more than once) were resisted by the people.

These pics show one of the ‘rights’ enjoyed by the people of Glasgow.

As they’re wide, they can be clicked to make them a little bigger.

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

 

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

 

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

 

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

This memorial stone, embedded in the Green a few years ago, when the poles were refurbished, tells the tale.

(Sorry, the contrast and light on the stone just don’t make it an easy read.)

Glasgow Green Drying Green Commemorative Stone

Glasgow Green Drying Green Commemorative Stone

This should help:

For centuries, Glasgow Green served as the common washing green for the city.
With improvements in sanitation and the introduction of piped water to
people’s homes, this tradition largely died out.
However, the Victorian clothes poles originally erected to serve the
nearby public wash houses were still in use as late as the 1970’s. One of
the more unusual rights acquired by Freemen of Glasgow is to dry
their clothes on Glasgow Green.

The drying green was even noted in Atlas Obsscura

The Drying Green

The old tradition of drying laundry on poles in the public green is still guaranteed by Glasgow city law.

Glasgow Green, the oldest public park in Scotland’s largest city, was once where local citizens went to dry their clothes. The green’s location in the city’s east end meant it was easily accessible to the working classes who populated the factories and industries of what some call the “second city of the Empire.”People would wash their clothing in communal sinks within the city’s tenement buildings or the nearby washhouses, then leave them to dry in the open air at Glasgow Green. The city council provided iron drying poles for this purpose, allowing people to string their laundry between the structures. If all the poles were already in use, people would simply lay their clothing flat on the ground to dry.

Even after the public washhouses were built, many families still preferred to wash and dry their laundry in public on the green. The centuries-old tradition continued right up until the late 1970s. Indeed, to this day all residents of Glasgow retain the right to dry their laundry on the green, as codified in the city’s bylaws. The drying poles are kept and maintained for this purpose, though they’re seldom put to use.

 

July 1, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green’s Penny Farthing Bike Rack (mystery?)

A while ago, I got one of those anonymous ‘hints’ (aka an email with no details) telling of a ‘Penny Farthing themed bike rack’ somewhere on Glasgow Green. I’m not sure if this was offered in light of my interest in Glasgow, or in things related to The Prisoner.

Over the years I’ve probably crawled over most of the Green, yet this came as a complete surprise – so I had to investigate.

After going online, I eventually came up with the following photographic confirmation, captured by the very helpful Thomas Nugent back in 2008 – all of 10 years ago!

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green
Penny farthing shaped racks in Glasgow Green, near the adventure playground.

This at least explained why I hadn’t this rack over the years – I’m a little past the ‘adventure playground’ stage.

But I do know the place, so off I went for a look, TWO looks in fact – BOTH failed, although they were both late evening detours (kind of dark), and covered all the area around the playground.

What’s not clear from the above is that the playground lies adjacent to a Cycle Training Centre

I’d taken a few pics back in 2017, and when I examined them I got a surprise – I already had a pic of the penny farthing rack!

Penny Farthing Bike Racks

Penny Farthing Bike Racks 2017

So, they were still there, but I still couldn’t explain why I hadn’t seen them a few day earlier, hence the hint of (mystery?) in the title – I really did look at the cycle training area, this being the obvious place to look. Maybe it was just too dark, and they couldn’t be seen from the perimeter fence (the place was locked by the time I got there).

I checked the centre’s own pics, and found this view, bear in mind their pics are probably ‘old’ as it opened in 2011.

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Note that the two ‘old’ 2010/2011 pics show the racks sunk into the block paving.

Fast forward to 2018, and my third visit – this time directly to the area in front of the Portakabins in the cycle training area.

There was no problem finding the racks this time (or even seeing them from the perimeter fence, which I checked before heading for them).

If not immediately obvious, it’s worth noting that the racks no longer lie in their original location – sunk into an area of block paving.

They’ve been lifted so their base is no longer buried, and now just lie freely on the ground.

That could mean they’re fair game for scum metal thieves.

It also means they may not have actually have been out on show when I was there earlier, and had been stowed in the training area’s containers for safety during the dark evenings.

Let the pics begin…

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5

June 17, 2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘shows’ are back on the Green

I never know what to call the fun fair that arrives on Glasgow Green at this time of year, and in the past feel sure they were referred to as ‘The shows’ when being spoken about.

Probably my own fault as I was never a great visitor, although I would take a walk through for a look.

I’ve really no idea why, but you could probably count the number of fairground rides I’ve been on in my life on the fingers of one hand.

I didn’t realise it was time for this to arrive.

Coincidentally, I had been reading a short history of Glasgow Green (very short), and one of the things it had pointed out was that the fair which arrived on the Green used to set up on the grass. To be more accurate, it used to set up on the ground where the football pitches and their building have been installed near the area known as Flesher’s Haugh (where is the place I tend to remember they would set up on).

However, since the Green has been extensively restored and the grassy areas are actually well engineered (drained) and maintained nowadays, the fair has been moved to the tarmacked area around Nelson Monument, and this is where I grabbed a pic of both this weekend.

I’ve no idea when it was, but I was near the Green much more often then, and it was a surprise to see vast areas of grass lifted while the ground beneath was carefully structured to stabilise it and provide support and drainage.

There’s interesting stuff under that grass – and I don’t just mean those works, as there have been historic discoveries made down there over the years, with the odd relic and artefact being uncovered during works. It’s an area worth reading about.

There’s coal down there too. Despite a number of proposals to add a coal mine to Glasgow Green in the days when coal was ‘king’ in the 19th century, none of them ever gained approval. When Glasgow council tried reviving the idea (ironically to make some money to purchase parks) the people of Glasgow protested, and the idea was dropped.

Looks like the fair just fits, and no more!

Glasgow Green Fair

Glasgow Green Fair

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

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