Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lucky catch – Tollcross Road ghost sign

I hadn’t realised I’d managed a rare (for me) ‘Right Time, Right Place’ pics earlier this year.

I caught the original shop sign revealed when a new sign was installed over premises in Tollcross Road.

This was only obvious when I noted a newer pic which showed the old original had been lost once again.

Locals will appreciate how old that number is, after Glasgow changed its prefix from 041 to 0141.

Don’t quote me, but I think that change dated from 1995 (but seem to go on forever, due to endless pre-publicity in the years before the actual change – and similar whining from those who didn’t want the change for ‘their’ numbers).

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign

I suppose the only regret is not being there just a little bit sooner, when we might also have been able to see what this shop was in its day.

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign Detail

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign Detail

26/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Ghost Signs of Glasgow project launches on March 14

Sadly, too late to catch much of the material it could have, it will hopefully record what is left…

Ghost Signs of Glasgow is a new project by Glasgow City Heritage Trust which will be unearthing the stories behind old signs and shopfronts of the city. Ghost signs, the fading remains of old painted signs on buildings, provide an invaluable insight into Glasgow’s architectural, social and cultural history. Many ghost signs hide in plain sight hidden by the urban landscape around them, leaving a tangible part of Glasgow’s heritage vulnerable to being lost forever.

The project will be revealing, researching and documenting ghost signs in Glasgow in order to create an online archive and to expand our collective knowledge about these remnants of Glasgow’s past. We will be organising guided walks, talks and workshops, and making a map of these signs and shopfronts across the city.

Ghost Signs of Glasgow Launch

It’s also a bit sad to see it won’t have its own web site, but will rely on (ugh) ‘Social Media’ for its existence…

With the help of volunteers, the project hopes to use social media to engage people with Glasgow’s historic environment and encourage communities to share their memories of the city.

Follow @Ghostsignsgla on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for updates

I don’t know if the numbers are significant, but there are those of us who won’t support the likes of Facecrook with our efforts.

You can read a more detailed account of the project in this article…

Historic ‘ghost signs’ shed light on Glasgow’s past

And, you can find a long article about these signs on a real web site accessible to all without supporting some creepy social media operator.

This dates from 2014, and is a stunning summary of what was available to be found back then.

I haven’t looked in detail, but I do wonder how many of the featured signs have been lost to demolition in the course of the following years.

Ghost Signs of Glasgow, The Fading Works of the Signwriter

I have to admit to failing miserably when I decided to try this same thing some years ago.

This would have been around 1990 (yes, really that long ago), and started in the streets running from the Broomielaw, working my way back into the city centre. I’d go in on Sunday morning (it was still quiet on a Sunday back then, unlike today, where Sunday is little different from a weekday, with all the shops open), but the picking were poor, and I gave up after a few weeks.

Sadly, I probably picked the wrong starting point (chosen for the old warehouses that still survived there) as much was already being razed there, and apart from becoming deflated by the poor pickings, also got tied up with some business ventures that took most of my time. Today, I’d head off into surviving areas of shops, and take a closer look in ‘hidden’ corners, nooks and crannies, and places which had just been abandoned and left derelict, and are yet to be razed.

I just pick up such signs by chance now, hopefully keeping my eyes open and being alert enough to spot them.

Coincidentally, I did spot one over the weekend, when I decided to have a wander outside Kelvingrove Park, and looked along one street and spotted this in the distance, along Otago Street.

Otago Street Red Haig

Otago Street Red Haig

I couldn’t work this one out at the time, and was only saved when I saw it on the 2014 article, and then realised what the ‘Red’ referred to.

Nice project, but that creepy social media dependence?

Can’t leave out the Woolworth’s sign that EVERYBODY finds – I don’t even need to say where it is 🙂

Old Woolworth sign

Old Woolworth sign

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | | Leave a comment


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