Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mildly interesting view from Yorkhill

During my recent wander through Yorkhill, I climbed the (nor very big) hill to the hospital for a look.

Sadly, there wasn’t much to be seen there either, but I did think the view from the hill was a little more interesting.

At top left is a different view of the old Pontecorvo Building (still no obvious news of its fate seen, but it must surely be slated for demolition), which can be seen to be decaying and falling apart now that it is derelict and abandoned.

From this viewpoint, an intriguing covered balcony can be seen just under the roof level.

I wonder if there was a technical reason for this open area, since most of the services tend to occupy this upper area, or if it was a privileged area few lucky people to wander out onto, and enjoy the view?

Perhaps it was Professor Guido Pontecorvo’s (1907-1999) penthouse suite, a perk of his job and position.

However, what really caught my eye at first was the glazed area that can be seen in the centre of this pic, with the planters making a nice little roof garden for the occupants.

Not obvious from the view, this is actually the roof of the Kelvin Hall, and is an area not visible from the street or ground level.

I had thought it was a secret penthouse at first, but a closer looks shows it to be little more than office space.

Before looking closer, at the interior, I’d even thought it might have been a staff roof restaurant, but all that can be seen are desks and computer screens.

Click for bigger.

View over Kelvin Hall to Pontecorvo

View over Kelvin Hall to Pontecorvo

Unless I’m making VERY bad searches online, I STILL can’t find any newer information regarding demolition of Pontecorvo than the original 2011 story, published by Glasgow University and noting that the building was due to be demolished, and that staff were in the process of being relocated.

That’s now EIGHT years old.

05/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Spotted another ‘Big Heid’ mural – lurking in Dumbarton Road

I spotted another ‘Big Heid’ mural recently, but only got the chance to take a pic today.

Almost lurking just behind some vegetation, this one is on the shuttering at the bottom of the Pontecorvo Building in Dumbarton Road.

This one’s hard to place correctly – I’m not entirely sure of the details, but as far as I can see (from various maps) this is where this road changes its name from Argyle Street to the east, and becomes Dumbarton Road to the west, at the entrance to Glasgow University, and Maggie’s (cancer centre).

If that’s wrong, add a comment with details – I’m never sure since I found this spot, and had previously been assuming the change took place at the major junction with Byres Road (and others), a little further to the west. But, looking closer at the placement of the street names on various maps, found that assumption appeared to be wrong.

Big Heid Dumbarton Road Pontecorvo

Big Heid Dumbarton Road Pontecorvo

It’s at the bottom of this building, which didn’t have the heid, or the greenery growing there, when this pic was taken.

Dumbarton Road Pontecorvo

Dumbarton Road Pontecorvo


18/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

My Pontecorvo Building mystery solved

While not a mystery for anyone local, I’ve never known where the entrance to the Pontecorvo Building was, although I had seen it in photographs showing the opening and dedication of the building.

I’ve never remembered to go take a closer look, or been in too much of a hurry heading elsewhere to make the diversion.

I’m no longer sure of its fate, having seen various claims online, but the building is worthy of note as being used in an episode of ‘Taggart’ (Flesh And Blood broadcast 05 September 1989) where the team had to get some evidence analysed, and the relevant scenes took place in the facilities of the Pontecorvo Building at the the Institute of Genetics, most notably with the detectives travelling in the Paternoster that was installed there.

As far as I’m aware (and could be wrong) this feature is no more, having succumbed to he wishes of some snotty little ‘Jobsworth’ who will have had its use banned for reasons of ‘health and safety’ to protect their job (or just give them a warm feeling of POWER, because they can).

NOT, it should be noted, because the REAL Health and Safety people issued any ruling against it. While not exhaustive, I’ve not come across any such legislation – but while it is those little snots who actually use the term ‘health and safety’, the media and ignorant readers usually point the finger of blame for that stupidity at the legislative body.

The lift or elevator with no door that doesn’t stop or slow down sounds like a sci-fi nightmare, but these these were once common in many parts of Europe, but are now a dying breed after safety norms banned their construction.

Read more of this star here: Paternoster Lift at Prague City Hall

I finally took a moment to detour and find the original building entrance, now almost hidden and buried away in Byres Road:

Pontecorvo Entrance Former

Pontecorvo Entrance Former

And a closer look at that sign – there’s a sky-walk just above and to the left of this, giving access from the adjacent building:

Pontecorvo Entrance Sign

Pontecorvo Entrance Sign

I thought I had some more pics and info to link to in this Blog, but I guess it was raised elsewhere as I can’t find anything earlier.

21/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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