A Shawlands Welcome

IN THE HEYDAY OF  SHAWLANDS ARCADE, CAR PARKING WAS COMPLETELY FREE, BUT NOT NOW.

[Shawlands Car Park Notice]Now that the whole place is run down, and the car park is a very scary place, you have to pay. This is part of the “improvements” promised by the council.

What amazed me the most about the car park notice was that there are no concessions for disabled people!

[Click the image to enlarge]

Things are getting worse in Shawlands, especially if you are disabled and want to shop in the few remaining units.

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Protest Backlash

GLASGOW’S BLYTHSWOOD SQUARE HAS ALWAYS BEEN SOMEWHERE NICE FOR OFFICE WORKERS TO ENJOY AN AL FRESCO LUNCH, BUT NOT ANY MORE.

[Photo of public notice at Blythswood Sq Glasgow]A Public Notice has been posted up [Double Click on image to enlarge], it states:

“The Blythswood Square Proprietors have
recently allowed unlimited access to
these private gardens. Unfortunately this
access was abused by protestors (sic) who set
up camp and a Court Order had to be
taken out to remove them.

“To ensure this style of occupation is not
repeated the Proprietors Association has
had to therefore close the gardens. This
is unfortunate that the selfishness of a
few has removed access to many.

“For several decades the gardens were
opened for all to enjoy for a few hours
over lunchtime in the summer in good
weather when the grass is dry. The
proprietors Association will revert to that
means of sharing this private garden with
the people of Glasgow.”

These gardens have now been ring fenced and gated off to the public.  The fencing is sensitive to the original style for the square, one can only hope that these wonderful gardens will be opened up in the summer next year for a few hours at lunchtime.

Things are certainly getting worse when protesting gets to this level. The camp at George Square was more than annoying, a girl was raped there.  The camp in Blythswood Square was ridiculously permanent — they caused real damage in this protest against “Global Capitalism”.

Wheelchair Stairs?

[Photograph of wheelchair access stair]I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE A DISABLED ACCESS THAT INVOLVED A FLIGHT OF STAIRS.

Naturally, I took a photograph to show you all. Please double click on the image to see an enlarged version.

Not only is this disabled access a narrow passage which could prove restrictive to anyone coming the other way, but the entire building is atop one of the steepest hills in the city centre.

Things are certainly getting worse when signs are simply put up to comply with some obscure bit of legislation.

Pass The Rennies

French Doors by Rennie MacKintosh!GLASGOW’S MOST FAMOUS ARCHITECT IS CHARLES RENNIE MACKINTOSH, WHO WORKED WITH THE LOCAL FIRM OF HONEYMAN AND KEPPIE.

I feel sorry for the chap.  One can imagine that his friends and colleagues never discovered his silly middle name, “Rennie”. I recall that he had the nickname of “Tosh”, and was generally called Charles.  Maybe he got “Chick” or “Chuck”, and he signed “CR Mackintosh”.

However, these days, since his fame overtook that of Alexander “Greek” Thomson, we see everywhere, “Mockintosh” and all sorts of things purporting to be in his style.

His name seems now to be “RENNIE Macintosh” — the “Charles” has all but disappeared!  I see various spellings of the surname — “MacKintosh” (capitalised “K”), “McIntosh”, “MacIntosh” and “McKintosh”.  I feel sad for Charles that his silly, embarrassing middle name is now his most distinctive legacy.

The above sign reads:

“French Doors/ Rennie MacKintosh/ Doors / SUPPLIED & FITTED/ Complete with Brassware”

Mackintosh was never really known for doors, let alone “French Doors”. What exactly ARE “French Doors”?  My understanding of “French Windows” is a set of double Georgian glazed doors.  It is just possible that there is some confusion, and that these “Doors” are in fact “French Windows” — but not in any style associated with Charles Mackintosh!

No wonder he gave up architecture to become a watercolour painter!

Brand New – Old Story

[Picture of energy rating notice at Sainsbury's latest store D+]IT HAS TAKEN A LONG TIME, BUT FINALLY THE NEW SAINSBURY’S SUPERMARKET OPENED FOR BUSINESS.

I was surprised to discover, by virtue of the posted notice at the entrance (click image to enlarge photograph), that the brand new store had a very poor energy rating.

Things are indeed getting worse when buildings can be created that cost the earth.  One wonders if the sum total of the legislation in this regard results merely in the posting of a notice at the entrance.

Tenemental Cables

[Picture of TV aerials on Glasgow tenements]WALKING ALONG DEANSTON DRIVE IN SHAWLANDS RECENTLY, I WAS STRUCK BY THE MESS OF TV AERIAL CABLES ON ALL OUR VICTORIAN TENEMENT BUILDINGS.

Please click on the image to enlarge.

These really are an eyesore; they dangle down unfixed to the building in any way.  They cast shadows in the sunshine, drip with water in the rain, and flap about in the wind. They are fixed at just two points — the antenna and the entry point (usually a hole drilled through the window frame).

Many are actually redundant, having been replaced by newer cables fitted to newer aerials that get Channel Five and Freeview Digital.

Things are getting worse when we allow tradesmen to get away with such poor quality work; cables ought to be run as inconspicuously as possible.  In this style of architecture, there are plenty of opportunities for doing this — ledges, carved features, rhones, pointing and the like.  There is simply no need to drop cables from the roof 12 -16 metres or more serving individual window entry points.  Cables could easily be grouped down and run far more sensitively and neatly using cheap and readily available cable clips and ties.

If scaffolding or tall ladders are the problem, then perhaps the cables could be brought down the outside of the property at the rear only.  Another possibility could be to use some form of trunking to collect and tidy up all the cables.  Anything would surely be better than the present situation.

Emergency Procedure?

[Picture of an emergency telephone inside a lift]I WAS RECENTLY SENT THIS PHOTOGRAPH OF AN ELEVATOR EMERGENCY TELEPHONE.

The telephone is a panel screwed to the wall inside the lift itself, it states:

“EMERGENCY TELEPHONE

PRESS ALARM
BUTTON FOR
3 SECONDS
IF UNANSWERED
PRESS AGAIN”

I don’t know about you, but this is not very reassuring; you are in a loop of pressing an alarm and waiting, pressing an alarm and waiting…

Things are getting worse when an emergency telephone has the possibility of being “unanswered”!

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