Tuesday, 15 July 2014


Above is the Glasgow West End tenement flat in which I lived back in the 1950s.  A few years ago, I made it back into the building (on the staircase, and outside the door), but not into my old apartment, which is currently available for renting.  No doubt some trendy young student will avail themselves of its shelter before too long, but I sometimes wonder if I'd like to live there again.  It wouldn't quite be an exercise in nostalgia, because I have no real memories of the place as I moved when I was still a toddler, but it is an extremely pleasant and desirable area.

And above are the windows through which I no doubt once gazed, held aloft in the arms of a parent.  I know you're not really interested, but just pretend I'm someone famous and you're on a quick tour of the place.  I often feign interest in boring subjects (and people) -  it's something we all have to do at some stage in our lives.  It'll be over before you know it and then you can get back to doing really exciting things, like watching LOOSE WOMEN or JEREMY KYLE on telly. 

Across the road (from the opposite direction of  where the picture was taken) is the church in which I was Christened. (The building on  the far left from your pov.)  It's no longer a church and I haven't been inside since not long after the day some old geezer sprinkled water on my head, but I'll make a point of gaining access one day.

Gibson Street - Otago Lane is along the side-street on the left of the picture. This is a nice area (just around the corner and down from the University) and is well-worth a visit if you're a vacationing Yank or wandering Sasannach in search of a fine meal, little drinkie, friendly natives, or interesting architecture. 

The school below is a relatively new construction, but its modern design blends in well with the existing buildings.  More importantly, it stands on the site of what was once a roughly surfaced and poorly maintained (unofficial, I think) car park, which, to be frank, was nothing but a disgraceful eyesore. 

The picture below is now looking back up the street from the opposite direction. The second side-street near the top of the road leads to my old residence, just a short walk along.  Near the car in the foreground is where I found a wallet containing £175 a few years back.  Although I waived a reward when handing it in to the police, the grateful owner graciously left £50 to be handed over to me.  Extra large fish supper that night for sure - with a pickled onion and a beetroot.

In the above pic is Saint Silas' Episcopal Church, which lies straight across from the gates of Kelvingrove Park.  Look at that window - it's like something out of DITKO's DOCTOR STRANGE.  (Gotta get those comicbook references in somewhere.)

At the back of what was once a Primary school and is now a pub, is located the Stand Comedy Club.  Haven't yet been, but plan to visit the premises one day.  One of the comedians who's performed there (forget his name, but he's appeared on TV), once did a gig at a hotel bar in my home town.  Doing a routine about his wife and what a tart she was (not in real life obviously), he nodded at me and said "She'd even sleep with you!", which got a bit of a laugh.  When I shot back "She has - and she enjoyed it!", it got an even bigger laugh and stopped him in his tracks.  He thought for a moment, trying to come up with a retort, but gave up with a chuckle and a shake of his head.  He was halfway through his next line when he paused, muttered to himself "She has - and she enjoyed it!", laughed again, then carried on.  The other comedians were all very nice to me afterwards.

And now the famous Scottish comic strip hero - LOBEY DOSSER.  Rather than me witter on about him, here's what the plaque on the plinth says:

EL FIDELDO's tail was missing for a while a few years back.  Nice to see it's been restored and that he's managed to hang onto it.  Long may it be so!  (If you can say that about such a short tail).

Above, RANK GOOJIN, alias MOONMANDO.  Below, another dosser.  In my defence, I deliberately dress down so that potential muggers (there'd need to be more than one) don't suspect the large quantities of cash I carry about my person.  (Think they bought that, Moony?)  Anyway, that's your whistle-stop tour of a particularly leafy part of Glasgow - hope you enjoyed it.


Gey Blabby said...

Nice to see some of the old haunts again, Kid; I always look forward to these posts from 'up the toon'. You're lucky you can still go back and see the place you lived in; the tenement in which I spent my first nine months in has long since been knocked down to make way for the motorway.
One of your photos looks like it might've been taken from outside the Kelvin Hall, if I'm not mistaken; my brother saw Elton John there in the 70s, I think, and my mother saw Billy Graham in the 50's, and every January we'd go to the Carnival.
I'll be visiting the 'Auld Countrie' soon for the first time in twenty years, and I'm looking forward to visiting the museum to see the paintings I used to stare at when I was a nipper - Dali, of course, and The Druids, along with all the others (assuming they're still there).
Nice to see from your photos that the streets look much as I remember them; when I looked at them on Google Earth recently, they seemed to have a rundown pokiness about them which was disappointing. I guess I'll find out soon enough for myself.

Kid said...

Wasn't really near the Kelvin Hall that day, GB, so no photos taken from there, alas. (Unless you're referring to a previous post.) I think the streets always look better when the sun is out and the sky is blue, so maybe your Google experience was on a dull day. (Either that, or you were looking at the East End.) Glad you enjoyed the post.

Colin Jones said...

My first address was a flat in Wessex Buildings, Islington which I assume is long demolished now - when I was about 15 months old we moved from London to the Scottish Highlands (briefly) and then to South Wales where I've lived ever since so it's not so easy for me to visit the places of my early life as they are so scattered all over Britain ! If I ever needed a replacement birth certificate I would need to go back to Islington to get a new one (as far as I know) so I make sure I look after mine very carefully. Kid, have you considered updating your avatar photo ? The one you use looks nothing like your latest photo here !

Kid said...

I look different all the time, CJ, depending on my hair and beard, etc., so there's no point updating my avatar. I could look different a couple of weeks later. Birth certificate? What's that? Don't think I've got one (which won't surprise some). Yes, of course I'm joking.

Colin Jones said...

Kid, I've noticed that you seem to look quite different in the various photos on your blog. My appearance never changes and I keep the same short brown hair and clean shaven look which I've had since I was a teenager - very boring I suppose. When I first saw that photo of you I couldn't tell if you had a slight grey beard or if it was just the light making it seem like that - to be honest I've looked again and I'm still not sure !

Kid said...

Grey, CJ? Er, no - I was eating a sherbet dab and spilt some on my chin. Forgot to wipe it off before the photo was taken. (Genius.)

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