Saturday, 31 July 2010

I Belong to Glasgow, Dear Old Glasgow Town!

Or so the song goes! I have lived in and around Glasgow my entire life but there are many places I have still to visit. First on my list was The People's Palace and Winter Garden situated on Glasgow Green, the oldest park in Glasgow. It was on this site that the last public hanging took place in 1865 (a doctor who poisoned his wife and mother-in-law) but the Green, the lung's of the city, is known more as the place where women took their washing to dry 'on the green' and some original clothes poles still exist today.
At the front of the museum is the largest terracotta fountain in the world, the famous Doulton Fountain that was gifted to Glasgow by Henry Doulton in 1888 for Glasgow's first Great Exhibition and is now lovingly restored to its former glory. It stands 14 metres tall.

The People’s Palace was built in 1898. It’s a social history museum where you can find out how the people of Glasgow lived from 1750 until the present day.

You can find out about trade union struggles, crime and punishment, leisure and it also shows you what it was like to be in an Anderson air raid shelter during the war and how the weekly wash was done at the ‘Steamie.’ The pictures below show the wonderful recreation of a ‘single end’ – the one-roomed flat that was home to many Glasgow families. To the right of the range is a double bed set into the wall with another bed underneath on wheels that would be brought out for the children.

There were also a couple of dolls houses which unfortunately were in glass cabinets so photographing them was a bit difficult. The first was built in 1955 by a father for his daughters. He built it in secret in the Anderson Shelter which was still in their garden and it replicates a 'pre-fab' - houses that were built after WW2. Second photo is top view through the cabinet.

The second house is a Glasgow Tenement with each floor showing a different decade. It featured the 1930s, 1950s and 1990s. I would say it is in 24th scale but the detail is still amazing. Again it was difficult to photograph so these are the best I could take.

You can round off your visit relaxing amid tropical trees and plants in the elegant Winter Gardens conservatory.

Across the road from The People's Palace is the wonderful Templeton Carpet Factory. When the Templeton Carpet Company decided to build a factory towards the end of the 19th century, overlooking Glasgow Green it should have been a straightforward job. But the city council kept rejecting their proposals because they were not good enough. So William Leiper, a top architect, was given the brief to design a building with impeccable credentials. He came up with the idea of making it look like the Doge's Palace in Venice - it is not clear whether he was being serious but the council approved. So in 1892 his extravagant edifice of polychromatic brick - orange, yellow, blue, with turrets and arches and circular windows became a reality. It is no longer a carpet factory, it's now a business centre, but it is a stunning piece of Victorian architecture.

I hope you have enjoyed this short tour. I'll post my next visit soon x


  1. Your photos have brought back some nice memories of my home town! Don't get the chance to 'visit' these things when up as too busy seeing family. Thanks.

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