Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dig At The Bogs

Look at this! It's the lavvies at Govan Cross uncovered.
Recent archaeological activity exposes the layout of the public conveniences with fancy glazed white bricks.
On the left you can see a row of urinals and is that a row of sinks?
So, this must be the Gents'. Where is the Ladies from here? Is that the area at the back?

You know the sad thing, like all the sad things about Govan? They're going to fill it in permanently and as the railings aren't listed, they'll be going in to storage and may be used in Govan elsewhere, some time or other. Aye . . . know what I'd like to do wi the railings.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Doon the Watter

Rain is pelting down. It's the Glasgow Fair. The streets seem quieter. or maybe it's just my imagination. It's not like people still set off on their annual trip doon the watter, as they did in yesteryear.

Here's a glimpse of the Glasgow Fair holidays from Mary F. born in Kinning Park in 1905.
"We used to go down to Dunoon and get a house for 25 shillings. The eight of us children would go down for a fortnight. We'd get on the boats and we were so poor that my mother would buy two tickets - one for herself and one for one of us and the rest would hide.

We used to go away picnics everyday. At night walking home, we'd go through hedges and pick turnips and potatoes and get the fish from the boats coming in at the pier. Mother would send us to the place where they smoked the kippers and we'd get the broken ones.
The last week of the holidays we'd go scouring through the shops for jam jars and then collect all the raspberries and mother would make jam. Then we'd have 30 or 40 pounds of jam to take home. Sugar was only about a penny a pound and the railway would deliver your hampers home for a shilling."

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Smile For The Camera

Making my way along Langlands Road to the shopping centre at Govan Cross. It's dead warm again and relaxing. My walk slows down to a leisurely stroll. On my right is the centre's carpark with only a couple of cars in it. On my left is the chapel hoose.

Two African men are taking photos at the edge of the pavement. One has his shirt off and is striking a pose, head and shoulders back with hands on the belt of his trousers. Behind them, in the empty carpark two 10 year old girls are circling on bikes along with a younger boy of 7 or 8.
I remember that easy, fluid movement of cycling in the warm freedom of the summer holidays. The girls look smug and satisfied, dreamily tracing figures of eight around each other. The wee lad is taking an interest in the photo shoot and stops in front of the two men to watch. This attracts the girls' attention and they ride over and watch the men too.
Before long, one girl pipes up, "Gonnae take oor picshurr, gonnae. Gonnae take his," motioning to the wee boy.
This keeps up for a bit, craiking on and on about taking their pictures and then the men must decide to give in or they'll get no peace, and so they agree.
The wee ginger heided boy with his wee national health specs gets in a pic alongside the shirtless black man with his sort of rippling muscles. Then the two girls cycle up on either side of him and sit all gallus on the saddles of their bikes and the man takes a couple of snaps of them all together.
The Africans start to pack up their camera and the one puts on his shirt and buttons it up.

"Ah hate yous," says one of the girls as she starts to cycle again. For no apparent reason, she just calls out, "Ah hate yous two."
The black man says in surprise, "Hey, hey, what is all this?" and he's laughing at the same time.
She stops a bit and says in a sharp wee whine, "Ah hate you, right!"
The men are walking away and one turns and says over his shoulder, "Yeah, we hate you too," but he's still laughing.
And then she shouts, "Yer a blackie. Ah hate yer black face."
The men don't even look back. Just keep on walking.
The cycling resumes in lazy circles of 8.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Gie's A Brick

Blogger Dan is strolling past the site of the Gentlemen's Lavatory at Govan Cross and takes a moment to watch a couple of workies digging in the hole.
"Can Ah get a brick from the cludgie?" he asks.
"Aye, here," comes the reply, then, "Whit ye gonny dae wi' it? Hope it's no goin through a jeweller's windae?"
"Well if it is, Ah'm no worried," says Dan, "It's got your fingerprints on it."
And he receives the brick into his swank-leather-driving-gloved hand.
The glazed side of the brick which has been painted. I'm going to restore this to its former glory in my workshop/kitchen.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Looking Flush

Now the public conveniences are the site of an archaeological excavation. (Apparently this is how it's going to turn out)
Above is a view of the lavvies taken from Water Row, and a wider view of things below.
This picture is taken from the sperr grun behind Govan New. Great - they've demolished that hideous grey pebble dash wall with the charity sponsored graffiti all over it.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Public Convenience

A coupla foties taken in July 2009 - yes that's right, July. I'm surprised too, looking back, to see the windswept autumnal leaves gathered round the Govan Cross cludgie.

The Public Conveniences for Gentlemen and Ladies were underground and surrounded by charming wrought iron palings. Now the entrance is covered over by a sheet of iron.
Don't know when they closed. Wonder what they were like inside. Can't remember ever being in them. Can you?