3 Day Quote #2: Proverbs

Jordanhill Cartouche
Jordanhill Cartouche

Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

It’s day 2 of my 3 Day Quote Challenge, for which I thank La Sabrosona.

For two decades, I looked at this quote almost every day of my working life. The pictured cartouche adorned the gallery of Jordanhill Library where I worked – it wasn’t original to Jordanhill, but came from one of its precursors as a teacher education institution.

Why have I chosen it for this challenge? Three years ago, Jordanhill closed and its courses moved to the main campus of the University of Strathclyde. The university has now announced that the site is ready for sale and will probably be developed for housing. The three red sandstone buildings from the first half of the 20th century will be converted to apartments, and the less attractive 60s and 70s buildings demolished. In the early Spring, I took a walk around to see it as it was for the last time. Except, of course, it wasn’t as it was.

I entered by the front gate where the Principal’s house still peeps through the trees. Less welcoming was the gate across the drive and the overflowing, smelly bin – the campus is obviously still attractive to dog walkers. Eurgh!

The original teaching building, named after 19th century educationalist David Stow, is still beautiful from any angle.

The Henry Wood Building, which housed the library, isn’t – and never was!

The student residences will certainly scrub up well, and they have a beautiful outlook.

The Crawfurd Building looks not too bad from a distance, but its sunken garden is sadly overgrown.

Worst of all is the Smith Building at the back gate – but look! There are still bulbs coming through.

In the old days, the campus would have been a sea of colour with well-tended flower beds, but it’s still pleasantly green and I hope you can see what a lovely place it was to work. But my message is – never go back. The important things carry on – generations of teachers learned to train up a child in the way s/he should go, and they are still learning that today. In the end, that matters far more than the place.

Gallus Glasgow T: the Tardis

Hands up the Doctor Who fans! Ok, so you know about the Tardis then – an old, blue Police Box which is bigger inside than out. At one time there used to be over 300 in Glasgow, allowing officers to keep in touch with their stations and access first-aid boxes. At least one of the handful remaining is now in use as a coffee shop, though, sadly, when I looked inside the interior was just as tiny as the outside.

However, Glasgow does have a Doctor Who connection. Look at the box in the bottom right picture which, I’m sure you’ll have noticed, isn’t real. It’s part of a University of Strathclyde mural (see the previous post on Street Art for more) and is there because the University Archives hold the papers of Verity Lambert, founding producer of Doctor Who in 1963. I’m old enough to remember watching the first episode. I was six and we’d only recently got a television so I didn’t have much to compare it with, but I was entranced.

For more on the Police Boxes, see STV Glasgow’s article and the Facebook page Police Signal Box. Tardis.

U tomorrow, in which we take shelter from the rain.

Gallus Glasgow J: Jordanhill

David Stow Building, Jordanhill
David Stow Building, Jordanhill

Jordanhill – what can I say? I arrived there in 1990 to work in Jordanhill College Library (later part of Strathclyde University), a job which I thought I might do for two years or so. Twenty two years later, I had the sad job of closing the library down when the University decided to centralise on one campus. Ah well, life goes on and I look back with happy memories (helped by the fact that I documented the closure pretty thoroughly on social media) but no regrets.

Those memories came in handy last year. There aren’t many “J”s to choose from in Glasgow, and Rosemary Cunningham has also used Jordanhill for her (extremely gallusGlasgow Alphabet. When she was creating the map to go with it, she wanted to talk to one person from each place – and there I am, quoted on the back of it. Fame!

Glasgow Alphabet map
Glasgow Alphabet map

Part of the campus had been sold off for housing some years before closure and now the rest of it is up for sale. The three original buildings, including the David Stow above, will be converted into apartments and the rest will be flattened for new build. I recently took a nostalgic walk to the old place to see it again before it becomes unrecognisable, and will blog about that after the challenge.

The next A to Z post, K, is on Monday when I’ll take you to the river.

Glasgow’s Doors Open 2013

Doors Open Days happen throughout September in different cities in Scotland – this last weekend it was Glasgow’s event and we went exploring on Sunday, concentrating our efforts on the area near Glasgow Green between the City Centre and the East End.

Glasgow Green

It was a lovely day so we wandered round the Green first – it’s home to a beautifully restored fountain, the People’s Palace and the former Templeton’s Carpet Factory (modelled on the Doge’s Palace, no less). The latter is now an office block and also houses WEST Brewery, which proved to be an excellent stop for lunch. So it was almost 2.30pm before we got going on Doors Open proper. Oh dear….

The Pipe Factory

As with Templeton’s above, this building features intricate and ornate brickwork. I’d never heard of it before – this was its first outing in Doors Open – but it was originally a clay pipe factory (nothing to do with bagpipes as I thought it might be) and is now home to a group of architects, writers and artist who are turning it into studios. The group has kept the Pipe Factory name.

Barrowland Ballroom

As we left the Pipe factory, I overheard a young woman excitedly telling her friend about another Doors Open she had discovered just round the corner: an old ballroom. I though to myself “new student, not been here long” because the Barrowland is a Glasgow legend. It’s now a rock venue, and as seedy as they come: even during the day, entering the black, windowless bar felt like descending into hell! This was a rare chance to see backstage – and to discover that the stars don’t enjoy much more luxury than the punters. I think the pictures flatter it (the exterior shot at night is from a previous visit). If all this sounds as though I hate it, I don’t, I love it. Our next date with Barrowland is next month (Nick Cave).

The Barony

The Barony, formerly a church, completed in 1890, is now the ceremonial hall of the University of Strathclyde. Despite having worked for the University for 20 years I had never been in, so this filled a gap in my education. By this time, everything was starting to close so we wended our way home to rest our weary feet.

A tale of two unis

Last weekend, my sister and her younger daughter were visiting, staying with my parents. It’s hard to find activities which everyone from 13 to 85 can join in with, but we scored an unexpected hit with…… universities! This wasn’t as dull as it sounded. I work for Strathclyde University Library at its Jordanhill Campus, which is a lovely parkland site in the West End of Glasgow. My Mum and Dad have never been there and, as the campus is closing in the summer, I wanted them to see where I worked before it disappeared. Jordanhill was originally a teacher education college (read about its origins in Wikipedia), starting in this building, the David Stow, in 1921:

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Subsequent building has not been as attractive! The Library is housed in the Henry Wood Building:

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Inside, the Library is more visually pleasing though:

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And the campus is lovely, here’s the sunken garden for example, outside the Crawfurd Building:

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This was such a success that we repeated the exercise the next day at Glasgow University where John is Head of the School of Engineering. It is very historic, dating from 1451, though has only been on its current site since the nineteenth century:

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We visited, amongst other things, the recently-refurbished Hunterian Museum…….

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…….and an engineering lab, also recently refurbished:

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Again, the campus as a whole is lovely with the historic cloisters…..

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……and views across the park to Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery:

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My niece seemed to enjoy herself (well she didn’t complain), especially standing at the microphone in a lecture theatre and giving us all a talk. She went away with bags of freebies: badges and bookmarks etc, including some for her big sister who had been left at home studying for her GCSEs. So there you are: how to entertain your teenage niece in one easy lesson. Take her to university!