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Steel guitar in my soul.
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I'm generally not in favour of chunks of the city's parks being dished out to companies, any more than I would be in favour of parts of the Clyde becoming inaccessible due to new developments. But let's face it, GCC couldn't run a bath. If we want any kind of new public facilities in our parks, or even the re-instatement of old ones, then private enterprise is probably the only way to go. GCC can keep a leash on them by offering short-term leases (i.e. not 99 years...).
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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The gradual but unmistakeable deterioration of Buchanan Street is one of the things that pisses me off the most about the city centre. GCC are continually crowing about how it is one of the most prestigious retail streets in Europe, yet they see fit to pour tarmac into damaged uplighters and replace the stone benches with shitty tubular steel contraptions that wouldn't look out of place in a smashed-up bus shelter in Cowlairs.

Give it another few years of (inevitable?) decay and the street will need a top-to-bottom multi-million pound overhaul which wouldn't be necessary if they would just put the effort into fixing things properly as and when they need it!
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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It sounds like a great idea - and as an added bonus, the cafe and kiosks should consign to the scrapheap the tacky amusement rides (and surrounding wire mesh fencing) that regularly infest the middle of Argyle Street.

As for the Scotsman headline, knowing their typical disdain for anything outside Edinburgh's boundaries they probably meant to write "Glasgow to get tramps in Argyle Street revamp".
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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Random public realm question: have the ten crappy-looking cylindrical StreetLive advertising screens been removed from city centre streets yet? They worked - or flickered a lot, anyway - for about a year before the operator went into administration and they were thankfully turned off.

 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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Hopefully that means at least one of the big units will soon be gone. The other big unit is outside Dino's on Sauchiehall Street. The remaining eight were mounted at height on lampposts and will certainly have to be taken down once they start to disintegrate. There's probably some recyclable technology inside these things, so maybe some local neds could be encouraged to steal them instead of drain covers.

Here's the Argyle Street drum during its brief, photosensitive-epilepsy-inducing heyday:



Christ, it was bigger and uglier than I remembered. :eek:hno:
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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It was supposed to be mounted on the St. Enoch Centre wall after the recent redevelopment. Like all of the promised public realm improvements for the Square, it was quietly dropped from the plans.

Was the screen on top of the Royal Concert Hall ever replaced, or is there a plan to re-erect it elsewhere?

From the photos on the BBC website, the screens mounted on the sides of buildings are much better than the free-standing ones. Edinburgh's screen is particularly ugly. When we get ours, it had better not come with a stand that looks like it was bought in Argos.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/queen-s-park-amphitheatre-set-to-rise-from-the-ashes-1.1125538



Queen’s Park amphitheatre set to rise from the ashes
Catriona Stewart
23 Sep 2011

Work has begun to restore a derelict South Side amphitheatre to its former glory.

Four local community councils have been working for the past two years to raise the £600,000 needed to rebuild the 100-year-old Queen’s Park bandstand.

And now the two years of planning are set to become reality as engineers move into the park to in-fill old mine tunnels on the site.

Evelyn Silber, chairwoman of the Queen’s Park Arena steering group, said the committee was delighted to see work finally begin.

She said: “We are really pleased.

“Every time we hold a consultation we learn from people across the city how excited they are that we are doing this.”

The steering group is made up of representatives from Crosshill/Govanhill, Langside, Battlefield, Camphill, Mount Florida, Shawlands and Strathbungo community councils.

Although more than half a million pounds is needed to complete the project, the steering group, which is now a registered charity, is carrying out the upgrade in two phases.

The first phase of work, costing £180,000, involves stabilising the ground, installing new drainage and power and resurfacing the arena and terraces to create seats for 200 people.

The group held a competition to design the new bandstand, which was won by Glasgow-based architects ZM.

The second phase will see ZM’s plans come to life with the addition of changing rooms, a canopy, more seating, a stage and a screen.

Evelyn, a former museum director, added: “We have had fantastic support for this project.

“When the first phase is finished it will be interesting to see who comes to the bandstand and how they use it.

“Hopefully it will be a popular draw for people from all over Glasgow and beyond.”

The original Queen’s Park bandstand was moved to Duchess Park in Motherwell in 1920, leaving the area vacant for 10 years.

A new bandstand was built in 1930 but, after years of neglect, it burnt down in 1996, leaving the site derelict.

In its day, the bandstand attracted a range of musical and theatre acts.

African American singer, actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson performed at the bandstand on May Day 1960.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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I'd like to see the Selfridges site CPO'd from its delinquent owners and turned into the city centre's third public square, with the design competition open only to Scottish practices - Keppie and Sasan Bell excluded.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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Noticed the defunct streetlive unit has been removed from Argyle St at last. I'd assume the Sauchiehall St one will be going too.:)
Hurrah! Argyle Street will only be about 1% better for its removal, but it all counts down there these days.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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On the subject of water features, does anyone know what the story was with that black stone sphere that was installed outside the Radisson?

I seem to remember it was adorned with the Glasgow motifs (tree, bird, fish and bell) and sat in a shallow pool of water which was supposed to make it "spinnable" by passing members of the public, but it was often fenced off and ended up being removed entirely.

Here it is in an old GSV image: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Glasgow&hl=en&ll=55.858304,-4.259713&spn=0.003077,0.010568&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=35.547176,86.572266&vpsrc=6&hnear=Glasgow,+Glasgow+City,+United+Kingdom&t=m&z=17&layer=c&cbll=55.858426,-4.259672&panoid=rKCQlER7PVkPYPPbnhoxtg&cbp=12,322.96,,0,2.85
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/axing-1000-trees-put-our-homes-in-danger-1.1140617



Axing 1000 trees put our homes in danger
EXCLUSIVE by REBECCA GRAY
20 Dec 2011

PEOPLE living next to one of Glasgow’s most popular parks say the felling of almost 1000 trees by Glasgow City Council has left their homes at risk.

They claim the removal of the trees has left others exposed, and many were blown over in the recent hurricane-force winds.

As reported by the Evening Times in December 2010, a huge expanse of forest on King’s Park on the South Side was felled after a health and safety survey.

It claimed some of the trees, which were more than 100 years old, were in danger of falling down.

Giant pine trees and sycamores were among those removed during the felling programme.

A notice from the council stated that it was in the “interest of public safety” that the trees, which ran alongside Southwood Drive, were chopped down, “to reduce the risk to the public”.

The Evening Times recently told how one resident had a miracle escape after a 150ft tree came crashing down in his back garden –narrowly missing his house.

Robert Bell, 74, was sitting in his dining room at the back of his home on Menock Road in Croftfoot when the massive tree fell, destroying his and two neighbouring gardens.

It happened at the peak of a storm on December 8, which caused chaos and left a trail of destruction across the country.

Around 10 trees fell down after gusts of wind battered the park and surrounding area, including Menock Road. Gales of up to 165mph hammered the country causing widespread disruption, including leaving about 60,000 homes without power and more than 2700 schools closed.

Now, residents of the area claim the council left their homes in danger after the mass destruction of trees between January and March this year.

Homeowner Alistair Scott said: “The council decided to remove all the trees backing on to Menock Road, and the entire wood of trees backing on to Southwood Drive.

“They claimed this was carried out under a duty-of-care order, as some of the trees had reached the end of what was considered to be their natural life.

“But others, including myself, consider it to be an act of vandalism and destruction on a massive scale: more than 900 trees were removed.

“There is no question that the trees which blew down on December 8 did so because of the council’s actions. There was a complete lack of protection, leaving the trees – and our homes – vulnerable.”

Mr Scott, who is retired, said local residents are furious that the trees have been cut down, leaving them with an area that now looks like a war zone.

He said: “The area has been devastated.

“It looks like a scene after a bomb has exploded – there is nothing left.

“It’s total devastation. Myself and other residents are very angry about the mess that has been left.

“We have been left with a park in which the natural beauty and attraction to wildlife has been destroyed for 50 to 100 years.”

Local residents also claim that, by chopping down the hundreds of trees, the council has left them at risk of serious flooding.

Mr Scott, 68, explained: “Because there are no trees to soak up the excess water from the heavy rain, the water has been running down into the houses.

“It’s a nightmare and it’s all because the council carried out this act of vandalism.”

The trees were near footpaths which are often used by schoolchildren who attend King’s Park Secondary, as well as families and other park users

Glasgow City Council have since planted saplings, but most of the chopped down trees have been left in the park.

Mr Scott added: “From the start, this has been a very shoddy job, and it hasn’t even been finished properly.

“Even if the area is properly cleared and the saplings are allowed to grow, it will be another 50 to one hundred years, at least, before the trees return.

“The workers and their heavy-duty machines have left behind a scene which could pass for the aftermath of a World War battle.”

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “Following a woodland assessment last year the council removed trees which were identified as being unstable and those at a height where there was a serious risk of them being blown over by the wind.

“Without their removal we could have seen more damage and many more trees fall as they would have not been able to withstand the storm-force winds experienced earlier this month.

“Trees are designed to grow in the normal range of their environment therefore, in extremes of weather such as gale-force winds, any tree, including those considered as being healthy, can fall.

“Those that had been previously assessed as low-risk – healthy and stable for the conditions – in King’s Park were unfortunately blown over, as were many other trees across Glasgow and Scotland.”
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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was back in Glasgow for Christmas and it was really disapponting to see that the fantastic quality of the public realm scheme that has been implemented across the city centre and Merchant City has really taken a knock with very poor maintenance of the paving and street furniture. Even on Buchanan Street which is supposed to be the city's key showcase, there are numerous patches of balck tarmac infil and broken benches, railings etc. And of course everywhere you look the black granite is spotted with countless pieces of chewing gum.

What is the point of spending tens of millions on a public realm strategy if like-for-like paving replacement doesn't happen, and damaged street furniture isn't repaired???
I echo your thoughts on Buchanan Street's physical deterioration. The tatty-looking aluminium planters have just added clutter (and attracted litter), and it's rather ironic that objects branded with the words 'Style Mile' are propped up on plywood next to broken street furniture and missing flagstones.

GCC have shown in the last 10-15 years that, when they put their minds to it, they are more than capable of implementing high-quality public realm developments and lighting schemes. They also appear content to subsequently watch their schemes slide slowly into ruin, hoping that no-one will call them out on it. It's baffling.

On the plus side, the new Virginia Court is very nice. I'm guessing that, as a private development, it will in the owner's interests for it to be properly maintained.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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It really is baffling. It's all initial capex spend and no maintenance. Why?

Street furniture is just one part of it, but there are more damning aspects.

- as mentioned earlier today, why spend money on floodlighting bridges if you won't maintain that?

- why build crap like the spinning ball on Oswald Street or the calamitous "waterfall" at Spiers Wharf if you can't make them work?

- Why not sue the fucking arse out the Gas, Electric, and Water companies, and their contracted agents, every time one of those thundercunts lifts a fucking Caithness slab and replaces it with black tarmac??
They should sue: 1) the company that paid for the work; 2) the contractor; 3) the specific slack-jawed nedling that spooned liquid depression into the hole.

It would be nice if just ONCE someone from the council would come on here and justify their ineptitude in all this.
If I hadn't seen the Spiers Locks waterfall with my own eyes I'd have trouble believing it ever existed. Announced along the lines of a 'spectacular 100-foot wide floodlit waterfall over granite', it stopped working within a month of being switched on and has subsequently been airbrushed out of history. Perhaps an email to British Waterways or ISIS is in order.

The Oswald Street spinnywaterball failure has always grated, particularly as my other city of Perth in Western Australia has managed to get one of them working - and it's a dusty, uncultured place ruled by two-headed ********. (Frankly, the spinnywaterball would make a decent Mayor.)

As for the utility companies and third parties who perform substandard reinstatement work on city streets, they'll be totally in for it when the Council's yearly pronouncements to "get tough" finally make it into policy. I imagine the punishments will be severe...

 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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I've always thought it a quirky feature of Glasgow that almost every clock in the city tells a different time. Putting a positive spin on wide-scale disrepair, if you like.
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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^^

Excellent news.

It comes after other enhancements which included the opening of a cafe in the park and the restoration five years ago of the Stewart Memorial Fountain, which commemorates the completion of Glasgow’s water supply system from Loch Katrine in the Trossachs.
I wasn't aware of any cafe in the Park, and last I heard (on this forum) the fountain had been broken for some time. Has it been fixed?
 

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Steel guitar in my soul.
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I remember when the first metal bench, near the police box, was touted as being a temporary measure until the missing granite bench could be repaired and reinstated. Sigh.

The new City Centre Strategy talks of "avenues" and "place-making". Good ideas on paper, but ideas that will require serious focus and commitment. I see the lack of care for the places that have been successfully and expensively created over the last fifteen years, the upcoming removal of quality public realm at the Broomielaw and the Concert Hall Steps, and the neverending farce of George Square, and I have grave concerns about the Council's attitude to these matters.
 
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