A relatively short train ride from Edinburgh’s iconic Waverley station takes you to the other side, the other country that is Glasgow. I hadn’t visited since 1989 when I had an interview for Scottish Opera. Those were the days when you were invited for interview “because you sound interesting and we wanted to meet you as we think you’ll do something pretty special”….. and my train ticket from Cambridge was paid for as well. Even on the way there I was falling for the place:talking to people on the train I came away with some phone numbers (this was pre
mobiles and email days!) In case I got the job and was looking for somewhere to stay/help with finding somewhere to rent. The genuinely open friendly nature of Glaswegians overwhelmed me as did the architecture of a then grimy tough city.
Today I walked again down some of those streets, now a lot cleaner and probably fewer beggars and definitely less drunks, and could immediately see what I’d loved so much first time round.
A stunning mix of architecture, from proud 19th century commercial success to postmodern cine world and 14000+ steps, according to Eli, one of my companions on this voyage of discovery round most of Charles Rennie MacKintosh’s landmark sites.
Open spaces and child friendly parks, churches and tea rooms, offices and chambers,tenements and public buildings and of course lots of educational establishments….the finest of which must be the Glasgow School of Art,so much of it so tragically destroyed in a fire in 2014. But like Glasgow itself, it is rising from the ashes. Glasgow was put on the world map when it became city of culture many years ago; now its art school is returning to join the dynamism and energy that pervades the city.
Everywhere you look you see the mantra “people make Glasgow”. It’s true of any place but the difference to many is that Glasgow seems to believe it.