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With regular posts from the People Make Glasgow team and guest bloggers, we hope to help you enjoy the best of Glasgow.

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Linen Bank Glasgow

The High Street – Glasgow’s most ancient street and the birthplace of the city, was once its bustling centre. Along with the Medieval Cathedral and the dramatic Necropolis, the original Glasgow University campus was located here with its collection of fine 17th century buildings.

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However when it relocated to its impressive new home in the west end, designed by the prolific Gothic revival architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, the skyline of the east end of the city changed– a vast railway goods yard and warehouse complex dominated the street.

These in turn were swept away in the latter half of the 20th century, and today, the stretch of the city and gateway to the east end is a melting pot of Victorian grandeur and new developments, peppered with independent cafes, curiosity shops, and traditional pubs. A few iconic buildings still nod to the splendour of a bygone era however, and Niall Murphy, Historic Buildings Officer at Glasgow City Heritage Trust tells us about one of his favourite hidden gems tucked away here.

Linen Bank Glasgow

"215 High Street, otherwise known as the British Linen Bank of 1895 is one of my favourite Glasgow buildings and well worth a look. It was designed by architect James Salmon Jnr (1873-1924), one of the masters of the Glasgow Style and friend of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Salmon, who was affectionately nicknamed “Wee Trout” due to his small size, had a great sense of humour and quick wit along with a gift for great design.

Though diminutive like its creator, the British Linen Bank is utterly charming with a crow stepped gable, over which is an open lattice dome and oriel bay to the High Street. It was designed so early in Salmon’s career that the initial drawings were signed by his father! This delightful building hints at his burgeoning talent and the emerging Glasgow Style, exhibiting some precocious Art Nouveau detailing, particularly the arrangement of floating putti around the arch of the main window to the banking hall. 

These, and other motifs, such as an early stained glass Galleon by Oscar Paterson, are developed throughout Salmon’s later work too. Salmon also plays with his idea of an open lattice dome throughout all his British Linen Banks. This feature later reappears as a dramatic spiky thistle dome in his masterpiece and best known work The “Hat Rack” on St Vincent Street. Salmon’s signature feature also appears in letters to his beloved brother Hugh who had emigrated to New Zealand, including a fanciful sketch of a 21 storey skyscraper to celebrate a landmark birthday.

The Linen Bank then extends down Nicholas Street creating a very romantic skyline all carefully composed to reflect the scale of the Georgian buildings that once sat opposite. The Nicholas Street elevation also incorporates a curious bronze relief to memorialise the Glasgow poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), who was born in the townhouse that previously occupied the site. Campbell is immortalised as a statue in George Square and was a friend of Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and Keats to name a few.

Take a wander up High Street and see it for yourself – The wee Trout certainly had a big talent!"

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Linen Bank Glasgow

The High Street – Glasgow’s most ancient street and the birthplace of the city, was once its bustling centre. Along with the Medieval Cathedral and the dramatic Necropolis, the original Glasgow University campus was located here with its collection of fine 17th century buildings.

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By Niall Murphy

January 10, 2017

Glasgow's Hidden Gem - 'Wee Trout' on the High Street

The High Street – Glasgow’s most ancient street and the birthplace of the city, was once its bustling centre. Along with the Medieval Cathedral and the dramatic Necropolis, the original Glasgow University campus was located here with its collection of fine 17th century buildings.

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Constance Devernay is a Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet. She is originally from Amiens in France and has been living in Glasgow for 8 years. Constance will be performing the role of Gretel in Scottish Ballet’s upcoming winter ballet Hansel & Gretel, which will be performed at Theatre Royal in January 2017.

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Constance will mentor young dancers from across Scotland taking part in the production and Scottish Ballet will be raising money for this as part of the ‘Hansel & Gretel, And You’ fundraising appeal. Having made Glasgow her home for the last 8 years we wanted to know what Constance really loves about the city. 

River Clyde

WHAT MAKES GLASGOW UNIQUE?

The people make Glasgow unique. The friendliness of the people who live here and the fact that everyone is individual and doesn’t follow trends make Glasgow what it is. Glaswegians are very positive and optimistic so the city is very uplifting.

I also love the Glaswegian accent. When I first arrived here I didn’t understand a word but I am much better at understanding it now and have even picked up a few Glaswegian words myself!

Kelvingrove Museum

WHAT ARE THE MUST DO’S FOR A NEW VISITOR TO THE CITY?

I would say you should definitely visit Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – the beauty of the architecture is breath-taking. Glasgow University has amazing gothic architecture too. I also love the Botanic Gardens in the West End – I like to go there on the weekend when I have finished rehearsal.

My favourite place in Glasgow is the Theatre Royal as it is feels like home to me. We perform there a lot and it is always a thrill to return each time. Glasgow audiences are the best – they are so encouraging and appreciative.

When friends come to visit and see me perform with Scottish Ballet, I always give them a backstage tour of Theatre Royal so they can see what goes on behind-the-scenes.

I really love Glasgow in winter. Walking down Buchanan Street and seeing all the Christmas lights twinkling is a very special feeling. I am really looking forward to this coming winter as my family are spending Christmas in Glasgow this year. My nieces will be here too so I have booked tickets for them to go and see our performance of Wee Hansel & Gretel at Theatre Royal.  Wee Hansel & Gretel is a special condensed version of our main ballet aimed at young children, and I love performing in it and seeing the excited reactions of all the kids in the theatre.

When I am not rehearsing or performing, I love doing a class at Bikram yoga on Byres Road. Yoga is great for me as it helps to strengthen my muscles and improve my flexibility.

Tramway

WHAT IS THE CITY’S BEST KEPT SECRET?

There are lots of great spots on the Southside of Glasgow. Scottish Ballet’s HQ is in Tramway on the Southside and I love checking out art exhibitions there or relaxing in The Hidden Gardens. It is an ideal place to catch the few rays of sunshine that we get in Glasgow! Also, Bakery47 in the Southside is a great spot for brunch and they bake delicious cakes. Or, if you are looking for somewhere to go for a romantic meal, I would recommend No.16 on Byres Road in the West End. They serve tasty Scottish food. I go there every year on my birthday, 16th of November, as 16 is a lucky number for me.

IF GLASGOW WAS A SONG WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Shiny Happy People by REM as Glaswegians are so warm and friendly!

Scottish Ballet
Image credit: Scottish Ballet

Scottish Ballet will perform Hansel & Gretel by Christopher Hampson at Theatre Royal, Glasgow from 5 – 14 January 2017. For more information and to book tickets, visit Scottish Ballet.

 

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Constance Devernay is a Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet. She is originally from Amiens in France and has been living in Glasgow for 8 years. Constance will be performing the role of Gretel in Scottish Ballet’s upcoming winter ballet Hansel & Gretel, which will be performed at Theatre Royal in January 2017.

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By Constance Devernay

October 3, 2016

MY GLASGOW - SCOTTISH BALLET'S CONSTANCE DEVERNAY

Constance Devernay is a Principal dancer with Scottish Ballet. She is originally from Amiens in France and has been living in Glasgow for 8 years. Constance will be performing the role of Gretel in Scottish Ballet’s upcoming winter ballet Hansel & Gretel, which will be performed at Theatre Royal in January 2017.

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Alec Farmer is a designer, maker, entrepreneur, Glasgow School of Art graduate and founder of Trakke, an outdoor lifestyle brand that makes handcrafted bags right in the heart of Glasgow. With a focus on quality, durability and style, his bags are built for a life outside, and he’s a firm believer that adventure is everywhere - whether it’s climbing a mountain or exploring a city. Read on to check out what Alec got up to on a recent short break to Glasgow and Loch Lomond - enjoy! 

[fulltext] =>

Alec-Farmer-Camping-Loch-Lomond-2016

I’m always on the hunt for adventure, but although I’ve lived in Glasgow for nearly 10 years now, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the best adventures are right on your doorstep. With that in mind, I set out to see how much I could pack into a long weekend exploring the city and the stunning wilderness that’s only a stone’s throw away in Loch Lomond.

After a bit of a lie on on Saturday morning, I headed over to the east end of the city. There, beside the majestic Glasgow Cathedral, lies the Necropolis . At first glance, it looks like an imposing graveyard, but after a guided tour with Ruth from Friends of the Necropolis I realised it’s so much more than that. Home to Glasgow’s late and great, it’s an architectural spectacle, with monuments to scientists, philanthropists and merchants designed by some of the world’s leading architects from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Alexander Greek Thomson.

Necropolis-Glasgow-Alec-Farmer

Only a stone's throw away is Drygate brewery. With a focus on quality craft ales, all brewed on site, Drygate is fast making a name for itself across the UK. While munching on a burger over lunch, one of their staff talked me through a selection of their beers, from an easy drinking apple ale to ‘breakfast stout’ brewed using coffee beans from the local roastery, Dear Green Coffee. Surrounded by artwork created by Glasgow School of Art
students, I could see right into the heart of the brewery from my table, and the fresh, modern interior made for an inspiring lunch.

Wandering back into the city, I decided to join a Glasgow Music City Tour. Led by music journalist Fiona, we walked through the city centre hearing the stories behind some of Glasgow’s favourite venues from the infamous King Tut’s (where Oasis made their big break) to Nice ‘n Sleazys, a local institution renowned for its raucous gigs and local bands. We were in safe hands though Fiona had all the inside stories from some of the city’s most famous gigs. Manic Street Preachers' first gig? She was there and she’s got the set list to prove it.

Nice-N-Sleazy-Alec-Farmer

After freshening up at the Park Inn by Radisson, I met up with a friend and debated where to go for dinner. We settled on Riverhill, right in the heart of the city. This little indie is a real hidden gem, using fresh local produce to cook dishes with a global influence. Sat at our table, the walls around us were covered in family photos of the owners and staff, giving a friendly and intimate vibe. Perusing the carefully curated menu, we settled on Onglet Steak and Sea Bass and when the plates arrived, they were as beautifully presented as they were delicious.

Riverhill-Alec-Farmer-Glasgow

Having paid our compliments to the chef, we took a short walk to my favourite bar in the city centre, Tabac. With its low lighting and continental vibe, it is the perfect place for a post dinner cocktail and if you want a truly unique experience, try knocking on the unmarked door at the back of the room. Behind it lies the Panther Milk Bar, a shabby chic speakeasy serving one drink, and one drink only - Leche de Pantera, a little known, milk based cocktail created by Spanish resistance fighters in World War Two. If you’re searching for the best of Glasgow’s infamous culture and nightlife, this is it.

Waking up in the enormous bed at the Park Inn the following morning, I rubbed my eyes, threw on some clothes and headed for the train station. Thirty minutes later, I was on the shores of Loch Lomond the largest body of water in the UK. It’s a stunning place, and there’s no better way to explore it than by canoe. With Callum from CanYouExperience as our expert guide we paddled along the shoreline and took in the wildlife, passing by a castle or two along the way. As we made our way back, a seaplane full of sightseers took off right over our heads and dipped its wings towards Ben Lomond before disappearing over the horizon.

Alec-Farmer-Loch-Lomond-Canoe

Paddling is thirsty work, so back on dry land we stopped in at the Lodge on Loch Lomond for a drink and a bite to eat along the waterfront, taking in the views before jumping on a ferry to Inchcailloch Island. Weaving between the densely forested islands, we saw an Osprey nesting in a nearby tree, and, the skipper insisted, passed an island inhabited by wallabies! Before long, our home for the night came into view, and we hopped off the boat started exploring.

Inchcailloch is a beautiful place. Just beyond the pier, right by sandy beach, is a small campsite nestled in the trees. Unlike most campsites, it’s unmanned, and besides the composting toilets, there are no facilities. If you like the idea of wild camping, but want to build some confidence first, it’s an ideal spot. After a quick hike up to the highest point on the island, which offers unparalleled views across the loch, we stopped to explore the old cemetery perched on the hillside. Back at camp we fired up our stoves, prepared some dinner and ate by the fire, enjoying a wee nip of whisky before we hit the hay.

Alec-Farmer-Camping-Loch-Lomond

We woke up with the sun, brewed up some strong coffee and packed up our tent. We had an hour to kill before the ferry came to collect us, so we climbed some trees and skimmed stones across the loch. Before long, our transport arrived and we returned to the mainland in the howling wind. We weathered the worst of the storm in the Kilted Skirlie, another great shoreside restaurant down by the Loch, and then, inspired by our morning climbing trees, headed to Treezone, a highropes course suspended twenty feet above the ground. With our harnesses securely tightened, we navigated narrow rope bridges, suspended stepping stones and fast-flying ziplines for the next hour, attempting to complete the course nohanded to make things interesting.

Treezone-Alec-Farmer-Loch-Lomond

Soon, it was time to catch the train home. Exhausted from a weekend of fun, we returned to Glasgow smelling of woodsmoke with aching arms, windswept hair and smiles on our faces, smug in the knowledge we’d had a weekend wellspent.

All images supplied by Alec Farmer of Trakke.

Like the sound of this? Why not Pack More In to your next short break and discover all of the great things to do in Glasgow and Loch Lomond.

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Alec Farmer is a designer, maker, entrepreneur, Glasgow School of Art graduate and founder of Trakke, an outdoor lifestyle brand that makes handcrafted bags right in the heart of Glasgow. With a focus on quality, durability and style, his bags are built for a life outside, and he’s a firm believer that adventure is everywhere - whether it’s climbing a mountain or exploring a city. Read on to check out what Alec got up to on a recent short break to Glasgow and Loch Lomond - enjoy! 

[image] => images/Blog/Alex-Farmer-Loch-Lomond-Canoe.jpg [link] => index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=711:alec-packs-more-in&catid=14&Itemid=133 [date] => September 21, 2016 [dp] => /images/Blog/Alec-Farmer.jpg )

By Alec Farmer

September 21, 2016

Alec Farmer Packs More In

Alec Farmer is a designer, maker, entrepreneur, Glasgow School of Art graduate and founder of Trakke, an outdoor lifestyle brand that makes handcrafted bags right in the heart of Glasgow. With a focus on quality, durability and style, his bags are built for a life outside, and he’s a firm believer that adventure is everywhere - whether it’s climbing a mountain or exploring a city. Read on to check out what Alec got up to on a recent short break to Glasgow and Loch Lomond - enjoy! 

stdClass Object ( [id] => 705 [title] => What's On at the Tron Theatre this Season [alias] => whats-on-at-the-tron-theatre-this-season [introtext] =>

Check out all of the great shows coming up at the Tron Theatre over the next few months - from comedy and theatre to their annual festive spectacular. Written by our friend Lindsay, Press and Marketing Manager at this magnificently medieval building. Over to you, Lindsay! 

[fulltext] =>

Here at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre, we recently announced our Autumn/Winter 2016 season – an extraordinary and eclectic range of work with world-class theatre and unique dance presented alongside ventures into absurdism and activism.

Tron-Theatre

We’re delighted to be working with the Traverse Theatre on Rob Drummond’s Grain in the Blood (Oct 19-29). Set against the backdrop of an eerie rural community and steeped in the folklore of the harvest, it explores the timely moral dilemma of how much we are prepared to sacrifice for the greater good? Another co-production this season is with Maraike Bruening on Summer Heart (Sept 8 & 9): an insight into the extraordinary life of classical pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who until her death in 2014, was known as the world’s oldest living Holocaust survivor. Challenging the familiar recital experience, Maraike tells Alice’s story using some of Chopin’s most dramatic études, theatrical writing, illustration and projection.  We’re also working again with Theatre Jezebel on staging Mad Men and House of Cards writer Keith Huff’s A Steady Rain (Sept 16-24). Two Chicago cops find their life-long, almost family-like bond put to the test when they’re called out to a domestic disturbance that takes a turn for the worst. 

Tron-Theatre-Grain-in-the-Blood

Other main auditorium shows include the spectacularly surreal Pajama Men: 2 Man 3 Musketeers (Sept 28 & 29) with their audacious new show; Olivier Award-winning Pat Kinevane with his ‘unequivocally beautiful’ piece Forgotten (Oct 1); and Enda Walsh’s furious, funny and violent dash through a lifelong friendship at the moment of its savage destruction, Disco Pigs (Oct 4 & 5). The ever-popular Mark Thomas returns with the third in his trilogy of multi-award winning shows, The Red Shed (Oct 6-8) and Company Chordelia and Solar Bear present a unique piece of dance theatre, Lady Macbeth: unsex me here (Nov 1 & 2) where a cast of male dancers explore the relationship between masculine and feminine in one of Shakespeare’s most complex women.

Tron-Theatre-Lady-Macbeth

Our Changing House programme is equally diverse, opening with ZENDEH’s Transit (Sept 2). Gary McNair returns with his Fringe First-winning show A Gambler’s Guide to Dying (Sept 14-17), an intergenerational tale of what we live for and what we leave behind, and some of Scotland’s finest clowns will test their funny in Clown Cabaret Scratch Night (Sept 29 – Oct 1). Paul Brotherston will direct Gerry Mulgrew in Samuel Beckett’s ‘duet for one’, Krapp’s Last Tape (Oct 5-8) and we’re delighted to be on the tour schedule for Andy McGregor’s fast and furious new comedy The Rise and Inevitable Fall of Lucas Petit (Oct 12-15).  More new writing comes in the form of Where the Crow Flies (Nov 2 & 3) and the return of Scenes Unseen: Rehearsed Readings (Nov 4 & 5), with unseen gems from DC Jackson, Sue Glover and Douglas Maxwell presented alongside the work of new writers supported by Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland.

Tron-Theatre-Gamblers-Guide-to-Dying

Our established Vic Bar events continue to sell out each month, with Sunday Jazz and The Seven Song Club returning for the Autumn-Winter season, alongside acoustic folk night, Folkify, with Sandy Nelson and Morna Young, performance poetry in the form of the Sunday Slams and new event, Mixtape; and our Bar & Kitchen have introduced the Tasting Series, sumptuous 5-course menus paired with innovative cocktails from our brand partners.

Tron-Theatre-Snaw-Queen

As ever, the season will conclude with another of Johnny McKnight’s panto extravaganzas, The Snaw Queen (Nov 29, 2016 – Jan 7, 2017) and our festive show for 3-6 year olds, The Night After Christmas (Nov 29 – Dec 31), directed by Tron Participation’s Lisa Keenan.

Like this? Find out what else is happening in Glasgow's Theatres

Images courtesy of the Tron Theatre

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Check out all of the great shows coming up at the Tron Theatre over the next few months - from comedy and theatre to their annual festive spectacular. Written by our friend Lindsay, Press and Marketing Manager at this magnificently medieval building. Over to you, Lindsay! 

[image] => images/Blog/Tron-Theatre.jpg [link] => index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=705:whats-on-at-the-tron-theatre-this-season&catid=42&Itemid=133 [date] => September 8, 2016 [dp] => /images/Blog/Lindsay-Mitchell-Tron-Theatre.jpg )

By Lindsay Mitchell

September 8, 2016

What's On at the Tron Theatre this Season

Check out all of the great shows coming up at the Tron Theatre over the next few months - from comedy and theatre to their annual festive spectacular. Written by our friend Lindsay, Press and Marketing Manager at this magnificently medieval building. Over to you, Lindsay! 

stdClass Object ( [id] => 688 [title] => Glasgow's Amazing Buildings in Lego [alias] => glasgow-s-amazing-buildings-in-lego [introtext] =>

Having lived in Glasgow nearly all my adult life, I have come to love this city's varied and exciting built heritage. I recently started making Lego models of some of my favourite buildings. This blog tells you a little about how I came to do this.

[fulltext] =>

 barrowlands in lego

One of my fondest memories from childhood is of getting the Lego out on a rainy day during the summer holidays. Ours was in a battered old plumbers’ tool bag; a gift from a neighbour whose son had grown too old for it. We would spread it out across the living room carpet, putting the un-slippered feet of adults in imminent danger. From primitive forts through to complex intergalactic spaceships, Lego outlasted waves of other toys and games that came and went with the seasons. It was only when I left home to study Town Planning that the plumbers’ bag was exiled to the loft along with my Marvel comics and old school reports.

As it turns out I hadn’t grown too old for Lego. I’d just forgotten how much I loved it. The arrival of my own kids soon led to a re-acquaintance; as birthdays and Christmases generated a growing supply of new pieces. It all came back to me as we built together. The endless possibilities when you opened the box, the satisfying click of bricks joining together, the frantic hunt for just the right piece to complete the model. My sons started challenging me to build new things for them: dinosaurs, a steam train, a submarine, then a space shuttle. But it was only after we visited the Brickworld exhibition at Paisley Museum that my thoughts turned to buildings. The exhibition showed Lego models of iconic buildings from across the world; it demonstrated what was possible with a bit of imagination and creativity. I did wonder to myself, though, whether anyone had done any models of Glasgow’s many iconic buildings. I did a bit of googling but couldn’t find anything, so I set myself a challenge to see if I could right this terrible wrong.

The first building I tried to make was the Barrowland Ballroom. I chose it because it is one of the most unique and quintessentially Glaswegian buildings, and one that was very close to my heart (having been to several amazing gigs there). It also helped, of course, that being a fairly simple design I didn’t think it would be impossible to make! The current Ballroom was opened in 1960 on the site of the original one which had sadly burned down. The unique illuminated sign (said to be the largest in the UK) is what makes the Barrowland so special.  For me, there is also something special about the fact that, as well as being a world famous music venue, its ground floor is essentially a covered market run by the same Glaswegian stallholder families who have been there for generations. It is both iconic and every-day.

 barrowlandssketch

I started with some initial scribbled sketches and then took some close-up photos of the building to get the colours and textures right. I soon realised that with Lego buildings, making exact replicas is neither possible nor desirable. What is important is the essence of the building – the broad scale and proportions, its key features, and the things that bring it to life. So my Barrowland model is way too long compared to the real one, due to the limitations of Lego brick sizes, but has the right number of sections, windows, stars etc. so overall looks the part.
caledonia-road-

I started up a twitter account to post pictures of my creations (@BrickingGlasgow) and I got such a brilliant response to the Barrowland model that I started another of Glasgow’s iconic buildings. I chose the Caledonia Road Church, one of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s churches. Living in the Southside I pass it quite a lot and it always makes me sad to see such a wonderful building lying half-ruined.

Thomson’s buildings have an almost primitive form, combining motifs from Ancient Egypt as well as neo-classical features like Greek columns. There are many of Thomson’s hidden architectural gems throughout Glasgow including stately homes, terraces, tenements, churches and warehouses. It’s definitely worth checking out some of his work.

 

Another of my favourite buildings is the Art Deco Rogano Restaurant on Royal Exchange Place. Designed by Weddell and Inglis, it was built in 1935 using the same design and materials being used on the Queen Mary ocean liner which was also being fitted out in Glasgow at that time. The sleek, tiled frontage lends itself well to a Lego recreation. But it was the lobster on the sign that allowed me to have some fun bringing it to life in three dimensions. My model even got a thumbs-up from the owners of the Rogano restaurant itself!

We couldn’t talk about Glasgow’s built heritage without mentioning a certain person who may have had just a wee bit of influence on global architecture and design; a certain Mr Charles Rennie Mackintosh! Mackintosh clearly didn’t have Lego in mind when he designed some of his most famous buildings; with their curves, intricate iron-work and complex glazing.willow-tearooms- 

So I thought I’d better pick one of his smaller scale buildings to build in Lego: the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street. It was still a challenge though, particularly the long curved first floor frontage with its narrow windows. It took a fair bit of trial and error to get it to look right (and to stay in place!). And for the interesting curved ironwork? Well what else but a couple of Lego wheel arches!

So what’s next? Well currently I’m building the frontage of the Glasgow Film Theatre and after that who knows? I’d love to hear your ideas… 

To keep up to date with my latest projects check out my Bricking It Glasgow Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter @BrickingGlasgow


Images courtesy of 'Bricking It Glasgow'.

 

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Having lived in Glasgow nearly all my adult life, I have come to love this city's varied and exciting built heritage. I recently started making Lego models of some of my favourite buildings. This blog tells you a little about how I came to do this.

[image] => images/Blog/barrowlands_in_lego.jpg [link] => index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=688:glasgow-s-amazing-buildings-in-lego&catid=42&Itemid=133 [date] => September 1, 2016 [dp] => /images/Denis1.jpg )

By Denis

September 1, 2016

Glasgow's Amazing Buildings in Lego

Having lived in Glasgow nearly all my adult life, I have come to love this city's varied and exciting built heritage. I recently started making Lego models of some of my favourite buildings. This blog tells you a little about how I came to do this.

stdClass Object ( [id] => 697 [title] => Martin Wishart's Top 6 in Glasgow and Loch Lomond [alias] => martin-wishart-s-top-6-in-glasgow-and-loch-lomond [introtext] =>

Martin Wishart – the acclaimed Scottish chef and entrepreneur at the helm of two one-Michelin starred restaurants – has kindly shared with us his top six favourite places to visit in Glasgow and the Loch Lomond area. Enjoy!

[fulltext] =>

Martin-Wishart-2016

After opening his first restaurant in Edinburgh in 1999, Martin Wishart’s portfolio of restaurants has grown to include establishments such as Martin Wishart at Cameron House and more recently The Honours Brasserie within Glasgow’s Malmaison Hotel. Martin was voted as AA Chef of the Year 2010-11 and was also later awarded an honorary degree for his outstanding culinary contribution to Scotland in 2011.

Martin ensures the highest levels of customer service, employing one member of staff for every two guests, and holds true to his original mission to create the very best traditional and modern French cuisine, using the finest and freshest local Scottish ingredients.

When not in the kitchen, Martin enjoys nothing better than spending time in his home country with family and friends. Here’s some of his favourite things to do in Glasgow and Loch Lomond:

Glasgow

Cottonrake

  • TABAC - a small quirky bar tucked away just off Buchanan Street. A real gem in amongst all of the high street shops and chain restaurants with great drinks and tasty food.
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - a great family day out to explore modern art or even Scotland’s history.
  • Cottonrake Bakery - great home cooked breads and pastries. Ideal for lunch or a pitstop coffee and cake.

Loch Lomond

Hill-House-HelensburghImage Credit: The Hill House

  • The Hill House - the Charles  Rennie  Mackintosh  designed  house  at  the  very  top  of  Helensburgh. Stunning  interiors, incredible  views  from  the  building  and  a  fantastic  trail  across the  top  of  Helensburgh  to  the  beautiful  village  of  Rhu,  which  starts  in  the  car  park  of  the House.
  • Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Aquarium - fun day for the kids involving the history of Loch Lomond, wildlife and fish.
  • Pots of Gartness - amazing place to watch salmon continue their journey to spawn. You can observe them leaping from the water to travel further upstream and reach a higher spot.

Like the sound of this? Why not Pack More In to your next short break and discover all of the great things to do in Glasgow and Loch Lomond.

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Martin Wishart – the acclaimed Scottish chef and entrepreneur at the helm of two one-Michelin starred restaurants – has kindly shared with us his top six favourite places to visit in Glasgow and the Loch Lomond area. Enjoy!

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By Martin Wishart

September 1, 2016

Martin Wishart's Top 6 in Glasgow and Loch Lomond

Martin Wishart – the acclaimed Scottish chef and entrepreneur at the helm of two one-Michelin starred restaurants – has kindly shared with us his top six favourite places to visit in Glasgow and the Loch Lomond area. Enjoy!

stdClass Object ( [id] => 673 [title] => Five Must See Exhibits Within The Mackintosh House [alias] => five-must-see-exhibits-within-the-mackintosh-house [introtext] =>

Born in England in 1957, Nigel moved to Scotland at the age of six.  He studied Archaeology, History and History of Art at the University of Glasgow in the 1970s and after a short spell as a photographic cataloguer in the McLean Museum in Greenock, he worked in local government for the next 30 years.  He then returned to the University of Glasgow to work for The Hunterian as a tour guide at Mackintosh House.  

[fulltext] =>

The Hunterian Art Gallery houses one of the most important collections of the work of world-renowned Glaswegian architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) and his artist-wife, Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh (1864-1933).‌ 

The Mackintosh House is a meticulous recreation of the principal interiors from the Mackintoshes’ Glasgow home in the city’s West End which they shared from 1906 to 1914.

The original house was demolished in the early 1960s but the original fixtures and contents were preserved and put back together in 1981 as an integral part of The Hunterian Art Gallery – Scotland’s oldest public museum.

Here Nigel tells us about his favourite pieces in the House.

1. ARGYLL CHAIR 

Argyll Chair 2

The Argyll Chair was Mackintosh’s first commercial design for Kate Cranston’s original Argyle Street tea-room and represented his first significant commission too.

While it’s plainly finished in stained oak, it’s very elaborate when you look at its structure, the straight lines and right angles disappear into an oval section and finally it’s circular at the top where it has this elegant cut-out head-rest, which is thought to depict a bird in flight. Although, with Mackintosh’s symbolism we’re never quite sure because he never put any explanation in writing.

The great thing about these chairs is that when you put them around a table, it’s almost like having a wall behind you and it creates a space inside a space for a private conversation within the confines of a very busy and noisy tea room – so they’re incredibly functional.

These chairs have actually appeared on the big screen in Star Wars, Dr Who, Babylon 5 and Blade. It’s nice to think that whenever TV and film directors are depicting futuristic furniture they draw their inspiration from 1898 and the Argyle Street tea room in Glasgow.

2. ROWAT CABINET 

Rowat Cabinet - room view

In 1902, Mackintosh was commissioned to produce a pair of showpiece cabinets for his friends who lived in Glasgow’s affluent West End.  The cabinets were designed to be situated either side of the fireplace and Mackintosh liked them so much that he had duplicates made for his own home.

While demure when closed, they open to reveal a highly decorative interior with stylised female glass figures and Mackintosh’s iconic Glasgow Rose motif set into beautiful silvered panels.

It’s a truly stunning piece of furniture, the sort of thing you would open in front of your guests to impress them.

3. WRITING DESK 

Writing desk

When Mackintosh left Glasgow in 1914 to go and live in London, his writing desk was one of the very few items that he took with him and we presume that’s because he thought when people saw it they would appreciate his talents as a designer.

It’s made of very fine materials and that in itself is quite unusual because Mackintosh was generally using oak, which wasn’t as expensive then as it is today. He was also covering a lot of his furniture designs with white paint so that it looked very sculptural and people wouldn’t necessarily notice that he had used a relatively cheaper wood, however, with his writing desk he used the very best.

It’s one of only two in the world – the other having been made originally for Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and his family when they moved into The Hill House in Helensburgh in 1904. 

4. CHEVAL MIRROR 

Cheval Mirror

This beautiful mirror is part of a wider suite of painted oak furniture which Mackintosh is thought to have given to Margaret as a wedding gift when they married in 1900.

While many of Mackintosh’s other pieces of furniture were commissions, this is something that was designed purely for Margaret and some people say that this represents, more than anything else, their personal taste.

We know that Margaret was about 5ft 6in, and the Cheval Mirror is perfect for a woman of that height. She would often decorate her hair with jewellery and presumably she would keep this jewellery and other trinkets in the bespoke drawers that furnish either side of the mirror.

From the front it’s perfectly linear but side on it becomes curved and it’s been suggested that this is deliberately intended to reflect the female form.

5. 78 DERNGATE GUEST BEDROOM 

Derngate Bedroom

78 Derngate is a Grade II listed Georgian house in Northampton, built in 1815 and extensively remodelled by Mackintosh in 1916. The original furniture from the guest bedroom was bought by the University of Glasgow for display in Mackintosh House.

As his sole commission during his eight years in London, it’s completely different from anything he did in Glasgow. It looks very much like something from the Art Deco style yet this was almost a decade before the term Art Deco was invented in Paris.

One of the most notable stories of this bedroom is that renowned Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw once slept in one of these beds and when asked if the decoration might affect his sleep he replied, somewhat dryly, that fortunately he slept with his eyes closed.

More recently I accompanied a large group of visitors on a tour of Mackintosh House and they were extremely eager to see our Derngate bedroom exhibition. When I asked them why, they explained that as designers with IKEA they all found it incredibly inspiring!

Find out about opening times and admission prices for The Mackintosh House and discover other Mackintosh venues to explore. 

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Born in England in 1957, Nigel moved to Scotland at the age of six.  He studied Archaeology, History and History of Art at the University of Glasgow in the 1970s and after a short spell as a photographic cataloguer in the McLean Museum in Greenock, he worked in local government for the next 30 years.  He then returned to the University of Glasgow to work for The Hunterian as a tour guide at Mackintosh House.  

[image] => images/ChevalMirror.jpg [link] => index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=673:five-must-see-exhibits-within-the-mackintosh-house&catid=42&Itemid=133 [date] => August 3, 2016 [dp] => /images/Nigel.jpg )

By Nigel Goldsmith

August 3, 2016

Five Must See Exhibits Within The Mackintosh House

Born in England in 1957, Nigel moved to Scotland at the age of six.  He studied Archaeology, History and History of Art at the University of Glasgow in the 1970s and after a short spell as a photographic cataloguer in the McLean Museum in Greenock, he worked in local government for the next 30 years.  He then returned to the University of Glasgow to work for The Hunterian as a tour guide at Mackintosh House.  

stdClass Object ( [id] => 684 [title] => Top 10 things to see at Merchant City Festival 2016 [alias] => top-10-things-to-see-at-merchant-city-festival-2016 [introtext] =>

The Merchant City Festival brings the streets of Glasgow's Merchant City alive every summer. Showcasing some of the best Scottish and international arts talent, executive producer Lorenzo Mele has shared his top 10 picks for this year's Festival, taking place from July 30 - August 7.

[fulltext] =>

Merchant-City-Festival-2016-1

Lorenzo has been curating the Merchant City Festival programme since 2011. A graduate of Glasgow University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, he has worked as a theatre director and lecturer, winning Edinburgh Fringe Firsts and was Artistic Director of the 7:84 Theatre Company. Since 2008, Lorenzo has worked for Glasgow Life. 

Here’s his top 10 picks for the Merchant City Festival 2016:

1. Classic Car Boot Sale – streets full of beautiful cars, gorgeous items for sale and a vintage bus with DJs playing from the open top deck.

2. Vintage Dance Events in the Old Fruitmarket - especially Oh! You Pretty Things – a night celebrating Bowie, Roxy and the music and fashions they inspired.

3. Of Riders and Running Horses – visceral new dance piece, performed on a roof top at dusk with 6 dancers and 2 musicians. You’ve experienced nothing like it.

4. Carnival Procession – Merchant City Festival celebrates the upcoming Rio Olympics with a carnival procession bringing together groups and artists from across the city. Come along and shake your tush to the samba rhythms.

5. Merchant Square Family Zone – totally original artist led workshops for all the family.

6. ArtCamp – two family friendly caravans from Catalonia. One is a mini theatre, the other a murder mystery crime scene for you to solve!

7. Block – when dance meets circus! Motionhouse who brought last year’s unforgettable JCB diggers show, return along with No Fit State Circus.

8. Punk-it – an explosive fun percussion performance with composer Stephen Deazley, percussionist Joby Burgess, and a lot of young people.

9. Brunswick Street Parties – the Tontine Lane team from 2015 return and take over the Brunswick street stage with their style and flair. Expect great music, good food and great visuals.

10. Merchant City Letterheads – the art of sign writing and beautiful lettering is celebrated in Merchant Square, as part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

Merchant-City-Festival-2016-2

Like the sound of this? Check out the full Merchant City Festival programme

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The Merchant City Festival brings the streets of Glasgow's Merchant City alive every summer. Showcasing some of the best Scottish and international arts talent, executive producer Lorenzo Mele has shared his top 10 picks for this year's Festival, taking place from July 30 - August 7.

[image] => images/Blog/Merchant-City-Festival-Blog.jpg [link] => index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=684:top-10-things-to-see-at-merchant-city-festival-2016&catid=42&Itemid=133 [date] => July 22, 2016 [dp] => /images/Blog/Lorenzo-Merchant-City-Fest.jpg )

By Lorenzo

July 22, 2016

Top 10 things to see at Merchant City Festival 2016

The Merchant City Festival brings the streets of Glasgow's Merchant City alive every summer. Showcasing some of the best Scottish and international arts talent, executive producer Lorenzo Mele has shared his top 10 picks for this year's Festival, taking place from July 30 - August 7.

stdClass Object ( [id] => 658 [title] => What's happening at the CCA this summer [alias] => what-s-happening-at-the-cca [introtext] =>

CCA-995x500

The Centre for Contemporary Arts  (CCA) is Glasgow's hub for the arts and has a year-round programme of activities and they've shared with us their highlights for this summer.

[fulltext] =>

Comic Con festival returns in July with a great line-up of writers, artists and publishers. The festival has grown larger every year, defying all stereotypes and showcasing a diverse range of emerging comic writers across Scotland. This time Comic Con is spread over CCA and the Royal Concert Hall ensuring a daily traffic of strange and colourful superheroes up and down Sauchiehall Street.

AliceMayWilliams.DreamCity

Back in the galleries of CCA, the ‘Borrowed Time’ exhibition with Karen Kramer and Alice May Williams continues into July. Then we have a new solo show, Television, by Kathryn Elkin which includes three new works – you shouldn’t miss this!

There’s also a very strong line-up of artists in Intermedia Gallery on the second floor and in our Creative Lab residencies including Aaron McCarthy, Michael Kent, Amy Pickles & Sally Hackett, Sora Park, Enoch Cheng and Carrie Skinner.

While public engagement projects such as Cooking Pot also continue over the summer, another new strand of talks and projects will be introduced under the title Intentions into Action: First Stop. Events by Michael Rakowitz and Basurama will kick this off, leading gradually to an exhibition in spring 2017. Likewise a new series of talks and screening on the subject of cities this summer will preface a major exhibition on the subject next year.

TheAnchoress

Musically (and spiritually) two musical events stand out. The Gyuto Monks of Tibet come to our building, directly from their performance at Glastonbury Festival. It’s hard not to sense echoes of Sri Chinmoy’s influence on the Third Eye Centre here in the 1970s. There is at least a monastic reference in the other musical highlight of the summer at CCA: The Anchoress, one of the most interesting contemporary song writers around, will showcase songs from her new album, Confessions of a Romance Novelist.

Several great screenings by Digital Desperados are also spread through the season’s programme and a GLITCH party follows a Cheryl Dunne film on August 27. Other intriguing and exciting events to watch out for include the launch of Matchbox Cineclub, devoted to cult cinema, and a symposium to help established Radical Renewable Art + Activism Fund. And did I mention Christeene, presented by Buzzcut? I should have!

GlasgowComicConGroupweb

As the growing Comic Con event suggests, CCA is well known for its participation in some of the city’s most lively festivals (in the spring we host Glasgow Film Festival, Celtic Connections and Glasgow Short Film Festival). Towards the end of this summer we enter one of our busiest periods in the year, hosting Take One Action; SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival); the 10th anniversary of the Americana Festival; Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival and Document International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival. Take One Action regularly showcases issues of global concern through a well-informed programme of films, events and workshops. Likewise Document foregrounds human rights and activism across the world, while the Mental Health Festival concentrates on social justice. SQIFF, another increasingly successful festival, aims to present queer films that might otherwise be difficult to see and, just as importantly, to encourage others to make more such films in Scotland. The Americana festival builds on the regular Fallen Angels events that are programmed throughout the year and in 2016, befitting the 10th anniversary, there are legendary guests such as Chip Taylor, composer of the song ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Angel in the Morning’.

With all that activity it’s worth mentioning Saramago - the very relaxing and inviting café with some the best coffee you can find in the city. Sit, relax and enjoy the free
Wi-Fi!

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The Centre for Contemporary Arts  (CCA) is Glasgow's hub for the arts and has a year-round programme of activities and they've shared with us their highlights for this summer.

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By Francis McKee

July 1, 2016

What's happening at the CCA this summer

The Centre for Contemporary Arts  (CCA) is Glasgow's hub for the arts and has a year-round programme of activities and they've shared with us their highlights for this summer.

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