A friend recently suggested that we do a series of posts on previous (and current) residents of Strathbungo which I thought was an excellent idea. He suggested that we have Alexander (Greek) Thomson, Charles Rennie MacKintosh, Ivor Cutler, H E Clifford, Gavin Stamp and Helena Kennedy – each of whom we could do a short profile on and note their connection to Strathbungo. Rather than me write up the posts I suggest that others write something and post to the blog (or I can do it if you are not technically minded). So if you know of any famous previous residents of Strathbungo and particularly of your house/apartment do write up something for the blog. Alternatively if you have the names of other famous Strathbungo residents but don’t want to write anything, do drop me a line (or leave a comment to this post) saying who they are and when they were here.
Pollokshields Councillor David Meikle reported in his recent e newsletter that
Glasgow City Council invested an additional £8 million in carriageway resurfacing following pressure from opposition councillors, the media and the local community. The total budget for 2011/12 is £12 million. Land and Environmental Services has just published the first tranche of the Roads Investment Strategy 2011/12.
The following roads will be resurfaced in Pollokshields Ward:
Albert Drive (from Nithsdale Road to Terregles Avenue)
Dalziel Drive (from Sherbrooke Avenue to Albert Drive)
Bertram Street (full length)
Moray Place (full length)
Regent Park Square (full length)
Queen Square (full length)
Hector Road (full length)
Many thanks David for that information and any support you have offered to the initiative.
I am sure there will be lots of notices about shifting your cars during the work. Any bright ideas of where to leave them while the diggers and rollers are in action? I will try to keep you updated on the blog.
Given Strathbungo’s links to the great Greek Thomson I took a stroll the other week to see what other Thomson buildings I could find within a short walk of Strathbungo and came across a surprising number. My walk took me first to Maria Villa, on Mansion House Road in Langside over to Millbrae Crescent (now with a sturdy flood prevention wall round the back). Holmwood House is an energetic walk a little further. (But once you have made it over there do take a walk around the magnificent Linn Park and over to the stunning Snuff Mill Bridge)
Closer to home of course are his tenements on Darnley Road and Nisthdale Drive which most of us pass every day but over at the corner of Albert Drive and Shields Road in Pollokshields is The Knowe. There are many others in Glasgow too numerous to mention but if you are a Thomson fan you can find them all on this Google Map I created of them. Please feel free to edit and amend the map adding comments on the buildings.
Well, 17 of you responded to the traffic survey over the past couple of weeks so thanks to everyone who gave a bit of their time to get back to us.
With the roads in Strathbungo in such a shocking state since the start of the winter it was no great surprise that all but two respondents thought that road resurfacing would be a jolly good idea.
Over half the respondents (9) thought we should cut our hedges to give pedestrians a little more space, while just under half though that we should have the Twenty’s plenty voluntary traffic calming scheme. Four people thought speed humps were a good idea while two thought that the council should upgrade the traffic signage in Strathbungo.
Loads of people had various comments also. One person thought that the Twenty’s Plenty scheme wouldn’t work saying that they felt that vehicles didn’t speed much anyway.
Rat running was a concern to a couple of people with the suggestion that various entrances and exits to the back lanes be blocked off to deter non-residents who would get lost in the labyrinth. Now one comment I thought was very good idea was for commercial vehicles to park elsewhere. The roads are narrow enough as it is with cars parked on both sides let alone vans. One needs to have a pretty good spacial sense to avoid clipping wing mirrors sometimes. And for some reason they always manage to park opposite each other at the most narrow point in the road. Why is that?
Someone thought that permitting parking only on one side would help matters. Not entirely sure where vehicles on the other side should park mind. Darnley Road? It’s certainly wide enough though we might need to re-install the old pedestrian bridge around the end of Marywood Square to give residents better access to their cars. Might also be a car thief’s dream come true – lots of nice cars and not an owner within earshot!
Painting the road to delineate parking spaces was someone’s suggestion.
My favourite however was the suggestion to have both vehicles and pedestrians use the road and have signage to indicate as much. I love the idea of pedestrianising the whole of Strathbungo eliminating both pavements and road and have everyone use the same space with lines to suggest where people should park. We all continually jump from the road to the pavement and back anyway a cars come by. Why not make it official? Cars would then be forced to go slower as they would effectively be driving on the pavement and pedestrians wouldn’t have to continually jump from road to pavement and zigzag between parked cars to avoid on-coming traffic.
I see that in the past couple of days the council has come round and filled in the holes in most of the roads in Strathbungo, but to be honest I would be prepared to wager a tidy sum that it won’t last! Filling holes does the job in the short term but come the next big rain it just takes a thimbleful of water to get under the newly laid tarmac for the next car to force it out in any direction save the one it came in through.
The issue of traffic was discussed at the last Strathbungo Society committee meeting and it was suggested that I put up a survey on the blog to gauge residents’ feelings about the issue.
There are a number of options we can pursue each of which will likely take a while to get agreement on let alone push through. The Traffic Road Order which the Society has been chasing for a couple of years only now has been approved and work is scheduled to begin in May 2011.
You should also know that arrangements have been made to carry out a condition monitoring survey of several roads within the Strathbungo area, including Moray Place, Marywood Square, Queen Square and Regent Park Square, in order that it may be presented for inclusion in a future carriageway resurfacing. This programme however will be subject to funding.
It is worth considering each of the options a little before expressing a preference. 20’s plenty for instance is not legally binding and involves additional signage which will further clutter the roads. Road resurfacing will give us nice smooth roads, but will likely involve more people speeding through the Squares. (One benefit of having lots of potholes is that people are forced to drive slowly). Traffic calming measures (aka road humps) will certainly slow the traffic, but we may lose parking slots and sharp braking by speeding drivers may itself cause a hazard. Widening pavements will have to eat in either to people’s gardens or the road. Cutting back overgrown hedges that intrude onto the pavement will have the same effect however.
Anyway, give it a shot and let us know what you think. Click here to take survey Don’t however expect changes overnight. These things do take a while and will need a champion to drive them through the council including canvassing residents more formally for their views.
I’ll certainly update you regularly on any progress made and of the outcome of the condition monitoring survey and what the Council plans to do about the roads here.
With the extent of the damage to Strathbungo’s roads following the cold weather and with some new and some old problems emerging I thought to post something on what we can do about it.
I had previously left a comment on a post to suggest that each of us has a part to play in keeping Strathbungo safe and clean. The ‘Broken Windows Theory’ suggests that setting norms of social behaviour high will deter further anti-social behaviour – whether littering, vandalism or bin raking. Bad littering or bin raking if left unchecked, so the theory goes, soon leads to vandalism which leads to burglary which leads to drug taking etc etc. All of which will make Strathbungo a less desirable place to live and will push down property prices.
Well, if you have access to a computer or a phone, you have a part to play. I previously blogged about the website Fix my street which is a great way of reporting problems directly to the council. I see that many Strathbungo residents have taken to using it to report their concerns about Strathbungo’s infrastructure to the council. Cast your eye to the right and you will see I have added a feed to the problems reported by residents in Strathbungo. Click on the header and you will be taken to the ‘fix my street’ website where you can report problems in the neighbourhood.
I for one will be reporting the damn bin on Moray Place by the pedestrian railway crossing which is overflowing yet again. Judging by the empty cartons of milk all over the pavement, it seems that some people are using it to dispose of their household waste. The trip to the wheelie bin round the back is clearly a few yards too far!
If you would rather report a problem to someone in person you can call the council. Clean Glasgow say they would like to hear about: litter, dog fouling, graffiti, fly posting and any illegal dumping. Just call them on 0800 027 7027 (note this is a Freephone number so you will not be charged for the call).
If you think the problem requires the police then you should know that Strathbungo is served by Pollokshields Community Policing Team. They are interested in any crime including antisocial behaviour. They have served Strathbungo well in the past so please don’t hesitate to drop them a line if you think they can do something. Certainly all crime should be reported but they can also advise you on crime prevention measures such as securing your home and garden better.
They can be contacted on 0141 532 5326 or on 0141 532 4990. You can also go see them at: Craigie Street Police Office (open 8am-10pm), 86 Craigie Street, Glasgow, G42 8NA. Remember though that if you see any criminal activity in progress or feel threatened just call 999 or 911 and they will send over some officers immediately. I have no doubt that they are a friendly bunch so please don’t hesitate to drop by to call or to chat with them. They are not exactly far and are there to help.
At the Strathbungo Society meeting last week a few people suggested that perhaps the reason more people don’t contribute to the blog is that it is technically difficult to access the blog and suggested that I post a short ‘how to’ note here. Bungo Blog is hosted by Word Press which, while versatile, can be difficult to navigate, but once you have got it, posting something is fairly straightforward.
So here goes:
How do I post stuff to the blog? You first have to register by clicking on the link on the right hand column. It is under the section which starts, “This is Starthbungo’s website”… Click on the blue link which says “Register here”. This will take you to another page in which you are invited to input your username (I use my own name); e mail; first and last name. This takes about two minutes. Word press will then send you an e mail confirming your username and password. Once you are registered you just click on ‘Site Admin’ at the bottom of the right hand column under ‘Admin’. That will take you to the dashboard. Top right of the dashboard is a section entitled ‘QuickPress’ which you use to post stuff. Chose a title and then write whatever you like under the ‘content’ section.
How do I add a photo to my blog post?
Click on the first button to the right of the ‘upload/insert’ header immediately above the title box. You can then upload photos and other graphics from your computer.
Remember to right or left justify the image and to size it. You do this through options at the bottom of the page once you have selected your image. Choose thumbnail size if you are not writing much, or medium if you are writing a lot of text. The image size should be proportionate to how much you are writing.
So now you know how to do it, why don’t you give it a shot. You can be sure that there are others in Strathbungo who are interested in what you write about.
Graham Sykes is currently collating material for a forthcoming book entitled “A Brush with Glasgow”. The book will paint a portrait of the city in words and artwork and five paintings have been prepared for a chapter dedicated to Strathbungo. Graham is a Bungo enthusiast and whilst he will be offering his own appreciation of the area he is looking for additional material from Strathbungo residents by way of interesting Strathbungo anecdotes, tales and personal contributions.
If you would like to contribute your own oral history of Strathbungo please do contact Graham by e mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. It is books like Graham’s from which Strathbungo’s history will be drawn and which help form a sense of community cohesiveness that gives Strathbungo such a distinct character so please do drop him a line if you have anything to say about the history of Strathbungo. What you may think of as prosaic and uninteresting may turn out to be a valuable piece of information that no one else knows.
Thanks to everyone who responded to the short survey. In all 12 people responded which, while not sufficiently large a sample to give statistically valid results, does resonate with my own understanding of the concerns in and around Strathbungo.
Litter, fly tipping and dog poo (maybe I should have separated these out) came out as the main concern with 10 of the 12 respondents noting it was a concern of theirs. Certainly it is difficult to walk around Strathbungo on any given day without seeing someone’s rubbish dumped in the street awaiting a council upload. And the few bins we have in Strathbungo are invariably overflowing.
The second main concern was the broken pavements and pot holes which appear to puncture the streets with alarming regularity – most notably along the tyre tracks running down the middle of the Squares. With the Squares dependent on street parking it would be problematic to resurface the road – but a job to do in the coming couple of years I imagine.
Parking and bad driving came in third and forth respectively which again is no surprise. I have no doubt that finding a parking spot close to your place is a faf not helped by vans and other large vehicles parked on both sides of the street leaving you inches either side of your wing mirrors to get by. Some muppets appear not to really understand that this is a residential neighbourhood and whiz through at breakneck speeds.
Otherwise a few of you (three) were concerned with the poor state of the back lanes and building work in violation of planning regulations (three). Only one or two respondents were concerned with vandalism, anti-social behaviour, crime, poor council services or a weak sense of community spirit. Only one person added a concern in the ‘other’ box – bin raking.
Thanks again for those who responded.
For the past week the Bungo Blog has been running a short questionnaire on what issues most concern you about living in Strathbungo.
Before I present the results I thought to give it a little more prominence on the blog to see whether anyone else would like to do the survey. The survey will take less than a minute to complete and simply asks you to tick any one or more of 12 boxes relating to what concerns you about living in Strathbuno. And there is a text box for other responses in case you have other concerns.
If you have a minute to take the survey please do. We can use the results to help direct the Strathbungo Society and the Blog, and it is always interesting to know what the main concerns are.
Click here to take survey