Author: The Strathbungo Society (Page 1 of 3)

Bye-bye Susie’s, bye-bye bridge

It was a busy weekend in the Bungo, bringing the largest changes to the neighbourhood in living memory.

The Booking Hall

Strathbungo Station opened in 1877. The booking hall had stood on the Nithsdale Road bridge ever since, even after the station’s closure in 1962. It finally disappeared last weekend (5th-7th August 2022), followed shortly after by the bridge itself.

The booking hall was a local landmark, and in recent years was better known as Susie’s shop, run by Joe Deo and his family until his recent retirement. Joe was out himself to see the work. You can read the history of Strathbungo Station on BygoneBungo.

Joe stands in front of the bridge, with fencing and demolition cranes behind

Joe Deo, former proprietor of Susie’s shop at the demolition

The Bridge

Crane lifting girders off the Nithsdale Road bridge

The bridge removal was required to allow electrification of the railway line. It was a major civil engineering undertaking and along with works at other locations on the line, had to be completed in one weekend to minimise disruption to the line. Many will have seen the huge crane employed to remove the steel girders of the old bridge. The exercise seemed to go without a hitch, although I have been told it did sever the connection between the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and several important national IT systems over the weekend – in diverting essential services over the temporary bridge on Moray Place, someone missed a cable somewhere.

The girders for the new bridge are due to be installed this weekend, so expect to see another large crane in the area. Meanwhile modifications have been made to the footbridge to allow step free access for the months that the Nithsdale Road bridge is being reconstructed. Sadly the footbridge will go too in the Spring, and rumours are that no one has yet been found to rescue it from the scrap heap.

Local photographer Nic Gordon recorded the events, and more pictures can be seen on his website.

Tree felling & Works Depot

View from footbridge showing a large section of trees being felled

Felling of trees in progress on Darnley Road. Credit: Nic Gordon

Network Rail also arrived with chain saws and conducted extensive tree felling on the Darnley Road side of the tracks which caused some alarm and no little environmental destruction, especially as no warning was given about this aspect of the project. It has been difficult to find out what this was all about, and one Twitter user was given a generic response about tree clearance to allow gantry installation which clearly didn’t fit the bill, but we have finally got some detail from Network Rail representatives. They intend to take down a section of the stone wall and use this area for track access and a depot during the works, and will (hopefully) reinstate things once they are done. There are also issues around the presence of Japanese knotweed.

As you know, the primary work in the Strathbungo area for the last few months has been around the bridge at Nithsdale Road and nearby footbridge. Since April we have also been undertaking work along the length of the route from Barrhead to install foundations for the overhead lines, something you had previously sought clarity on following our notification letter in April, specifically around the type of piling this would involve. With the foundation work now reaching the Strathbungo area, this has brought with it some accompanying activity required in order to deliver the work. I’m sorry this wasn’t made clear in our letter in April.

Upcoming work for this activity includes:

15-19 Aug – Dayshift removal of wall section and installation of drop kerb.

20 Aug – Dayshift commencing of site clearance and excavation, including stump removal.

21-26 Aug – Day and nightshift civil works, including delivery of stone, ahead of construction of compound surface.

28-30 Aug – Installation of compound surface.

31 Aug – Dayshift work involving final site walkthrough of compound.

The construction of the compound involves removing a section of the boundary wall, retaining the existing copes, and installing a concrete drop kerb. This will involve the use of an excavator and concrete wagon with small work tools. Once complete, an excavator and dumper truck will be in operation within the de-vegetated area to dig out the compound area, and all materials, soil etc will be stockpiled on site. No soil material will be leaving the site. We do not envision vibrations from these machines impacting on surrounding properties.

From an environmental perspective, the entire area is confirmed as having knotweed contamination which is why no soil will be removed from site. The dumper truck and excavator will remain in the contaminated zone, and will be fully cleaned and inspected before leaving site to ensure they are not contaminated with knotweed. All operatives working within the site will be required to undertake a full boot and PPE wash and inspection when leaving site. A knotweed membrane will be installed for the full extent of the compound area, and a quarantine zone around the stockpiled soil materials. A weekly inspection of the compound surface will take place, but as the growing season for knotweed has now passed, there won’t be any encroachment growth out of the quarantined area. As we approach summer 2023, which is next knotweed growing season, an increased inspection regime will be implemented, primarily inspecting the compound surface for any signs of penetration of the knotweed membrane and growth outwith the quarantine zone.

In terms of noise, this will be at its highest in the final week while we are laying the new stone for the compound surface, which will sit on top of the knotweed membrane. This specific activity takes place nightshift 28-30 Aug, however earth moving machines will be in operation for the duration of the civil works.

In terms of the knotweed treatment plan, this will not commence until the 2023 growing season and involves a spray herbicide over two sessions suitably spaced apart, with a further inspection towards the end of the growing season to review the effectiveness of the treatment. This treatment plan will continue for the next 2 to 3 years. Your concerns have also been passed to our knotweed specialist regarding any impact the herbicides may have on other plants in the surrounding area.

In terms of future environmental management plans for the area, it is intended that the top compound surface will be inspected and removed along with the knotweed membrane. Depending on the results of the inspection, these materials will likely be classified as waste and treated accordingly. A review of the stockpiled soil material will be undertaken to determine if it should be left in place I.e if there has been suitable wilding taken place. The wall will be reinstated with matching stone, rather than engineering brick, and opportunities for biodiversity improvement assessed. The Network Rail environmental team will be involved throughout this process.

We don’t have specific dates for the foundation and stanchion installation, but it should take place at some point between 3-30 Sep.

The Arnold Clark development – Planning Application

Further to previous posts on this subject (in February and April), the planning application for this development is now live and you can read it on the Glasgow Council website: Glasgow City Council Planning Department.

Search using the application reference: 22/01468/FUL

The last date for comments is Tue 19 July (see “Important Dates” tab for the application).

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Brighter Bungo returns too!

Please do your bit to ensure the lanes are in good nick for Bungo in the Back Lanes by coming along for a half hour on Sunday 12th June between 11 and 1. Litter pickers, bin bags and high viz vests will be available outside Zinfandel on Nithsdale Road. Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it could you have a look at your own stretch and spruce it up for the occasion?

It is no longer acceptable to have the Council spraying chemicals to kill the vegetation along the lanes, but we do need enough clear space for our stalls and our visitors. If you are willing to help with a more natural approach to a little vegetation control, we would love to hear from you. Contact Imelda Devlin on 07598 941168 or email: brighterbungo@strathbungo.co.uk

Bungo in the Back Lanes Returns

New residents begin here …….or if you need a reminder …..

Bungo in the Back Lanes will finally be returning to Strathbungo after a 2 year hiatus. This year’s event will be Saturday 18th June, 1-5pm.

BitBL began in 2000 with the aim to bring our lanes to life. We don’t have community facilities within our boundaries but there are almost two acres of back lanes there for us to play with or play on, two acres of performance area, music venues, playground, exhibition space and dance floor! Bungo in the Back Lanes encourages everyone to open up their back gates, set out their stall and sell their wares – whether it’s home baking, barbecued burgers, craft goods, or junk from their attics (which becomes someone else’s treasure). Just set up your own table and get going. Or, if you don’t set up your own stall, take a wander round the lanes yourself and enjoy the variety that will be on offer.

The Strathbungo Society is responsible for the organisation, and arranges for two bars to be run (one in Marywood/Queen, the other in Queen/Regent Park, though the latter may not happen this year due to garden alterations) plus courtesy of Southside Sessions, a live music venue giving a wide variety of local performers a platform for entertainment. This has in the past been supplemented by local residents who have hosted their own live events. The Society also organises a Tombola where you can try your luck and win from a host of prizes, a community zone with local voluntary organisations, and its own stall with Society merchandising.

Visitors – BitBL is a major community event which welcomes people from outwith Strathbungo. If you have not visited before, the Strathbungo back lanes are mainly cobbled, with generally uneven surfaces and contain many potholes. While people walk along them the whole time, there are many potential hazards in terms of tripping and stumbling, so you need to have suitable footwear and look where you put your feet. It is stallholders who are responsible for ensuring that any products they sell meet Health and Safety requirements, especially if providing food.

But Bungo in the Back Lanes is primarily about having fun and getting to know your neighbours and your neighbourhood. Come rain or hopefully shine, take part and have fun!

Can I help?

Absolutely. You might not want to run your own stall but you can still be part of the day. The event is run by a small team of volunteers, and we are grateful for all the help we can get, especially on the day.

Early on Saturday, there’s a team (no, “The A-Team” [Ed]) involved in doing the set up, sorting out gazebos, society stalls, and other infrastructure needed. By early, we are talking 9am, usually starting on the Marywood/Queen lane at the Pollokshaws Road end.

There’s always need for help staffing society stalls. Can you sell a raffle ticket? Then you could be a volunteer on the Tombola. Sell a ticket, give out a prize. There will always be someone to show you the system. Or you could help sell Society merchandise. Or if you have unwanted christmas presents, bottles of drink or other bric-a-brac you could donate it as prizes.

We also need stewards, to help with enquiries and assist people to enjoy the day or direct them to other services if needed (like our first aiders). Again, you will be briefed and have a hi-viz vest so that people know who you are, but it doesn’t stop you walking and enjoying the lanes yourself.

And at the end, there’s the take down. That’s the opposite of set up, when the event has ended. How quick can you dismantle a gazebo, without breaking it of course? Contact bitbl@strathbungo.co.uk if you want to help out.

Whose permission do I need to set up a table?

No-one’s, if it’s in or behind your back garden. It doesn’t cost anything. We are very grateful for core grant support from Glasgow City Council, to meet essentials costs like insurance without which the event could not run. But we ask stallholders, except for children or charities, to contribute 10% of their earnings on the day as a donation to the Strathbungo Society (the Society is a registered charity).

Stewards will issue an envelope for donations to all stallholders which they will collect at the end of the afternoon, or they can be returned to the Strathbungo Society – receipts will be issued on request.

If you are setting up a stall this year, please email us at bitbl@strathbungo.co.uk so we can update the map for the event.

Eating

Residents selling home-made produce (e.g. curries, cakes or biscuits, whatever your secret recipe is) also need to be aware of basic hygiene and food safety.
The most important rules are:

  • you must advise people of possible allergens in your food, perhaps with a sign or chalkboard on your stall
  • you must have suitable facilities for hand washing and for washing equipment between uses (for residents, these can be in your house)
  • you should have a sanitiser spray available for disinfecting your food surfaces; hand sanitisers are also a good idea
  • where appropriate, you need to be able to store food at low temperature (e.g. if you are cooking pizzas using fresh toppings) – cool boxes are allowed but you must ensure they are kept cold enough
  • for hot food, you must cook or reheat food at the correct temperature

To find out more about what is needed, please refer to the following documents provided by Glasgow City Council online:-

  • New Food Business Pack or Allergen chart – although written for food businesses, the principles remain sound for residents selling home-made food

We notify the Environmental Health team at the Council of the event so it is possible that they will inspect food stalls at some point during the afternoon.

See our food safety page.

And drinking..

As noted, the Society runs two bar areas, hosted by local businesses. Laws on the sale of alcohol insist that every bar has to apply to the Council licensing court for a licence for the day. There is no general licence for the event and anyone wanting to sell alcohol would need to go through Council for their own licence. Licences are required to be displayed in all bar areas, and it is a condition of the licence that the bar area requires to be fenced and stewarded to ensure the boundaries are respected and ensure that people are not going beyond the bar area with alcohol. And as a customer, please help by sticking to the licencing rules.

More info

There’s more on our dedicated BitBL pages.

Update on the Arnold Clark development

Representatives from AS Homes and Southside Housing Association (SHA) were kind enough to attend the last Strathbungo Society committee meeting, and elaborate on their plans for the site at Pollokshaws Road and Nithsdale Drive.

Some points to note:

  • In response to concerns raised, the height at the corner has been dropped from eight storeys to seven, though possibly by extending the seven stories a little further along Pollokshaws Road (see sketches). At this end it will then drop to 5 storeys to match the roof line of the next building. On Nithsdale Drive it will drop to 4 storeys near the Mission Hall. They intend to provide “sunlight analysis” diagrams with their planning application, which may help decide if this sufficiently allays fears of neighbours, especially those on the other side of Nithsdale Drive. While they justify the height based on examples of other tall corner buildings in the neighbourhood, we did note that generally those buildings do not cast shadows over neighbouring residents.
  • There will be no on-site car parking, in line with Council expectations. SHA state that car uptake amongst their tenants on other developments is actually very low, even where parking has been provided. The parking (nose-in) on Nithsdale Drive will be retained, and they may provide electric charging points on some of these bays. Secure cycle storage wil open straight out onto Pollokshaws Road.
  • All services are contained within the footprint of the building (bin-stores etc.)
  • The building will be in a mostly red brick finish, to reflect the local red sandstone tenements.
  • They expect it to be a “gas free” development, and are looking at alternative heating options, and solar panels on the roof.
  • The planning application will be lodged with the council in about two weeks from now, and there will then be the usual statutory period if you wish to object or raise concerns. So watch the Council planning portal, and if we hear, we will link to it here.
  • SHA and AS Homes are not involved in the other Arnold Clark future development further along Nithsdale Drive (the old servicing depot).

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More bike hangers

Another bike hanger has appeared this week in Strathbungo, at the Pollokshaws Road end of Queen Square.

It was originally planned for the other end of the street, but the Society passed on concerns regarding the width of the hangar on the narrow roadway, and so it has been installed at 2 Queen Square, which is slightly wider.

There is clearly a need for these; sadly this one is already fully booked, as is every other one in the neighbourhood. If you want to add your name to the waiting list, or request another one somewhere, you can do so on the cyclehoop website. A space costs £72 per year.

Little Einsteins Nursery

Note: We have been asked to post this by a Strathbungo resident. The Society itself has no knowledge of, or views on, the issues raised.

Hi there,

I’m writing in relation to something that I’m sure hasn’t escaped your attention: the closure of Little Einstein’s Nursery on Nithsdale Road. Publishing on it in the future could be a really helpful thing to do and I would love to assist with that, as for right now I’m hoping we can exercise some Strathbungo community power to avert the permanent closure of this treasured local nursery.

They received a devastating lowest possible grading in their Care Inspectorate assessment last year. As a direct consequence of this, they now cannot find an insurer and have been shut since Monday last week (21st March). Having explored all the UK markets including Lloyds of London (my wife works for an insurance broker and has been supporting this process), it is becoming clear that the insurers are not interested in them at this grade. This is understandable given this is the lowest possible score the CI can award, which presumably is as close to instant closure as can be allowed to operate. This is a ridiculous overstatement and wildly inaccurate reflection of reality. The CI seem ignorant, unsympathetic and unhelpful on the fact that their rating is created a situation where permanent nursery closure is becoming the only possible outcome. If they cannot operate, they cannot make any earnings and will be unable to get reassessed.

We’ve been very impressed by all the improvements the Little Einstein’s team have made since the grading, but unfortunately their published scores remain unchanged. From our perspective, there is no cause for the nursery to be shutting over this. I’m confident our daughter receives above average care today, she loves the place and people, and misses both sorely. The impacts of closure are significant; loss of jobs, disruption and lost earnings for families, and disrupting the happy lives of young people in our community.

I’m frankly shocked by how this has all unfolded and am confident that if those involved could sit down together for a reasonable and considerate conversation, informed by all the relevant facts of the matter, that it wouldn’t be happening. I’m going to write to our MSP today.

One thing I wondered if you could help with is whether through the community network we know any Underwriters? My experience of these people is they are pivotal in the insurance world and that they make balanced and pragmatic decisions, which I’m confident in this case would be to find a way to allow the nursery to continue to operate.

Any other ideas or help of any sort you can lend to this cause will be so gratefully received by everyone effected I’m sure.

Many thanks for all your work and service to the community, I’m an avid reader of the newsletter and proud Strathbungoan.

Neil
neil.a.w.harrison@googlemail.com

More on Back Lanes Funding

*** UPDATE – May 2022, see below ***

We previously reported on plans to access council funds for refurbishing back lanes.

The council not only required bids to come from a formally constituted body, i.e. The Society, but also set a very short deadline for the first round of applications, preventing us from conducting a fuller consultation. We therefore set about surveying the lanes and establishing how we could make small but meaningful improvements to the lanes within a budget of £20,000.

For the bulk of the bid we chose to focus on improving access in the back lanes, specifically for active travel, such as those walking and cycling, and sought to identify the areas where this is most difficult. On a wet day it became obvious that where the poor state of the surface combines with a tendency to flooding, lanes can be completely impassable to those on foot. The areas worst affected are the two entrances to the Vennard/Marywood lane from Vennard Gardens, and a short mid-section of the Marywood/Queen Square lane. If our bid is successful we will be looking to find a contractor who can perform patch repairs to these areas to improve access. We will need to seek permission of the owners of the adjacent properties, as the lanes are their property, and we will be approaching them in due course.

While we acknowledge other suggestions were made, we felt it appropriate to concentrate on fixing the worst problems first.

We have also bid for funding for indemnity insurance, previously withdrawn by the council, to cover our Brighter Bungo clean up events, a matter of a few hundreds of pounds.

There will be further rounds of funding, so if we can pull this off, it may allow us to bid for further projects in due course. We will let you know how we get on.

Update – May 2022

The Society has been awarded £20,000 to be spent by mid October. We need the written permission of the adjacent residents, who own the lanes, and are making good progress making contacts. We will also be seeking contractors who might be interested to discuss what can be achieved. If you think you have the skills to help us email our chair.

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