Category: Architecture (Page 1 of 2)

Network Rail – Strathbungo Station demolition

(Latest Update on 19 July 2020: NR’s second response, background on electrification)

Only a couple of weeks ago we were concerned that Network Rail were restarting tree felling along the railway line, and sought assurances that they would abide by previous agreements. They replied to reasssure us that they would. There remains a certain lack of trust around what Network Rail say, and what they do, so perhaps this was a sign of progress.

Jump forward to this week and we discover that, without any consultation with anyone, Network Rail were to demolish the old Strathbungo Station booking hall (more recently Susie’s Shop) on 18-19 July.

However before we had time to publicise it here, word got out on Facebook and Twitter, and caused a certain amount of outrage. As a consequence Network Rail have postponed the demolition to allow a period of consultation. Why they couldn’t have done that first is anyone’s guess. Postponement is a long way from preserving the building, and they clearly see no future for it, but none the less it is a small victory of sorts. Thanks for this must go to several people who objected, and alerted others;

  • The Strathbungo Society
  • Vivien Thomson
  • Niall Murphy, Glasgow Heritage
  • Paula Khan, Change.org petition – you can still sign to support!
  • Cllr Jon Molyneux
  • Stewart McDonald, MP Glasgow South (includes the Station) – his letter here
  • Alison Thewliss, MP Glasgow Central (includes Strathbungo)
  • and others I may have missed

Network Rail’s response to the Society is below:

Hi Jane

I hope you are well.

We have taken the decision to postpone the demolition work planned for this weekend on the former Strathbungo Station booking hall which adjoins Nithsdale Road on the Southside of Glasgow.
The former Strathbungo station building has been vacant for some time and is no longer fit for commercial use. Unfortunately, due to its deteriorating condition, we believe the best course of action is to remove the building from the railway.

Pausing the planned demolition this weekend gives us the opportunity to listen to the concerns of the community, and to share more information about the structure and why we believe it has no viable short or long-term future.

There are a number of bridges in the area which will require different levels of work for the future electrification of the line. We are keen to share information on our proposals with the community at a time which will enable meaningful discussion as we develop the plans. This will be as part of the wider engagement ahead of work starting on the East Kilbride Enhancements programme.

We will contact you again to update on this matter in the near future but if you have any questions or would like to discuss, please let me know.

Regards

Owen

A further more detailed response was received on Thu 16 July:

Hi Jane,
Further to my previous email confirming the postponement of the demolition of the former Strathbungo station booking hall (Susie’s Shop), may I respond to some of the points you raised in your email.
Firstly, please accept my apologies that this situation has arisen. It is not what we want and expect in terms of how we conduct our business and is symptomatic of the time it takes for a large organisation to change how it operates and to live up to what we have committed in relation to community engagement.
When we became aware of this situation, we escalated the matter within the business and this directly led to the postponement of work.
For context, the work was planned in order to remove any safety risk associated with the deterioration of the structure to both the operational railway and carriageway and from any further trespass or vandalism – which has seen an increase during the COVID-19 lockdown.
From visual assessment, it was the view of our property team that the condition of a range of elements of the building deemed it uneconomic in commercial letting terms to restore the building to a lettable condition in line with current building standards and regulations. Some issues included the lack of utilities, the presence of asbestos but primarily the condition of the wooden floor, sitting as it does over the railway.
It was also noted that the significant investment required would be only for a short time period -given that the structure would require work to ‘height clear’ to enable the proposed electrification project and so a poor use of tax-payer funds.
As previously advised, a range of work is required on a number of bridges on the line to make them safe for an electrified line. We are in the process of designing these solutions and developing plans for how this work will be delivered. This will include securing all appropriate consents and permissions where required. The structure on Nithsdale Road will now become part of the wider plan to enable electrification of the line and consequently will remain untouched in the short-term.
As per our previous discussions, it remains fully our intention to discuss the development of this project openly and constructively with the community. The recent situation has reaffirmed the view of the project team on the importance of ensuring that our lineside communities are fully sited on what we are doing and part of the process as the plan is developed. This will include what the bridges look like and will not include any ‘temporary’ barriered solutions that become permanent over time.
I hope this clarifies the points you have raised but if you need anything further, please let me know.
Best regards
Owen

For some background reading I discovered a Network Rail document from 2015 on electrification. If you are of an engineering bent, it is actually quite readable and interesting. If not, confine yourself to Chapters 11 & 12, which indicte the issues NR are likely to have with the station and with the footbridge also. The footbridge in particular would appear to be doomed by electrification, so odd that they just spent so much money doing it up.

Meanwhile Paula Khan, who orgainsed the petition, arranged a drop in session outside the station on Saturday, and received many positive comments.

Comments on preserving Strathbungo Station

If you have any ideas, let us know, here or on facebook.

We will keep you updated as things develop.

Reclaim the Strathbungo Fountain

Yes, there was a Strathbungo Fountain. I’m sure it was Victorian, as made of metal and was substantially built. I don’t know the dimensions but would estimate (from memory) that it was approx. 10-12 ft high on a circular base of slightly larger dimensions.

It was situated on a roundabout opposite the old red telephone box nr. Sammy Dows and The New Anand Restaurant. I am sure it was still there about 20 years ago when I lived in Pollokshields. Did anyone see it being dismantled? Where did it finally end up? I have searched and searched (google uk) and cant find anything relating to it. I’m sure there must be someone, perhaps a Glasgow Council dept., who could throw some light on this. Again, a photo of it from someone would be an ideal start.

Douglas

Update:

I have summarised all that has come to light and moved it to the Bygone Bungo website. You can read more about the fountain there.

Andrew Downie

Nithsdale Road 1951 Roundabout

The Alexander Thomson Society

The Strathbungo Society agreed last year to affiliated to the Alexander Thomson Society  and, for those who are interested, there is lots of information in their New Year message about what they do.  “The renowned architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson designed 1-10 (Moray Place), and lived at No 1. He did not design any further buildings in Moray Place or the Squares, however, although the Titwood Place and Salisbury Quadrant tenements in Nithsdale Road and Nithsdale Drive were probably built to his design.”  (http://bygone.bungoblog.com)

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The Nithsdale Rd cul de sac – the fourth AGM discussion group

Sorry folks, failed to get report of the fourth discussion group at AGM out for last week (see Heather’s post 27th).  This group discussed how we might progress the ideas that came out of the Pollokshields charrette or community planning event, subsequent walkabouts for the Nithsdale Rd area (which includes the phone box) and the stall we ran at Bungo in the Back Lanes.  Since then very little has happened but recently we were informed by the Pollokshields Trust  that it has been approved funding in principle to help the local community develop proposals further – good news.

While it was acknowledged that numerous good ideas for improving the area had been collected, the unanimous view was we should develop proposals to redesign the Nithsdale Rd deadend as a whole, with a view to greening it and changing the road layout.   It was felt there was huge potential to improve the street from how it is at present to the benefit of the people who live there, local businesses and the wider local community.    The big idea here was there should be a line of trees down the centre (could be in planters) with parking on either side of this central line around which cars could circulate.  Coupled with this the pavement areas could be improved (eg removal of rubbish bins).

There was support for setting up a steering group to take this forward, with their first task being to consult and involve local residents and businesses in making the street a better place – with support hopefully from the Pollokshields Trust.  While this could include some smaller projects  – some “quick wins” (the phonebox?) would encourage people to get involved – central to this should developing proposals for street redesign.

And two new ideas were suggested, a city tree (see here) to reduce the pollution from Pollokshaws Rd and subterranean rubbish bins as happens in many parts of Europe.

If you are interested in getting involved contact treasurer@strathbungo.co.uk

Bygone Bungo

Ever wondered about the history of the area where you live, or who lived in your house before you?

Well now you can, at our sister website, Bygone Bungo.

We aim to collect together all those interested in local history, and compile a more complete record of the history and development of Strathbungo and the surrounding area.

As the site expands, we will add documents about various aspects of local history, original sources, and photographs.

We are also compiling a database of local properties, who built them, when, and who lived there subsequently. We already know of Greek Thomson and Rennie Mackintosh, but there were also other architects, military men & footballers (and one who was all three!), ministers, doctors, and a secret service agent. We would be particularly interested in those who still have the deeds for their properties, who know of notable former residents, or have any old photos of the area. The database is live – you can now see who lived in your house before you! Just select Address Search or People Search, and start exploring. There are currently some 5000 individuals listed, mostly from 1865 to 1925.

If you are interested in contributing, please get in touch. We are looking for those with suggestions for research, or wanting help with their own projects, those with stories to tell, with old deeds to local properties, or those willing to help transcribe old records.

To keep track of developments, you can also follow us on Facebook.

bygonebungo

Moray Place / The Railway Boundary

images(13)

The Strathbungo Society has been seeking to positively influence our biggest neighbour – Network Rail – for the past two years.  One issue has caused unnecessary uncertainty: what are the legal and ‘established’ boundaries along Moray Place?  Network Rail didn’t seem to know, nor did we.

So the Society’s Andrew Downie decided to do some research, looking at the original feu disposition between the original landowner and railway company as well as information from residents’ title deeds.

His resulting report is the definitive guide to the legal and ‘established’ boundaries that have developed along Moray Place over the past 100 years or so. Andrew’s report has been shared with Network Rail who accept it in full.  The report has aided the Society’s discussions with Network Rail as to where it can – and cannot – place any new fence.

It’s not the answer to everything about Network Rail’s proposed fence, but it has certainly shed much-needed light on the where the legal and established boundaries lie. If you want to read it yourself, please do – click on the link below.

The Railway Boundary at Moray Place (.pdf, 817 kb)

Nithsdale Rd an Nithsdale St pavement resurfacing

In mid-August pavements on Nithsdale Street and Road were resurfaced with black tarmac. This was done to a very poor standard and seems to have no account of the Council’s policies for Conservation Areas. As a result the Strathbungo Society Committee wrote to the Council to express our concerns, state that we thought this was a lost opportunity to improve the local streetscape and to ask for a way forward (the letter is pasted below). The Council has now agreed to a site meeting on Thursday 25th September to look at the standard of the work undertaken and discuss the issues that we have raised. We will post an update following this meeting.

Meantime the Society has contacted a number of local residents who we know have expertise in architecture or planning conservation who may be able to give examples of good practice we could cite at the meeting. If you think you could contribute to this please contact me at nickkempe@tinyworld.co.uk

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Plans unveiled for new skate park at M74 flyover at Port Eglington

Park Life, Southside style

Plans for a new urban skate park at the M74 flyover at Port Eglington have been unveiled for a  currently empty site adjacent to the main route from Strathbungo (and points south) to Glasgow city centre.  Drawing on inspiration from cities across the globe, including from Portland Oregon where skateboarders identified and built their own skate park, the projects promoters’ aim is to develop a new urban park for Glasgow to attract not only skateboarders, BMX bikers but wider local communities, including Strathbungo.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-28309787

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/1m-plan-to-turn-flyover-site-into-new-skatepark-171196n.24759357

Plans for the £1m park have had funding support from Pollokshields Partnership (on which the Strathbungo Society sits), Transport Scotland, which owns the site, and Creative Scotland.

An exhibition of the plans will be at the Lighthouse from Saturday 19 July to 10 August 2014. For more information, see: http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/visit/exhibition/gusm74

Where on earth…?


 Mystery Building in StrathbungoYou were asked to identify the Strathbungo building below, and its location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strathbungo Parish Church TodayNow the newsletter is out, I can reveal this was the first Strathbungo Parish Church, built in 1839, but demolished sometime after 1883. The photo dates from around 1879.

The second church was built on the same site, reusing much of the stone, in 1887-88. The facade of the second church still stands on Pollokshaws Road, even though the rest of the church was demolished in 2006. The facade was incorporated into the modern flats. The current view from the same spot is shown on the right.

You can read more about Strathbungo’s church in the newsletter, when it drops through your door, or by downloading it from this blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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