There’s a lot going on at HQ just now, with new explores and videos from Scotland and a new trip to Belgium in the pipeline. Apologies for not posting more frequently, more IS on the way. In the meantime here’s a couple of shots from the recent trip to England!
It gives me great pleasure to announce that our first expedition into England gets under way today. Stay tuned to find out what crazy adventures we get up to as we set about the lost, forgotten and abandoned places south of the border.
Out on explore the other day with Stussy boy and The Baron, It was an early morning rise and a mixture of results marred by a flat tyre and an absence of Greenflag. (Who apparently only have one truck in the UK – currently parked up at a MacDonalds with the wheels off it). A couple of successful rekky’s at some big factories we’ll be returning to and the other at a derelict school that (we think) wasn’t actually derelict. However last roam of the afternoon brought us completely by chance to this lovely little mortuary. Despite the missing autopsy table the place was remarkably well preserved and rounded off the day nicely. A case of right place, right time.
I’ve got the next arty film online for you to see, following on the shoot in January of the former Gray Dunn factory in the heart of Glasgow. You can watch here or alternatively check out my Youtube.
The profile page from Northern Asylum is now online. You can read a little about one of Scotlands oldest institutions and check out the full set as I roam the vast, empty corridors, roofs and wards of the former psychiatric establishment, while at the same time tryin not to get busted by staff. Here’s the link or find it in the HOSPITALS & ASYLUMS section: www.uapscotland.com/northern-asylum
A prominent feature of Glasgow’s skyline, the old Gray Dunn biscuit factory has been closed since 2001. Over its 160 year history Gray, Dunn & Co had become a household name in confectionery throughout Scotland and during its peak even rivalled that other famous Scottish confectioner – Tunnocks. Having changed hands several times the Gray Dunn plant was eventually taken over by Nestle before being closed in favour of moving production to some of the company’s bigger plants.
Since then, while its biscuit tins have become sought after collectors items the factory itself has become a crumbling, repeatedly vandalised ‘eyesore’ in the city centre, or an epic playground for the likes of myself: www.uapscotland.com/gray-dunn-co
Finally got round to finishing a page on the lost missionary from back in August. A fantastic little place nestled in the countryside, plagued by the elements and vandals over the years but still beautiful in its own right.
You can find out a little of the place here: www.uapscotland.com/the-lost-missionary or check out the SCHOOLS & COLLEGES section.
Have a glimpse at some of the adventures we’ve got lined up for you! Lots to come in 2013.
The latest video is up. Take a glimpse into the empty homes and silent streets of the derelict Polphail village. Don’t forget to check out our youtube channel.
As reported in the Evening Times on Saturday, council workers shut off part of Keppochhill Road, Glasgow last week over fears the 110-year-old building could collapse. The halls, at 46 Keppochhill Road, were fenced off and the road closure was put in place at Millarbank Street.
Workers made the building secure while an investigation was carried out to establish the scale of the damage. Once the decision was made that nothing could be done to save the B-Listed halls, demolition experts were called in and have now started dismantling parts of the building by hand. Bulldozers are expected to move in by the end of the week.
The building is owned by the council. It is attached to tenement blocks, with almost 40 homes. A Glasgow City Council spokesman said
“We hand delivered letters to the people who live beside the halls. They were told we might have no option but to demolish the building.”
The Italianate-style, red sandstone building was opened in 1902 and from 1960 was used as Springburn Sports Centre. It was closed by Glasgow District Council due to dry rot problems in 1985 and has lain empty and rotting since. Since then, building surveys have shown the walls are deteriorating and moss and plant growth is beginning to damage the stonework.
One resident, who did not want to be named, said she felt the people living next to the landmark had been put in danger.
She said: “My back bedroom and kitchen is now part of the fenced off zone and we feel like we are in danger. The halls should have come down years ago or something should have been done to stop them from getting this bad. We should have been moved if they have been this unsafe.”
Developers have shown interest in developing the building for various different uses since its closure in 1985. But none of the proposals were ever taken forward. In 2009 a deal between the council and Spectrum Properties to convert the building into offices and a childcare centre fell through.
The council spokesman said the demolition work was expected to take six weeks.
(Ref: Evening Times)
This article was taken from the Evening Times two days ago. In that short space of time the halls, (one of the first places I photographed for the UAP) has been completely levelled. Glasgow’s authorities are renowned for for taking a lifetime to put preservation and restoration plans into any sort of action but it’s time they pulled the finger out. As for Historic Scotland, it’s time they woke up and started putting their hands in their pockets while there’s still buildings of national heritage left in the city to save.
Now I understand the phenomenal costs of renovating these buildings, it’s not straight forward either and our governing bodies are not made of money. With that said however the politics, red tape, loop holes and apparent willingness to let these historic gems crumble is appalling. The state in which Springburn Hall was allowed to deteriorate into over some 25 years should never have been allowed and the owners of these buildings are not being properly managed. In the case of St. Vincent Street Church for example, designed by one of Scotland’s most famous architects – Alexander ‘Greek’ Thompson – renovation funding was only approved through the intervention of American based organisations. I find it shameful that this is what it takes to kick start Scotland’s heritage preservation.
Historic Scotland need to stop turning a blind eye and start managing smaller historical sites more effectively, Glasgow City Council need to spend the money on securing these sites, the Scottish government need to increase spending on the protection and preservation of both city and country based historical sites and we, the public, need to take a more active involvement in the future of our country’s heritage. Scotland is a country steeped in history but its historical sites and buildings are disappearing at an advanced rate.
People need to get involved. If you have a historical building or heritage site in your community get out there and support it, look after it and enjoy it. Take an active part in looking after historical spaces in your area and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be there for future generations to enjoy too.
Springburn Public Halls. 1902 – 2012