Bath Street had long been on the list for Streets of Glasgow and it became the 30th walk in the series as I crossed the motorway by the Mitchell Library. The city’s book lenders were in the midst of Aye Write and big posters extolling the virtues of Glasgow Libraries were up on much of the street. I also found out as I walked by the King’s Theatre that this year’s panto is Aladdin, advertised with a picture of Elaine C. Smith looking suitably jolly. It doesn’t feel so long since panto season finished (oh, yes, it does). The King’s is a handsome building in red sandstone with a golden lion atop a dome on the corner. I hadn’t noticed it before and liked it immensely. There’s probably a theatrical reason behind it.
From the motorway, Bath Street leads eventually up and down through the city centre to Buchanan Street, where it becomes Cathedral Street leading to the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis. It has some modern buildings, particularly closer to the city centre, though it also has some elegant golden buildings, with one of the most striking housing a World Buffet and an Italian on the corner of Renfield Street. Bath Street is full of restaurants, with a few auctioneers and offices scattered amongst them for good measure. This walk being on a Sunday, I paid particular attention to one restaurant’s sign which advertised an all-day breakfast for £9.95 including your choice of Irn Bru, Bloody Mary or tea or coffee. Not being much of a drinker or indeed hungover, I pushed on. Nearby was the seemingly punning Pie and Brew, promising beer, music and pies, probably satisfying most of humanity’s needs in that part of the world. I also liked the lousy joke on the Buff Club’s sign shown below. Bath Street also has a bit of history with a plaque by a cafe marking that it housed the first BBC radio studios in Scotland, opened on 6th March 1923. Further down by the Hotel Abode was a plaque marking that it had once been the home of Liberal Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman. The plaque declared him to be ‘a radical, a peacemaker, a good man’. The only thing I know about him is that he made great virtue of changing his stationery from wherever, North Britain to wherever, Scotland, quite unusual in those turn-of-the-century times of Empire and Britannia ruling the waves.
This particular walk was on a very cold day, a biting wind whistling up Bath Street, so I didn’t linger. I made sure I regularly stopped to look up and down the street as it rose and fell as it undulated through the city, the people, traffic and buildings passing before me close and into the distance. Bath Street is particularly good for that, fully benefiting from the grid layout of the city centre. It is also good for looking up, particularly nearer Buchanan Street with a few cracking doorways and buildings in that bit of the town, a good reminder of the mercantile past and indeed present of Glasgow.
This is the thirtieth Streets of Glasgow post here on Walking Talking. Others are available, including the nearby Buchanan Street, Cathedral Street, Hope Street, Renfield Street, West Nile Street and West Regent Street.