I realised recently that during this Streets of Glasgow series, I had walked streets near the grounds of Celtic, The Rangers, Queen’s Park and even Third Lanark but not anywhere near Firhill, the home of Partick Thistle. That needed to be remedied, especially after I discovered on Google Maps that there is a rather cool mural at the side of Firhill. What I didn’t realise is that Firhill is right next to the Forth and Clyde Canal, proving that Google Street View has considerable limitations and there’s no substitute for actually going somewhere and seeing it with your own eyes. The view from the top of Firhill Road wasn’t too bad, towards the Cathkin Braes and the city, though I was tickled by the row of shops that soon came up on my right, including an off-licence with the unbeatable name of Bammy Beverages. I didn’t go to see what the bam’s beverage of choice is, though I’m sure it will have a rich and varied selection.
There were a few walkers by the canal, even on an overcast afternoon. A sign by the tow path pointed towards such exotic destinations as Maryhill Locks (1.5 miles), Clydebank (6 miles), Kirkintilloch (8 miles) and the Falkirk Wheel some 22 miles away at the eastern extremity of the canal. It was quite busy generally this walk, with a few folk up and down on their phones and a guy shouting for his pal Billy at the top of his lungs. Billy probably lived in Oban or somewhere.
Firhill, or the Energy Check Stadium at Firhill as it is officially known, is home to Partick Thistle. Or Partick Thistle nil as the old joke has it. The main stand faces onto Firhill Road and inside it is basic, wooden-floored and with a major lack of leg room. Cracking pies, though. Outside it is quite old-fashioned with old ticket prices lettered over the turnstiles at either end, which is quite endearing. On the side of the stand was a big ‘Welcome to Firhill’ sign, a product of the very adept Partick Thistle PR department. The mural on the lane up to the Jackie Husband Stand is superb, though, featuring the club crest, a player’s boot, a ball, a crowd and the city skyline. Even with the parked cars, I got a good look at it and I was really impressed. Partick Thistle may be mince – indeed they’ve just been relegated – but they are a real community club, the only team in Glasgow, some might say.
Further down towards Maryhill Road was a grassy bank, with trees and daffodils coming up nicely. Spring finally seems to be here though I suspect we haven’t seen the last of the snow yet, even if the rain continues unabated as it did just after I finished this walk. Firhill Road was quite short but a reminder of how so much of this city is unfamiliar to me. I knew the way to Firhill but a few hundred yards away was the canal and I didn’t have a clue it was there. In nearly five years, I’ve seen a fair bit of this city but every time I go out, I see something new. However long I live here, I hope that continues whichever corner I turn.
This is the thirty fourth Streets of Glasgow post from Walking Talking. I wrote here recently about Queen Margaret Drive, which is fairly nearby.