This walk began as the light faded out of the sky. West George Street had long been on the list for Streets of Glasgow but it only happened late one afternoon when I was in the town to do some shopping. I got off the bus then walked up West George Street to reach its western end at Holland Street. Like West Regent Street, covered last year, I soon cae to the back of the old Strathclyde Police HQ, not for the first time imagining Taggart or Alex Gray’s Lorimer going about the place. It had the air of a scuzzy back street just there but of course it got busier as I headed back towards the city centre, the place full of folk heading home from their work. I soon came to Blythswood Square, a pause of offices and banks. I always think of Edinburgh’s New Town in that part of town until I see the steep slope down towards Argyle Street and remember where I am.
That end of West George Street had more To Let signs than most of the city centre. It was a mixture of more modern office blocks and older red sandstone buildings more typical of Glasgow. The view down from Blythswood Square was dominated by the St. George’s Tron Church, maybe half a mile in the distance. Amongst the old and the new buildings were a few crackers, some with railings on the top, one with a cupola about three quarters up the building. The old banks on this street were worth a look, one particularly 1920s with high windows. Most were now hostelries of some sort or another. Another pub, though not in an old bank, was called the Golf Tavern despite looking all trendy. I’m from a part of the country where pubs with golf in the title tend to be near a place where walks get spoiled, not tucked away in the city centre by solicitors’ offices.
Another pause came behind St. George’s Tron Church onto Nelson Mandela Place, also written about in this series previously. The bench with the homeless man statue was a poignant reminder of the hardship life can often bring.
West George Street began again by New Look and I covered the couple of hundred yards to George Square with a wee bit of speed. The obvious interest here was the redevelopment of Queen Street Station, the office block that sat in front of it now removed to reveal the curved roof of the train shed. I’m often busy heading for a train so it was nice to stand and stare for a moment. The walk ended just up the street under a curved entryway with elegant carvings. The address panel told me I was still on West George Street and that was entirely fine.
It was on this walk that I realised that Streets of Glasgow is more varied than I thought. I do the walk then I write about the walk. I also take photographs, making it more of a multimedia effort than just words scribbled in a notebook. That’s probably better as the different media cover a broader range of experiences than mere words can. Longer walks like West George Street tend to be better for photographs and overall, yielding a greater insight into the city in all its many facets.
Thanks for reading. This is the fifty sixth Streets of Glasgow walk here on Walking Talking. Nearby streets featured in this series include West Regent Street, Renfield Street, West Nile Street, Hope Street, Nelson Mandela Place, Buchanan Street, Dundas Street, George Square and Streets of Glasgow: George Street.