Streets of Glasgow: St. Vincent Street

A long-awaited choice for this instalment of Streets of Glasgow, chosen because it led somewhere I wanted to go anyway. St. Vincent Street is one of the main streets of Glasgow, leading from Anderston right into the heart of the city centre. I began where St. Vincent Street met Buchanan Street and crossed the road, making sure I snapped the obligatory street sign shot right beside the Apple shop. I turned and saw a big Scottish royal coat of arms on the old Post Office across the street. These things have to be done in style. This section of St. Vincent Street was stylish with quite a few bank blocks and sleek office blocks adorned with heads, finials, railings and all that great stuff. One building featured the crests of Glasgow and Edinburgh side by side with a castle in between. The Bank of Scotland was my undoubted favourite, all pillars and glass, while its rival, RBS, shimmered as the light shone the right way upon it. Older offices, with railings, ferns and pillars, sat below a shiny glass monstrosity.

The walk up to Blythswood was relatively gentle, probably helped by stopping every few moments to look back downhill, with a clear line of sight past George Square into the Merchant City. I could also look down Wellington Street towards the river if I really wanted to. The ‘Greek’ Thomson church, the twin of the Caledonia Road ruin, was a particular joy to look at for a few minutes. I was glad to see it up close, only seeing the top on a previous walk in this series on Bothwell Street. Also nearby was the music venue King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, which I didn’t know was that far uptown. The Gaelic church nearby brought ‘Tillidh Mi’ to mind, not at all a bad thing and much less trendy than King Tut’s. The reflections of buildings on other buildings as I came to the motorway was cool, though.

I crossed the motorway and passed various blocks of flats, some 1960s, others of a decidedly more recent vintage. I could also see the Anderston pyramid to my left, a beguiling structure and legacy of the 1960s Second Life of Glasgow. I liked this part of the walk – it became more naturally Glasgow after the glass offices with proper food smells and folk walking about living their lives rather than cocooned in cars. Soon I came to the new statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, on the corner of St. Vincent Street and Argyle Street, where this walk came to an end.

Thank you for reading. This is the sixty first Streets of Glasgow walk here on Walking Talking. Nearby streets featured in this series include Buchanan Street, West Nile Street, Renfield Street, Hope Street and Argyle Street, which features here in two weeks time.

16 thoughts on “Streets of Glasgow: St. Vincent Street

  1. Alli Templeton

    You do have some interesting streets in Glasgow! What a cool name for a music venue – can’t imagine how they came up with that one… and, of course, a perfect end point at the CRM statue. With your great pictures and commentary, I feel as though I’m on a guided tour with you through the Streets of Glasgow. Thanks for sharing, Kev.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome. The name of King Tut’s comes from a New York variety venue, according to Wikipedia. SVS is one of the more interesting streets in the city and it was a nice walk to do.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It does feel like the statue should be closer to the city centre but it might be a good thing that it’s in Finnieston so people are drawn out of the city centre and the West End out into lesser spotted parts of the city.


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  5. chinapenguin

    I spent most of my working life in St Vincent Street. I started work at the Scottish Mutual Assurance Society at 109 St Vincent Street in September 1971 and ended it with redundancy / early retirement in August 2005 in SMAS’s successor Abbey National / Santander on 301 St Vincent Street.
    Next door to 109 SVS fifty years ago was a Melvin Motors car showroom – it became our computer suite in 1976 – and below it was a Reo Stakis restaurant, while 287-301 SVS was built initially as the headquarters for the British National Oil Corporation (BritOil) after the discovery of North Sea Oil in the 1970s. Abbey National later acquired the building when they set up their own life assurance operation. At its peak Abbey employed about 2500 people in Glasgow.

    Liked by 1 person

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