Fifty Pitches Road is probably one of the lesser known streets I’ve featured in this series. I know it but I live nearby. Indeed I can actually see it from my bedroom window or I could if it wasn’t dark as I write this. The walk was on my way home, a slightly scenic route less direct than my normal traipse across an overpass. It was a bright March afternoon as I got off the bus and crossed the busy Shieldhall Road onto Fifty Pitches Road to start. I stopped to get the obligatory street sign photo then paused to look at the remains of a brick structure. It looked fairly modern so was probably quite functional. As I walked all the rubbish seemed to be squashed, car wheels doing their worst to juice bottles and fast food wrappers.
Fifty Pitches Road is named after a vast array of playing fields that once stood on the site. Fifty football pitches or more. Today it is mainly industrial with some offices, most notably for NHS 24 (the out-of-hours health service), Southside Housing Association and the print works for the Daily Record. McKenna Park, home of St. Anthony’s FC, is nearby, as is a red blaes park that I pass as I walk each day to the bus. Fifty Pitches is also intersected by the M8, Scotland’s busiest motorway which stretches from the outskirts of Edinburgh to Greenock in the Clyde riviera. The motorway was busy that Friday afternoon with commuters. A few cars and vans passed me as I headed under the M8. The graffiti tag of ‘Spar’ made me wonder if I would soon see one for the Co-op or Nisa. Volvo vans were to my left and I could soon see the Daily Record printing works and the high-rise flats of Cardonald, Moss Heights. The roundabouts featured grey standing stones, small and fairly thin of much more recent vintage than Callanais or the Ring of Brodgar. I soon came to a gap through which I could see the outline of some houses at the other side of the railway, one of them where I live. But for a bridge I could be home in barely five minutes rather than the fifteen by the convoluted loop I was obliged to take. Anyway, I passed the premises of the Sparta Trampoline Club. I didn’t know Sparta had trampolines, let alone that they had an outpost in south west Glasgow.
Past the Daily Record printing works and the hulking modern lump of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital rose in the distance. Workers stood outside the printing works and the NHS having a smoke, others pouring out bound for home. The roundabout ahead was the end of Fifty Pitches Road and another Streets of Glasgow walk as I turned for home myself, just another commuter again.