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My Brother has been giving me a row due to the lack of entries in my journal. So just to annoy him I thought that I would talk about him for a moment or two. This is a man who turned 45 and rediscovered his childhood interest in model trains. He has now converted his garage into a major model rail layout which has a harbour and a small town (still in construction). He hopes to extend the tracks into his garden at some point, no doubt annoying the neighbours, his kids, his wife and the guinea pigs (in that order!). I keep saying that he should blog or put up a web site which talks about model railways (its not as if there is enough of them, 155,000 hits on Google's pages from the UK alone), but he does have a frighteningly, encyclopedic knowledge about different types of model wagons available from suppliers. So, get thee to the Internet, Brother!

Some have noticed that I have been quiet throughout October. No particular reason, just a bit depressed due to the Winter suddenly arriving and things at work being busy. So, what did I do in October... I went to my first Glasgow Tolkien Smial (No name decided yet, and I am concerned that I may be press-ganged into providing the website), I was down in Norwich on business for a couple of days (if I can think of anything funny to say about that, I will hopefully say it), had some real problems at work with a Java multi-threaded system which usefully hangs some of the threads and leaves others to go their merry way (no solution yet) and failed miserably to get to the last Resurgence of Trout (down in Norwich at that time). All in all a quiet sort of month. 

If I can work out how the backdating feature works  in LiveJournal, I may put some entries in between the 1st October and now, in their proper context, so to speak..

I went back “home” yesterday, or to be precise back to where I was born. I was born in Cathcart and my brother (who was going to a model Railway Exhibition, surprise, surprise), our friend Gary and myself all went off to Cathcart after having a few pints in the city center. It was a bit of a strange feeling for me as I was pointing out to Gary all about the interesting bits of Cathcart (unfortunately, not as many as there used to be I have to add) and as he was from Edinburgh he was looking at it as a new experience but I felt decidedly uncomfortable with the changes that had occurred in the intervening time since I was last there, which I think was only about three years or so. For a start they have closed my Primary School in order (hopefully) to convert to flats. Although going on the district councils astonishing approach to attractive, noteworthy or even listed buildings they will leave it empty for 5 years and the condemn it for dry/wet rot/dangerous roof/poor wiring (delete were applicable) or just hope that some of the local neds will burn it down so they can charge the developers more for the land rather than just the building. This is the same city council who proudly put up large stainless steel signs proclaiming the historical merchant city part of the city center and then promptly bulldozed the Virginia galleries which were the original tobacco exchange which made the merchant city what it was! Leaving just a small brass oval on a modern wall to show where all the wealth of the city at that time came from! Talk about lack of foresite!

Back in Cathcart, they (the local council) have also removed the original Carnegies pharmacy building which was a major landmark at the beginning of Clarkston road (No link available). Removed the sorting office back building of the original post office building at the beginning of Rhannan Road (No link available). Converted the New Cathcart Church to flats (actually not a bad sympathetic conversion) and are in the process of waiting for Weir pumps to close (bottom of the page for this link and watch out as there seems to be a popup advert) so they can convert that into a new housing district. Now why do I think that it will become a neds jungle pretty quickly and if they do manage to keep the listed office block at the Newlands Road side along with the listed Social center, how long before they are removed as “not significant”. Thus Cathcart and Glasgow looses another 120 year slice of its engineering history. I have to say that all this current work pales into insignificance compared to the local/district councils greatest achievement in the nullification of Cathcart with the bulldozing (rather than making safe) of the 15th Century keep of Cathcart Castle in 1986 (unfortunately, I was a witness to this). Really Magnificent, Councilors. That will bring the tourists in who are interested in learning about where they came from. Perhaps they will be interested in going to the SECC and learning about where some of the greatest ships in the world were built. No, I forgot there is no indication at all in the SECC about what it is built on top on (including the remains of a 11th century castle which was dumped there as well). I haven't yet been in the science center on the other side of the river so I don't know if there is anything that mentions the docks and shipbuilding yards that were once there. I hasten to point out that if anyone knows different then please let me know.

Anyway I spent several hours wandering around Cathcart before going back to the city center and having some more drink and then seeing my brother and Gary back on the train to Edinburgh (who's Councilors seem to have some sense of history and place).

All in all a quiet Saturday.

Sorry for the tirade, but that's how I feel today.

P.S. There are some marvelous websites about this history of Glasgow which have some mention of Cathcart, a few of which I have listed below.


Glasgow Digital Library

Glasgow Pictures

The Glasgow Story



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