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> Kelvinside Avenue
Steeplejack
post 17th Nov 2011, 06:00pm
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Hello again everyone,

I am aware I haven’t been doing much writing lately but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading ! Hardly an evening goes by without a “quick” visit to GlasgowGuide which usually lasts for half an hour forty minutes and makes me late for bed!!

I’ve been trying to locate some old friends that used to live in Kelvinside Avenue. I’ve been aware for some time that most of the Avenue has long-since been demolished. A few weeks ago I wrote to the Glasgow Corporation’s ‘Neighbourhoods North and East Development and Regeneration Services’ department to see if they could tell me when and why the demolition took place. Today I received a reply saying that:-

“I have checked with our Building Control section, because demolition warrants would have been required for the works. We don't have accessible records for demolition of any buildings in Kelvinside Ave for records going back to 88/89. For Oban Drive there was a Council demolition warrant around 2001 for the secondary school. Unfortunately demolition warrants don’t give any explanation as to the reasons for demolition. The warrant is only interested in technical and safety matters related to the method of demolition.”

The old NK school, the church next door and almost the whole of the Avenue was demolished along with the garage on Queen Margaret Drive. Only the Baptist Church and The Belhaven Institute (now a school) has survived. A Google walkabout shows me that even today little has been done to the ever growing demolition site.

Is there anyone still around who remembers the sad story of Kelvinside Avenue? I would be very grateful for any information. It won’t help me find my friends but it will tell me when they had to find somewhere else to live. I suspect it all happened in the late 60s early 70s.

Thanks for any help,
Steeplejack.
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Jupiter
post 17th Nov 2011, 08:19pm
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Steeplejack, as you will be aware NK school consisted of three main,large buildings.The old building,the new building and another built in the eighties I think.There were a couple of wooden buidings adjacent to Agnes Street.They are all gone. There is now a number of blocks of private flats and a Fire station on the grounds of the Old building.Between the Old and New building is a footpath which goes from Oban Drive down to where the back door of the Fire Station is.The Church which was at the bottom of the path is gone.The area to the west of the path lay derelict for a number of years but now building is well on its way on this ground by Queens Cross Housing Dept(I think).The area between Oban Drive and to a point just before where Kelvinside Avenue another block of flats have been completed.Tesco are in there too.
I do recall a little gent I knew who went into a derelict close in Kelvinside Avenue with a big hacksaw intent on cutting cable.This was early 70s.Unfortunately for him the cable was still live and he got more than his eyebrows singed.The building right down at the bottom of the avenue was used as a dinner hall for school meals by NK school.I think the only building still standing is the old church hall,a red sandstone building now called Crosslands pub and a builders yard next door. rolleyes.gif
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Steeplejack
post 18th Nov 2011, 10:42pm
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Hello Jupiter,

Thanks for picking up on the topic. I used to live on the Avenue so went to NK and have sung in the church. I knew the area quite well but time has changed all that. I have never understood why all the demolition was necessary nor am I, so it seems, going to be able to find out. I’ve heard of long-term planning but this surely takes the Glasgow biscuit.

Have they moved the fire station from Kelbourne Street? ( I think that’s where it used to be?) I’m sure, though I can’t see them on Google, the blocks of flats will look very nice on the grounds that used to be behind Kelvinside Ave. The folk living in Oban drive must be delighted with them.

As I recall, Belhaven at the foot of the Avenue, was originally a church, but I do remember having the odd meal in there during school years and the lines of children walking up and down the Avenue.

I’m sorry if I sound a bit sour, but it leaves a nasty taste knowing your home, school and church have been wiped off the map. There must have been a good reason, I’m sure and it would help just to know what it was.

Thanks again for your comments.

Steeplejack.
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Jupiter
post 19th Nov 2011, 11:48am
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Hi Steeplejack,thanks for your reply.The avenue was a favourite area of mine when I was at sec school too.I dont think there are too many mysteries about why the whole area was demolished.The buildings of the school for example I think had just outlived their usefulness and that coupled with a dramatic fall in pupil numbers meant that keeping it open was no longer an option.The pupils were transferred to Cleveden School.
The Fire Station in Kelbourne Street is now private flats and a new one is situated on Maryhill Road at a point where Kelvinside Avenue was.
Regarding the demolition of the buildings I think they too had run their course and were in fact no more than slums in the latter days.Im not being derogatory but that was the situation.They were well below what most people would accept as a tolerable standard,ie hot water,baths etc and demolition as opposed to upgrading was the option taken.
I have a friend lives mid way up Oban Drive who is not too impressed by all the building but I suppose thats life.
Best wishes
Joop rolleyes.gif
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Steeplejack
post 20th Nov 2011, 01:14pm
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Hello Jupiter,

Your explanation sounds very appropriate. I think I was one of a fortunate few on the Avenue to live in a house with all the facilities: inside bathroom, hot water and good heating. I do remember that there were many whose lavatory facilities were still on various landings and back closes and whose houses were without any bathrooms.

The orders for demolition must be archived somewhere. I think I will go back to the planning office and/or the Mitchell Library and see what I can find out. It would be interesting (for me ) to find out when the Avenue was created and what the surrounding area was like back in those days. Clearly Maryhill Road and Queen Margaret Drive were in existence because the Avenue joins the two. I know Belhaven Church was firmly in existence in 1926 but that’s about all I know. I do remember two wee shops about half way down. I think one was called “Dunn’s Stores” and was run by a Mrs. Dunn.

I would be very interested in any photographs of the Avenue if anyone out there has one. Apart from the picture I carry in my mind, I have nothing.

Well Jupiter, It’s been good of you to take the time to read and comment on my queries and grumbles. Thank you. I think it’s time I paid another visit home. I’ve not been up for quite a few years. If nothing else it will at least put my mind at rest as to how everything looks now.

Regards,

Steeplejack.
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Jupiter
post 20th Nov 2011, 02:56pm
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There was a pend on the bottom left of the avenue and a coalman called McCarten kept a few horses stabled there.Next to that was a close which had flats which indeed had bathrooms and heating.The windows looked over towards the nursery.
I think I have uploaded some pics of the avenue taken about two years ago and and I must say very little remains of what you would remember.
Joop rolleyes.gif
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Steeplejack
post 20th Nov 2011, 06:57pm
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Wasn't there a snooker room in there too? In the Pen and off to the right a wooden staircase leading to a timber-built building, I think. Known locally as the "Wee Hell" I know I was threatened with a fate worse than death if I was ever caught anywhere near it!!
The Alley way was a way onto what we used to call the "Sandy Park" where we played football at every spare minute. One goal was painted on the red brick school wall and the other made up by someones jacket or jumper. We're talking late 40s early 50s now.

Cheers,

Steeplejack.
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Jupiter
post 20th Nov 2011, 11:10pm
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Youve got me there,Steeplejack!
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jock
post 22nd Nov 2011, 12:55am
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Was there any connection between Kelvinside Avenue and Kelvinside Gardens?
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wee mags
post 22nd Nov 2011, 01:52am
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when I first came to the States ,Imet a nice elderly man and woman from Kelvinside Ave ,they were so good to me ,their names were Bill &Isabel Cambell ,they came here to join their daughter Isobel and their son -in-law Stanley Brown ,the year I met them was 1959


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fae Maryhill noo the USA
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Jupiter
post 22nd Nov 2011, 08:39am
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Hi Jock in LA.
There was indeed a connection between Kelvinside Avenue and Gardens and it was Agnes Street.
Walking up the avenue you come to Agnes Street and if you follow that you come to Kelvinside Gardens East and West,which was and still is a nice little part of the city. rolleyes.gif
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jock
post 23rd Nov 2011, 01:33am
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Thanks Jupiter. Nice to hear that Kelvinside Gardens is still around. I went to St. Charles school there.

Walked from old Simpson St. (now gone) along Wilton St.. Crescent Gardens then a short street which led to a "coup", later replaced by stairs, which took you up to Kelvinside Gardens. A long, long time ago.
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Steeplejack
post 24th Nov 2011, 03:11pm
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Hi Jupiter,

Glad you picked that querie up but I would like to point out that when we used to refer to Kelvinside Gardens the 'a' sound was added to Kelvinsa-ide and there was no letter 'r' in Gardens, it was pronounced Ga--dens" 'cause that was where the posh folk lived !

Chimney sweeping up to the top end of Agnes Street was half a crown a lumb but once round the corner it was five bob ! Honest. The same rule applied to the other side of the river. Those were the days !

Cheers,

Steeplejack
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Jupiter
post 24th Nov 2011, 03:54pm
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Probably the lums had top quality soot hence the higher cost.
Lang may your lums reek! rolleyes.gif
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norrie123
post 24th Nov 2011, 09:37pm
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Hi Steeplejack, I was in that area about 3 years ago, photographing all of the tenements of Maryhill and area, I was surprised to see the gap where I assumed NK school stood but I didn' t know of Kelvinside av
I will check my older files to see if I have photos the years prior to demolition but I wont give you much hope
Bye for now, norrie
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