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Steeplejack
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.
Jupiter
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
Steeplejack
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.
Jupiter
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
Steeplejack
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.
Jupiter
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
Steeplejack
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.
Jupiter
Youve got me there,Steeplejack!
jock
Was there any connection between Kelvinside Avenue and Kelvinside Gardens?
wee mags
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
Jupiter
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
jock
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.
Steeplejack
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
Jupiter
Probably the lums had top quality soot hence the higher cost.
Lang may your lums reek! rolleyes.gif
norrie123
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
Jupiter
There are a number of pics of Oban Drive,Kelvinside Ave and NKS school on www.friendsreunited.com.
Joop rolleyes.gif
Steeplejack
Hello Norrie,

Thank you for offering to check your photographs. Any help will be much appreciated. I have no hope at all now that the Avenue is gone so I'll hang on in there just in case.

Are you, by chance an ex Avenue man? I had a friend on the Avenue called Norrie - No 34 or 36 I think he lived at.

Thanks again,

Steeplejack.

Steeplejack
Hi Jupiter,

You must visit a different Friendsreunited to me 'cause I've spent ages prowling the photographs available there and, yes, I can find the demolition of the old school and a background of Agnes Street and Oban Drive but nothing of the Avenue. Are you looking other than at the pictures listed for ready viewing?

Cheers,

Steeplejack.
Steeplejack
Hello All,

I wonder, can anyone help me understand the pictures shown below?

Some time ago when I was asking questions on the site about Kelvinside Ave and its demolition, I went on prowling across the site and as a result discovered a book mentioned by someone called Bygone Maryhill by Guthrie Hutton. I arranged for one of my family to give it to me for Christmas. What an excellent picture reference ! Not only that but inside were two pictures of Kelvinside Avenue. I couldn't believe my luck. It was only when I looked more closely at one of the pictures, Exhibit A, that I began to wonder if it was correct or if the original negative had been placed the wrong way round.

The Avenue was a gentle hill down from Maryhill Road to Queen Margaret Drive. It had shops on one side only - on the left as you went down. There were a couple of small general stores on the left about half-way down, round about No. 37 - 41 and a couple more, electrical and fireplace etc. down towards the Pen at the bottom. There were no shops on the right going down.

The first picture (Exhibit A) as shown in the book suggests there were shops towards the top of the Avenue on the right going up the hill. The architecture of the tenament buildings however, implies they are going down hill?? Would you agree? I know I'm getting on a bit but I just can not make sense of this picture as presented.

I couldn't leave it at that. Obviously someone had taken the picture of the Avenue but I just cannot work out how. After some hair pulling I inverted it (ExhibitB) and then, to me, it looked much more like the real thing. The Avenue was travelling in the right direction, the buildings looked correct and the shops were in the right places. But, the car number plate is now back-to-front !

Can someone please help me by explaining just how the original picture could have been taken.

Exhibit A
Click to view attachment

Exhibit B
Click to view attachment

Thanks for any comments you can make.

Steeplejack.
glasgow lass
Good observation on'yir part Steeplejack, am sure that some of our photographer's will offer a few explanations. biggrin.gif
Steeplejack
Hello Glasgow Lass,

That is exactly what I'm hoping for ! If only there had been a decipherable number on the close - that would have helped. It's many a long year since I saw my old home but the pictures are clear in my mind.

Regards,
Steeplejack
Rabbie
I am nea expert in optics! laugh.gif Well I am but thats another story to be telt over a few nippy sweeties.

OK, aff tae wurk noo. You may notice that the text overlay in the second image is also inverted, just like like the reg no on the Rover. The original piccie appears to have been taken through the back of a car windea.

I think it is the incline perception that is confusing here. What appear to be uphill is up is actually downhill. This this is the case, it could account for the left - right side swop.

On a closer shiftie at the original / top image, if you follow the horizontal alignment of the stonework on the tenements, which is hopefully level, you can discern that the slope decends towards the background and rises towards the foreground. Therefore, the wee wifie is walking up a wee brae.

Hope that sheds a wee bit of light on this.
glasgow lass
a saw that fotty was snapped from a motor but didn't think it would have made a difference unless the snapper was staunin on his heed, well done Rabbie, is this case closed! laugh.gif
Jupiter
A is the original and the second one is the same image only the negative has been reversed thus showing a different angle.
Steeplejack
Hello Jupiter and Glasgow Lass,

I’m afraid Jupiter’s answer doesn’t bring an end to the picture question at least not as far as I’m concerned. Let me explain:-
The explanatory text under the second picture (ExhibitB) is inverted simply because, along with the picture, I inverted it ! This text would have no bearing on which way round the original picture was taken or developed. It would have been added to the page after the picture was in place – irrespective of which way round the picture was placed on the page. The car number plate, however, is a different kettle of fish. It is part of the original picture and if the negative had been developed the wrong way round the number plate would be incorrect, which is not the case in the first picture.

The architecture of the buildings suggests to me that the ground is dropping away towards the top of the picture. I’m pleased you agree to that. The implication of this is that we are looking “DOWN” the Avenue towards Queen Margaret Drive and not up the Avenue towards Maryhill Road/Agnes Street. That being the case we must be looking at the right-hand side of the road, looking down the Avenue. There are clearly shop fronts visible and there were no shops on that side of the Avenue. Apart from which all the closes from about No.34 down to the Belhaven Institute (as it was then known ) at the bottom of the Avenue, were demolished pre 1970s and this picture does not show any sign of that demolition.
If my interpretation of the buildings is completely wrong and we are, in fact, looking up the Avenue and the shop fronts in the picture are in fact only two in number and not three or four, then I can just about accept the picture as shown.

I would dearly love to know the number of the visible close behind the young mother. That would solve the mystery in a moment.

It’s a pretty boring topic for most folk so I won’t go on with it. Someone with a personal knowledge of the Avenue may come across the pictures and add a comment. Thanks anyway for your interest and comments.

Steeplejack.
Jupiter
Steeplejack,discount the second image and I think Rabbie has it right.The woman is walking up
towards Maryhill Road.Probably had junior down at the swings! rolleyes.gif
Steeplejack
Hi Jupiter,

OK if she is walking UP the hill towards Maryhill Road, what side of the Avenue is she on - the left or the right?
My apologies if I misquoted you in mistaking Rabbie's comments for yours. Sorry.

Steeplejack.
Jupiter
If she stayed on the footpath she would come to the HLI pub.East footpath walking south.
Steeplejack
That's what I thought too. So how do you account for the shops which are clearly visible. There were no shops on that side of the Avenue?
Jupiter
Doh!Im scratching my head. rolleyes.gif
Rabbie
Ok, lets get away left and rights as they can easily confuscate issues. That's why ships and aircraft have port and starboard designations, they are absolute references, in that these do not change regardless of what direction the vessel is heading or wherever yer nose happens to be pointing.

What we need to clear this up is to ascertain and define ordinal directions and elevation contours. Thankfully in this image not too difficult as there are some distinct clues

1) Shadows.
2) Gradient.
3) A knackered wee wifie shuffling up the hill.

Consult a topographical map and ascertain ordinal direction of downward / upward gradients, then interpolatate this with the shadows. You should be able to determine, with a little loose logic the orientation of the street where the shadows are being cast.
Jupiter
Ive found an image of Kelvinside Ave tenements on the SCRAN website but it is a bit small for me to compare.
Steeplejack
Just had a quick look at SCRAN and the image shown in the first picture is of the left side of the Avenue going up towards Maryhill Road. The bottom end of the tenement was blown down and later, a bit more was demolished in the "making safe" process. It is clear, nevertheless, that there are no shop fronts to be seen on that side of the road.
Jupiter
The image is a bit blurred.I seem to recall shops on the other side of the street.
Rabbie
Please see map image below.

Click to view attachment

This shows the Kelvinside Ave has an almost west / east alignment, give or take. Therefore. it is reasonably safe to deduce that the shadows are falling on the southern aspect of the tenements, which would naturally mean the sunlight tenements are on the northern side of the Avenue. This would imply that the shops are also on northern or left as you go up hill, or on the right as you decend, as appears to be indicated in the image.
martin_glasgow
Hi very interesting topic i used to walk up and down kelvinside avenue in the 60's to go to St.Charles Primary School..But like everyone else cant remember exactly were the shops were located.Have attached a detailed street plan of the area to throw into the mix and hope it can jog some memories...

Martin....

Click to view attachment
Rabbie
Nice one, the benchmarks confirm a downhill gradient from Maryhill Road. We are getting there... elimanation of the obvious hehe.
Steeplejack
Hello Martin, welcome to the fray. Your map is most welcome. Shows a very clear picture of the whole of the Avenue and surrounding streets.

I still think the basic problem is my misinterpretation of the architecture and ground level. The buildings suggest the road is descending towards the top of the picture.

I know exactly where the shops were and most of the folk who lived in the Avenue. I lived, worked and went to church with with them. I used the shops and knew most of the owners.

I just cannot interpret the original picture so if you have any pointers please let's have them.

Steeplejack
Steeplejack
Hi Rabbie,

Thanks for your scientific approach. As I've just explained to Martin I lived on the Avenue so I do have a fairly good working knowledge of what was where. I suspect my interpretation of the tenement archtecture is at fault. They say the camera never lies but this one is sure trying.
Steeplejack.
Steeplejack
Thanks for bringing up SCRAN. I'd never heard of it before. I shall spend a bit more time digging around there, that's for sure.

There were shops on the other side of the Avenue. I think it was Nos 39 and 41 were two small general stores which sold just about everything. One was called Dunn's Stores and of the two was the older and better known. There were more shops at the Queen Margaret Road end. Most of these were failing. As I recall one was an electrical supplier and another sold stuff for the trades. I have a mental picture of glazed chimney pots in the window. These were all located down by the Pen which is clearly shown on the map supplied by Martin. Also clear on the map is the space between the Belhaven Instutute (marked as a Hall on the corner of Marmion Street) and the end of the tenement. They have built a school on this site.
martin_glasgow
Hi Steeplejack..Here is an Aerial view Picture of Kelvinside Avenue/Queen Margaret Drive And Other Streets. This Gives You A Better View Of Kelvinside Avenue At That Time...
Martin....

Click to view attachment
glasgow lass
Yoo boyz a just wonderful to be taking the time to help Steeplejack out biggrin.gif
Steeplejack
Martin, where have these great images come from? There is sufficient detail in the aerial view for me to identify my old back-court! What a great surprise. Even if I don't manage to sort out the questions I've raised about the picture your map and aerial view has made my day ! I have so many memories of my time there. Thank you very much for taking the trouble to contribute.

Steeplejack.
Steeplejack
Hello Glasgow Lass,

All the activity about the Kelvinside Avenue picture is not primarily to help me out but to see whether or not the photograph used in the book I received for Christmas, is genuine, because it portrays some peculiar features which do not sit easy with me. Nevertheless I am very grateful to all the folk who take the trouble and time to contribute and help unravel the queries.

Steeplejack
Jupiter
I was amazed to see the lady and her child in the aerial shot. rolleyes.gif
Rabbie
QUOTE (Jupiter @ 18th Jan 2012, 10:48pm) *
I was amazed to see the lady and her child in the aerial shot. rolleyes.gif

Are ye sure it wasnea Princess Di, some mumbo jumbo merchant thought they saw her in a some stained glass windea in a Church or something.

In Fig. 1, I have circled in purple the approx area from where i feel Image 1 could have been taken and labeled a few reference points.

Fig. 1

Click to view attachment
Jupiter
A well thought out plot Rabbie!
Jupiter
Rabbie,as a matter of interest do you/did you know Kelvinside Avenue as it was before all the demo work?
Joop.
martin_glasgow
Well Done Rabbie Looks Like You Are The Right Person For Working Out The Angles..Is This Now Case Closed ???.?Or Are We All Awaiting On Standby For The Next One.

Jupiter. That Would Be Amazing If We Could Have Seen Two Shadowy Figures In The Aerial Shot That Would Have Had Everyone Talking..

Martin...
Steeplejack
Are you sure it's the same lady Jupiter? The only one I can see hasn't got a headscarf on and is walking UP the hill! tongue.gif
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