Around the Clutha

By mrswoolybill
Three details from artwork that surrounds the Clutha, scene of Glasgow's worst disaster in recent years. On 29th November 2013 a police helicopter plummeted from the sky onto the crowded bar. Ten people died (three crew members, seven people on the ground), many more were injured. The Fatal Accident Inquiry started last week.
The mural was commissioned soon after the disaster, it's rather battered now. It records some of the characters who showed up at the bar in its glory days, including Spike Milligan, Mary Barbour the activist who led the city's rent strikes in 1915, and Frank Zappa fingering his moustache.

Glasgow is full of surprises. The final version is just a snapshot, taken a few steps from the Clutha, a record of a very enjoyable encounter. That's what snapshots are good at.
Near the artwork we came across two reminders of the city's involvement in the Spanish Civil War. There's a sculpture of La Pasionaria (nom de guerre of Communist activist Dolores Ibárruri), and then this very new memorial for the merchant navy ships, many built on the Clyde, that challenged Franco's blockade of Republican ports.
A young man called Stefan arrived and started telling us about the history. He's a member of Glasgow's Communist Youth group. This is his patch and he cares about it.
He spoke quietly, articulately, with fierce pride and considerable knowledge, of the 65 men from Glasgow who died in the war, and the city's radical tradition.
I asked if I could take a quick photo, it's a way of connecting a face to a place. Then we shook hands and went our separate ways.

All the pictures speak for me, in different ways, of Glasgow's resilience.
Thanks for looking,

Tags: Street photography Photo journalism Glasgow Specialist and abstract Street art

GB Sports Photographer & The Panasonic LUMIX S1


15 Apr 2019 7:50AM
I live not far from Glasgow, always have, maybe that's why I don't think it's very interesting and have never taken my camera in with me unless it's for something specific, perhaps I should rethink and go exploring.
Excellent set Moira, I may just have been inspired.


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mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 7:51AM
Thanks Kenny, we found the city very rich in details. And of course I photographed the Duke of Wellington with his traffic cone (in two different locations... )
15 Apr 2019 7:56AM
Three perfectly chosen fragments, one award.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 8:03AM
Thanks early birds, and thanks Alan for the UA.
I found it easiest to go in relatively close for fragments, as the pavement is quite narrow and the road extremely busy. There was an advantage here in that the mural is basically mono, the damage and paint drips were quite bright.
Mary Barbour may appear in straight b&w some time.
cats_123 Plus
15 4.9k 28 Northern Ireland
15 Apr 2019 8:04AM
Fascinating...Find Glasgow an ever changing framework... it's the people, I think 😁
franken Plus
17 5.0k 4 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 8:16AM
Interesting write up and images, Moira.
bluesandtwos 9 405 1 England
15 Apr 2019 8:21AM
My award for version 1. Smile

mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 8:21AM
Incidentally, the mural also includes trade unionist Jimmy Reid, Johnny Ramensky a safe-breaker, and Stan Laurel whose father ran the Metropole Theatre just over the road. I need to go back for them...
What a fine set. First rate - all are strong images I feel GrinGrinGrinGrin
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 8:25AM
Thanks folks, and thanks Dave for the UA.
Mary Barbour (V1) was the first face that I noticed, and I kept going back to her. She will get her own moment of glory here I think.
15 Apr 2019 8:58AM
great story and a beautiful photographic job, dear Moira
15 Apr 2019 9:31AM
It often takes a person from outside a city to see the warmth of the people. I live and have worked for more than half my life in Glasgowand have always found the people warm and welcoming and often in the most unlikely of situations. As a press photographer you often chap a door at particularly bad time for the people on the other side of that door, deaths, robberies sometimes murders,you are mostly invited in for a cup of tea.

Glasgow has a dark side too, crime and murder less now it seems than thirty odd years ago, and then the tint of slavery from further back and the tobacco trade.Fortunes made on the backs of people on the other side of the world.

I digress as ever, you have a fine insight as a visitor with a camera Moira, and have come away with your own slice of the city I now call home.

15 Apr 2019 9:42AM
An informative and intriguing set, Moira. Your lead image seems to show a corner of a metre housing of some kind which you've chosen very well to enhance the composition. Very well chosen close up studies too.
Frank Zapper, the great front man of 'Mother's of invention' who had a unique style of guitar work. I was surprised to see his name appear here. I think my favourite of their's was 'Susie Cream Cheese.' (One of his dubious titles as a solo artist being 'Steve is Spanking')

And I love the memorial, a great little poem.

viscostatic 13 45 5 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 9:51AM
Interesting images and information Moira. I think what Kenny says is sometimes true - we tend to disregard what is on our doorstep. I find Glasgow a fascinating city.

15 Apr 2019 10:49AM
Fascinating jouralistic set Moira , very informative & looking forward to further images :.
TrevBatWCC Plus
11 13 12 England
15 Apr 2019 10:51AM
A fine set Moira, isolating just parts of the mural - I remember this sad event like it was last week.
Trev 😀
mac Plus
18 2 Scotland
15 Apr 2019 11:17AM
I love going to Glasgow, it has a certain charm and warmness and its only 40 minutes in the train!
Actually there has always been rivalry between Edinburgh & Glasgow be it football or they are getting better treatment from the Scottish Parliament!.

The old adage Edinburgh boys came to Glasgow for a laugh and go home in stitches. Suggests Weegians (Weegies) have an infectious sense of humour but are more than likely tough diamonds subject to the odd outbreak of violence. East coasters (Edinbuggers) on the other hand enjoy good company but tend to be taken for granted. Stereotypically Glasgow folks were considered to be of Highland /Tchuchter origin and Embra more Anglo-Saxon. Industrial Glasgow was populated with working class boozers and the more highbrow Embra had more sober snobbery. All of which was kept alive by music hall comedians.
Glaswegians consider Edinburgh to be in the east - the Far East. Edinburghers consider Glasgow to be in the west - the Wild West.

Br the way I liked your pictures and stories!
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 11:30AM
Thanks to Leo and Dougie for the UAs, and thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments. A few points at random...
John, I love it when street art incorporates junction boxes, meter housing, architectural features. It makes it an integral part of the street, rather than just on the surface.
Dougie, we hadn't visited Glasgow for many years but we have always liked it. Rough edges and all.
The relationship between Edinburgh and Glasgow is interesting, in many ways it follows the pattern of Madrid / Barcelona, St Petersburg / Moscow. One city had the past glory and power, the history; the other has the brash new energy. The late Peter Ustinov (born in St Petersburg) used to recount that Muscovites call St Petersburg the biggest museum in Russia. Petersburgers call Moscow the biggest village in Russia... There's something of the same rivalry here.
Herge88 Plus
12 40 5 England
15 Apr 2019 12:41PM
I love the colour among the black and white here, no need for selective colouring, great work Moira.

Best Matt
saltireblue Plus
9 9.7k 36 Norway
15 Apr 2019 5:02PM
Having read both your notes and all the 'insider' comments, I see these images representing a city and its people, both far from perfect, yet through the damage and wear and tear, the hearts of real peole shine through.
mrswoolybill Plus
12 1.6k 2080 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 5:11PM
It's a bit late, but there are good articles for reference on the monument in V3 here (includes the full text of the poem, written in 1938 about the Spanish Civil War) and here.
capto Plus
7 5.8k 12 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2019 5:38PM
A great glimpse into the soul of Glasgow.Smile
BobbyMS Plus
2 4 1
15 Apr 2019 5:55PM
Detailed explanation of photo is impressive, and the portion of the site you chose to photograph---half a face, injects appropriate drama. All told, a nice journalistic "package",
taggart Plus
15 47 13 United States
15 Apr 2019 7:21PM
Informative, and photographed well!
dark_lord Plus
15 2.3k 591 England
15 Apr 2019 8:55PM
Very interesting Moira.
24 Apr 2019 9:28PM
Fine combination of bw and colors. I like it a lot!

Arne Smile

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