Glasgow Daily Photo

A photo a day from Scotland’s biggest city.


Posted by Jackie on June 3, 2008

Sunday’s big event, and the worst-kept secret in Glasgow, was the demolition of Stirlingfauld Place (which featured on this blog on February 1st for the theme day). Police and council hadn’t advertised the date as they didn’t want big crowds, but news gets out, and the flickr Glasgow group is full of photos of the Big Bang from every conceivable viewpoint 🙂 As well as the block you can see mid-fall, to the left if you look closely (behind the minaret of the mosque) you can see that block just starting to fall as well.

It was an incredible thing to see (and hear – the explosions were VERY loud!). As I headed back to the bus stop I saw tons of people carrying cameras and tripods! There’s a short video clip of the demolitions here (make sure you have your speakers on loud to get the full effect!).

I did have conflicting feelings about the event. It was really exhilarating to see the blocks come down, I can’t say that they were particularly beautiful (they really weren’t), and nowadays blocks like this have quite a threatening reputation and I know there are plenty of people in the area who will be delighted to see the blocks gone. But when Stirlingfauld Place was built, 35 years ago, it was to provide housing for people who had previously lived in tenement slums in terrible conditions, and in comparison with those, these blocks were considered luxurious. According to an article I read last week, it was in the 70s when the council didn’t have the money for repairs so just left them to crumble and decay that the social problems and lack of respect for the properties really started to take hold, turning the blocks into no-go areas where previously there had been vibrant communities. So when I saw the block falling, I also thought about how, despite the ugliness and undoubted social problems that accompanied this type of housing, there was also a lot of social history falling too – real people lived their lives here, and now they only have their memories. Take a look at the video interview of the former resident that’s linked at the end of the video clip of the demolition.

Tomorrow I’ll show you the “after” view.

8 Responses to “Boom!!!!”

  1. Ex West Ender said

    Jackie – Congrats on being ‘in the know’ and our reporter on the spot.

    Watching the last video shot taken from a distance, it occurred to me that anyone driving along that road who didn’t know about this might have got a bit of a shock!

    Also, the interview with the lady who used to live there just goes to prove that it it’s not the bricks and mortar (or steel and concrete in this case?) that make or spoil a community but the people who live there.

  2. Jackie said

    Oh, the roads were all cordoned off from the night before so I don’t think there was too much danger of that! But having said that, I saw a great picture on flickr of the dustcloud emerging both above and under a bridge towards the crowds, it didn’t look like the barriers were going to be enough to stop it!

  3. babooshka said

    I echo your sentitments. I believe the “streets in the sky” served their purpose getting poeple out of slum dwelling, only for those same building to turn into them themselves. We desperately need a re think on housing. Excellent journo photography, the before and after.

  4. Adam said

    Yes, great job capturing the moment! Especially on something like this I think that would be very difficult.

  5. Jackie said

    Actually the most difficult thing was that I was so intent on watching the event (as opposed to looking at it through a viewfinder) that I forgot to concentrate on pressing the shutter! lol, I’d better not give up the day job just yet.

  6. marley said

    You have taken a fantastic photo! It shows the buildings falling really well. I also like your text. Very thought provoking.

  7. Katya said

    Jackie, What an excellent capture! Wow! I am always amazed that they do these buildings like this, but I guess it is the most cosst effective way!

    Housing poor and homeless people presents such an awesome task…how can it be done without creating a total “handout” mentality?

    You certainly piqued my interest with this post!

    Those in Rochester, NY, recently saw some similar activity when a building or two were demolished at Kodak Park (this would be the original home to Kodak Film). I would love to have witnessed the event….details were given in the news and all, but with a family, it is kind of hard to just traipse off by myself…phooey!!!! I can’t remember where the demolition team was from, but there were lengthy articles in the papers about the team and their reputation…kind of built the whole thing up as though hoping to attract a big crowd!

  8. I just watched the BBC video. Very powerful images. They bring back such sad memories…

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