Jim's West End Photo Diary August 2001

My picture gallery contains; photographs of the West End of Glasgow, photographs of Glasgow, and photographs of Scotland.

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29th August 2001

Photo: Outside Bargain Books

It's been a while since my last diary entry - accept my apologies - I've got good excuses. I also apologise for the pictures being a bit bigger than normal - and taking longer to download. The main reason is that they I took them all with a wide angle lens, without a tripod and with very little light; when I tried to make them smaller they lost much of their detail.

I have tried a different approach for this particular batch of photos - a kind of 'non approach'; just took snaps as I walked. I liked the idea of trying to capture some sense of the streets themselves without focussing on any particular detail (when I say streets, in this instance I really only mean Byres road). I took all the photos while 'roaming in the gloaming' down Byres road on a couple of evening last week. As you can see there is nothing particularly artistic or accomplished about these photos - but hopefully they do give you a sense of the area.

Photo: Tennents Bar

The side door of Tennents Bar - with it's stained glass window.

Photo: Comics store

The unusual shopfront to the Comics and Books Shop at the corner of White street and Byres Road. You can also see some of the graffiti which has recently blighted much of Hillhead. It might be laudable self expression of the young to some people but to me it just spoils my enjoyment of the building and street of the West End.

Photo: White Street

Photo: Soup restaurant

Photo: Univeristy Avenue

Photo: New Building

Here we can see one of the relatively new building on Byres Road - I quite like the the fact that the architects have used the natural materials of sandstone and wood to clad the building. But the thing I like best about this building is the Coffee shop located on the ground floor.

Photo: view of Byres Rd Photo: Papyrus shop Photo: Fopp Record shop Photo: view of Byres Rd

A few general views to finish of this diary entry. The last three were taken from Safeway car park. That's Hillhead Library you can see on the left; not my favourite building - but my Dad likes it. Each to his own as they say.

12th August

Castle Sween

As I mentioned in last months diary we spent a few days ensconced in a caravan on the banks of Castle Sween. What I didn't mention was the castle itself, a visit to which happened to be one of the highlights of the trip for me. Castle Sween is the earliest stone built castle in Scotland (11th century if I remember correctly) and from my reading of the informative plaques dotted about the castle, it appears to have had a history of bloody conflict and war.

I have visited a few castles but this one had more atmosphere that the rest put together. I took a walk round it fairly late on in the evening, when the bats were flying around in one of the old rooms. I felt I got a sense of that real flesh and blood which had inhabited this building and carried out day to day activies; the old ovens and cooking areas could still be clearly seen, as could the early latrines. I could also clearly see the various additions to the building that had reshaped it over the centuries.

I was so impressed I took a detour back to the caravan to persuade Pat that the walk up to the castle was worth the effort; even though we had already had a rather tiring day out and about.

View from Castle Sween

The picture above I took from inside the castle looking out over the loch. Pat pointed out to me the silhouette of a face that appears on the right side of the picture, I hadn't noticed it - kind of eery really.

Boats in the evening Lighthouse

Above you can see a couple of photographs I took when we visited the Crinan Canal. This is just at the mouth of the canal as the boats leave the canal and enter the loch (I can't remember the name of the loch). This is another scenic location well worth a visit. There was a lot of activity as the boats jostled to get through the locks, sometime squeezing in two at a time to speed up the journey.

Boats at Oban Oban Ferry

A few more pictures from our trip to Oban.

I have a selection of my photographs for sale in the Gallery Shop.


In go to castle sween every year with my family.
We go sailing speed boating and cycling. I know
how nice it is!!
--Rosemary ( rosemary dot ellis1 at ntlworld dot com ) from on 31.5.2002; 21:02:56 Uhr

Wow, I was just something like shocked to see the pictures of Byres Road! Just one year ago I left Italy to spend six months at the Glasgow Uni, and I was living in Murano Street Student Village, wich is just after Queen Margaret Drive...this means that every day I went shopping in Safeway, or I took a look in Fopp. That's why I'm so happy to see these pictures, I'm feeling just like being again, and that's great. See you man!!
--Laura ( laura dot xella at libero dot it ) from Italy on 28.9.2001; 18:12:39 Uhr

Thanks for the comments Tom. Hope we won't be scattering your ashes for a while yet.
--Jim Byrne ( james dot byrne2 at ntlworld dot com ) from Scotland on 6.9.2001; 19:05:11 Uhr

Great pics of Byres Road, lovely to see the spontaneous aiming of the camera on well known West End landmarks. Byres Road is like no other place, and when I die I want half my half my ashes scattered between Vinicombe Street and Victoria Cross, Aka Dowanhill Street. I know it may appear strange, it also has to be done around 4pm in the Winter near Christmas. Just a throwback from a happy childhood in the West End - there is no place so far in the world, which can beat it. Anyone else feel this way?
--Tom Wilson ( eire40 at hotmail dot com ) from Scotland on 6.9.2001; 1:54:32 Uhr