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The Barras and its future

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:05 pm
by ant
I was wondering does anyone know whats happening to the Barra's. I took my overseas relatives down there on Sunday and it was completely empty, it was even quieter in the sheds. I remember in the 80s trying to walk through the sheds and it was packed with people trying to get through the aisles. Sadly this no longer seems the case. The general impression was the whole enterprise was on it's death-bed. It lacked atmosphere, life and vitality. My relatives were shocked at its decline and told me about the barras equivalent in Sydney. Their "barras" was also in decline and under pressure from developers to relocate/closedown but after opposition it was decided to retain and redevelop the site with the market being kept on the ground floor and build apartments above. The market which is twice the size of Glasgow's, is now very successful both as a place to live and shop.
The point I'm trying to make is does the Barra's have a future, will it be gone in 5-10 years. Or can it be successfully redeveloped and be an attractive place to live and and still retain its identity.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:08 pm
by Fossil
No DVDS No Games No tunes = No punters :(


PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:20 pm
by crusty_bint
Have wondered about this myself Ant. My thinking on it is that the Barras is te product of a time where cheap clothing and goods was not as readily available as it is today wit the proliferation of shops like Primark, Dunnes Store, TJHughs et al and so that niche of the Barras market as been cornered - u can buy cheap sports socks in any high st now. I also think the Forge Market at Parkhead, the largest undercover market in Scotland, possibly Britain, has been a large factor in the downturn of fortune for the Barras, compounded with increasingly large Police presence and raids on the counterfeit pedlars.

Add to this recipe the increasing gentrification of the area with the Homes for the Future developments encroaching its south eastern boundary and the Collegelands redevelopment soon to encroach from the north there will be increasing pressure to both clean the place up and rid it of its black market tag and also on land. I haven't found any specific reference to an end of the Barras market in the City Plan but the site is (conveniently) designated on the associated maps as a mixed use area. The site is also designated as a Focal Point (in this case meaning a main centre of community activity and services as defined by the city's shopping hierarchy) and so i would lean towards surmising that theres is an intention to retain the market.

So perhaps the Barras as we know it will come to and over the coming years, but perhaps this long standing tradition will be kept and integrated into any future development plans in a manner befitting both the markets history and tradition and the people of Glasgow. Time will tell :)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:43 pm
by mr moto
nothing last,s forever.. i remember the barras as a kid twenty years ago, it seemed massive and always crowded full of all kinds of stuff. the last time i went there a few months back on a sunday, it was so depressing i just left :cry: i dare say it will not be very much longer before it,s cleared away to be replaced by the infamous .... luxury ? ::): ::): flats .

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 2:09 pm
by ant
My point is why does it have to be swept away and replaced with infamous "luxury flats" Surely a city the size of Glasgow can still retain a city centre market. Other cities...London has two very successful and popular markets. I feel the Barra's has to adapt if its to have a future, , but if other cities can...why can't it?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:39 pm
by scallopboy
ant wrote:My point is why does it have to be swept away and replaced with infamous "luxury flats" Surely a city the size of Glasgow can still retain a city centre market. Other cities...London has two very successful and popular markets. I feel the Barra's has to adapt if its to have a future, , but if other cities can...why can't it?

I get the impression that The Barras is an area ripe for redevelopment for city-centre luxury apartments for the 20-30 something age group. The reason it's so quiet is the almost permanent police there every weekend stopping the illegal trade in bootleg cd's, dvd's, software and smokables. If you want to buy this stuff now head to Paddies or Blochairn. The Barras will die slowly and then get bulldozed.

Do your bit to stop this and sell baccy and bootleg stuff and it will get busy again. I don't think The Barras is ever going to be Covent Garden somehow....

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:25 pm
by crusty_bint
Well Covent Garden started out as the epicentre of vice in Georgian London so I wouldn't get too despondant :wink:

George Square almost became our version of Covent Garden, never came to fruition though


PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:28 pm
by ibtg
I remember the Barras as a place where bargains could be had, particularly old records, old books, American film magazines, furniture, toys (particulary at Christmas) and 'antiques'.
If you were starting to furnish a house, they had furniture bargains, linen stalls and flooring stalls.
Now when I (very occasionally) go to the Barras, I'm looking for books and interesting old stuff (not necessarily antiques). The antiques area has blossomed, perhaps that's the way to go in the future.
Unfortunately, there are lots of sh*te stalls now and the problem with the trade in illegal items.
I wouldn't like to see the Barras flattened for MORE luxury flats, but some plan has to be worked out, or that's how it will end up.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:28 pm
by HollowHorn
To be fair, there are really two seperate & distinct Barras now, the old style based around Moncur, Kent & Gibson streets and the "new" style in Stevenson St. the 'Courtyard' & the antique furniture & vintage clothes emporiums across the road. I wonder if this will be the future of the market, Glasgow's answer to Camden Town?

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:34 pm
by scaryman2u
The only place i go to in the Barras now is Pearsons the rest of it is dying a slow death. I used to get dragged through the Barras every christmas eve by my mum as the prices were dramatically reduced as stallholders tried to clear the xmas stock ... Oh happy days... ::): Sore feet & sore ears from the clouting for complaining ::):

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:43 pm
by glasgowken
I'd miss the Barras if they go, i've picked up a few bits & pieces there. Paddy's Market has gone way downhill with the number of stalls selling the Pound Shop type of shite.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:57 pm
by hazy
Ant most people now go to the fruit market at Blochairn. Its got a better choice of stolen gear. ::):

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:17 pm
by ant
Haven't been to Blochairn so can't comment on what it sells or how successful it is in comparison to the Barra's. The difference between Blochcairn and Parkhead markets is that they have no history or identity associated with them. They are both fairly recent additions to Glasgow. The Barra's is over 100 years old and the area it's located in, is even older.
I think the antiques/furniture/clothing bric a brac is something that will always be popular with locals as well as tourists. Being one of its kind will always sell and attract people. The current "pound shop syndrome" does't seem to b working, plus retailers in the city centre already have cornered that market.
"Uniqueness is possibly where the future of the Barra's lies!"

From a needle to an anchor

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:51 pm
by Dexter St. Clair
The Barras survived for a good while as it was open on Sundays and there was nowhere else for Sunday shopping. The trust has tried to improve the area and the expansion has been in the Square yard type provison. However one of the reasons why I stopped going to the barras was the proliferation of dodgy salesmen of pirate CD's , tobacco and now DVD's and PC games. You don't get that at Camdem nor at Blochairn. I must check out The Forge. Obviously parking there (and to a certain extent) is easier than parking at The Barras. Polmadie has a better stmosphere in some aspects and I sill like Paddies. Maybe there's too many of them. It is obvious that "bought houses" are creeping up from Glasgow Green and Glasgow Cross. That does not necessarily mean the end of the Barras but if stallholders are not making money why should they stay.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 11:15 pm
by McShad
I'll post my opinions tomorrow... too tired tonight

Since I'm possibly the only barras trader on this forums :)