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Cessnock and the surrounding area

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:53 am
by jack
Does anyone know anything about the old Bellahouston Academy building, on Paisley Road West, what has it been used for, what's it used for now.....

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 10:35 am
by My Kitten
Bit of history on here

IIRC, it was purchased as a privately run Muslim School don't know if that came to fruition tho.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 5:41 pm
by viceroy
My Kitten wrote:IIRC, it was purchased as a privately run Muslim School don't know if that came to fruition tho.

Part of the building was indeed used for a while as a private school for Muslim children. It was called the Iqra Academy I think, or something like that. But they didn't get enough feepaying pupils to turn it into a going concern, also the Schools Inspectorate didn't give them a very good report - their teaching methods were criticised and I believe there was even a suggestion that corporal punishment might have been resorted to. That obviously didn't do their reputation an awful lot of good. The school closed after about 2 years, or maybe even less.

At present the building is empty and boarded up and in a pretty sorry state. The playground at the North Gower St. end is being used as a car wash.

It is far too grand a building to be left to go to seed like this. It is the only building of real architectural interest in the area, apart from the Alexander Thomson tenement in Walmer Crescent. I would think that conversion for residential use would really be the only feasible option for it.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:16 am
by jack
The Alexander Thomson building is in poor shape too, it's burn't out on the west side of the building, and it's been like that for a while. It's a shame as the building is really amazing.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:17 am
by crusty_bint
Does anyone hav any pics of the current state of Walmer Crescent? :)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:11 pm
by dazza
You really don't want to see it crusty, it's a fucking disgrace. It'd be a different matter if it was a bloody Mackintosh. However GCC seems hell bent on eradicating any evidence of Thomson's work in Glasgow.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:28 pm
by viceroy
jack wrote:The Alexander Thomson building is in poor shape too, it's burn't out on the west side of the building, and it's been like that for a while. It's a shame as the building is really amazing.

More specifically it is the ground floor corner flat and basement which are burnt out. This used to be a guest house which ceased to function about 3 years ago. Then vandals got in and set the place alight. They also turned on a gas cooker in the basement and nearly caused a calamity.

Other than this the tenement seems to be fully occupied. But it looks pretty rough, although not really any worse than most other buildings in this area which of course do not share its architectural significance. As with many tenemental properties, particularly in low-income neighbourhoods, the common maintenance leaves a lot to be desired.

I'll try and take some pictures when I get a chance, but a] I'm a pretty useless photographer and b] it is almost impossible to get a picture of the building in its totality because it is tucked away at a tight angle behind a row of shops. Also, you can't get a picture from the other side of Paisley Road West because at this time of the year the building is largely hidden behind trees. Oh, and c] I will definitely not be taking pictures while any of the local neds are hanging about.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:26 pm
by Dynamo
Walmer crescent is in a terrible state. SOme of it's burnt out, the rest is basically a midden.

Rubbish bags everywhere, and general disrepair.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:42 am
by crusty_bint
Cheers for te replies... Id be interested inseeing the burnt out section specifically :)

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:08 am
by Jazza
Last time i was there it was a shambles, got me thinking, so I went onto Google and found some sort of report from a few years back saying that the building would be eligible for grants for alot of repair work (cant remember what it was now though).

I think part of the problem is that there are no residents willing or active enought to get the ball rolling and find out what can be done. Too much 'dont give a fuck' attitude!

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:23 am
by Jazza

Hang on a minute...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:12 pm
by Sunflower
Whoa, whoa, whoa, OK, OK, enough -

You're all absolutely right, Walmer Crescent is a mess. The block on the western end, No 18, the ex Amber 'Guest House' (actually used for DSS temporary accommodation) was burnt out on Christmas Eve three years ago (allegedly after the then owners were refused a multi-occupancy licence). Now it sits there, all broken-windowed, scruffily boarded-up, derelict, attracting graffiti, litter, general dross and encouraging people to treat the place like a dump.

The new owner has got planning permission to convert it into four flats (it's big, ground floor and basement, 5/6 big rooms on each floor, so that's probably about the best practical solution), but nothing's happening.

You can help. Write to the council and ask what they're doing about using the listed building legislation to get the owner to get a move on.

"No residents willing or active enough to......." ??

I'm a fairly new resident, but there are people who have lived here for decades, and have struggled and struggled while everything decayed round them, absentee landlords, multi-occupied flats, back court (which is one big open area for the whole Crescent) invaded by vandals any time they tried to do work to keep it decent. There are more resident owners now (probably helped by the astonishing price you have to pay for a flat in 'nicer' parts of the city - you still get quite a lot of space for your money here comparatively speaking), but one of the challenges is that the Crescent is made up of six different tenement buildings (not counting the continuation round into Cessnock Street), each of which has 6 to 8 separate flats, all with different owners. There are still some owners who don't want to make any kind of contribution, even in their own building. But we have started to work on things that will make a difference.

Grants for repairs aren't straightforward - in theory they do exist, but to get a grant any repairs have to be done to 'conservation standard' so as well as having to jump through the bureaucratic hoops, it's going to cost you more than doing a normal repair would without any grant.

So we're starting with things that are easier to do. One reason (besides No. 18 ) the place looks a tip is the state of the strip of ground behind the parade of shops on Paisley Road West. There are weeds and scrappy bushes that provide cover for idiots with drinks and drugs and weak bladders. Windblown litter from the whole of Paisley Road West (it often seems) gets trapped there; bottles, cans, syringes, fast food debris get chucked there. The council is completely useless - puts up notices saying 'This is a monitored site, maximum fine £10,000' (Ho Ho), doesn't empty the litter bins nearly often enough, and, the final crowning masterpiece - for an 'A' listed building, conservation area, route to subway station, row of shops that attracts lunching school children like gannets - when the street cleaners do come round (maybe once a week) they do a good job, mostly, on the road and pavement, but refuse to pick up any litter from the strip of ground behind the shops (for those who don't know the area, it's like a strip of verge) because, they say, it's 'private property'. And of course, the messier it gets, the more stuff people fling there.

But do not despair! And come and help (as well as by writing to the council about No. 18 ), if you like. The newly fledged Walmer Crescent Association has been organising litter pick-ups. Come and join us, say hello, pick up some rubbish (gloves, litter-pickers and bags provided) get that warm glow from doing something good. That's on the first Saturday of every month, 10.00 am to noon. Look forward to meeting you.

It does make a difference. And it's just the start...

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:30 pm
by dazza
Thanks for your contribution 'Sunflower'. I think a good start would be to just get rid of the trees, bushes etc in front of Walmer Crescent, and try and get the shops on PRW to have some sort of uniformity in their appearance (a la Argyle Street under the Heilanman's Umbrella). Easier said than done of course, but it would make such a huge diferrence.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:37 pm
by Jazza
Wow - thats more than i've written in the years i've been on here!

Its great to hear about some positive action taking place and having never tried to get money from the relevent people I guess I wouldn't know quitehow difficult it is. I did try and get a parking ticket refunded once and that was enough of a battle!

I posted because I think they look like awesome flats and i love the way the underground station has been integrated with the building - very cool.

From the last time i went by, I would say that the crescent has 2 main problems - the shops in front that hide it and the houses behind and around it that look like the Lebanese border frontline!

Perhaps a funraiser for a 50ft electric fence around the crescent is whats needed. ::): Best of luck with your efforts...

and welcome to HG

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:45 pm
by viceroy
BigCraig wrote:From the last time i went by, I would say that the crescent has 2 main problems - the shops in front that hide it and the houses behind and around it that look like the Lebanese border frontline!

The shops are here to stay. Many people don't realise that there has been a row of shops there for over a hundred years, since around 1904 I believe. Most of them are small family-run businesses and although they may not exactly be up to Byres Road chic standard they provide an essential range of goods and services to the people of this area, many of them low-income families and the elderly.

As for the tenements in the vicinity of Walmer Crescent, undeniably most of them could do with a good makeover, but to refer to them as looking like the Lebanese border frontline is a huge exaggeration. Even, I would suggest, a tad offensive to those whose personal circumstances leave them with no option but to live in an area of low cost housing such as Ibrox.