Monday, 20 June 2011

Kelvinbridge: Lansdowne Church Art Adventure Day

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin see the  'Introduction' post  -

An alphabetical list of all posts so far can be found at the end of this post.

Today is 11 June 2011 and we are at Kelvinbridge for Lansdowne Church Art Adventure Day, a

'. . . community-inclusive event at Lansdowne. . . designed to raise public awareness and financial support for the restoration of the Lansdowne church building and its magnificent stained glass and to highlight its use as a space for arts and heritage.'


For more pics of the splendid church see

We're here in the afternoon -  there were painterly activities going on earlier here, involving (among others) the remarkable Allan Richardson, See

From the VisitScotland site

'Built 1863 to a design by John Honeyman. Spire 218 feet, one of the slimmest in Europe, a powerful landmark on Great Western Road. Box pews. Beautiful stained glass by Alfred and Gordon Webster, and war memorial frieze by Evelyn Beale. Pipe organ 1911, Norman & Beard, said to have the finest tuba rank in Glasgow with some wonderful flutes. On corner with Park Road, opposite Kelvinbridge underground. City buses 20, 41, 59, 66, from city centre. '


For the restoration see

'Lansdowne Church in the West End of Glasgow is one of the city’s finest Gothic Revival buildings.   The West End contains many Victorian churches and the decline in church attendance in recent decades has placed an undue burden on congregations.
The congregation at Lansdowne has recognised that an ecclesiastical use with hires to local organisations will not be sufficient on its own to support such a large building and the condition of the fabric has become a real concern. In 2005 the congregation entered into discussions with Four Acres Charitable Trust to secure the future of the building.

Under an arrangement with the Church of Scotland General Trustees, Four Acres Charitable Trust is able to take ownership of Lansdowne subject to the achievement of a planning consent for the trust’s proposed long-term use together with a suitable funding package for a first phase of work.

Reflecting the model of the Cottier Project, Lansdowne will be developed as a community building with a catering facility to provide financial sustainability.   However in the case of Lansdowne a small upper hall will also be available for community hire and the main church building will retain an ecclesiastical use remaining available to the congregation while also being adapted for occasional performance. If funding is achieved to convert the hall the trust intends to work with the Friends of Glasgow West to make Lansdowne a base for the Friends’ lectures and interpretation activity.

Lansdowne is a Category A Listed building and one of the major Glasgow landmarks famous for its slender tapering spire.  The Heritage Lottery Fund, the Pilgrim Trust and the Architectural heritage Fund have provided the trust with grant funding to develop a project plan which was completed in March 2009.  Extracts from the plan regarding the significance of Lansdowne can be downloaded. . . '


Alasdair Gray is doing portraits today, which is great. You get your portrait sketched for free  by one of Scotland's leading artists (and novelists) and if you get fed up looking at it you can flog it on ebay.

Queue for Alasdair on left; somebody doing something artistic on altar on right

For the Lansdowne Portrait Project see

This is the fine choir Voicebeat; see

From their website:

'Voicebeat is a multicultural singing group, or world music community choir, the only one in Glasgow that we know of.  It was started about eight years ago by Jane Tomlinson and is now led by Harry Campbell.  We sing songs from around the world in easy unaccompanied harmony, often in foreign languages, in an informal, lively, supportive atmosphere.  Whatever your background and experience, you are welcome at Voicebeat.  There’s no audition and you don't need to be able to read music, as all songs are taught by ear.  We meet on Mondays (not Thursdays as before) from 7–9pm at the Annexe, Stewartville St, Partick, Glasgow G11 5PE. Why not come along and give it a try?'

Jane Tomlinson - organiser of the event - on left

Lansdowne's imposing spire on screen

Aha - unbeknown to Alasdair he is having his portrait done

Like this

Original decoraion rediscivered

We're heading towards the stairs now

Old news, old sorrows

Heading upstairs

From the Cottiers restoration link above - 'The interior has a range of stained glass with the two triple lancet windows in the north and east transepts by Alf Webster standing out as exceptional. The south transept window is considered Webster's masterwork and was completed shortly before his death at Ypres in 1915.'

Back on ground floor

The Rev Roy Henderson on right, Lansdowne's widely admired minister. The congregation is a small and lively one.

Alasdair still sketching away

A rather endearing pair of chairs

Is art the new religion? Some would say so , but it seems evident that - certainly with Christianity - it is new forms of religion that are the new religion, as is evidenced by the evangelical churches springing up in Glasgow (and everywhere else in the world, from China to  Nigeria) - see, for example, the Townhead Destiny church here

The artist's gesture at the altar  is of course not meant to be  disrespectful and would not be seen as such in institutions such as the Church of Scotland and Church of England - churches wedded to the 'in a very real sense blah blah ' approach but perhaps would not go down well in the new churches.

Alasdair on screen

Alasdair's last client - he has been doing this  for at least three hours - amazing stamina the man has

Back onto Great Western Rd. For the excellent Parade collective see

Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is

For previous posts see

Bad Posters
Bellahouston Park
Bellahouston Park 2 : After the Pope is Over
Big Teddy Needs a Home
Botanic Gardens
Bridgeton Cross
Buchanan St 
Buchanan St 2: a Meditation on Donald Dewar
Burrell Collection
Cessnock / Kinning Park
Churches (Working/ Non-Working), Temples Mosques etc
Citizens Theatre
City Centre
Climate Change Demo
Clydebank 1
Clyde River Festival
December 2010: Dusk, Dark and Dawn
Edwin Morgan
Evolving Odeon
Festivals and Fetes
Forth and Clyde Canal 1
Forth and Clyde Canal 2
Gartnavel Hospital: a Winter Walk, February 2011
George Square
Glasgow Cross and Argyle St
Glasgow Green: the 2010 Scottish Junior Run
Glasgow North-West By-election 2009
Glasgow Piping Festival
Glasgow's Sikhs
Gorbals 2
Gorbals 3: Saltmarket to Tradeston
Govan Underground to Ibrox Underground: 40th anniversary of the Ibrox Stadium Disaster
Grow Glasgow
Hampden Park: Dundee United v Ross County Cup Final 15 May 2010
Hidden Gardens: Glasgow Harvest at Tramway
Hillhead / West End
Hunterian Museum
 Kelvinbridge: Adventures in Art - West End Festival 2011
 Kelvinbridge Railway Station: the 'Re-opening'
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Park
Kelvingrove Park: Sledging
Kelvingrove Park: the Fountain Vandalised
King's Theatre to Glasgow Cathedral: a November Walk
Lobey Dosser day
Charles Rennie Mackintosh
Mela 2008
Mela 2010
Paddy's Market: the Last Day
Queen's Cross and Firhill
Red Road Flats
Red Road Flats 2
Red Road Flats 3
Ruchill Park
Save Otago Lane 16 October 2010
St Enoch Centre
Schipka Pass down, and a walk through Barrowland
 Sighthill Stone Circle
Sighthill Summer Solstice 2010
Sighthill Towers Before the Fall
Sighthill Towers After the Fall
Single Parent: Trials of an Extra part 2
Swingergate Day 2: Tommy and Gail Sheridan on Trial
Swingergate Day 11: 'How's He No' Gettin' Drapped Aff?'
Swingergate Day 28: A Large Pinch of Salt
Swingergate Day 37: Andy Coulson doesn't slip up
Swingergate Day 45: Waiting for the Verdict
Swingergate Day 46: the Last Day
Swingergate: Sentenced
Taggart: Trials of an Extra part 1
Tommy Burns Tribute
Alexander Greek Thomson
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 2: the Egyptian Halls Part 1: the Interior
Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 3: the Egyptian Halls Part 2: the Interior
Townhead to Duke St St to George S
Welcome to Glasgow: the Dalmarnock Rd
Welcome to Glasgow 2: the Yoker Rd
Welcome to Glasgow 3: Charing Cross station to Dalmarnock station
Welcome to Glasgow 4: Rutherglen to Gallowgate, Part 1
Welcome to Glasgow 4: Rutherglen to Gallowgate, Part 2
We're Not being paid Enough For This: Trials of an Extra Part 2
West End Festival 2010

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host (see In Memoriam talk 107)

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24 September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill

FROM THE INTERWEB (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010
'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'