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A Braw Sunday in the Toon

As much as i like a contemplative wander up a munro and through the glens of Scotland, the man-partner, not so much. After a lengthy discussion, we agree to our mutual interest; food. Combining breakfast with a compromise, we decided on a stroll along the Clyde. A fairly recent find of ours has been The Great Western Sandwich Co where we have been a good few times (and him even more). They offer awesome things to eat. That’s really all you need to know. You may feel the ingredients are not your usual cupboard staple but they work. Don’t dismiss a chilli sauce in your breakfast burrito or a pulled pork in your ‘Dog Father’. They work. Don’t question it. We tend to grab and go, finding a quiet spot to park but the cafe itself provides cosy seating using unusual materials. All that talk’s making me hungry again… Don’t you just hate those food pictures appearing on your Facebook feed…

We eat and head to the Riverside Museum which i still refer to as the ‘transport museum’. In its old location near Kelvingrove Galleries, we have taken the kids there more weekends than i care to count. I was dubious when the new address was announced, but it’s just as accessible offering 4 hours parking for only £1. I have used it a few times before for a walking base up the river and through the town. The last time i parked there i actually walked all the way to Cambuslang along the river. Beautiful in most parts, a bit dubious in some. Anyway, our first stop is the Tall Ship to the rear of the contemporary building and we spend about an hour there admiring the workmanship and history of the beast. Free entry but they do sell informative booklets for £4 which we purchased.


After a few arty shots through the portholes, we leave the ship with the Riverside Museum to the right and wander down to the Govan Ferry. Again, another free activity with a donation box to contribute to. The journey across the Clyde takes a matter of minutes and we were joined by the crew members very friendly, little black guard dog who safely brought us to dry land and welcomed new passengers on board.

A 10 minute walk round (aim roughly to the right) brought us to the very large but quite uninspiring Govan Old Parish Church. The tarmac pathway was quite tatty, the gardens were unkempt but barrier fencing and piles of materials indicated major investment and restoration to the surrounding ground and building.

My blacksmithing man-partner has been commissioned to make a single gate at the newly renovated wall which is why we knew the secrets that the church held. We walked around the grounds, admiring the workmanship on the ancient gravestones then the church doors opened. Lunch time must have finished, they were open for business.

We were greeted by a standing stone and instantly recognised the ‘sun stone’ emblem that was requested to be set into the commissioned gate (the swirly, snake head design near the top of the stone). The very helpful and well informed attendant regaled us with the history which i confess, did not remain in my head. A photographic memory for the visual, not so much for the descriptive.


The exterior of this building did not give any indication of the beauty inside. Not only were the ceilings endless, the stained glass allowed a beautiful light to enter. Rows and rows, of pews lay empty waiting for visitors of the preached. Walls were decorated with mood lit standing stones, beautifully carved, saved from the of effects of the Scottish elements. A gallery of ministers were on display along with the architectural history of the building and its stages in history and restoration along the years. A small section of this grand building had been set aside for Sunday service and only 25, bible resting seats were counted indicating a sign of the times. I hope the building in its entirety is sometimes used for larger occasions and events. I contemplated the cost of keeping this building alive… The church had become a museum. I liked the idea of the reincarnation but we were still the only visitors on a Sunday…


A return ferry back to the Riverside Museum was made and the place had sprung to life. An open ended SkateBoard tent had been set up with large ramps throwing bikes and skate boards criss-crossing their stunt riders from all ages. The sun was shining and a DJ was playing. I’m far to old to be watching this: we stayed 30 minutes enjoying this great resource in Glasgow being utilised.

Everything we did was free (or very cheap) and although encouraging donations, no pressure was made from the Riverside Museum, Tall Ship, Govan Ferry or the Church ‘Museum’. We need to support these places to keep them thriving.

Glasgow’s great when you get out and find it

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