#WeBuiltShips

Govan gravings docks looking east along the Clyde towards the SECC and Science Centre tower.

Hello everyone, bit of a gap between now and my last post, so apologies are due! I’ve been very busy, not just with the festive period but also with a new job and a new flat – top tip: don’t move house over Christmas and New Year, it’s very difficult and you will literally burst with stress.

One of my New Year’s resolutions (do people still do these, aye?) is to post more photographs on my blogs. However, this has been hampered a bit by the fact that I have no Internet in the new flat yet, and it otherwise seems to be a communications blackspot, with no mobile signal whatsoever.

Part of the old Fairfield Yard (the abandoned part, as far as I can tell)

Anyway, despite the lack of Internet I’ve ended up starting a mini photo project recently, and completely by accident, too. As mentioned, I recently moved to Govan, an area of Glasgow famous for its shipbuilding past. There are still a few yards left in Govan, most notably Fairfield Heritage, and BAE Systems, where recent orders for the Royal Navy are still being fulfilled and ships are therefore very much still being built (incidentally, BAE Systems and Fairfield Heritage shipyards are my neighbours and, I suspect, the main reason I can’t get any mobile phone signal in my flat). However, the amount of shipbuilding happening in Govan these days is a shadow of the former industry in the area.
I’ve been taking lots of photos, as I do, and have found myself using the hashtag #WeBuiltShips on a lot of my Instagram posts. From this a definite theme has emerged (or, is emerging at least) around the transformation of Govan from shipyards to what it is now – an area which is still changing and evolving out of the industrial era into the new age, so to speak. As always, the changing urban environment is really interesting to me, and so I’ve found myself documenting various aspects of the Govan architecture and urban landscape. And what a rich history Govan has!

The entrance to Fairfield Yard – one of my new neighbours!

These are a few of the shots I’ve gotten recently with my Sony Xperia phone – I’m finding more and more these days that there’s less and less difference between my phone and my DSLR, for daylight shooting anyway. Im currently considering a new camera, but I’d love to know people’s opinions on me posting camera phone Vs DSLR pics. Is there a noticeable difference, do you consider camera phone pics to be cheating or lazy, do you even care?!
Hopefully the #WeBuiltShips theme is something I can keep going with, and maybe even turn into a proper project. Stay tuned for updates, and as always, thanks for visiting 🙂

Someone’s childhood?

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Spotted this while walking through an old neighbourhood I used to live in, Govanhill if any of you know Glasgow. It struck me that pushed into that corner the old arcade game and the sweetie machine (gumball machine if you’re North American?) are like a little frozen moment in time, which is basically what photographs are: little frozen moments in time.

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

Susan Sontag

Bowled out

Bowled Out 2 khpMe and a friend stumbled across an old disused bowling green while exploring another site. The site we were there to explore was an old factory and office complex and we didn’t expect to find something like this, but it makes an interesting scene.

There were lots of lockers with matching keys, but we didn’t have time to check them out since we had to run for a train. Nonetheless I think we’ll be going back as we didn’t get all the time we wanted in the other site (pictures to come).

The basement

Nursing Home Basement W

This is another picture from the abandoned nursing home, and it’s definite the creepiest of the lot. There was a tunnel extending behind me that was much much darker, but unfortunately I didn’t have my tripod on me for this occasion, so that’ll have to wait until another time.

 

After you…

Nursing Home Stairs W

One of my friend and colleagues recently discovered an abandoned nursing home close to our place of work, so we managed to take an afternoon to explore it for a while. There was some truly beautiful architecture, including stain glass windows in many parts of the building and several sets of staircases with ornate bannisters. The building was huge, so I think it’ll need a second exploration at some point…

 

Reflections of decay

Reflection W

 

A nice shot of reflections in St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross, Dunbartonshire. This is the second time I’ve explored this old building. Both times there have been other people there exploring as well, I think despite being abandoned it is one of the main attractions (for people like me, anyway) in Cardross. It truly is a stunning building. There’s talk of restoring it to the way it once was, maybe it might see use again. Until then it’s one of the my favourite abandoned places in the area.

Shipwreck in Bowling Harbour

Boat high tide bw W

This shot is from Bowling Harbour on the river Clyde, just outside Dumbarton. There are several old wrecks, wooden and metal, abandoned in the harbour. I’m not sure what the story behind all of these old ships is, but they make for interesting and eerie photographs. The Erskine Bridge dominates the skyline in the background, making a nice contrast between old and new.

Gray Dunn Biscuit Factory

Running Scared

These pics are from my first bit of urban exploring in a while, in the old Gray Dunn Biscuits Factory in Tradeston, Glasgow.  I’ve wanted to get inside this building for a while, and almost didn’t before working out exactly how to get round its many fences and walls. The building looks over the motorway as you drive into the city from the south, and from the building’s top floor you get a very unique view out across Glasgow from the Kingston bridge all the way over to the Gallowgate Twins in the East End and beyond. The picture was the whole reason I wanted into this building. I found pictures of this from one of the big urbex groups in Glasgow and instantly wanted a wander around myself.

Old computer

Believe it or not this old computer, complete with its own desk, chair and printer, was just sitting there on the top floor of this particular section of the building. Creepy to say the least, as if the place wasn’t creepy enough with the wind and rain howling through it and the weird noises that only a creaky old building like this can make. Despite the strange noises and lack of wind resistance it was good to get in and wander around, it reminded me of why I like exploring these old buildings. I was talking to my friend who is a keen mountain climber when I realised, despite the obvious physical and aesthetic difference, there is a lot in common with mountain climbing and urban exploring. The risk of falling off a mountain, or through a floor, the emptiness, the sense of being alone (in a good way) to explore for yourself. One of the main things that draws me to abandoned building is the isolation (again, in a good way). There’s the adrenaline rush as you get under that last fence and clear into the building where you know no one can see you. All of a sudden, no matter how busy the street you just left outside is, it’s just you and the building and no one else. It’s a wonderful feeling!

Stripes

On another note, I’m desperatley trying to get on top of posting and it is not working! So many work and PhD commitments taking up my time, but I’m trying my best. Hopefully have some pictures from our recent adventure to Glen Nevis posted soon, if I can find the time to edit them! Until then, thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.