Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Tearing down the landmarks of letter to Strathclyde Partnership for Transport

When my mum and dad moved back to Glasgow from England in the 1950s, dad's first job was in a dental surgery in Walmer Crescent, just off Paisley Road West in Glasgow. I remember snippets from that cavernous, freezing cold, smelly flat. There was a cat. As a toddler, I tried to embrace what seemed like the cuddliest ball of fur in the world. The resulting agony remains with me as one of my earliest memories.

I don't like cats. I love Walmer Crescent, though, and covet a flat there, someday. A catless one with proper heating. And I'm a fan of the subway.

Walmer Crescent is in Cessnock, an area served by the Cessnock Subway station. The station is one I use a lot whenever I'm in the city, as it's the nearest to the BBC HQ at Pacific Quay. I always feel delighted by its location, by the listed 'Greek' Thomson terrace of which Walmer Crescent and the station is part (though the station entrance is on Cessnock Street, at the Crescent's end). I always thought the metal archway was part of the station's original livery. Though apparently it was erected in 1989 and is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh 'pastiche'. 

Better tear it down then.

As reported in The Daily Record, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, without consultation and probably illegally, has begun to remove the signage. 
They wish to, ahem, "establish a consistent and contemporary external design for the Subway in advance of the Commonwealth Games next year."

Still seems like brainless vandalism to me.

There is a Twitter campaign, hashtag #savecessnocksign and SPT are asking for 'public opinion' via the email address . I urge you to make your opinions known.

Here's my email:

I wish to object in the strongest possible terms to the removal of the classic signage at Cessnock station. 

The notion that overall 'branding' will be improved by such vandalism is gainsayed by the sensitive handling of historic signage in Paris, where the Metro's various station signs have become beloved works of art, and ones utterly identified with the network.

As someone with strong personal connections to Cessnock, I find this decision offensive and short sighted. If the Subway wishes to be identified with the best of Glasgow and its heritage, Cessnock station should, yes, be improved, but sensitively and with its lovely exterior left intact.

Tom Morton

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