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Glasgow archive photography round-up

Alan Dimmick

Alan Dimmick is a Glaswegian photographer, best known for photographing Glasgow’s art scene. He is posting archive photos on Instagram at the moment, fascinating to me because many are taken around Hyndland/Partick/Anniesland where I grew up.

The Windsor Cafe on Clarence Drive was my first local cafe, a real treasure trove of sweets and ice cream. The owners, pictured here, were a Scots-Italian brother and sister, with infinite patience from what I remember.

Jonathan Treen

Temptation - 1970s photographs by Jonathan Treen
‘Temptation’, Glasgow © 1977-2020 Jonathan Treen

Jonathan Treen is also posting archive photos of 1970s Glasgow on Twitter (@JonathanTreen) just now. Some of the locations are instantly recognisable, others changed beyond recognition.

Glasgow Swing Park - 1970s photographs by Jonathan Treen
Glasgow swing park © 1977-2020 Jonathan Treen

Photos taken from this interview on Document Scotland.

Graham Gavin

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The Cyrkles, Gourock, 1995

A post shared by Graham Gavin (@grahamgavinarchive) on

Graham Gavin has some great photos of Glasgow’s music scene in the 1990s – some lost bands, and some familiar faces.

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Warm winceyette

Winceyette bed jacket, John Ferguson, Perth

This is John Ferguson’s in Perth. One of the few remaining traditional urban outfitters.

John Ferguson, Perth - shop window

Two shops on either side of County Place have been clothing the denizens of Perth since 1924.

Rucksacks, John Ferguson, Perth

One side sells outdoor equipment and workwear. The other, clothes and ‘napery’ (household linen).

John Ferguson, Perth - shopfront

Ferguson’s recently amalgamated these shops into new premises at South Methven Street. I’m sad now that I was there on a Sunday and didn’t get a chance to see inside.

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Irvine - Gable End

I visited Irvine a couple of months ago, after winning a night out there in a raffle.

The fifth of Scotland’s new towns – the others are East Kilbride, Cumbernauld, Glenrothes and Livingston – it was added onto an existing (and very pretty in parts) historic town.

The vision for Irvine was spectacular space-age Brutalism. The reality doesn’t quite match the vision but there are some interesting things going on with bus lanes, and a strange predilection for tiny, irregular windows.

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On the beach

Westward Ho! beach, Devon
Westward Ho!

I’ve taken a picture of every beach I’ve been to, for the last 10 years or so. I was never sure why, but once I started I kept going.

Boscombe beach, Dorset

No beach looks particularly significant at the time, but when you see a few together, each one stands out in a different way.

Torridon beach

I wasn’t sure what to do with these photos, but now I’m stuck at home (far from a beach) they have been really comforting to look at.

Portmeirion beach, Wales

Perhaps this is what it was all for.

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The Bell, The Fish, The Bird and the Tree

St Mungo door knocker, Easdale Island

I’m not sure if any city is as proud of its coat of arms as Glasgow. You are never far from one – old or new, carved, engraved, painted, high or low – they are everywhere. Glasgow Coat of Arms started collecting them on Twitter @GlasgowCoA, and the crowdsourced results are currently on show at Glasgow City Heritage Trust in Bell Street until 6 Feb.

The story of St Mungo (Glasgow’s patron saint) and the book, the bell, the fish and the tree certainly caught my imagination at school, particularly the part about the salmon and the ring thrown into the river by the queen’s lover. That seemed a bit racey for primary school, particularly a Catholic one, but it did make saints seem cool.

I’m pleased to have contributed this wee St Mungo door knocker found on Easdale Island, 120-odd miles away from home. The collection is also on Instagram at instagram/GlasgowCoA and is growing all the time.

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The Joy of Pyrex

Pyrex dishes
From That Retro Piece

I was trying to identify a Pyrex dish I found in the loft (it turned out to be Chelsea), and lost a few hours admiring vintage Pyrex patterns.

The Pyrex Pattern Library from the Corning Museum of Glass has an extensive chronological archive of patterns, including the wonderfully named Mod Kitchen.

Pyrex Passion and Pyrex Love have easy-to-browse pattern libraries. The Pyrex Collector also has adverts and patents (No Home Can Have Too Much Pyrex – so true).

Pyrex 'Snowflake' dishes

I was still struggling to find my pattern until I found English Pyrex on That Retro Piece. This wonderful site, with beautiful photographs has guides to UK, Australian and New Zealand Pyrex.

All UK Pyrex was produced in by J A Jobling (JAJ) in Sunderland until 2007. The Sunderland Glass Centre has an exhibition called ‘The People’s Pyrex‘ on until May 2020.

Modern Pyrex is still going strong, now made in France. Check out the History of Pyrex.