Japanese artist Azuma Makoto recently ventured to Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to launch a 50-year-old pine bonsai and a colorful floral arrangement into space. The mission, titled Exobotanica, aimed to explore the transformation of the plants into exobiota (extraterrestrial life) in outer space.
The Lighthouse, an art and design gallery in the city centre of Glasgow. It has a viewing platform with lovely views of the city.
One day before the Commonwealth Games and Glasgow Central decides to stop working…you stay classy Glasgow!
The Old Town, Edinburgh » by Colin Myers Photography
FROM THE ARCHIVE: The Finnieston Crane - A Very Glaswegian Monument
With The Commonwealth Games opening just around the corner, I imagine you’ll be seeing a lot more of our beloved Finnieston Crane between TV broadcasts (they’re all based right beside it) and artwork, this Glaswegian symbol will probably be hard to avoid but that doesn’t make it a gimmick like this fella, the Crane is something much more visceral.
"It was me, ma Sister and ma Da, and we wur huvin’ a party. But somehow we wur huvin’ it up the top a’ that Finnieston Cran. That’s whut makes me ‘hink it nevur happened ‘cuz that canny be done." - Dee Dee, Limmy’s Show
It’s true. You can’t have a party up the top a’ that Finnieston Cran but you can read this post and learn all about it. If history’s taught us one thing, it’s that learning’s much more fun than parties.
The Finnieston Crane has loomed over the Clyde since 1932 and stands 165ft high, with a 253ft cantilever. When it was commissioned in 1926, its owners, the Clyde Navigation Trust christened it with the catchy moniker, Clyde Navigation Trustees Crane #7.
Although the Finnieston Crane was actually part of the Stobcross Quay and should accurately be referred to as the Stobcross Crane; it derives its title from the crane it was built to replace; the old Finnieston Crane which stood just at the end of the Squinty Bridge, the actual locations can be seen in the map above.
In 1935, Glaswegian writer James Cowan described a jaunt to the far end of the jib (the long, horizontal, terrifying bit):
'A noticeable peculiarity of each lateral movement was that it was not continuous, but took place in gentle jerks of a few inches at a time. The object of this is to prevent the load at the end of the cables acquiring a swinging motion, which would soon render the accurate placing of any load a matter of great difficulty and danger…I saw the heavy machinery … placed in a few minutes into a space where there was hardly an inch to spare on one side or the other, all the directions during this delicate operation being conveyed to the craneman by signs, and blasts on a whistle…’
Imagine the movement in the cantilever as you get out towards the end. Rather him than me! To give you an idea of the movement in the crane you absolutely have to check out Bill Fontana’s Silent Echoes project which lets you hear every yawning creak of the structure moving in the wind. It’s absolutely fantastic.
The crane mostly carried steam locomotives which were brought down from the railyards in Springburn for export. The crane would wheecht them up and onto the waiting ships.
In the third line of photos, you can see renowned scul?tor George Wyllie’s straw locomotive which was suspended from the crane during the 1988 Garden Festival. The locomotive was brought to the crane down the old route from the railworks in Springburn before being taken back up the road where it was burned on the derelict site of the old Hyde Park Works, revealing Wyllie’s trademark Question Mark. If you’re going to plough in with some heavy handed imagery, plough in with some Viking heavy handed imagery.
In the years since, the Finnieston Crane has been the subject of a great deal of speculation. While the Crane itself is Category A listed, there have been many attempts to ‘turn it into something’ but of course, it already is something.
It is a monument to Glasgow and a symbol of everything that Glasgow has both lost and gained in the 20th Century. If the Finnieston Crane never moves again, it will forever be something.
Stairway from Cockburn Street in Edinburgh.