Biggar Ramblers Walk Report – Saturday 26th January 2019
On a dull and grey Saturday morning, a group of 13 Biggar Ramblers set off from Glasgow Central Station to explore the murals of Glasgow with Lynn Weir. They headed initially past George Square and the City Chambers heading for the murals at Strathclyde University. Unfortunately, the very first one – “Hip Hop Marionettes” had disappeared with the demolition of the building where it was situated, but such is the nature of the murals that some are transient. The seven-storey high lecture hall complete with students, an equatorial telescope and a land-ship, which was a mock up navigation bridge once used to teach at the School of Navigation were still on other Strathclyde University buildings. This then brought us to a new mural at the junction with the High Street – a stunning one depicting St Enoch cradling Glasgow’s founder St Mungo with a robin perched on her hand in a modern depiction of the 6th century icons. A short detour up the High Street showed another favourite entitled “St Mungo”, also including a couple of robins. Heading for Candleriggs and Merchant City was a huge mural called “Fellow Glasgow Residents” depicting the varied wildlife of Glasgow parks throughout the four seasons. Every time you look at it you notice another detail or a different animal. The next short detour along the Trongate brought them to the first of the three murals of the Big Yin (Billy Connelly) before retracing their steps past the Panopticon Music Hall where Stan Laurel had performed to see the second mural featuring Billy Connolly near Osborne Street. After this it was down to the River Clyde to admire the various personalities and local history on the walls of the Clutha Bar along with the recent mural above it celebrating Charles Rennie Macintosh’s 150th birthday. By now it was raining heavily so it was a quick walk along the banks of the Clyde to observe one of the original murals which has now been re-worked – “The Glasgow Tiger Mural” and up onto Osborne Street to view the third Billy Connolly mural. Opinion was divided on which was the most life like and recognisable as the Big Yin. It was then back into the city centre to see “The World’s Most Economical Taxi” where the artist had painted the wall to look like a brick wall, “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” “Wind Power” which was very cleverly depicted using a dandelion clock and wind turbines, and lastly another early mural – “Glasgow’s Panda”. As it was still raining heavily and showing no signs of letting up the decision was taken to leave the second half of the walk for a better day later in the year when we could take our time to enjoy them and see them at their best.