Michael Laing (rock_dinosaur) wrote,
Michael Laing

A trip to Glasgow

I happened to notice this plethora of spy-cameras on top of the Costa kiosk in Waverley Station on 11th January, 2011. Presumably Costa Coffee is somewhere near the top of Al Queda's hit-list. Either that, or the powers-that-be consider it necessary to be able to record the movements of every person passing through Waverley Station individually. Seriously, is this level of surveillance not utterly over-the-top? Society functioned perfectly well without dozens of security-cameras recording our every move until a few years ago. And besides, if someone is determined to strap a bomb to themselves and detonate it in a public place, how are a few cameras going to stop them? It's just nonsense.

The interior of one of the six carriages forming the 10:21 Edinburgh Waverley to Helensburgh Central on 11th January, 2011, a few minutes before departure. I had almost the entire train to myself. The journey takes slightly longer, but travelling via Bathgate is evidently the little-known secret of a peaceful and comfortable journey to Glasgow. The train was well-heated too, and the passenger information announcements are less intrusive than those on the class 170s used on the main E&G route. There are supposed to be trains at 15-minute intervals on the new line via Bathgate, but they're only hourly at present, due to ScotRail's latest trains being a pile of malfunctioning crap. No doubt these trains will busy-up a bit when the 15-minute service is eventually introduced.

The Tolbooth tower at Glasgow Cross - the ancient heart of Glasgow - on the bright and sunny afternoon of 11th January, 2011. The tower dates from 1626 and was originally part of a much larger building, the Tolbooth.

"A tolbooth or town house (Scots: Towebuith) was the main municipal building of a Scottish burgh, from medieval times until the 19th century. The tolbooth usually provided a council meeting chamber, a court house and a jail. The tolbooth was one of three essential features in a Scottish burgh, along with the mercat cross and the kirk (church).

"Burghs were created in Scotland from the 12th century. They had the right to hold markets and levy customs and tolls, and tolbooths were originally established for collection of these. Royal burghs were governed by an elected council, led by a provost and baillies, who also acted as magistrates with jurisdiction over local crime. The tolbooth developed into a central building providing for all these functions. Most tolbooths had a bell, often mounted on a steeple, and later clocks were added. As well as housing accused criminals awaiting trial, and debtors, tolbooths were also places of public punishment, equipped with a whipping post, stocks or jougs. The tolbooth was occasionally a place of execution, and where victim's heads were displayed. The tolbooth may also have served as the guardhouse of the town guard. Other functions provided in various tolbooths included schoolrooms, weighhouses, storage of equipment and records, and entertainments.

"The first record of a tolbooth is at Berwick upon Tweed in the later 13th century, and the earliest known grant of land for construction of a tolbooth is at Dundee in 1325, with many more grants recorded through the 14th century. The oldest tolbooths which survive intact are those of Musselburgh (1590) and Canongate (1591). The tolbooth of Glasgow (1626) has been described as Scotland's 'most remarkable civic building of the 17th century'. Other Renaissance-style tolbooths were erected at Linlithgow (1668) and Kirkcaldy (1678). By the 18th century, the term 'tolbooth' had become closely associated with prison, and the term 'town house' became more common to denote the municipal buildings. Classical architectural styles were introduced, as at Dundee (1731) and Sanquhar (1739). In the early 19th century, increasing separation of functions led to purpose-built courthouses and prisons, and the replacement of tolbooths and town houses with modern town halls, serving as council chamber and events venue. The prison functions of tolbooths were overseen by prison boards from 1839, but the jail cell in the Falkirk Steeple remained in use until 1984."
[From Wikipedia page: Tolbooth]

The clock and crown-spire of the Glasgow Tolbooth tower, 11th January, 2011.
Tags: edinburgh waverley, glasgow

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