Thursday, 4 May 2017

A building lost to time

People Make Glasgow.

At least this is what the 200ft sign attached to the face of this historic Glasgow building said. It's not that I disagree, people really do make Glasgow. But I have a love for the architecture that fills our city too, the old and the new, and the history that each building holds. What some people might view as an eyesore - masked from view by the aforementioned bright pink sign - I see as a thousand untold stories.

First built in the 1800s, and rebuilt just thirteen years later after a devastating fire, this was once a lively factory employing over three hundred people. When we visited it was abandoned, after closing in 2001, with crumbling staircases and walls covered with graffiti. And today, only a few months later, all that's left is rubble.

It was still daylight when we arrived, but despite this the atmosphere was eerie with nothing but the sound of water dripping from leaky pipes and concrete and broken glass crunching noisily under our feet as we walked. The first floor, easy accessible, was littered with broken bottles and empty cans of spray-paint. We weren't the first to visit. To the left there was a small ladder, conveniently propped against a partly-crumbled wall which we carefully climbed to enter the second floor.

Here it was darker, a long corridor with barely any light. We heard footsteps that didn't belong to us and from the darkness appeared three other people; two men and a lady. They were urban explorers too, here to be one of the last to step foot inside this building and catch a glimpse at what used to be. They were from Romania, Spain and England, building their friendship around a shared love of abandoned places. We stood and spoke for a while, our voices echoing as we shared knowledge of other forgotten places to visit before parting ways.

As we made our way upwards, we were met with level after level of emptiness. What was once filled with machinery, making up to 2000 of Britian's favourite chocolate biscuit every hour, was now a concrete expanse. It was hard to imagine people at work here, the sound of laughter around the conveyer belts. Where were those people now? What twists and turns did their life take after being made redundant?

As we made our way back down something caught my eye; a small green plant had pushed it's way through a crack in the concrete. It was the only sign of life left this in building. Everything else had been long forgotten.


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