Glasgow’s Art Deco Heritage 17: Templeton’s Carpet Factory

This should really have been much earlier in this series as it is one of the most striking buildings in Glasgow – and Scotland as a whole.

The former Templeton’s Carpet Factory is by Glasgow Green near the People’s Palace and occupies a sort of square formed by Binnie Place, Templeton Street, Tobago Street and London Road.

This view from the People’s Palace shows the unique combination of eastern and Scottish influences. The West Brewery at extreme left side here:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, from West

This is from a bit further along Templeton Street:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, from Southwest

Strong horizontals and verticals in the moderne style in this Templeton Street view:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow East Section

There is fantastic detailing in the upper brickwork:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, Detail

Junction of the “eastern” and “moderne” parts with Scots baronial thrown in to the mix:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow

The eastern side of the building, off Tobago Street, has now been converted into flats:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, from East

Further up Tobago Street:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, Northeast section

I had to stitch two photos to get the Tobago Street entrance doorway in. (It appears bent in this; it’s not really.)

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, East Doorway

The clocktower segment on the corner of Tobago Street and London Road has classic Art Deco lines:-

Templeton Carpet Factory, Glasgow, Clocktower Angle

North side of building – converted into flats. Off London Road:-

Templeton Carpet Factory,Glasgow, North Aspect

Stitch of two photos of west end of London Road aspect. (Again the building isn’t Curved.) The West Brewery occupies this portion:-

Templeton Carpet Factory,Glasgow, North Aspect

I’m on the Map!

Literally.

Despite me not having a piece of fiction published for a few years – and only ever one novel – I’ve been included on this map of British SF and Fantasy writers. (If you click on the map it will lead you to its creator’s website, where copies can be purchased):-

Science Fiction and Fantasy Literary Map

I’m humbled by this. Imagine me being on the same map as Alasdair Gray, Iain (M) Banks, Ken MacLeod, Ian McDonald, Eric Brown, Arthur C Clarke, J G Ballard, George Orwell et al. Not to mention J Leslie Mitchell (Lewis Grassic Gibbon.)

Dundee 6-2 Dumbarton

Scottish League Cup*, Dens Park, 23/7/16.

Wew were impressive in the first half and dominated it apart from a brief interval when they scored a silly free kick to give away at the edge of the box which Mark Brown flapped at.

Robert Thomson held the ball up well and generally looked lively, Ryan Stevenson and Andy Stirling combined well down the left hand side. We played some good stuff. The equaliser followed a cleared corner back out to Ryan Stevenson whose first time cross was headed back across to Robert Thomson (maybe a shade offside) who was under pressure but stooped to head the ball down and Frazer Wright (there’s a novelty; Frazer Wright!) bundled it over the line. The keeper clawed it out and we thought it hadn’t been given at first but the linesman had spotted it as over. The second had parallels a Robert Thomson headed effort had crossed the line – just) before it was cleared. I couldn’t actually see the shot as the guy in front had jumped up to claim the goal and obscured the ball. I just saw it travel into the net. It was soon obvious Gregor Buchanan had hit the shot.

Second half was a totally different story. Dundee looked much sharper and we barely got a kick. Their equaliser was offside though and their third came fom a free-kick that certainly wasn’t a foul – but it was coming. Mark Brown had made a great double save somewhere around there to keep us just about in it but it only delayed things. The last three they just walked through us.

On the first half performance we might just be able to compete this season. On the second we definitely won’t.

*Now the Betfred Cup.

The Devil’s Elixirs by E T A Hoffman

Oneworld Classics, 2011, 287 p including 2p Editor’s Preface, 1 p Notes, iv p Introduction and ii p Chronology. Translated from the German Die Elixiere des Teufels by Ronald Taylor.

The Devil's Elixirs cover

This is not one of the Hoffman stories which Offenbach turned into an opera. It is, though, a very Gothic tale of temptation, mistaken identity, and encounters with the Devil. Francesco, brought up in a monastery with no idea of his ancestry experiences a sexual torment when he glimpses his music teacher’s sister partly dressed. Later he perceives a slight when seen kissing her discarded glove. To resist temptation he resolves to become a monk, taking the name Medardus, and develops a talent for preaching. The reception of his sermons, which bring in a growing audience, boosts his ego. He is, though, plagued by a vision of the painter of the portrait of St Anthony which hangs in the monastery. He is given access to a box which contains bottles left to St Anthony by the Devil. Of course he gives in to the temptation to drink from one, which makes him euphoric. Partly to remove him from the sin of pride but also from temptation, the Prior, Leonardus, sends him on an errand to Rome. There follows a series of fantastical adventures involving the woman Aurelia (who bears a remarkable resemblance to a portrait of Saint Rosalia,) Medardus’s ancestral family, his döppelganger and various deeds of evil on his part in which Hoffman seems to be saying that origins cannot be outrun and we are doomed to repeat the sins of our forebears. (Recognising and resisting the Devil might be an aid in avoiding that, though.) The plot is intricate, the lines of Medardus’s ancestry convoluted, incidents recur in slightly altered form. The story is presented to us at one remove as a found, or, rather, handed over manuscript (the prior who did so thought it should be burnt) written as a penance for Medardus’s sins.

Early on Leonardus tells Medardus that the pleasures of the world, “produce an indescribable disgust, a complete enervation, an insensibility to higher values, which spells the frustration of man’s spiritual life.” Well, maybe to the religious ascetic: but this acts as an indicator of a kind of detachment which Medardus exhibits in his relations with others and the world.

Pedant’s corner:- Cyrillus’ (Cyrillus’s,) Hermogenes’ (Hermogenes’s,) “I threw away the monk’s habit, which still contained the fateful knife, Victor’s dispatch case and the wicker bottle with the remainder of the Devil’s elixir,” (I read this to mean that the habit, knife, case and bottle had all been thrown away; but the last three are still in his possession a few pages later.) ‘“All the floral arrangements,” said my companion, the work of our beloved Princess,’ is missing a start quotation mark before “the work”, louis d’ors (I doubt this is the correct plural of louis d’or. Should it not be louises d’or? Compare “pieces of eight”. [Unless the plural of louis is simply louis in which case the coin’s plural should be louis d’or.]) Descendents (descendants,) imposter (impostor.)

Not Friday on my Mind 41: Paradise Lost

The Herd’s follow-up to From the Underworld kind of carried on from where that one left off but Paradise Lost was still a very odd concoction, with its intro and coda reminiscent of The Stripper but Prog leanings elsewhere.

(By contrast the band’s third single – which I featured in a different context here – was straightforward bouncy pop song.)

The Herd: Paradise Lost

Langemark German Military Cemetery (ii)

In the first battle of Ypres more than 3,000 not well trained volunteers were thrown into the German attacks and did not leave again so their final resting place is in Langemark. The cemetery is sometimes called the Studentenfriedhof (Student Cemetery) as there was a large number of (school) students among them. A board fills one wall of the entrance building with their names.

Deutsche Studentenschaft Names

Unlike the upright Commonwealth War Graves markers the German ones are rectangular slabs laid flat on the ground. I have seen German war graves before, at Bayeux and Beauvais, so was prepared for that, but those were for World War 2 dead and the feelings engendered by them were more conflicted.

There was something sombre about the arrays in Langemark. The grass was being regenerated after poor weather so at our time of visiting we there was no access to individual graves but from the fence it was possible to take photographs. Langemark War Cemetery, Graves:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Graves

The German practice was to bury 8 men together. These two grave markers name 16 each though. Langemark War Cemetery, Named Graves:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Named Grave

Langemark War Cemetery, Grave

Vier Unbekante Deutsche Soldaten (Four Unknown German Soldiers):-

Langemark War Cemetery Grave

Emil Krieger’s Mourning Soldiers Statue from the Kameraden Grab:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Mourning Soldiers

Vier Unbekante Deutsche Soldaten and Nikolaus Jackel musketier, Zehn Unbekante Deutsche Soldaten (Five unknown soldiers, one named rifleman, ten unknown soldiers):-

Langemark War Cemetery, Communal Grave

Langemark War Cemetery, Stone Wreath. The inscription (from Isaiah 43:1) reads “Ich habe dich bei deinem namen gerufen, du bisst mein.” “I have called your name, you are mine.” :-

Langemark War Cemetery, Stone Wreath

Like the cemetery in Beauvais which had few visitors from Germany – few visitors at all (and which I felt bad about not signing the book as I had come across that one by accident and had no pen with me) – not many Germans seem to visit Langemark. (Bayeux was a mainly British/Commonwealth Cemetery with German graves set to one side of it.) I did sign the book at Langemark. However all the tributes surrounding the stone wreath in the picture above seemed to have been laid by British school visitors.

Langemark War Cemetery, Basalt Crosses, Graves:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Basalt Crosses, Graves

A series of blocks with German words on them snakes through the northern part of the cemetery. These, I think, commemorate the companies of students who were killed here during the first Battle of Ypres. This block says “Rothenburger Verband Schwarzer Schlagender Verbindungen.

Langemark War Cemetery, Inscribed Block

Another, closer, view of Emil Krieger’s statue:-

Mourning Soldiers, Langemark War Cemetery

This Census-Taker by China Miéville

Picador, 2016, 150 p.

 This Census Taker cover

This is a novella from Miéville which is unlike anything of his I’ve read before. A boy sees his father kill his mother – or thinks he does. Knowing his father has previously killed animals (and two people) then thrown them into a chasm in a nearby cave the boy flees downhill to the nearby town and blurts out the news. The locals’ investigations lead to no conclusion as his father says his mother has merely gone away and left a note to say so. The frightened boy – the narrator of this tale written down in recollection many years later – is returned to his father’s care.

In this society there had been a series of disruptions, wars, some time in the past. As a result, people are sent to take stock, to count foreigners, of which the boy’s father is one. One such census taker arrives later to find out the truth of the incident. There is not much more to the story than that but a sense of eeriness pervades the book leading to a feeling that more has been revealed than has actually been said, which is a neat trick for a writer to pull off.

In this regard I was reminded of some of the work of Ursula Le Guin, especially her Chronicles of the Western Shore. The rural setting (though the technology here, even if it is remnant technology, is more advanced than in Le Guin’s stories) and the hint of menace in the surroundings – here more pronounced – are common to both. The sense of oddness, too, of dislocation. There were also some echoes of Emmi Itäranta’s Memory of Water, though I suppose tales of future dystopias will always have elements in common, and, oddly, of Andrew Crumey’s Pfitz.

Pedant’s corner:- no entries. Remarkable in this day and age. (Any day and age?) Congratulations to all concerned.

Langemark German Military Cemetery (i)

Just outside the town of Langemark (formerly Langemarck) in the municipality of Langemark-Poelkapelle, West Flanders, Belgium, lies a German War Cemetery which contains the bodies of more than 44,000 soldiers including the German air ace Werner Voss and two British soldiers who died in 1918. Many of the smaller German war cemeteries in this part of Belgium were consolidated into larger ones such as Langemark in the 1950s.

Langemarck village (as it was then) was the site of the first German gas attack in April 1915.

Stone by Langemark War Cemetery entrance. The five crosses design is the motif of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, the German war graves commission:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Stone by Entrance

Langemark War Cemetery Entrance:-

Langemark War Cemetery Entrance

Volksbund plaque inside entrance building:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Volksbund Plaque

This basalt cross is at the cemetery’s corner by the path from the car park to the entrance. Blockhouses can be seen in the cemetery’s interior:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Basalt Cross

Blockhouses and graves from cemetery exterior:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Surround, Blockhouses and Graves

On a series of basalt blocks in the area just behind the cemetery’s entrance are engraved the names of those known soldiers who are buried in the mass grave here, known as the Comrade’s Grave (Kameraden Grab.) The plaque on this first one commemorates British Privates A Carlisle, Loyal North Lancs Regiment and L H Lockley, Seaforth Highlanders:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Basalt Block

Names of some of the known soldiers in the Kameraden Grab. There are 68 bronze panels of these names:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Basalt Block

Langemark War Cemetery, Statues. When we visited this grouping was set behind the entrance building though previously it had been moved from there to the cemetery’s rear boundary. It was designed by Emil Krieger who gained his inspiration from a photograph of mourning German soldiers taken in 1918:-

Langemark War Cemetery, Statues

Life Goes On

In amongst all the stuff going on in the world – a certain referendum result, the resultant resignation by Mr Irresponsible (see posts here,) a constitutional coup d’état in the UK followed by the appointment of a buffoon as Foreign Secretary, an inadequate with mental problems rampaging along a packed, festive promenade in a lorry deliberately targeting families and children, a seeming military coup d’état in Turkey with characteristics that are very odd and which swiftly fell apart, not to mention the ongoing mayhem in Iraq, Syria and so on – people have to get on with things and carry on, marking the milestones in their lives.

So it was that I missed Sons opening game of the season (about which the only thing positive to be said is that we twice came back from a goal down.)

Why did I miss a game so easily travelable for me?

I was at a piss-up in a brewery.

To clarify: it was my younger son’s wedding and the happy couple decided to hold their nuptials at the West Brewery, in part of the former Templeton’s Carpet Factory, near Glasgow Green, (which I now realise I haven’t yet posted my photographs of.)

One of the advantages of holding a wedding in a brewery is …… beer. As well as the usual immediate post ceremony libation of wine the choice of beer was available, great foaming jugs of the stuff (and half-pint glasses – just as well; the beer seemed quite strong.)

Then these two jugs appeared on the table before the meal. The beers were Munich Red and St Mungo, both very palatable:-

Beer

A few minutes later another jug was added. This was a wheat beer of some sort, to the front in this shot. Less to my taste, though:-

More Beer

There was a lot of dad dancing going on – and not just from the older ones like myself. But a good time was had by all.

Asimov’s Science Fiction, March 2016

Dell Magazines, 112 p.

Asimov's Mar 2016 cover

The second issue of the year’s subscription to the magazine my younger son gave me as a Christmas present. Robert Silverberg describes how Walter de la Mare’s story The Three Mulla-Mulgars, read in his youth and many times since, inspired him and fed into his fiction. James Patrick Kelly’s internet overview discusses the pros and cons of reading and writing a series of books.1 In the fiction:-
The Bewilderness of Lions by Ted Kosmatka.2 A data cruncher who can predict scandals goes to work for a politician. Then she is contacted by the people who really run things. Another story which panders to the secret-conspiracy-that-rules-the-world tendency.
The Ship Whisperer by Julie Novakova. An expedition to a black dwarf (which shouldn’t exist) discovers a device that can alter the rate of change of time. The titular character can “talk” to quantum computers, enabling the story’s resolution.
A Partial List of Lists I Have Lost Over Time by Sunil Patel is a series of listicles. I believe it is supposed to be humorous. The author seems to have a particular thing about kale.
Project Empathy by Dominica Phetteplace is about trends, moving elsewhere then finding the norms are different, plus there are Watcher chips inside people’s heads.
Do Not Forget Me by Ray Nayler3 is a story in the Eastern tradition, of tales within the tale – four embedded narratives here – the central one being about a man who doesn’t age. There is nothing really noteworthy here though.
A Little Bigotry by R Neube.4 An ex-soldier down on her uppers is reduced to accepting a contract to be an escort to a former enemy. A fine enough story but reminiscent of Barry B Longyear’s Enemy Mine. Then again, I suppose the point about enemies being worthy of understanding always bears repeating.
New Earth by James Gunn.5 A colony ship from a more-or-less destroyed Erath has reached a new planetary home. Choices and dangers must be faced.
I Married a Monster from Outer Space by Dale Bailey6 is narrated by a woman who takes home an alien who came into the Walmart she works in. This at first unpromising – clichéd even – scenario is, though, only scaffolding over what eventually becomes an affecting tale of love, loss and redemption. I note the references by Bailey – via the narrator’s surname (Sheldon,) her dead daughter Alice and her comment on her status as an invisible woman – to the career of James Tiptree Jr.

Pedant’s corner:- In the editorial; definine (define,) chose (choose,) Lawrence Watt Evans tale (Evans’s,) 1 ambiance (ambience,) 2 she could feel it siding in her fingers (sliding makes more sense,) lobyists (lobbyists,) 3 lay about (lie about.) 4 license (licence,) maw used for mouth (maw means stomach,) accurst (accursed,) 5mentions trees that are not-quite-trees but one of the characters says multi-cellular life hasn’t evolved there. Trees are multi-cellular; the fern-like structures subsequently described would be also. 6Bug-Eyes’ (it’s singular; so Bug-Eyes’s,) Hastings’ (Hastings’s,) laying (lying; plus lay for lie,) breath in (breathe in.) In Paul di Filippo’s book reviews; stefnal to mean science-fictional, a usage I had not come across before, whereas sfnal I was familiar with.

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