Sunday, 28 February 2010

A little guide to Glasgow

For those who are going up to Glasgow at the beginning of March the main course will be on the Saturday, with a feast of a footballing day being organised by their 'head honcho' Iain Campbell, who I had the pleasure of meeting back in June, at their six-a-side competition, when I was up ther with Nicolas Lucas' Paris Saint Germain Belgium Branch tour party.

Our own 'Gaffer' Mick O'Shaughnessy cemented relationships with him, when he was up ther late last year, continuing his groundhopping quest of the Scottish League, when Iian accompanied him to a game at Stenhousemuir.

Iain has the following plans for the day, well starting of the Friday night, as posted on his excellent Queens Park Supporters' Team website:

"We have a busy weekend planned for the Dulwich squad and it starts on Friday evening when "The Rabblers" are heading to The State Bar in Holland Street at 7pm to get their visit off to a flier.

On the Saturday AKC Harvey has kindly agreed to give the guys, and gals, a tour of Hampden before they head to the Social Club for a quiet refreshment.

Big Hampden is again the port of call as they head to watch Queen's play Berwick Rangers then it's the biggie, a Challenge Match on Lesser Hampden.

The game kicks off at 5.45pm and will be refereed by the ever popular Ian "Fitzy" Fitzpatrick.

For this special game we are doing something different to keep all our expected THIRTY odd players happy.

The game is being split into three parts and we will be putting out the following teams:-

First Part - 35 minutes

Under 30's

Second Part - 35 minutes

Over 30's plus some younger ones

Third Part - 20 minutes

Legends including some of our team from our very first game in 1987

All three teams will be announced on Tuesday 2nd March.

After the game we will retire to the Social Club for hospitality and then there will be a Games Night between the teams.

A big thanks to QPFC and Keith McAllister of the Supporters Association for their help with the Saturday.

This should be an excellent weekend and hopefully all the Dulwich squad will enjoy themselves."

Hopefully we will! With a day like that I get the feeling real friendships will be made, and the football becoming somewhat incidental!

I know a number of ideas have been floated about, & that the Saturday is really ‘sorted’ with the football events against Queens Park, but for those of you who haven’t been to Glasgow before may I suggest a few things that might interest you...

The one thing I can't promise is good weather! But we're fortunate in that Hampden Park is unlikely to be off, being such a fine venue, and Lesser Hampden, where we play, is an all-weather surface. So check the forecast in advance.

I can't pretend to be an 'expert' on Glasgow, as I've only ever been there twice, back in 1999 for a pre-season match between Celtic & Leeds United, with my brother & Phil Doyle. And last June, which is where I met Iain from Queens Park supporters', being part of the tour party with the PSG Belgium Supporters' Team, who played in their six-a-side tournament. This year it is on the last Saturday in May, which is the Bank Holiday weekend, & it would be brilliant if we could raise a side for it, either for the main competition or the veterans one. Or both! I'm sure, once you've all experienced the Glasgow hospitality you'll want to come back. I certainly did, which is why I put Mick in touch with Queens Park!

On the Friday, during the day, I know Mick has arranged for stadium tours to both Celtic & Rangers.
I went on both of these last year, and they are well worth the money, with Rangers being the more impressive. And I say that as someone who has always preferred the hoops! If you want a preview here are my photos from Parkhead & also Ibrox.

On Saturday, at noon, we are all meeting up prior to the main Queens Park first team game, at Hampden Park, to visit the Scottish Football Museum. I simply cannot reccomend this enough. It is excellent! Again here are my snaps from last year, if you want a preview.

Our own match, as mentioned, is next door to the main Hampden Park, on the historic Lesser Hamden ground. more of my snaps from last year are here if you want to see it.

I think Saturday will be taken up by football all day, plus the evening socialising. But, if up early enough, there is a chance to see the sights, or even take in another game!
There are a couple of local amateur leagues that play Saturday mornings.
They are the Glasgow Saturday Morning League.
And the Strathclyde Saturday Morning League.
I have no idea of the standard, but I would guess around Kent County or Middlesex County League levels.

For other sporting venues may I also suggest for greyhound racing on Friday night, which is the old home of Clyde FC. This would be a good early evening option if you don't fancy getting too mashed at the team piss up, which is at The State Bar, from 7.00pm.

And two unusual venues to look at are the West of Scotland Cricket Club, venue for the first ever Scotland v. England international , which I also visited last year.

Also Caithkin Park, not far from the current Hampden Park, it was actually Hampden Park the second, & former home of Third Lanark FC , who disappeared in 1967. My snaps from last year are here, but if you are already planning to go I would suggest you DON'T look at them, so the surprise when you see the crumbling remains for the first time isn't spoilt!

If you don't fancy the Friday stadium tours, or have time to look around on the Sunday, before going home, I will suggest a few places.

But before I do this site will tell you all you need to know about tourism in Glasgow.
And use this one for transport details, which should include detals for one day travelcards, & the like; which will include their dinky little underground system, affectionatle known by the locals as the 'clockwork orange'. There's even a pub crawl of the same name!

Anyway, back to the touristy things, in no particular order here are some places you should consider...

Museum wise there are some excellent ones.

For a real history of Glasgow then the People's Palace museum is a must. I would guess this is their equivalent to our Museum of London. Their version sits in the pleasant & historic Glasgow Green Park.

If you like churches then Glasgow Cathedral is one to see. Next to this is the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life & Art.

And by those are the Glasgow Necropolis, probably one of the finest burial grounds in the whole of Britain, simply for it's magnificent hilltop location. But more importantly, as you walk up the slight hill to the Cathedral from the centre, a small railway station on the right, continue ahead, & on the left is a parade of shops. One of them is a chip shop that does the 'holy grail' of junk food...the deep fried mars bar! I found it last year, & they are delicious! I thoroughly recommend you try them & combine it with a walk to the Necropolis, to enjoy the panorama over the city.

Another religious building worth seeing is the St Vincent Street Free Church of Scotland, which has been described as 'one of Scotland's finest temples to God'

Shopping wise there are the main streets in the centre of town, but if you like rummaging then there is The Barras market, on both Saturday & Sunday, which is reputed to be one of the biggest markets in Europe!

In the centre George Square is worth a look, statues & monuments there, as well as the Glasgow Tourist Office. Adjacent is the Queen Street Railway Station, the oldest station in Glasgow, which is not actually the one from where you will get the train toward Hampden Park on the Saturday. That is Central Station.

Not far from here is the Gallery of Modern Art, not to everyone's taste, but if you like this sort of stuff it's well worth a visit.

If you like libraries, as I do working in one, the Mitchell Library is one to dip into, and it actually has the largest reference library in Europe.

For Ian there is the Glasgow Police Museum

If you like 'oldie worldy' slum type dwellings then you could do a lot worse than go to the Tenement House

I'm not 100% sure, but the biggest museum in the city is probably the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. It really has a bit of everything, and you will need a at least a couple of hours just to whizz round all of it! Across the road from here is Kelvin Hall, a famous sport venue, with the latter part of it round the back housing the Scottish Transport Museum

I haven't looked around the university area of the city, but here there is another attraction, the Hunterian Museum; & the Hunterian Gallery, which includes the Mackintosh House.

There's also a small regimental museum, which may catch Hutty's eye.

There are plenty of pubs in Glasgow, as you have probably guessed from the city that brought you Rab C. Nesbitt! I'm not going to list them, except to mention 'The Horseshoe' as it's reputed to have the longest bar in Britain! You don't need to guess what shape it is from the name! It does get croweded in here, but it is worth stopping ofr one or two if you haven't been there before. The only other 'advice' I have is take care if you're out & about on the Friday & Saturday night. While the majority of Jocks are ok, especially the Queens Park lot who really are diamond geezers, there will always be a few who will want to have a pop at you in front of their mates just because you're English, so be aware if around the Sauchiehall Street area. For decent pubs check out the local CAMRA branch.

There is plenty more to see & do in Glasgow,but I think I've listed more than enough to give you a 'flavour' for the weekend. Hopefully enough of a flavour so that we can return in May for the six-a-side tournament!

The last thing to remember is that they speak funny up there, so this may help!

What you decide to do it's going to be a great weekend!