News
March 2011
A BIT OF THIS AND A BIT OF THAT
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum at dusk
BUILDING/STRUCTURE OF THE MONTH
This month we feature the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum in Glasgow. It is a fairytale palace that one simply should not miss. [See the 'Glasgow - Other Stuff' page for more on Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum.]
TRAVELLING TIPS FROM THE GOOD SOUP GUIDE - BUSES



1. When standing at a bus stop with all your suitcases, look anxiously around at least once every ten seconds wearing an expression that suggests you are anticipating at any moment the arrival of a mad axe-man.

2. When you step onto a bus and find the driver is shielded behind a thick Perspex barrier, shout very loudly through the few meagre holes that are in place to allow communication, 'A pound of sausages and twa kippers, son.'

3. If you have the misfortune to find yourself sitting beside a very smelly person, say quietly in their ear,' Ah'm sorry son, but ah've keeched ma pants.' The said smelly person will then, in all probability, leave the bus at the next stop.

4. Always carry a brown paper bag for situations where the person sitting immediately behind you has an overpowering smell of garlic on their breath. Whether you use the bag on that person or yourself is entirely up to you.

5. If a wee old woman gets on with freshly permed hair carrying a small farting dog in a coat, get off immediately as there is no other solution.

6. If the driver of your bus is a bounder who brakes and accelerates too violently and clearly thinks he's driving a sports car instead of a bus, speak quietly with all the other passengers and arrange it so that when he next comes to a halt after yet another serious bit of braking you will all scream in unison as loudly as you can, 'AAAGGHHHHH... MA LEG!!!' He may then get the message.

7. Always carry a broken raw egg in a handkerchief for occasions when a drunk man tries to sit beside you, whereupon it may be removed from your pocket and displayed to the inebriate with the phrase, 'Huv you goat anuther hanky mister. Ah've goat a terrible cold.'

8. If you have insufficient knee-room, it is permissible to hang your legs over the shoulders of the passenger in front.

9. Always carry a small hand-held megaphone in case the 'STOP' buttons either do not work or do not illuminate to tell you they are working. You can then remain seated, and on approaching your stop switch it on and shout, 'NEXT STOP DRIVER, THANK YOU!'

10. Always ensure you have at least twenty pounds worth of one pence coins for those situations where the driver requires the right money for the fare.
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Unemployed to help out during fuel crisis
PUBLIC ASKED TO HELP OUT DURING FUEL CRISIS
With combined thoughts of tackling both the soaring price of fuel and the nation's desire to save the planet, the Scottish Government has introduced a series of measures. As from July 2011, no vehicle will be permitted in any city centre with its engine on.
     Further to discussions with a government spokesperson, The Good Soup Guide understands that the system will actually allow vehicles into demarked areas, but they will not be allowed to switch their engine on. Leaflets will be sent to every household in the country informing citizens about the regulations, and asking all members of the public to help out.
     'All we're asking,' said a spokesperson, 'is that pedestrians in city centres take a few minutes out of their day to help push a car. It's not a lot to ask. Recent research has found that two persons can push a small vehicle at a speed of 6mph for two hours with very little effort. Our citizens will get fitter, our cities will be cleaner and less polluted, and this planet on which we find ourselves will survive for just a little longer.'
    When asked what will happen if a vehicle finds itself with no one around to push, the spokesperson had this to say: 'Our legislation takes into account just such a scenario. Unemployed persons will be posted for three hours each day on every street corner, and they will be under strict instructions to assist in the pushing of vehicles. Those who refuse, will lose their benefits.'
     'Car owners themselves can help out. We have a leaflet that gives step-by-step instructions on how to remove the floor of your car, thus allowing your feet to make contact with the road surface and assist with movement of the vehicle.'
     Public opinion is mixed. 'Pushin'? Pushin'? said a wee woman in Partick. 'Ah'm already huvin tae lie doon on the road to help they bastarts get traction, an' noo they want me tae push? Ah canny be in twa places at the same time.'
                    LOLLIPOP MEN AND WOMEN...
                        DO WE STILL NEED THEM?
I question whether there is a role for lollipop men and women in today's world.
     One, we could save money by getting rid of them. Whoops, for a moment there, there was such a sharp intake of breath across the nation that I was struggling for air. 'But our wee Johnny and Susie will no' be safe crossing the road,' I hear you all shout in unison, to which I would reply, 'And you think they're safe now?'
     Listen, cars are too fast these days, fast and with frightening levels of acceleration. What we do not need is some old yin, no matter how fluorescent they may be, waddling onto the road with a stick and trying to stop the traffic. It is silly. And dangerous.
     There's one on Crookston Road in Glasgow. It's a wide and very busy road. And fast. A lollipop person is positioned so as to allow schoolchildren to get to a nearby school. But - and listen very closely - the lollipop person is positioned just up from a pedestrian crossing at Paisley Road West, and just down from a pedestrian crossing at the school itself. Why on earth are we encouraging our children to cross where it is patently not safe to do so? Think about it.
Copyright The Good Soup Guide. All rights reserved. CONTACT: enquiries@thegoodsoupguide.co.uk




Sometimes when shops change hands or are renovated, a little architectural bit of their past is revealed. From under old layers of paint and modern plastic facades come golden hand-painted letters and names more common to our forebears.
     The resurrection of these old shop signs is usually momentary, allowing us a tantalising glimpse of a bygone era before the paint and plastic do their job for another few decades.
     These leftovers are often given short thrift by our fast-paced world. I once picked up a few wooden letters from the gutter in Glasgow's Queen Street. They had been removed from above the grand entrance to some chambers by a painter removing paint. He was removing anything and everything. He was removing our past.
     A walk along any city street will reveal small signs of how we once were. A building at 1163 Argyle Street, near Finnieston in Glasgow, for example, is currently being renovated. At its corner there once was the Kelvingrove Cafe. We know this because the golden letters are there for all to see. 'Established 1896,' it says. 'Ices a Speciality.' If you look real close below the letters there are green tiles and a window whose wooden surround was made by a craftsman. It is designed to both stop the window from falling out and be pleasing to the eye.
     And next door to the Kelvingrove Cafe is a newsagent, its golden letters gleaming for all to see. For now. Soon, it will all be gone. A fleeting visitation.
The Past Revealed
Old newsagent shop sign in Argyle Street, Glasgow
AN OLD SHOP SIGN IS EXPOSED ON ARGYLE STREET, GLASGOW, DURING RENOVATION
Kelvingrove Cafe, 1163 Argyle Street, Glasgow
A GLORIOUS OLD FRONTAGE SEES THE LIGHT OF DAY AFTER MANY YEARS COVERED OVER BY PAINT AND PLASTIC. THE KELVINGROVE CAFE, 1163 ARGYLE STREET, GLASGOW.
old Two Ways pub trade mark above original entrance, Glasgow
OLD PAINTED TRADE MARK REVEALED ABOVE THE ORIGINAL ENTRANCE TO THE TWO WAYS PUB IN GLASGOW DURING RENOVATION.
Old shop sign in Maryhill, Glasgow - J.C. Kydd
AN OLD PAINTED WOODEN SHOP SIGN ON MARYHILL ROAD, GLASGOW, IS EXPOSED DURING CHANGE OF TENANT.
Just along from the Kelvingrove Cafe, at the junction of Kent Road and Argyle Street is a public house. It was more recently known as the Two Ways, but has gone through many transformations over the years. During its recent renovation an old name came to light: Finnieston Station Bar, the name coming from the station that once stood across the road, but it too is gone. Also revealed above the pub's original entrance was a painted trade mark, interlocking letters, a red fancy 'B' and 'S'. These tell an older story, of when the pub was a wine and spirit merchant under the name of Buchanan Scott & Co, way back in the nineteenth century, from around 1880 or thereabouts. These too have now gone, painted over during the recent renovation.
     I suppose we have to be thankful that in many cases these remains are not lost forever. It is much easier to simply place a modern plastic shop sign over what's already there than to rip things out. At 1857 Maryhill Road (once Main Street, Maryhill), a recent change of tenant revealed the name 'J. C. Kydd.' A little bit of research found that in the 1930s James C. Kydd was a restaurateur, so it looks as if amongst the butcher and baker and fishmonger and all the shops that provide life's basics, Maryhill once had, at the very least, a small cafe, and possibly a little culinary piece of heaven.
Kelvingrove Cafe facade, Glasgow
BENEATH DECADES OF GRIME, THE PAST IS REVEALED. THE KELVINGROVE CAFE, 1163 ARGYLE STREET, GLASGOW.
The Question


Why does each successive UK government make empty promises about broadband for all?
            BREAST IS BEST
There has been much talk about breast-feeding over the years. More recently, some brainy person said (undoubtedly via some public-funded research and too many beers) that 'prolonged breastfeeding may harm babies' health.'
     Twaddle. Whatever happened to the idea of just letting mothers do what comes naturally? We appear to be drowning expectant mothers in advice.
     We rely too much on advice tailored for Missus Average. We also seem to shy away from breast in favour of some made-up formula. Pressure from milk-formula makers? Pressure from folk who think bare breasts are the devil's work?
     If you want my advice, simply follow your instincts and give your child what you think it needs.
ANOTHER SMALL SHOP FOR GLASGOW'S WEST END
Home Bakery - old shop frontage lettering at 31 Hyndland Street, Glasgow
It's always nice to see another small shop spring up. Invariably small shops are tiny oases of genuine friendliness where you are not bombarded with questions about Hector cards, vouchers for pampers, bag for life, and will you manage to pack that banana all on your own or do you wish me to call in a specialist team of banana packers? In small shops you actually engage in communication with another human being, one whose brain has not been footered with by a commercial, uncaring giant. But most important of all, you are buying stuff that in most cases has not gone on a large voyage around the world. You are, in short, buying locally, and you can't get more local than stuff that is baked in the very shop itself.
     The Cottonrake Catering Company have opened their shop at 31 Hyndland Street in Glasgow's West End. They bake heavenly sweet cakes and gooey goodies on the premises.
     You may get an idea of how superb this small shop is if I tell you that they have retained old shop frontage lettering which was uncovered under modern signage when they were renovating the premises. And such apt and totally suitable lettering at that. The 'HOME BAKERY' is there for all to see, brought back from the past and given a seriously fine new lease of life. There's also a small section of painted wall inside that the owners have seen fit to keep as another glorious reminder of the past.
     I did a bit of rooting around in Glasgow's Mitchell Library and could find no mention whatsoever of the Home Bakery, or indeed any bakery, at 31 Hyndland Street. Sometimes these painted remains are all that is left to remind us that such a business ever existed, and why it is so important to try wherever possible to retain them. Apart from anything else, it makes commercial sense as you're saving on the cost of a new plastic sign.
Cottonrake Catering Co, 31 Hyndland Street, Glasgow