Westthorn Estate History
The Glasgow History website on Westthorn says:
Into the 20th century a considerable portion of Westthorn remained under cultivation, but the westernmost portion was more subject to commercial and public development.
The location of the present Celtic FC Supporters Association Social Club and the land to the rear used by Celtic as a training ground, was previously a brick works utilising clay dug locally. Further towards the river, where the present recreation grounds are, was Westthorn Pumping Station. This Station, with two large reservoirs sitting 60 feet above the river, was constructed late in last quarter of the 19th century to provide a water supply to mills and factories near the river. This portion of Westthorn was joined with Glasgow in 1891.
The Scottish Corpus site says:
River Supply Works. — The River Supply Works were erected in 1876
and 1877 on the lands of Westthorn, situated about two and a half
miles above Glasgow Bridge, to supply the millowners and others
along the banks of the river Clyde with water pumped from the river, and
were rendered necessary in consequence of the removal of the weir. The
machinery consists of two pairs of compound tandem horizontal engines of
about 100 horse power each, with double acting pumps, and four Lancashire
boilers with economiser and feed pumps. Each engine is capable of pumping
200,000 gallons of water per hour into reservoirs, which are about 60
feet above the level of the river.
The following 1882 map provides some confirmation:
There are the Glasgow Corporation Water Works reservoirs on the Westhorn land that Celtic bought. And the reservoirs were built 60ft above the river – the ground was not disturbed – keeping the seal obviously to stop leaks. It looks like GCC retained that land until sold to Celtic. There has been no brickworks on this land:
Note, on the old map, to the north is Brick Field which is not on Westhorn. It’s on Celtic’s Barrowfield ground. And it says Field in 1882. Possibly this is just for a supply of clay for brickmaking?
Brickworks in the area
Canmore has an entry for a Westhorn brickworks for James Goldie & Sons and the location the map implies it’s on the latest Westhorn land that Celtic bought but I would suggest it’s on Brick Field. That is if it does exist, it’s closer to London Rd. The manuscript entry also says ‘this category of works is filed with ‘general/not located’ and the evidence is scant with ‘all the rest of his artefacts have disappeared since his death’. The Westhorn/Westthorn estate stretched between Belvidere and Dalbeth and this icon seems to be in the wrong location.
Another doubt is that Mauldslie Brickworks, on the old map, is not on Canmore if you pan left on their site when Mauldslie/Springbank Brickworks it’s mentioned on most sites dealing with Parkhead. Neither is the Springfield Foundry which is under the Helenvale flats. So Canmore appears very accurate.
Also on a speciality Brick Spotting website on the list of Scottish Brickworks James Goldie & Sons has no listing for Westhorn/Westthorn but two others in Shawfield Toll and Langside Road. Same on another Scottish Brick website.
James Goldie & Sons at Westhorn/Westthorn doesn’t appear on any old business directories either – maybe it was, as said above, that Brick Field was as only a source of clay.
James Dewar & Sons Whisky Plant & Bond
Glasgow City Council suggests that the blast zone causing the 84% impairment on Westhorn arises from this whisky site.
From the Westthorn history above it says the eastern part of the estate remained in cultivation right into the 20th century. Plus there is an interesting press release, from October 2013, came from Beam Inc., (Jim Beam?) a US company which now owns the whisky site, where they claim that:
The original site opened in 1953 after being converted from the original Westthorn dairy farm.
So where the council claims the blast zone originates from was a dairy farm – most likely in existence throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
Building on Blast Zones
It’s claimed that residential property cannot be built on blast zones therefore that impairs the value of land. Have a look at the old map at the bend of the river. Here we have Mauldslie Brickworks. Anything been built on it? Well Glasgow City Council are building houses on it – it’s Springfield Rd, London Ave. and Melbourne Pl. and it’s where the Commonwealth Athletes Village is:
Entry in The Streets of Parkhead © Peter W. Mortimer on Springfield Road:
On the same page of the website, there is also an entry on London Road, at 1323 London Rd was the Springfield Foundry where the Helenvale Flats are built. So Glasgow City Council has been building on blast zones all over Parkhead.
So Glasgow City Council’s blast zone appears to be coming from a former dairy farm.
Would the council even have given permission to build a brickworks next to the Water Works reservoirs?
And even if a brickworks is assumed on the old Brick Field site then how could a blast zone propogate through the whole area that had a Water Works on it to give an 84% impairment on the Westhorn/Westthorn land?
It has been shown by Glasgow City Council – if there was a blast zone on land it doesn’t appear to have stopped them building on it therefore it shouldn’t give an impairment of 84%. Only 16% is viable land? Jackanory, Jackanory – tell a story.
Glasgow City Council need to come up with a better reason/excuse for the ‘impairment’ on Westhorn. Therefore they should release the relevant Geotechnical report. This will be pursued beyond any EU case – it’s better to come clean, stop digging & step out of the trench or impairment they have created.
FoIs need to be issued to find out the planning decisions and usage of the land in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, on the land north of Westhorn and the whisky site.
Environmental Information Request
Perhaps Glasgow City Council will respond to EIR requests for environmental specifics on Westhorn and the said neighbouring land. Every Scottish public body has to respond to such requests. Details on the regulations are contained in this link.