Column: Making the most of what we have

I'm sure that I wasn't the only one who woke up on Saturday when seeing pics of the fire engulfing Glasgow School of Art thought it was some sort of article about what had taken place four years ago.

But sadly, it was another blaze and, by all accounts, even more catastrophic than the one which hit this city landmark in 2014.

Of course, now we have all the questions about why it happened – again, as well as the conspiracy theorists about this being the second blaze in this structure and one of several in Glasgow city centre in recent months.

However, the big question is what they will do with the building now.

Spend £100 million to resurrect it from the ashes – and that’s only if it is possible, or raze it to the ground and another famous facade is lost for ever.


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What really annoys me is that there are so many cases like this when a well-known landmark is about to be demolished, usually because it’s not safe in its present condition, and people start making a song and dance about it.

But I always want to ask why they didn’t highlight the issue months if not years earlier when it might have been easier – and cheaper, to do something about it.

I remember when I was a wee girl and Callendar House was not the striking building that we have today.

No it was surrounded by hoardings to keep out vandals, although I’m not sure if they could have done much more damage to what had already been done to this beautiful building in the heart of our town.


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Fast forward several decades and sitting with my daughter Emma in the cafe having a wee treat of coffee and cake, she couldn’t believe when I said it was nearly knocked down.

“You’re kidding me! Surely they couldn’t have got rid of all this?” she said, as she looked around the wonderful setting in the tearoom and out through the window to the majestic grounds.

“Yes apparently so. I’m sure it was all down to money at the time,” I told her.

“But that would have been awful to lose all this. I’m sure it cost a lot of money to restore it and the upkeep of it but Callendar House is a fabulous place.


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“It’s used by local people and tourists, and is really important to the area.”

Thankfully it was saved and it’s something we can all enjoy.