Okay, first off, does anyone know what kind of tree that is in the middle of the lawn? If you have been to this Secret Garden then you may well know the answer but since most of you probably haven’t, we will tell you … of course, it’s a ginkgo biloba! If you knew that you will probably also know that it used to grow profusely here in Britain, but that was a while back … some fossils date back 270 million years. A native of China this lovely specimen was planted here in 2003 to remind folks about ‘common origins’ … whatever! Although Pat is born and bred ‘Glasgow‘ this was her first trip to Pollockshields (south of the river you understand) where we were looking for the shop of William Boyle – plasterwork specialists … don’t ask, it’s a long story. It has to be said that, from what we could see, Pollockshields is kind of post-industrial and not a particularly attractive area so, rather than rake around, we asked the very helpful plaster lady who had been looking after us where we could get a coffee locally … and, right off, she told us to just go across the road to the Tramway Theatre!! We had heard of the Tramway but had no idea that the very austere, warehouse looking building opposite was indeed it … there is only a very small sign announcing it’s presence.
It gets it’s name from the fact that it used to be the Copelawhill Tram Works, built in 1899. At that time trams were not motorised, so originally it stabled almost 300 horses. In 1962 the Glasgow tram system was abandoned for good and the building was, after a spell as a Transport Museum, adapted as the Tramway Theatre … and scone oasis. The building’s industrial past is evident everywhere you look but the adaption has been done very tastefully. The café is self service and rather utilitarian in appearance but that is also in keeping with the overall look of the place. Unfortunately the scones matched their surroundings rather too well … and not as tastefully. Edible but definitely nothing to get excited about. You could, however, get excited about the view from the Café into the Secret Garden with our old friend the ginkgo biloba where there were lots of families having a great time in the autumn sunshine. It is an amazing development, a peaceful haven with an extensive outside seating area for the café. It says “the gardens exist to promote understanding between peoples of all cultures, faiths and backgrounds and to celebrate the universal spirit of nature through horticulture and human culture“. Perhaps the leaders of the modern world should be invited to the Secret Garden for a spot of enlightenment? Enlightened is a word that cannot be applied to two online petitions started in England to try and get parliamentary support for Scotland to be expelled from the UK … on the basis that Scotland is more trouble than it is worth to the UK. It was signed by hardly anyone in England but thousands in Scotland … you couldn’t make it up. We came away from the Tramway with a full programme of events, so you never know, we may be back quite soon … not for the scones though.G41 2PE 0141 276 0953 Tramway Café Bar