Glasgow has the third oldest underground network in the world.The subway has been around since 1896, and is nicknamed ‘the Clockwork Orange’ due to the fact the line goes in a simple circle on subway maps and the trains are bright orange. I’ve recently returned to Glasgow after 28 years away and the subway still smells and sounds as it did when I was a child, but like any underground network it’s shrouded in ghosts.
Descending into the subway is like any other in the world. You enter a subterranean world where the world above melts into a world where it seems Morlocks could lurk round every corner as the world above vanishes behind you.
Once underground you enter a world of smells and sounds like any other.
The subway in places links up with Glasgow’s railway system, some of which is also underground, and is also, very, very old. Some stations over the years have died leaving only their grafftii-strewn corpses to be hidden by darkness and twilight, not to mention nature reclaiming what was once hers.
One of those stations is the Botanic Gardens. As a kid I used to explore it with the bravery only children can have in delving into places which you shouldn’t.
These places are haunted by the past, and hounded by the present. They exist as shadows of time lost with only a sign to remind people what lurks nearby.
Dead places fascinate me. They make me think of what people did in them then before being reclaimed. They make me wonder what might happen to the world if we let nature reclaim everything as opposed to the odd station and building here and there. It fascinates me just how quickly dead buildings are reclaimed.
These places are haunted, not by ghosts of the scary kind but by ghosts of our imagination. I adore these places but even so, they’re not for the faint-hearted…