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My Glasgow West End

Glasgow West End Today
My Glasgow West End
By Glasgow West End Today • Issue #1 • View online
Here it is, our newsletter for all things West End and the people who live and work here.

Welcome to a brand new local platform
Welcome to a brand new local platform
A new perspective on the city …
We hope you like the look of our first newsletter. We are starting small and hope to grow. Our aim is to evolve the content over time. Some ideas will grow and some may fall away. If you’d like to contribute in any way please get in touch.
Glasgow West End Today, Oct 2020
Stories from our communities exclusive to this newsletter
Stories from our communities exclusive to this newsletter
'We are putting the bar into hibernation over winter … Christmas is not happening for us'
Hyndland publican David Maguire is putting his bar-restaurant into ‘hibernation’ until the spring, writes Ian Marland. He says there is no point soldiering on over the winter with no prospect of breaking even let alone making money over Christmas. All 30 or so staff at 1051 GWR agreed with the decision to put the business on ‘sleep mode’.
David Maguire is putting 1051 GWR into 'hibernation'
David Maguire is putting 1051 GWR into 'hibernation'
David says staff will click for 66% of their wages under current government schemes. It is a big drop in earnings but the alternative was worse. He has no plans to make anyone redundant. David recently received an MBE for his efforts to feed NHS and frontline works and vulnerable groups during lockdown.
He said running a takeaway operation was no longer an option under current restrictions and it was harder to reconfigure his business on a collect and delivery model. Temporary shelters and gazebos have been removed from outside the former railway station building on Great Western Road.
Decamped: hibernation means the awnings and gazebos are down at 1051GWR
Decamped: hibernation means the awnings and gazebos are down at 1051GWR
David told Glasgow West End Today: “We are a relatively big and relatively complex operation. It is hard for us to dip in and dip out of trading. We could do takeaway as we did in March but we are not generally regarded as a takeaway, and it won’t work for us now. To make yourself known as a takeaway you have to spend more money advertising the fact that you are a takeaway than you would make.”
He said it was no surprise that current restrictions were going to be kept in place on licensed premises, although he questions why pubs in the north of England can still serve beer so long as they can offer ‘a substantial meal’. He said Christmas was ‘not happening’ for the trade in Scotland, and no money would be made this season. “By now we would normally have had hundreds of enquiries and bookings for Christmas. This year we’ve had a handful. Christmas is not happening for us.” He praised the Scottish Government for working tirelessly to get the country through the crisis.
Kelvinbridge shop teams up with charity to help homeless people this winter
A West End Shop has joined forces with a homelessness charity to provide emergency donations to people in need. The Blankfaces in Kelvinbridge is taking donations of sleeping bags, clothing and toiletries to help people out this winter. The supplies are being provided by The Invisibles, a group which has been supporting homeless people in the city since it set up six years ago.
Donations of sleeping bags and clothing at The Blankfaces will be used this winter.
Donations of sleeping bags and clothing at The Blankfaces will be used this winter.
A spokesman for the homelessness group said people could be directed to the shop for help. “The Blankfaces have agreed for us to supply them with donations for people dealing with homelessness in the area. People can be directed to the shop or individuals concerned for someone can pick up donations. At this time of year, temperatures are dropping and now there is somewhere local that people can help. With the current situation, homelessness tends to be forgotten.”
* The Blankfaces is on Great Western Road, opposite Websters Theatre. See: http://www.theblankfaces.co.uk
Glasgow's tallest building proposed for site at Charing Cross
New businesses making a go of it for the first time …
New businesses making a go of it for the first time …
Alison shows how you can bloom in Broomhill when flowers and design are your thing
Home enterprises have exploded since the start of the pandemic. Alison McIndoe from Broomhill is one of an army of entrepreneurs taking the plunge. She has set up making and selling handmade artificial flower displays - and she calls herself Rosey Oh! & Juliet. She says she is still very much finding her feet but is enjoying the challenge of making her business work. Her big sellers are rose bowls and rose hat boxes.
“The artificial flower industry was completely new to me,” says Alison. “I bought a few displays earlier this year myself and felt inspired to create my own. I started completely from scratch by watching tutorials online and making displays over and over again to see what worked. I’m still working on new designs every week, always trying to improve.”
Alison struggled with post-natal depression after becoming a mum two years ago. She says: “My new business has become a much needed outlet for myself. I had very little experience in this industry but I wanted to be part of it. I pushed my doubts aside, researched as much as possible, gathered as much knowledge as I could and got started.” 
Alison McIndoe from Broomhill is part of an army of home entrepreneurs.
Alison McIndoe from Broomhill is part of an army of home entrepreneurs.
Alison says she is still experimenting with different displays and materials and setting up has been more expensive than she expected. The branded luxury ribbon and gift tags she uses come at an extra cost, but she says it is very important that her displays are top quality.
“I would rather sacrifice some of my profit than send out poor quality orders. This may not make me rich but I will be damn proud of my products. I’ve found a few suppliers on Etsy which is great for small businesses. I’m always on the lookout for new supplies. I’m turning 39 and I feel very proud to have taken the plunge with this new business. It’s out of my comfort zone and a real challenge as it’s so different to so anything I have done before but have put 100% into it.”
News from the music scene around the city and West End.
News from the music scene around the city and West End.
Glasgow singer hits 250,000 streams with debut album 'Kelvingrove'
A West End-based singer-songwriter is enjoying critical acclaim with his debut album. ‘Kelvingrove’ is the first offering by 22-year-old Chris Anderson. The album, which is available on all major music platforms, has accumulated over 250,000 streams in the last six months. An independent artist in the acoustic / alternative genre, Chris said: “I would love local people who support music to hear the album that was written, recorded and mastered in the Kelvingrove Park area. 
“I have also just released a music video for ‘Watching’ one of the lead singles for the album.” Chris has now invested in more equipment to write and record the second album from home in the West End, similar to the first. ‘Watching’ reflects on growing up and changing our perspectives on life as we age. 
Chris explains: “The video switches between myself now and old VHS tapes of myself and my family growing up in Glasgow. I think that within the current situation, the arts, which have been heavily consumed throughout the pandemic, should not be overlooked in terms of their importance within society and local communities, and we should support local artists, musicians and other creatives through these uncertain times.
“Strong communities, such as the West End and Glasgow overall, can get through really tough periods, such as our current state, by being positive and supporting, from a distance, the aspects of society that we enjoy and depend upon - such as the creative sector.”
Glasgow pianist leads new label's UK launch - Glasgow West End
Guest writers look at the local property market. Drop us a line if you want a say.
Guest writers look at the local property market. Drop us a line if you want a say.
'The months ahead are certainly going to be testing for the housing market'
To say things have been buoyant since the housing market reopened on June 29 would be putting it mildly, writes Barry Walker.
The levels of activity witnessed has been quite incredible. Most properties in the West End have been attracting a phenomenal number of viewings within the first week of marketing, and then selling for well in excess of the Home Report value, normally at a closing date.
This level of activity has been a mixture of pent up demand caused by lockdown and many people now craving more indoor and particularly outdoor space. Reports show the number of sales agreed during July and August 2020 was 60% higher than the same period last year and that homes in Glasgow took on average 16 days to sell. 
Barry Walker (right) and business partner Stuart Wylie.
Barry Walker (right) and business partner Stuart Wylie.
The last few weeks though have certainly seen viewing levels and activity tail off slightly. This is in part due to the confusing local lockdown restrictions placed on Glasgow but largely down to the economic uncertainty we are facing and the looming end to the Job Retention Scheme. The mortgage market has also been a cause for concern and remains challenging at present, as the lenders are changing criteria and minimum deposit requirements.
The months ahead are certainly going to be testing for the housing market and the country as a whole. However, I would hope low interest rates combined with the fact many people will not have spent money on luxury holidays or going out and socialising as much, that we continue to see strong levels of interest from buyers and sellers that may have managed to save some extra pennies.
Owners and workers give their thoughts on the challenges and rewards of business.
Owners and workers give their thoughts on the challenges and rewards of business.
Joanna Scott: S’mug Coffee Bar, 167 Great George street, Glasgow
I own S'mug Coffee Bar. I have always worked in hospitality and I studied business management at university, so it seemed like a good fit. I really enjoy it and the customer service side of things. 
Before Covid happened, I don’t think I spoke to anyone properly throughout the day, only asking ‘what can I get you?’ or ‘would you like milk with that?’ 
But since May when we re-opened, the staff and I have really got to know a lot of the locals, customers and surrounding businesses.  It’s lovely and a positive thing that has come from an awful situation. Hopefully we can all get passed this and keep our doors open. 
This year is about survival more than making a profit it seems. A hard thing for a business owner to say. We have so many returning customers. A lot we see everyday. This has to be my favourite part of the job, as you really get to know so many different kinds of people.
Joanna Scott and her team at S'mug Coffee Bar.
Joanna Scott and her team at S'mug Coffee Bar.
All of the staff returned from furlough through the summer and by the start of August I was not using the scheme at all. I have also employed two new members of staff in the past few weeks. Making the total five including me. Three full-time and two part-time. 
The staff have been really supportive when the shop is busy and working independently if only one member of staff is required on quiet days. They have been a life saver through this. 
Staff have enjoyed getting to know locals and customers in recent months.
Staff have enjoyed getting to know locals and customers in recent months.
‘This year is about survival more than making a profit it seems. A hard thing for a business owner to say’ - Joanna Scott
We sell great coffee in mugs, so you get a lot for your money. We also do a selection on bagels, soup, toasties and cakes for eating. We are probably best known for our student coffee deal, and Takeaway hot drink for £2.20. It’s not free but we think it’s a good deal for the 16oz of coffee. 
I just want to say a big thank you to all of our regular customers who have really supported us through this awful time. S'mug Coffee Bar is going to celebrate its 12 year anniversary in April. Fingers crossed we make it. With a positive attitude hopefully we will. 
* If you would like to feature in ‘My Business’, drop us a line at glasgowwe@todaynews.co.uk
News from Glasgow West End Today from the past seven days.
News from Glasgow West End Today from the past seven days.
City jobs boost and car free zones for schools
Chef Nico creates 100 jobs in Glasgow, including 50 in Anniesland
The Hillhead woman turning old umbrellas into tote bags
Pandemic gives birth to new baby business
More city schools become car free zones
We want as many different voices as possible to be involved in this newsletter.
We want as many different voices as possible to be involved in this newsletter.
We would love to have you onboard
Have you got words to offer? You might be in business or you might have expertise you want to share. Can you write a column, or do you want to feature in our newsletter? We’d love to hear from anyone who can write about what our pubs and restaurants are going through. Then there’s the arts and music. Could you offer a regular contribution? Just drop us a line. We would love to hear from you. Email glasgowwe@todaynews.co.uk
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