Speaker Ann Laird who lives in Hyndland, gave the talk to members in September last year. Ann explained her interests lie in the built environment, particularly in the buildings and tenements of the West End of Glasgow. The main aspects of her presentation covered the global perspective, the West End perspective, speculation and construction, the architectural style, the listed tenements, ownership and tenement law and the role of a Conservation area.
Ann published “Hyndland, Edwardian Glasgow Tenement Suburb” in 1997. This local history idea came out of the blue, but the book’s instant success sparked off a long term interest in west end architecture and history, especially tenements. The Hyndland book is out of print now, and Ann says if ever she manages to take a sabbatical, there will be a follow-up one day.
As convener of Friends of Glasgow West, Ann and her team promote the built heritage and landscape environment of the outstanding Victorian and Edwardian Glasgow West Conservation Area: with twenty three Walks and ten Talks in the West End Festival, five Heritage Trails, annual West End Lectures in Glasgow University, and carefully checking about 300 planning applications per annum.
FGW’s current major project is their “Byres Road Improvement Group”, focusing on the needs of this great street, with its residential role, connections with the University, Byres Road Traders, Botanic Gardens, Hillhead Library, Glasgow City Council – and much more.
In her separate role as Chairman of the lively Dowanhill, Hyndland and Kelvinside Community Council, Ann ensures views are formally transmitted from the local community on planning applications, licensing, libraries, refuse collections, roads, parking etc… the list is endless.
Ann may have been retired for 5 years, but is working very hard on all of the above!