Cessnock Station – Inner city suburb and Glasgow Science Centre
The Cessnock station is the main link from the subway to Paisley Road West, one of the main arterial routes out of the city. It also serves as one of a trio of stations that serve the BBC, STV and other assorted media centres on the riverfront, between the Squinty Bridge and the Science Centre at Pacific Quay. Beyond its role as a mere transit hub, the area of Cessnock itself hides some interesting sights and sounds.
The platform is a fairly standard centre platform layout, and the exit is straight up the stairs and out through the barriers, via a small concourse area. The station itself sits directly underneath a three storey residential block, so one wonders exactly how bad the rattle and shake really is. The station opens up via a set of two stairs, the right side being the main route to Paisley Road West.
One of the more charming features of the Cessnock subway, are the ornate signs that sit on both these exits. The cast iron design looks in remarkably good nick, due to the fact that they were only recently reinstated by the powers that be, following a wave of controversy. The original signs were removed as part of a station revamp and were only put back after said revolt. To be fair to SPT, the people cried and they listened.
Up the stairs to your right, lies the hustle and bustle of Paisley Road West. To your left is back towards town. The Subway line itself has actually been following roughly the same direction as Paisley Road West up to this point, just a fair bit further south. To the right, the Paisley Road heads off in to the distance, past Bellahouston Park and on towards Paisley. Sure enough, Cessnock is the link between the subway and the numerous buses that run the Paisley routes. If you are heading that way, you want the bus stop across the road on your left, not the one in front. That one will take you back to town.
If you are heading for the Science Centre, the BBC building, the STV building or the Squinty Bridge then you are best turning left out of the subway. The important thing to remember as you walk down the narrow dead-end street is that in front of you, beyond the T-junction you are approaching, is a bank of industrial units and a big park called Festival Park between you and your destination.
Quite why Glasgow City council never decided to squeeze a small path through both of those baffles everyone. The decision to turn left or right at the T-junction depends on which end of the waterfront you are going to. Turn left if you want to go to the Science Centre, BBC or IMAX,. Turn right for STV and the Squinty Bridge. To be honest, all you have to do is navigate your way round the industrial estate and you will be fine. The Science Centre in particular is well worth a day trip, offering plenty of educational fun that surprisingly enough is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids
However, continue travelling on Paisley Road West, and the vibrant little hub of Cessnock opens up before you. There is a decent sized cluster of shops, including a Co-op, a cash machine and a variety of takeaways and late night corner shops. It’s also not a bad place to pick up a taxi if you are heading south, as there are many heading back to town from further out along the main road.
The star attraction among all the shops in Cessnock has to be the now legendary Harry’s Hardware. If Harry ain’t got it in stock then it just doesn’t exist. The shop itself has been there since the dawn of time and acts as a focal point for many of the locals. Honourable mention goes to the Copper Pot for its traditional decor and decent fry up, while the hidden gem is Branagan’s bakery across the road from the bank. Sausage rolls tae die fir!
For subcrawlers, Cessnock offers much-needed respite from the treacherous wasteland of the south side stations. The Kensington is the nearest pub now that the Clachan has gone. The Park a few doors down is a bit bigger if there is a group of you. Both bars are not hugely affiliated with the mighty Rangers, so if you’ve got the money to spend, they’ll be happy to see you. Definitely a good stopping point for a regroup and resupply.
All in all, it’s a fair mix of cosmopolitan shopping and inner city ghetto. If you are looking for the real Glasgow then it doesn’t come much more authentic than Cessnock. None of the trendiness typical to a lot of the west end but plenty of homely charm.
Before you get back on the subway there is one further sight worth seeing in Cessnock. Behind the somewhat tired looking shops, is a curving cliff of traditional sandstone tenement called Walmer Crescent. The Category A listed building was designed by Alexander Greek Thomson and is a facade of some visage, with it’s distinctive pillar and box design. Not much ghetto going on here.
Cessnock is one of the more interesting finds on the south side of the subway and an important gateway to both Paisley transport and the media waterfront.