Alexander Street Multis

The Alexander Street multi-storey housing tower blocks were scheduled for demolition on the 31st of July 2011 (today). The four large blocks were built in the 1960s and housed upwards of 400 families at their peak.

Around 600 homes and 50+ businesses in the local area were evacuated before the Maxwelltown, Carnegie, Jamaica and Wellington flats on Alexander Street were brought down by controlled explosions.

The demolitions were part of Dundee’s current regeneration which includes the total redevelopment of the city’s expansive waterfront and the new V&A museum due to open on the Quayside in the coming years.

St Peter’s Seminary, Cardross 2008

St. Peter’s Seminary is a disused Roman Catholic seminary near Cardross, Argyll and Bute, Scotland. Designed by the firm of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, it has been described by the international architecture conservation organisation DOCOMOMO as a modern “building of world significance”. It is one of only 42 post-war buildings in Scotland to be listed at Category A, the highest level of protection for a building of “special architectural or historic interest”. It has been abandoned since the end of the 1980s, and is currently in a ruinous state. Despite a number of proposals for reuse or renovation of the building, its future remains insecure.

First trip to the beach

My wife and I took our 5 month old son to the beach for the first time last weekend. He loved it!

A Visit to Strathmartine Hospital

A truly depressing place now and at its ‘height’. Baldovan Institution was founded in 1852, mainly through the benevolence of Sir John and Lady Jane Ogilvy and from voluntary contributions and fees. It was established on the north bank of the Dighty as an orphanage, hospital and place of education and training for ‘imbecile’ children, accomodating 30 children. As such it was the first hospital of its kind in Scotland and the second in Britain. The Orphanage opened on 30th November 1854 and the Asylum opened on 6th January 1855.

More information.


YDance (Scottish Youth Dance) is the National Youth Dance Agency for Scotland. We encourage young people aged 3 to 21 to get active and to realise their potential as individuals through dance.

The photographs are a selection of those shot during the Scottish Refugee Week 2010.

For more information on Y-Dance take a look at their website.

Back and Forth and Hope (is a thing with feathers)

Back and Forth and Hope performed at the Scottish Refugee Week 2010 and they were absolutely fantastic.

Oxfam Media Awards Winners

I was at the Oxfam Refugee Week Media Awards 2010 last night. The awards were held at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow’s Merchant City.

The winners and runners-up each received a Rankin print from his recent project in Africa.

The Winners

National Print
First Prize

Billy Briggs, In Search of Refuge , The Herald Magazine

Stephen Naysmith, The Story of the Red Road Tragedy, Sunday Herald

Local Print
First Prize

Caroline Wilson, No Place for Us, the Evening Times

David Clegg, Asylum Seeker’s Heroism Award, The Courier

First Prize

Michael Edwards, STV News, Kosovo to Glasgow

Radio Clyde News Team, coverage of the Red Road tragedy

First Prize

Colin Mearns, Story of the Red Road Tragedy, Sunday Herald/Herald

Maurice McDonald (Universal News and Sport), Hoops Home Help, published in the Daily Record

Blackpool Magicians Convention 2010

Some shots from the Blackpool Magicians Convention 2010.


Nobel Industries Limited was founded in 1870 by Swedish chemist and industrialist Alfred Nobel for the production of the new explosive dynamite. Ardeer, on the coast at Ayrshire, was chosen for the company’s first factory. The business later diversified into the production of blasting gelatine, gelignite, ballistite, guncotton, and cordite. At its peak, the factory was employing nearly 13,000 workers.

In 1926, the firm merged with Brunner, Mond & Company, the United Alkali Company, and the British Dyestuffs Corporation, creating a new group, Imperial Chemical Industries, then one of Britain’s largest firms. Nobel Industries continued as the ICI Nobel division of the company.

ICI Ardeer was commonly known locally as the ‘factory’ or the ‘Dinnamite’. At the time the company generally provided higher quality employment regarding terms and conditions and pension rights than other local firms. The Ardeer site was almost like a community, and there were so many people employed there that a bank, travel agent and dentist were at one time based on the site. The former Western Scottish Bus Company provided tens of buses per day to transport the workers to and from the site, and until the mid 1960s there were even two trains per day to transport workers to a station within the factory.

In the late 1960s construction began on a nylon and nitric acid plant, but this had a short life, closing down just 12 years later.

Ghosts and Mannequins

Shot at East End Mansion. Possibly the strangest explore I’ve done to date.