PHOTOGRAPHY AND TEXT BY DEREK CLARK
DECEMBER 20th, 2018
Back in March this year, I shot some pictures of The Hidden Lane. This post has been sitting as a draft since then as it didn’t tie in with whatever we were doing around that time on Kage. Although it’s a bit out of season, I thought it would be a good idea to put this out as my last Kage post of the year. Sort of clearing out the cupboard so to speak.
When I revisited this post I was struck by how bright and colourful it was. I’m not sure if it was denial or a sense of false hope, but it surprised me that 2017 was not all doom and gloom (even though most of it actually was).
MARCH 20th, 2017
Like the wardrobe leading to Narnia, a typical close on a Glasgow street leads to the Hidden Lane. To be honest, there is actually a sign telling passersby it's there (businesses gotta survive), but it's still a bit of a surprise when you go through the close and arrive inside the Lane.
Brightly coloured doors and even a large building painted in the brightest yellow paint let you know you have arrived somewhere a little different. Different for Glasgow at least as we're not known for bright colours on buildings (although some of the islands off the west coast do embrace that sort of thing). There is actually a slightly odd feeling of stepping into another country, no doubt helped by the sudden appearance of sunshine on the day I visited.
I stepped into the tea shop and ordered a cup of tea and a piece of walnut cake. Sipping my tea from an old China cup that reminds me of visiting my granny as a child, I chat with the waitress about the lane. She tells me that one of the offices belonged to an MP from the Green Party and another was used for restoring antique furniture. I ask if it's ok to take a few pictures inside the tea room and with permission, grab my X-Pro2 and X100F and shoot a few photographs. The waitress comments on my cameras and asks if they are old film cameras. I wish I had brought the Hasselblad as I had intended, but wanted to travel light as I would probably be doing a lot of walking today.
I step out of the tea room and into the cold air, I turn right and enter an alley with brightly coloured doors. The second door is open and I look inside to see a young woman restoring an antique bench. Stepping inside, and with her permission, I shoot a few pictures and chat to her while she works. The bench is around one hundred years old and when she has finished it will hopefully be in use for another hundred or so. Isn’t that what we all wish for? That our work will live on after we’ve gone?