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'Not the start to 2021 we'd wanted, but not unexpected'

Local trader and business figure John Turner explains why Byres Road means so much.

Last Sunday was the 13th anniversary of our family’s move from Manchester to Glasgow, arriving at our new rented home in Bearsden in the middle of a snowstorm, writes John Turner.

En route we had to call in at the estate agents’ offices on Byres Road to collect the keys. 

We had first gone there a few months before when we found the house. 

The viewing agent told us we would have to go to the Byres Road office to complete the paperwork, to which we replied, “Byres Road? Where’s that?”

And so began our long relationship with Byres Road and the West End, which we soon fell in love with, and became frequent visitors. 

We loved the vibrancy of the area, the many quirky shops and businesses, the eateries, the parks, the University and the Kelvingrove Museum. 

So it was really not surprising that, when we decided to open our own business a few years later, we chose a location in Cresswell Lane.

So here we are at the start of 2021 facing yet another lockdown, for who knows how long (my money is on the end of February at the earliest). Not the start to 2021 we had wanted, but it was not unexpected. 

'We loved the vibrancy of the area'
'We loved the vibrancy of the area'

This is yet another disappointment for local businesses, but we have already seen over the last nine months how resilient they are, with many moving to takeaway services, online sales, and click & collect or delivery services, for the first time. 

The team from the Byres Road & Lanes BID are working hard to help many more businesses make the transition to online selling, and are also working on building a “digital high street” platform for the area. Look out for more news of that coming soon. 

So thank you for your continuing support and custom, whether in person or online. We hope that we will see you all again soon.

We loved the vibrancy of the area, the many quirky shops and businesses, the eateries, the parks, the University and the Kelvingrove Museum

John Turner

There has been a small patch of snow on our drive since the day after Boxing Day. 

Most of the time it has been in the shadow of our car or the houses from across the road, but sometimes it does catch the sun, yet it stubbornly refuses to melt, and is hanging on in there. A fitting metaphor for the determination and resilience of businesses in the West End, I think.

Lastly, a massive thank you to all who gave gifts and donations to the Social Bite collection point by the tree in Vinicombe Street. 

Refusing to melt and resilient like local businesses.
Refusing to melt and resilient like local businesses.

We don’t have the final figures yet, but last I heard they received over 4,000 gifts, out of a total of around 10,000 nationwide at their various collection points. 

Cash donations nationally were running at over £660,000. People of Glasgow, you are wonderful.


2021 is going to continue to be challenging, but I believe we can make it through together. 

And so in spite of everything, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year.

John Turner. Photo: Robert Perry
John Turner. Photo: Robert Perry
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