YOU don't know what you've got til it's gone, the saying goes.
Well, the cliche mavens are right.
As a fine example of this truism, and of the sometimes inarguable benefits of social media, the good folk of Twitter have saved an ornate Subway sign from being consigned to a life behind glass.
The Cessnock Subway arch on the south side of Glasgow was nearly done for under ongoing plans to prettify the transport system. Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) thought the 30-year-old arch had no "architectural value", being a "pastiche" of the work of Rennie Mackintosh and "Greek" Thomson - an insult to Lachie Munro, the architect who designed it. SPT wanted to place it in the new Riverside Museum but people power prevailed (though, personally, I would have broadened the campaign to include the reintroduction of the original Transport Museum on Bunhouse Road) and the sign is back in its rightful place.
Grassroots campaigning is a beautiful thing. When a bee buzzes in a collective bonnet. Part of the motivation is realising what you have been taking for granted. How many people who backed the Cessnock twitter campaign can honestly say they looked at that sign every day and admired it?
It's like the 32-volume Encyclopedia Britannica. If I had known the 2010 edition was to be the last I would have saved up that much faster (£1195, but think of what you get: a metre-and-a-half long, 62kg heft of knowledge. A snip). I thought I had all the time in the world. Why wouldn't I? It was the oldest continuously published reference source in the English language. Its chief aim, when begun in 18th-century Edinburgh, was "utility". But there is an app for it now, you see; the publishers moved it online. Sadly, I doubt a Twitter campaign would bring it back.
"It's been discontinued" is one of the saddest phrases in the English language. I have so many lost loves now - Dorito 3Ds, the SUPER range from Boots, the 2004 iPod mini. Do you stockpile? Or do you come to terms with the crushing realisation that nothing lasts forever and move on? Or do you campaign to get things back the way you liked them? Well, it worked for the Wispa. It's worked for the Cessnock arch.
Now we have Twitter power nothing need every be taken away again. I just wonder where we put all the new stuff when the old stuff just won't budge.
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