AS Glasgow prepares for City of Architecture 1999, it proceeds to destroy one of its most significant buildings. The A-listed Townhead spire on Roystonhill can be seen from all over the city.

The city council has admitted that recent surveys have shown it is safe, but locals have run up against misinformation, apathy, and buck-passing between the city council and Historic Scotland. The church fell victim to ordinary vandalism, but the spire is falling victim to civic vandalism.

After 130 years as the highest spire in the city, it is not surprising that restoration work needs to be done on the spire. There is no question that if the money can be found, the spire can be saved.

Local individuals and other concerned organisations came up with a forward-looking proposal which could benefit the area as well as saving the Roystonhill spire.

Previous church conversions have worked spectacularly well, though most often in the West End of the city. Is Glasgow City Council brave enough to work with a dynamic group of local people on Roystonhill, or does it hope that they'll lose interest as the spire is removed, stone by stone?

Press attention will fade before City of Architecture arrives in 1999, but people won't forget that they were cheated out of their architectural heritage.

Robin Gillett,

343 West Princes Street,


September 23.

THE spire on the Townhead-Blochairn Church sits on Roystonhill, overlooking the M8 motorway and Glasgow Cathedral. This important A-listed landmark can be seen from all round Glasgow.

As individuals and members of various community organisations on Roystonhill, we would like to draw to your attention the ongoing demolition of the Townhead spire.

An emergency demolition order was served as a result of concern by local people as to danger from the derelict main body of the church. If money were available there would not be any necessity for the structurally-sound spire to be included in the demolition.

The spire has been inspected recently, again proving that it is free-standing, and structurally-sound. Following a request from Glasgow City Council, the signatories of this letter together with other local people formed a committee to manage the ongoing maintenance of the spire.

Its restoration would be an indication of a forward-thinking city, aware that areas like the Royston Corridor are just as capable as the West End of supporting buildings of architectural merit.

As the highest spire in Glasgow, Townhead is an important part of the city skyline. An initial injection of #30,000 is needed urgently for remedial work. Thereafter #80,000 is needed to complete the restoration.

Only if this initial sum of #30,000 is found can the demolition of this priceless spire be halted.

Any organisation which has funds available is urged to contribute to this important project in the East End of what is soon to be City of Architecture.

Gerard Carlin

(and eight others),

Roystonhill Spire Fund,

c/o Millburn Centre,

221 Millburn Street,

Royston, Glasgow.

September 23.