For our latest installment of the round-Britain 68 tour with C.E. Fudge, we head up to Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire's new town and home of Cumbernauld Shopping Centre. I must warn you now, the first couple of photographs are a little ... bleak.
For a long time I wondered what this picture reminded me of. Now I have it - it's like the colony where Ripley discovers the little girl in Aliens. A bizarre mix of hospital crematoria and the Royal Festival Hall on stilts, bear in mind that this building was under 10 years old when this photograph was taken.
C.E. describes this as 'a sombre scene'. Locals shelter from the rain while the children stand outside and challenge it. Note the cavalcade of prams parked outside, pre-stranger danger era.
Nicely framed by C.E. and I think it has stopped raining. Look at the bleak, block-house type dwellings lurking in the background.
More elevated walkways and flyovers.
Look once and then look again. The shoes, the brooding boy up on the walkway above Galbraiths and a middle-aged Michael Caine peering through the smeary windows.
Meet me outside the fish and chicken bar at two. Rain settles in the sagging floor, and even the barbershop's pole has stopped turning.
Scan books. "It is the oasis in a desert of concrete." (C.E. Fudge).
As a couple is wed in the background, three wee boys mug for the camera. When did children stop looking like this? Black shorts, wrinkled socks and woollies. They could have stepped from the Blitz, into this concrete playground.
The main hall captures some weak sunlight as the jazz band play. Previously unknown cigarette brands No.1 : Kensitas.
A jolly illustration by the talented C.E. - note the little Alan Bennett inserted shiftily at the front. Cumbernauld - modern, complex, damp and unprepossessing, but extremely interesting nonetheless. A brief flit down south next, before heading back up north to a place I have visited in a previous post. Be seeing you...