Fascinating footage explores creepy abandoned Paisley hospital plagued by vandalism

Since the old Royal Alexandra Infirmary building was closed in 1987, some of the wings were refurbished and repurposed – though others have been left to the elements.

Some buildings of the Royal Alexandra Infirmary has been left to rot since 2008 (Image: YouTube – Urbandoned)

Footage found online explores Paisley’s old Royal Alexandra Infirmary building, which has been left to rot for decades.

While some of the former infirmary buildings have been converted into new uses, much of the fine structure is in a dilapidated state. Having stood since the 1890s, and suffered damages of fire and vandalism, the Renfrewshire hospital has been the feature of several campaigns hoping to save it.

In clips uploaded to YouTube from Urbandoned, we see the former hospital as it stands – with nature taking control over the building, and greenery blooming from every spot. As the explorers tell us, the infirmary has been boarded up since 2008 with metal shutters on almost every window.

READ MORE – Fascinating drone footage shows Glasgow’s abandoned railway lines

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Built in 1896 by architect TG Abercrombie, the buildings are often considered some of his most impressive work in Paisley. When it was opened it offered 234 beds, three pavilions, a separate block for infectious patients and a 100-seat chapel.

Its stunning designs have all but disappeared, covered by boards and shrubbery.

While it’s definitely not recommended, the team at Urbandoned manage to find a way into the building through a door to a basement room – which then leads them upstairs. Moving their way round the rotting structure they find walls covered with graffiti, crumbling staircases and stained glass windows that have been smashed in.

Vandalism and fire have plagued the building (Image: YouTube - Urbandoned)
Vandalism and fire have plagued the building (Image: YouTube – Urbandoned)

Much of the damage has been caused by fire, most recently in March this year when a mystery blaze caused the nearby buildings to be evacuated. Fire teams confirmed nobody was injured, and the fire failed to destroy the historic structure.

The Infirmary was closed for good in 1987, when the new hospital opened in Craw Road. Part of the building was then used as a care home, while the rest was converted into flats in 1995.

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After the care home closed in 2008, this part of the former Infirmary began to deteriorate – and was eventually placed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland in 2010.

Last year, with threats of the wrecking ball, one passionate local launched a campaign to try and save the rotting hospital.

Jim McIlroy said: “I am asking for the support of Paisley residents to send a clear message that we want the wilful neglect of this listed building to stop. “Further inaction is not acceptable and we are battling to have this historic property secured, re-sold and redeveloped. This historically important listed building has deliberately been left to rot and it’s now in a dangerous state.

Many of the hospitals original fittings and furniture have remained in place (Image: YouTube - Urbandoned)
Many of the hospitals original fittings and furniture have remained in place (Image: YouTube – Urbandoned)

“It’s been ignored for too long and that’s encouraged anti-social and criminal behaviour It’s important for the people who live around it that something is done and it’s important for the town that our listed buildings are saved, restored and redeveloped.”

A spokesman for Renfrewshire Council responded: “It is unfortunate that the Royal Alexandra Infirmary building has been allowed to deteriorate to the extent it has, and we share the frustration of the local community. As it is a privately-owned building, the council has very little scope to intervene, beyond making sure the building is safe.

The crumbling building saw a blaze in March (Image: YouTube - Urbandoned)
The crumbling building saw a blaze in March (Image: YouTube – Urbandoned)

“We have been in contact with the owner over the years and understand his aim is to sell.”

As it stands, the structure remains on the Buildings at Risk list – and no updates have been given on its purchase.

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Guns N’ Roses Glasgow concert postponed due to ‘illness’ and ‘medical advice’

The Scottish leg of the bands’ tour has been postponed last minute due to illness, as it was scheduled to take place tomorrow at Glasgow Green, with the band assuring ticketholders that they will reschedule.

The Guns N’ Roses concert scheduled to take place tomorrow (July 5th) in Glasgow has been cancelled.

The gig which was due to take place at Glasgow Green, would have been the band’s biggest Scottish show ever with fans buzzing to see current members, Axl Rose, Duff McKagan, Slash, Dizzy Reed, Richard Fortus, Frank Ferrer, and Melissa Reese perform. The band are currently on the European leg of their world tour, which marks Guns N’ Roses return to Europe for the third time since their historic Not In This Lifetime tour in 2016, which is the third highest grossing tour of all time.

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A statement from the band said: “Sadly, due to illness and medical advice, GNR will not be able to perform in Glasgow, tomorrow 5-July-2022. We are working on rescheduling options for this show so please hold onto your tickets and wait for a further update.”

The band have also assured that current ticketholders will be contacted with an update, and that their tickets will be valid for the rescheduled show.

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WHAT’S UP WITH WHISKY: JUNE’S REVIEW

Mark Littler returns with his monthly look at the world of whisky auctions.

WELCOME back. It’s been a month of highs, with plenty to talk about in the world of whisky investing. Last month we signed off with speculation about The Macallan jubilee bottling and, against all expectations, it is now pretty fair to assume that it is not releasing a commemorative bottle for the platinum jubilee.

There are plenty of reasons why this may be, from political position, to the risks associated with doing a commemorative bottling for a woman with ailing health. There are plenty of collectors who are disappointed not to have a new royal bottle to add to their collection. They have had plenty of other opportunities to get their hands on royal themed bottlings, and the market for royalty related bottles has continued to blossom.

The Port Ellen 12 year old to commemorate the Queen’s visit is considered the earliest single malt distillery bottling from Port Ellen. It isn’t known exactly how many were produced, but the estimate is around 40. These bottles continue to perform well every time they appear at auction, the latest bottle sold for £100,000 at Whisky Auctioneer, a substantial jump from £72,000 at the start of 2021.

This is an interesting result at the higher end of the old and rare market. Most whisky bottle sales are less than £10,000 and as such, results such as this are a good test of resilience at the upper end of the market for ultra rare vintage bottles.

Port Ellen

Port Ellen/Whisky Auctioneer

Failed flip

It’s not all sunshine and quick profits for buyers of commemorative bottlings; Gordon & MacPhail released a Glen Grant 1952 70 year old to mark this jubilee. The recommended retail price was £20,000 and several bottles are still available at retail. That didn’t stop one bottle from appearing at auction, however it failed to meet its reserve, but reached £13,400 by the end of the auction.

Glen Grant 1952

Gordon & MacPhail

Japanese whisky weighs in

Other interesting results from Whisky Auctioneer last month was a Karuizawa Sumo Trio selling for £42,000, whereas a Black Bowmore Trio failed to meet its reserve at £32,000. Japanese whisky continues to perform well, especially these rare vintage bottlings from the likes of Karuizawa. The Bowmore result is somewhat surprising when you consider this includes the same whisky as the DB5 version that went for more than £115,000 including buyer’s premium in April.

Blended surprise

Over at Scotch Whisky Auctions, there were some interesting results for the blended side of the market. Compass Box is a brand that continues to produce high-end blended whisky that has created its own demand in the secondary market. Many of the limited edition releases are doing well, and the June auction saw the Compass Box Whisky & Ink limited edition reach £5,000, despite not having its original box, and Compass Box Lady Luck went for £1,100 hammer. The highest price for the Whisky & Ink bottling was from October 2021, but this result is the second highest and, given the recent sale didn’t have its box, this is still an interesting top-end result. Compass Box as a brand focuses on high-end blends in super limited editions – Whisky & Ink was an edition of just 300 released in 2015. It is getting great reviews, but perhaps just as poignantly, it produces beautifully designed labels…

The second oldest whisky in the world

This month saw a bottle of the once oldest whisky in the world appear at auction. Scotch Whisky Auctions hosted the sale for the Gordon & Macphail Generations Glenlivet 80 year old, which – when released in September 2021 – briefly held the record for the oldest whisky ever released. The record has since gone back to The Macallan following the release of its 81 year old earlier this year.

In October last year decanter number one of the 250 80-year-old bottles broke records for the most expensive independently-bottled whisky when it sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for just under £150,000 including premium, with proceeds from the sale going to Trees For Life, a project to rewild the Caledonian forest. That particular lot included the original cask head, a signed print, and exclusive experience. Decanter 218 sold at Whisky Auctioneer in November 2021 for £80,000; the most recent sale at Whisky Auctioneer appeared to have been bid to £60,000 but we are unsure whether the lot met its reserve.

Casks of gold

June saw two casks of distinction entered into Sotheby’s auctions – a 1979 Port Ellen cask and a 1982 Brora cask. Each hand-picked cask was listed with a host of incredible extras, and each sold for £700,000 plus buyers premium. Both Brora and Port Ellen have been brought back online by Diageo this year and we think it is pretty safe to assume that these officially-released casks are part of a wider marketing package by Diageo. Given the history of special releases from the two distilleries and now these official casks, we think this is a good indication that, when new Brora and Port Ellen whiskies are finally available, they are going to be at the premium end of the market. As such, expect marketing efforts like these to have a positive impact on the secondary market for both of these distilleries.

Port Ellen cask

Sotheby’s

The requisite Macallan madness

It wouldn’t be a column from us if we didn’t touch on The Macallan again. Last month, we saw the release of the 2022 Macallan 18 year old, and as expected hundreds of bottles have already hit auctions and results have been the requisite madness we have all come to expect from The Macallan. The bottles initially sold on The Macallan website for £320 but retailers quickly upped the base price to £450, which has been around the average auction price. It is just bizarre because there have been more than 500 sales of the 2021 release in the past 12 months, and the price has stabilised around £350 to £400, so buyers could easily wait a few months to pay less – they just don’t want to.

The thing with whisky is that it is all about patience; whether it is waiting for a cask to mature or waiting for a bottle price to stabilise. One thing we always say about whisky is nothing moves quickly, and that’s something to take into collecting practices too, especially with modern bottlings.

Finally, we’re rounding up for the month with our old friends at Springbank. Last month saw the release of the 30 year old as part of its core collection. Harking back to the days of the dumpy bottles, this edition was initially available at retail for £865. Springbank is renowned for pricing its bottles for drinkers, but that doesn’t stop the flippers. The current auction record stands at £3,850 hammer, but prices may well rise further.

Mark Littler is an independent whisky broker, market analyst, and consultant, with over a decade of experience in the industry. Each week, he publishes videos on his YouTube channel about topics such as cask investment fraud (and how to avoid it), the history of distilleries and bottles, debunking whisky investment myths, and much more. For more information visit www.marklittler.com

Plus, read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s whisky pages.

JOUSTING SELLS OUT AT LINLITHGOW PEEL

LINLITHGOW Peel hosted its first jousting tournament over the weekend since the start of the pandemic.

Organiser Historic Environment Scotland (HES) all of its tickets for the show, which is part of the public body’s summer events programme.

Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries, which is also managed by HES, will host a jousting tournament on 30 and 31 July.

“Experience an afternoon of exhilarating horsemanship and impressive skills at the brave and courageous knights battle it out,” said HES.

“Hear the thundering of hooves and the clash of lances as our four champions take to the arena for this spectacular show.

“Why not wander through the living history camps and meet some soldiers fresh from the battle.”

The Linlithgow Peel and Caerlaverock Castle jousting contests form part of the wider “living history” strand of the organisation’s summer programme, which also includes events at Biggar gasworks, Blackness Castle, and Huntly Castle.

Its summer events also include exhibitions, guided walks and tours, music and theatre performances, and talks and seminars.

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s news pages.

Plus, don’t miss a look at the history of St Andrews ahead of golf’s 150th Open Championship in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.

Linlithgow Peel - Jousting

Linlithgow Peel - Jousting

WHY DO AUTHORS USE PEN NAMES?

THE reasons why writers use pen names is the theme for a new exhibition at the National Library of Scotland.

“Pen Names” opens at the library on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh on Friday.

The exhibition draws on material from the library’s archive to cover a range of writers using pseudonyms from the 1800s to the present day, including George Eliot, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Josephine Tey, Frank Quitely, Dreda Say Mitchell, Ambrose Parry, and Lewis Carroll.

National librarian Amina Shah said: “This is an opportunity for us to display star items from our prestigious literary archives – manuscripts, letters, and notes in the hand of some of the most renowned authors who write under a pen name.

“We tell the story of why some people choose to do so – and explore the motivations of past and present authors.

“The exhibition also showcases the breadth of our printed collections ranging from rare first editions from previous centuries to some of the latest novels published in the UK.

“We hope it’ll be a great experience for all visitors, and we welcome everyone.”

Co-curator Kirsty McHugh added: “The stories of why authors use pen names and how and why they chose them are often as compelling as their books.

“Writing something and managing to get it published is something most writers want to shout about from the rooftops.

“They want their name on the cover, ideally as prominently as possible.

“So when they do choose to use a pen name, it’s often for very specific professional or personal reasons.”

Read more literary news on Scottish Field‘s books pages.

Plus, don’t miss our comprehensive book reviews section in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.

JOUSTING SELLS OUT AT LINLITHGOW PEEL

LINLITHGOW Peel hosted its first jousting tournament over the weekend since the start of the pandemic.

Organiser Historic Environment Scotland (HES) all of its tickets for the show, which is part of the public body’s summer events programme.

Caerlaverock Castle in Dumfries, which is also managed by HES, will host a jousting tournament on 30 and 31 July.

“Experience an afternoon of exhilarating horsemanship and impressive skills at the brave and courageous knights battle it out,” said HES.

“Hear the thundering of hooves and the clash of lances as our four champions take to the arena for this spectacular show.

“Why not wander through the living history camps and meet some soldiers fresh from the battle.”

The Linlithgow Peel and Caerlaverock Castle jousting contests form part of the wider “living history” strand of the organisation’s summer programme, which also includes events at Biggar gasworks, Blackness Castle, and Huntly Castle.

Its summer events also include exhibitions, guided walks and tours, music and theatre performances, and talks and seminars.

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s news pages.

Plus, don’t miss a look at the history of St Andrews ahead of golf’s 150th Open Championship in the July issue of Scottish Field magazine.

Linlithgow Peel - Jousting

Linlithgow Peel - Jousting

Former Scotland women’s manager Vera Pauw reveals she was raped by ‘prominent football official’

Pauw, who managed the Scotland women’s team between 1998 and 2004, has now reported the rape and sexual assaults to the Dutch police.

Vera Pauw has revealed she was raped by a "prominent football official"
Vera Pauw has revealed she was raped by a “prominent football official” (Image: Oisin Keniry/Getty Image)

Vera Pauw, the former Scotland women’s team manager, has revealed she was raped by a “prominent football official” while she was a young player.

Pauw shared a heartbreaking statement after she failed to receive a satisfactory response from the Dutch FA on her fifth report to them regarding the sex attack.

The 59-year-old, from Amsterdam, reported a further two sexual assaults by two men also employed within Dutch football.

Pauw, who managed the Scotland women’s team between 1998 and 2004, has now reported the rape and sexual assaults to the Dutch police.

Former defender Pauw said she could no longer keep quiet regarding the “systematic sexual abuse, abuse of power, bullying, intimidation, isolation and framing” she was exposed to as a player and national coach in Dutch football.

Penning an emotional statement on social media, Pauw wrote: “For 35 years I have kept a secret from the world, from my family, from my team-mates, my players, my colleagues and, I can now accept, from myself.

“Even those closest to me have not yet known of the rape I endured at the hands of a prominent football official when I was a young player. Later two sexual assaults by two other men were added to this record.

Vera Pauw released a statement on social media
Vera Pauw released a statement on social media (Image: REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne)

“All three men were employed within Dutch football at the time of these incidents. Only those I can trust have known until now of the systematic sexual abuse, abuse of power, bullying, intimidation, isolation and framing I was exposed to as a player and as a national coach in Dutch football.

“For these past 35 years I have kept the abuse private. I have allowed the memory of it to control my life, to fill me with daily pain and anguish, to dominate my inner feelings.

“To many I am seen as a brash and loud football coach and manager, a tough woman who has risen to the top in a man’s world. Nothing could be further form the truth.

“For the past number of years I have tried to have my case heard in a fair and just manner by the football authorities in the Netherlands but to no avail. Some people would rather keep my rape and sexual assaults quiet than offer me the support I need by opening this story to the world.

“I can no longer share the silence. After failing to get a satisfactory response to my request for action on an investigation initiated my the Dutch FA following my fifth report to them, I recently reported my rape and sexual assaults to the Dutch police.

“That already feels like the beginning of the end for me but now I know there will be more heartache to come. Stories may appear in the Dutchy media of my horrific ordeal and I know claims may be made against me in an attempt tarnish my story.

“I take full responsibility for what I did and what I failed to do. Trust me, my story is very real and very true.

“I know going public is going to throw the spotlight on my life in a manner I have never experienced before but I also hope that other young footballers and coaches who were exposed to anything like the rape and abuse I suffered will now feel brave enough to come forward and share their stories.

Vera Pauw managed the Scotland women's team between 1998 and 2004
Vera Pauw managed the Scotland women’s team between 1998 and 2004 (Image: Getty Images)

“This will not be an easy time for me and for my family but and for now I ask you all to respect what is left of my privacy. Finally, I would like to thank my Irish backroom staff and my players, the FAI’s management and board, all my FAI colleagues and the Ireland fans for the support they have shown me as manager of the Ireland team.

“I have always felt safe and continue to feel safe and supported in Ireland and I cannot tell you how good that feels. I hope that support will continue in Ireland for me now that I have shared my story and my pain.

“This is who I am , I don’t have to hide any more. I hope I can continue my life in freedom.”

The current Irish women’s national team manager was previously married to ex-Rangers assistant manager Bert van Lingen.

The Irish FA released a statement tonight giving their full support to Pauw at “this difficult time”.

They said: “The Football Association of Ireland has given its full support to Republic of Ireland Women’s Senior Team Manager Vera Pauw at this difficult time in her life as she makes very brave revelations about her past.

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“Vera has engaged on this matter with the Association’s senior leaders for some time now and the FAI has offered her all the backing she may need on a personal and professional level.

“The FAI is absolutely aware of the impact these revelations will have on Vera’s well-being and have assured her of the ongoing full support of the FAI Board and all her colleagues at the Association.

“The FAI will be making no further comment on this matter and asks the media to respect Vera’s privacy at this very difficult time.”

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Busby Glen Park not to reopen during summer holidays due to Scottish Water works

A PARK will not reopen during the summer holidays due to Scottish Water works.

Work is set to re-commence on the final stages of a project to improve the sewer network in Busby Glen in Giffnock.

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Works on Glasgow M8 extended as average speed cameras remain

Major bridge works have been taking place on a section of the busy motorway between Cardonald and Braehead since March 15.

These were due to finish on June 30, but it has been revealed these will now be completed by July 4.

A 40mph speed limit has been in place for months, with average speed cameras in operation.

Amey, completing the work on behalf of Transport Scotland as part of the Network Management Contract for the South-West Trunk Road Unit, provided an update.

It read: “A full eastbound closure will be required overnight (10pm-6am) on Saturday, July 2, 2022, between Junctions 26 and 24 with off-side and adjacent lane closures required on the westbound carriageway.

“This will allow for the removal of TVRS, reinstatement of permanent road markings on the eastbound carriageway, and removal of two-speed cameras.

READ MORE: Five teens charged after incident in Glasgow city centre

“On Sunday, July 3, 2022, a full westbound closure will be required overnight (10pm – 6am) between Junctions 24 and 26 to allow for the removal of narrow lane markings, the removal of three-speed cameras, and gantry maintenance.

“This route will be fully operational and open as normal by 6am on Monday, July 4, 2022.”

 

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JULIET ROBERTSON IS TOP YOUNG SOLOIST

PIANIST Juliet Robertson has won the inaugural “Scottish Young Musicians’ solo performer of the year” title.

Juliet, 14, from Stirlingshire, won the competition in Glasgow yesterday by playing Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy.

She received £1,000 to spend on furthering her musical career and the “Maid of Morven” trophy, which was made by the Queen’s sculptor in ordinary in Scotland, Alexander Stoddart.

“I was really shocked to hear my name called as the winner and I don’t think it’s sunk in yet,” said Juliet.

“I wasn’t even expecting to win my regional final, so to be holding this trophy now feels incredible.

“Everyone else was amazing and performed so well, I can’t believe I’m the first ‘Scottish Young Musicians’ solo performer of the year’.”

Yuan Wong from Renfrewshire and Ben Dickinson from East Renfrewshire shared second place.

Scottish Young Musicians is the new national festival of music competitions.

Alan Kerr – who founded its forerunner, the North Ayrshire Young Musician Competition, with his brother, Brian – said: “We’re so glad to have finally crowned our winner, and proud of Juliet who won today after a fantastic performance on piano.

“Scotland’s national festival of music competitions has spanned the length and breadth of the country, offering school students the chance to achieve their ambitions through their talent in music, develop their life skills and have fun.

“Today’s final was a culmination of individual school and local authority competitions and involved some of Scotland’s most gifted young musicians, but what we’re really proud that we were able to reward all who took part as that is the bit that counts.”