19 Jun 2018

What we’ve lost in the Glasgow art fire


It was shocking enough – just four years ago – the call from a friend in Glasgow. Our precious Mackintosh Art School had suffered the most terrible inferno.

In the days after, I was the first TV journalist allowed in to see the devastation. What was so extraordinary was the instantly detectable determination to rescue the building and bring it back to life.

Had I not been a journalist, architecture would have been my chosen life. This love of design and structure has left me with a love of buildings, not least the vast Winchester Cathedral in which for five years I sang my heart out at a chorister from the age of eight.

This affection for buildings enabled me to know of, visit, and relish the Mackintosh over a number of years.

Being allowed to visit the building after the fire was a huge privilege. Yes, it was utterly shocking, but see the spirit of the place and the determination to restore it, was also up-lifting.

Today I still wonder if that spirit that swore not to let the ‘Mack’ die will be enough to see her rise from the ashes again.

Do watch my report from four years ago. It tells you so much about the tragedy of these last days.

Tweets by @jonsnowC4