Veteran journalist John Maclean is now taking a 'hard-cell' approach to business…..after setting up office in an old jail block.
The prison section of the former Govan Police Station in Glasgow has been transformed into a collection of 'incubator' units for local start-up firms, including Maclean's Govan Press, comprising two local newspapers.
Given a £3.5million facelift and renamed Orkney Street Enterprise Centre, the building still retains many of its original features. Budding entrepreneurs can now get behind bars in the same clink that held the likes of criminal-turned-artist Jimmy Boyle, boxer Benny Lynch and brawling Old Firm footballers Frank McAvennie, Terry Butcher, Chris Woods and Graham Roberts.
Last year, Maclean became the new owner and editor of The Govan Press, which was first published in 1878 – just 11 years after the Orkney Street cop shop opened its doors in what was then an independent burgh.
Said Maclean: “It’s good to see the cells filling up. I was the first one in, so I had a spell of ‘solitary confinement’ for a week or two. However, I managed to cope. It helped that I’m a fan of films like The Shawshank Redemption and Papillon, plus Steve McQueen in the Great Escape.”
Maclean – who also does sub-editing shifts on the Scottish Sun – publishes The Glasgow SouthEast Press and The Govan and Glasgow SouthWest Press.
Controversy still rages over whether Adolf Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was held in Orkney Street for a short while after he crash-landed in Scotland in 1941. The prison block is en route between Eaglesham – where Hess was captured – and the Maryhill Barracks where it is known he was interrogated.
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