FORMER students and leading Scots in the worlds of art and architecture yesterday spoke of their shock at the devastating fire.
Photographer Harry Benson, 88, said: “It was an absolutely wonderful building. It gave a lot of people in Glasgow hope of becoming an artist.
“I got the first honorary doctorate, and it was such an achievement. After being a dunce at school, it was very rewarding.
“It was a place for people who weren’t academic to be creative and learn in a different way.”
Poet and Scotland’s former Makar Liz Lochhead, 70, who studied there, said she was “feeling emotional” after learning about the fire.
Cathy Jamieson, 61, former MP, MSP and a sculptor graduate from the school, said: “We need to assess the state of the damage and move forward.”
Bob McCaffrey, 42, a graduate, former tour guide and now visiting lecturer in product design, said: “It was designed especially to inspire students.”
Alan Dunlop, professor of architecture at the art school, said he was “devastated”.
He said: “It’s horrible. The building does look as though from the inside it’s been totally gutted. All that seems to remain is the stone walls on the outside.”
Stuart Robertson, director of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, said: “This is a world class building. With all the restoration work going on, it’s just horrendous.”
Sam Patterson, 30, vice president of the Glasgow Institute of Architects, said: “It’s a shocker, especially in Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary year.”
Reporting team: Judith Duffy, Hannah Rodger, Kieran Andrews, Sophie Law & Andrew Picken
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