Glasgow Gallivanting: June 2017

Another fabulously busy month! My summer programme of guided walks continues (I’ve led, or co-led, four in June) with a couple of twists. The Women’s Library is reprinting its walk leaflets, so John and I went on a reconnaissance mission to the Necropolis to check the route directions and take some new photographs. Not relevant to a women’s history walk, but something we hadn’t noticed before, was this monument to William Wallace (of Braveheart fame). And I couldn’t resist including my favourite angel as the post header.


I also went on someone else’s walk! The Royal College of Nursing guided a walk from the medieval cathedral to the Clyde looking at public health through the ages. I learned, amongst other things, that some of the tenements I pass often were built by Glasgow’s City Improvement Trust in the late 19th century – an early form of social housing to replace squalid slums. From now on I’ll be looking upwards even more than I do normally to spot their banner.


Happy 75th Billy Connolly

Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly (or Sir William Connolly, CBE, to give him his full title) turns 75 this year. To celebrate, his home city has commissioned a set of three murals by Rachel Maclean, Jack Vettriano and John Byrne. As a result of my guided walks in the city I’ve now spotted all three.


As well as the murals and his knighthood, Billy recently received an honorary degree from Strathclyde University. I watched a clip of him in his robes, and he asked “I wonder if they know something I don’t? When you start getting the lifetime achievement awards……”, and his voice tailed off. I know his health isn’t good, but I hope he has many more years to come.

The Great Get Together

On 16th June 2016, during the EU Referendum campaign, Jo Cox MP was murdered by a fanatical white supremacist. One year later, thousands of events up and down the country took place under the banner of The Great Get Together to commemorate Jo and celebrate the phrase she used in her maiden speech to Parliament “We have more in common than that which divides us”. I attended an event at Glasgow Women’s Library at which the guest of honour was Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. I expected to encounter some extra security given recent terrorist attacks – but no. I walked into the library as usual, Nicola arrived, gave a moving speech, then moved round each table talking to everyone and posing for selfies as requested. Spot the fan girl!


I’m proud to live in a country where politicians can still do this, where we don’t react to terrorism by shutting them away from the people they were elected to represent, and I’m proud to have a First Minister who can speak so well on the platform and also come across as friendly and approachable in person.

South Rotunda

South Rotunda

Rotundas on either side of the River Clyde mark each end of the Harbour Tunnel, built in the 1890s and long since fallen into disuse. A year ago, I wrote a post about an urban walk along the river in which I lamented that, although the North Rotunda had been a restaurant for as long as I can remember, the South Rotunda was boarded up. I didn’t know that renovation was well under way and it is now home to the Malin Group which offers services to the marine industry. Recently, they held open days in aid of the Ethiopia Medical Project, a charity run by two Glasgow women to assist the Buccama Clinic in its work healing thousands of mothers suffering from uterine prolapse.

I was expecting a simple tour of the building. However, we were entertained by actors playing “Willie”, one of the workmen who built the tunnels, and the shell-suited “Steph” who worked at the South Rotunda during the 1988 Garden Festival when it served as Nardini’s Ice Cream Parlour. Great fun, tea and cakes at the end, and all in a very worthy cause.


Paisley buddies


Pride of Paisley was a public art trail of lion sculptures last year – one of them, “Superbia”, has now returned permanently. Wasn’t my mum clever to wear such a perfectly matching cardigan?

The last bit

I could tell you about theatres, art exhibitions and gardens visited, but this post is getting too long so let’s skip to the last bit in which I teach you a new Scottish word. Some politicians have told us that we are scunnered (annoyed) with voting. True, since 2014 in Scotland we have had two referendums, two general elections and elections for local councils – but am I scunnered? I am not. People fought and died for my right to vote and I always do so with a lump in my throat, especially at the latest election which was held on the anniversary of the death of Emily Wilding Davison (the suffragette who threw herself in front of the King’s horse at Epsom). But as for the result and events since – now that’s what I call a scunner!

And finally, a bit of nostalgia. Who could this romantic young couple be? No prizes! I’ve been scanning old (and sadly faded) pictures again. This is us on holiday in Germany in 1985.


So that was my June. How was yours?


61 thoughts on “Glasgow Gallivanting: June 2017

  1. Susan at FindingNYC July 3, 2017 / 10:56

    What an eventful month you’ve had, Anabel! I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially those walks. The public health walk sounds fascinating – I enjoy taking walks organized around a theme like that, as I always learn new things.


  2. edgar62 July 3, 2017 / 11:00

    A big chunk of my May was taken up with getting ready for a conference at Mount Gambier; traveling the 1000 kilometers to Mount Gambier; three days there then drive back the 1000 klms. to home. It wasn’t wet but it was cold and after a long drive I was glad to get home. At home a good part of the month was taken up with finishing part of the garden. Once winter is over and we move into spring I’ll start on the next part. Also our Grandson was born – probably the one and only.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 11:19

      I remember the good news about the grandson! Not so good all that driving though.


  3. Su Leslie July 3, 2017 / 11:54

    What a fabulous month you’ve had. I love the Billy Connolly murals and am slightly envious of your selfie with Nicola Sturgeon. Even from this distance she comes across as a pretty amazing woman. Like you, I take my right to vote seriously — an obligation in fact — but I’m increasingly concerned that our September election will not change the government and give our self-serving, snout-in-the-trough leaders another three years to bleed us dry. An outcome that would leave me totally scunnered.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 12:09

      Well – you never know: look what happened here, a 20 point lead at the beginning of the short campaign collapsing to loss of majority. Mind you, that only led to the DUP so you need to have something better waiting in the wings, but you have longer for things to change. Trying to be positive!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Su Leslie July 3, 2017 / 23:43

        Thanks. I am too, but we seem to be another nation of turkeys who vote for Christmas. We have the MMP electoral system, so there is almost never a clear “winner” and lots of horse-trading with the smaller parties. There is a clause in the system that allows parties who win one electoral MP to have power that is disproportionate to their overall share of the vote. The ruling party has used that to keep itself in power by sacrificing one of their own MPs in electorates where right-wing “partners” can win, and therefore bring in extra stooge MPs to prop the whole system up. We now have a bunch of useless charter schools (academies in the UK I think) as a consequence of this (amongst other things).


        • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2017 / 07:14

          Ugh! We are protected to some extent in Scotland – no academies here for example (well, except that secondary schools are often called academies anyway) and the govt spends millions each year mitigating some U.K. benefit cuts, but there’s a limit to what can be done.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. goannasnake July 3, 2017 / 12:14

    Cemeteries are always a favourite of mine and I do hope to come and do your walk one day.
    Billy Connolly is always a favourite of mine and I do hope he lives for ever. None of us can, of course, but in some ways he will. I wouldn’t like to cause offence to anyone so won’t repeat one of my favourite lines here.
    Despite being half a world away I listen to a lot of BBC radio and I clearly remember hearing about Jo Cox’s murder. She sounded so genuine. A real representative of the people. Such a sad loss.
    But May? Best forgotten at our place. Dad was ill and I travelled south to see him. But hardly did because our daughter, then our grandson, then me were all sick too. Came home and gave it to my hubby.
    Healthy now and planning to stay that way.
    Thanks for your lovely post.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 12:41

      The murals are great, and the original paintings (or photograph in the case of Rachel Maclean’s) are now in the People’s Palace so I’ll need to get along to see those. I liked Rachel’s the best – she made all the items on his costume which reference Billy Connolly jokes and sketches. E.g. the epaulettes are mini-bikes parked in two bum cheeks!

      Sorry to hear about all the illness and glad things are improving.



  5. Blue Sky Scotland July 3, 2017 / 13:11

    Interesting and varied post. I was around the Barras area recently looking at the new murals there. Didn’t know anything about the Lion sculpture trail but maybe inspired by the cat trail in Kingussie which has been popular with tourists for some years now. I was thinking the same thing as B.C. when I heard that about his cluster of recent L.A.A’s. :o)


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 14:00

      I love these sculpture trails – we’ve seen them in a few places now. As for Billy, he did look rather frail.


  6. Jackie July 3, 2017 / 13:43

    It sounds like we like doing a lot of the same things.


  7. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor July 3, 2017 / 14:29

    I really enjoy these Glasgow Gallivanting posts of yours. Nice to see the murals for Billy Connolly. Such a great talent.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 14:43

      Thank you! I agree about Billy Connolly and all the honours are well deserved.


  8. Liesbet July 3, 2017 / 14:51

    Wow, Anabel. You didn’t just have a busy June, but an informative and rewarding one as well. Looks like you’ve been a traveler your whole life!


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 15:35

      It amazes me that after 30+ years in Glasgow i am still finding out new things about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) July 3, 2017 / 14:59

    Sounds like you got to do lots of fantastic stuff this month! The public health walk in particular sounds right up my alley, and that William Wallace monument is pretty cool too. I pass the plaque marking his execution site in Smithfield every so often, and someone has always laid flowers by it. Love the old photos of you and John!


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 15:37

      My favourite angel normally has a pink flower but she was looking neglected this time. Glad you like the old photos – I find it hard to believe that’s us!


  10. Suzanne et Pierre July 3, 2017 / 16:27

    You certainly had a busy and diversified month. I also agree with you that going to vote should be something we don’t get annoyed with. It is what a democracy is all about and I truly don’t understand those who don’t vote and then complain of the results…(Suzanne)


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 20:56

      Me neither – if you don’t vote you have no grounds for complaint.


  11. maristravels July 3, 2017 / 17:12

    Just a quickie to say that I envy you having Nicola Sturgeon to fight for you. What an amazing woman she is. I can’t type much because I have a serious eye problem at the moment but I start treatment this coming Thursday, so hopefully …………… no more double vision.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 20:58

      Oh, sorry to hear that and best of luck with the treatment. I think Nicola Sturgeon is one of the few politicians who answers questions, makes plans and tells it as it is. I agree, she’s amazing.


  12. Amy P July 3, 2017 / 17:50

    What a fantastic month! I’m a bit tired just reading about it – but what a journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. claudiabookwright July 3, 2017 / 22:12

    I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of your June gallivanting.
    Neither am I scunnered by voting, though this time ’round I’m totally scunnered by how too many other people voted. My fondest wishes are for impeachments and resignations through the top three in line of succession or maybe down all 17 levels.


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 22:58

      Glad you enjoyed it! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your fondest wishes. I almost don’t know what to wish for here anymore it’s such a mess.


  14. Donna July 3, 2017 / 22:39

    You’ve definitely been busy, Anabel! I especially LOVE the street art!


    • Anabel Marsh July 3, 2017 / 23:00

      Yes, I love seeking out street art. It certainly adds joy to what, in these cases, are quite bleak looking gable ends.


  15. Heyjude July 4, 2017 / 00:06

    You have been busy! What energy you must have. And I agree: your angel is beautiful 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2017 / 07:16

      She / he is! I don’t feel all that energetic, but writing these monthly posts has told me I must be.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. TanGental July 4, 2017 / 00:07

    I don’t do enough organised talks though we did two recently – a street art and a lost rivers walk. They teach us so much. I remember the rotundas from when i was there fr the Commonwealth games in 2014 – we have similar buildings by the greenwich and woolwich foot tunnels. As for June, pretty good all round though Dog has been injured so the longer walks have slipped. Maybe tomorrow!


  17. Deb's World July 4, 2017 / 02:34

    What great post Anabel, it sounds like a great month of walks and discoveries. I love the murals of Sir Billy and the angel shot. The history is amazing and I particularly like the photo of you both in 1985 where you are both turned towards the camera. It exudes a lovely innocence and adventurous spirit. As to what I’ve been doing in June – well I have a post planned for a sentence a day covering the month of June coming out later this week.


    • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2017 / 06:55

      Thanks Deb! We went on holiday with my parents that year, so one of them must have taken those photos. Probably my Mum. These are scanned from her slides.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. BeckyB July 4, 2017 / 10:50

    It has happened again, another month has passed before I knew it had begun! What a great month you have had 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2017 / 12:17

      I know – I can’t believe it’s July already. Especially looking out at cold rain here!


  19. the eternal traveller July 4, 2017 / 12:35

    I would love to go on a guided walk with you one day. 😊 Voting is compulsory in Australia and I’m proud to be able to have my say.


  20. Birgit July 4, 2017 / 15:03

    You have had an eventful month! I love your old pictures when you were just together and walking everywhere…nothing much has changed which is nice to see. I’m glad they did something with the other rotunda and they are holding n to the ones unlike here.


    • Anabel Marsh July 4, 2017 / 18:01

      No, we’re still setting off on hikes together 30+ years later! Slower these days though – in my case, anyway.


  21. Ann Coleman July 4, 2017 / 21:30

    What a nice looking young couple! And I agree: “we have more in common than that which divides us.”


  22. RuthsArc July 5, 2017 / 12:37

    Thanks for sharing your month, Anabel. I was especially interested to read about the Great Get Together. I heard about it in other parts of UK so lovely to hear about a Scottish event. Such a great idea and positive memorial to Jo Cox.


    • Anabel Marsh July 5, 2017 / 13:44

      It was a lovely event. There were loads in Scotland too, so we were proud to be the designated one that the First Minister attended.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. hilarymb July 6, 2017 / 10:33

    Hi Anabel – gosh lots going on … and what a fascinating post. Loved reading all the things you’ve been doing and are able to show us … Yes the Jo Cox words ring very true … “We have more in common than that which divides us” … and if some real leaders to take responsibility for things … I hope the next 30 years will bring the world together … cheers Hilary


  24. Elaine - I used to be indecisive July 8, 2017 / 17:56

    Despite spending the first 8 years of my life not far from the Necropolis, I have never visited it. Recently when I did a lot of visiting at the Royal Infirmary, I got view of it from my parking spot, and as I walked up the stairs to the ward, and said to myself ‘I really must go and have a look round’. One day I will…
    I saw the documentary about Billy Connolly and the paintings – did you? It was very interesting.
    Paisley Buddies reminds me of another documentary that was on recently, about Paisley and the importance of the thread mills. It was fascinating.
    My June started with a wonderful visit to Barcelona, continued with normal ‘stuff’ and ended in Glasgow.


  25. Marcia Strykowski July 9, 2017 / 01:13

    What a fascinating month you’ve had, such wonderful pictures (and I love seeing the one from your 1985 holiday). Excellent quote, too!


  26. rosemaylily2014 July 12, 2017 / 08:09

    What a full month you’ve had! I always love guided walks in a new place – you find out so much more than just reading guide books. Great quote from the late Jo Cox – such a tragedy she sounded such an inspirational person. Lovely photo of you back in the day!


    • Anabel Marsh July 12, 2017 / 15:26

      Thank you! I learn a lot from doing the guided walks too – much more knowledgeable about local history.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. jazzfeathers July 13, 2017 / 08:28

    Anabel, seriously I don’t know how you survived such a busy June!
    Love the old picture of yours 😉

    You know, I think the same as you: voting is a right, but it’s also a duty, in my opinion. We should never take it for granted. In fact, for a long time it wasn’t… and it still isn’t in too many countries. I will never be annoyed by the possibility to vote.


    • Anabel Marsh July 13, 2017 / 14:22

      It sounds busier than it is! There are 30 days in June and I’ve only written about a few. Most were quite uneventful.


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