Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Legends of Glasgow

Tourists thrill to the legends of Edinburgh, of bodysnatchers and murderous respectables, of faithful Greyfriars Bobby, of Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox.

B-o-r-i-n-g. Becuase Glasgow has its legends too, with the bonus that they are often free from the dull constraints of truth.

As a student at a Glasgow university, I was informed that one enterprising first year had recently spent his grant on a fortnight's holiday on the Costa del Sol: on returning he was skint, and subsisted on pasta alone. He fell unwell towards Christmas, and went to the doctor for some medicine. "You've got scurvy," the doctor apparently said.

Or take the case of William Simpson, architect of the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery. So upset was he that the museum had been built back to front, that he threw himself from its towers.

Kelvingrove Museum:

A Glasgow Legend need not be true to be embraced: just a good story. I remember standing in Queens Park, a grand lookout over the city: a woman standing next to me pointed out a new cinema to her friend.

"That's the tallest building in Britain," she said.

She'd got her story mixed up: it is the tallest cinema in Britain. It is far from the tallest building. This should not have to be pointed out - clearly visible from Queens Park are taller buildings in Glasgow itself.

But the woman's friend said nothing and, though bursting to correct her, neither did I. Why ruin an interesting fact with the truth?

1 comment:

ben said...

Check out Darius Campbells good luck message to Scotland in the 6 Nations!! Vote for Darius!!