Attendance: 67 attendees.
Chair: President, Mr Brian D. Henderson
Welcome: President Henderson opened the meeting by saying, “as your new President, may I welcome you all to the opening meeting and enrolment night of the Old Glasgow Club, for our new session.
Ladies and Gentlemen, a particularly warm welcome to those of you who are joining us for the first time. And, we do hope that any of you who are visiting, for the first time, will decide to join us. Thank you all very much indeed.”
Safety: If you hear the fire alarm, there are fire exits at each side of the room. Please make your way quickly and calmly to the nearest fire exit, and meet at the assembly points, so that you can be accounted for.
Mobile phones: Please check to make sure that your phone is switched off, or in silent mode.
Apologies: There were apologies from Maureen McRobb, Anna Forrest, Freda Graham, Jane Collie, Glen Collie, Dorothy Blair, Artie Trezise, Cathy Wallach, Margaret Thom.
Minutes: The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on the 12th April, were approved and proposed by Margaret Walker and seconded by Iain Henderson. There were no amendments or matters arising.
“We are trying to cut down of paper copies of the minutes, ladies and gentlemen. To ensure that we have your email address, if appropriate, please see Niall, our Membership Secretary. Thank you.”
President’s Report: President Henderson told us - “As you will be aware, this year marks the centenary of the end of the FIrst World War. I recently attended a session at the Mitchell Library, about the Belgian refugees who came to Glasgow during the Great War.
Glasgow Corporation played a major role in the relief of some 20,000 people. The City was then one of the largest in the UK, with a population of over 1 million, following the 1912 Boundaries Extn Act.
A collaborative project has taken place between The City Archives Office and Stirling University, as part of a UK wide initiative based in Leeds. They are trying to trace the refugees lives, using records held by The City Archives Office. A detailed hand list now exists.
Should any of you have an interest in the subject, please contact The City Archives Office - either online, or by visiting their office: fifth floor at the Mitchell Library.
Moving forward again, I would like to call upon Joyce, our Club Secretary, to present her report. Joyce, thank you.”
Secretary’s Report: Club Secretary, Joyce McNae told us about events and exhibitions in and around Glasgow. Quiz - have you taken part in tonight’s quiz - Where would you find this building?
Summer Outing to Scone Palace was an enjoyable and successful trip. We were shown photographs of our new President, Brian at Scone Palace, and the unseasonal hailstones on the way to Bridge of Allan.
Old Glasgow Club ordinary meeting talks 2018/2019 -
11th October 2018 - ‘Glasgow’s Singing Traditions’ with Adam McNaughtan
8th November 2018 - ‘Reconstructing Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art’ with Liz Davidson
13th December 2018 - ‘Glasgow’s First World War through the City Archives’ with Irene O’Brien
10th January 2019 - ‘When Sundays brought The Post’ with Jill Scott and Bill Hicks
14th February 2019 - ‘An Evening for Members and Friends’
14th March 2019 - ‘The Maid of the Loch’ with John Beveridge
12th April 2019 - ‘What’s Past is Prologue - a musical history of Glasgow from the archives and collections of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’
A reminder that Old Glasgow Club merchandise is available at our pop-up shop and information desk. The pricing for the OGC items - tea towels £3.50, notebooks £1.50, bags £4.00, OGC badges £3.00, OGC pens £1.00.
Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival 2018 - 116 open buildings, guided walks and events that runs until 16th September.
‘Royal Windows’. The Royal Infirmary is going to be home to a suite of stained glass windows. Joyce invited Past President, Alison Sannachan to the stage to tell us more about them, being that she works there.
Alison told us that they had been informed that there is going to be stained glass windows commemorating the city’s 14 traditional trades, incorporated into the Trades House of Glasgow for over 400 years. The windows are in the link corridor between the old and the new building. This part of the building overlooks the Necropolis, which means it gets a lot of sun.
The first of the windows has just been unveiled.
Joyce thanked Alison and continued :
There is a new exhibition opening on 21st September at Kelvingrove called ‘Brushes with War’. It is a powerful and emotive insight into the experience of soldiers from World War I through the drawing and paintings they created. It features original artwork from German, Austrian, French, Belgian, British, American, Canadian, Australian and Russian soldier-artists, providing an uncensored account to the experience of ordinary soldiers.
A truly impactful exhibition that marks the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI which runs from 21st September until the 6th January 2019. More information and bookings can be found at glasgowlife.org.uk
The new Clutha Distillery - a planning application has been submitted by Glasgow company Douglas Laing & Co to build the distillery at Pacific Quay. It is expected to open in Autumn 2019.
Staying on the subject of Clydeside, we were told that the Directors had been speaking about the Clyde and the petition to stop developers building on the A-listed Govan Graving Docks. Glasgow City Council have now formally rejected the planning permission that had been sought by New City Vision to build 700 flats, a museum, restaurant, shops, office space and hotel on the sight. The proposed development was thought to have failed in preserving the historic interest of the listed docks.
Joyce invited Niall to the stage to speak to us.
Club Membership Secretary, Niall Houser, thanked everyone that had already filled in their enrolment forms for Session 2018/19. He reminded members that still had to complete their forms about the new Gift Aid option, and the Contact Box, which has to be ticked if you would like the minutes sent electronically to you, and allow us to contact you.
Talk: Our President introduced tonight’s speaker, “It now gives me very great pleasure to introduce Mr Jim Mearns, our guest speaker, who will be taking us to the Antonine Wall, on a journey through time tonight.
Jim is Editor of The Scottish Archaeological Journal, former adviser to the Lord Provost, has a Master in Urban and Regional Planning, Past President of the Glasgow Archaeological Society, and of The Nomad Club, which is very intriguing. And last, but by no means least, a self-employed thinker!
I love the self-employed thinker, no doubt Jim will enlighten us. Please give him a very warm OGC welcome.”
Jim thanked Brian for his flattering introduction and congratulated Brian on becoming President of the OGC this year.
When Jim looked up the OGC on internet, a fact popped up from 5th September 1818, the day that gas arrived in Glasgow. Jim is going to go further back than this, back to the second century, when the Romans were in Scotland.
The Romans had started as a small city state that expanded around the Mediterranean Sea to become what we call The Roman Empire. The Romans first came to Britain under the rule of Julius Caesar around 55 BC.
We know that the Romans were in Scotland 3 times. “When Antoninus Pius became emperor in A.D. 138, the northern frontier of Roman Britain lay on a line between the Tyne and the Solway, along which Hadiran’s Wall had recently been constructed. We cannot be certain why the Romans advanced into Southern Scotland at this time.
Local unrest may have prompted their northwards march. Alternatively, it may have been, in part, a political decision taken in Rome, designed to achieve an early foreign policy success for and unwarlike emperor”, who was more of a philosopher than a soldier.
Unlike Hadrian’s Wall, which is a specific structure, built completely of stone, with a road, ditch, forts, fortlets and small castles, the Antonine Wall is a turf wall with stone foundations.
The Antonine Wall ran from Old Kilpatrick on the west coast to near Bo’ness in the east, and was around 37 miles long.
It is known that the Romans had a treaty with the people of Fife, and it may be that the forts that were built north of the Antonine Wall, as far as Perth, were shielding the population of Fife against raiders from the north and west.
There have been remains of forts discovered at seventeen sites on the Antonine Wall: Old Kilpatrick, Duntocher, Castlehill, Bearsden, Balmuildy, Cadder, Kirkintilloch, Auchendavy, Bar Hill, Croy Hill, Westerwood, Castlecary, Rough Castle, Falkirk, Mumrills, Inveravon and Carriden.
The forts were placed at approximately every 2.2 miles or so. There could, as yet, still be more forts waiting to be discovered. All the excavated forts consisted of principal buildings that included a headquarters, the commanding officer’s house, granaries, barracks and at least one suite of bath-houses,
There were also fortlets, resembling mile castles (lookout towers) found along the Antonine Wall, the most recent ones found at Seabegs Wood, Croy Hill, Kinneil and Cleddans, east of Duntocher.
Shown in cross section, the wall had a Military Way/ Road to get supplies through (around 5 metres wide), there was a gap of 10 metres, then the wall, which was around 4 metres wide and 3 metres high, with a stone base and turf Rampart. There was then a 3 metre wide Berm (of flat space), a 12 metre wide x 4 metre deep ditch, which had an ankle breaker of a trough at the bottom, and an outer mound.
It is not known how long it took to build the wall, we can only guess. What is known, is that the Romans were only in Scotland at this period for around 20 years.
Jim showed us fascinating photographs and drawings of the wall, Peel Park, Kirkintilloch, plan drawing of Balmuildy, plan of the fortlet and enclosures at Wilderness Plantation, Cadder Fort (the canal builders were gentlemen and built around the fort), photographs of bath-houses, aerial views of Rough Castle, Westerwood fort and the distance slabs, to name a few.
When the forts were abandoned, the Romans buried possessions that they did not want to take with them, this has helped the preservation and survival of the artefacts, which are in the Hunterian Museum. Along with tools, household items, shoes, jewellery, statuettes and altars, there are the unique distance slabs.
There are at least 18 inscribed distance slabs, celebrating the work of the legions which constructed the Antonine Wall. “Each slab records that the work was undertaken for the emperor Antoninus Pius, then names the legion responsible, and the exact distance completed, in paces or feet.” The slabs, which are made of local sandstone were set into stone frames along the length of the wall, and probably faced south into the Empire. These distance slabs can be seen at The Hunterian Museum, Glasgow.
Jim finished his talk by telling us that the Romans were not defeated, they chose to leave Scotland.
More information on the wall can be found at www.antoninewall.org www.antonineguard.org.uk www.glasarchsoc.org.uk
President Henderson thanked Jim for his fabulous talk, and invited the audience to ask him questions, requesting that the questions were brief and relevant.
Q I was just wondering if Bar Hill is set back from the wall because it is like Vindolanda near Hadrian’s Wall.
A No, because Vindolanda was an auxiliary fort and Bar Hill was definitely a fort. Bar Hill and Croy Hill forts are both at the highest point of the wall.
Q That was a very interesting talk. What year was the Antonine Wall built?
A It was built about 139 AD. Not sure about the building time though.
Q You gave the impression that the natives above the Antonine Wall were friendly, were the Romans aware of places like John O’Groats?
A As far as the Romans were concerned, they circumnavigated Scotland, built forts around Scotland and took marching camps all round Scotland, including the North of the country and felt Scotland was under control.
They always had a purpose, whether it be in trading people/ slaves, gold. They were trading across the
Channel, so they would have had a good grasp of the geography of the area, and know that Britain was an island.
Q You mentioned that soldiers weren't allowed to to marry?
A Yes, that’s correct, they signed up for 20 years and weren’t supposed to take wives. Tablets found at Vindolanda have the Governor’s wife’s requests on them, so, if was one rule for the soldiers, and one rule for those in charge.
Q What would they have written on, would it have been slate?
A No, it would have been wax tablets.
Q I have to plead my ignorance. When you said 140, was that after Christ’s time?
A Yes, 140 A.D.
Vote of Thanks: President Henderson called upon former club Director and fellow member, Mr Bill Crawford to give the vote of thanks on behalf of the club.
Mr Crawford said, “Well Ladies and Gentlemen, I found that a very interesting evening, and I am sure that everyone else here did too. Yes, its been a very interesting evening, especially since it is on our doorstep. We have probably all at some time been on the wall, or the ditch, and not been aware.
Jim, I would like to thank you most sincerely on behalf of the club, for coming here tonight, and making us a bit wiser than when we left home this evening.” Bill asked us to join him in showing our thanks to Jim for his great talk.
AOCB: Past President, Stuart Little informed us that tonight’s Quiz had been disastrous. We got named streets near the street shown in the Quiz but not the actual name of the street in the photograph. Because of this, Stuart picked the person who named the nearest street to the correct answer of Derby Street. The winner with the closest street, was Club Secretary, Joyce.
Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 4th October, 6.15pm start at Hutchesons’ Grammar School, 21 Beaton Road.
Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 11th October, 7.30pm start at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow.
Close: President Henderson thanked everyone for their attendance and participation tonight, and informed us of the next
Directors and Ordinary meeting dates. “Our next Ordinary Meeting is “Glasgow Singing Traditions” with Adam McNaughtan. He spoke to the club about 30 years ago, so you could say this is a repeat talk!” Brian wished all safe home.
Shona Crozer - Recording Secretary
Attendance: 78 attendees.
Chair: President, Mr Brian D. Henderson.
Welcome: President Henderson welcomed everyone to the second meeting of the session, with a particularly warm welcome to anyone who was here for a first time tonight.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is now my sad duty to advise that Mr Gordon Gilmour, who was a member in the 1980s and 1990s, died on 11th September. Gordon was a regular contributor and attender before his health declined. I am sure that our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Thank you”.
Safety - “If you hear the fire alarm, there are fire exits at each side of the room. Please make your way quickly and calmly to the nearest fire exit, and assemble at assembly points so that you can be accounted for. Mobile phones: Please check to make sure that your phone is switched off, or in silent mode”.
Apologies: Cilla Fisher, Arlie Trezise, Jean Wylie, Jane Collie, Glen Collie, Margaret McCormick and Iain Henderson.
Minutes: The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on the 13th September, were approved and proposed by Anna Forest and seconded by Crawford Cassidy. There were no amendments or matters arising.
Since we are actively trying to cut down on paper copies of the minutes, could we please ensure that we have your email address if appropriate. Please see Niall, our Membership Secretary. Thank you.
President’s Report: Ladies and Gentlemen, I present my report as President this evening, with a very strong sense of “Living History”. You may remember that in talking at our last meeting of the Great War Belgian refugees, I mentioned that the city’s population had exceeded 1 million due to the 1912 Boundaries’ Extension Act.
It therefore seemed quite uncanny to me, to discover courtesy of the club transactions for session 1918-19, that the speaker’s subject on 30th October 1918 - one hundred years ago this month, Ladies and Gentlemen - was entitled “The Extension of the Municipal Boundaries of Glasgow 1800-1912”.
A gent named W. Boyd Anderson addressed the club that evening. Very briefly, our speaker informed us that the Burghs of Govan, Patrick and Pollokshaws, the districts of Tollcross and Shettleston in the east, Temple, Knightswood and Scoutston in the West and Shieldhall and Cathcart in the south had all been annexed in 1912.
This added 6208 acres and a population of 226,335. The city now extended to 19,183 acres, with a population rise from 784,496 to 1,010,831 people.
To conclude my report Ladies and Gentlemen, the club meeting was in The Trades Hall, Glassford Street on the third Thursday of each month from October to April. The chair was taken at 8pm.
Now there’s a thing Ladies and Gentlemen, the chair was taken at 8pm. And dare I say, with no disrespect intended to our ghostly fellow members from 1918, that I hope they got it back again!
Forgive me please Ladies and Gentlemen, I am afraid the humour gets no better than this, just begins to deteriorate, more than a little.
Moving forward again, while I hope I am still ahead, and not out the door, I would like to call upon Joyce, our Secretary to present her report”.
Secretary’s Report: Joyce apologised for the lack of microphones this evening since we are experiencing a technical glitch with Adelaides sound equipment. We know we are in trouble when Gavin, our club technical wizard can’t get to the cause of the problem.
Joyce proceed to tell us dates of events and happenings in and around Glasgow for the month of October and beyond.
There are copies of the amended OGC constitution, as voted for at the May AGM, available. Copies can be picked up from Niall, our Membership Secretary.
Quiz - ‘What’s the odd one out on this bookshelf’.
Old Glasgow Club Ordinary Meetings remaining in the 2018/19 session:
November 8th. - ‘Reconstructing Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art’ speaker Liz Davidson
December 13th - ‘Glasgow’s First World War through the City Archives’ speaker Irene O’Brien
January 10th - ‘When Sundays brought The Post’ speakers Jill Scott and Bill Hicks
February 14th - ‘An Evening for Members and Friends’
March 14th. - ‘The Maid of the Loch’ speaker John Beveridge
April 12th - ‘What’s Past is Prologue’ speaker Dr Stuart A. Harris - Logan
New Glasgow Society - ‘Inside/Out (the material of Mackintosh)’, the first solo exhibition from artist Allan Whyte, exams our relationship to the built environment through the prism for Mackintosh’s use of materials and light. This sculptural installation, at New Glasgow Society from 18-27 October, gives the public a unique opportunity to see art work created from materials salvaged from Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh building. More information can be found on newglasgowsociety.org
Books at the Botanics - book fair is on the Saturday 13th October and Sunday 14th October, 10am - 5.00pm.
Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery - Christine Borland’s new work, ‘I Say Nothing: A World War 1 centenary art commission’ will be on display on the south balcony from 12th October. This thought provoking artwork is intended to stimulate critical reflection on World War I, as well as on museum collecting and care.
‘Brushes with War’ is a powerful and emotive insight into the experience of soldiers from World War 1 through the drawings and paintings they created. Featuring original artworks by German, Austrian, French, Belgian, British,
American, Canadian, Australian and Russian soldier-artists, the exhibition provides an authentic, uncensored account of the experience of ordinary soldiers. It offers clear glimpses into World War I through the eyes of the men who actually fought. The exhibition runs from 21st September - 6th January 2019. Tickets cost £7.
More information can be found on glasgowlife.org.uk
Black History Month - October is Black History Month, has been co-ordinated since 2001, and has encompassed the history of African, Caribbean and Asian people in this country; people who often have a direct link with Scotland through slavery, colonialism and migration. There are talks, exhibitions and theatre events taking place at various venues over the month. More information can be found on blackhistorymonth.org.uk by searching Glasgow on listings.
Talk: Our President introduced tonight’s speaker. “It now gives me very great pleasure to introduce Mr Adam
McNaughtan, our guest speaker, who will be taking us on a musical trip through Glasgow’s singing traditions. I hope Adam will take it as a compliment if I call him almost an “old Glasgow worthy”!
A founder member of Glasgow University Folk Club, I understand he taught English for twenty years before cataloguing the poet’s box at the Mitchell, I think. Intriguing to say the least! He went on to run an antiquarian book shop in Parnie Street near Glasgow Cross for many years. I believe he also sang “The Jeely Piece Song” with his guitar at Bannerman High, Garrowhill in 1973!!! Quite a day that one must have been I am sure!
And, unless I am very much mistaken Ladies and Gentlemen, Adam did talk to the Club in one of our earlier lives at the
Girl Guides Hall in Elmbank Street in the mists of time, or certainly the early 1980s. But I might very well be wrong Ladies and Gentlemen! No doubt Adam will correct me if I am.
Please give him a very warm Old Glasgow Club welcome. Adam, over to you. Thank you.
Adam opened up his talk by singing ‘Three Craws’ and telling us that this was the version he knew when he was a child. There are different versions of this and he just demonstrated that not every Glaswegian know the same tunes.
Glasgow singers did not necessarily sing Glasgow songs as prior to 1800 Glasgow was a market town that shared traditions with the south of Scotland. There were ballads set in Glasgow, as collected by John Ord but other songs were collected by pedlars when they were roaming the countryside. Pedlars who carried song sheets were encouraged to listen out for new songs and bring them back with them.
The songs, with love always the main theme, were crudely and cheaply printed on broadsides and ballad sheets, which were single sheets, or chapbooks (which were folded into pamphlets). They were sold by street criers, travelling pedlars and ‘baladeers’ at markets and fairs. These were what we called street literature and appeared all over the UK.
Adam told us that he spent around a year in the Mitchell Library looking at broadsides and ballad sheets and catalogued what is know as ‘The Poet’s Box’. This is a box that contains a collection of some 3,000 of them that date from around 1850 to 1912, later than most people think they went on. ‘The Poet’s Box’ was the name of particular shops which produced and sold song sheets, sending them all over the place. The Glasgow one was listed in a directory until the early 1960s.
Apart from oral folk song and printed broadside, where did people actually sing. It is known that there were about 30 convivial clubs that were active in Glasgow in the mid 1800s. These clubs were mainly frequented by the middle and professional classes. Over time this became a bit more democratic and it became the practice for there to be one professional singer at the club, who also acted as a compare. The acts became more varied than just singers, with gymnasts, clog dancers etc being added to the foray.
The time obviously came for purpose built music halls, like the Britannia which opened in 1857 but some of the singing clubs still survived.
In the 19th century venture comedian meant comic singer, they would sing 2 to 4 songs, most of them parodies. One such singer who specialised in parodies and children’s tradition was James Curran who had written some 1000 songs by the time he took to the stage in 1890s.
Lots of his songs are still to be collected from the oral tradition.
Adam entertained us with James Curran’s version of ‘My Grandfather’s Socks’
“My Grandfather’s socks were too big for his boots and his boots were too wee for his feet He’d a big hairy pimple on the end of his nose that could light every lamp in the street
But he got upon the booze till it bit him in the blues and from this wicked world he did aslide But they’ll buried out of sight still the pimple shinning bright Since the auld man died
And the people come in thousands
to that grave so simple They come to light their pipes at my Grandfather’s pimple The bobbies on the beat often stop to warm their feet at the pimple on my Grandfather’s grave”
The youth organisations, which included the Brownies, Scouts, Sunday School and Seaside Mission were also very important in the learning of traditional songs. People still remember the songs that they first heard at them, its amazing how these songs cling to you.
Things of course change with the appearance of new, larger theatres, like the Pavilion Theatre and the Coliseum Theatre, which opened in 1905. It took a different type of singer to sing at these venues. Singers like Tommy Lorne, a man with a big deep voice who entertained Glasgow crowds with their patter and catchphrases.
Adam entertained us over the course of the evening with renditions of songs from broadsheets, like ‘Three Craws’, ‘Bonnie Glasgow Green’, ‘The Shepherd’s Lament’ and ‘My Grandfather’s Socks’. Members joined in with some of the lyrics that they recognised and laughed at the cheek and bawdiness of some of the lines in the parodies not known to them.
Adam finished his talk by telling us about the advent of Polaris and the anti-nuclear protestors, one of which was the song writer, Morris Blythman who wrote a protest song after a throw away comment from an American Captain called Lanin, supposedly likening the protestors in their kayaks to “Eskimos”. The song is titled ‘The Glasgow Eskimos’ and is set to the American Civil War tune ‘Marching Through Georgia’.
The Glasgow Eskimos
Hullo! Hullo! We are the Eskimos
Hullo! Hullo! The Glesca Eskimos
We’ll gaff that nyaff ca’d Lanin
And we’ll spear him whaur he blows For we are the Glesca Eskimos
Questions and Answers: there was no time left to ask Adam questions.
Vote of Thanks: Brian called upon fellow member and former club Director, Mr Bill Crawford to give the vote of thanks on behalf of the club.
Bill said, “Ladies and Gentlemen (thought I should remember to say that), it has been great having Adam along this evening. I can hardly believe that I remember Adam from 60 years ago, and, when I heard he was coming along tonight I asked to give the vote of thanks. What a great talk, and to be able to sing like that at the ripe old age of both of us! He sings the Glasgow tradition even with our lack of working microphone. As the show went on tonight we all showed our enjoyment as we clapped along, would you like to join with me in giving him the traditional Old Glasgow Club vote of thanks”.
AOCB: Past President, Stuart Little told us that the Quiz question tonight of ‘spot the odd book out on the bookshelf’ was a photograph taken of Edinburgh themed books in an Edinburgh book shop. While Edinburgh does indeed have a Tollcross, the book with this title was actually about Tollcross, Glasgow, meaning this was the odd book out. The winner tonight was Rosemary Sanachan.
Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 1st November, 6.15pm start at Hutchesons’ Grammar School, 21 Beaton Road. Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 8th November, 7pm for 7.30pm start at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow.
Close: President Henderson thanked everyone for their attendance and participation tonight, and informed us of the next Directors and Ordinary meeting dates.
Our next Ordinary Meeting is ‘Reconstructing Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s Glasgow School of Art’ by Liz Davidson. “A very sad but topical subject at the moment, as you know, Ladies and Gentlemen”. Brian wished all a safe home.
Attendance: 68 attendees.
Chair: President, Mr Brian D. Henderson.
Welcome: President Henderson opened the meeting by welcoming and thanking everyone for turning out on such a dreich night, with a particularly warm welcome extended to those that were joining us for the first time this evening.
President Henderson invited members to stand for a one minute silence to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War this coming Sunday.
Housekeeping: Fire drill procedures and housekeeping rules were explained, and all mobile phones were requested to be turned off or silenced.
President Henderson advised that if we were experiencing adverse weather conditions on the date of an Old Glasgow Club Ordinary Meeting to check on the club website or Facebook page for updates. Should the Directors decide to stand down a meeting, the information will be available there.
Apologies: There were apologies from Anne White, Janette Know, Cilla Fisher, Arti Trezise, Jane Collie, Glen Collie, Alison Sannachan and Jane Sheridan.
Minutes: The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on 11th October were approved and proposed by Margaret Thom and seconded by Stuart Little. There were no amendments.
Matters Arising - it was pointed out that some members haven’t been receiving their digital copies of the OGC minutes. Members were assured that they had been sent out to them but that the Recording Secretary would look into it and any queries were to be directed to her.
President’s Report: “Ladies and Gentlemen, in presenting my President’s Report last month, I talked of a very strong sense of “Living History” with the extension of “The Municipal Boundaries” address to the club by Mr W Boyd Anderson on 30th October 1918.
Mr Boyd Anderson, who was in fact a life member of the club, detailed that the districts of Tollcross and Shettleston in the East were among the 1912 annexations.
I would now like to continue my “Living History” theme, given that on 21st November 1918, the Rev J.F. Mitchell addressed our members on “Old Shettleston”.
The first known mention, he said, came with a Papal Bull in 1170 to the Bishop of Glasgow, by which Pope Alexander III took the “Settlement of Sadin” under his protection. Thus “Sadin’s Town” or Shettleston.
By charter in 1226, King Alexander II, authorised the Provost and Officers of Rutherglen to collect their legal dues, being toll or custom, “At The Cross of Schendenestun”, but not in the town of Glasgow.
Pre-reformation Shettleston was apparently divided into certain districts such as Easter Shettleston, Westerton of Shettleston and Middlequarther; these, in time, evolved into three distinctive names:
A Tollcross - the largest holding; Little Tollcross - including B
C Tollcross Park’ and Little Hill of Tollcross - including the
E Camlachie neighbourhood, and Janefield.
Mr James Corbet feued land in 1751; and the Grays of Carntyne also feature....apparently, several fortunes were made and lost in the early 18th century by working the coal in the lands of Camlachie and Tollcross.
The Reform Act of 1832 extended Glasgow’s Parliamentary Boundary to Old Edinburgh Road at Shettleston, the City Boundary was extended to the same point in 1846. This remained the position until 1912.
The Rev Mr Miller concluded by submitting that Shettleston had come into its own in the Parliamentary division of the city recently carried out: The new Shettleston ward was coming as far west as Camlachie - the probable boundary of Shettleston and Glasgow in the 12th century.
There we must leave our fellow members of the mists of time, and 21st November 1918.
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you”.
Secretary’s Report: Joyce M.M. McNae, Club Secretary.
Joyce advised us that the Directors now know the theme that February’s meeting, “An Evening for Members and Friends” will take. It is going to be a Quiz Night of a North/South divide, with the River Clyde being the deciding factor of which team you will be in.
Helping with the Old Glasgow Club - Joyce asked members to consider becoming a Director of the OGC as the club is a couple of Directors short. She emphasised that it is not nearly as formal or as daunting as it sounds and the role is really about helping make decisions regarding the running of the club over a cup of coffee and a biscuit. The Directors have a separate meeting once a month September to April (not December) to discuss all things club and the tenure is normally three years. If anyone is interested then please express this to the President, Vice-President, Joyce, or indeed any of the club Directors.
Also, please help spread news of the OGC and talks with your neighbours, friends and work colleagues by distributing the information leaflets/ membership forms, available from the sign in desk.
Constitution - a reminder that a copy of the Constitution as amended at the 2018 AGM is available to pick up at the membership or signing in desk.
Old Glasgow Club Ordinary Meetings remaining in the 2018/19 session:
December 13th - ‘Glasgow’s First World War through the City Archives’ speaker Irene O’Brien
January 10th - ‘When Sundays brought The Post’ speakers Jill Scott and Bill Hicks
February 14th - ‘An Evening for Members and Friends’ Quiz Night with a North/South divide
March 14th - ‘The Maid of the Loch’ speaker John Beveridge
April 12th - ‘What’s Past is Prologue’ speaker Dr Stuart A. Harris-Logan
Events and happenings in and around Glasgow in the month of November:
‘William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum’ - running from 28th September until 6th January 2019 at the Hunterian Art Gallery. Admission is free.
‘Brushes with War’ - a powerful and emotive insight into the experience of soldiers from World War I through the drawings and paintings they created. Featuring original artworks by German, Austrian, French, Belgian, British,
American, Canadian, Australian and Russian soldier-artists, the exhibition provides an authentic, uncensored account of the experience of ordinary soldiers. The exhibition runs from the 21st September - 6th January 2019. Tickets cost £7. More information can be found on glasgowlife.org.uk
Books at the Botanics - Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th November. Open from 10am until 4.30pm.
Glasgow Christmas Markets - The traditional Christmas Markets return to George Square and St Enoch Square soon.
St Enoch Square from Friday 9th November until Sunday 23rd December and George Square from Sunday 25th November until Monday 31st December (closed Christmas Day).
Oklahoma @ Kings Theatre - the 75th anniversary version of Oklahoma performed by the Glasgow Light Opera Club takes place at the Kings Theatre from 13th November to 17th November.
Glasgow Charities Christmas Fayre - The annual Glasgow Charities Christmas Fayre at Glasgow City Chambers takes place on Tuesday 13th November. Open from 10am - 3.30pm. Entry is free.
Country Living Christmas Fayre - takes place at Glasgow SEC from the 15th until 18th November. More information can be found on countryliving.com
World Book Week - Glasgow Libraries celebrate all things books and reading with Book Week Scotland from 19th - 24th November. This years theme is Rebel! The full programme of events can be found on glasgowlife.org.uk
Speaker: Our President introduced tonight’s speaker. “However, to introduce Dr Robyne Calvert, who will address us on Mackintosh, Symbolism and The Glasgow School of Art.
I understand that Dr Calvert, or Robyne, if I may, was previously a lecturer in History and Theory at The School of Art, writes and lectures in Art and Design History at The University of Glasgow, received a PHD bursary for her thesis”Fashioning The Artist - Artistic Dress in Victorian Britain 1848-1900” - published 2012, focused her masters research on collaborative work between Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret McDonald Mackintosh, is now a researcher in the History of Architecture and Design at The Mackintosh School of Architecture, at The School of Art. No doubt Robyne will clarify and elaborate for us”.
Robyne thanks Brian for his very nice introduction and clarifies that she is actually the Mackintosh Research Fellow at the Glasgow School of Art, charged with fostering innovative research projects arising from the reconstruction of the Mackintosh Building. She is very proud to say this but notices that she is now met with furrowed brows when she does.
Originally from Miami, Florida, she mentions that she was not born here but is a Glaswegian, and was told that if you live in Glasgow then you are one! She came here for Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald, well partly for his floppy bow tie since her PhD thesis was on ‘Fashioning the Artist’.
Robyne told us that although the wooden front door of the GSA is gone, the sculpture is good and the brass plates are good. This is a really important symbol, what is left, and she is here to talk about symbolism.
A good example being the photograph we are shown of a pendant in the library. “When we started the restoration in 2014, we came across this photograph of a pendant that hung around the balustrade in the library. The library was lost in the first fire and there were 20 of these hand carved pendants which we thought were all different. We thought we didn’t have photographs of all the pendants for about a month. We’ll come back to this later”.
We were shown photographs of “the four”, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald and Herbert McNair, who met when the sisters were day students and the two men were night students, possibly at some sketching club.
The photographs show a relaxed group of students, including Janet Aitken, Agnes Rayburn and taken by Jessie Keppie ca1893, who called themselves “The Immortals”. Agnes Rayburn was the editor from “The Magazine” 1894-96, it was she who collected photographs of them. The Immortals shared and learned from each other.
Robyne wanted to debunk a common myth relating to Mackintosh being engaged to Jessie Keppie, jilting her, marrying Macdonald and ultimately ruining his career. There is no factual evidence to support any of this. It doesn’t make sense since he made partner in Honeyman & Keppie a few years after the supposed jilting took place. It was men wrote these books, making up imagined cat fight drama.
Another myth was that Mackintosh was into the occult. Robyne wants this to be true but there is absolutely no evidence to support this. What he was into was Symbolism. Symbolist Art was influenced by all sorts of esoteric end of century philosophies and ideas including Theosophy, which explored religions and spiritual practices of all kinds. “Spiritualism and interesting in the metaphysical were all part of the ‘cultural soup’ in this period, and these notions go hand-in-hand with the interest in Celtic/Nordic mythology, and a romanticised vision of Scotland’s past, which is evident across Glasgow Style art & design”.
How does Symbolism manifest itself in CRM interiors and architecture. In the first commission for Miss Cranston, CRM apparently did this magical drawing of Margaret called ‘Part Seen Part Imagined’, where the top part of the painting you can see her and the bottom part you have to imagine. Miss Cranston loves his work so he and Margaret both work on the Ingram Street Tearoom, creating two gesso panels called ‘The Wassail’ (Mackintosh’s only gesso panel), representing Winter and ‘The May Queen’ (Macdonald), representing Spring. They both enjoyed creating this type of narrative. Symbolism was crucial to Mackintosh and Macdonald’s work.
Mackintosh showed his work in Vienna and other International Exhibitions to great success, they were really important for his work. Although his work had its roots in British design, he drew a lot of influence from the continent.
Back to the 20 pendants, which are being made in Edinburgh just now. What do they mean? Through the process of collecting data, Robyne came across lots of photographs and images and it was only when she started drawing them that she realised that there were in fact only three different designs, not 20 as previously thought. Pattern A is shorter and Pattern B and C longer.
What this is about, what do the patterns mean? “With people asking the same questions repeatedly, I realised there is no secret code, it is what it means to you. It gets you thinking, wondering and asking what it is, it makes your brain and imagination go into overdrive and how it should be. We are in a library, it is what you interpret and think it is”.
Robyne ends the talk by telling us that so much was learned about the Mackintosh building from the 2014 fire. “That an admin room was actually built to be a masters room, a tea room, we learned things we had previously overlooked. We learned that the light that we thought was black was actually bronze! Someone, probably in the 1940s, possibly painted it black”.
“We have a 3-D scan of the building, which is very important regarding this years fire, see the gable on the right-hand side, we knew it wasn’t going to move as it hadn’t moved! This means we have scan data made into a building information model with everything itemised”.
“I hope we get the chance to rebuild, on behalf of Liz and all my other colleagues. In 2014 we stood on the corner after the fire and wondered if it was possible to rebuild. Now we know exactly what the whole building is all about and I really hope we are able to get on with it”.
Brian thanked Robyne very much for her talk and invited the audience to ask her any relevant questions:
Q Have they established if the fires were arson?
A The first one was started by a digital projector, unfortunately at the time of the sprinkler system going in.
As for the second fire, we only got into the building last week, so they are only just going in to start the investigation. There is a chance that we might never know as there is a high level of destruction. I personally don’t think it was arson.
Q The main contractors doing the work, is their insurance liability going to cover the cost?
A There’s been a lot of speculation about many things, the insurance being one of them. Of course the contractor is insured.
Q How far on was the restoration work from 2014?
A It was pretty far on and we were set to re-open in 2019. Some of the things that were in there was the art work and light fittings. Original features of the building lost were the doors that were in the basement, the plaster casts which were too large to move, though weirdly we can 3D print the original casts.
Q Will the original artists that were recreating for 2014 fire be doing the work the second time?
A We are dealing with a bigger re-build, as well as interiors, it is going to be a much bigger job. So, I have no idea as it will be a bigger team. My hope is that Page Park is involved again, I can’t imagine if they weren’t a part of it.
Some of the original makers are probably the only ones able to do it.
Q I suppose the elephant in the room is money! Is there any plan to do fundraisers in the city etc?
A My understanding is that the insurance covers it, it is complicated, it is definitely much more complicated this time. There’s things that will go along with the re-build that will take some fundraising. We have a bigger campus plan, there is an estate plan! How they’ll manage that, I have no idea. There’s a lot of uncertainty, though in terms of rebuilding, it will be insurance for the building.
Vote of thanks: Brian called upon OGC Vice-President, Crawford Cassidy to give the vote of thanks on behalf of the club.
Crawford thanked Robyne for answering all those difficult questions that were thrown at her tonight. He thanked her for her enthusiasm which has been conveyed to all, and how obviously well received the talk had been. We were asked to join him in giving Robyne the traditional Old Glasgow Club vote of thanks.
Quiz: Tonight’s Quiz question was a photograph with the question, “Which Iconic Glasgow Building Am I In”? We had 21 entries with 4 correct answers. The correct answer was Trades Hall, Niall picked out the winning entry from Betty Robertson.
AOCB: President Henderson informed us that he and Vice-President, Crawford Cassidy, will be representing the Old Glasgow Club at the Saint Andrew’s Day services at Glasgow Cathedral.
We were also informed that Past Presidents, Bob Dunlop, Murray Blair and Liz Smith were not keeping good health and the Club sends our best wishes to them.
Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 17th January, 6.15pm start at Hutchensons’ Grammar School, 21 Beaton Road.
Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 13th December, 7pm for 7.30pm start at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow.
Close: President Henderson thanked everyone for coming along tonight and wished all a safe home.
Minutes to be posted when available
Minutes to be posted when available
Minutes to be posted when available