Dear green place
Jude at Travel Words is running a Life in Colour Photo Challenge this year, with the colour changing every month. For March it is green, and as Jude says “it’s easy to find shades of green in nature, but what else can you discover?” I’ll answer that question in a later post, but living in a city sometimes known as the dear green place with its own Glasgow Green I can’t avoid starting with that. And, as always, I can’t avoid including a history lesson along with the pictures!
Green is built into the name Glasgow, which is thought to derive from the Brythonic words glas meaning green and cau meaning hollow. Our oldest public park is Glasgow Green, where local citizens went to wash and dry their clothes from the time the land was gifted to the people in 1450 until the 20th century.
At first, women tramped their washing in large tubs, hitching up their skirts and petticoats, in what was known as Scotch Washing. This became an early tourist attraction, and English travellers in the 18th and 19th centuries commented on the brazen women of Glasgow Green. Later, wash-houses, or “steamies”, were built on the Green, the first opening in 1732 and the last closing in 1960, but the popularity of the common drying green continued up to the 1970s. The city’s bylaws still allow Glasgow residents the right to dry their laundry on the green, where a set of Victorian drying poles is maintained, though they’re seldom put to use these days.
I could almost get away with adding this to Andrew’s Monday Washing Lines challenge at Have Bag, Will Travel. However, there are no lines and no washing on the poles! To get over that, here’s a flashback shot from our October break in Cellardyke. The matching pegs and the carefully separated white washing should please him.