Glasgow Gallivanting: April 2021

Forth and Clyde Canal at Applecross

Despite restrictions easing so that we are now allowed to travel beyond the boundaries of our own council, in April we still kept more or less to Glasgow. Tales of crowds, overflowing carparks, and roads blocked by dangerously parked vehicles weren’t encouraging. So, as usual, the local canal featured heavily in our walks. Two sources of excitement: first, more of the new Claypits Nature Reserve has opened, and a path takes you up from the canal towpath to a viewpoint over the city. The nature reserve itself is still looking very raw, but you can see the potential.

Second, we have been watching three pairs of nesting swans on the canal at Lochburn, Ruchill, and Firhill. Which will be the first to hatch cygnets?

Having visited Glasgow’s three other Necropolises, I’ve been wanting to go to the Eastern Necropolis in Parkhead, aka Janefield Cemetery, for some time. Armed with a map and a list of 20+ notable graves, I set out to find the only woman on the list. Disappointment awaited – although the map was accurate for other graves, I could not find Maggie Shields. Maybe her stone has disappeared? Further research required. Overall, the Necropolis is not as grand as the others so we didn’t take many photographs, but it was still a poignant experience: for example, a mother buried with two infant children, and a couple who lived till their seventies but suffered the loss of four children in early adulthood. And who was Agnes? Has someone left a painted pebble in her memory because her headstone has disappeared too?

This is the woman I was looking for:

I’ve written before about the 1889 Templeton’s carpet factory disaster when 29 women were killed by a collapsing wall. Margaret (Maggie) Shields was one of them. This is her paving stone from the memorial across the road from the former factory. Some day, I will try again to find her grave.

It’s been a good month for murals and street art. I’ve already written about the Shuggie Bain and Splintering City murals, but there’s more! These are from Paisley where my mother lives. I drive past Elma Whyte Performing Arts every time I visit, but have only recently walked past to take photos. The fencing makes it difficult to get the gable wall all in at once. Thanks to Buddie and His Camera for the tip off about the mural with three boys.

I found another piece of Louise McVey’s graffiti ceramics, which already seems to have lost a bit, and her golden heart which last month was painted over in pink has now disappeared completely leaving no more than paint splodges. These things are fleeting!

Less fleeting is this bench which has featured before. Earlier in the pandemic I walked past often, and every day there was a different quote. Having not been in that street for a few months, I was curious to see if it was still being maintained – and it is!

Most of the teddies in windows from the early days have disappeared, but here is another survivor. He used merely to wish passers-by good morning or good afternoon, but recently he has had more varied messages. I knew that his people couldn’t wait to see Johnny – I think that was the name – a grandchild maybe? Then, when we were allowed to travel, the message changed. I think Johnny must live in Edinburgh and I’m glad they had a good time! (You might have to zoom in quite a bit to read the messages).

I loved this newly spotted piece of Covid art. It’s a play on a popular Scottish children’s song, Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus, sung to the tune of  She’ll be coming round the mountains.

The first verse is normally as below, and you can read (and listen to) the full song on the Scots Language Centre site. I’ve been neglecting my Scottish word of the month feature lately, so this can be a contribution.

Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus
Naw ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus
Naw ye canny shove yer grannie
Cause she’s yer mammie’s mammie
Ye canny shove yer grannie aff a bus

Finally, what was the biggest event of the month? Well, John had a birthday, his second of lockdown. He’s partial to chocolate cake!

But was that bigger than the fact that after four months I finally got a haircut? I wouldn’t like to say, but here’s the before and after – and I can assure you that the before image is flattering. It was much worse than it looks!

One of the things I like to spot on my otherwise repetitive walks about town is interesting shop fronts. Speaking of hair prompted me to check my collection for hair salons and barber shops, and I found quite a few inventive ones. Puns and paintwork!

So that’s it for April – over a year of lockdown gallivanting posts. I remember saying in March last year that I didn’t know if I’d have enough to write another one. It’s a good job we’ve all learned, of necessity, to take pleasure in the small things of life. Happy May!


  1. Well you certainly find something to entertain us with each month! I can’t remember the last time I went to a city (Cornwall only has the one). I haven’t even been into St Ives for over a year. And I also like your hair slightly longer. I hadn’t had a haircut for 8 months and it was driving me mad. Last Monday was my happy day! And on Thursday I got my second jab. So now we have to wait and see if these vaccines make any difference whatsoever once we are all mingling again.


    • The hair was driving me mad too! It really did look a lot worse than it appears in that picture and had to be cajoled into shape every morning. I can’t wait to get my second vaccination, I’m expecting to hear any time now 🤞🏻. I’m certainly looking at my part of the city in a very different way after a year of tramping round it. I would never have guessed that I could get so interested in a teddy bear in a window.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A great selection of locations and photos here. For what it’s worth I think your hair suits you a little bit longer, it gives you a softer look. I like the teddy bears and the bench, and Lunatic Fringe is a great name for a hair salon – I regularly pass a local one called Lock and Roll.

    The words to the song took me back to 1971/72 when I sang in pubs with a local group – we had lots of silly verses to that tune but our slight variation of the ‘grannie’ one was “you mustn’t shove your granny off the bus” 🙂


  3. I’m feeling very clued up n Glasgow these days, thanks to your many posts on the city. The Guardian today had good coverage as well (about the election) and what is liable to happen there so I’m nearly as interested in Glasgow as I am about my own part of the world!
    I think both hairstyles suit you. After coping with both short and long hair I decided that long-hair is easier for one who can’t handle a hair-dryer as I could tuck bits behind my ears, so I’ve opted to keep mine a bit longer. We’ll see how long I can stick with it!


  4. Well done on a year of gallivanting lockdown. Well done to everyone for a year of lockdown, or in and out, shake it all about.
    I’m looking forward to my second vaccination tomorrow week. Not that it’ll make much difference, I expect. But there’s hope I can go and visit my brother soon – and take him the Christmas present our other brother left with me!
    Great photos, as always, quality and quantity!


  5. There’s certainly plenty to see on your strolls round Glasgow but I bet you’re yearning to get out on your travels further afield. I don’t know what the rules are over the border but hopefully that won’t be too far off.
    I’ve not done any urban walks since everything kicked off (or, should that be, shut down) last year and have missed mooching around Manchester and Liverpool. I haven’t missed sitting in traffic or on crowded trains to get there, mind.


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