Unfortunately our time in Glasgow is limited due to the bus tour schedule. We will leave early in the morning having seen only a small sampling of what this city has to offer. It’s had a bad rap over the years, especially after the publication of Working Class Boy and the ensuing documentary, which recounted the unfortunate events that shaped the formative Glasgow childhood years of musician Jimmy Barnes. And then there has been Billy Connolly telling it like it is, recently introducing his viewers to the harsh realities of working class life in the shipyards along the Clyde. So I was expecting to find a grimy, working class city. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find Glasgow is so much more than that miserable stereotype. There really was much to like about our first impressions of the city.
We passed the childhood home of Formula One motor racing legend Jackie Stewart, the Billy Connolly mural and the James Watt Memorial. We wandered up the slope overlooking the cathedral to the the Glasgow Necropolis, where many Glaswegians of the Victorian era are buried. The guy who wrote Wee Willie Winkie is buried here. I wonder if that’s all he wrote. The monument to John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church, is much taller than all others, reflecting the importance of religion in the lives of Protestant Glaswegians.
We made quick visits to the People’s Palace and Queen Victoria Fountain and the Duke of Wellington statue, where authorities now turn a blind eye to uni students who scale the statue and place witches hats on his head. The Duke is now referred to as a conehead. We called in very briefly to the Town Hall to admire the beautiful marble staircase, in absolute contrast to the building’s grimy facade. We dined out at the Red Onion and afterwards were brought by the buys to our hotel in neighbouring Renfrew.