Rambles Round Glasgow – new and (hopefully) improved!

13 Feb

After being somewhat secretive about it last year (it was a surprise for my father), I am now making a screeching change of direction and telling all and sundry that I have a new version of Hugh MacDonald’s Rambles Round Glasgow coming out.

What do you mean, “Who is he?” He is a Glasgow legend, with a gate of Glasgow Green named after him, a fountain dedicated to him behind the People’s Palace and another on Gleniffer Braes (near Paisley), and even a quotation from him on a stone-tablet-type-thing on the Green as well! But I hadn’t heard of him until the start of last year either, so I’ll forgive you.

This is MacDonald’s fountain on the Green, behind the People’s Palace.

He was a journalist who wrote articles about his walking excursions in and near Glasgow, which were massively popular and were collected into a book – Rambles Round Glasgow. It went through lots of editions, and there was a sequel, Days at the Coast. As the Rambles were written in the 1850s, it was understandably quite different from today – in fact, probably more different than you realise, since the bulk of ‘Victorian Glasgow’ (most of the city centre) went up in the 1870s and ’80s, when MacDonald was long dead.

How different? Well the suburb where I live didn’t exist, Woodlands was still a wood, Castlemilk was a castle, not a council estate, and to get to Pollokshaws you had to leave Glasgow and walk for miles through countryside and villages. So pretty different. But then, there are some things that have barely changed physically, like Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove Park, although you won’t find people washing their sheets on the Green any more, and the Kelvin is, thankfully, no longer a stinking stream of pollution.

But of course, you can read all about it in my book. And why do I say “my book” when MacDonald wrote it? Because I spent year adding hundreds and hundreds of footnotes so that you have some idea who he is talking about and what he is quoting (he quotes poetry the way I quote films and song lyrics) and then, never being one to do things by half, I added an introduction and an index too. Phew!

If you want to enjoy the fruits of my (and Hugh’s) labour, you can find the hardback on Amazon right now, or pre-order the paperback (get your library to pre-order it, if you’re skint), or wait for the ebook. Or you could grab a vintage copy without my lovely notes, but as it’s been out of print for 70 years, those are actually more expensive. All the more reason to buy my version!

You can stop reading now, if you want, but for those who are interested, MacDonald’s 21 rambles were to the following locations, usually taking in other places en route from Glasgow:

I. The Public Green

II. Carmyle and Kenmuir

III. Cambuslang and Dychmont,

IV. Blantyre and Bothwell

V. Rutherglen and Cathkin

VI. Cathcart and Langside

VII. Pollokshaws and its Environs

VIII. Eaglesham and Lochgoin

IX. The Earn, Mearns Castle, and Moorhouse

X. Barrhead and Neilston

XI. Cardonald and Crookston

XII. Paisley and its Environs

XIII. Gleniffer and Elderslie

XIV. Govan, Renfrew, and Inchinnan

XV. Partick and Kelvin Grove

XVI. Duntocher and Old Kilpatrick

XVII. New Kilpatrick and the Whangie

XVIII. Milngavie and Strathblane

XIX.Baldernock and Balmore

XX. Kirkintilloch and Campsie

XXI. Robroyston, Auchinloch, and Chryston

But if you have a wee local bookshop, please use them instead! They need our support.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: