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Tales of the Riverman

Tales of the Riverman 112

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Unlike the wonderful continental resorts where Glaswegians enjoy their holidays, there aren't outdoor swimming pools in our immediate area. Things might have been different had ambitious plans for Glasgow Green (our largest park) gone ahead. Back in 1939, work to construct a pool between the People's Palace and Nelsons column began, to provide the city with its very own lido. Unfortunately, due to World War Two, a decision was made to cancel the swimming pool plans and the area was backfilled in the 1960’s.

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Tales of the Riverman 110

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A few days ago, I placed the following on Facebook. “I watched with disbelief, on the 2200hrs news last night, youths jumping off a bridge into the river Thames. The only publicity that I would have given these youths would have been views of them being led away by Police and perhaps subsequently doing community work. Maybe I have seen too many accidents. Often it is not the youths as seen on TV who drown, but the copy cats…

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Tales of the Riverman 109

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A couple of months ago I was staggering about as I am prone to do now, trying to sweep the leaves etc away from the front drive of the house. Some school children were passing and of course I got the usual question “Do you live here mister?”

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Tales of the Riverman 108

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One day we were returning home after assisting the Police at an incident in Lanarkshire. Father and I were sitting in the back of a Police Land rover with two Officers in the front, the driver and a passenger. We crossed Rutherglen Bridge round the curve into Main Street Bridgeton and had to stop in a row of traffic, waiting for the lights at the crossing with Newhall Street, to turn green…

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Tales of the Riverman 107

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My assistance was required where a youth being chased by Police Officers had gone down onto the rubbish that was on the river surface between the Tuxedo and the Quay wall. This rubbish accumulated to such an extent that one could mostly walk on it. The youth had committed a nasty offence, fought off police officers, and ran towards the river. He had climbed down quay wall ladders and crawled out onto the trees and rubbish that were nearly always to be found lying packed tight between the Tuxedo Princess and the quay wall. He was now huddled…

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Tales of the Riverman 106

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Word was received one night that my services were required at the Tuxedo Princes. I was to stop at the locus (The Tuxedo Princess) rather than as usual travel past to the nearest launching place at Finnieston where I would launch and come and come up river. Also strange was that the policeman was laughing while talking to me on the phone and requesting that I brought extra lifejackets with me.

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Tales of the Riverman 105

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0200hrs on a dark dreich pouring wet morning I was awaked from sleep by Force Control phoning to inform me that they had an old woman who had walked out of Belvidere Hospital who was heading for the river intent on immersion…

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Tales of the Riverman 104

riverman62As a wee boy, Bennie Parsonage hung about the wharfage at Glasgow Green; after school. weekends, then after work. He never said it to me, but his hero must have been George Geddes, the incumbent Lifeboat officer and boat hirer. Ben probably never thought that he would end up as the Lifeboatman, the Riverman, after all there was a young George Geddes to perhaps follow in his fathers’ footsteps. When young George drowned trying to rescue a man who had entered the water from the Kings Bridge, Ben just collected a small bag of…

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Tales of the Riverman 103

riverman62This is the story of a single sculling boat designed in Glasgow, built in London (possibly by George Sims) and sculled in Glasgow. The boat was innovative, but impractical, yet in the hands of an expert Waterman Ben, (George’s Dad), it proved the old saying that it is not the boat but the “engine” (the rower) that makes it to go fast. It is likely that this boat…

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Tales of the Riverman 102

riverman62Due to happenings across the world, I have not felt like writing any Tales. However, I think that we should show that life can continue as normal. I am surprised, considering how parochial my Tales must be, that they reach so many parts of the world. Today’s is a tale of local vandalism, which, while being of importance, totally pales into insignificance in comparison to the wanton destruction of property and disrespect for human life that is occurring further afield just now. Many of my Tales have been about the saving of lives, and methods of preventing accidents. Every life saved and every accident…

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