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Tales of the Riverman

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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Tales of the Riverman 101

riverman62Some things are just not worth it, but sometimes people end up doing silly things on the “spur of the moment”.

It appeared to be like that the night a group of young men went to dine in a restaurant in the south side of the city, not too far from the river. They thought that they were smart and tonight, they would run out the restaurant without paying the bill. Now the last thing you want to do if the police are looking for you, is draw attention to yourself, but this “runner” was no doubt an example of a “spur of the moment”, without really thinking. Luck was not with the group that night, for as they upended tables and chairs and ran towards the door, they were followed, hard on their heels, by another group, waiters and chefs waving all sorts of kitchen utensils,…

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Tales of the Riverman 100

riverman62100 tales of happenings on the river. Some funny, some tragic, some more to your personal choice than others. It is hard to find stories that suit everyone. I can but try. Perhaps this tale deserves to be the hundredth as all involved gave 100% of their individual abilities to achieve a sad, but successful outcome.

It is a longer story, but in the end, there was the satisfaction of closure for family and searchers. A tale of hard work, of patience, of refusing to give up, of individual expertise and of intimate knowledge of the Clyde.

The Police had a man missing from upriver in Lanarkshire, with the possibility of his having entered the water. There had been a lot of rain causing floodwater and…

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Tales of the Riverman 99

riverman62Over the years I have had a few Cats around the house and boatsheds. They have proved to be great companions. They have all lived happily outdoors and I suppose they would come under the term “feral” Interesting to watch cats. They would come across the St Andrews Bridge, but they would not walk on the pathway, but would walk along the outside girders of the bridge. Cats are normally very sure footed, but one day while I was watching a cat doing its clever “saunter” along the outside girder, I saw it slip, and fall towards the river. First thing I did was…

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