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Tales of the Riverman

Tales of the Riverman 117

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I saw in the news today that a swan had landed on Kingston Bridge.

“Swan brings traffic to standstill on Glasgow's Kingston Bridge during rush hour”

This brought back a lot of memories…

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Tales of the Riverman 116

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October 2022. Last night about 2230hrs we were involved in an incident where a person was threatening to enter the water. A woman had knocked the house door, and informed me of this. Christopher Parsonage myself and William Graham were all standing by as the Police dealt with the situation. Fortunately, no one entered the river, and I am glad to say that when I called 999, the satellite positioning number UN6 worked perfectly.

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Tales of the Riverman 115

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Recently we have witnessed a family losing their mother a short time after losing their father. It is always a tragic time for a family as most of us will know at some point during our life.

I wrote a fair amount about my father’s funeral in the book “Rescue his business, the Clyde his life”. My life changed forever that day when circumstances gave me no choice but to take up the oars and compete for lives, against the river. Like many, I loved my father so much, not just because…

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Tales of the Riverman 114

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This week is the anniversary of the Munich Olympic Games. Being a sport enthusiast, and with friends competing in the rowing in the Games, I was glued to the television. A shockwave reverberated around the world when members of the Israeli team were taken hostage and subsequently killed. I was highly honoured when I was asked if I could make a sculpture in memory of these athletes, for the Glasgow Maccabi.

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Tales of the Riverman 113

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The year I was born the world was at war. While helping Sadie look after the family with its newest addition, Ben Parsonage carried out his duties both on the river and as an ARP warden at Glasgow Green (which seemingly included such varied tasks as gathering up unexploded incendiaries after air raids and heating babies’ bottles).

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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 111

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I did a fair amount of running, as training for my rowing. I even joined Shettleston Harriers, one of Glasgow’s famous local clubs. I had always thought that someday I would do a marathon running race, as I had competed in several rowing marathons, and during some of my training I was both sculling and running more than 20 miles a day. I finally plucked up the courage and entered the Glasgow Marathon.

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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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