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Swagger
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Tam Bain
....... social history from Glesca 's east-end          

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 Swagger Watson

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Whilst pursuing the social history of Bridgeton I have been very fortunate to have found and met two members from the 1930s 
Bridgeton Purple & Crown Flute Band
....

 
Wullie (swagger) Watson
and Tam Bain


  Tam Bain  Swagger Watson

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'Swagger' Watson

Oct. 2004........
my pal Jas and I went along to visit Wullie (swagger) Watson at his Bridgeton home ( Carmichael House ).
Wullie was born on 3rd Sept 1914, in Struthers Street, Calton. 
When married, his first house was in Pentland Place, Bridgeton before moving to 30 Reid Street at the junction of Savoy Street, Bridgeton.
Wullie was able to tell me that flute band photograph was taken in Belfast in 1935 and that the young man in the top row holding the flute, Robert Burnside, was shot in the stomach in Belfast that year by a rooftop marksman!!
Wullie was able to solve the nickname 'swagger' conundrum ........... he is nicknamed  'swagger' but his brother Rab was nicknamed swagger also when he took over the mace in the Magill Flute band as he swaggered along the road twirling the stick.

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90 yr old Swagger was 
very pleasant and we 
had a good chat.
 
Nice to report also 
at that time he was
being 
well looked after by the staff 
at Carmichael House.

 

Seen here holding a copy
of the 'GlescaPals' webpage

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Extract from e-mail June 2004, John Caldwell, Australia
"....our very close friend "Wullie Watson" son of Wullie (Swagger)Watson, passed away on Friday morning, 4th June 2004. Wullie was from Brigton, 30 Reid St at the corner of Savoy St. He was responsible for giving me the photos of his father and uncles who are in the  Magill FB photo above. He was a real pal and truly "Scottish Built" he is and always will be sadly missed......His party song was "waggle o' the kilt" by Harry Lauder."
Webmaister:  I was able to help John and pointed him to a source where he could get a recording of Wullie's song which was played at his funeral. People travelled miles to be at the funeral, such was the effect auld Wullie had on people.....
Extract from e-mail Oct 2004, John Caldwell, Australia
"............the three Watson brothers in the Magill photo Rab (Swagger), Henry (Tottie) are both dead but Wullie is still living in Bridgeton aged 90 yrs old.

 

         'Swagger' died aged 91yrs, his funeral took place, 4th April 2006 in Glasgow . 

Apr.06 Extract from FollowFollow website :-
My mother is Wullies niece and looked after him in his later years, his funeral was yesterday and he went with a spray of red , white and blue flowers and the union flag draped over his coffin. a bluenose till the end.
Thank you for your condolences on behalf of the family.

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Apr.06. Extract from message from Wullie Watson (no relation) Glasgow
I work in the kitchen of the home "wee wullie" was in (Carmichael House), and became pretty close to Wullie, nicest man you could ever hope to meet, loved the Rangers, always watched the matches.
RIP "wee man", you will never be forgotten 

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