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 Writings & Paintings by GlescaPal Nell, London, England..    







Admin gal Nell's travelogue....
Friday 28th September 2012
Did all my packing last night, so ready for the off this morning. Only time for a cup of coffee, then to Karen my daughter’s house, her husband Doug is taking me to Euston to catch the 9:30 train to Glasgow Central. I will be arriving in Glasgow at 2:30, where my brother-in-law, Danny will be meeting me to take me to the hotel. I have enough time to settle into my hotel and have a shower and get ready for the big Swally in Sammy Dow’s. We walked from the station along past George Square and through the Merchant City, I love this area, it is full of nice cafes, restaurants and bars and the beautifully restore Victorian Buildings.

The whole area is reminiscent of Covent Gardens in London, there is a buzz about the place, a far cry from it’s dilapidated state when I left Glasgow in the late 60s. The hotel is nice, what you would expect from a Premier Inn. Big room with high ceilings and a king size bed jist fur me. I would recommend this hotel, a good clean room for £39.00 per night. Unpacked and plugged in the ubiquitous lap top to check in wi mah pals. All is well in Pal Land so decide to have a bath instead of a shower as I have plenty of time before I leave for Dows.
Royal Exchange Square
Got the glad rags on and went downstairs to the lobby, had a look outside and the rain was stoatin aff the pavement, ah couldny walk three blocks in that, so I got the receptionist to phone me a taxi. Due to the taxi I got to the pub early, and the doors to our venue upstairs wiz shut. Went into the bar and ordered a small glass of Chardonnay and sat down beside a young couple, and immediately started blethering to them, explaining about GlescaPals, they were really amazed at us meeting every year from a website.
dowsAfter a few minutes Webmaister and Norrie arrived wi the banner and some laminated photos of past swallies and spread them round the tables. First to arrive was Mugginz, we knew it was Mugginz as we had already met the others before. She fitted in straight away, and set to helping up put up the bunting etc. Before long the room started to fill up with my lovely pals and the fun began. We all blethered for a while and then Webmaister called for order and we toasted absent pals and Brian’s Brother-in-Law got out his guitar and sang a couple of songs for us, very good singer and a good guitarist too. Soon we were aw up whooping and we had a great sing song “Wan singer, wan song”. An absolute belter of a night and ah hifty mention Brian and his effen bee and Wullie the gib and his wan ermed fiddler, baith hilarious hid us aw in stitches.


As good things often do, the night came to an end and we all parted company with loads of kisses and cuddles. Back to my hotel and checked my laptop and to sleep, dreaming of being a wee lassie again and at a sing song wi ma Mammy and aw mah family.
Saturday 29th September 2012
My sister Jessie came to the hotel on Saturday Morning and we both had breakfast in the hotel, good breakfast, buffet style and all you can eat. I had a wee moan that there wizny squerr sausgaes or tottie scones, and the wee boy behind the counter wiz laughin away wi me.

After breakfast my sister was going to a Gala for her pensioners, the wans we donated the nuddie calendar money to. I didn’t want to go as I was still hanging from my fatal mistake of dancing in Sammy Dow’s. So I got a cab to my other sister’s House. I would be staying at Betty’s for the rest of my stay in Scotland.
dimagJust chilled at Betty’s as we were all going out that evening to Di-Maggio’s in Royal Exchange Square, eight of us, all women. 

I love Di Maggio’s the food and service are great, and there is a nice atmospheric buzz about the place. Pictures of Joe Di Maggio and Marilyn Monroe bedeck the walls and the place is reminiscent of an old fashioned American/Italian restaurant in New York. I recommend this restaurant, but it gets very busy so booking is essential. Had my usual Minestrone Soup, to die for, and I had medium rare steak for my main, I didn’t have dessert as I very seldom eat desserts, haven’t got a sweet tooth. Done a lot of talking and laughing, catching up with what was going on in my family.
Got home to Betty’s not too late and looking forward to the Square Mile of Murder tour with my pals in the morning. 
Slept soundly and woke refreshed. Showered and went down to the hub of Betty’s house, the kitchen, she put on some square sausages and I had a Morton’s Roll with a square sausage, delicioius. Chatted to Betty and ordered a taxi to take me to No. 7 Blythswood Square, where our tour was to begin. Taxi was late and made me late for the tour, but only by a couple of minutes. It was raining steadily on the way to the tour, and when I arrived everyone else was already there sheltering from the rain outside Madeleine Smith’s substantial house. 
blythWork began on laying out Blythswood Square in 1821, on a hill site that lay to the west of the city. The square consists of four identical classical terraces facing a central garden.
7 Blythswood Square is an address forever associated with one of Glasgow's most sensational murder trials. In 1857 it was the home of the architect James Smith, designer of the McLellan Galleries. His daughter, Madeleine, was charged with the murder of her former lover, Pierre Emile L'Angelier: he had threatened to show their love letters to her father after Madeleine became engaged to a more eligible young man. The trial shocked Victorian society, particularly the reading in court of explicit love letters, and the Glasgow Herald declared it was an "awful tale of immorality."
However, the unexpected verdict of "Not Proven" received wild applause from the public galleries in the packed courtroom. Madeleine moved to London and became a renowned Bloomsbury hostess, and died in New York in 1928 at the age of 92.
GlescaPal PWM437 done his stuff and explained about the murder, in his own inimitable way, we were all engrossed, he had brought along photographs to illustrate the story. I could feel a sense of the history of the place by the way PWM437 brought It to life.
pritchardOur next murder was a short walk down to Sauchiehall Street, where we stopped outside a modern building which was the site of our 2nd Murder. Dr Pritchard. A notorious poisoning case in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1865, Dr. E. W. Pritchard was convicted of poisoning his wife and mother-in-law with aconite and antimony.
The case was notable for several reasons. Pritchard's wife had been slowly poisoned for several months, yet despite the suspicion of several members of Glasgow's medical profession, none acted on them out of professional courtesy. Both victims were treated by Pritchard, who refused assistance by his fellow doctors, and signed off on the death certificates without an autopsy. It took an anonymous letter to the authorities before an investigation was made and the truth came out.
As described in Rick Geary's excellent graphic novel "A Treasury of Victorian Murder," Pritchard was a narcissistic sociopath, confident of his innocent and refusing to admit guilt until shortly before he was hanged. Pritchard's hanging was attended by more than 80,000 people and would be the last public execution in Scotland.
Once again PWM437 excelled himself, and made the story come to life.
Our third murder was a little bit further along Sauchiehall Street and past Charing Cross to No. 17 Sandyford Place. 
In July 1862,
Jess McPherson was found murdered at 17 Sandyford Place in Glasgow. The murder weapon was a cleaver, and she had forty wounds on her body from the weapon. John Fleming and his father found the body. "Old Fleming" had been left in the care of Jess whilst his son was away for the weekend. John Fleming returned to find the old man alone, and to be told that she had gone away. Together with a butchers boy who had arrived to deliver meat, John Fleming and his father opened Jess' locked room and found her body.

The Sandyford murder case was a well-known proceeding of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United Kingdom. The case revolved around the brutal murder of one Jessie M'Pherson, a servant, in Sandyford Place, Glasgow, Scotland, in 1862. M'Pherson's friend Jessie M'Lachlan discovered the body, and stood accused of having murdered M'Pherson.
The Sandyford case was the first Scottish police case in which forensic photography played a role, and the first case handled by the detective branch of the Glasgow Police.
The case went to the Glasgow Circuit Court in September 1862. During the trial, M'Lachlan resolutely declared her innocence, and accused the women's employer, one James Fleming, age 87, known as Old Fleming, of having committed the crime, perhaps in a fit of passion when M'Pherson refused his amorous advances. The jury found M'Lachlan guilty of murder and sentenced her to death, which was to be carried out by hanging on October 11, 1862.
However, in an unprecedented action, a Court Commission was appointed to investigate the evidence in the case. The commission did not declare her innocent, but did commute her sentence to life imprisonment.


Our final and for me, the most interesting case was
that of
Oscar Slater. photo c1908

The story of Oscar Slater is quite convoluted and too
long for this travelogue, here is a link to the full story
Suffice to say he was fitted up and eventually pardoned.

After the tour we all walked back along Sauchiehall Street to The Henglers Circus, where we did a post mortem of the tour assisted by some fine food and refreshments. Had a good auld GlescaPals blether and then home to Betty’s. We stayed in and chatted about the old days and had a wee laugh and a tear.




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