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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Oscar Slater. photo
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.
webpage designed Oct.2012