Dodging the Turnips

Amateur night in a Glasgow music hall

Photographs by Wishart Frankfield (1999-2002) Amateur night in a Glasgow music hall “You’ve got to ‘ave a bit of fun you know, life’s all fun!” I’m surprised I’ve never been knocked down by a car or a bus – my head is always in the clouds, visualising, daydreaming, thinking up plots for stories. However, I never imagined being run over by a tramcar! The last time I saw a tramcar on a Glasgow street was in 1962.

7 Blythswood Square

Was her lover's cocoa laced with arsenic?

The infamous Madeleine Smith case It was a nice warm day in Glasgow and I was out and about taking digital photographs outside the house at Number 7 Blythswood Square. Looking at the old building, it was hard to believe that of its many occupants over the years, one the most infamous being a young society lady in Victorian times who was accused of poisoning her lover. After tinkering with the led display on my camera, I looked up and became aware that everything was becoming darker.

Stan Laurel and Other Stars of the Panopticon

Glasgow's oldest music hall

Amazon link (not affiliated) The Pots and Pans - Glasgow’s Britannia Panopticon Music Hall ‘Stan Laurel and Other Stars of the Panopticon’ by Judith Bowers (Birlinn Ltd 2007) Judith Bowers has written a very entertaining book that traces the history of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. It also contains brief biographies of the stars that appeared there, including a very young Stan Laurel. The Panopticon had a mix of everything; variety shows, zoos, freak shows, novelty acts and in the last few years of its productive life, it became a cinema.

Square Mile of Murder

Horrific Glasgow murders.

Amazon link (not affiliated) Four murders that shocked Glasgow ‘Square Mile of Murder’ by Jack House (Black & White Publishing 2002) This is possibly the best work by Jack House. In this book he describes in great detail four famous murders that took place within one square mile of each other in the city of Glasgow. These are the notorious cases: A Kiss, a Fond Embrace (The case of Madeleine Smith) This world famous case shocked Victorian Glasgow’s upper classes.

Last Exit From Bridgeton

An east end childhood remembered.

Amazon link (not affiliated) A book about the social history of life in the Glasgow tenements ‘Last Exit from Bridgeton’ by James McKenna (The Grimsay Press 2006 paperback) This is the sort of book you would read on a cold winter’s night, sitting comfortably in your armchair next to a warm cosy fire. You would pour yourself a whisky, sit back, let the light of the standard lamp bathe the book in a pleasant glow and you would settle down to enjoy a good read and if you have lived in this city back in the 1950s, this book will bring back so many memories.

Death by Design

Story of the Glasgow Necropolis

Amazon link (not affiliated) The silent necropolis near the cathedral is almost like a city ‘Death by Design’ by Ronnie Scott (Black & White Publishing 2005) On a hill to the east of Glasgow Cathedral stands the Glasgow Necropolis, sprawled across 37 acres of land. This Victorian cemetary was officially opened in 1833, A few of the tombs were designed by Alexander Thomson. At the top of the hill is the statue of John Knox, which is surrounded by beautifully designed monuments glorifying those who helped to make Glasgow a great industrial city.