Tales of the Riverman 37

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In the 1800’s Glasgow Humane Society was encouraging ships to use proper gangways instead of planks that people just fell off. The thing was that if they did fall off, how were they to going to get out of the water? Most ladders were only for getting off boats or ships and did not reach down to the surface of the water.

Now here’s another misnomer! Even if a ladder reached the water, unless the ladder extended 2 metres or 6ft below the surface, you had nowhere to put your feet to help you climb out. There’s very few of us who could use our arms only to pull our weight out of the water and up the ladder, especially with soaking wet clothes.

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Tales of the Riverman 36

Tale36

We headed (We was Father and I (Ben and George)) for Belvidere where our assistance was requested by Police.

It transpired that a stolen articulated truck (according to witnesses a Cadbury’s truck) had been driven at speed down the path that runs at right angles to the river at the west side of the old Belvidere Hospital off London Road, had shot out over the banking, entered the river and immediately sunk.

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Tales of the Riverman 35


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One night Ben was called to the River Kelvin at Kelvinbridge where there was the report of a woman’s body in the water. I accompanied my Dad in the Police Landrover with boat on trailer to the scene.

Police were trying to move away the large crowd of mostly young onlookers who were lined along the north parapet of the bridge

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Tales of the Riverman 34

Tale34

The Breakfast revolt or was it revolting? What did you have for breakfast-or what did you not have—and what has it to do with taking samples from the river? Is there a Breakfast that you really detest?

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Tales of the Riverman 33

Tale33Older readers will easily remember the Glasgow Fogs. I remember them for various reasons. Going to the Whitevale Baths in the evenings when the fog was extremely heavy and traffic was not running, one just had to follow the tram lines from the Green up Abercrombie St, at the first junction you turned right along the Gallowgate and you soon reached the Baths. Interesting that they stayed open whenever they could; not just shutting the doors at the drop of a hat.

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Tales of the Riverman 32

river 32For most of my life, there was an old sailing ship lying at our Custom House Quay. Nearby were the heaps of sand and gravel unloaded onto the quay wall from small puffers that could make it up under the bridges.

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