Tales of the Riverman 53

georgeBoat

One gets to know the river, its movements, where items move under the surface and where they move when on the surface, you learn of the tides, winds and surface currents. I received call from a Police Inspector (known as “old mother Reilly” informing me that a man had been reported missing 20 miles east

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Tales of the Riverman 52

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Different types of boat throw up different wash. Some shapes travelling very fast throw up very little wash, others a huge wash. Several people in a small craft can create a large wash whereas the same craft with only one person in it sometimes does not. By far the largest and most dangerous wash I have seen on the river is the one from a fast-moving tug

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Tales of the Riverman 51

Tales of the Riverman 51 boathiring

One of the privileges that went with being officer of the Glasgow Humane Society was that you were given the right to be a boathirer on the river Clyde. The Officer had his own shed/boathouse. During the 19th Century there were several Boathiring stations on the river on the south bank opposite Glasgow Green (McWhirters Aquatic Saloon, McGruers, McNeil, Rankins, Wallace, McQueen, and Carroll’s) with the Society officer being the only one on the north bank.

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Tales of the Riverman 50

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It is difficult to illustrate the amount of work Bennie Parsonage undertook during the war years It was not just about recovering bodies from the water, there were rescues, preventions, safety problems, air raid precautions work, indeed the usual multitude of tasks that still befall the Humane Society. War time Glasgow (like all British Cities) had night time “Blackout” which coupled with our notorious fogs caused moving about near waterways to be difficult and even dangerous. There were also persons who having lived through one war did not really wish to live through another, and people who were very lonely with their loved ones being away at the “front” and their children moved to the countryside hopefully “out of harm’s way”

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Tales of the Riverman 49

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Bennie Parsonage spent a lot of time dealing with lifebelts. He would retrieve them from the water and have them returned to empty stances. Bennie would advise the Council and give assistance to the Council worker who walked from Dalmarnock to the City Centre at least twice a week to replace the ‘belts. I have a lovely memory of my Dad sitting with “Bobby,” the lifebelt man, having a bottle of Coca Cola in the boatshed. On an aside, in those days there was no stopping for a cuppa tea or coffee as there was no running water at the boathouse; water (including toilets) did not come during Bennie’s lifetime, Bennie never had the luxury of running water, but that’s another story

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Tales of the Riverman 48

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On the 9th February, 1937 Bennie Parsonage received word that a man's clothes had been found at 11.50 pm on the Quay wall at berth 36, Anderston Quay.

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