Tales of the Riverman 47

tales47

It was a quiet winter’s day in Glasgow and in Partick Police Office no one really wished to go outside as it was below freezing and there was ice on the ground. A member of the public wanders into the station, a person, well known to the Police for making up stories and at this time of year knew that he could always get a heat in the station while he told his latest tale.

He claimed that he had been out bird watching and had been fighting his way down the banks of the River Kelvin through the bushes and fallen trees towards Kelvingrove Park when he saw two skeletal legs sticking straight up out of the river with shoes on the feet. The tale of the skeleton was interspersed with stories of the various feathered friends he had seen that day. The Officer behind the bar duly filled in a form making a report and saying that someone would look into it as soon as an Officer became available.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

Tales of the Riverman 46

tales46

Continuing the stories of Ben Parsonage who arrived on the Glasgow Green Lifeboat scene 100yrs ago (assistant 1918-1928, Officer 1928-1979)

Some of you will remember the year 1939 One evening Bennie talked to one of our family friends about an unusual rescue he had carried out at the Albert Bridge. Two boys had gone bird’s egg collecting from the nests in the girders below the bridge. The boys were finding difficulty getting back off the bridge and as dusk was coming down, they started to shout for help. Bennie arrived with a policeman in one of his boats and a ladder. The ladder was stood upright from the boat, up against the girders of the bridge, and with the policeman holding it as tightly as he could the bold Ben, carrying a rope over his shoulder climbed up onto the girders. He then crawled along to where the boys were and lowered them down one by one into the boat below. He then returned down the ladder into his boat.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

Tales of the Riverman 45

tales45

Bennie was working down at the boatyard in Glasgow Green when he met Sarah Mulholland. A relationship developed, though the courting seems to have taken place on boats on the river. Rumour had it that Bennie had a nail on the Kings Bridge to hang his jacket on.

With the new house on Glasgow Green being built, Bennie was staying in temporary accommodation in Templeton Street.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

Tales of the Riverman 44

tales44

Bennie is buried beside his beloved Sarah in the Cemetery at Rutherglen, on a hill overlooking Glasgow, his City. It also overlooks the Cityford Burn, Spital Burn which flow into the Malls Mire or Jennies Burn or Polmadie Burn through Richmond Park and into the River Clyde. It is fitting that Bennie looks down on the waterways that meant so much to him.

They said that if you cut Ben Parsonage it would be Clyde water not blood that flowed out.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

Tales of the Riverman 43

Tale43

A young Bennie Parsonage was officially recorded as assisting George Geddes during 1917. From 1918 he became engrossed in the work of the Glasgow Humane Society, years of hard graft and of learning the wiles of Glasgow’s waterways

Sometime during 1918 two or three pals out in different boats were larking about. One produced a revolver that had been given to him by someone returned from the War. He pointed it at one of the boys, the gun went off, and the boy was killed. The boat was called the Mary. Bennie had the job of washing the blood from the boat.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

Tales of the Riverman 42

river42

In the next few issues of “Tales” I will tell some of the escapades of the first Parsonage “Bennie”.

It is 100 years since the Parsonage family took residence at the river, looking after the safety of people on the river and its surroundings and becoming the voice of the river. In 61 years a call for help never went unanswered, day or night. None of the family ever failed in a rescue attempt. In this period around 3,000 persons were rescued, though the exact number will never be known. Ben’s father, also Ben, a tube fitting maker had come up from England to work in the steelworks of Glasgow and married Annie Morrison. Ben was the eldest in a family of six.

Click here to find out more...

(opens in new window as PDF)

 

 
Charity No: SC001178
Location: LIFEBOAT, Glasgow Humane Society, Glasgow Green, Glasgow, G40 1BA
Copyright © 2015 Glasgow Humane Society | Designed by Websites4Christians | Privacy Policy