Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Two Hospitals and a Funeral: Royal Infirmary, Stobhill Marie Curie, and Archie

'How these curiosities would be quite forgot, did not such idle fellowes as I put them down.'

- John Aubrey

'Oh roads we used to tread, 
Fra' Maryhill to Pollokshaws - fra' Govan to Parkhead! 

- Kipling, 'McAndrew's Hymn'

'Photography can be a mirror and reflect life as it is, but I also think that perhaps it is possible to walk like Alice, through a looking-glass, observe the puzzles in one’s head and find another kind of world with the camera.' - Tony Ray-Jones

Welcome to my wee photoblog on Glasgow, where we feature the  joys and unjoys of walking and cycling through a fascinating, beautiful and often badly run city. For the blog's origin and a  list of all posts see the  'Introduction' post  -


 Feel free to drop me an email with suggestions, offers of £20 notes etc. The address is damnyouebay@gmail.com. I have had to start watermarking the pics as I have come across one big website using a pic without permission - I suppose there must be others.

If you are a private individual and want to use any of the pics for non-commercial purposes please get in  touch and I will usually be happy to say 'Aye' for free - just give the Album a credit. If you want to use a pic for commercial purposes a small mutually agreed fee and a credit will suffice. And you can follow me on Twitter if you wish: Edwin Moore@GlasgowAlbum.

So today is Friday evenimg 25 March, 2016, and we are off to visit our friend Archie Grossart at the Royal Infirmary

The corridors in the Royal are long

The place is disorientating. We have been in 5 minutes and already we have met three different small groups of lost people

My brother Colin died in this hospital two years ago, in a room with a big sign opposite his bed saying in  caps YOU ARE IN  [whatever number it was]

Not the most comforting sign to see when  you are dying. But little about the Royal is comforting

I was with Colin  when  he was told his cancer had come back. The doctor was in the middle of telling him this when she paused to take a phone call. Resuming with what she knew she had to say, she told him the X-ray showed his cancer had come back, and with it a death sentence. Actually, she was wrong. The cancer had not returned, the cluster of spots was old lung damage. The cancer  had been beaten.  He died later anyway, as the doctor would no doubt have noted with a shrug. Such shrugs are very common in NHS Scotland. A few years ago, in the Western Infirmary,  a porter addressed me as 'Moore' and pushed my trolley around  with what would have passed for gay abandon in a Carry On film. I complained to a doctor who gave the NHS shrug, described  the porters as 'miserable bastards' and said he would speak to someone. So nothing happens.

'Patient Priority'. Waiting in a queue with Colin for one consultation, I overheard a patient complain about the wait, only to be told off by a shocked relative:  ‘'Quiet , they might hear you’.  The NHS myth in Scotland  is that it is all about patient care, but working-class patients know they  are here on sufferance. A complaint might get you knocked back for the right drug or whatever. Keep smiling! Or if you can’t manage that,  keep quiet. A friend had less than adequate  treatment in the Death Star late 2016, and was told by an agency nurse she was 'causing trouble'. See http://glasgowalbum.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-death-star.html

Heading towards Alexandra Parade

The image  of the nurse drawing a protective curtain against smokers must give many a visitor a hearty laugh

Outside the entrance is filthy,  with groups of smokers huddled over fag ends.

For other posts on Glasgow hospitals see

Clydebank 1
Gartnavel Hospital: a Winter Walk, February 2011
Gartnavel Hospital 2: Bingham's Pond
Gartnavel Hospital 3: a Sunset Walk
Gartnavel 4: a Detached View

River City in Yorkhill Hospital: Trials of an Extra part 4

Today is Tuesday 19 April, and we are walkig to Stobhill Marie Curie Hospice. to where Archie has been transferred

Stobhill Cottages

Looking back.  We have come in from Balgrayhill Rd

Approaching the Hospice.  See


From the brochure

Set on a hill with stunning views of Campsie Fells, the Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow offers a modern approach to care with a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.

The Facebook page is


Here is the wiki entry on Marie Curie -


From wiki -

'Marie Curie is a registered charitable organisation in the United Kingdom which provides care and support to people with terminal illnesses and their families. It was established in 1948, the same year as the National Health Service.

In financial year 2014/15 the charity provided care to 40,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its nine hospices, along with support for their families.[1] More than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals help provide this care.

At the nine Marie Curie Hospices, quality of life for patients is actively promoted as is providing much needed support for their carers. Marie Curie provides the largest number of hospice beds outside the National Health Service.[1

Nice car.

The Hospice  is a place of calmness and efficiency. Its distance from the scabby, incompetently managed world of  NHS Scotland (see above Royal section) is evident

The Campsies

Beautiful work of art


The clock tower of Stobhill Hospital. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stobhill_Hospital

Walking back to Balgrayhill Rd

Looking back

Prowling cat

Down the steps

In Balgrayhill Rd

In town

We think of bridges and thresholds at the end of life. Or maybe rivers. As the magician in Blish's The Day After Judgement says, one thing is sure: we have been making this journey all our lives

Today is Friday 20 May, and we are now at Maryhill Crematorium, within the Western Necropolis, for Archie's cremation. See http://glasgowcrematorium.co.uk/

Archie's service has been a good one: family, friends present: Andy Glasgow, Patricia and Quentiin Somerville.  Probably the only funeral service at which I and Quentin and Andy will share a coffin carry with Blue Angels. That was Archie.

For Archie's Facebook pages see https://www.facebook.com/archie.grossart.3

The young Archie, handsome and dashing

The older Archie, more dapper than dashing perhaps. Bookmark designed by Patricia and Quentin, poems chosen by Archie;s daughters. RIP Archie, Childhood friend, Parachute Regiment, French Foreign Legion, and many points between.

Archie's beret

Rottenrow, where Archie lived; Collins St, where we lived, just round the corner

Looking down Macleod St to Collins St. Provand's Lordship, oldest house in Glasgow, on right

Townhead Public Baths. Colin used to pay for a hot bath, and Archie and Quentin would sneak in after and they would wash each other with carbolic soap. On the right, first floor up, are our windows. If I close my eyes, I  can see my mother lean out and call us in for the night

Thank you for browsing, dear visitor.

Reviews of Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know (coming in November 2016 from Atlantic Books: a new edition!)


'I love it - I'm giving this copy to a friend and buying another for myself' - Darren Adam, Presenter, Radio Forth, 17 November 2008

‘It’s a great wee book’ – Stephen Jardine, introducing Edwin Moore on Scottish Television’s Five-Thirty Show

'A fantastic book' - Scott Wilson , talk 107 Breakfast Show host

'A great read' - Dougie Jackson, Drivetime host, Smooth Radio 105.2


'Despite its apparently humorous format, this is a serious and extensive dictionary on all things Scottish; from Jean Redpath to Lorne sausage, from Flodden to the Corries. Is particularly good on history and minutiae. There's a useful chapter on famous Scottish legal cases and another on literature. Excellent' - Royal Scottish Legion, Feb 2009

'This is the ultimate Scottish reference book' - Waterstones Christmas catalogue, 2008

'This is a fascinating look at the history of Scotland: its languages, politics and great achievements, from its origins in the ancient landmass of Laurentia 400 million years ago, to devolution and Billy Connolly. Edwin Moore has collected a thousand important facts about this beautiful country, covering Scottish history and culture, correcting misconceptions, and examining the mysteries of haggis and bagpipes with insight, warmth and impressive attention to detail' - The Good Book Guide, November 2008

'This is a recipe for revealing how horribly ill informed you are about your country. Although, if you are skillful, you can nod sagely as you read some new fact and mutter 'Ah, yes!' as if recalling the information from your excellent schooling. Where else will you find a real recipe for making haggis from scratch side by side with a potted biography of David Hume; a section of the Declaration of Arbroath and the curiously touching fact that Lulu was only 15 when she had a hit with 'Shout'? The whole thing is of course, silly - but oh so addictive.' - Matthew Perren, i-on Glasgow, December 2008

'. . . well crafted and witty' - Bill Howatson, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 18 October 2008

‘While most of Edwin’s entries are entertaining and scholarly – he writes like a Scottish Bill Bryson – it is when he takes an interest in the backwaters of history, the details lost down the back of the sofa, that he is at his best’ – Jack McKeown, The Courier, 27 October 2008

'History, it is said, is written by the victors. Trivia, meanwhile, is written by the guys with the smeared spectacles and the breathable rainwear. The first discipline is linear and causal; to quote from Alan Bennett’s play The History Boys, history is “just one f****** thing after another”. Things look different, though, when viewed through the prism of trivia. The past is reduced to one big coleslaw of fascinating facts that in their randomness tell a more mixed-up tale entirely.
The first approach leads to big, frowning books by the likes of Tom Devine and Michael Fry. The latter results in small, cheerful books such as Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin Moore’s valiant attempt to navigate the more trivial contours of enlightenment and clearances, crown and parliament, dirt and deity.
Moore proceeds from a sincere and controversial first principle: Scotland is really a rather pleasant and interesting place. . .As a work of popular scholarship, though, it’s in a different league to the Scottish novelty titles that get stocked next to the bookstore tills as potential impulse purchases, those little handbooks of parliamo Caledonia and regional braggadocio, such as Weegies vs Edinbuggers.' - Allan Brown The Sunday Times, 21 September 2008

'In his book, Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, Edwin celebrates all that sets us Scots as a race apart - our language, law, flora, food, and of course, our people. From our poets, architects and inventors, to our artists, entertainers and fighters. But he doesn't shy away from the more unpleasant aspects of our history. . .' - Robert Wight, Sunday Post, 14 September 2008

‘We think we know all about William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and the Union of the Crowms. However, according to Edwin Moore, author of , Scotland: 1000 Things You Need to Know, we’re still in the dark about many aspects of our history and culture. . . The Big Issue looks at 20 of the most astonishing examples of secret Scotland.’ – The Big Issue, 18-24  September 2008

'What's the connection between Homer Simpson and Larbert, and why are generations of lawyers grateful to a Paisley snail? Need to know more? Author Edwin Moore has gathered 1000 facts like these about Scotland in a quirky new book. Brian Swanson selects a few favourites. . .' - Scottish Daily Express, 13 September 2008

'The palm for Christmas-stocking books seems to have passed recently to popular science, with best selling titles every year such as Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? This year there has been a gallant attempt at a historical fight back. Scotland: 1,000 Things You Need to Know(Atlantic Books, £12.99) asks (and answers) such post-turkey questions as ‘How many kings of Scotland died in their beds?’, ‘Who on earth decided that the Declaration of Arbroath was the cornerstone of modern democracy?’ or ‘Why is iron brew spelled Irn-Bru?’ Mark Mazower,History Today; The Best of History in 2008, December 2008

'A real treat for the serendipitous Scotophile' - Reginald Hill


www.Booksfromscotland.com (on the new paperback edition)
Book of the Month, May 2010

'Whether it's Scottish lochs or Enlightenment philosophers, the facts of the devolution referendums or the mysteries of Irn-Bru, myths will be debunked and truths revealed in this light-hearted but rigorous overview of Scottish history and culture.'

Here are some reviews of my Brief Encounters, published by  Chambers in 2007 and now free on the web! -


Edwin Moore's quirky collection of a hundred encounters between (mostly) important historical figures is a gem of a book. Where else could you get concise enlightening accounts of Henry VIII wrestling with Francis I, Geronimo surrendering to General Miles, Ernest Hemingway presenting Fidel Castro with a fishing trophy or (as seen on the books cover) a baby faced Bill Clinton shaking hands with John F Kennedy. A marvelous 'little window on human history. ' - Dominic Kennerk, Waterstone's Product Planning and Promotions Co-ordinator (From the Waterstone's 'We Recommend' list for 2008)

Witty, light and packed with information -- The Sunday Herald

In 1936, in the wake of winning a clutch of gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, the great athlete Jesse Owens was snubbed by an imperious leader, on racial grounds. Popular belief would have it that the leader was Hitler, who is said to have stormed off, furious to see a black man beating European athletes. In fact the man in question was President Roosevelt, who worried that paying attention to Owens' triumphs might be a vote loser. Although Owens and the German Chancellor never talked, Owens claimed that Hitler greeted him with an enthusiastic wave. Such near-misses, shakings of hands and ships-in-the-night meetings are the subject of Brief Encounters – Meetings between mostly remarkable people, a likeable new book by Edwin Moore (Chambers £7.99). Flicking through the index, you will find some expected encounters (Dante stares at Beatrice, Corday stabs Marat, The Beatles strum along to a Charlie Rich record round at Elvis's house), and the book's intriguing and memorable cover shows a baby-faced Bill Clinton manfully gripping the hand of JFK. But Moore has navigated past some of the more obvious collisions, collusions and confrontations of history (there is no Dr Livingstone, I presume) and much of the book's pleasure derives from lesser known incidents.

Inevitably, some of the accounts of earlier meetings are somewhat sketchy but Moore offers some piquant speculation, laced with humour (the book is tagged Reference / Humour, rather than History and this feels right, but the book, though wry and opinionated, never stoops to  wackiness). I was intrigued to discover that, though Attila the Hun did die on his wedding night, it was not in drunken and lecherous debauchery, as his enemies maintained, but supposedly because he was generally a simple and clean-living man who had a few too many which brought on a particularly bad nosebleed.

Moore's book is full of such tales – it would be wrong of me to steal the tastiest morsels of his research and pepper this article with them, but look out for a subsidiary reason for the Gunpowder Plot (too many dour and powerful Scots in Parliament); a great meeting of great beards, as Castro wins the Hemingway prize for sea-fishing; Dali bringing a skeptical Freud round to the art of the surrealists; Buffalo Bill's wife claiming an aged Queen Victoria had propositioned him; Oscar Wilde getting a kiss from Walt Whitman, while Walter Scott was more taken with Burns's charismatic eyes. This is an enjoyable and vigorous rattle through some fascinating and believable yarns. My only quibble is that it's a little on the short side – let's have Volume 2 please Chambers! - Roddy Lumsden, www.Books from Scotland.co.uk    


  1. Lovely and poignant post Eddie - a journey along journeys. Love the thread back to childhood with Townhead Public Baths at the end.