Old Glasgow Club
Minutes of an Ordinary meeting of the Old Glasgow Club held at Adelaide’s, 209 Bath Street on Thursday 9th February 2012 at 7.30pm
Ms Sannachan (President)
Ms Sannachan welcomed members to the meeting and thanked everyone for attending Members Night. She hoped everyone would enjoy the event.
There were apologies from Isabel Haddow, Jim Smith and Brian Henderson.
The minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Thursday 12th January were approved, proposed by Anna Forrest and seconded by Sam Gordon. There were no amendments or matters arising.
Ms Sannachan introduced Members Night which would feature the author Meg Henderson reading exerts from her book “Ruby” with a question and answer session afterwards. Irn Bru and a selection of Tunnock’s biscuits and cakes would also be available.
Mrs Sannachan explained the fire drill.
The Club had received notification of the sad death of one of our long standing members, Mrs Janet Murphy, known to us as Jenny or Jinty. She died on 4th January. The club has sent a card to her family.
Ms Sannachan sent best wishes and a speedy recovery to Gavin McNae who has recently suffered a heart attack. She thanked Glen Collie who stepped in to help us with sound and vision tonight.
Tonight sees the launch of “Mind the Time” and Ms Sannachan encouraged members to participate and share some memories with us. Pens and paper are available at the back of the hall.
One of our members, Hugh Wilson, has prepared some framed prints of old Glasgow scenes which will be for sale at future meetings. 50% of the proceeds will go directly to the Club. If any member has a request for a scene/area, see Mr Wilson and he will do his best to find it.
Anna Forrest has set up a stall with copies of Ms Henderson’s book, some of Mr Wilson’s prints and also a selection of memorabilia/ books from our Library Collection. Mrs Sannachan encouraged members to browse through the scrap books and photo albums.
Ms Sannachan reported that our “Mind the Time” project was tying in with a community Art Exhibition at this years’ South Side Festival. She introduced Nicky and Mark who were co-ordinating the exhibition who spoke briefly on their aims for the event. They stressed the importance of recollections and memories being passed onto the younger generation or many gems of information will be lost. If anyone would like to participate in interviews with Nicky or Mark please pass your details onto them tonight.
Ms Sannachan was pleased to introduce Meg Henderson, author of Finding Peggy, The Holy City, Bloody Mary, Chasing Angels, The Last Wanderer, Second Sight, Daisy’s Wars, The Scent of Bluebells and her new publication, Ruby. Ms Henderson was born in Townhead, Glasgow before moving to Blackhill, Drumchapel and Maryhill. She spent many years working within the NHS before travelling to India with Voluntary Service Overseas. On her return she married and now lives on the East Coast of Scotland.
Ms Henderson started with a reading from Ruby, which is set in the Bell O’ the Brae tenements before and during the war. Ruby is a young girl brought up to cope with the trials and tribulations of Glasgow life at this time. Ms Henderson stated that life in Glasgow in the 1920’s and 30’s could be hard for many families, drink and poverty usually being the root of trouble. The front cover of the book depicts the tenements where the story was set. Ms Henderson herself lived in nearby tenements which collapsed in the 1950’s resulting in their family relocating to Blackhill. The Bell o’ the Brae tenements were desirable since they all had inside toilets, which was unusual at the time.
While a lot of people look back nostalgically to these times as a golden era with no theft and a community spirit, Ms Henderson is sure that there was no theft because nothing was worth stealing.
Many of her characters are based on family members or incidents she remembers from family parties. Two of the aunties in the book are based on her own aunts who argued and bickered constantly. Family parties were always eventful. Often she uses her writing to get rid of bad memories of events or people. Ms Henderson read some more of her book with a comic interplay between the two elderly aunts. She noted that you don’t seem to get aunties like that any more.
When coming up with a novel there is never a hard and fast way to write, Ruby took 50 years of ideas to germinate before completion. Some say that everyone has a book in them but she begs to differ after many years of proofreading.
At one point she was investigated by the anti-terrorist squad after a terrorist subject in London was found to have Finding Peggy in her possession.
The floor was then opened for questions.
Q. If she knew about stalkers when she started writing would she have used a pseudonym?
A. Yes, because people can treat you strangely especially when you write about personal issues. Some people put flowers down on the site of the house where Peggy in Finding Peggy lived.
Q. After hearing a review of Finding Peggy on Radio Clyde, one member read the book and was transported back to her childhood. She would like to thank Ms Henderson for the memories her book evoked.
A. Ms Henderson thanked her and replied that many people have empathy for both Finding Peggy and The Holy City.
Vote of Thanks
Ruaraidh Clark thanked Ms Henderson for making the long journey down from Aberdeenshire and for sharing her trials and tribulations of being a “weel kent author”.
A raffle was drawn by Ms Henderson.
Irn Bru and a Tunnock’s selection were handed out to each table.
Next Directors Meeting- Thursday 1st March 2012
Next Ordinary Meeting – Thursday 8th March 2012
Ms Sannachan asked members if they preferred the seating arrangements as set out tonight with groups of 9 chairs around a table or the traditional long rows. After a quick vote members decided to stick with the usual line of chairs arrangement.
Ms Sannachan wished all a safe journey home.
P Cairns, Recording Secretary.