Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow
On Thursday, 12th February 2015 at 7.30pm
Ms Petrina Cairns (President)
Thank you for joining us tonight. Welcome to the 2015 Old Glasgow Club Members Night. The theme of tonight is Glasgow in WW1. I'm very pleased to welcome Mr Peter Mortimer, an old friend of the Club and Mr Colin McCulloch from Parkhead Housing Association.
Ms Cairns explained fire drill procedures, housekeeping rules and requested that all mobile phones be switched to silent or off.
Isabel Haddow, Brian Henderson, Maureen Robb, Anna Forrest, Simon Brown, Ruaraidh Clark, Ian Frame.
The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on Thursday 8th January 2015 were approved and proposed by Margaret Thom and seconded by Anne White.
Ms Cairns told us that meetings of the Old Glasgow Club took place during WW1 and read out the following minutes from October 1914.
Minutes from 19th October 1914 Held in the Trades Hall.
A large attendance of members. President Mr John Lindsay (Justice of the Peace and the Town Clerk of Glasgow, also instrumental in compiling the Glasgow Roll of Honour after the war), occupied the Chair.
"The Directors had under their serious consideration the question of carrying on the work of the Club during the session now opened owing to the European War. After full deliberation they had decided that in view of the objects of the Club, the composition of its membership, and other reasons, to proceed with the syllabus. This intimation was received with applause".
The Chairman then introduced Professor John Ferguson M.A., L.L.D. (Glasgow University) who delivered a lecture entitled "Memories of the Old College in the High Street".
The Club remained active during the War. The subject of last years Members Night, Peter Fyfe, gave his talk "A Village in the Calton" in 1917. Lord Strathclyde also attended, speaking on "Life in Glasgow in the 18th Century".
There were no amendments or matters arising from January's minutes.
Secretary's and President's Report
Ms Cairns stated that there would be no formal Secretary or President's Report tonight, just some dates for the diary.
Mrs McNae, OGC Secretary read out the information.
Please pick up a bundle of the OGC club leaflets from the front desk and put them in places where they might be seen.
Check out our Facebook page. Petrina is doing a great job and with around 250 members, lots of people are taking part.
Can I remind you that the OGC bookmarks are for sale again. 75p each or 3 for £2.
There will be a book sale at the next meeting on the 12th March at the beginning of the evening. Fiction and non fiction.
Tappit Hen Bowling Tournament at Kelvingrove on Thursday 21st May. This is a great social evening and you most definitely don't have to be a bowler to take part. It's a really fun night.
The annual Old Glasgow Club Summer outing is to Kellie Castle, Fife, stopping at Callendar House near Falkirk on the way. It's the second Saturday in June, 13th. Bus only is £14 (if you have NTS membership). Bus and Castle is £24.50 / concessions £21.50.
J.A.S. Memorial Walk is on Thursday, 25th June at approx 6.30pm (to be confirmed). This year it is the "Langside Heritage Trail". Bob Marshall who co-wrote the Heritage Trail is going to lead us on the walk. After the walk, tea will be served in the final Carnegie Library to be built in Glasgow.
Before Ms Cairns introduces the speakers she tells us that Anne Manwell has kindly brought along some memorabilia from her Grandfather who was a Cameronian. Please browse the table at the back of the hall.
Ms Cairns tells us that herself and Peter Mortimer have co-written the talk and slide show that they are giving tonight. It's called "Glasgow's War". It was written from both the man's and woman's perspective.
Peter is speaking first. Glasgow 1914 - The assassination of Franz Ferdinand on 28th June 1914 in Sarajevo : the shot that echoed around Europe was heard in Glasgow on 4th August when War was declared against Germany.
Glasgow in 1914 was living up to it's "Second City of the Empire" reputation, businesses were booming, employment was steady, the shipyards were noisy. There was however still poverty and slum conditions for many.
Peter shows us slides of Kitchener's recruitment, Allied recruitment, Cameronians, Pals Battalions, the 15th Battalion aka the Boozy First, the 16th Battalion from former Boys Brigade members, the 17th Battalion (the Commercials) and the 18th Battalion - the Bantams aka the Devil's Dwarves.
Petrina tells us that recruitment was opened up to women - doing the sort of jobs that would free up more soldiers to fight on the front. In 1917 the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (later Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corp) recruited women to become chefs, waitresses, mechanics and office workers. They could also be sent out to France, Belgium and other war zones. By 1918 some 50,000 women across Britain had signed up.
Petrina showed us slides of women working at Beardmore, Clippies, Scottish Womens Hospital, rationing in the latter years of the war, thrift stamps, ladies Scotland v England football match, Panopticon, John MacLean (conscientious objector), Red Clydeside, Rent Strike, Muirhead Bone (first official war artist)
Peter and Petrina show slides of the Homecoming. In total there were around 200,000 Glaswegian men and boys sent to fight. 18,000 perished and 35,500 were injured.
The last slide was the Roll of Honour - So when we rush past cenotaphs or the scrolls inside train stations or the various monuments around the city maybe we should stop and read them once in a while "Lest we Forget".
Q The Cameronians were nothing to do with the Camerons. How did they get their name?
A The original Cameronians were zealous Covenanters. The Regiment took its name from Richard Cameron 'The Lion
of The Covenant'. Originally a field preacher he was killed, a bounty on his head, at the battle of Airds Moss in 1680.
Q My Mother was about 19 at the end of the War. There's a picture of her sitting on a truck in Albion Motors where she
worked. Does anybody know about them?
A Yes, they were founded in 1899 at Scotstoun, Glasgow. They were an automobile manufacturer who concentrated on
building commercial vehicles. Albions were renowned for their superior engineering and reliability ; their slogan "Sure
as the Sunrise" was known across the globe.
Q Yes, I would like to pay tribute to one of my own family. My Uncle, William MacKenzie who died in one of the bloodiest
battles, Battle of the Somme.
Petrina thanked everyone for their questions and introduces the next speaker, Colin Mcculloch from Parkhead Housing Association who is going to speak to us from an East End point of view.
Good evening, my name is Colin McCulloch and I work for Parkhead Housing Association.
Parkhead in 1914 would have looked and smelled different to what it does today.
It was home to Beardmore Steel Works, where they made the steel, the guns and the armour.
In 1914 there was what would have seemed like an army of women and children. The children went to school diligently, sometimes had shoes on their feet, sometimes not. It depended if your family were working or not.
Parkhead was also home to the Tram Depot. Home to several churches. Religion was massively important in 1914 and there were no fewer than 4 different Christian denominations.
It was the spark of war that changed Parkhead. The British Government sent what troops they could and were woefully unprepared. Some 16 million were killed in action over the period of WW1. Approx 4,000 people a week were being killed on a weekly basis. It's not really war at that level but commercialised killing.
How many families grieved. The Parkhead Remembers wanted to make a film that would survive and commemorate their lives. We got money from the Heritage Lottery Fund. We've shown it at the GFT and we've shown it in Secondary Schools. The film is not about celebrating, it's about commemorating.
The film is 18 minutes long and includes audio footage, as well as video footage of some of our elderly tenants and residents who had parents and other relatives who served during the war discussing their shared memories. Parkhead Housing Association has also included interviews from other people, including a local historian, latter day veterans and local children reflecting upon the war.
One of the most moving contributions comes from David Burnett, who fought in the Great War. His voice was recorded almost a quarter of a century ago and plays a large part in the documentary which was made for Parkhead Housing Association.
The old soldier, who lived to be 101, tells how as a young man he went to sign up..........
You can watch the film again on YouTube or www.firstworldwarglasgow.co.uk/index.aspx?articleid=14231
Petrina thanks Colin very much for the powerful and moving film and congratulates him on taking it out to schools.
Vote of Thanks - Bill Crawford
Ladies and Gentlemen that was quite a film. It was good to see what was taking part at the start of 1915 and it was good to hear from that film about the during and the after. The film is great, great that people are getting to see it and that it has been shown in schools.
I always think of Peter Mortimer as Mr Glasgow. And, Peter, Colin and Petrina showed us what part Glasgow played in the war.
Peter and Petrina put a lot of research in to their talk, interesting to hear from the women's and men's point of view.
I'd like you to join in with me, on behalf of the Old Glasgow Club and thank all 3 people for their talks.
AOCB - None
Next months speaker on 12th March is Keith Beard who will talk to us on "History in Glasgow Hospitals".
Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 5th March 2015
Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 12th March 2015
Ms Cairns thanked everyone for coming along to Members Night and wished all a safe home.