Saturday, 17 June 2017

Glasgow Tenement Tour

After a massive day and night of travel yesterday, we landed in Glasgow at 8:10 AM UK time this morning. As with every other transfer on this flight, things went smoothly. WestJet has done a great job so far in ensuring smooth transfers from flight to flight, from wheelchair to seat, and back again. We did have quite the way to go to pick up the rental car. It was nice that one of the Glasgow Airport ground staff stayed with us the whole way, pushing me so David could focus on the luggage.

It was 9:30 AM before we finally got our car. Driving on the "wrong" side of the road was no challenge for David, however the stick shift and car turning radius has proven to be a challenge. It's fine, nothing that a bit of practice won't cure. I will say that my truck seats remain the most comfortable I've been in, although this car was pretty good.

Right out from the airport we headed for Greenock and Port Glasgow, both small towns along the Firth of Clyde where once shipping and ship building ruled, hard towns of tenements, shipyards, and warehouses. My great-grandfather, Adam McBride, was born in Greenock in 1879 at 24 East Crawford Street. The building is no longer there, having long since been torn down to make way for new tenements. My Mom's mom, my grandmother Rebecca Howie was born in 1910 in Port Glasgow, just a mile or so east of Greenock. I don't have an address to check out, so we just drove through on our way back to Glasgow.

Our next stop was on Duke Street in Glasgow where, according to the research David has been working on, my great-great grandfather, also Adam McBride, was born. As with the other locations, the buildings have long been torn down. It seems the homes of the rich are built to withstand the test of time while the homes of the poor bring no history with them and so are destroyed as time goes by. The one notable thing is that the location of my great-great grandfather Adam McBride's home is directly opposite one of Glasgow's oldest breweries. How convenient!

Our last Glwasgow stop was on Wolseley Street, Glasgow where my Dad's dad was born in 1902. Once again the old homes have long been torn down to make way for a newer set of row houses and small, working class homes in a village style setting. The most interesting thing was the old church on the corner, just a block or say away from where my grandfather was born. I can just imagine him as a child being trooped of to church on Sundays while his own father recovered from one too many glasses of Scotch the night before.

By this time both David and I had had enough. We left Glasgow and made the 90 minute trek to our hotel in Leith. This is the port city for Edinburgh, an area being reformed from old docks and warehouses to new government buildings, a major shopping center, and trendy loft homes and apartments. Ten years ago, when I first came to this hotel, there was little here. Now it's all new buildings or restored older buildings.

We checked in at around 2:00 PM. After a five hour rest and nap, David and I walked over to a nearby pub for dinner, a beer, and for me a shot of Scotch. Nothing like keeping the family history intact. Tomorrow, we attack the Royal Mile!

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