Glasgow is home to more people than any other city in Scotland. As of 2021 there are 591,000 people living in Glasgow, which makes it the seventh most populated city in the United Kingdom.
Glasgow has connections to the River Clyde that go back to the Roman Empire. For millennia, the river was a prime fishing site for Scotland’s ancient tribes, so when the Romans arrived 2,000 years ago the tribes people did not take kindly to the outposts built along the Antonine Wall. The Romans had to spend a huge amount of resources manning the vast wall, and just 23 years after it was completed they decided it was easier to pack up and leave Scotland for good.
Although less substantial than Hadrian’s Wall, the Antonine Wall was just as impressive, with great mounds of turf reaching 3 metres in height and ditches that were up to 5 metres deep. It stretched from the Firth of Clyde all the way to the Firth of Forth and was manned by more than 7,000 troops.
The Glasgow that we know today was officially founded in the 6th century, long after the Romans had left their outposts. St. Mungo established a church on the Molendinar Burn on the site that is now Glasgow Cathedral, which eventually attracted pilgrims who wanted to visit St. Mungo’s final resting place after he died. Over time, this increasingly important religious site attracted market traders who subsequently built shops and made permanent homes near the church. Glasgow Cathedral was built over St. Mungo’s original church in 1197 and it’s notable for several reasons, the first of which is the fact that it contains the remains of St. Mungo in the lower crypt. It’s also one of the few mediaeval cathedrals left standing in Scotland after the Reformation which saw many churches destroyed. In fact, it’s the oldest surviving cathedral on the Scottish mainland.
The name ‘Glasgow’ appeared for the first time in the early 1100s as ‘Glasgu’ or ‘Glascou’. In the Gaelic language it means green hollow, which probably refers to a ravine located to the east of Glasgow Cathedral. The title ‘dear green place’ is often still used by Glaswegians when referring to Glasgow.
Gaelic is still spoken in Glasgow and its use in the city is one of the highest in Scotland outside the Highlands. In fact, the only city in Scotland with a higher percentage of Gaelic speakers is Inverness, which is generally accepted as the capital of the Highlands. The Gaelic-only TV station BBC Alba has its studios on the River Clyde.
One of the world’s oldest public holidays began in Glasgow in 1190. The Glasgow Fair began as a way for people to meet and sell horses and cattle, but over time it transitioned into a festival with amusements, theatre shows, and circuses. Although the fair was originally held near Glasgow Cathedral, it moved to Bellahouston Park in the 1800s.
The magnificent University of Glasgow is as much a symbol of the city as the cathedral is. Founded in 1451, it’s the fourth-oldest university in the world and today serves as a place of learning for over 30,000 students.
One of the biggest industries in Glasgow stems from its location on the River Clyde. Shipbuilding on the Clyde started in the 15th-century and continues to this day, although it has reduced in size significantly from its heyday in the 1900s. In total, over 30,000 ships were built across all the shipyards on the River Clyde. It’s a well-known fact that Glasgow’s shipbuilding industry was the envy of the world, but it might surprise you to know that during the industrial revolution the riverbed was so shallow in places it could be walked across. The industrious Glaswegians solved the problem by dredging the river over the course of 53 years and removing over 108,000 tonnes of sediment.
Glasgow is the only city in Scotland to have its own underground railway system. Known locally as the ‘clockwork orange’ due to the colours used on the trains, the underground metro is the third-oldest in the world and is only beaten by London and Budapest for age. The subway route is circular and has just two lines that connect 15 stations across 7 miles of track.
There’s more to the city than history, and Glasgow is also renowned for its music – so much so that it was designated as a UNESCO City of Music in 2008. There are an average 130 music events staged each week that play all styles from classical to pop, but the city really comes alive at Glasgow Green during July when it hosts TRNSMT…
Some of the remains of St. Valentine are kept in Glasgow in the Church of Blessed St John Duns Scotus. You’ll find St. Valentine (well, part of him) at the front of the church in an ornate 3-foot wide chest that contains his forearm.
The Horseshoe Bar in Drury Street boasts the longest pub bar in Europe at an impressive 104 feet and 3 inches… Glaswegians were famous for sprinkling oatmeal on their ale…
The first ever record of foreign trade from Glasgow… fish swapped for booze and salt
One of Kelvingrove Museum’s best-loved exhibits is Sir Roger the elephant who resides in the West Court. The Asian elephant lived in a zoo in Glasgow in the late 1800s but had to be put to sleep at the age of 27 after he became too aggressive to look after.
Glasgow had a volunteer force called the Glasgow Sharpshooters – the volunteer force was raised by the Highland Society in Glasgow back in 1803 as the war with France raged on.
Gorbals authorities used to banish criminals to Glasgow – Speaking of the Gorbals, the ‘Gorbalonian’ authorities at the time would augment the sentences they handed down to locals by banishing them to Glasgow for life, never to return to the village. The last instance of this was in 1775, when James McArthur Smith and his wife were found guilty of “keeping a disreputable house” and were sent from the village to cross the River Clyde into Glasgow.
There used to be an area of Glasgow called The Havannah – While named in reference to the capture of Havana by the British in 1762, this area, based around the present day Havannah Street off High Street, didn’t quite have the old-school glamour of the famous Cuban city…
Glasgow is twinned with several cities across the world including: Nurnberg in Germany, Rostov-on-Don in Russia, Dalian in China, Havana in Cuba, Turin in Italy, Bethlehem in Palestine, Lahore in Pakistan, and Marseille in France.
The oldest football trophy in the world is the Scottish Football Association Challenge Cup which was crafted in 1874 out of solid silver. The cup is 19 inches high, weighs five pounds, and spends most of its time at the Scottish Football Museum in Glasgow.
If you ever visit the Glasgow Science Centre make sure you pop round the back of the main building and take a lift up the Glasgow Tower. This marvel of modern engineering is the tallest free-standing building in the world that’s capable of rotating a full 360-degrees. As well-engineered as the Glasgow Tower is, it has suffered continued breakdowns and has been in a near-constant state of repair since opening in 2001.
Witnessed in Glasgow
|Watched a lassie chain up her bike and spend the next 10 minutes covering it in tin-foil before leaving it|
|Mind seeing this guy getting knocked out with a banjo|
|A guy running through the City Centre with a crossbow under a tartan quilt|
|Hundreds of kids arming themselves and hunting a vampire in the 50s. Dunno if it’s funny but ticks the mad box.|
|Surely nothing beats the terrorist attack at Glasgow Airport… Terrorist ends up getting a boot in the baws and all the locals trying to set about him.|
|I lived on Wilson Street for about three months back in 2009. Parties were the norm back then so one Saturday night was up until the sun came up getting fucked. Trouble was, we had a football the next day.|
Bed about seven then up at 8:30/9 to get ready for the match. Opened the curtains and it was mayhem. There was a surfboard through the window of a parked car, an upside down taxi, bins all over the place, a bus had driven through the window of what was then Cafe Mao and all sorts of other nonsense.
‘we’ve gone far too far this time’.
Unbeknown to any of us they’d set up a film set overnight and we’d failed to spot it, hear it or hear about it. The crippling fear I got until I tried to leave the block of flats and got stopped and sent a different route by one the production staff is up there with the worst I’ve ever had.
|A junkie with a joint (not uncommon) in one hand and a lizard on a leash in the other.… marijuana iguana|
|This lass]ie that mostly dresses as a lemon around Pollokshields… She has also been a Christmas tree, a lobster and other things too. Most people take it with the fun it’s intended and the kids seem to like it.|
|Probably late 80’s or early 90’s some man used to walk about the city in a big warm jacket with dogs in a pram or pushchair, like they were his babies taking them out for a walk. Was just a kid but a memory I won’t forget|
|There was an old guy that used to cycle up and down Paisley Road West with a cat on his shoulder… I wondered why he would do such a thing and a mate said “Maybe he can’t afford a parrot.|
|Bierhoff surely has to be up there too? And there’s always Leo the Raver and the creepy Electric Scarecrow.I used to work in a supermarket when I was younger and the electric scarecrow used to come in every Friday and would mercilessly flirt with every male member of staff and take about 15 mins to go through the tills.Always remember some lassie saying to him after watching him firing in to all the boys in the shop ‘I just love how your so out there and don’t hide it at all’… The bold scarecrow turns to her with a look of disgust ‘wit hen I’m no even fucking gay’Used to jump on the Cathcart Circle and abuse people headed home from work minding their own business. He’s an absolute d1ck of a guy.|
|I don’t know how to post the video but there was a boy earlier going down McDowell street in Johnstone on a horse and walks it into one of the closes. Open air asylum. Thing is, the police go by and just patch it.https://youtu.be/mf5pVyRfRFg|
|1998, heading to a party at the student halls on John Knox Street, me and my gf get to Glasgow a wee bit early but figure there’ll be a pub nearby. End up working our way up towards the halls, and stopping for one last drink before going to the party in the Cathedral House Hotel.|
It was just odd. It was like we’d walked into the party in the Rocky Horror Show, and everyone seemed to be in on it. There was one (admittedly stunning) older woman kicking about the joint in a wee basque and sussies (she had a paratrooper nestling betwixt her pendulous bosoms, a guy in a mac who was walking about pretending to flash every table, various people with ‘comedy’ specs on, a bloke in a wheelchair who was asking every woman if he could get a 49, and a guy who looked a hell of a lot like Jerry Sadowitz, but sounded like Frankie Boyle. It was just weird and unsettling, and I say that as someone who was a bit of a goth and enjoyed ‘the unusual’. I ended up fighting with the gf as she commented that the woman in the gear was stunning and had great tits, and I agreed with her.
It wasn’t even close to Halloween, so to this day I have no idea what was going on in there.
|I was driving in Cumbernauld and drove on a road with a footbridge above me, and saw a guy sitting on a bike with a fishing rod over the side.|
|Back in the 80’s I used to see a wee old guy walk through town and although he was bald as a coot, he used boot polish to blacken up his scalp and make it look (from a distance at least) that he had hair.|
|Probably seeing a woman take a wasp for a walk.|
Used to see this girl who’s dad was a bit of an alky, she asked me to take her over to see him one day.
She warned me that he and his bird were a bit mad.
We got there, he introduced himself and took me through to the kitchen where his Mrs was walking around holding a piece of string, with a wasp at the other end of it
One of their kids then comes in with a plastic bottle with a wasp in it telling her that they’ve caught another one and this is when we find out how it happens.
Apparently if you stick a plastic bottle, with a wasp inside it, in the freezer for a few minutes it knocks the wasp out. Take it out and quickly tie some string to it before it wakes up, then voilà, you too can take a wasp for a walk.
|Was doing a rewire in Drumchapel a couple years ago and on the Tuesday went to the Greggs at the shopping centre for breakfast… This was a Tuesday remember, at just after 9am.|
There was a group of middle aged women line dancing and drinking lambrini and they wee Lamcello Perry cans, having the time of their lives.
|Guy I went to school with used to collect frogs from gardens, ponds etc, stick them in a bucket and then launch them at buses and cars from the bridge above the road.|
|Many years ago a couple of buskers entertained a crowd with some Italian classical Opera. They used a small traffic cone to amplify their voices.|
|I didn’t witness this myself unfortunately but at some point in the early 70s my dad was doing a shopfitting job somewhere in Glasgow. It was a nice day so he stepped outside onto the street to have his lunch. He witnessed a boy walking up the street, with his mother leading him, presumably to the hospital. The boy, god only knows how, has got one of those ‘cauldron’ style soup pots stuck over his head. And his mum is berating him. But while she’s berating him, she’s banging the pot with a wooden spoon in the rhythm of the row.|
|A fight between a piper and an artist over their pitch… Words exchange the piper punches the artist, the artist grabs the bagpipes, before the guy could say don’t you dare, they were smashed of the ground.|
|Going to the gym one morning at 5am, I’m walking next to the Clyde just before getting to a set of flats when I hear a trumpet. Walk round the corner and there’s two girls in bra/pants and a guy with a trumpet, he was playing random noises while they jumped into the clyde then climbed back up.|
I had a quick chat with a guy who was chewing his face off, when the girls climbed back up it was like a see thru bra/pants contest. They must’ve been around 18, what a set of muffs they both had… Still have that saved in the wank bank.
|When I was a wee boy, I slipped and fell on a smashed bottle of cough syrup on bath street. Cut my hands pretty badly. Anyway, an ambulance arrives and takes me and my mum to the Royal. Get into the A&E reception and there’s a guy in a wheelchair with a pot of paint jammed on his head to the extent that you could only see his mouth downwards, completely covered in blue paint. Utterly mental.|
|Have you seen Ewan Cameron meeting a Glaswegian video?“Easy Lionel” video?|
|I’ve witnessed all sorts in Glasgow, but for some reason the youtube guy shouting “GOOD MORNING GLASGOW!!” and a wee voice just shouting back “Mornin” has me in knots every time.|
|I just like this one… My Granny used to make a dugs dinner of celebs names. Ted Dancer and Whoopsy Goldberg were two of her most famous ones.Best one I heard was Benedict Cumberbatch – Burntisland Cowdenbeath.|
|I didn’t see it but was told about this, a junkie walking about town with a broken kids police helmet, black jacket and a notepad trying to issue fines to people.|
|I seen a formula 1 car in Springburn yesterday, will post a picture|
|I saw a guy driving a McLaren (not F1) on Springburn Road. The registration was Viagra.|
|There was a homeless guy in my work recently and was generally decent to talk to. Anyway the other day there he was walking calmly down the stairs and wasn’t drunk or under the influence. All of a sudden he turns and attacks a radiator in the corridor, pretty much hauling it off the wall. He then continues walking in a calm and composed matter. Despite being on camera he denies it and say it fell off.|
|There was a guy in one of the flats who was the local coal man. This was in the days of horse and cart. (1950’s or 1960’s). He used to keep his horse in the tenement flat.|
|Some cracking buskers in the city centre over the years. There was a guy, clearly off his head on something, tap aff, playing Grandmaster Flash covers on the bongos on Argyle Street a few years back.|
|Another old guy (maybe called Jock?!) Who kicked about Queens Cross/St George’s Cross, who would only speak in rhyme. You could converse with him to an extent, but every answer would rhyme.|
|Before but getting the bus into town for work one morning and an old guy gets on outside the McDonalds at Trongate and sits in the sideways seat behind the driver. Casually pulls out a porno and starts going through the pages while slurping noisily on a carton of milk.|
|About 5 years ago, driving through paisley at about 5pm just at the watermill hotel, someone in a full stormtrooper outfit with two plastic bags full of shopping.|
|The backwards man. One of my mates told me a story years ago about a guy from Milton I think who took too much acid and now walks about backwards. Thought my mate was at it. Few years later, my mate walked to the Carling academy. Just about to pass bridge st Subway station and a bus pulled in at the bus stop. Couldn’t believe my eyes when a guy got off walking backwards and continued walking backwards towards the Glaswegian pub. Madness – blew my mind when I saw him, for years I thought my mate was talking shite.If you ever get the pleasure seeing him walking his dog you are in for a treat .|
|There’s a big guy from Maryhill ( murano street ) who cross dresses. One of the guys on the building site we were on wolf whistled at him. Big Wilma came onto the site, high heels, mini skirt hand bag the lot and absolutely rag dolled the guy about the job. The guy didn’t know Wilma was indeed a crackpot from the area.|
|A brass monkey in a bin looking for any unsmoked bits of fags, but ended up with his head stuck. He was there for almost 20 minutes and nearly tipped the bin onto a car in his many attempts to get out. The video does it better justice than I’ll ever do telling the story.https://youtu.be/KqtIA2U0xTY|
|When I was a wee boy my dad would take me to the park and there was often a woman who I assume was insane that would put her dog on the slide and push it on the swings.|
|Big Brenda ,6ft 4in cross dresser was in a boozer in Kilbirnie one night and a couple of the young team were giving it a bit of hassle and abuse. Brenda disappeared for a wee while. Come closing time when the young team leave the pub… Brenda is standing outside waving a samurai sword waiting for them.|
|Out late one Sunday, must have been a bank holiday or something. Poor students down to our last teners so get another couple of drinks and get the bus instead of a taxi. 5am Full of your usual drunken bams etc going back to the south side, going through Darnley and one thought it was a great idea to use the hammer and smash the window then leg it. Builder took exception to this and chased after him and leathered him with his hard hat.|