Transport, Travel and a Tall ship

July 13, 2016 - Glasgow, United Kingdom

After another fortifying breakfast at the hotel we checked bus timetables, packed our cameras and, umbrellas at the ready, we walked out into another summers day in Glasgow. By the time we reached the bus stop in St Vincents Place the umbrellas had been up and down twice and before the bus arrived it was raining steadily.

The number 100 bus took us on a circuitous path past the Entertainment Centre and the riverside and then back past Kelvingrove Museum before we arrived at Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel. In 2013 we spent a morning at the museum but had to leave before we had seen many of the display areas. We had arranged to meet Sarah and Lucie, and Emily and Finn as we thought they would find things to look at as well.

When the bus dropped us off the rain had stopped and the day looked like it would improve while we were inside. After a quick scan of the entry areas and a couple of abortive attempts to ring both Sarah and Emily we decided we would wander out to the Tall Ship exhibit moored at the dockside behind the museum. Entry to the museum and to the Tall Ship is free but the entry to the Tall Ship is through the gift shop where we were encouraged to spend £3 for a booklet to help fund the ongoing maintenance projects. As if proof proof was needed to demonstrate the maintenance our first taste of the Tall Ship experience was the hammering of a team removing and replacing the caulking between the planks of the deck.

The Glasgow weather changed again and we scurried for cover in the forecastle where we investigated the carpenter's shop and the sick bay as well as the anchor winches. The display in the sick bay included a model rat near a porthole. We then braved the rain to move to the stern areas to look at the captains cabin, bath and stateroom and the mate's quarters. On the mates bunk was a (toy) stuffed ginger cat curled up asleep. There were volunteers in these areas cleaning and polishing timber and brass and we commented to one that it must be a lazy cat to judge by the rat in the sick bay. She replied that he is usually sleeping there but he sometimes leaves and that this is their third cat and now is stitched to the blankets to stop him from being stolen.

Between decks was the cafe and some more displays to show other activities aboard ship but these days museums seem to be more about entertaining children than information so we only had a cursory look around before scampering through the rain and back to the main musem where Sarah was waiting near the Reception Desk.

We all assembled together and arranged to meet again at lunchtime in the cafe and our three parties separated to explore. The museum holds many restored vehicles; bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks and buses from very early efforts to more recent times, horse drawn vehicles from personal carriages to buses, and even steam trains. There are re-created street scenes with various shops, lighting and vehicles for visitors to wander through and even two subway stations showing the early cable-drawn 'shuggly', the Glaswegian term for their old subway carriages. I am not sure if 'shuggly' is a comment on the nature of the swaying ride or the juddering that would accompany the gripping and releasing of the cable clamps to stop and start the carriage.

Margaret and I had a wonderful time re-acquainting ourselves with some of our favourite parts of the museum and investigating parts we noted previously but ran out of time to look at in depth. There are newer exhibits as well, such as the bicycles and motorcycles of modern day adventurers. The motorcycles used by Ewan McGregor in both 'Long Way Down' and 'Long Way Round' were a prized part of that exhibit.

We met up with the others and had a drink while the others ate. We had eaten sufficient breakfast to keep us going while the others who are self-catering prefer to eat lunch and dinner and make do with a light breakfast. Margaret and I then had a quick look through the gallery level before going on to meet the others outside and catch the bus to town. Our higher vantage point from the gallery revealed there were still parts of the museum we had not poked our noses in; more for next time perhaps.

We left the others near the Buchanan Centre and walked back to Renfield Street to find a suit for me to wear to Will and Bex' wedding. Olly and Zack already had theirs so we went to Moss Bros as well and I was kitted out in similar style. I had intended to draw the line at wearing a tie but the shop assistant tut-tutted and shook his head. 'A day time wedding', he said, 'the British will expect you to wear a tie'. Ahh, the sacrifices one makes.

Once suited and booted we walked back to our hotel for a little break from the gallivanting before gathering our strength again and walking over to David and Sarah's unit. Emily and Finn fly back to Bristol tonight so it was our opportunity to say goodbye until the wedding. David, Olly, Zack and Rosie had been out walking the hills near Loch Lomond for the day and Rosie elected to stay home but the rest of us walked out to the 'Brass Monkey' for a drink with Emily before putting her in a taxi for the airport. We then went on looking for a restaurant with room for seven for dinner and ended up at Tarantino Italian Restaurant. With seven of us there were many different choices of dish and the food all looked good. Margaret had spagetti carbonara which was cooked in the traditional way without cream (we were told) while I had Agnollotti di salmoni which looked a bit spare alongside the other dishes but tasted good and was probably sufficient size. I made a pig of myself instead and had some of Margaret's carbonara and some cheesecake dessert.

We left the others to go their own way home and continued on along Sauchiehall Street to our hotel.


The Mates Cabin and the Ship's Cat
On board 'Glenlee'
A horse-drawn omnibus
Transport Museum

1 Comment

Sue Bonjer:
July 14, 2016
Looks like an interesting museum, another busy day for you all.
Photos were good. Hope the weather gets better next week for you all
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