Chapter 59 – Glasgow’s Newest Grocers

Glasgow Herald, Tuesday 9 May, 1871, exhibits the current affairs of the city. The report entitled ‘Vital Social and Economic Statistics of Glasgow’ explains how the City Chamberlain, Mr William West Watson, presented to the Council the preceding day.

Glasgow’s population swells with 464,500 souls with a further 79,716 living within its ‘connected and contiguous suburbs’. The investigation further reveals there were 13,952 deaths and 19,359 births, with 4,619 marriages, in 1870. As the father of three children, I read with anger at the more than 6,000 deaths of children under the age of five. Watson laments on ‘the rapid building operations which spread all around it’ and ‘appears to be an extremely likely circumstance that it will soon be a debatable question, as to which is the city and which the suburbs’.

The following day, I find myself on Stobcross Street, Anderston and a brightly lit grocer’s shop. This instantly summons my attention and I find the youthful purveyor, celebrating his 21st birthday. This is a shop with a difference and I instantly take a liking to this fellow and make an introduction. I leave Thomas and his new shop behind, with lunch in hand and head back to the office.

The lunch provides an essential foundation ahead of tonight’s Queens Park’s inter-club game: Smokers v Non-Smokers.

 

———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-

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