Growing up in a tenement had its inconveniences but ours was mainly that the convenience was outside on the landing and shared between two or three families. However ours had a special luxury. If you stood on the lavatory seat and stared out of the window, you had a wonderful view of Glasgow.
As a young boy, I was convinced that, in looking out that particular window, I could see the Queen Mary liner berthed nearby. Geographically, this was impossible, since this beautiful ship was docked in Southampton at the time. What I was really seeing was the corrugated iron wall of Stark’s Woodyard superimposed on the roof of the Wireworks with its poles, which in turn were seen against the buildings of Riverside School, which were set against the big, fat chimneys of Dalmarnock Power Station. Altogether they created the image of the famous Queen Mary which had been built not long before on the Clyde at Clydebank. I realise now I made up that picture, but then you needed some imagination to live in an East End tenement.
The irony is that only a few weeks ago, Alannah and I dined on the actual Queen Mary where it is now berthed permanently at Long Beach, California. We were being entertained to a champagne lunch by good friends and enjoyed the ambience of 1930’s luxury still there in the beautiful interiors. I looked out of the window at one time on to modern America on the starboard bow, but really what I could see was the Dalmarnock Power Station, Riverside School, the Wireworks and Stark’s Woodyard.