The last time I was in Glasgow (1988) it was so dismal and class-war-scarred that I just passed through.

This time things were very different. There’s been a lot of work done to clean up the city and the old slum(ish) areas are now refurbished (and probably full of bloody yuppies!) and look much more presentable.

My first stop was the new(ish) Riverside Museum which, though it had a fair chunk of Glaswegian historical memorabilia, including a whole reconstructed period street from the early 1900s (mostly), it also had a large number of vintage and veteran cars, trucks, motorcycles and even trains (including a apartheid era South African one!), buses and trams.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to spend as much time there as I would have liked as the bloody Pay & Display machines only took coins (I didn’t have enough for their extortionate charges for long enough) and the only other alternative, voice recognition (so-called) on phone simply didn’t recognise Strine …

The next stop was the People’s Palace, built in the late 19th century to edify the lower orders … the front half houses an excellent social history museum looking at working life in Glasgow in (mainly) the 19th and early 20th centuries.

While some nod is made towards the ‘captains of industry’ who were involved in the development of the city, much more space was given over to a very left-slanted view of life and the struggle against said ‘captains of industry.’ Suffice it to say that ordinary people had it tough … even laws allegedly passed to help them (by putting limits on room occupancy for residences to prevent overcrowding, for example) were handled in the least intelligent and overwhelmingly insensitive way possible (for example, instead of building more inexpensive housing to deal with overcrowding the powers that be put in place a system of inspectors who had the right to enter any [lower class] rented premises any hour of the day or night to physically check the number of people present didn’t exceed the number that it was supposed to have … and they evidently routinely rousted households out of bed to do so every night of the week!).

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