I Feel I Belong to Glasgow Again; Hunter Davies Revisits His Birthplace, for the First Time in 40 Years

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), October 18, 1998 | Go to article overview

I Feel I Belong to Glasgow Again; Hunter Davies Revisits His Birthplace, for the First Time in 40 Years


Byline: HUNTER DAVIES

WAS born just outside Glasgow a long time ago, in another country.

At least that's how it has always seemed to me in the 40 years since I last spent a night in the city.

We left for the deep south, to live in a town in a foreign and exotic country, Carlisle to be precise. But during my teenage years I returned to Glasgow for holidays, staying with my mother's parents in Motherwell or my father's in Cambuslang.

I loved it at the time, even though the smoke and dust brought on my asthma.

I loved the smelly, noisy, bumpy Glasgow trams, sitting at the front upstairs with my cousin Sheena, punching each other. You were allowed to do this, depending on who first saw a little street sign saying FP or HD.

Something to do with water supplies, I think. We said it meant Free Punch or Hard Dig.

Then I grew up, sort of, and never went back. Like most Brits, I picked up the image of Glasgow as being nasty, brutal and poor, as opposed to Edinburgh, which was nice, lovely and arty.

I did notice Glasgow's Miles Better campaign, that self-advertising slogan, whose pun I never quite got, thinking it was only Glasgow Smiles Better. It had a reasonable effect, bringing in tourists, but not me.

Whenever I thought of a long weekend away with my dear wife in some attractive, exciting sounding city, we plumped for Paris or Venice. Glasgow?

You must be joking. Or choking. OK, so it was European City of Culture in 1990, but Glasgow still isn't known for health.

Then I heard that next year Glasgow will get another accolade - the UK's City of Architecture and Design, with about 200 events being organised. Time to get up to date, perhaps. Time to throw away for ever those childhood notions.

I Where to stay? That was the first problem. I know all the best places in Edinburgh, used them all, but not Glasgow. Someone recommended the Malmaison, where smart publishers put up their more literary stars on promotional tours.

Silly name, I thought. Sounds like a house of ill repute - well, I have got O-level French.

I sent for the brochure, which didn't help much. Poncey and uninformative, with close-up photos of designer pillows and pouffes. I feared it would be like that minimalist all-white place in London where you can't breathe, let alone touch things.

It turned out to be stunning - an amazing combination of individual style, every little item so artistic and beautiful, yet warm and relaxed with brilliant staff. The food was also good. We ate nowhere else.

Most amazing of all, considering the quality, it didn't cost an arm and a leg (my bill for self, wife and sister for three days, two nights, all meals etc, came to [pounds sterling]638.28).

The Malmaison is in a converted old church on the corner of Blytheswood Square, which used to be a hangout for prostitutes, so its name sounded apt - except I didn't know it comes from Malmaison, a famous house in France, where Napoleon once stayed. It's the

creation of Ken McCulloch, who started as a kitchen porter in Glasgow. He and his wife went on to design furniture and fittings for various restaurants and hotels before opening their own in 1994.

There are now three other Mal-maisons - in Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne and Manchester.

Leeds opens next year. The year after it's London and Paris. After that, the world. Lucky world, to have a chain of such individually styled small hotels, unlike those boring, bland Hiltons.

No, I'm not being paid to plug them, though I would certainly put money into them. Except I'm too late. They have some American group backing them already.

MR McCulloch, whom I never saw, as he was in Monte Carlo that week, has done better than one of Glasgow's other artistic sons - Mr Mackintosh, about whom you must have heard.

One hundred years ago, Charles Rennie Mackintosh was doing well enough, designing stuff all over Glasgow and Scotland, from furniture to whole buildings, a master of the Art Nouveau style, but he felt unappreciated in his own country.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

I Feel I Belong to Glasgow Again; Hunter Davies Revisits His Birthplace, for the First Time in 40 Years
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.