Did You Know? Glasgow’s Coat of Arms
Glasgow, like many cities, owes its existence to the river which flows through it and the fact that in historical times it was a convenient crossing point of that river. In those days the Clyde was not a deep navigable river up to Glasgow, but was the last place where a bridge could be built to allow a crossing without a boat. There was a salmon fishing hamlet at Glasgow (which probably gets its name from the Celtic glas and cu meaning “dear green place” ) when St Mungo established a monastery on the banks of the Molendinar Burn, a tributary of the Clyde, in the 6th century.
Somewhat surprisingly, the City of Glasgow did not have a coat of arms until the middle of the 19th century. In 1866, the Lord Lyon King at Arms gave approval for one which incorporated a number of symbols and emblems which had been used on official seals up until then – all of which were associated with St Mungo. St Mungo (who was named originally Kentigern) is said to have preached the sermon containing the words “Lord, let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of the word.” The thrusting Victorian city truncated its motto into the more secular “Let Glasgow Flourish” which is still in use today.
Many people, including Glaswegians themselves, are only vaguely aware of the stories and legends associated with the coat of arms. So here is the background to:
There’s the tree that never grew,
There’s the bird that never flew,
There’s the fish that never swam,
There’s the bell that never rang.
The Tree That Never Grew
The tree in the coat of arms is a now sturdy oak tree, but it started out as a branch of a hazel tree. The legend says that St Mungo was in charge of a holy fire in St Serf’s Monastery and fell asleep. Some boys who were envious of his favoured position with St Serf put out the fire. But St Mungo broke off some frozen branches from a hazel tree and, by praying over them, caused them to burst into flames.
The Bird That Never Flew
This commemorates a wild robin which was tamed by St Serf and which was accidentally killed. St Mungo was blamed for the death but he is said to have taken the dead bird, prayed over it and it was restored to life.
The Fish That Never Swam
Lampost at Glasgow Cathedral
The coat of arms always shows the fish with a ring held in its mouth. This is because a King of Strathclyde had given his wife a ring as a present. But the Queen gave it to a knight who promptly lost it. Some versions of the story say that the King took the ring while the knight was asleep and threw it in the river. The King then demanded to see the ring – threatening death to the Queen if she could not do so. The knight confessed to St Mungo who sent a monk to catch a fish in the river Clyde. When this was brought back (presumably catching salmon in the Clyde in those days was a lot easier then!) St Mungo cut open the fish and found the ring. When the Bishop of Glasgow was designing his own seal around 1271, he used the illustration of a salmon with a fish in its mouth and this has come down to us in today’s coat of arms.
The illustration here is of an ornate lamppost, incorporating all the symbols of the coat of arms. It is located near Glasgow Cathedral – founded nearly 1500 years ago by St Mungo.
The Bell That Never Rang
Steeple of Tron churchIn 1450, John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow, left an endowment so that a “St Mungo’s Bell” could be made and tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul. The bell was still ringing out in 1578, as there is an entry in the City Treasurer’s accounts two shillings (10p) “for one tong to St Mungowis Bell.” A new bell was purchased by the magistrates in 1641 and that bell is on display in the People’s Palace museum near Glasgow Green.
In 1631, another bell was made, this time for the Tron Church (the steeple is pictured on the right), on which was inscribed the words “Lord, let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of the word.” Whether Glasgow flourished with spiritual assistance or the hard work of its people (or both), there is no doubt that Glasgow, now the largest city in Scotland, (twice the size of the capital, Edinburgh ) has certainly prospered.
So Im gagging to get out and do some river fishing. Today I talked my future mother in law in to stopping so I could have a gander at a tributory. It looked nice….and more to the point it looked not muddy…like the kellie just now..
It still looked kinda peaty but ok for the fly….i seen some juvinile trout shooting off so I know they are their!
What I will do is start down at the vet school and hike the way up to where the it goes in to the kellie and then start a bit of small stream action
The good thing about that is that there will/should be few people far and wide….tricky casting too…small stream all the way!!
With a bit of luck everything should go according to plan…..I have untill next Thursday to fo a bit of fishing and then im offsky for a few weeks…
Im getting my reading material in order as well..ive already read A River Runs Through It and Other Stories but its another book Im going to take away and read….its fantastic. I know most people have seen the film but if you have not then its a must…. a book that is the bizz
Oh incidentally……if anyone fancies coming with me i will most probably going on Monday morningish…….just mail me through the links on the right…where it says mail me…..dont forget to remove the (nospam) part. Just remmember that the chances are we will catch no fish but it will be a nice walk anyway!!
Someone asked me the other day what was happening with my weather blog as that is all I talk about these days.
Here is a view from my front window (please add thunder sound effects)
Well I didnt have a day down at the kellie yesterday as you may have noticed. The water was looking distinctly dirty looking…not too bad but bad enough to make me do other more pressing things
Its started to rain again as well today.
Right, Im gagging to get back to the kellie for a bit of dry fly action. I cant be bothered getting all my stuff together heading down there just to find that its all muddy so I have a cunning plan. Instead of heading down to the gym I am going to go for a run….through Dawsholm Park and then along the Kelvin. Mwa ha ha!!!
Oh thats right. I have rejoined the WordPress topsites ego booster thing. It would be nice if you voted for me……if you just click on the link above the google ads that would be great.
So today was the first bit of proper river fishing ive done in ages. I did not go the the Kelvin but went to another river with a friend.
When we got theire the river was still very high but we had travelled a fair old distance so stayed for a good few hours. Enough to get sunburnt anyway. I caught maybe around 3/4 but my friend did not fair so well. Seeing that it was his first time river fishing, he found it a little difficult. He was more used to stillwaters and fisheries.
Becuase the river was quite high it was tricky wading. My friend misjudged his step and ended up over the top of his chest waders…..he actually slipped backwards. Once he got out he had to take off his waders and empty them out….he was absolutely soaked underneath.
So like a proper gentleman I laughed and laughed and took photos. Except now I cant find my camera …….I think I left it in his car……the battery will run out and all the photees will be lost.
Thats karma for ya.
**hilarious photo update**
After finding my camera it seemed to not be working…all my photos were deleted!!!:/
I had a look through this book the other day when a friend bought it. It is now on my list for crimbo (massive hint to familly)Matching the Hatch: Stillwater, River…
A guide to help the angler choose the right artificial fly, including macro-photography of insect life combined with selections of the most lookalike lure. The book suggests that the angler observes the insect that seems to attract the most, and choose a fly from the photographs supplied.
Its a classic!!!!
So I headed down to the canal today to have a bash at the Pike. I knew there was plenty of fish in their I just didnt think there was so many. There was massive shoals of Roach……and I seen a several shoals. My spoon was chased by little Perch…….To catch the Pike i was casting along the margins….along the weeds..
Exiting stuff….kind of. It started to get absolutely roasting hot and I had to come back to the house for my sunglasses and to leave my jacket behind. When I got back to the canal I headed up towards Maryhill…..
Aaaaaah the views..
It was while I was taking photos like that when my camera battery packed in….jeesh!!
Which is why I dont have a photo of the rather nice jack pike that I caught……it was around the 3.5lb mark and faught like an old turnip…it was still fun though!!
Part of the canal runs over the Kelvin via a large aquaduct…
When construction of the canal recommenced in 1785, Robert Whitworth replaced John Smeaton as engineer. Whitworth designed the largest aqueduct in Britain, the Kelvin Aqueduct, built between 1787 and 1790. 122m (400ft) long and 21.3m (70ft) high, it cost Â£8,500 – Â£2,000 over budget.
So I walked over the aquaduct down the side and had a few casts with the spoon in the Kelvin. It was a raging torrent but there was some calm bits at the side where a salmon may have been resting…..it was worth a try anyway
All this talk about Pike and the canal made me hunt through my old photos. Here is one of the first fish I ever caught in the canal. A little perch whilst spinning. I remmeber this photo getting taken, there was a thunder and lightening storm going down and as soon as it started the Pike and Perch went crazy and we caught a fair old few. The pictures are poor quality as I took digital pics of them……all high tech thats me!!
I took my other half fishing a few years ago (a good few years ago……I had long hair). We went Pike fishing to a litte stretch of the Endrick that I know of that has lots of them.
“oh yes my dear, I shall show you how to fish” learn from an experto I said.
I caught bugger all and she caught a good few.
The second one she caught was even bigger….
After that I got in a strop and wouldnt take anymore photos.
Anyway, so I got my spinning stuff out today. Just to kind of look at it..you know. Still got some of those old spoons as well. Ive got two spinning rods actually. I doubt I will ever get rid of them……I cant remmember the last time I used them..probably on the Leven a good few years ago now. In fact the last time I used an actuall spinning rod was when I took my little telescopic spinning rod on a walk along the allander and then the kelvin. At the time I was searching for Pike in the slower deeper parts of the kelvin…there is some nice bits that just scream out Pike.
Anyway, I found myself going through all my stuff, checking the old spinning reel and making sure I had appropriate traces and swivels.
I then got a phonecall from a friend. We had been arranging to head down to the Kelvin together for a few hours but as you know the rain has turned it into a raging torrent so that was out the question. I mentioned that I fancied going to the canal for some Pike and he thought that sounded like a grand idea. Im going to head down in the morning and check it out and possibly he might come and meet me later.
What I should be doing is heading down with the fly rod and having a bash with that…especially after watching Trout N About tonight and it was on Pike fishing on the fly amongst other things.
I think I will head down with the spinning gear, check it out and then go back with the fly gear later. If anyone fancies joining me for some fly action on the forth & clyde canal I would welcome the company (misery loves company).