Most folk don’t really look forward to going to the dentist. I don’t either. My dentist is in Govan, not so far from the house so very often I walk. This time I was running late so the bus it was. I still managed to be a few minutes early and crossed the road into Elder Park. When I go to the dentist, I usually manage to be early despite my best efforts and a walk in the park is how I kill time. Luckily Elder Park is interesting, having been donated to the folk of Govan by Isabella Elder in 1883. One of this blog’s regular readers wrote Isabella Elder’s Wikipedia page so go check that out. She sounds amazing. Elder Park has a library which I have had the great pleasure to work in a few times as well as some nice benches and flower beds not to mention swings and that for kids. This time I stopped by the statue of Isabella Elder and looked at the benches around it, which bear various designs including of the Finnieston Crane with the rotundas on either side. I thought for a few moments about the history of boats being built here, of Victorian philanthropy and what remains, then went over to the dentist.
Each time I am in the Necropolis, the great cemetery and city of the dead behind Glasgow Cathedral, I make a point of seeking out the graves of John and Isabella Elder, a fine tomb as would befit distinguished citizens but not as elaborate as some of the other vast lairs and graves that dot that hillside. I always say that with every subject, you need a way in, a fact or a resonance that leads you onto more, to learn more. With Govan, I know Elder Park the best and from there I will no doubt see and uncover more. We’ll see how it goes.