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Glasgow Humane Society Trumpet Performance

I’m just back from watching a strange and lovely performance piece from the suspension footbridge over the River Clyde, consisting of a lone trumpeter in formal dress playing a lament from the Glasgow Humane Society rescue rowing boat, in the rain, needless to say.

Glasgow Humane Society Trumpet Performance #7

The Glasgow Humane Society is a wonderful institution, founded in 1790 as a lifeboat service to rescue folk drowning in the Clyde, and recover the bodies of those drowned. Originally based in a house at the edge of Glasgow Green, nicknamed ‘The Dead Hoose’ (photograph, illustration) which was demolished in the late ’30s, the Society has been a family business of sorts, with George Geddes (cartoon portrait) manning the boat between 1859 and 1899, when his son, another George, took over until his death during a rescue attempt in 1931 (or, possibly, 1929, I’m not sure). The younger George Geddes was then replaced by Ben Parsonage, who served until his death in 1979, succeeded by his son George Parsonage MBE, who I assume is the man you can just make out in the photographs above and below, sheltering from the rain under his jacket. He’s saved over a thousand lives on the Clyde. More information here, here and here too.

Glasgow Humane Society Trumpet Performance #8

Unfortunately, I’m guilty of posting in haste, as I can’t for the life of me remember the artist(s) behind today’s action, but will update the above as soon as I get hold of one of the postcards sent out to publicise the event, which takes place daily at noon for a little while longer, I think. If you can’t make it, more images are available.

Posted at 2pm on 07/04/05 by Jack Mottram to the art and culture category.
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  1. Very odd that the Royal Humane Society makes no reference to the Glasgow Humane Society which does actual rescuing but does embrace the quaintly named Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society in Water Street which awards medals. Pretty sure there will be a Birkenhead Humane Society which was the first in the world.

    Posted by bobby at 6pm on 08.04.05

  2. FYI - GHS website:

    Posted by Ian at 12am on 18.04.05

  3. For the Attention of Mr George Parsonage MBE.

    Dear George

    I could not help but shed a tear as I watched you receive your much deserved award for all the lives you have saved over the years.

    Pride for having the privilege of knowing you, but much more importantly, for the hand of friendship you gave to Alan. Alan had the highest regard for you, as did many other young children in Whitehill Secondary School. I am more than confident all those who had the unique pleasure of knowing you in those happy days would have shed a tear of pride as they watched you today.

    You are still the same unselfish man we as a family knew and respected.

    Although you will be great loss the Glasgow Humane Society, I know I speak for the citizens of Glasgow as I wish you a very happy retirement with you lovely family.

    Sincere best wishes
    Margaret & Jim Watson.

    Posted by Mrs Margaret Watson at 7pm on 05.05.05

  4. He’s not retired yet - he’s now in a new book and is mentioned by name.

    There are some more photographs of the Humane society on in the photogallery


    Posted by Dave at 6pm on 24.04.07

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