Tom's Glasgow Mag #1

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Opening Remarks

Hello and welcome! Hope you’re doing great. This is the first-ever issue of my newsletter. Think of it as our little club, full of stuff that makes this part of Scotland great. The plan is to keep building this platform, so it can benefit our local community, give good people their flowers, and help highlight talented creatives.

Below you can find a selection of short pieces rooted in local life. Just like this one does, the future newsletters will feature kind individuals, uplifting initiatives, local landmarks and talent. If you have ideas for ANY of these sections, whether you think I should pay tribute to your pal who does a lot for others, shout out a family business, or include your best friend’s new tune - email me at [email protected]. Also, please remember that you can forward this onto other people. If they like what they see, they can subscribe themselves, which would make me a very happy young man! 🕺🏻

Right, that’s me done. Let’s get to the good stuff. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Happy reading!


Sole Mates Show Us How It’s Done

Source: Elaine

If I had a pound for every time I heard someone say that walking outdoors is great for mental health, I wouldn’t be having Koka Noodles for my dinner tonight. Just like with any other type of exercise or social interaction, it’s the first step that’s the hardest. But it’s worth it. And this story has made me realise that I need to start trying…

Sole Mates is a group of pals who take nature walks together. The founder, Elaine, has started a Facebook group to keep everyone in the loop. She tries to vary the walks, though keeps them at the same times so everyone can plan their week in advance. The locations include Cambuslang Park, Richmond Park or Glasgow Green, just to name a few.

The positive impact of walking and establishing new friendships is undeniable. “We have all become good friends over this time”, Elaine told me. “I have a lady that was in bed for six years with anxiety and depression until she found the group. She now helps to lead the walks in my absence.”

It’s important to try, to get out there, even if it seems difficult. This summer I will definitely spend more time outdoors. Glasgow has some stunning green spaces to offer. And in these crazy times we all live in, it’s not a bad idea to take a step back and learn how to appreciate nature and fresh air more. Myself included!

To visit Sole Mates Facebook group, click here.

The Incredible Impact of Cumbernauld & Carbrain Community Hub

Source: Cumbernauld & Carbrain Community Hub Facebook page

When doing my research into community initiatives in Glasgow, I received a touching email about the Cumbernauld & Carbrain Community Hub. The person who wrote it couldn’t have been more complimentary about the hub and its manager Frances. I instantly got in touch with their team to arrange a chat.

What initially started as a room for swapping clothes has turned into one of the most impressive community support spaces I have ever seen. The range and variety of services they offer is jaw-dropping. From a free community fridge and open living room to wellness mornings and CV advice, this hub offers unmeasurable levels of support to people in need.

During COVID, Frances and her team distributed 36 000 free meals and 12 000 food parcels. That’s more than three fully sold out nights at the OVO Hydro, if we look at it that way. “It’s not just a food hub, it’s a safe space for women, men, and children”, said a member of the local community. “Locals can just nip in for a chat and a brew, [there are] painting and meditation events… She is one amazing lady.”

You can visit the Cumbernauld & Carbrain Community Hub Facebook page by clicking here. To contact the hub, please email [email protected].

Source: Cumbernauld & Carbrain Community Hub Facebook page

The Mysterious Aura of Gartloch

Source: Geograph / Chris Upson

Hidden behind the housing estates of Easterhouse, accompanied by tall grasses and a loch, there is an abandoned mental health hospital. Opened one hundred years before I was born, and closed exactly the year I arrived in this world, it is a known landmark among the residents of Glasgow’s East End. As the facility opened during the last years of the Victorian era, it is safe to assume that the level of service was not exactly Bupa. If we add to the equation that the asylum (as it was called back then) served as an emergency hospital during World War II, we end up with a pretty grim picture.

The building, when admired from afar in the summertime, is rather stunning. No wonder that at one point a plan to transform the hospital into luxury apartments appeared in someone’s brain. Local media had reported a few years ago that the idea was green-lit. And even a few years before that, new houses were built nearby, and the development was named Gartloch Village. It’s been years and years, so… Why is the whole area (both hospital and the new houses) still empty like a Tesco’s wine aisle in 2020?

The website launched to promote the development looks rather dated, like a page for a GP surgery created around the time Robbie Williams was on top of the charts. People online are saying that due to the lack of shops nearby, living there simply wouldn’t work at the moment, even for those who fancy the area. Individuals passionate about exploring abandoned buildings reported that the hospital itself is full of collapsed ceilings and various fire damage. Extensive scaffolding can be seen all around the place, with actual patients’ records and old newspapers from the 50s and 60s lying around. Would I ever go there? I love the area, but I’d rather stay home and watch old episodes of Graham Norton, to be honest.

Source: Geograph / Chris Upson

One lady who worked in the hospital in the 1970s recalls two areas within it that were particularly scary. One of them was a locker room which most members of staff simply avoided… The other one was Ward 10. She mentions going in there one night to close a window that blew open. After doing that, she felt a petrifying sense of presence. A second later, a collection of vinyl records situated next to an old record player flew out the rack and hit her!

What do you think about all that? Do you believe that the place is haunted? Does renovating the hospital seem like a realistic idea? Or maybe you have some other concepts for Gartloch, such as making it a premise for a TV show or a film? Feel free to email me and let me know!

The song of the issue is Sun Queen by Gerry Cinnamon

Whose song would be more suitable to include in the newsletter’s very first issue? In future editions, this section will often include tunes by up-and-coming artists. For now, however, let‘s enjoy Glasgow’s own living legend and his nostalgic anthem Sun Queen. Really, nostalgia rules the world. Gerry’s atmospheric lyrics about James Dean and the 50s somehow remind me that… it’s officially Spring! 🌸 The taps will soon be aff. ☀️

That’s it for today, folks! There will be surprises in future newsletters, including interviews and Q&As with well known people. Please stick around. Whatever your plans are for this extra bank holiday, I hope you have a great time. See you in two weeks’ time.

All the best,


This newsletter is dedicated to my grandmother Sabina, who turned 90 years old today. Happy birthday Grandma.