Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and third most populous in the United Kingdom. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as “Glaswegians” or “Weegies”. It is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From then onwards, the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
2008 was the year of the first ever visit to the West of Scotland, the meeting being hosted in Glasgow by Graham and Anne Sunderland who organised it with some lovely touches (our logo on the menu and miniatures; Highland soap for the ladies; a piper for our formal Reception). 37 people attended, the distance being no bar thanks to modern air travel, trains and motorways, despite the escalating price of oil. During a stimulating academic Friday at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (our host was on its Council and had pioneered the surgical skills laboratory there) we had evidence-based presentations on Enhanced Recovery after Surgery, talks on Leadership and Professionalism in Surgery, and a session of closed circuit television to watch a laparoscopic sigmoid colectomy by consultant colorectal surgeon Graeme Smith, with commentary and discussion. The TSS Registrar’s Prize, now an established annual session, was won by Karen Stevenson for her paper on de novo induction of hepatic / biliary cells in vitro from a common pancreatic adult cell, holding possible promise in the distant future for those with failing livers. A TSS Bursary for a trainee to travel with us on future foreign visits was detailed at our Annual Business Meeting, as was Iceland as the prospective venue in 2009.
On the social side, we stayed at the Millennium Hotel on George Square in the centre of Glasgow. Whilst the surgeons met at the RCPS Glasgow the ladies exulted over a dynamic free-ranging talk in his internationally acclaimed studio by 49-year-old sculptor Sandy Stoddart. Our whole group had met on arrival on Thursday to visit Glasgow’s nearest whisky distillery, at Auchentoshan, followed by dinner at the RCPSGlasgow in the Main Hall of these historic premises, surrounded by portraits of many early members including the founder Maister Peter Lowe. Our black-tie dinner was held the next evening at Glasgow’s Science Centre beside the Clyde, and the Society was toasted by consultant geriatrician Professor William Reid, shortly to be Postgraduate Dean in Edinburgh. Our final excursion, on the Saturday morning, was to the Pollok estate with its Burrell Collection of art, sculptures and tapestries. This concluded a visit of which, like Charles Dickens, we could say “”I have never been more heartily received anywhere nor enjoyed myself more completely”.
Images above are of the Clyde taken from the Millennium Bridge, showing the Clyde Auditorium (‘the Armadillo’), Bell’s Bridge, Finnieston Crane the Clyde Arc, AKA the Squinty Bridge. (Left) and St George’s Square and the City Chambers with the statue of James Watt (Right)