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the eclectic glen

An early memory is of waking my siblings at 6am on the day of a family picnic to Rouken Glen to warn if we did not get a move on the park would be full.

They said don't worry. Rouken Glen park is r eally big (140 acres). We would probably get in.

Let me advise that for most of next week Rouken Glen, in its temporary guise as the Electric Glen, will be full. You won't get in without a ticket. The woodland and water features of the park are being turned into a light show.

According to advance publicity, it will be a "complete sensory experience that intrigues all ages and piques all kinds of interests". See Giffnock? See getting your senses piqued?

Even without a light show, Rouken Glen was a magical place for those Easter Monday pilgrimages when I was a lad. It was so long ago we went by tram.

Mother made fairy cakes for the picnic. We took our own sugarolly water. There were corned beef sandwiches, a big outsider if you were lucky. The girl upstairs took her own toast. (She also took toast to the pictures.)

Easter eggs were rolled down the hill beside the boating pond, the broken decorated shells put into a matchbox for later use as a jigsaw. (We were poor but we were happy.)

On the boating pond you went for a trip on the penny launch. Like going doon the watter but shorter and cheaper. Better still, you could hire a rowing boat and take it to the other end of the pond and fill it with illicit passengers when the parkie wasn't looking. It was like the Dunkirk evacuation.

Voyages could be dangerous, especially the time Margaret Wilson removed the bung to let water out and the boat sank. There were wild swans which, as every child knew, would break your arm if you went too close.

The best fun was to be had down the dark recesses of the glen itself. Getting too close to waterfalls. Climbing steep ravines as a rite of passage and causing heart attacks in passing women who would exclaim: "Thae weans ur gonnae fa' aff an kill themsels."

We stayed in the park till dark. We would have stayed later if there had been a light show down the electric glen.

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