Duncan Ferguson, Glasgow University undergraduate, 1971-5, and occasional West End gallivanter, remembers Gilmore at the start of the New Year, Old Calendar style, in mid-January, “reminiscing indulgently on that tantalising symmetry of bacchanalian revelling and intellectual pursuits.”


Meanderings of a student’s January day, c. 1972

(or Carmina Burana meets Byres Road)


Wending my studious way

after an aubade or two

in the snow-carpeted Botanics

alma mater bound

heading to borrow

Highland history books

from Baillie’s library;

then prose composition having been completed

enamoured by the tale of Aeneas and Dido

in the Humanity classroom

of that austere quadrangle

redolent of four principal parts;

later sitting at the feet of Edwin Morgan

waxing lyrical on Browning;

occasionally forsaking the round Reading Room

and the Murray Classical laden

with texts of Aristophanes and other Greek greats

following the flow of the Kelvin

to less rigorous pursuit of

extra-curricular Gaelic culture

with pibrochs galore in The Park

a watering-haven for the Mitchell

that civic treasure trove of tomes


Then on the homeward trail we spy

The Aragon -  fond oasis for those still dry


Finally, as the midwinter moon lit up Gilmorehill

we would sup poetically in The Rubaiyat

with nightcaps and nocturnes


There then was learning in another time

‘Via, Veritas, Vita’ it seems to chime