WHAT a magnificent horse that is, “Captain” pulling a barge of people on the Forth and Clyde Canal at Maryhill.

This though is not going back over a century, but is in fact the young Maryhill Queen, who that year was Barbara Donnelly, on board the barge in 1974, leading a flotilla of small craft assembled by owners who wanted to show that if the canal was spruced up, then it could become an attraction rather than an eyesore.

The boats had travelled eight miles from Kirkintilloch to make their point, and to get to Maryhill they had to hack their way through floating vegetation and overhanging foliage.

Maryhill was in a period of transition then, There are empty tenements at the back which were scheduled for demolition. There are allotments here which I think have since gone as well.

But the good news is that the demonstration did not go unheeded by the British Waterways Board who spent large sums to have the canal brought back into use by leisure craft. As one of the protesters succinctly put it: “There’s also a vitally important safety factor – a used canal is a safe canal.”

So well done to everyone who took part, including Bobby Woods there who brought Captain along for a leisurely stint of canal boat pulling, just as they did in the distant past.

Taking part in a demonstration which was far more arduous is Scottish miners leader Mick McGahey, on an open-topped bus in Glasgow’s George Square in 1985 during the two-year miners’ strike. The strike was unsuccessful, and all the deep mines in Scotland have since closed.

But to cheer us up, here are six-year-old girls Lisa Allan and Mary Gallacher showing off their baton twirling skills to classmates at Quarry Brae Primary in Parkhead in 1989 and naturally the photographer got the boys to join in. I’m sure their classmates didn’t tease them.