GYPSY Leonora. Madame Romney. Gypsy Lee. Three kindly middle-aged ladies in Crimplene and woolly cardigans, who saw themselves as confessors, clairvoyants and counsellors, rolled into one.

Thus writer Anne Johnstone in the Evening Times in the summer of 1978, after a visit to the fairground at Glasgow Green. Between them the trio occupied three corners of the field.

Leonora, 64, was the “baby” of a family of clairvoyants. Fifty years earlier, at school, her “homework” had concerned lifelines and her mother’s crystal ball. She was one of 14 kids, and had never learned how to read or write.

“I always tell the truth, even if it’s bad,” she said. “Mind you, if I see a real tragedy in someone’s hand I keep it from them.”

Madame Romney, 61, from Springboig, was Leonora’s half-cousin. She had been coming to the fair since 1950. “A palmist has got to help people,” she said. “Sometimes I spend 25 minutes with one person if they’ve got serious problems ... A woman waited four hours for five minutes yesterday. Lots of them have rotten empty lives. Nothing but bingo and alcoholic husbands. That’s when I have to delve into fantasy. I try to give them something to look forward to.”

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Gypsy Lee, “a grey-haired lady in a tartan pinafore dress”, was a relative newcomer to the fair on Glasgow Green. She declined to be photographed, saying she was superstitious about it; and she said, like the other two, that her powers were a hand-me-down from her family.

Anne Johnstone asked the clairvoyants about the future man in her life and received wildly different predictions - he would be tall and slim with sandy-brown hair; he might be small and dark with broad shoulders; or he could be a blond Adonis. Or would he turn out to be all of these things?