Old Glasgow meets New

Scottish film crew visit to explore connections

Published on September 11, 2015
New Glasgow town crier Jim Stewart helps out a Scottish TV show crew by holding the microphone while they interview local historian Lynn MacLean. They were in Pictou County this week to find out about the connections between Scotland and New Scotland. CAROL DUNN – THE NEWS

NEW GLASGOW – David Farrell is on a mission to satisfy the curiosity of the residents of Glasgow, Scotland, regarding the city’s Nova Scotia namesake.

“Glaswegians want to know what New Glaswegians are like,” he said.

Farrell is the TV host of The Riverside Show in Glasgow, and he and cameraman Ian Hendry spent two days in Pictou County this week, exploring the connection with Scotland.

On Thursday, the pair spent the day in Pictou at the Hector Heritage Quay and McCulloch House. They also got a cooking lesson from the Kilted Chef, Alain Bosse, and spent the night at Pictou Lodge.

Friday’s agenda included a stop at New Glasgow town hall where they conducted interviews about the parallels between the Scottish city and the Nova Scotia town before heading out on the streets to speak with residents.

Town marketing director Kim Dickson said both communities began as trading posts because of the rivers running through their midsts, then became ship building areas and later evolved into commercial service centres.

Paintings that hang in New Glasgow’s town council chambers were inspired by heritage paintings in Glasgow’s town hall, while the local town’s “Flourish” branding comes from the city of Glasgow’s motto, and the New Glasgow tartan is the Glasgow tartan with an added stripe of white.

“There have been remarkable parallels between the two areas,” said Dickson. “We take many things, but always ask for permission.”

Farrell interviewed Dickson, local historian Lynn MacLean and town crier Jim Stewart, decked out in his finery, which includes the City of Glasgow tartan.

They also filmed footage of some of the street signs that have the same names as streets in their city or are named after places in Scotland. “The mark Scots have made is quite evident with names and surnames,” said Farrell.

He was quite taken with the story of Scottish settlers travelling to the new world on boats like the Ship Hector and the horrendous conditions they experienced during those voyages. “It shows how desperate they were to get out of Scotland. They were sold on the idea of hope here and some powered through. It’s a testament to the Scottish personality. A lot of determined people come out of Scotland,” he said.

“I find it emotional to hear you talk about the connection and the culture – things Glasgow thrives on.”

The crew of two also spent time in Halifax, and after leaving Pictou County, they travelled to Cape Breton to round out their week-long tour, which was organized by Nova Scotia Tourism.


Did you know?

According to legend, George Argo, who came from Aberdeen, Scotland, bestowed the name New Glasgow because the area reminded him of Glasgow.

Glasgow, with a population of around 600,000, is Scotland's largest city and is the commercial capital of Scotland. It’s the UK's largest retail centre after London.

The city motto "Let Glasgow Flourish," registered at the Lyon Court in 1866, is a curtailment of the text inscribed on the bell of the Tron Church cast in 1631 – "Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name.”