OUR recent feature on all-round entertainer and national treasure Johnny Beattie, who sadly died earlier this month, sparked happy memories from Times Past readers.

Isabel Hutton recalls bumping into Johnny in a Glasgow department store.

“He was waiting for his daughter and I approached him and said how well he was looking,” she recalls.

“He smiled and we chatted about his work on River City and he complimented the young actors who were part of the programme, like Anne Marie Fulton and Ryan Fletcher. He said they were wonderful and needed very little directing. He said he was thoroughly enjoying this new direction in his career.

“His daughter duly arrived and we went our separate ways, but I was chuffed to have spoken to a true gentleman. He will be sadly missed.”

Jean Brown recalls Johnny’s visit to Active Seniors Day in Victoria Park, back in 2007.

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“Johnny opened the day’s events and of course had everyone laughing,” she says. “What really impressed me was that he then visited every single stall and spoke to all those on duty, including those of us who were members of Neighbourhood Watch helping the police talk to visitors about crime prevention.”

She adds, smiling: “In the photograph, I am the lucky one with Johnny’s arm around my shoulder.”

Johnny was not the only famous face in Glasgow to prompt readers to get in touch with interesting recollections.

Reader Ian Salmond was delighted to read our story recalling unusual piano marathon man, Syncopatin’ Sandy.

“Whenever I brought his name up I got some funny looks and a few ‘don’t talk rubbish’ comments,” says Ian.

“I was very glad to read your piece as a result.”

Glasgow Times:

Our original story, prompted by regular Times Past reader Jim Peddie in Motherwell, recalled Sandy Strickland, a Bolton musician who travelled around the country completing ‘piano marathons’ – almost 500 in total.

He survived on milk, fruit juices, glucose, meat extract and gallons of tea – and 140 cigarettes - a day and people queued up to watch.

A report in the Bolton News revealed Sandy achieved 193 hours 50 minutes in 1951. Many reports across the country suggest he topped 130 hours on numerous occasions.

We did not know much about his visit to Glasgow, but Mr Salmond was happy to oblige.

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“My memory is going to see him play non-stop piano in the then Empress Theatre – later the Metropole – on St George’s Road,” he recalls.“I remember going with my dad – it cost 3d per child and 6d per adult and all you had to do was walk in one side, past the stage where he was playing, and out the other side.

“I remember my dad went back for the last show, and this time it cost a shilling – but you did get a seat and the chance to watch him for an hour.”

“My dad said it was great and he really did know how to play.”

Which famous faces have you seen in Glasgow over the decades? From Hollywood supertstars to local legends, quirky performers to A-list celebrities, the city has been graced by the presence of many big names – we’d love to hear about your brushes with fame. Get in touch by emailing ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, c/o Print Centre, 125 Fullarton Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow G32 8FG