DON’T you just love the fact nature can still stop us all in our tracks?

Even in the busy urban landscape of Newlands in Glasgow, this beautiful ice formation attracted crowds during the festive season, 1938.

It even warranted a write-up in our sister title the then Glasgow Herald, which waxed lyrical about the colours of Christmas in the city - black, white and green, but most predominantly, grey.

Glasgow Times: Ice fountain, Newlands, 1938

“The thermometer jumped up and down in an ‘ecstasy’ of seasonal enthusiasm,” said the report.

“Weather was at its most fickle, and there was no knowing what it would be up to next.”

A thick fog shrouded Glasgow and its surrounding suburbs on Christmas Eve, causing numerous accidents and cancelling many sports fixtures, although skaters took in their enthusiastic hundreds to frozen city ponds.

Christmas was frosty and later, snowy, with skaters again out in force, “stimulating an appetite for the Christmas dinner,” but the temperature began to rise, and a thaw gradually set in.

At some point, newspaper photographers were alerted to this unusual spectacle in Newlands, on the south of the city - the giant icicles formed by a fountain in a garden, some of which were 10ft high.

The thaw was complete by Boxing Day, the Herald wrote, “and in the outskirts of the city bright sunlight and a mild temperature offered compensation for the rigours of the weekend.

“Hazy conditions prevailed in the city, which had the quiet appearance normally associated with Christmas Day.”

In the evening, however, crowds poured into theatres, cinemas and dance-halls – which seems like a luxury to most of us living in the era of Covid lockdowns and restrictions….

Regular Times Past reader Dan Harris recalls Christmas Day was not a public holiday in Scotland when he was a boy.

Glasgow Times: Dan Harris

“When I was attending Primary School in the 1930s, Christmas Day seemed like a public holiday, and at Secondary School I was aware that it wasn’t, but it did not affect me,” he says.

“It wasn’t until I started working as an apprentice mechanical engineer in 1947, that it did start to affect me.

“I had to work on Christmas Day, just like the majority of working people in Scotland did.

“On my first working Christmas It felt strange. It didn’t feel right.”

Dan, who grew up in Maryhill and now lives in East Kilbride, added: “In Christmas 1952, I was doing National Service in the Royal Engineers where the difference between Scotland and England regarding public holidays became clear.

“We Scottish lads were in the minority at our barracks, so at Christmas when all the English lads went home on leave, we had to do the menial tasks which ‘bad boys’ usually did.”

He smiles: “Like peeling buckets of spuds, washing dishes and extra Guard duty.

“It wasn’t until 1958 that Christmas Day became a Public Holiday in Scotland, and it wasn’t until 1974 that Boxing Day and the 2nd January became holidays.

“Think of all the sore heids there would have been in the workshops before 1974….”

Our archives here at the Glasgow Times are full of fantastic festive memories - like this image from 1967 of a freshfaced Rangers striker called Alex Ferguson.

READ MORE: When Glasgow Celtic trained in the snow (and it was 'taps aff' for Rangers)

Long before he had attained legend status, the young Alex was guest of honour at a children’s festive party at the ABC cinema in Riddrie.

Earlier that year, on July 31, he became “the most costly player to wear the famous light-blue strip,” according to our newspaper. Rangers had signed the goal-scoring Dunfermline Athletic forward for £60,000.

Ferguson, 26, had arrived by car at Ibrox at 10.30am “and dashed straight through the doors to meet manager Scot Symon,” though not before he was approached by a couple of young autograph hunters who were waiting outside the main Ibrox door alongside a gaggle of reporters.

Five months later, here he was, presenting a Christmas cake to Sister Addie and Nurse Dempsey, of the Waverley Park Homes, Kirkintilloch, with Santa himself looking on.

What are your Christmas memories of living in Glasgow through the decades?

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