I’m a Glasgow boy – born and bred. I heard a bit of history about Glasgow recently and I thought to myself, “bloody hell, some things don’t change” On the Southside of Glasgow, just over the river from the City Centre, is a district called the Gorbals.
The Gorbals is infamous and is associated with all the things wrong in Glasgow of old. Things like poverty, slum housing, over crowding, violence etc. In the middle ages the area that is now called The Gorbals was the home to a leper colony.
One of the myths surrounding how the name of the Gorbals came about is that the good charitable people from the city used to give food everyday to the lepers. So as not to have any contact with the lepers they would leave food on the bridge that ran over the river.
A bell would then be rung to tell the lepers that the food was there. The ringing of the bell and the sight of the lepers coming out to collect the food became know as the “Gory Bell”.
Gory being a word for horrible, gruesome, bloodshed etc. This phrase “Gory Bell” over the years transformed into the word Gorbals that the area is known today.
Right, so that story that got me thinking was that on my second last visit to Thailand I went into a bar on Soi 4 early doors for my breakfast. I won’t give the name of the bar, but it is a bar that I like and will be my HQ now that The Mango is no more. It must have been about 10 in the morning and I had been going in over the last 3 or 4 days for breakfast.
There was only about 3 or 4 girls working and I decided to be Mr Jai Dee, Billy big bollocks and ring the bell. Before you know it there is a posse of girls coming down from upstairs where they have been either sleeping or eating. Probably the evening crew who haven’t got their make-up on and it was not a pretty sight. Maybe a few rough ladyboys thrown in as well.
All down because they heard the bell and they were due a drink. I now realise that I had rung The Gory Bell!