12 Jul 2018
Wandering down Queen Street recently I couldn’t help but notice the Duke of Wellington had gone a little crazy with the cones. I counted a full dozen including the one perched on the ears of his trusty steed Copenhagen.
It set me thinking what that was telling me about the state of play in Glasgow as the summer holidays get started. It was a traditional ‘on the one hand but on the other’ moment.
One initial reaction might be that it’s a typical example of Glasgow’s inability to err on the side of understatement. Glasgow has, some might say, an in your face, undiluted, no messing about style of communication. We could even be accused of being a wee bit brash, perhaps.
If you haven’t got the message with just the one cone that Glasgow has little time for the symbols of authority, then how about 12 cones instead.
Or it could be a sign of our overwhelming need for collective participation. Glasgow is a city that really likes to share, to join in, to construct a party. If it’s open to one citizen to lodge a cone on the Iron Duke’s head then it’s surely open to every Glaswegian.
Then again it might be a healthy reflection of Glasgow’s sense of adventure and exploration. Glaswegians have a long history of risk-taking and entrepreneurialism. The Chamber’s own members have always led the way in travelling across the globe to be the first to open a new market or to make a new discovery. Within every Glaswegian lies an irrepressible urge to get their cone to the top of the pile.
Or it could simply be there were roadworks in Queen Street and, like Everest, the cones were simply there to be exploited.
A couple of days later we were back to just the one cone, though there were also 12 no-waiting cones stretching along the road in front of the statue set out, confusingly, on double yellow lines.
That surely means the Council is simply asking for another new tower to be built on the Duke’s head, and no doubt there is a queue of Glaswegians willing to oblige.
Stuart Patrick, Chief Executive