Document 231

Any other Pleb

Author(s): Anna Blair

Copyright holder(s): Anna Blair


My father and my Grandpapa
Were merchants selling tea.
We lived in Claremont Gardens then
At Number Twenty-three,
With handsome door in Glasgow style
And brasses polished bright
With arching windows, chammied clean
And woodwork painted white...
In black lum hats and collar-wings
And loops of watch and chain,
With button holes and stripes and spats
And silver handled cane,
The gentlemen went off to town
To talk of taste and brew
Of blends, of size of leaf and strength
And Clippers overdue.

My mother's life was calling cards,
The dressmaker at Three,
Her streamer'd maid, her wee at-homes
And Pettigrews for tea,
Holidays at West Kilbride
And good works for the Poor,
Rustling silks and reticules
And anger at the Boer.
While mine was Nanny, wicker pram
And walking in the park...
Buttered toast and nursery games
In winter after dark,
My big hair bows and plimsoll shoes
My pinafores for Drill
And lessons at the Dame School, in
Park Circus up the hill.

So it seems I must have been
A bona-fied Glaswegian
With Charing Cross and Kelvingrove
My local city region...
But then I think, not using words
Like 'ben' and 'dreep' and 'stoor'
No closes, cludgies, peever-beds
And never being poor,
Made me not really true-bred stuff
The kind that played at HET
My pedigree was too West End
Far too Pan Loaf...and yet
There's maybe space for such as me
Like any other pleb
For ninety years another woof
In Glasgow's fankled web.

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Any other Pleb. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 29 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Any other Pleb." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Any other Pleb," accessed 29 May 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 231

Any other Pleb


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Word count 259

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 127
Forenames Anna
Surname Blair
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1920
Educational attainment College
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Teacher/author
Place of birth Giffnock
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Business
Father's place of birth Glasgow
Father's region of birth Glasgow
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Business
Mother's place of birth Glasgow
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Visits to France, correspondence
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes