JAMES COWAN – THE FIRST URBAN PROWLER
The following is the first part of the introduction to James Cowan’s book “From Glasgow’s Treasure Chest”.
“During the course of busy office life, the disturbing thought had frequently occurred to me, that time was slipping away in a daily round which, though no doubt useful enough as contribution to the welfare of the community at large, and to myself and family as a means of livelihood, was nevertheless somewhat uneventful, and lacking in the qualities necessary to give it any special distinction as a man’s life – work. At first there seemed to be no way of altering this ; but on further consideration an idea began to take shape, which promised to help matters.
For some time, I had been taking note of, and writing paragraphs about, things of interest in and around the city of Glasgow, which were usually overlooked by the majority of citizens, though they could have been seen by them just as easily as me ; but most people did not either have the time, or did not care to take the trouble to realise the interest or even in some cases the beauty of these things.
The possibility of extending my activities in this way had occasionally crossed my mind ; but supposed lack of time had always been a deterrent. In due course however, I began to realise that full use was not being made of such time as there actually was at my own disposal while in the city. This consisted of the daily break for lunch, extending at most to about an hour and a half. My feeling was that something better could be done with this time than to fritter it away sitting in a tearoom or restaurant.
Surely in such an interval, short as it was, it would be possible to go further into many of those things of interest I had noticed about the city, and make more of them than just fleeting paragraphs to be carelessly treated and forgotten. On considering what I had already done, it seemed as if I had opened a treasure chest belonging to Glasgow, and brought to light things which should interest all citizens ; and that in this treasure - chest there still must be an almost inexhaustible store of such things to be discovered and examined. I therefore decided to extend my explorations in the city as much as time permitted ; and in this way “Peter Prowler” was born in my mind. His advent being favourably received by the Literary Editor of Glasgow Evening Citizen, Peter lost no time in setting out on his travels.”
Last edited by Socceroo
on Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.