Justice Done at Springburn parkrun

I wasn’t planning to do a parkrun on the 10th September but the heavy rainfall on Friday afternoon put paid to my original plan and around 8:30am, I decided to return to Springburn parkrun. Until recently, this great wee event at the top of Glasgow has been something of a hidden gem, attracting sometimes as few as nineteen runners. However the word is out now and recent attendances have been up to around, and above, the one hundred mark.  Some 97 of us turned up on Saturday and it was good to see so many running buddies amongst them.

Having ran in the first Springburn parkrun in May 2014 and then the 51st in May 2015, I was overdue a visit to the north of the city and of course, my dog, Jack was guaranteed a course best.

The route has been slightly altered since last year and the Start is quite narrow, so I found myself harnessed to Jack near the front of the assembled runners as Belinda Porteous sent us on our way. The downside of starting near the front is that we had to get into race mode straight away and I ended up running faster than I had really wanted to and the first kilometre took us only 3:55. We both had a hard training session on Friday and I had consumed too much red wine in the evening. We ran through a few puddles and then worked hard up the long slope back to the house and the end of the first lap. Same again and then a right turn took us down the final strait and across the line in fourteenth spot, with a time of 20:32. Twenty-nine seconds off of last year’s time delighted me, especially as I recall how happy I was then to get close to the 21 minute barrier. That barrier is now well gone.

Full Results

I exchanged mutual congratulations with those around me and had a wee warm down before heading back to the car to give jack a bowl of water. The boy had done good. I joined the others in the cafe at Huntershill for post run coffee and chat.

thomas-muir-bust-by-alexander-stoddart

Bust of Thomas Muir by Alexander Stoddart

Huntershill is synonymous with Thomas Muir, the father of Scottish Democracy who somehow or other was omitted from my education until I heard Dick Gaughan singing a song by Adam McNaughton entitled Thomas Muir of Huntershill.  The brilliance of the lyrics are typical of the former English Teacher.

My name is Thomas Muir as a lawyer I was trained
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
But you’ve branded me an outlaw, for sedition I’m arraigned
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
But I never preached sedition in any shape or form
And against the constitution I have never raised a storm
It’s the scoundrels who’ve corrupted it that I want to reform
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

M’lord, you found me guilty before the trial began
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
And the jury that you’ve picked are Tory placemen to a man
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill
Yet here I stand for judgement unafraid what may befall
Though your spies were in my parish Kirk and in my father’s hall
Not one of them can testify I ever broke a law
Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Yes, I spoke to Paisley weavers and addressed the city’s youth
For neither age nor class should be a barrier to the truth
M’lord, you may chastise them with your vitriolic tongue
You say that books are dangerous to those I moved among
But the future of our land is with the workers and the young                                                           Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Members of the jury, it’s not me who’s being tried
200 years in future they will mind what you decide
You may send me to Van Dieman’s Land or clap me in the jail
Grant me death or grant me liberty my spirit will not fail
For my cause it is a just one and my cause it will prevail                                                                     Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

With quiet words and dignity Muir led his own defence
He appeared completely blameless to those with common sense
When he had finished speaking the courtroom rang with cheers
Lord Braxfield said, “This outburst just confirms our greatest fears”
And he sentenced Thomas Muir to be transported 14 years                                                                 Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

Gerrard, Palmer, Skirving, Thomas Muir and Margarot                                                                            These are names that every Scottish man and woman ought to know
When you’re called for jury service, when your name is drawn by lot
When you vote in an election when you freely voice your thought
Don’t take these things for granted, for dearly were they bought                                                     Remember Thomas Muir of Huntershill

There’s few that deliver it as well as Dick Gaughan, even after his recent stroke. Here’s a video of him performing the great song a number of years ago:  Thomas Muir of Huntershill

 

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