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Dear Green Place

It's ten years since Glasgow began its journey from "mean city" to "city of culture." But literary and media accounts of the city remain fixed on its rumbustious proletarian past, and its drugs-ridden present. Jeremy Clarke reports on what has become of the world's greatest Victorian city

By Jeremy Clarke   February 1996

It is peculiar how businessmen can contrive to appear businesslike even when naked. I was shown into a room full of nude executives when I went along to the Arlington Baths Club (est. 1871) one afternoon. They were lying around the arabesque warm room like a seal colony. As I entered, some of them looked up from their broadsheets to see if I was anyone of note, disguised the unfavourable verdict behind a mask of indifference, and returned to their newspapers.

The pool at the Arlington is referred to as the “pond.” It is said to be the oldest in…

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