My friend Mary McGoldrick McIntosh died on 1st December, 2001. We were friends almost all our lives and first met when we went to St Mary’s Primary School at the age of 5. We lived in each other’s pockets throughout our youth and after a taste of hitch hiking in Europe in 1966 we headed down to London. Mary was leaving Scotland to study librarianship and her mum was not willing to let her go on her own so we went together. It may have been the swinging sixties in London but our first home was in a convent in Hampstead. We were both enthralled.
(This is Mary – a young wife living in the high rise in Kennington, South London in the early 70’s).
Mary remained in London – the city that she loved with a passion and I returned to Scotland. Mary was the eldest of nine children and the family lived in Mount Blow in Clydebank. However, gradually members of the McGoldrick Clan gravitated towards Brixton where Mary lived in Ducie Street, initally with her husband Alex McIntosh and later with her partner John Williams. Theresa, Catherine and Chris all live a stone’s throw from Ducie Street as does her niece Kate Cassidy.
They are all going to miss Mary an awful lot. Mary was crazy about them and the rest of her family Elizabeth, Anne, Jim, John and Philip and her nieces and nephews Chrissie, Iain, Calum and Andrew.
(Mary was a keen traveller and made many friends on her trips to Slovenia and New York. This photograph is from one of her first trips to Majorca in the 70’s – sporting a sun-dress made by her sister Theresa).
Although she loved going abroad Mary also loved her native Scotland and completed the West Highland Way along with her father and Alex in 1983. The photo is taken in Glen Nevis.
There is no denying Mary could be a liability – she got me into many a scrape. She was reckless, adventurous, dramatic, passionate and liked to party. She was also intelligent, wonderfully kind and very clever. During her short illness she showed incredible bravery and the most touching courtesy towards the nursing staff. She loved life and lived it to the full and sometimes on the edge. Occasionally you got the worse of Mary but much more often you got the very, very best.
(This great photograph of Mary was taken on a holiday to Amsterdam in 1984. Looking fabulous in her 30’s with her hair cut short).
She loved to visit New York and Venice and had some great holidays. Last year she spent 4 weeks on her own in Naples and took a trip to Greece with her sister Catherine. She also frequently visited Slovenia, where she made lots of friends including her great friend Peter. She often returned to her hometown Clydebank and was proud of her father’s shipbuilding roots. Mary loved visiting us in the West End and was here recently with her sister Theresa for an aunt’s funeral. We did not know then that her own funeral was soon to come. Strangely enough Mary had us all well prepared as the topic of her funeral was something she enjoyed talking about. Nothing morbid about this just that Mary loved the idea of celebration.
There is no way I could ever forget Mary and I expect her to be in my thoughts every day. I will also think often about her funeral so lovingly and diligently planned by her sisters and brothers to reflect her wishes. It was truly a wonderful celebration of her life and I am sure Mary was directing the whole proceedings. Only she could have had both a Glasgwegian and an American priest concelebrate her requiem mass. Her friends and family came from around the world and paid fine tribute to her.
Just as she wanted there was a great party afterwards at Ducie Street in Brixton. The house was filled with flowers, chat, champagne and the music of Van Morrison. Just like always – but not quite.
This lovely photograph of Mary was taken in Paros in Greece in 1979. She loved this island and myself and my sons Michael and John met up with Mary and Alex there the following year. Some of my happiest times have been spent in Mary’s company.
(This photograph was taken in 1995 when Mary was in holiday in the Loire Valley with her sisters and niece Kate, who was 18 that year. Most of the McGoldrick family holidays were Mary’s projects including the famous 3 week long holiday when the whole family went to the South of France).
This section: People: Local Glasgow West End Characters
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