A statute with a traffic cone on its head

Glasgow, like all very old cities, has quite a few statues in its public squares and other places. However, while most Glaswegians probably can’t name many, if any, of the statues in George Square (the main square in front of the City Chambers – the magnificent Council [local government] offices), just about everyone knows the statue of the Duke of Wellington (the famous British soldier, politician and Prime Minister) seated on his horse, in Royal Exchange Square.

The statue of the Duke is in front of the Gallery of Modern Art. When you come to study at Glasgow School of English, you will have the opportunity to go to see the modern art in this Gallery and when you do make sure you have a look at this statue.

The reason why everyone in Glasgow knows this statue is because it has, for many years, had a traffic cone on the head of the Duke. Originally put there as a joke, it’s now regarded as an essential part of the statue and if it’s ever removed then it’s soon replaced.

A few years ago, the Council decided that they would raise the plinth (the block on which the statue sits) a few feet so that no-one would be able to get the cone back on the Duke’s head. The Glaswegians were not pleased and the Council changed its mind! However, as this video shows, it’s not easy to get the cone up there!

Three more things you need to know about Glasgow

Link sausages on a grill

In our last blog we told you about three things you need to know about Glasgow before you come here to study with Glasgow School of English. Here are three more important things that it’s worth knowing about our city.

East is east but west isn’t west

The first of these is a bit silly!  Every Glasgow area to the east of the city centre is the east end, but not every area to the west is the west end. Ask your teacher and he or she will explain!


Glasgow is a fantastic place for shopping. The city centre (downtown) is usually listed in third place in the UK shopping charts, behind London and Manchester. However, in Glasgow, the majority of shops are very close together, around Argyle StreetBuchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. There are lots of buses into the city centre and there are two underground stations right in the middle of the town. You’ll find everything you might want!

Fizzy juice , lemonade and sausages

In Glasgow fizzy juice/lemonade is called “ginger.” Don’t ask us why, it just is! We also call a sausage sandwich “a piece and links.” This is different from a hot dog.  A piece is a sandwich, of any type. Links (see picture) are sausages (sausages are usually “linked” together in a string of sausages). However, just to confuse you, we also have square sausage, which is what is says – a square sausage! If you don’t eat meat, you can also get vegetarian link sausages.