We might live in a world where Google can answer all our burning questions and Whatsapp is always on hand when serious friend advice or intervention is needed, but sometimes the only person who can provide a much-needed different perception even on the most modern of problems is the matriarch who first went oot on the randan when the trams were still shooglin and spent holidays doon the watter long before you were even a speck of a possibility on the horizon. Glasgow grannies can be seen up and down Sauchiehall Street, oot fetching the messages and outdrinking their (grown up) weans nae bother. We asked a Glasgow granny for some much-needed advice on some problems that friends were having, and the results are inspiring to say the least.

‘Dear Glasgow granny, how do you get baked beans stains off a t-shirt?’

Kelvingrove Park, 1955 (Image C8132 – Virtual Mitchell Library Website)

‘Weel, if it’s a white shirt then ah’d bleach it oan the green. If ye haven’ae goat a green then mebbe borrow somewan else’s. If it’s nae a white shirt then the best hing wid be tae jist bleach the hale thing baked bean colour. Or gie it tae yer ma tae wash but be sure an ask nicely’.

(If it’s a white shirt, then bleach it outside on the lawn. If you haven’t got a lawn then perhaps you could borrow one. If it isn’t a white shirt then the best solution is simply to bleach the whole shirt the same colour as the stain. Or ask your mother for help, but make sure you ask very nicely.)

‘A wis up toon the ither weekend an ah may’ve gotten a wee bit mad wi’ it – ah chundered ootside the Garage an got KB’d for life. Whit can ah dae?’

(Having had a few too many last weekend, I may have vomited outside a well-known establishment and as a result, I am no longer permitted entry for the rest of my days. How can I remedy this?)

Women dancing at a party in Partick, c1955, The Virtual Mitchell

Weel, fur a start ye’ll need tae stoap drinkin so much cos ye’ll end up Nigel nae pals. Are thaur nae ither clubs in toon for ye tae go dancin? Awa n try those an’ try no tae be such a numpty the next time.

(First of all, don’t drink so much because your friends might just get tired of looking after you. Are there no other places for you to go for a night out? Go and see, and try not to be so silly next time.)

Dear Glasgow Granny, what is the secret to life-long happiness?

‘Story Time’ in Gorbals Public Library, c1933, The Virtual Mitchell

It’s affy simple really, jist treat ithers the way ye’d want tae be treated. Dinnae wash yer knickers and yer dishcloot tegither an try no tae boil yer cabbages twice. And dinnae send nudey snapchats like they folk oan Coronation Street. Aye, I ken all aboot whit you young folks get up tae nooadays!

(It’s very easy, just treat other people the way you want to be treated. Think about how you separate your clothes when you do a wash, and if possible, don’t make the same mistakes twice. And no rude snapchats like the people on Coronation Street! Mark my words, I’ve heard all about the silly things your generation gets up to!)

Dear Glasgow Granny, I am getting really worried about being unemployed/poor/a disappointment to my family. What should I do?

Horse-drawn ice-cream van, C Notorianni, c.1930, The Virtual Mitchell

Weel, ye ken whit they Italian Glesca grannies wid say? Que sera sera! An they’re right. Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye. We can do but oor best and yer family will see that. Just be sure and ask fer help when ye need it, and give them a hand when ye can an that’s all they can ask o ye really.

(Well, all the Italian grannies would say ‘whatever will be, will be’ and they’re right. What’s for you will not pass you by. All we can do is our best, and our families know that. Make sure you ask for help when you need it, help them out whenever you can, and that’s all they can ask of you)

Dear Glasgow Granny, I can never decide what to get my granny for her birthday. Do you have any suggestions?

the mitchells
My very own granny with the rest of the family.

Pay her a wee visit or take her oot fir her tea. By this time, us grannies have goat ahin we need. It’s the wee hings ‘at mean the most tae us now!

(Go and visit her, or take her out for dinner. Us grannies have everything we need now, so it’s the little things that mean the most!)