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Glasgow University 1952 Beta Club

This website is intended principally for members of GU 1952 Beta Club.  Members of the Club may gain access to the private pages of the site by logging in.  Others are welcome to view the public pages and to contact the site administrator should they require additional information.

Beta Club members include all those (around 200) who entered Glasgow University Medical School in 1952.  In those days the undergraduate medical course lasted six years and consisted of two largely independent educational programmes – preclinical and clinical.  The preclinical component of the curriculum took place exclusively on the University campus at Gilmorehill.

The clinical component was conducted at venues across the city and beyond. The principal University teaching hospitals were Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries.  The black and white photographs below were taken by Annan Studios in Glasgow around the time Club members were starting their studies.

A far cry from today’s state-of-the-art, if architecturally less attractive, edifices  As well as the ‘gown’ there was, of course, the ‘town’.  For young medical students, the City of Glasgow was an exciting place in which to experience and enjoy what life had to offer.  The images of its places and its people are imprinted indelibly in our minds.  This was poignantly illustrated in 1998 following one of the Beta Club’s Reunions, in a poem by one of our members, the late John Spence

      Going Back 

Early, I saunter down Byres Road, remembering old days,
Old faces, voices, friends and names, not just of folk.
Cowcaddens, Hillhead, Stobcross, Broomielaw
(where cargo ships unloaded), Dobbie’s Loan.
Later, the people. Slowly, delighted, we pick up the threads,
Recapturing shared joys and worries – and a few regrets.
Good times, bad times, wild nights, hard days,
Catching up, connecting: ‘So that’s what happened!’
Bearsden, Milngavie, Drumchapel, Canniesburn.
Broken connections heal, mysteries are solved, or not,
Good feeling flows. Not all in sunshine, gradually
We hear of quiet tragedies. In every life…
Langside, Stobhill, Townhead, Kelvingrove,
Old well-loved buildings where we walked the wards,
Begin to learn – and question. Finding out:
Medicine and life, the joys and pains of youth.
Ibrox and Bellahouston; Pollockshields.
All with their memories. And the deaths of those
Remembered on the hill. Sunlit days, The Cobbler and Glencoe.
Tough days on Nevis. Lost on the Merrick, snow on the Mamores.
Tyndrum, Crianlarich, Fort William, nevermore.
But here and now we draw new strength from being together –
Only a short time, then part again. Five years, forever?
Glasgow Glesca Gleascu.
O dear green place of our growing up.

John Spence