An Insider’s Guide to Glasgow

Posted in Association of British Neurologists Trainees on 12th Mar 2013


Ed Newman / Paul Gallagher

Edward Newman is a SCREDS Clinical Lecturer in Neurology at University of Glasgow. He has a clinical and research interest in movement disorders. He is also actively involved in medical education. He is currently the deputy ABNT Treasurer.

Paul Gallagher is an ST4 Neurology Registrar at the Institute of Neurological Sciences in Glasgow. After completing his undergraduate and Foundation years in Glasgow, he subsequently trained in New Zealand and Newcastle (UK), before returning to his hometown in 2011. He hopes to pursue his interest in Epilepsy in the future.

Correspondence to:
Edward Newman

ABN Annual Meeting, 21st-24th May

The ABN annual meeting will be held in Glasgow in May. It has been 10 years since the last Glasgow ABN and we thought you might appreciate a few tips to help get the most out of your brief visit.

A wee bit of background

Glasgow has always adapted to the times, changing from a hugely important trading port to a powerhouse of the industrial revolution. More recently Glasgow’s economy has shifted from manufacturing, most famously in its shipyards, to a more service-based economy. These days Glasgow is renowned for its culture, student life, football, and architecture, notably its red and blonde sandstone tenements. Glasgow is also busy preparing to host the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Glasgow has provided more than its fair share of innovation within science and economics. Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is proud of such alumni as Joseph Black, Lord Kelvin, James Watt and Adam Smith. Landmarks within medicine such as the first surgical procedure performed under sterile conditions (Joseph Lister, 1865), the pioneering of diagnostic ultrasound (Ian Donald, 1958), and the development of a clinical score for assessing coma (Graeme Teasdale and Bryan Jennett, 1974), all took place within Glasgow.

The neurological hub for the West of Scotland lies within the Institute of Neurological Sciences (INS), at the Southern General Hospital. This regional unit provides neurological care to 2.2 million Scots and boasts 48 consultants across neurology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology and neuroradiology. In addition to being a productive clinical unit Glasgow is currently the lead centre for the following studies: Parkinson’s Repository of Networked Datasets (PRoBaND), Pilot Investigation of Stem Cells in Stroke (PISCES) and International Guillain-Barre Outcome Study (IGOS).

Getting about

The ABN will be held at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) and this is easily accessible from all transport hubs. It is 15-20 minutes by taxi from Glasgow Airport and 10 minutes by taxi from the city centre. The SECC has its own train station and relevant timetables can be found at Glasgow boasts a subway system that was built in 1896, but this remains a slightly limited way of navigating the city. Subway and bus timetables can be found at and

What to see

It is definitely worth exploring the city’s West end, located 1.5 miles from the SECC. At the centre of this area is the University of Glasgow and you will find a mix of stylish independent shops, parks, and excellent bars, cafes and restaurants. At the meeting local neurologists will gladly make recommendations and point you in the right direction.

A hop on/hop off open-top bus tour of Glasgow is an excellent way to see the city and can be organised through

Glasgow has some great museums. One recent and exciting addition is the Riverside Museum, designed by multi-award winning Zaha Hadid. This is only half a mile walk from the SECC and also looks out on to the Clyde. It houses an impressive transport and maritime collection and has the Glenlee, a 19th Century tall ship, moored outside. The ABN Gala dinner will be held within the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This arresting building houses a particularly diverse collection of natural history and art pieces, and includes Dali’s Christ of Saint John of the Cross.

The Hunterian Museum, housed within Glasgow University’s main building, is Scotland’s oldest public museum and has scientific and cultural exhibits including ‘Whistler’s Mother’ and much Charles Rennie Mackintosh design.  Away from the West End, the Gallery of Modern Art exhibits sculpture and installations in an impressive neoclassical edifice in the city centre. The Burrell Collection in the Southside of Glasgow has extensive Egyptian, medieval and Roman displays.


Cloisters, Glasgow University©Imaginative Lens Photography

Glasgow vernacular

Glaswegians speak fast and, like much of the UK, have a unique accent and patois.  For those of you wishing to converse with the natives here are a selection of words and phrases that may be unfamiliar:

‘Wheesht’ – be quiet

‘Gaun yersel’ –well done, I approve of your actions

‘Eejit’ – idiot

‘Motor’ – car

‘Ginger’ – soft drink

‘Greeting’ – crying

‘Glaikit’ – vague, detached (adjective frequently employed by witnesses of absence seizures)

‘Jaky’ – dishevelled person (cf. ‘Shaky Jaky’ refers to such an individual in midst of alcohol withdrawal symptoms)

Themes of this year’s ABN include headache, functional movement disorders and the potential role of stem cell therapies in neurological disease. The preliminary programme looks varied and stimulating and we look forward to seeing you there.


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