My photographer friend Martin Shields posted this stunning image today, to mark the 77th birthday of George Parsonage, of the Glasgow Humane Society.

Martin says: "The picture is called 'Working Through Smoke' and was taken at the Riverside Museum.

"George had donated 12 oar planes and assorted tools to the Museum, and spent the day branding BP (his father's initials) on them, using the original branding iron used by his dad, Ben. The Museum has a 1920's branded moulding plane used in boat construction and owned by Ben. The picture was originally published in The Herald Saturday Magazine."

As a wee boy, I was privileged to meet Ben Parsonage - another legend on the river - and was delighted to discover he had a wind-up rowing boat toy that he used to play with in his bath, in the Glasgow Humane Society cottage on Glasgow Green.

In the 1950s, my late mum had taught George on the Glasgow Schools Summer Art Course, at Castle Toward, and she was delighted that he'd gone on to become an art teacher, combining that role with his duties on the river - she was very proud of 'her boys', as she always called them.

Back then, George gave myself and my big brother a tour of his riverside studio, full of wonderful sculptures he'd made with bits of old metal dragged from the Clyde. Aye, there's more to the man than rowing and saving lives.

I hope you'll join me in raising a glass to our own 'old man river', and say, 'Happy birthday, George'.

You can read more about George's remarkable life in this 2019 Herald feature, written by Jan Patience.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/18046880.george-parsonage-secret-life-man-pulled-1500-bodies-clyde/?fbclid=IwAR2I97TCQSSpB9CTfy5Qsagqs5gZdNSplkXa_uGAwyx7Aa_HvoTwOAZGv0w