FOREWORD BY SIR ALEX FERFUSSON
Former prison officer Bryan Glennie spent much of his career within the imposing Victorian walls of Craiginches Prison. Having lived and breathed the life of the prison up to his retirement, his account of the prison and prison life is both fascinating and well informed.
In CRAIGINCHES – Life in Aberdeen’s Prison, Bryan tells the stories behind history of this forbidding place: including the prison’s only hanging, rooftop riots, botched escapes, drug smuggling and how prisoners tried to brew their own beer in a dung heap. He also recalls being deployed to the special teams at Peterhead where in one particular riot he was hit by a flying toilet. And he was in Peterhead again when the SAS stormed D Wing to free a prison officer who was being held hostage.
Life in Craiginches had its glamorous side too. From Princess Anne to Robbie Shepherd, Billy McNeill, Ally MacLeod, Charlie Nicholas, Toyah Willcox, Dominic Kirwan, Evelyn Glennie and Andy Cameron, many have have a direct connection with the prison thanks to Bryan. Not to mention his very special relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson which has endured through the decades.
And as well as the long term prisoners who did their time and often reoffended soon after release, Bryan presents the other side of modern prison work and the efforts made to rehabilitate those who wanted to be helped, including work on a number of big projects when prisoners were taken outside to help instal walkways at the nature reserve at Burn O’Vat, clean up Balmedie Beach, help the Donmouth get Conservation status and even adopt a ward at Woodend Hospital.
This is a unique insight into prison life in Craiginches, showing both the difficulties and dangers that were a part of everyday life and the rewarding side of the job when inmates gave something positive back to society.
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