Up, up and away with Helicopter Haggerty

1st November 1996 at 00:00
As double acts go, it would be hard to beat the unlikely combination of geography teacher Ann Glen, Hamilton College, and Eddie Haggerty, formerly with Strathclyde Police's helicopter division.

First paired at last year's conference of the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers, a return visit was begged for at this year's shindig at Strathclyde University.

Glen's pre-emptive apology that Haggerty might have to leave the room without warning owing to severe bouts of what she euphemistically described as "Third World syndrome" (later discovered to have been caused by some extremely dodgy chicken in an Indian restaurant the night before) set the tone for the succeeding 40 minutes. A case of "an inspector answering the call".

The GlenHaggerty double-act served as a backdrop to a stunning collection of aerial photographs taken during the inspector's previous incarnation as a roving eye in the sky above Glasgow.

Did you know, for example, that Hillhead High resembles nothing so much as a swastika when seen from on high? Or that a helicopter offers an absolutely amazing view of the pyrotechnics that ensue when younger inhabitants of Possilpark take it into their heads to "torch" an abandoned car? This traditional event, Haggerty revealed, is affectionately known as a "Possilpark barbie" to those locals who wish to hurry along the tea.

Jotter also discovered how the famous spread of football pitches at Cardonald became known as "the 50 pitches". It was, as the aerial photograph so stunningly revealed, because there were - er, around 16 pitches actually.

Nor could we let the occasion pass without recording Haggerty's unique interpretation of the phrase "sharing a taxi". In certain areas of Glasgow one partner takes the wheels, the other the engine.

Finally, we can exclusively reveal, one of the most useful things about being married to a policeman, especially one in a helicopter, is that you can check up with your husband how many spaces are left in St Enoch's car park before setting off for Marks and Spencer.

The association is currently considering the co-production of a slide package based on both presentations. Why not make it an audio-visual bundle and get the double act as well. If schools don't buy it, Channel 4 might.

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