Welcome to Aberdeen Tramps and Ither Weel Kent Fowk! Make yourself comfy on that park bench, grab your bottle of Buckfast and find out who's hot and who's not in the ever-changing world of the vomit encrusted streets of Aberdeen!

Street Entertainers will be recognised at last!
Religious Fanatics outside Markies will know someone is listening!
And our colourful tramps will no longer be forgotten!

Join me in my fond remeniscence of The Granite City's most colourful characters and street entertainers - for I'm sure you'll all agree a good political rant or a singing tramp is as worthy of a cheering crowd as the best buskers...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Propane Pete

Aberdeen University used to collect what I can only describe as "Characters." And I'm not particularly talking about the lecturers or the students...

Next to the Auld Toon Cafe (excellent pies!)in about 1993, where the Union Shop is now, there was a shop. It was never open. Indeed, it didn't appear to actually sell anything. The shop window was full of begonias though.


The Begonia Shop now.

And in the doorway of the Begonia Shop stood Propane Pete. As with many of the "characters" round Old Aberdeen, he was rumoured to have been an ex soil science student. My sincerest apologies to the Aberdeen Universtiy Soil Science department. It was not me that labelled you this way.

Propane Pete, or as he was also known, Butane Billy, was a sniffer of substances. See the wit of his name there? Glue... Mr Sheen... You name it. He also used to beg for money. He started off the usual way. *sniffffffff* *puts hand out for money* *sniiiiifffffff* *Puts hand out for money*

He was part of the High Street furniture. However. Things began to get interesting! Oh yes indeed.

For Propane Pete then began to use PROPS.

It started off with some drumsticks he'd picked up from somewhere. He'd bang them together or against the window of the Begonia Shop in a not totally unpleasing way. *ratatatta tat* *snifffffff* *hand out for money*

Then came the trumpet. It was a battered old thing. Like the kind of thing you'd polish and the Genii of the Trumpet would come out and obey your every command. I recall he only ever managed to get one note out of it. Nevertheless it was most entertaining.

*Toooooooottt!* *sniffffff* *Hand out for money* *toooooooot* *hand out for money*

Occasionally he'd just stamp about for money. Possibly this was dancing. I'm not sure. One time he chased some random guy up the street crying "That man is a paedophile!!!" Then he realised he'd left his solvent of choice behind and stopped mid-street with a look of panic on his face. He slunk back to his spot and went back to sniffing and begging.

Sadly, the time came when the Union Shop's opening forced him away from his spot of choice.

I'm delighted to report that his entertaining career was not at this point over! For but a couple of years ago I spotted him up Harriet Street (round the back of Boots and the Bon Accord Centre). And he had a NEW PROP!

He had an old fashioned gramophone. AND he had an old 78 of THE CHARLESTON!!!

And boy did he dance... I'm just so sad I can't portray his skills at the Charleston merely by typing into a blog. Suffice to say it was *shuffle* *scamper* *skip* *sniiiffffff* *hand out for money* *big grin* *flap* *point at crowd* *wink* *shuffle* *skip* *sniiiifffff*

You get the idea.

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Monday, January 17, 2005


5 Comments:

Blogger lost said...

Aye, that's the Glue Sniffer, Davie! As I said, a friend of mine used to try and look after him, but to no avail.
Davie did write him a very kind thank you note, and quoted a Biblical proverb about hospitality too! Perhaps he was trying to imitate all those mental Romantic poets who used to smoke dope and opium in the 18th century? Who knows? But it just shows you, appearances can be deceptive - the man had a brain, a refined one, he just chose to pickle it with stimulants. Pity.

January 17, 2005  
Anonymous The Tree Mannie said...

"Davie Glue" has been doing his thing for at least 16 years. I used to see him when I went to Uni from '89 to '92. Seriously messed up guy but a damn sight more lovable than yer man Dow!

September 08, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember propane pete.

September 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Propane Pete or "Sid" as we used to call him following the British Gas adverts... The first time I encountered him, he had an old guitar which he used to play quite badly. He then traded this in for a tuba, on which he was worse. My friends and I used to piss ourselves laughing at his attempts to mimic the mating calls of the Walrus outside the Taylor Building. What a loon!

April 20, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember Davie, when i went to the uni from 93 - 97. Yup, he had a brain. i had a few chats with him, he told me a few times, when high on various vapours, that he was none other than David, the King of Israel. I know he went to prison for a couple of weeks once, when he came out he seemed quite sorted, but he quickly went back to the glue again. He was never a student at the uni, an old chap Alfie (now deceased) who lived on the high street and got a uni degree in his old age, told me that he was Davie's music teacher at school, and though Davie was a bright chap he didn't go to uni. I often wonder what became of Davie. Does anybody know if he is still alive? I like to think he is still alive, and happier, somewhere.

September 24, 2006  

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