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...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Gilcomston Tramp Part II

Now this particular tramp is a proper tramp. This is what I'm aiming for with this site. Not just your average begging-bloke-and-a-blanket. I think I should make a distinction. I'm not really interested in character-free beggars. Just Characters.

I like him. He's always there. Most of the time you pass he looks blearily at you and may even give a wee nod.

Mainly, he is always there... I think he's always been there! I bet in these books of old photos of Aberdeen that you buy for your dad roundabout Christmas time from the Press and Journal shop, there's a photo from 1941. The same guy. Sitting on the steps with a wee drink, doffing his flat cap.

If he's not on the church steps, he'll be a bit further up (sometimes up to the traffic lights or down to the banks. More often or not, you'll see him though.

Sometimes if I walk past and he's not there... I get worried and hope he's ok and just off buying some more drink and hasn't gone to the great cardboard box in the sky...

Now Gilcomston Church opened again on Sunday after its refurbishments. Hopefully they'll let him stay when he's not in the way. As you can see, he's made himself really comfy!

posted by Aberdeen Tramps | Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Blogger Danny said...

hello just passing by and while i'm not sure whether i find your blog to quite patronising. what i will say however is that a website dedicated to aberdeen tramps is a novel idea if nothing else.

December 10, 2004  
Blogger Aberdeen Tramps said...

Hiya Danny!

Don't want to be patronising... Hence the wee disclaimer thingie at the top. I just like the recognisable people of aberdeen !

I think I might allow myself a bit of sarcasm though ;)

December 10, 2004  
Blogger Danny said...

maybe i was being a wet liberal when i posted that comment! i still not sure but i do like your site, its certainly original for one thing, also its always good to see an aberdeen based blog...

December 13, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a lawyering man, my colleagues and I often cross paths with the ladies and gentlemen of the road.

One of them had the good fortune to represent the Gilcomston Tramp a few years back. Normally a law abiding tramp, he had got himself into some meths fuelled incident. Luckily, this gave us the chance to learn a little bit of info about his background.

Originally from South Africa he grew up in the mining towns and as a young lad ran errands for the miners, often fetching their lunchtime beers. In exchange he would receive a few cans of beer himself. By the age of eight, he was an alcoholic. Despite this (or perhaps because of it) he joined the South African Army when old enough. However, he was invalided out after being blown up in a tank. He still lives off the pension to this day which funds his prestigious intake of drink. At the time of being assessed by the Social Work Dept for his court case, he was getting through the equivalent of 280 units of alcohol a week (I kid you not - I saw the report) which was the highest ever recorded by the Alcohol Advisory and Counselling Service in the North East.

I also have fond memeories of the famous Tramp Trial at Aberdeen District Court about ten years ago. An overenthusiatic rookie cop had made the schoolboy error of attempting to arrest a group of gentlemen fighting over a bottle of super strength cider. He ended up with them all lined up against the wall of the alley to the plaintive cries of "You canna arrest me, I'm an alcoholic!"

Seven of them ended up the dock for a Breach of the Peace although the trial was eventually abandoned by the prosecution but not before one of the accused had fallen out of the dock after a refreshing liquid lunch.

May 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often walk past him and he seems to have a large amount of "liquid" seeping from his person.

In my head I try and convince myself its only spilt White Lightning, but in my heart of hearts I just know it's urine.

He seems to have a wide variety of clothing and I've often admired the way he's turned out. Unfortunately the look is somewhat spoilt by the puddles of pish he's usually sitting in. Although saying that it could be part of the new Vivienne Westwood collection, so I'll give the boy the benefit of doubt.

September 15, 2005  
Blogger Aberdeen Tramps said...

Really impressed at finding out so much about one of our most trampy tramps :D Cheers folks!

(I don't mean finding out about his smell of wee...)

September 16, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cheers for the background on Aberdeen's very own crusty buddha.

The thing about him often sitting in a big pool of his own piss is very true, unfortunately. Still, better his than somebody elses.

September 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been pointed out to me that said tramp who sits in a puddle of his own piddle, looks like a cross between Shadrack Dingle and the lion from Wizard of Oz. Is he secretly an out of work actor?

October 25, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i used to stay round the corner, just off rose street.

one night, about 2 years ago, the missus and myself were walking up union street, and there he was, face down in the street, blood pouring out of his head. he'd presumably taken a "heid first" into the steps, so we called an ambulance.

at first they refused to turn up saying they'd already been out and he'd refused treatment, but after nagging them for about ten minutes, they eventually relented, and sent one out. predictably, this took about half an hour to arrive, what with head injuries now presumably no longer considered dangerous by an NHS24 world.

he was out for the count, so they plonked him onto the stretcher (or trolley, or whatever) and plonked him into the ambulance. we didn't see him again for ages.

about a fortnight later, we were getting worried about him, and then, wandering down union street, we saw him, sitting on his familiar perch. inexplicably though, he seemed, well, sober.

not living in aberdeen anymore, i don't get the chance to see him, but my wife used to chat away to him quite often, and i'm glad to see he was still hanging in there at the time of the last post.

hope he enjoys the carols this year.

November 30, 2005  
Blogger Neighbour of Teh Hoors! said...

I often get concerned about him being there. Sometimes he vanishes for a bit and you think "oh no. He's gone to the big doorstep in the sky" - but then he re-appears and the world is at one with itself again.

Yay Gilc Tramp!

April 22, 2006  
Blogger Lord Lucifer said...

he is in fact called ronald mckenzie, wounded ex soldier and banned from large portions of the city centre. check out reports at the evening express if you don't believe me. just type his name and search.

January 20, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always admired the Gilc tramp's honesty. I walked past him one day and he asked “You got a spare £20 quid?” Slightly aghast at the amount he requested I replied that I “had no money on me” “Join the feckin club” was his answer. Truly and Aberdeen legend.

May 26, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronald 'Ross' Mckenzie

Had a stroke a couple of years ago, now in a wheelchair living in smithfield court. Loving life getting drunk everyday and being in sheltered housing.

January 25, 2011  

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