A marvel of good health and vigour in her nineties, “Jenny” MacCormick, last of Glasgow’s theatre landladies, died a few days before her 97th birthday. Always cheery, loving life and people, she was the third generation of a dynasty of women who offered food and lodgings to theatrical performers arriving in Glasgow for a week of opera, variety or drama.
In the first half of last century, her mother and grandmother ran theatrical digs enjoyed by many fine old-timers – Flanagan and Allen among them – who played the Pavilion, King’s, Empire, Alhambra and Theatre Royal in Glasgow. “Good food and lovely warm coal fires in every room,” was the recommendation passed on by actors, singers and comedians to their fellow-artists.
Mrs MacCormick’s homely big house on the hill above Sauchiehall Street was recommended by an ever-growing circle of theatre people in every dressing-room in the British Isles. When the Five-past Eight revue brought star names to Glasgow in the 1960s, Lionel Blair and Fay Lenore were among dozens of performers who took up residence at her lodgings in 20 Buccleuch Street.
“Jenny,” loved by all, enjoyed life in recent years with her daughter Morag at their home in Gourock, looking across to the hills of the Clyde valley. She had been in top form, active as ever beside the television, cheering on Andy Murray to win at Wimbledon, when she suffered a stroke. Born on July 21, 1913, she died on July 3.
She was a remarkable Scottish lady whose laughter and interest in the world and people made her a friend to all, and not only to all the busy theatricals she helped with hospitable, well-run lodgings in a happier era.
She is survived by her son Neil and daughter Morag.