Robert Douglas

(born 1939 - ) - Glasgow

Robert Douglas

Douglas Robert is a memoirist and novelist, originally from Maryhill in Glasgow. He left school aged 15, and joined the boys' service of the RAF following the death of his mother in 1954. In 1962 he became a prison officer in Birmingham, where had , Moors murderer Ian Brady and gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kay were under his care. In 1988 he wrote a story for the Bristol Evening Post about the last days of the death penalty in the UK; a neighbour encouraged him to continue to write.

Douglas Robert was 66 when his first volume of memoirs, Night Song of the Last Tram, was published in 2005. The first volume covered his childhood in Glasgow, and its sequel, Somewhere to Lay My Head, discussed his time in the RAF. The final volume in the series, At Her Majesty's Pleasure, covered his work as a prison officer. After his memoirs were published, Douglas turned to fiction with the novels Whose Turn for the Stairs? and Staying On Past the Terminus, set in a fictional Glasgow tenement in Maryhill.

He retired in 1995, intending to paint, and instead wrote his memoirs and novels. He lives in Corbridge near Hexham with his second wife Patricia, and has two adult children.

  • Cover scan of Last Dance At The Wrecker's Ball
    Last Dance At The Wrecker's Ball
    Robert Douglas - Hardback - Hachette Scotland
    Glasgow, 1971. The old way of life is under threat for the tight-knit community in Dalbeattie Street, Maryhill. The shadow of the wrecker's ball looms large over their homes, and they must face the choice of moving to a new estate or dispersing throughout the city.
  • Cover scan of Night Song Of The Last Tram
    Night Song Of The Last Tram: A Glasgow Childhood
    Robert Douglas - Paperback - Hodder
    Growing up in Glasgow both during and after the Second World War, Robert Douglas's life was blighted by the cruel - if sporadic - presence of his father, yet blessed by the love of his mother. In this book he recalls his upbringing, along with his memories of a city which has changed in many ways.
  • Cover scan of Somewhere To Lay My Head
    Somewhere To Lay My Head
    Robert Douglas - Paperback - Hodder
    The next chapter in Robert Douglas's remarkable life story picks up from the bestselling 'Night Song of the Last Tram'. We follow his escape from the Forces (until National Service a few years later), and his return to Glasgow and life down the pit.
  • Cover scan of Staying On Past The Terminus
    Staying On Past The Terminus
    Robert Douglas - Hardback - Hachette Scotland
    Glasgow 1961. It is ten years since we last visited the close at 18 Dalbeattie Street in Maryhill. The stalwarts are still there: Ella, Drena, Rhea and 'Granny' Thomson. Irma the German war bride speaks fluent Scots nowadays. Well, 'Fluent' if you were brought up in the same close as the Broons and Oor Wullie.
  • Cover scan of Whose Turn For The Stairs?
    Whose Turn For The Stairs?
    Robert Douglas - Paperback - Hachette Scotland
    This is a story about 12 families and their tightly knit street in 1950s Maryhill. Following the end of the war, the close rebuilds its ties and the strong sense of community and friendly neighbourhood bonds are soon back in place. Yet all is not well in their world.