Milngavie is famous for two pretty impressive things. First, it was the
location in 1930 of a futuristic monorail invented by Bennie (the guy
with the woolly hat out of Crossroads, if you remember). Second, around
1950, the regulars in one of its pubs got something of a shock when an
elephant tried to get in.
George Bennie was the monorail chap. His invention was way before its
time and consisted of a bullet-shaped carriage propelled by a
propeller. It was thought the thing could achieve speeds of 120mph.
Unfortunately the length of track was not long enough for this to be
proved, no one wanted to invest any money, and the whole project was
In 1949 a new zoo was opened up in the nearby Craigend Estate. Amongst
the many attractions in this short-lived venture (Milngavie, it seems,
is full of short-lived ventures) was Big Charlie - the largest elephant
in captivity. His mahout would take him into town of an evening, tie him
up, and pop into a pub for a drink. Well, seemingly he was taking too
Big Charlie got impatient, and in trying to remove his
from the premises managed to get himself stuck in
door of the
That's my sort of elephant.