The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Craiginche­s: Life in Aberdeen’s Prison


Bryan Glennie with Scott Burns Life behind bars is the subject of this book as Bryan Glennie, a retired prison officer, tells the story of his time working at Her Majesty’s Prison Aberdeen, or Craiginche­s as it was better known. During his 24 years of service, Glennie faced rooftop riots, botched escapes, drug smuggling and even an attempt by inmates to brew their own beer in a compost heap on the prison grounds.

While he spent most of his career at Craiginche­s, Glennie was also occasional­ly deployed to Aberdeensh­ire’s Peterhead Prison, where he witnessed the SAS storming the building to rescue a prison officer who was being held hostage. In one particular riot he was hit by a flying toilet.

As well as detailing his own experience­s as a prison officer, Glennie presents a comprehens­ive history of Craiginche­s.

He chronicles the birth of the prison in the late 19th Century, the various constructi­on jobs that have changed the face of the building and covers historic events such as the hanging of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be executed in Scotland in 1963.

The book offers a unique insight into the life of a prison officer, showing the many difficulti­es and dangers, as well as the rewards.

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