Edinburgh and Glasgow’s Rivarly Began Over Bread

scottish-plain-loaf-300x211It has been recently suggested that the centuries-long rivalry between Scotland’s capital and Scotland’s largest city all started over bread.

It seems to have begun in 1656 when the Glasgow town council spoke of their worries about the low quality of bread its local bakeries were producing, and two bakers from neighbouring Edinburgh cheekily offered to supply the city with their bread, claiming that it was made to a considerably greater standard. This irritated the Glaswegians and things became quite heated between the two cities.

University of St Andrews Professor and author of On Glasgow and Edinburgh, Robert Crawford, said: “The gloves were off and the jousting between Edinburgh and Glasgow had now begun.” Professor Crawford says that it is not uncommon for two of a country’s main cities to develop a rivalry, though there is something unique about the one between the east and west coast cities.
“In the English-speaking world, the rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow is foundational in that it precedes, and to some extent prefigures all other fully developed, long-standing urban rivalries – those between New York and Boston, Sydney and Melbourne, Toronto and Vancouver come later,” Crawford added.

Though fortunately, nowadays, any rivalry between Scotland’s two largest cities seems to be purely good-hearted, or even just a thing of the past.


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