The threat of being sent to Maggie Murphy’s will ring some bells for many who grew up in Glasgow.

The supposed owner of a home for bad and unruly children, Maggie was said to be a cruel elderly woman – who wasn’t afraid to hand out punishments. The tale had many forms depending on what your parents or granny felt like telling you, and she’s not the only threat that was handed out to kids.

After an outburst, many of us will remember mum reaching for the phone as she warned: “I’m phoning Maggie”.

Just the mention of her name was enough to keep you in good form for the rest of the week, or until the next time Maggie came up again. When the ultimatum was brought up in the Lost Glasgow Facebook page, it rang a bell with locals.

These weans probably went home to the threat of packing their bags to head to Maggie’s (Image: Robert Blomfield)

Isabel Jones commented: “We were always told Maggie Murphy would take us away if we were naughty.”

Ian Petrie asked: “What about Maggie Murphy’s home for bad boys, does it have a basis in reality?”

The truth is, the threat had no basis in reality. It was never a real place, though if you know the roots of Maggie Murphy let us know in the comments.

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Maggie Murphy has a physical presence in the city in the naming of a café on Bath Lane, which we’re sure is much more pleasant.

If being sent to live with a scary elderly lady failed, another common threat came in the form of Rose’s Home.

The former men’s lodging house on Burns Street was in a dilapidated state by the mid 20th century, and being sent to live there would’ve been no field day. The structure has since been demolished, so kids these days probably won’t take the threat too seriously.

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Discussing Rose’s Home, Nikki Muir recalled: “I was told I’d be sent to Rose’s Home for strays. Never realised it was a real place.”

Tracy Livingstone agreed: “My mum used to say this to me when I misbehaved, never knew what it was but I was terrified.”

If Maggie Murphy wasn’t working, and Rose’s Home failed – there was always the tale of Hairy Toes to fall back on. As the legend goes, a young girl out in a field found a big potato that seemed to have hair on it.

"Nothing to see here." (Image: Daily Record)
“Nothing to see here.” (Image: Daily Record)

Curious at what she’d found, she brought it home. Later that night, Hairy Toes knocked at her door looking for his toe – a giant who ate children.

Weren’t ready for school in the morning? Hairy Toes will get you. Wouldn’t eat your greens? Here comes Hairy Toes.

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