Harry Glassblower

Long-term phantophiles will be sad to hear of the passing of Harry Glassborrow AKA Glassblower, a man who forty years ago made us smile today with his antics as hospital porter in the Dreadnought Hospital.

Aided and abetted by his friend and fellow porter Gerald Dodd, Harry loved to lark around, dressing up in whatever was available, messing about on bikes, pulling faces and generally entertaining everyone he met.

And those of us he didn’t meet. Some of us weren’t born when he was playing the clown in what is now part of the University of Greenwich but Gerald, a keen amateur photographer, carried his camera with him everywhere. Harry couldn’t resist the opportunity, Gerald kept the pics and we have been enjoying them ever since.

I knew that Gerald was trying to contact Harry, and when his email arrived I thought it was good news – that they’d finally managed to meet up again after losing each other for a long time – but it was instead Harry’s son (also called Harry) with the news that just as Gerald had managed to track down Harry Snr. on Facebook, his old friend passed away.

Gerald is, as am I, very sad to hear such tidings. Harry brought such innocent fun to these pages. Both Gerald and The Phantom’s thoughts are with his family in this most difficult of times. Gerald says:

Harry, just to say thank you Harry for being my friend all those years ago. R.I.P.

There are so many Harry Glassblower posts (thank you Gerald!) that the best thing to do is direct you to the Phantom Phindings page for him and you can see him for yourself. The search fuction is a blunt instrument – the posts are in no special order that I can see – but short of giving you dozens of links here, it’s my best bet.

In the meanwhile I leave you with a taster, if you have never encountered Harry the Hospital Hipster before. He was a dapper chap, but with a sense of fun more of us should aspire to, however trendy we aspire to be. Sometimes I think the 21st Century is too po-faced for its own good.


the attachments to this post:

Harry 'Glassblower' 10jpg
Harry ‘Glassblower’ 10jpg

Harry Glassborrow
Harry Glassborrow


6 Comments to “Harry Glassblower”

  1. WestCliffGB says:

    Great shame. You’re right about the po-faced default position seeping into everyday life. I blame beards and Kath Kidston.

  2. Indeed. Ironically, the period to which modern hipsters look back was full of Harry’s sort of innocent fun.

    I understand that, according to The Today Programme, we have now reached ‘peak beard.’

  3. Jack Cross says:

    “I understand that, according to The Today Programme, we have now reached ‘peak beard.’”

    What utter nonsense – how could they possibly know?
    Not having to scrape your face with sharp metal every morning is immensely liberating, as I discovered many years ago.

  4. Yvonne Mason says:

    Harry Glassborow was my Dad,as you can see from the many photos and clips of him he was great fun. We always said he should have been on the stage!Dad would have been 80 on 26th July so we are planning a family Pirate party (which was talked about before he died so we are going ahead with it) I have laughed and cried looking at the comments here about Harry Glassblower. He was a character and a legend

  5. Nathan says:

    Sad news – have really enjoyed the photos. He looked like a thoroughly entertaining character to have known!

  6. Ria Mason says:

    Harry Glassblower was my Grandad, best friend and partner in crime!
    I would like to thank you for the kind messages and brilliant photographs on this page. Harry was an absolute legend! He was infamous in Greenwich and everyone who knew him, like the photos shown, knew he was a character!
    He was a man full of stories and wisdom and someone who touched people’s hearts! He would have absolutely loved this page, it makes me sad to think he never saw it!
    Well Gramps we always said you’d be famous and you’ve done it now after hitting the big time. Forever loved and always missed! X