Thomas “Lang Tam” Harvey was a whisky distiller who lived at Westthorn on the outskirts of Parkhead. His grounds went down the bank of the Clyde and, in order to protect his privacy from people walking on the popular Clydeside footpath, he built walls at either end of his property to close off a one mile section to the public. In 1822 an angry mob principally composed of weavers and other operatives from Bridgeton and Parkhead, armed with piekaxes and crow-bars, laid siege to the obnoxious barrier tore down one wall and were pulling down the other when the Enniskillen Dragoons arrived to quell the disturbance. Several people were thrown in jail and Harvey began rebuilding his dyke.Harvey’s determination to block the Clydeside footpath was challenged in the courts by a group of men from Glasgow and from Tollcross, Parkhead and other villages to the east of the city. The charges against the wall-demolishers were quashed in the House of Lords after an appeal, and in 1826 Harvey was ordered by the Court of Session not to rebuild the dyke.
A medal was struck with the inscription: “The Reward of Public Spirit.-The Citizens of Glasgow to Adam Ferrie, George Rogers, James Duncan, John Watson, Junior, John Whitehead, for Successfully Defending Their Right to a Path on the Banks of the Clyde, 1829