Web Creator

Miss Cranston's Tea Room

14th September 2017

Sylvia Smith

Glasgow Markets

12th October 2017

Ingrid Shearer

120 Years of Candlemaking

9th November 2017

Rosey Barnet
Shearer Candles

Glasgow Mapping

14th December 2017

John Moore

George Square and its Environs

11th January 2018

Niall Murphy

An Evening for Members
and Friends

8th February 2018

Members' Night

Disappearing Glasgow

8th March 2018

Chris Leslie

Central station

12th April 2018

Paul Lyons

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
14th September 2017

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance: 89 attendees. 

Chair: Mr Stuart Little (President) 

Welcome: Mr Little welcomed members and visitors to the first ordinary meeting of the Old Glasgow Club 2017/ 18 session.

Fire drill procedures and housekeeping rules were explained, and all mobile phones were requested to be turned of or silenced.

Mr Little advised that if we were experiencing adverse weather on the date of an Old Glasgow Club ordinary meeting to check with Adelaides on 0141 248 4970. Should the Directors decide to stand down a meeting, Adelaides will be informed and the information will also be posted on Facebook and the Club's Website. 

Apologies: There were apologies from Brian D Henderson, Cameron Low, Joan Low, Gillian McGugan, Cath Wallach, Joyce Thornhill, Aileen Kelly, Alastair Ross, Glen Collie and Shona Crozer. 

Minutes: The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on 13th April were approved and proposed by Alison Sannachan and seconded by Maureen Robb.

There were no amendments or matters arising. 

President's Report: Mr Little told us that there was still time to visit this year's history, heritage and archaeology themed Glasgow Doors Open festival featuring buildings, walks and tours, running until the 17th of September. 

Mr Little mentioned one of particular interest, "Woodlands Cottage, The Hidden House" - "Enter an ordinary tenement close and find in the back courts a hidden villa. Woodlands Cottage predates the tenements built around it. Once surrounded by Kale Yards, it's the last surviving dwelling house of rural Woodlands".

It is well worth visiting, and there are tours Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Duration of the tour is approximately 30 minutes.

We were also told that the photograph of the last tram leaving Ruby Street, shown at April's ordinary meeting has now been safely returned to it's owner. 

Secretary's Report: Mrs McNae wished us all a good evening, and welcomed us back to the start of a new session.

"You may have noticed that there is a different arrangement for the sound system here at Adelaides.

The slides have been running for the last half hour and I don't propose to dwell on them as we are all keen to hear Sylvia's talk about Miss Cranston. But we would like to mention one or two. 

The first being that we were delighted to receive a letter of acceptance to our invitation to Lord Provost Eva Bolander inviting her to become our Honorary President.

Our next slide is about an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held at the beginning of our October meeting. Hopefully you have a notice of this meeting in your possession. This will also be on the website after the meeting this evening." Mrs McNae then asked for our patience for a couple of minutes as she read out the reasons and requirements for our Extraordinary General Meeting.

"If you were at the AGM in May you may have noticed that Stuart kindly agreed to serve for a further year as President.

The Directors have determined to appoint Brian D Henderson as Vice President until the AGM next May. Brian will be appointed President at that meeting. The role of Vice President in any club is, in part, to prepare that person for the role of President, and as Brian has already been President of the Club - albeit some 30 years ago - he was but a boy at the time, we feel he is the perfect person for the job.

Since the appointment of Vice President is in the remit of the Directors of the Club, the first part of the Extraordinary Meeting is a formality required by the Constitution. However, the Club needs to also elect three new Directors.

By Clause 3 of our Constitution - The management of the Club shall be vested in a board of twelve Directors, consisting of President, Past President, Vice President, Secretary, Recording Secretary, Treasurer and six ordinary Directors.

Two of our Directors have decided to stand down during their term of office - Anne White and Ian Frame. When Brian moves to Vice President, that creates a third vacancy, as he is currently a Director.

We are looking for nominations to fill the Directors roles. This involves an additional meeting each month, hopefully bringing new ideas to the table.

Details for the nominations are on the notice of Extraordinary General Meeting.


Thank you for your patience."

Details for events highlighted in tonight's slides can be found at glasgowlife.org.uk , peoplemakeglasgow.com and whatsonglasgow.co.uk  

Speaker: Mr Little invited tonight's speaker, Sylvia Smith to the stage to give her talk "Miss Cranston's Tea Room Empire".

Sylvia thanked everyone for coming along and said that she wasn't going to just speak about Miss Cranston's empire but also her legacy.

Miss Cranston was born in 1849 at one of the family's hotels in George Square, Glasgow City Centre.

Her Dad was initially a baker and pastry maker before branching out into an hotelier. He owned the Crow Hotel, which stood opposite Queen Street Station, and the North British Hotel, which is now the Millennium Hotel.

Catherine (more commonly known as Kate) her four brothers and her Dad were all signed up to the Temperance Movement. The Cranston family (immediate and extended) were noted for their innovative approach to hotel management, and ran a chain of temperance hotels in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

Kate's brother, Stuart didn't want to do hotel work so he became a tea merchant and aficionado. Tea had started to become more popular because of the temperance movement. Stuart was eager to educate customers about the different types of tea (he promoted green tea but black tea was more popular). He came up with the idea of installing a few tables and chairs for customers and charging two pence for a cup of tea, and a bit extra for bread and cakes. The tea room concept was now underway, with Stuart's being the first in Scotland, the largest in Britain and the first in the world with air conditioning.

In 1878 Catherine (Kate) decided to join her brother Stuart in the tea room business, and with the practical help of her Aunt and financial help of her Uncle she opened The Crown Tea Rooms at 114 Argyll(e) Street. Kate took the concept to another level, placing great emphasis on the quality of design and decor, cleanliness and on the quality and choice of food. In 1886 she opened a second one at 205 Ingram Street. Initially these tea rooms catered mostly to working men, however, being the astute business woman that she was Kate realised that her male and female customers expected different facilities. The Ingram Street tea room had a large room, a separate smoking room for men and a smaller, quieter room for women.

In 1888 Kate commissioned the Scottish Architect and Designer George Walton to decorate a new smoking room in the Arts and Craft style.

Miss Cranston met Engineer, John Cochrane, who was eight years younger than her, and became happily married to him in 1892. As a wedding gift John gifted her the lease of the entire building at Argyll(e) Street.

Sylvia showed us many wonderful and iconic photographs on the screen. The Cochrane's home, "Hous'hill" at Barrhead, a young (and old) Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Jessie Keppie whom CRM was engaged to, his wife Margaret MacDonald and completed dining and billiard room being just a few of them.

In 1897 Miss Cranston opened another premises at 91-93 Buchanan Street, her third building. It was here that George Walton introduced her to the young architect and designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Walton worked on the decorations and fixtures and Mackintosh provided striking mural decorations for the Ladies Tea Room, the Luncheon Room and the Smoking Gallery. Walton and Mackintosh collaborated again on the premises in Argyll(e) Street in 1898. This time the design roles were reversed, Walton designed the murals and Mackintosh designed the furniture. This marked the appearance of Mackintosh's trademark ladder-back chair.

"Following Walton's departure to London by 1898, it was to Mackintosh that Miss Cranston turned for all future design work". It was to be the start of a working relationship that would span some twenty years. "Subsequent projects included the tea rooms at Ingram Street, the Willow Tea Rooms, the Dutch Kitchen at Argyll(e) Street, and at the Cochrane's home, Hous'hill".

217 Sauchiehall Street was the location for the fourth, and most famous of Miss Cranston's tea rooms, The Willow Tearooms, a four storey building. 

The name "Sauchiehall" is from "saugh", the Scots word for a willow tree, and "haugh", boggy meadow. Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret MacDonald used this as a starting point for the design theme. Miss Cranston gave them full design control, inside and out, obviously impressed with their work at Ingram Street.

Mackintosh redesigned the exterior facade and a range of interior spaces with different functions and decor. The rooms were themed, light for feminine and dark for masculine. The couple designed most other aspects of the tea rooms, including the interior design, and right down to the menus and waitresses uniforms.

There was a ladies tea room to the front of the ground floor, a general lunch room to the back and a tea gallery above it. On the first floor was the "Room de Luxe", a more exclusive ladies room and a panelled billiards and smoking rooms on the second floor for the men.

The "Room de Luxe" proved to be the tear rooms main attraction, even though it cost extra to be there. The ladies enjoyed being in private but they also liked to be seen there. Described at the time as "a fantasy for afternoon tea", the room was luxuriously decorated in a scheme of grey, purple and white. One wall had a fireplace and the other featured the focal point of the room, one of Margaret MacDonald's most famous works, the panel inspired by Rossetti's sonnet, "O Ye, all ye that walk in Willow Wood".

Miss Cranston was astute and forward thinking, making her tea rooms accessible to both women and men. Women in that time could not just wander around willy nilly but it was deemed acceptable for them to frequent the women only rooms in tea rooms. The tea rooms were a popular meeting place with a complete cross-section of Glasgow society.

Sylvia then showed us some more wonderful photographs and illustrations on the screen. A 1915 picture of the Willow 

Tearooms, the iconic ladder back chairs, Room de Luxe, Mackintosh's largest stained glass project for Room de Luxe, Margaret MacDonald's willow wood panel, chandelier containing 860 glass pieces in Room de Luxe and a picture of two waitresses.

There were no further tea rooms opened but Mackintosh continued to design for Miss Cranston, and carried out work on "The Dutch Kitchen" basement conversion in Argyll(e) Street and on redesigns for the rooms in Ingram Street.

When Kate's husband died in 1917, she was so distressed that she literally shut up shop and withdrew from public life. She sold all, her tea rooms, her house, all her Mackintosh and moved to the South Side of Glasgow. When her dementia advanced Miss Cranston moved back to where it all began, The North British Hotel on George Square. She stayed there until her death in 1934.

Although Miss Cranston had sold her tea rooms, they were still being run as tea rooms in the years to come. Daly's department store in Sauchiehall Street incorporated The Willow Tea Rooms into their shop. Argyll(e) Street and Buchanan Street were run by a company called Cranston's Tea Rooms Ltd until they went into liquidation in the 1950s. 

Ingram Street was taken over by Jessie Drummond, a former manager of Miss Cranston's who ran it as a tea room until her retirement. The tea rooms were then taken over by Cooper & Co, an established tea and coffee merchant. It was when Cooper & Co decided to close the premised that a press campaign was launched to preserve the tea rooms and raise awareness of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They were bought by Glasgow Corporation and used as storage and a gift shop until the early 1970s. The furnishings and fixtures were removed, and after some restoration some were exhibited at Glasgow Kelvingrove Museum for a number of years. 

It was discovered that the two waitresses in the picture were called Mini Harvey and Helen Holmes. The son of one of the ladies had stated that it was considered very, very upmarket if you worked for Miss Cranston in one of her tearooms.

She was a fair and considerate employer who visited each tearoom on a regular basis. 1d per week was deducted from the girls wages to cover potential sickness days off. But, if you were always well you got the deducted money back.

Miss Cranston also made a point of taking on poorer girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. The girls started off in the kitchens as a knife maid, a potato maid. When they excelled they were given recipe cards, and they could eventually work their way up to become cooks.

Miss Cranston was extremely charitable, and when she died in 1934 she left a large portion of her estate to the women and children of Glasgow.

Sylvia told us that although Miss Cranston may have dressed in crinoline style of her Mum's era (1850's) there was nothing old fashioned about her. She was a forward thinking bohemian with an acute business sense, who did much to popularise tea rooms. She was also an important patron of designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and artist Margaret MacDonald.

Mr Little thanked Sylvia for her wonderful talk that everyone so obviously enjoyed, even if Mackintosh isn't everyones cup of tea! Between the two of them they certainly made an impact.

Members were invited to ask Sylvia questions.

Q Where was Miss Cranston buried?

A She is buried in Neilston Cemetery, East Renfrewshire.

Q When is the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street re-opening?

A They are planning to open on 7th June 2018, to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh's birth. Q Did her three other brothers go into the trade?

A Her three older brothers helped out in the hotel.

Q Did Catherine Cranston have family?

A No, she was too old when she married but she loved children, especially her Nieces.

Q Charles Rennie Mackintosh was engaged to Jessie Keppie then Margaret MacDonald, could you please explain?

A No, sorry, I can't. Jessie also studied at Glasgow School of Art for a couple of years when Charles Rennie Mackintosh was there. Mackintosh was employed by Jessie's brother John at the architectural firm "John Honeyman and Keppie" in 1889. Jessie's brother was very important to her so it appears that John Keppie blocked Mackintosh when he broke off his engagement to Jessie, probably causing him to lose influential friends.

Q Is there a biography available of Miss Cranston? A Yes, there is still one available in the library.

Vote of Thanks: This evenings vote of thanks was given by Past Club President, Alison Sannachan.

Alison welcomed everyone back and agreed with Stuart that tonight's talk was a great start to the new session. "Sylvia, the talk was so interesting with so many great photographs. Miss Cranston would be very impressed if she met her". Alison thanked Sylvia on behalf of the Directors and Members of the Old Glasgow Club. AOCB: None 

Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 5th October, 6.15pm at Hutchesons Grammar School, Beaton Road, Glasgow. Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 12th October, 7.30pm start at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow.

Gaynor Mackinnon/ Shona Crozer

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
12th October 2017

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance: 79 attendees.

Chair: Mr Stuart Little (President)

Welcome: Mr Little welcomed members and visitors to the October meeting of the Old Glasgow Club.

Fire drill procedures and housekeeping rules were explained, and all mobile phones were requested to be turned off or to


Mr Little advised that if we were experiencing adverse weather conditions on the date of an Old Glasgow Club ordinary

meeting to check with Adelaides on 0141 248 4970. Should the Directors decide to stand down a meeting, Adelaides will

be informed and the information will also be posted on the Club's Website and Facebook page.

EGM: Mr Little reminded us that although we normally have a bit of club business at this time we also have our EGM,

that was called last month.

"The first purpose of the meeting is to appoint Brian D. Henderson as Vice President of the Old Glasgow Club. The Vice-

President and President are elected by the directors of the club from their number and I am happy to report that Brian's

election was unanimous.

Although Brian wasn't able to join us this evening, I would like you to join with me and welcome Brian as our new Vice-


Brian will serve as Vice-President until the AGM, at which time he will succeed me as President for the normal two year


Our second point of business is to elect three new Directors to serve until the AGM in May 2018.

Happily we have had three nominations submitted in writing before the closing date of 28th September:

Nomination of Crawford Cassidy - Proposed by John McKnight

Seconded by Margaret Walker

Nomination of Cilla Fisher - Proposed by Gavin McNae

Seconded by Artie Trezise

Nomination of Alison Sannachan - Proposed by Margaret Thom

Seconded by Joyce McNae

Since we have three nominations for three Directors places no vote is required.

Could I ask our three new Directors, Crawford, Cilla and Alison to stand and for you to welcome our three new Directors.

That concludes the EGM."

Apologies: There were apologies from Brian D Henderson, Maureen McRobb, Iain Henderson, Janette Knox, Petrina

Cairns, Jane Collie and Glen Collie.

Minutes: The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on the 14th September were approved and proposed by Ian

Frame and seconded by Crawford Cassidy.

There were no amendments or matters arising.

A reminder prompting members who have an email address to sign up to receive their ordinary meeting minutes


President's Report: "And now with the elections, minutes and apologies business completed, we move on to another

piece of Club business.

Due to the type of Club we are, a good many requests are received for information about all sorts of things Glasgow


Nowadays these requests tend to come to us via the Club Website or Facebook, and quite often these are easily

answerable but in many cases a bit more in-depth knowledge is required.

The ex-officio p

ost of Club Historian was broached some time ago at a Directors meeting. That is where we look to

someone who has been a member of the club for many years - serving as Secretary, President and Director.

We are delighted to say that Brian Henderson has agreed to take on this role."

Secretary's Report: Mrs McNae advised us of events and happenings of interest in and around Glasgow for the month

of October that had been running on the screen this evening.

There are Glasgow map brooches costing £6 that would make unique Christmas gifts for sale at the OGC pop-up shop at

the back of the hall.

Looking forward to November's talk from Shearer Candles who are celebrating their 120th Anniversary this year. They

have designed a celebratory candle, limited to 120 pieces, and are generously donating 10% of their sales to The Old

Glasgow Club.

This sessions talks still to come:

November 9th - "120 years of Candlemaking" by Rosey Barnet of Shearer Candles.

December 14th - "Glasgow Mapping" Mapping the City by John Moore.

January 11th - "George Square and its Environs" by Niall Murphy.

February 8th - "An Evening for Members and Friends".

March 8th - "Disappearing Glasgow" A photographic journey by Chris Leslie.

April 12th - "Central Station" by Paul Lyons.

May 10th - AGM at Glasgow City Chambers.

The Mackintosh Festival runs throughout October, celebrating the life of Charles Rennie Mackintosh through a series of

exhibitions, events, workshops, talks and tours in Glasgow. Detailed information can be found at


Glasgow Cathedral Festival runs 8th - 14th October, and is a week of music, art, tours and more based in the Cathedral.

The Festival also features a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Malcom Lochhead, renowned textile artist,

running 9th - 21st October. Information and brochure of events can be found at glasgowcathedral.org

Clydebank Museum is currently running an exhibition showcasing the street photography of acclaimed photographer

David Peat entitled "An Eye on the Street". It includes iconic images captured by David in 1968 of Glasgow communities

and areas being cleared of slums. It runs until October 21st. Opening times and information can be found at west-


Speaker: Mr Little welcomed and introduced tonight's speaker, Ingrid Shearer to give her talk on Glasgow Markets.

Ingrid is an archaeologist and graphics specialist with a particular interest in industrial archaeology and digital design.

Ingrid has also developed projects and public events Weaving Truth With Trust, Raising the Bar and River Patter.

Ingrid thanked everyone for coming along tonight to hear her talk.

Ingrid is part of the team at Northlight Heritage, and it was when working with Wasps Studios on their studio spaces at

The Briggait that her interest in markets was sparked. It got her thinking about how you feed a city, especially a city like


The Glasgow Markets story starts up at the Cathedral in the 1100s when Bishop Jocelyn gains Glasgow a charter from

the King. This gives the right to hold a weekly market, and a very lucrative deal it is for the Church who are in control of it.

By the 1600s the market is taking place three times a week and has moved down High Street a bit, nearer to Glasgow

Cross and is very lucrative.

Ingrid shows us an illustration by artist David Simon based around 1520 of The High Street. They would be growing

vegetables, keeping hens around High Street. There is a regulation element and it is critical. This can be seen from

General Roy's Millitary Survey map, there is one solitary bridge over the Clyde from the Gorbals essentially controlling

what goes into Glasgow. Illustration of a Tron which is a set of giant scales, and where the Trongate got its name from.

Weighing is very important, first in control of the Church and then the Council.

There is a perception that Glasgow didn't grow quickly until the 1800s, but it had actually been growing steadily because

there is a Cathedral and University.

By around the 1600s you see the markets moving out. Fruit and Veg market in the Gallowgate, Flesh market and Grass

market are around the Trongate, with the Linen and Woolen Mill and Fish market at West Port.

Around the same time The Trades House comes into existence. The Fleshers were incorporated in 1580 to regulate the

affairs of those who provided meat for the growing population in Glasgow. And, The Gardeners were incorporated in

1605 to regulate fruit and veg.

The Trades House and the Council are all about show, showing the City's wealth, upholding a look of civic dependability

in the buildings housing the markets. Everything is heavily regulated by them.

Ingrid shows a distribution map of markets from the mid 1700s - 1900s. Where the meat, fruit, veg, herbs, fish and ad

hoc markets are.

The old Meal market in Shuttle Street is the oldest market that we have records for, a market for grain. It was critical that

it was regulated and controlled. It was not the most glamorous of markets but it was one of the most important ones.

Ingrid showed us pictures of the Port Dundas Granary 1927, Meadowside Granary in 1913, 1938 and 1967.

The new Flesh market in terms of appearance and form bespeaks an amphitheatre rather than a public market,

embellished with Iconic pilasters, a circular interior with central well and glazed rotunda. All very grand.

The Fruit market buildings map grows from 1817 in a semi-enclosed market with additions through the 1830s and 1850s.

If you are walking through, and across Albion Street today you can still see the nicely cobbled street.

The Bazaar part of the building housed a number of different market stalls, selling everything from fruit and veg to dairy

produce, books and shoes.

The B listed Glasgow Cheese market was built in 1902, and if you are in Cafe Gandolfi, that's the Cheese market offices.

Actually, quite reserved and classical in style.

Next time you are coming up King Street, this is where the mutton and meat market were.

"The market-places are great ornaments to this city, the fronts being done in a very fine taste, and the gates adorned with

columns of one or other of the orders". Quote from Thomas Pennant in 1769.

Things had needed to change in regard to the overcrowding due to the massive increase in the city's population, the

unsanitary living and working conditions

John Carrick was appointed Glasgow's City Architect 1862-1889 and James Burn Russell, Glasgow's first full time

Medical Officer of Health 1872-98. They pulled together a major re-building, re-aligning, widening of the streets, opening

up squares and public spaces to reconstruct the unsanitary dwellings of the old city centre.

In 1865 a delegation from Glasgow went out to Paris to look at Les Halles which was Paris' central fresh food market.

Obviously some sort of inspiration was taken from it when you look at the photograph of the fish market.

In the 1970s the area around the fruit market and fish market were getting very congested, noisy and smelly and it was

decided to move to Blochairn in the North of the city.

The Briggait where the fish market was housed is an A listed building, made up of a series of buildings dating from

different eras. Thinking of the present day interior, we think the trusses are steel, and possibly one of the earliest

examples of steel being used in a roof structure in Scotland, possibly Europe.

The Briggait Steeple is part of the original merchant's house built in 1665, the fish market hall 1873, hall 2 1889, hall and

corner block 1904 and offices 1914.

The Bridgegate Trust was established in 1982 and took on the redundant Briggait Fish Market when there was a

demolition order imposed on it.

The Category A-listed building which is described as Scotland's most important surviving market halls was saved, and for

a time in the 1980s was a speciality shopping centre with 50 shops. It never really took off so was closed, with a long

term viable use being sought for it over the next two decades.

Wasps took over the series of spaces in 2001 with phase one being completed in 2009. This refurbishment project

created 45 artist studios and 25 offices for cultural organisations.

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
9th November 2017

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
14th December 2017

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
11th January 2018

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow
Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
8th February 2018

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
8th March 2018

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow
Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
12th April 2018

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
10th May 2018

held at Glasgow City Chambers
Minutes for the 2018 AGM will be available after they are approved at the AGM in 2019.