Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
10th September 2015

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance  69

ChairMr Stuart Little (President)

WelcomeMr Little welcomed members and visitors to his first ordinary meeting as President and the first meeting of the new session.

Fire drill procedures and housekeeping rules were explained and all mobile phones were requested to be silent or off. Mr Little unveiled an impressive new plaque with a state of the art Old Glasgow Club logo.

Mr Little told us that the Club had received terribly sad news over the Summer. George Kerr, a long standing and much valued member of the OGC and who had also given talks to the Club had died on August 6th. The Club were well represented at Dunnottar Crematorium.


There were apologies from John McKnight, Jane Collie, Ian Frame, Alison Sannachan, Petrina Cairns, Jim O'Kane and Grace McKay.


The Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting held on March 12th were proposed by Joyce McNae and seconded by Anna Forrest. There were no amendments or matters arising.

The Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting held on April 9th were proposed by Anne White and seconded by Ian Henderson. There were no amendments or matters arising.

President's Report

There was no report as this is Mr Little's first meeting as President.

Secretary's Report

Mrs McNae welcomed everyone to the meeting on this beautiful sunny night and hoped that the good weather would continue.

Mrs Mcnae reminded members, who hadn't already done so, to pick up their Membership Cards tonight. The cards have a list of this years speakers along with contact names and numbers, should you wish to get in touch with the Directors.

Mrs McNae also asked if members could take some syllabus leaflets and distribute them to work colleagues, friends and at your local library or club.


Mrs McNae then proceeded to tell us what was happening in Glasgow over the coming weeks.

BBC Proms in the Park - taking place at Glasgow Green on Saturday 12th September @ 7.15pm.

Doors Open Day, Glasgow's Best Heritage Festival - from the 14th to 20th September. There is a full programme of walks and talks with more than 100 buildings open for anyone to visit.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery - a new exhibition called "A Century of Style" opens on 25th September and runs until 14th February 2016. Tickets to this exhibition cost £5/£3 and under 16s are free.

Information on Glasgow Museums can be found on glasgowlife.org.uk

People Make Glasgow - have loads of information on events happening in and around Glasgow peoplemakeglasgow.com

What's On In Glasgow - another great website that has the latest news on attractions, local activities, theatre events and live music performances whatsonglasgow.co.uk


Stuart Little introduces Bob Marshall who is giving tonight's talk, "Govanhill - A Peoples's History". Bob is a Director of Govanhill Community Trust and was the gentleman who led us on our "Langside Heritage Walk" in the Summer. We know that we are in for an interesting and varied talk.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, tonight I am going to talk about Govanhill and Crosshill, a district that I know quite well. It's also a district that gets quite a lot of press, not all of it good.

"Govanhill (the hill above "little Govan") started as a few cottages and a coal mine near Bankhall St (Cathcart Road and Calder St). This settlement in the 1700s was called 'Fireworks'. William Dixon, an incomer from Northumberland, owned the mine and bought up most of the surrounding land, and in 1839 his son, William Dixon Jnr. built the famous Govan Ironworks nearby - known as Dixon's Blazes because of the flames from the furnaces lighting up the sky day and night. By the 1870s the Dixons began to lay out the area and sell it off for tenement housing - much of it of good quality, with inside toilets and insisting on wide streets".

William Dixon 3rd was the main developer of Govanhill / Crosshill, setting out the streets in a grid pattern. The housing was a step up from the Gorbals. They became solid working class and middle class neighbourhoods growing from a few hundred to over 10,000 by 1901. The closer you got to Queens Park, the more middle class the housing became.

"Dixon's Blazes and nearby Dubs (Queens Park Railway Works) at Polmadie became major local employers with over 1000 men each, including Lithuanian and Irish. The initial migrants to the area were the skilled English workers employed by the Dixons (row of cottages called "Lower English" built specifically for them). "But the majority of Govanhill incomers were Highland and Lowland Scots who went on to establish churches and open shops to service the community".

The Dixon family sponsored Dixon Halls, one of the most interesting buildings in the area as it had two separate entrances. Govanhill round the back and Crosshill at the front.

There were many other interesting buildings, Women's Samaritans Hospital (now offices), the famous Govanhill Baths, Carnegie Library. And one that we don't have any more is Queens Park United Free Church on Langside Avenue. Designed by Alexander Greek Thomson, completed in 1869 and bombed by a German warplane in March 1943.

What I really want to talk about tonight is a peoples history of Govanhill, which became the reception place for migrants when Gorbals was demolished. The Canadian author, Doug Saunders wrote very well about migrants in his book "Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World".

"Many people have been involved in creating the Govanhill Peoples History". We have 300 to 400 hours of people talking and being interviewed about when they were children, going to the Steamie, the Cinema, School. This is available as the "Govanhill Listening Trail" which also has a guide and a map. There is a history timeline and lots of images, all on our website, govanhillpeopleshistory.com

After the English was the Scots, Highlanders etc. The Scots were the supervisors, then the Lithuanians and then the Irish, who got the rubbish jobs.

"Although the first big Irish migration to Glasgow was in the 1840s, in Govanhill it grew from a few hundred in the 1870s to 4000 by 1911 and peaked at 6000 and has left many marks such as the magnificent Holy Cross Church, 5 or 6 Irish pubs and a lively cultural scene".

"Four times a week you can still get the bus from Calder Street direct to Gweedore and all the other villages in West Donegal". I was in a shop in Donegal and the man knew more about Govanhill than I did. Do be careful if you go on that bus, there can often be a coffin going back.

"Italians began migrating in late 1800s due to lack of work and landlord exploitation. At first they set up barrows selling a 'poco poco' (small amount) of sweets, then ice cream and moved on to set up cafes and chips shops (thus a 'poke' o' chips). Glaswegians had a name for everybody and so the raspberry sauce on your ice cream became "Tally sauce".

If you go back to Barga, Tuscany in August there is an annual Scottish fish and chip festival. Many of the families came from here and go back every Summer.

From the 1880s onwards many Jews fled persecution from the Russian Empire and came to Glasgow. Not always intentionally. There were boats that came from Riga to Leith. The people crossed over to Glasgow, thinking they were ticketed to New York. Indeed, some of them thought it was New York.

"Charles Frank was one of these Jews. He married Miriam Liptez, and first settled in the Gorbals but moved to Dixon Avenue. Their daughter, Hannah Frank was brought up there, declaring at an early age that she wanted to be an artist.

She created distinctive black and white drawings, such as "Flight" reflecting her awareness of the fate of Jewish peoople (all 8000 of the Jews in Vilkomer, her father's home town were massacred in 1941). She later produced sculptures and wrote poetry and said she wanted her art to "leave footprints on the sands of time". She died in 2008 aged 100".

"Jews from Eastern Europe settled in Glasgow as hawkers, tailors and shopkeepers, moving from Gorbals to Govanhill/ Crosshill and then farther south, reaching a population of 10000 or so. They have also moved up the social scale leaving more footprints in the law, academia, business and the arts".

"In 1914, after the invasion by Germany, about 8000 Belgian refugees arrived in Glasgow. Many of them were taken and housed by Govanhill families. Horse meat was a favourite dish and soon 'horse butchers' to cater for this were set up". This would remind them of home. "Towards the end of WW1 the Belgians gifted a memorial tree in nearby Queens Park thanking the people of Glasgow".

"in the 1950s Glasgow Corporation was short of transport staff. They advertised in India and Pakistan and by 1960s Glasgow had about 500 drivers and conductors from Asia. Many operated out of Larkfield Depot in Govanhill and settled locally with many of their compatriots who had also arrived in the city. One of them, Bashir Ahmad, from Punjab, a bus conductor, was eventually elected to the Holyrood Parliament as Scotland's first Asian MSP".

Around 30% of Govanhills population is Asian at present.

A pattern that has emerged with a lot of migrants is that for the first two generations they run family businesses together. Then, by the third generation most migrants have become fully integrated with the wider community, moving onto different careers and jobs while still retaining strong family and cultural ties.

Struggle has always been a major issue, in fact up until 1970 Glasgow City Council wanted to demolish most of the area.

When I first started working in planning in 1973, I was shown a secret map of all the areas GCC planned to demolish. There were red lines drawn around the areas that they planned to do this to. It was kept a secret because the people that lived in these areas weren't to know.

"Govanhill has a strong history of people fighting for better housing, community and working conditions. Govanhill Housing Association which was established in 1974, was one of the first locally run housing bodies in Glasgow set up to improve tenement flats in the face of Glasgow's wholesale demolition. So much of Govanhill still has an intact Victorian urban landscape. But, poor housing and environmental conditions are still major issues in parts of Govanhill, and still need to be addressed. One of the big and ongoing struggles by the community has been to fully restore the Govanhill Baths, closed by Glasgow City Council against local wishes in 2001".

Indeed, there were riots in the street when people got wind of this news and Glasgow City Council didn't get away with it. Eventually, it was agreed that the Community could take it over for £1.

The most recent major group of migrants is Roma, a very distinct population and not to be confused with Romanians.

"Since 2004 Govanhill has been the main point of arrival for Roma, often from specific villages such as Pavloce in

Eastern Slovakia". The main attraction is work. During the Communist era, almost all Romas had a job but post Communism it became increasingly difficult for them to obtain work. One of the reasons being that they were poorly educated.

"All migrant groups bring over their families and then tell their friends to come and begin to form a little home from home, before spreading out across the city. Standing about chatting at the street corner on a cold Glasgow day may not be ideal - but it is what people do at home, and as yet there is no Roma Community Centre".

Many Roma don't speak English and have little or no education or skills. Roma children did not always go to schools in the countries where they have previously lived so this has been a bit of a struggle to get them to go here. Things are starting to change now and the children are attending primary school and going on to secondary school and we're starting to see integration. Full praise has to go to the schools themselves, they are doing a great job.

"Roma (meaning 'men' or 'people'), like the other migrants to Govanhill in the past have come for a better life, to work, get a better education and often to escape discrimination. There are now about 4000 Roma and are the biggest single minority ethnic group in Europe, with a 1000 year old language (Romani)".

I think Govanhill is a fascinating area, lots of students, young people moving in, artists, hipsters, quite a mixture. There's new cafes opening, Urban Guerrilla gardening in the back courts. And, another really exciting thing is the "Big Noise", the project where every single child will learn to play a musical instrument.

I would like to conclude with this picture of everybody and talk about the future. I would urge you to walk around, amongst a great mixture of people. It's a fun and vibrant area that's not without it's difficulties.

In terms of where we are going in Govanhill it is important to look back what has happened to the groups that have moved on.

As the Scottish psychiatrist, Robert David Laing said, "we live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing".

Q Yes, Robert, could you tell us how many nationalities are living in Govanhill ?

A That's a difficult one. I know that in Anette Street Primary School there are 60 different languages spoken and roughly about 45 in St Pauls.

Q Not so long ago you heard about a lot of troubles in Govanhill, fights ?

A Certainly in terms of fights it has calmed down. There were some territory issues with Govanhill Park with an ethnic element to it but I think that is gone. The schools have made a big difference. There was a huge meeting in Holyrood School on Monday night regarding housing and overcrowding issues. Landlords will be bought out and Housing Association will take over with the intention of making bigger and cleaner houses. There's a great deal of hope now and it feels a lot better than 2 or 3 years ago.

Q You didn't mention anything about the swimming baths ?

A I talked about it closing. If you look at our website you will hear a lot of people talking about it, their memories, Turkish Baths, ladies pool etc. The National Theatre of Scotland filled up one of the smaller pools for their production of "Lifeguard" in 2012. We all had to watch it while wearing swimsuits.

Q Do you think Govanhill is stuck in this cycle of immigration ?

A It's like London, some areas are exclusively stuck with unsuitable housing etc or it can become gentrified with people buying houses. Definitely people are buying housing because the housing is relatively less expensive than other areas of Glasgow. This in turn attracts different businesses like cafes, shops etc. The reason that people come to Govanhill is that a huge amount of them are let and it's not unusual to see a queue of people wanting to rent. The landlords are pretty unscrupulous. It's understandable that migrant groups like to stick together for the first generation or so, having a shared language and traditions.

Vote of Thanks

Bob Crawford said that it was a great pleasure for him to propose the vote of thanks on behalf of the Club. A welcome to Govanhill and a very warm welcome was given by Bob Marshall to Govanhill. It brought back a lot of memories as I remember walking along Butterbiggins Road to go visiting. It's almost like the United Nations now with so many nationalities in the one area. Bob is a man that knows Glasgow very well and has done a lot of research and work. On behalf of the Club I'd like to thank him for sharing that knowledge with us tonight.


Stuart Little reminds us of the change of date for October's Ordinary Meeting to the 15th October. "The talk is about the mint, I thought at first it was Glickman's mint but was told it is about the Glasgow Mint".

Brian Henderson, past President of the Club tells us that he is leading his walking tour "trip back in time" around Old Kinning Park and Plantation again this year for Glasgow's Doors Open Day. It's on Saturday 19th September at 11am, lasting approx 1 1/2 hours. Meeting outside Kinning Park Subway Station and must be pre-booked. Details can be found on glasgowdoorsopenday.com

Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 1st October 2015

Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 15th October 2015

Stuart Little said that it had been a pleasure to welcome everyone along tonight and to please tell our friends about the Club. He wished everyone a safe home.

Shona Crozer

Recording Secretary

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
15th October 2015

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance, 80

Chair, Mr Stuart Little (President)

Welcome - Mr Little welcomed members and visitors to the October meeting and mentioned how good it was to have such a healthy turnout on this typical Autumn evening.

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


There were apologies from Jim O'Kane, Gaynor MacKinnon, Eileen Campbell, Brian Henderson, Petrina Cairns, Joyce McNae, Sallie Marshall and Sharon Macys.


The Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting held on 10th September were proposed by Rosemary Sannachan and seconded by Anne White.

There were no amendments or matters arising.

President's Report

The Polmadie footbridge from Glasgow Green to Oatlands is to be demolished. It was closed earlier on this year to pedestrians, cyclists and river users following safety concerns. Contractors are due to start demolishing the bridge on 12th October. The work is due to take around 5 months to complete. The restrictions on river and footpath users will be lifted when demolition is complete.

Please note that the annual firework display at Glasgow Green has been moved from the 5th November to the 4th November. There is a European match night at Celtic Park Football Stadium on the 5th November which Police Scotland and City of Glasgow Council do not want to clash.

As usual, the event it free and open to all. Spectators are welcome from 5pm with the firework display taking place at 7.30pm.

An Open Doors weekend at the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust premises at the old Corporation Bus Garage, Bridgeton, attracted well over 1200 visitors. I was one of the team of volunteers welcoming visitors who came along. One of the trustees, Alistair Ramsay has been invited along to the OGC in January to give a talk on the work of the Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust.

Secretary's Report

Unfortunately Joyce McNae, the club secretary was unable to attend the meeting this evening. Mr Little read out her report in her absence.

Mrs McNae would like to remind members that it would be greatly appreciated if they could take some OGC syllabus leaflets and distribute them to work colleagues, friends and at any local clubs they attend.

Black History Month is taking place at various venues throughout October. For a calendar of events go to peoplemakeglasgow.com and glasgowlife.org.uk

Glasgow MacKintosh Festival invites you to celebrate the life of Charles Rennie MacKintosh through a series of exhibitions, events and tours. These will run throughout October, with a few running until December. A full programme of events can be found at www.glasgowmackintosh.com

Turner Prize Exhibition is coming to the Tramway and Scotland for the first time this Autumn. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive programme of workshops, talks, tours and activities for people of all ages to get involve in. Information and a programme of events can be found at tramway.org

Kelvingrove Art Gallery has the new exhibition called "A Century of Style" which runs until 14th February 2016. Tickets to this exhibition cost £5/£3 and under 16s are free.

Information on Glasgow Museums can be found at glasgowlife.org.uk

People Make Glasgow have lots and lots of information on their website of events and happenings in and around the Glasgow area peoplemakeglasgow.com


Stuart Little told us that it was a return visit for our speaker, Roddy MacPherson, who tonight was going to talk about "The Glasgow Mint".

Roddy MacPherson led us on an erudite and entertaining talk about the probables and maybes of the existence of the Glasgow Mint. Coins were found by masons in outbuildings at a House of Correction in Drygate when work was being carried out. It was supposed at the time that this may have been the mint of the see of Glasgow. The date of the building's foundation is unknown but thought to be about the time of Richard III. The history books have been consistent in saying that there was a Mint in Drygate but there is no absolute proof.

A book was published in 1987, "Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles : Scottish Coins in the Ashmolean, Oxford and the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow". We learned that the collection at the Hunterian Museum had no Glasgow coins in the collection until Lord Stewartby sourced some to fill the gap. Lord Stewartby found an unique penny, one of the most important findings of numismatics. It was a Glasgow penny !

The coin collection at the Hunterian Museum is now of International standing and in 2009 Glasgow hosted the

"International Numismatic Congress, Glasgow". Never before had the conference met in a city that wasn't a Capital city. Such is the importance of the Glasgow Penny.

What is still a probable, maybe is whether the Glasgow penny was struck at a permanent mint. This would have been allowed as the Bishop of Glasgow had the power and the permission to have coins minted. Or, were they struck by a moneyer in the employment of the King, somebody that would move residence when the King moved residence.

The Glasgow coins initially bore the inscription "Villa de Glasgov" giving rise to the belief that there may have been a royal mint in the city. However, other Glasgow coins bear the moneyer's name, Walter. The name Walter also appears on Alexander's coins minted at Glasgow, Aberdeen, Montrose, Berwick and Dunbar (amongst others). Roddy tells us that he thinks the Glasgow pennies are for the King and not the Archbishop of Glasgow.

The lost collection of Lord Stewartby is a great shame and loss as he had only taken his collection out his bank to be photographed. Roddy hoped that the next big discovery in numismatics is the return of the collection and to give the coins some thought the next time you are walking down Drygate.

Roddy MacPherson was happy to answer questions.

Q I must plead complete ignorance on numismatics, my brother-in-law was a numismatist! I'm curious as to when the mints disappeared?

A The standard place of mint became Edinburgh by the time of James VI and it was always Edinburgh by then. In the period of Alexander III some 16 places are mentioned, from Carlisle to Inverness and places in between. That, I think is a reflection that the King is moving around the country. I would say wherever the King was in residence then the coins would be struck there. The last coins were struck in Edinburgh in 1709.

Q Yes, it was a very interesting talk. I thought you were going to give us a talk on the history of the mint, the year the Glasgow Mint was founded. You're a very learned and interesting man, could you please tell us the year the Glasgow Mint was founded and the first coin struck?

A The precise date of the coin is 1249-50 and is in the Hunterian Museum and has an image of the boy King, Alexander

    III on it. In 1250 the stamp of the coin was changed to include the voided long cross. It is possible and probable that

    Glasgow was the first of the new places of mintage. We also think that there may have been coins minted in Glasgow under Alexander II and William the Lion. That coins may have been made in Glasgow but the mint was just never mentioned.

Q Thanks very much for that talk. I was just thinking back to when having small change was a problem. It wouldn't have been could we have sorted it out by going snip snip !

Q Can I ask about the choice of raw material, where did it come from?

A David II was the first Scottish King to produce a gold coin, it copies the English King Edward III's gold coin. There's native gold in Scotland. Crawford Moor, Tyndrum, Perthshire Hills are some of the places where you will/could find gold. The Scottish Crown is made from Scottish gold. I'm sure, however, that Scottish coin wasn't produced from native bullion. With any good looking coin there is the prestige of the coin to be considered, to do with the fineness and weight of the coin. In these early days the coin was worth the value of the metal.

Vote of Thanks

Alison Sannachan thanked Roddy MacPherson for his most interesting talk on money since she herself is most interested in money. It was an enjoyable and very entertaining meeting, Roddy and on behalf of the OGC I would like to thank you.


The Glasgow Coffee Festival is taking place in the hall at the Briggait on Saturday 17th October from 10am until 7pm. The festival's aim is to educate, serve, entertain and inspire coffee lovers.


Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 5th November 2015

Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 12th November 2015

Stuart LIttle thanked members and visitors for coming along tonight and wished all a safe journey home.

Shona Crozer

Recording Secretary

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
12th November 2015

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance, 56

Chair, Mr Stuart Little (President)

Welcome - Mr Little thanked everyone that managed to make it tonight and added that it looked like the storm, 'Abigail' may have taken her toll on some of our members and visitors.

Mr Little explained fire drill procedure, housekeeping rules and requested that all mobile phones be switched to silent or off.


Bill Crawford, Alastair Ross, Simon Brown, Brian Henderson, Dorothy Blair, Gillian McGugan, John McGugan, Janette Knox, Petrina Cairns, Marion McGuigan, Jim O'Kane, Molly Crighton


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on Thursday 15th October were approved and proposed by Gaynor MacKinnon and seconded by Isabelle Haddow.

There were no amendments or matters arising.

President's Report

Mr Little told us that he had nothing to report but would like to say a few words from his school days that were written by the poet Thomas Hood, his thoughts of November.

"No sun - no moon!

No morn - no noon!

No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease -

No comfortable feel in any member No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!November!"

Secretary's Report

Mrs McNae thanked everyone for braving out on this blustery evening and asked members to take note of upcoming events and dates.

Firstly, e-minutes. As a club we are endeavouring to become more efficient and at the same time using less paper and incurring a reduced printing cost.

You would be receiving the minutes the week before the meeting which will give you time to read them thoroughly before voting them through.

Your email address will be merged into a mailing list which the Club Secretary will hold as an 'undisclosed' list so others won't be able to see your address.

Mrs McNae reminded members to pick up any remaining Membership cards if they hadn't already done so and also, if they could pick up some OGC leaflets and distribute them to friends, work colleagues etc.

There's lots going on in the coming months which you can keep up to date with on the OGC Facebook page (currently standing around 500 likes), People Make Glasgow peoplemakeglasgow.com and What's On Glasgow www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk

The Annual Glasgow Charities Christmas Fayre is taking place on Tuesday, 17th November, 10am-4pm. As usual it is taking place at Glasgow City Chambers and entry is free.

The dates for 'Doors Open' 2016 have been announced, 12th - 18th September.

The Turner Prize 2015 is being held at Glasgow's Tramway. An exhibition of work by four shortlisted artists will be free and will run from 1st October, 2015 until 17th January, 2016. The winner of the prize will be announced on 7th December, 2015.

An open invitation has been extended to members to attend the talk being given by renowned historian, Tim Clarkson on his latest book, 'Strathclyde and the Anglo-Saxons in the Viking Age'. The talk will be followed by refreshments and a chance to view the Govan Stones.

The talk is free and is at Govan Old Parish Church on 25th November at 6.30-8.30pm.


Mr Little introduced Colin Mackie. This is a return visit for Colin who is going to give a talk on "The Southern Necropolis - Memoirs of a Happy Reaper." Colin is going to give us an update on what has been going on since his last visit

Good evening, once again thank you for letting me revisit the OGC to update you on what's been happening at the Southern Necropolis.

It was Charlotte Hutt, a history teacher and Colin's Guidance teacher at Aldelphi Secondary School in the Gorbals where

Colin went to school that sparked his interest in Southern Necropolis. Charlotte knew about the historical aspects of the Gorbals. She may have been from the West End but she had a passion for Gorbals history and she had a dream to see the Southern Necropolis restored to it's former glory. She felt that it was overlooked compared to our cousin in the north of the city.

The cemetery is 21 acres in size with some 250,000 people buried there within the many lairs. The cemetery was established in 1839 and the first burial took place in 1840. There are three sections, the Central (opened in 1840), Eastern (opened in 1846) and the larger Western section opened in 1850. The entrance is via the grand gatehouse which was built in 1848 to the designs of Glasgow architect Charles Wilson.

There are many unusual causes of death listed on the Victorian headstones that sound odd to us today : Grocer's Itch (skin disease caused by mites in sugar or flour), Nostalgia (died of a broken heart), fever and a bad leg and Bad Blood (Syphilis) are just some of the many that are listed.

Charlotte's dream and our aim is to bring the cemetery back to 'life' and make it a destination for families and visitors.

We've had an Easter egg hunt where we planted little eggs with historical questions, Halloween guided tours with the 'Happy Reaper' and recently launched a heritage walk. The walk is gps so it is reliant on satellite. The app is free and is called 'Gorbals'. The Southern Necropolis is just one of 8 walks featured on the app.

It had always stuck in Colin's mind that one of Charlotte's wishes was to see a wedding take place in the cemetery. On the 27th of June this year Colin and his bride, Elsie, who are both founding member of SNAG tied the knot on the Franciscan Circle opposite the Gatehouse. Along with the 50 invited guests there were the residents of the graveyard. Colin was quoted as saying "there can't be too many people who can say they had 250,000 ex-residents of Glasgow at their wedding".

Along with joyful occasions we also attend to the constant growth of ivy and accumulation of heavy vegetation along the pathways and covering many of the walls and headstones. Thankfully due to local resident, Rick this is now being addressed.

We are currently in progress towards clearing and maintaining the 31 characters within the site trail and have just recently completed cleaning the 'White Lady' monument, taking care not to look her in the eye incase we turned to stone!

The Gatehouse is a major project that we hoping to start in the next few years with an aim to refurbishing it to it's former glory. It is very fitting considering that the one of Glasgow's famous architects and the man responsible for the gatehouse, Charles Wilson, along with his family, is buried within the back left quarter of the central section of the cemetery.

There's a big future for the Southern Necropolis and fortunately it's in safe hands with the Southern Necropolis Action Group and our partnerships.

We are there every Sunday from 12 noon until 2pm. Please feel free to get involved, come for a guided tour or download the tour from the website. Website address is southernnecropolis.co.uk. You can get more information on this page and also contact us directly or download the app.

Q Can you tell me how many gravestones there are or an approximate number, please ?

A That's a future project for us as there are areas that don't have many stones. There's probably a good few thousand stones. We are hoping to get some kind or record, there are lots of lovely stones, no tombs as such.

Q I've been in the cemetery quite a few times and there is a grave of a woman that was in the Spanish Civil War ?

A That's Agnes Harkness who is recorded on her husband, James Reston's headstone as the 'Heroine of Matagorda' Like many women at the time, Agnes and her son had accompanied her husband on the Campaign. There had been an order given for troops to withdraw from Matagorda. During their withdrawal Agnes made three forays across the battery, amid shot and shell to retrieve belongings, her son and to carry water to the soldiers. Queen Victoria heard about her and McGonagall wrote a poem about her called 'A Humble Heroine'.

Q I've found it difficult to find out the names of particular people in a lair. How many and the names ? A The Mitchell are working on digitising the names of people in the lairs.

Q Who was the last person buried there ?

A The last burial was roughly around 5 years ago, in the central section. Anybody buried here now will have to have a lair certificate. If there's room in the lair you can be buried there but there will be no new graves.

Q You told us before about one of the times you took your Niece to the Southern Necropolis.

A Yes, I used to take my Niece when she was 3 or so. She learned her numbers and letters here. This particular day we were at a row of headstones and I was concentrating. Nicole told me that there was a man wanting to talk to me. I turned round looking for the man, I couldn't see anyone....Nicole described a man wearing a hat standing beside us! I got scared, gathered our stuff and quickly left. Another time, one of the first times that Nicole had been there she turned around and waved as we were leaving.

Q Is any work being done on the Old Gorbals burial ground ?

A Not as such but there's a lovely wee orchard there.

Q Can I ask you what date we got married on, Colin ?

A Yes, 27th of June this year.

Q Colin's wife, Elsie prompts him on telling members about tours of the Southern Necropolis ?

A The next tour will take place some time in the New Year.

Q Elsie asks Colin to tell us about the most recent tour ?

A Oh, we had a Halloween tour for the younger members of the Community, to get a link with them and create interest. Last year we had 110 children. This year we had an amazing tour, nearly 300 children dressed as vampires, zombies and wearing plague masks. It's the most amount of people we've had on a tour.

Q You keep mentioning that esteemed people such as Alexander 'Greek' Thomson and Thomas Lipton. Are there any other famous people buried there.

A Yes, Allan Glen, George Geddes and family, Wee Willie White (the blind flute and flageolet player), James Napier Cousland the architect and the founders of 'Camp Coffee', the Paterson family. We've basically got 33 notable people on our tour. If you go to our website you can download the Southern Necropolis Heritage Trail.

Vote of Thanks - Ruaraidh Clark

Ruaraidh said that he had arrived here this evening very much expecting the grim reaper and instead we got the happy reaper. Great gallows humour to the burial business, Colin. This is your third time giving a talk here, you've already got the book and the cuddly toy, now you've got the fridge magnet.

On behalf of the Old Glasgow Club thank you so much for your entertaining and informative talk.

AOCB - None

Next Ordinary Meeting - Thursday 10th November

Next Directors Meeting - Thursday 10th November immediately following the Ordinary Meeting.

Mr Little tells us that there are plans to bring the Clyde Steamer, The Queen Mary back to Glasgow. There is ongoing fundraising and Robbie Coltrane is one of the names behind it.

Mr Little wished everyone a safe home on this very stormy night.


Shona Crozer

Recording Secretary 

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
10th December 2015

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow


ChairMr Stuart Little (President)

WelcomeMr Little thanked everyone for coming along to the last meeting of 2015.

The fire drill procedure and house keeping rules were explained and all mobile phones were requested to be switched off or to silent.

Mr Little also told members that the November minutes had been distributed electronically to members who had requested them that way. Apologies

Isabel Haddow, Ronnie Know, Ian Henderson, John McKnight, Ian Frame, Alison Sannachan, Jim O'Kane.


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on Thursday 12th November were approved and proposed by Sam Gordon and seconded by Eileen Campbell.

There was one amendment to November 12th Minutes. Next Ordinary Meeting and Directors Meeting date should both read 10th December, not 10th November as written.

There were no matters arising.

President's Report

Mr Little told us that himself and past Club President, Petrina Cairns had attended a talk on the 4th of December at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA).

The talk was given by Emily Malcolm, the Marine Curator at the Riverside Museum. She presented a very informative illustrated talk on an engraving made in 1864 of Glasgow City Centre.

The engraving showed every street, building, river traffic and squares in great detail. As if taken from a hot air balloon or in todays parlance, a 'drone'.

The engraving was based on ordinance survey maps of the time and can be examined at the Mitchell Library or online.

Secretary's Report

Mrs McNae asked members to take note of upcoming events and dates that were on the screen.

Mrs McNae also told members that if they had missed last months meeting and would like their OGC Minutes delivered electronically before a meeting to give their details at the sign in desk or at the tea/coffee area at the back.

There's lots happening in the coming months which you can keep up to date with on the OGC Facebook page, People Make Glasgow peoplemakeglasgow.com and What's On Glasgow www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk.

 A reminder that the Turner Prize is being held at Glasgow's Tramway. An exhibition of work by four shortlisted artists is free and is running until 17th January, 2016. The winner, Assemble, was announced on the 7th December. 

Speaker - Jean MacDonald "Local Boys Made Good - James & Robert Couper".

Mr Little introduced tonight's speaker, Jean MacDonald, who is from Holmwood House. Jean is a guide at this National Trust property which is a huge asset to Cathcart. Without further ado, could we please give Jean a huge welcome.

Jean tells us that she is not an historian, she's an artist who happens to be a guide at Holmwood House. And, although a fan and admirer of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, buildings are bricks and mortar, for people to live in.

19th century Cathcart was a river of mills. Grain mills, paper mills, carpet works and an iron foundry were built on the banks of the White Cart.

James and Robert Couper, along with two sisters, Agnes and Janet were born to parents, James Couper and Janet Hamilton. James was a tennent farmer in Cathcart.

James died at the age of 34, when James and Robert were quite small. Sadly, when I was looking into the family I also found that an infant of James Couper and Janet Hamilton had been recorded around the same time. I was puzzled but found out that there had been an outbreak of Cholera at the time.

Janet was now left to bring up four children, but being an enterprising and resourceful woman she decided to move across the river to Braehead and open a shop. Braehead is just over Snuff Mill Bridge, at the top of the present day Rhannan Road.

We have to imagine a woman who had to make her way, opening a grocers shop whilst rearing young children. Janet knew that the way forward in those days was education, and Janet wanted her children to be educated. She probably couldn't had afforded a private education so it would likely have been a Church education. The children would have had this for a small fee.

The boys both took a big step when they left school and were employed at a local mill called Millholm Paper Mill. The Mill was located on the banks of the White Cart Water. The river has quite a high race and quite a lot of weirs. There's been a long history of mills here.

In 1841 they took a huge risk. They borrowed money and took over the mill. I have no idea how they managed it but they did.

At this time paper was still being hand done in individual sheets, pressed by women and hung up to dry. This was a time consuming process so the brothers decided to install gas. This now means that the paper is made in large rolls and cut into size. The entire process now being more efficient, producing larger volumes of paper.

The turning point in the brothers fortunes was the Crimean War. This little known company and mill got the Westminster contract to supply paper. I haven't found any records as to how they managed this, and, as far as we know they continued to have this contract for the rest of their working life.

As well as running a successful company they interested themselves in the welfare of the employees and in cases of illness, paying their wages in full. This was most unusual for the time.

They were now making serious money and became part of the upper middle classes, part of the ruling industrialists. I've often wondered how they fitted in as they were Glasgow boys with quite strong accents. I wonder if they got invitations to the big house.

James and Robert did what lots of industrialists did at this time, they built holiday houses called 'Ashlea' and 'Elderslie" at Cove. A pretty place right on the waterfront that you reached by train from Glasgow to Greenock and then got a small boat across.

They also decided to go a bit more upmarket with their Glasgow homes and have two built. Funny enough on the land where their Father's farm was.

Robert's house, 'Sunnyside' was built first (sadly this was demolished at the end of the 1960s). It was a fairly traditional Victorian Gothic villa that stood a little to the east of Holmwood House. It was designed by Glasgow architect James Smith, father of the notorious Madeline Smith who stood trial for the murder of Pierre Emile L'Angelier.

James, however, wanted something a little more unusual. "As a result he commissioned, arguably, Glasgow's second most famous architect, Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, to design a unique villa for him".

James wanted a house to impress, a house with a beautiful entrance, a coach house, a kitchen garden. Holmwood

House is a striking house with a staggering amount of detail on both the exterior and interior. The dining room is in many ways the most ornate room in the house with a very detailed frieze of the Greeks and the Trojans. It was a room built for entertaining.

James and 'Greek' Thomson became very good friends and "what emerged is usually regarded as Thomson's finest domestic building. As a result the house attracts visitors from every corner of the globe".

When you consider where they came from, a farm and above a Grocer's shop, and, now there was a coachhouse with a live in coachman. The significance of having this is the equivalent of having two Rolls Royces and a full time Chauffeur now.

Robert married Mary Crawford Smith, a daughter of the manse in 1863, when he was slightly older. Robert retired to Rhu where he had an estate, 'Dalmore Rhu'.

James' first wife, Marion, died of Consumption in 1869. He re-married in 1871 to Kate Peebles, the daughter of one of Couper's Agents. James died aged 59 in 1877 and is buried, along with both his wives in Old Cathcart Kirkyard. Kate lived on at Holmwood until her death in November 1908

There was no issue from either James or Robert so when they died the mill went up for sale along with the cottages. Some of the money would have been settled on the wives. The last of the line, Robert, died in 1883.

Although the brothers left no children they left a legacy to their staff, the Couper Institute building, a library and a librarian. They also left a great deal of money, £40-45,000 to build a local hospital. The hospital being the Victoria Infirmary. That would have been a huge amount of money then.

We have one last bit of legacy left and that is Holmwood House. The Coupers were not famous but you will find them in the history books. I feel an empathy with the brothers, two young men who took a chance with a loan, built up a business, were good employers, generous, fair and also leaving large amounts of money when they died.

Q I'd like to ask how they managed to get the contract for Westminster Government for being such a small company.  I don't imagine that they were known out-with Glasgow and it's a major contract?

A I'd love to know that too and I have been trying to find out. We do know that James knew Mr Peebles, who was a well known paper agent in London. That may have been something to do with it.

Q Do you know what happened to the sisters?

A The sisters never married but they did give up being grocers. James and Robert were generous to their sisters and built them houses in Cove.

Q Earlier on in a map that you showed there was a place called Maress (?spelling). What does that mean?

A Let's look on the maps of Cove and Cathcart. Sorry, I can't find it and I'm not familiar with it.

Q On the register there was the name Algie. There were tea merchants with that name, are they related?

A They were probably distant relatives. I think if they had been close relations that they would have probably worked for the tea merchants.

Q Did you have any interest in Holmwood House before you worked for the National Trust?

A No, not until I moved into the area. My friend was head of volunteers and wanted me to work with them when they found out I was and Artist and Graphic Designer.

Vote of Thanks - Neil Houser

Neil wished everyone a good evening and thanked Jean for a well researched and informative talk. We know these buildings by sight but it's great to hear about the buildings, the people that lived in them, their developments, their staff and their generous donations to local hospitals and causes. Let's all thank Jean for a wonderful talk.

AOCB - None

Next Ordinary Meeting - 7pm, Thursday 14th January at Adelaides, Bath Street.

Next Directors Meeting - 6.15pm, Thursday 7th January at Glasgow Unitarian Church, 72 Berkeley St, Glasgow G3

Mr Little wished all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and safe home on behalf of himself and the the Club's Directors.

Shona Crozer

Recording Secretary

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
14th January 2016

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance, 63

ChairMr Stuart Little (President)

WelcomeMr Little thanked everyone for coming along to the first meeting of 2016.

The fire drill procedure and house keeping rules were explained and all mobile phones were requested to be switched off or to silent.

Mr Little also told members that the December minutes had been distributed electronically to members who had requested them.


Isabel Haddow, Petrina Cairns, Shona Crozer, Maureen McRobb, Jim O’Kane, Molly Chrichton, Dorothy Blair, Margaret Morrison, Agnes Coyle, Pat Hannah, Alison Sannachan and Gillian McGoogan.

Minutes of last ordinary meeting held on 10th December were approved and proposed by Sallie Marshall and seconded by Ruaraidh Clark. There were no amendments.

President’s Report:

Mr Little explained that it was difficult to fill the bus at a reasonable price and that he had 2 proposals.

1. Hire our usual coach and visit a place not so easily accessible.

2. Visit more local places within the Glasgow area and have members bring their own lunch.

Mr Little is currently negotiating with Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust to obtain an old style bus for the second option. A show of hand was requested for the preferred option. The members voted for option 1. A final decision will be made in due course.

Secretary’s Report:

Mrs McNae quickly ran through the slides telling of current exhibitions and forthcoming events which had been circulating on the screen prior to the start of the meeting. She also informed members that the Molendinar Lecture, entitled “Lord, let Glasgow flourish :

What makes a city tick?” would be taking place at the City Chambers this evening.

The Turner Prize Exhibition at the Tramway will finish this coming Sunday 17th January.

Elizabeth MacDonald had given details of a Tribute Afternoon to Matt McGinn on Sunday 17th January at 1.00pm in the Two Heided Man Hope Street. On Sat 30th January there will also be a Historical Walk commencing at 1.00pm from the Scott Monument in George Square.

Mr & Mrs McNae had attended a lecture at Glasgow City Heritage Trust headquarters in Bell Street on Wednesday 13th January, entitled 'Historic Market Places of the World'– the first talk concentrated mainly on the Briggait, with the second concentrating on markets in Cuba and Barcelona which has 40 markets. The Briggait lecture ended with a four minute video featuring the Barras which was then played to the club and can be found at www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVNKGELTTx8. Or enter “the Barras three pairs for a pound” in to Google! You are guaranteed to keep repeating that line for the rest of the day! 

Mrs McNae also requested members to pick up and distribute our leaflets and also thanked Petrina Cairns for her continuing upkeep of FaceBook. Members night will be on 11th February and Glen Collie will be our speaker for March.



Dr Alistair Ramsey “Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust”

Mr Little then introduced our speaker for the evening, Dr Alistair Ramsey MBE, who is also a Company Secretary and a former teacher.

Alistair thanked the Old Glasgow Club for the invitation and told us that he retired 10 years ago and that a big part of his life is spent at the Bridgeton Depot.

Alistair explained that the Trust took over in 1999 and was managed by Scotland against Drugs when the council budget put money into communities to try and get drug users into work. It was very difficult to get employers to take on users so a number of programmes were set up.

“Back on the Road” was started at Bridgeton Garage after a business man who had 100 vintage buses agreed to allow 1 of his vehicles to be restored by the Trust. Alistair told us that most of the addicts were unable to read, write or measure. 3 addicts were offered a place with the agreement that they had to turn up for work every day and do a reasonable days work. They would be paid a wage and would be given a job at the end of their 6 month programme. The boys worked hard and restored the bus from a wreck to be fully running.

Glasgow Bus Museum closed its doors and Glasgow Vehicle Trust was born and since 2003 it has occupied the former Glasgow bus garage at Fordneuk Street, Bridgeton.  

Alistair showed an excellent photographic display of various buses that had been restored and are now fully functional. There were also pictures of the bike repair area which is also manned by people with problems. 

Alistair explained that often when buses have been decommissioned they are bought by farmers or builders and used to transport workers around. When of no further use the buses are often just dumped in the hope that someone might come along and buy it. The buses are stripped down to see if they can be salvaged.

Scotland against Drugs closed in 2006 and is now funded privately. Drink/drug addicts or Community Service people are taken on to revamp the buses. The object is to give work experience and prepare for a return to employment and society in general.

Alistair showed us an example of a 1961 Leyland PD2 which had been in storage for 20 years and had its panels and bearers replaced and engine repaired and is now fully restored to the Glasgow Corporation colours.

The machine room at Bridgeton was given £30k to get it up and running. It now has the facility to take up to 10 buses over the pits to work on repairs. There is also a machine to cut, roll and fold any piece of metal.

Glasgow Corporation had 1500 vehicles around their various garages and would sell to other companies when their life span was nearing its end. 1970’s buses were made to last 15 to 20 years but often lasted 3 decades. End of life buses were used for training drivers or cut down to be used as recovery vehicles. 

Alistair then took us through the various types of buses used over the years. A 1948 bus has been fully restored and is on display at the Riverside Museum. “Backenders” were in use in the sixties with the driver in isolation, a conductor was needed on these buses. The eighties saw the use of single deckers together with double deckers.  

In the collection at the depot there is a 1990 Olympian build in Northern Ireland. MacBraynes buses did the Oban, Fort William and Inverness routes and also carried the mail. West Coast carried on when MacBraynes finished. The oldest bus in the collection is Maltese, the second oldest is a 1938 Leyland Lion. There are examples of buses used to ferry the school dinners to the various schools as well as transporting children. Fire engines and lorries are also on display. The red Western buses are unique as they have low rise benches for trees hitting the buses on the country routes. There is also a bus which lost its top going under a low bridge but gained fame as the bus used for “Ali’s Tartan Army”.  

Part of the building is devoted to a display of transport history, for example ticket machines and destination boards. An £85k grant from the Lottery fund was awarded to the depot and used for restoration.  

In 1984 the buses were deregulated, Glasgow was swamped by private operators and was just about wall to wall with buses.  

The upkeep of the depot is expensive, the cost of electricity is around £84k per annum the maintenance of the roof is between £6k – £10k a year. With an income of £5k a month the rest of the money comes from renting the premises for films, fashion shoots etc. The sight seeing open top buses are housed there during the winter months for a fee and during the Commonwealth games 40 buses were accommodated at Bridgeton during the period of the games which earned the depot £25k.

Alistair advised us that the depot is open to the public on the 1st Sunday of the month starting in April as well as its open weekend on 8th -9th October and “Doors Open” in September.

Q. I notice that you didn’t mention bendy buses.

A. Bendy buses take up twice the space as a normal bus and were considered a fire risk. Arriva shipped these buses to Malta and when the contract collapsed they were shipped on to Africa.

Q. Did the biggest selling bus go back to Sydney?

A. No the bus alternates between us and Fife.

Q. Do you have a carcass of a tram car?

A. Yes but don’t know what will happen to it as most of the members are over 70yrs and not as fit to work on it.

Q. Do you have reciprocal arrangements with other transport museums?

A. Yes buses are sent to other venues for open days. The Maltese bus is to go to England for display and we work closely with other organisations.

Q. I very much enjoyed your talk. What has been the dearest bus to restore?

A. The Maltese bus took 7 years to restore at a cost of £50k to get to the condition it’s in. Other buses can cost as much as £85k. It’s not the value of the vehicle but the cost of the parts.

Q. This is not a question but a story. One night my wife came home and said that Joe went through the window again. He always sat in the same seat and went through the window 3 times.

A. I travelled on the 44 to Mount Florida and always fell asleep at the back of the bus.

Q. Are there in females in the drug rehab progamme?

A. Females are not prepared to do this type of work it just doesn’t appeal to them.

Vote of thanks – Stuart Little.

Stuart thanked Alistair for his very interesting talk although he was a bit peeved to classed as over 70 as he is a lot younger than that. It was good to get an insight into the work and social aspect of the Trust, helping people make a better job of life. Stuart will keep us updated on the progress of the museum.  

AOCB: none

Next Ordinary Meeting - 11th February at Adelaides. This meeting is open to friends and members. It is Members Night and we will be representing   Sallie Marshall

Vice President.

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
11th February 2016

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Attendance, 80

ChairMr Stuart Little (President)

WelcomeMr Little welcomed everyone along to the annual Members night of the Old Glasgow Club and thanked members for venturing out on this cold night. Mr Little explained fire drill procedures, housekeeping rules and requested that all mobile devices be set to silent or off.


Isobel Haddow, Jim O'Kane, Ian Frame, John McKnight, Patricia Stirling, Charlie McCall.


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on Thursday 14th January were approved and proposed by Margaret Thom and seconded by Stuart Little.

There were no matters arising.

President's ReportNo President's report this evening.

Secretary's Report

Mrs McNae told members that all members that had given their email addresses enabling the OGC Minutes to be sent electronically should be receiving them now.

The excellent Facebook page which is manned by our past president, Petrina Cairns currently has a very healthy membership of 550 people. Petrina updates most days and posts interesting articles, photographs and information on events in Glasgow. It really is worth looking at if you are on Facebook.

If you've been watching the screen behind me you will see various dates for upcoming or current exhibitions and events like "Hello My Name is Paul Smith", currently running at The Lighthouse and "A Century of Style: Costume and Colour" which is in it's last week.

For more information on any of the exhibitions and talks shown on the slides go to peoplemakeglasgow.com and www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk.

Now over to Stuart, who is going to give us information on the OGC Summer itinerary.

Stuart told us that after asking members at the last ordinary meeting whether they preferred a day trip with full sized coach or a more local trip in a vintage bus the unanimous decision had been to go with the full day trip, full size coach.

The OGC Summer outing is on the 11th June to Culzean Castle, Ayrshire. The Castle will be a full day out and members can decide whether they want a tour of the castle and access to grounds or just to the grounds, walled garden and visitor centre.

The bus will be stopping in Ayr to allow us to have dinner or a wander around. We are still looking into dining options, whether it be High Tea or a venue of your own choice. We will update you at the March Meeting.

Since Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust are kindly letting us have access to one of their vintage buses, this year's J.A.S. Memorial Walk will take the form of a bus trip and a walk, the date of which still has to be confirmed.

The vintage bus will take us from George Square to Rouken Glen Park, Giffnock where we will have our walk and the bus will then return us to George Square.

Back to Members Night, 2016. An evening of "Glasgow's Got Talent" and a celebration of Trades House.

Our speaker from Trades House will give his talk, there will then be a break for tea/ coffee, scones and a quiz and an opportunity to look around the periphery of the hall where we have members displaying their talents.

There's art, jewellery making, knitting, card craft making and millinery. You may have to ask these members for some hints and help with the quiz.

Stuart introduced tonight's speaker, Late Deacon for the Incorporation of Masons of Glasgow, Mr Craig R Bryce who is going to give us a history of The Trades House of Glasgow.


Mr Bryce introduced himself as Late Deacon of the Incorporation of Masons of Glasgow : supporting Stonemasonry and allied trades, here to talk about The Trades House of Glasgow.

Legend has it that the Incorporation of Masons was first mentioned in records dating from 1057 when King

Malcolm the Third incorporated the Masons of Glasgow, under Royal Charter to protect the citizens of

Glasgow from "unskilled and insufficient workmen, that had come to work at our Cathedral and other parts of the city".

"The Trades House of Glasgow was created at the time of reform of Glasgow's local government in 1605. At that time the electorate was basically divided into two groups, the Merchants and the Craftsmen". The Merchant class of Glasgow by reason of their wealth and ability exercised a lot of influence and were in charge of local government, causing a lot of aggravation between Trades and Merchants. "The Craft Incorporations comprised the trades ran by Burgesses under the leadership of the Deacon Convener".

The Trades House is the people and the Trades Hall is the building. A building, which, apart from the mediaeval cathedral, is the oldest building in Glasgow still used for it's original purpose. The Hall was built to house the federation of Glasgow's 14 trades.

The Trades Hall, 85-91 Glassford Street was designed and built between 1791-1794 by Scottish Architect, Robert Adam and his brothers John and James. Robert was the principal architect since records show he was paid 50 guineas and his brothers were paid 30 guineas each.

Trades Hall was built in the Palladian style and consisted of shops on the ground floor with cellars bellow, and a grand, main hall on the floor above. There were another two large rooms above the hall. It is the only major remaining Adam property in the city and has undergone extensive interior renovation in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The fourteen trades are : Hammermen, Tailors, Cordiners, Maltmen, Weavers, Bakers, Skinners & Glovers, Wrights, Coopers, Fleshers, Masons, Gardenerss, Barbers and Bonnermakers & Dyers.

A full description of each of the trades can be found under the '14 Incorporated Crafts' heading on the homepage of tradeshouse.org.uk

Craig told us that anyone can apply to join the Incorporated Trades, except for the Maltmen, they don't let women in !

Why Join ? "The types of people who join the Incorporation are wide and varied. Some join because they are associated with the trades; others because of their parents or ancestors were associated with the trades; others because they wish to support students and tradespeople; others because they are interested in becoming a Burgess and a freeperson of the City of Glasgow and again others simply to be a part of Glasgow's great history and culture".

Historically members of Incorporations had other benefits such as being able to graze your sheep on Glasgow Green, having the right to be placed in a cell with another freeman and having a vote at Council elections when very few people had the vote. Unfortunately these historic advantages no longer exist

How do you join? Via tradeshousemuseum.org, contact page at tradeshouse.org.uk or by letter to Trades House of Glasgow, Trades Hall, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UH. Telephone number 0141 553 1605. There is a one off fee to join any of the Incorporations.

Craig thanked everyone for listening and invited members to ask him questions.

Q. Do many big cities in the UK have a Trades House ?

A In Scotland, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee etc. In England they are usually called Guildhalls.

Q. Some of the places you spoke about earlier are riverside locations. Were the canal boat men Burgesses? A. No, they weren't wealthy enough. If you were a canal man you could be a Journeyman though. Fully educated in a trade and completed an apprenticeship but moving about. Break and Quiz

A break for tea, coffee, scones and jams and an opportunity for each table to take part in the Quiz.

The quiz consisted of 10 questions that were relevant to The Trades House of Glasgow and the OGC members that were displaying their talents around the periphery of the hall tonight.

Vote of Thanks

Stuart thanked Craig for his very enlightening and informative glimpse into the The Trades House of Glasgow and for taking time out of a busy schedule to come and talk to us. Quiz

Each table gave the adjacent table their completed sheets and Petrina read out the 10 answers to the quiz.

Tables 9 and 10 each got 9 questions correct, a tiebreak question was to be the decider.

Q - "According to OGC Librarians 2015 report, how many books are in the Tradeshouse Library OGC Collection"?

A - 306

Table 9 were the closest to this answer and were declared the winners. Everyone at the table received a small prize.

AOCB - None

Next Directors Meeting - 3rd March, 6.15pm at Glasgow Unitarian Church, 72 Berkley Street. Next Members Meeting - 10th March, 7pm for 7.30pm at Adelaides, Bath Street.

Mr Little thanked everyone for coming along tonight and to Members and Directors that helped make the evening a success. He wished all a safe home.                                                 

Shona Crozer

Recording Secretary

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
10th March 2016

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
14th April 2016

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club
12th May 2016

held at Adelaide's, 209 Bath Street, Glasgow

Minutes to be posted