Vacancy: Heritage Manager (Maternity Cover)

Three people wearing high viz jackets stand in front of a building covered in scaffolding

Heritage Manager (part-time / maternity cover)

3 days/week starting June 2022

£30,000 pro rata (£18,000) including Local Government Pension Scheme

Glasgow City Heritage Trust gives out almost £1 million in funding each year to help people in Glasgow protect, repair and promote the city’s historic buildings and places.

Through our conservation grants people enjoy, understand and care for Glasgow’s historic built environment and are able to access funding and expertise which ensures the sustainability of the city’s heritage for current and future generations. 

Our historic environment plays an important role in successful neighbourhoods and high streets which are vital as a local point for social and economic interactions and sustainable communities.

We have an exciting opportunity for a Heritage Manager (Maternity Cover) to join our team in the administration, and management of our Grants Programme in Glasgow aimed at historic building repairs, project development and heritage outreach and education work.

The 2022/23 Historic Environment Grants budget is just under £620,000. As the Heritage Manager you will take overall responsibility for the delivery of the new grants process, and management of a small team of Heritage Officers. You will work alongside the Heritage Manager responsible for the Trust’s Heritage Activities and will report to the Deputy Director and Grants Committee. 

You will have an informed interest in Glasgow’s heritage and will have relevant experience in a heritage, arts or culture organisation. 

The successful candidate will manifest our core values: passionate, collaborative, innovative and forward-looking.

The Trust offers a variety of benefits to employees, including generous employer pension contributions, flexible working, 25 days paid annual leave (pro rata) and excellent opportunities for training and development. 

GCHT welcomes applications from all sections of the community and is an equal opportunities employer.

For further details or to apply, please go to www.glasgowheritage.org.uk. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Director Torsten Haak via torsten@glasgowheritage.org.uk to arrange an informal discussion. 

The deadline for application submission is 25th April 2022 at 12:00 noon. Shortlisted candidates will be informed by 29th April 2022. Interviews will be held on 5th May 2022 via Zoom.

Heritage Manager (Maternity Cover) Job Description

Heritage Manager (Maternity Cover) Application for Employment

Gallus Glasgow Education Resources

Here are some of the resources we’ve created for teachers and educators. 

Video Recording: Spotlight on…Gallus Glasgow for educators

A special recorded webinar for teachers and educators giving a guide to the Gallus Glasgow resource, how you might use it in the classroom and some resources to assist you.

Gallus Glasgow Events Archive

Here are some of the events we’ve held online during the Gallus Glasgow project. Watch back in your own time!

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Video Recording: Spotlight on…Gallus Glasgow for educators

Support us

Like many other charities, the coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on our activities, threatening our crucial work to protect, repair and celebrate Glasgow’s rich built heritage. As a result, we expect to lose an important part of our income this year.

We are therefore asking that if you are able to support our conservation and outreach work,
please consider donating to the Trust.

This session was first delivered for the Glasgow City Council Education Improvement Service Spotlight series of CPD session for teachers. It offers a guide to the Gallus Glasgow resource, how you might use it in the classroom and some resources to assist you.

This video is fully subtitled – please click the caption button on the video player. A transcript is also available.

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is an independent charity and your support is crucial to ensure that our charitable work promoting the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Glasgow’s historic buildings for the benefit of the city’s communities and its visitors continues now, and in the future.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our loyalty scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Gallus Glasgow Events Archive

Here are some of the events we’ve held online during the Gallus Glasgow project. Watch back in your own time! 

The events are password protected – to gain access please contact us from your Glow email address and we will send you the password.

Video Recording: From Brides to The Bridewell: Women’s Lives in a Glasgow City Block

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: Maps, Myths & Misrepresentations

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: Gruesome Glasgow

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: The TREE, the BIRD, the FISH, the BELL …and the PHOTOGRAPHER: Thomas Annan’s Glasgow

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: Atlantic Slavery Hidden in Plain Sight In A Victorian City

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

Video Recording: Mapping the City with John Moore

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password:

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Online Debate: Gallus Glasgow: The greatest Victorian city in the world?

Thursday 24th February 2022 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

John Betjeman (1906-84) was an English poet, writer and broadcaster, who was also a passionate defender of Victorian architecture. In Pavement in the Sun, 1967, Jack House provides an account of John Betjeman’s impression of Glasgow. The visitor “was so entranced by Victorian Glasgow. ‘The headquarters of the Victorian Society shouldn’t be in London,’ he said. ‘They should be here. This is the greatest Victorian city in the world.”

The vast majority of the city as seen today dates from the 19th century. As a result, Glasgow has an impressive heritage of Victorian architecture: the Glasgow City Chambers; the main building of the University of Glasgow, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott; and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, designed by Sir John W. Simpson are examples.

However, we have seen high profile cases in recent years of significant Victorian buildings that have fallen into disrepair, neglect, been subject to fire and demolished. GCHT has produced an annual ‘snapshot report’ on the current state of Glasgow’s historic built environment since 2018. The 2019 report showed that the condition of buildings in Glasgow on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland has deteriorated over the last decade.

Is Glasgow really the ‘Greatest Victorian City in the World’ as Betjamen famously said? What can we learn from other cities with similar densities of significant historic buildings about how to protect this irreplaceable heritage? Is that heritage worthy of World Heritage Site status, and is that something that we, as a city, would want?

Join us for a lively debate on this fascinating topic. Find out what our expert panellists think about Glasgow’s Victorian heritage and the best route to protecting it, then we’ll open it up to you for questions and discussion.

Chair: Glasgow Lord Provost Philip Braat.

Panellists:

 

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Please note: Payment is taken via PayPal but you do not need to have a PayPal account to pay online. 

We are using Zoom to broadcast our live talks. You can join these events as a participant without creating a Zoom account. You do not need to have a webcam or a microphone to join the event as a participant.

All events are subtitled. We aim to make our events as accessible as possible but if you feel that you might need some additional help, please let us know when you book your ticket or get in touch in advance. We’re open to feedback and would welcome your ideas on how we can improve in this area.

You will receive instructions on joining the event by email. If you haven’t received anything by midday on the day of the event, please check your spam folder and then contact us.

All events are recorded and everyone who has booked will be sent a link to the recording to watch again after the event. We are a small team and this can take a couple of weeks so please bear with us!

Support us

Like many other charities, the coronavirus outbreak is having a major impact on our activities, threatening our crucial work to protect, repair and celebrate Glasgow’s rich built heritage. As a result, we expect to lose an important part of our income this year.

We are therefore asking that if you are able to support our conservation and outreach work,
please consider donating to the Trust.

You might also be interested in…

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

Ever wondered which buildings in your neighbourhood are listed, or even on Scotland’s Buildings at Risk Register?

Our new interactive map shows data collated between February and April 2018 which gives a snapshot of the current state of Glasgow’s historic built environment.

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

Read our latest blog post about our Ghost Signs of Glasgow project, pondering the nature of ghost signs and what they tell us about the urban landscape.

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

So…we’re allowed out every day for a walk, we have kids at home to entertain and the streets are deserted – sounds like an ideal time to have a go at some heritage detective work!

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Commission: Gallus Glasgow Contemporary Bird’s Eye View

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is inviting expressions of interest to create a contemporary illustration interpreting and bringing to the present day Thomas Sulman’s Bird’s Eye View of Glasgow, 1864. 

The artwork will be used by Glasgow City Heritage Trust for interpretation and exploration of changes to Glasgow’s historic built environment as well as promotion, outreach activities and marketing, as part of its successful Gallus Glasgow project.

The successful artist/designer/illustrator will: 

  • Create a new, detailed, illustrated ‘bird’s eye view of Glasgow’ looking north from the southside of the Clyde, reflecting the original artwork and showing how Glasgow has developed and changed since 1864, highlighting key historic buildings, using drone footage as its inspiration.

The commissioning panel is interested in design ideas that: 

  • Reflect on the architectural draughtsman style of the original artwork.
  • Create an engaging artwork that considers how Glasgow’s built environment has changed between the original artwork in 1864 and the present day, highlighting key buildings. 
  • Use attention to detail and have exceptional production values.
  • Are suitable for a wide range of audiences.
  • Have the potential to be used both as a digital artwork and print, as required. 

Total commission value including all fees and materials as required: £1,770.00 (Drone imagery will be contracted and funded separately).

The deadline for the completed commission is 30th April 2022. 

To apply click here to download the Artist’s Brief. 

Deadline: Wednesday 9th February 2022, 10am

Interviews: Wednesday 16th February 2022, via Zoom

A whirlwind history of the Glasgow Athenaeum since its establishment

By Dr. Karen Malley-Watt

WOMEN’S RIGHTS, DICKENS & DRESSMAKING

What links Charles Dickens, women’s rights activists, dressmaking and the Glasgow Chess Club? No, this isn’t a bad Christmas cracker joke but an important piece of Glasgow history. The Glasgow Athenaeum, now The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has played an important role in helping to shape Glasgow’s cultural training and commercial output. It is noted that the Glasgow Athenaeum’s origins lie with James Provan who was handed a leaflet for the ‘Glasgow Educational Association’ after attending a chemistry lecture (James Lauder, ‘The Glasgow Athenaeum: A Sketch of Fifty Years’ Work (1847-1897)). Through this interaction the Glasgow Commercial College (later the Glasgow Athenaeum) was born, holding its first public meeting on the 3rd December 1845 where they appointed 12 (all-male) Directors with Robert Reid as President.

Figure 1: Artist’s sketch of the Inaugural Soiree, 28th December 1847, reproduced from “The Illustrated London News”. Image courtesy of The Royal Scottish Conservatoire Archives & Collections.

GROWING DEMAND

Over the next few years the Board raised funds to secure rooms at the Robert Adam designed Assembly Rooms in Ingram Street and celebrated by holding a ‘first soiree’ in December 1847 with nearly 3000 people in attendance. The halls were richly decorated with banners, floral wreaths, evergreens and painted ‘devices’ which included a suspended emblematic painting representing Time showing to Britannia science, art, fame and literature. The evening was accompanied by music, drinks and speeches. Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was the main event of the night. The Fife Herald noted that the demand to hear Mr Dickens was so great that the Directors were forced to create a temporary gallery the length of the north side of the hall to accommodate 500 people! 

By the 1880s the demand for classes and an increase in space to house training facilities and classrooms had grown. The new Athenaeum building, designed by Messrs John Burnet, Son & Campbell, opened on the 25th January 1888. Located between the Faculty Hall and the Liberal Club, the building was designed in a ‘classic style of architecture’ and was described in amazingly vivid detail by The Glasgow Herald  just one day after the opening. The article on the 26th January 1888 takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the building providing floor dimensions, departments, facilities and investigations of the rooms held over the three storeys. It even highlights where the lavatories were situated (at the ‘entresol’ at each end of the building if you’re curious). Other features mentioned include electric lighting, two sets of statues by John Mossman, and heated water throughout for the radiators. The article even claims that the building was designed to be ‘practically fireproof’. What a claim!

Figure 2: Artists sketch of the centralised library, The Glasgow Athenaeum Calendar 1898-1899. Image courtesy of The Royal Scottish Conservatoire Archives & Collections.

A NEW BUILDING

The new building housed separate ladies and gentlemen’s departments, a centralised library, writing rooms, a restaurant, a newsroom, several recreation rooms (one of which was often occupied by The Glasgow Chess Club) and a college which consisted of eight classrooms which were ‘all large airy, and well ventilated’. The institution offered a variety of classes available for both men and women including languages, painting, drawing, dramatics, music and composition and dressmaking. The new building also allowed for recreational activities to take place and the space was used by a ladies’ choir, a dramatic club, a Spanish club and a gymnastics club.  

A DRAMATIC TABLEAUX

Between 1891 and 1893, there was a further addition to the Glasgow Athenaeum facilities via a new theatre building being added. The Category A listed building (now the Hard Rock Cafe) was again designed by the practice of John Burnet, Son & Campbell, and included state of the art facilities such as an Otis Passenger lift which is still there today! The theatre itself has a rich and important history and was utilised by a variety of dramatic groups, singers, actors and speakers. Several speakers in support of women’s suffrage graced the Glasgow Athenaeum’s podium to voice their support for the cause. As early as 1870, Miss Emily Faithfull (1835-1895) spoke to a crowded audience in the large hall of the institution on the subject of the ‘Movement relating to women – the vexed question, and how to solve it’. Faithfull was an English women’s rights activist who in 1860 founded a printing company for women called The Victoria Press – very radical for the time! Even the leading suffragist, Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett (1847-1929) spoke as part of the Athenaeum’s lecture series (on the ‘Female Characters of George Elliot’ if you’re interested).

Another event connected with the women’s suffrage movement was a Dramatic Tableaux which was held in 1912 at the Athenaeum Theatre. This event involved several of the artists, now commonly referred to as ‘Glasgow Girls’, including Helen Paxton Brown (1876-1956), De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar (1878 – 1959) and Dorothy Carleton Smyth (1880-1933). Each of these women rightly deserve a whole blog post dedicated to their own individual outputs, achievements and impact. The Dramatic Tableaux was advertised in various suffrage publications including the Common Cause, and The Vote provides detailed information regarding what took place in the Athenaeum Theatre on the 11th and 12th December of that year. The programme detailed a ‘TABLEAUX of Famous Women’ arranged by De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar and featuring figures such as Joan of Arc, Queen Isabella of Spain, the philanthropist Elizabeth Fry, and a ‘TABLEAUX ‘Devolution of Man’, arranged by Carleton Smyth.

Figure 3: Photograph of the building which housed the Glasgow Athenaeum Theatre, The Glasgow Athenaeum Calendar 1903-1904. Image courtesy of The Royal Scottish Conservatoire Archives & Collections.

Organisations could book space to use the various rooms associated with the Athenaeum including the theatre. As such, more research is required to discover how deep the support for the suffrage cause ran in regards to the Glasgow Athenaeum. However, the building’s active connection with providing a platform for the women’s movement, via speakers and events, has been greatly overlooked. 

This has been a very short and brief tour of the spaces and associated events which took place in the spaces associated with the Glasgow Athenaeum. There is still so much more to discover regarding these important Glasgow buildings and the people associated with them!

Dr Karen Mailley-Watt is a Glaswegian historian who has a passion for rediscovering Glasgow’s radical and cultural histories in relation to the built environment. She is one half of the History Girls Frae Scotland.

Twitter: @mailley_watt

Instagram: @scottishwomenartists

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • See if you can spot The Athenaeum on our Gallus Glasgow map
  • Once there, why not explore the map and add a few stories of your own?
  • Prints of the map are available to buy in our online shop

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Could you be our new Heritage Officer? We’re hiring!

Three people wearing high viz jackets stand in front of a building covered in scaffolding

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is currently recruiting for a Heritage Officer (Grants).

Glasgow City Heritage Trust gives out almost £1 million in funding each year to help people in Glasgow protect, repair and promote the city’s historic buildings and places.

Through our conservation grants people enjoy, understand and care for Glasgow’s historic built environment and are able to access funding and expertise which ensures the sustainability of the city’s heritage for current and future generations. 

Our historic environment plays an important role in successful neighbourhoods and high streets which are vital as a local point for social and economic interactions and sustainable communities.

Heritage Officer (Grants)
Salary: £21,000 pa

Deadline for applications: Monday, 17 January 2022 at 12 noon. Shortlisted candidates will be informed by 24th January 2022.
Interviews: Thursday, 3 February 2022 via Zoom.

An exciting opportunity has become available for a Grants Officer to support the implementation of the Trust’s new Historic Built Environment Grants programme for the benefit of all people living and working in and visiting Glasgow.

You will be knowledgable about current building conservation practices and traditional building materials and techniques, and will have an informed interest in Glasgow’s heritage. You will have relevant heritage management, built heritage or conservation construction experience, which may include a formal qualification and/or membership of an appropriate professional body.

The successful candidate will manifest our core values: passionate, collaborative, innovative and forward-looking.

The Trust offers a variety of benefits to employees, including generous employer pension contributions, flexible working, 25 days paid annual leave, rising to 28 days after 3 years service and excellent opportunities for training and development. 

GCHT welcomes applications from all sections of the community and is an equal opportunities employer.

Job Description (.pdf)
Application Form (.doc)

To apply please use the links above to download the Job Description, and Application Form.

Application forms should be returned by email to info@glasgowheritage.org.uk.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the Director Torsten Haak via torsten@glasgowheritage.org.uk to arrange an informal discussion. 

A Strait-laced Sisterhood: Corset Makers and other Businesswomen in 19th century Glasgow

By Morag Cross

Are there women in Sulman’s aerial perspective of Glasgow?

Yes, they inhabit, own and work in the buildings he shows. The amazing image can been used to show the surroundings where female entrepreneurs and employers, shopkeepers and factory workers, lived, loved and laboured. There is no shortage of stories about women’s lives, as this article shows.

MAPPING IS A WOMAN’S BUSINESS

The first street ever photographed was in Paris, 1838, but the crowds moved too fast to be captured by the long exposure, so the pavements appear to be empty, apart from a shoe-shine stall. This sums up the many and numerous surviving records of ordinary women in history. At first sight, they seem absent, but thousands of women of every class appear in mundane, everyday records from the 18th and 19th centuries, and even earlier. Sources that are cost nothing to access, such as Valuation Rolls, poor law records, post office directories, newspapers, court and land sales documents, all burst with female names. However, those individuals are not famous – but most of our ancestors wherever they come from, aren’t well known. That’s the joy of examining and reading about what was ‘everyday’ in the 19th century – laundresses and staymakers are no longer commonplace, time has transformed the formerly mundane into the exotic and the unfamiliar.

If we give the proper respect and dignity to the activity of female owned businesses and shops, the services of the female economy, the streets of all our cities and towns start to ‘feminise’. The grocers, dressmakers, pubs, housekeepers and informal networks of women quietly helping women, begin to take their proper focus in those early daguerrotypes!*

Landressy Street, Bridgeton, home of the iconic Glasgow Women’s Library, has two names appearing in the Post Office Directory for 1865, the year after Sulman’s map. You had to pay to be listed in the Directory, an early advertising and street guide, so it’s it certainly doesn’t contain every resident. The Valuation Rolls, compiled to assess the rateable value charged by the city council, were far more reliable – they show the council’s tax raising powers, and financial records are always more complete!

Landressy Street has 164 property occupants named, and 54, or one third, are women. We see similar results in other streets – Victoria Street, named after a woman, was in Port Eglinton. There are around 91 tenants and owners listed, of whom 17, nearly a fifth, are women in 1865. We can use easily accessible records like this to peel back a roof on Sulman’s map, and find the women inside.

An excerpt from the highly detailed illustrated birds eye view of Glasgow 1864 by Thomas Sulman, showing Sauchiehall Street and Renfrew Street and with the Wellington and Queen Arcades marked as they run perpendicular to these streets.
Thomas Sulman's Bird's Eye View of Glasgow, 1864. The Queen Arcade is out of sight but directly behind the Wellington Arcade. The roofs of the two arcades can be seen. The church spire is now the site of the GFT.

STRAIT LACED

Queen Arcade (without an apostrophe!) was the only one of the city’s glass-roofed shopping streets named after a woman, and attracted affluent female browsers to a safe and sheltered locale. Situated on the north side of Renfrew Street, it was a speculative development opened by the slaters J Donaldson & Sons in 1842, and faced the older Wellington Arcade across the street. Queen Arcade held 14 shops (it lacked a number ‘13’), and about 6 flats, largely occupied by the retailers below. Contrary to expectations, there were more women living or trading there in 1865 than in any other decade – 10 in all. Numbers fell as the century progressed, from 8 women shopkeepers and residents in 1855, to 6 in 1885, and just 4 by 1895.

Some striking tales emerge, of females empowering each other, including a dynasty of Irish corsetieres. Fitted, boned-bodices were essential symbols of feminine virtue and morality, hence ‘strait-laced’ (very tight) meant respectable, and a ‘loose women’ had her corsets untied. Sisters Ellen and Elizabeth Hunter came from County Antrim, part of the great Irish migration to Scotland after the 1845 famine. They were both already married with children, but had originally trained as staymakers. To assist family finances, Mrs Ellen Gordon opened her own business at 6 Queen Arcade around 1846, shortly after her arrival. Two years later, she and her sister relaunched under their maiden names, ‘E & E Hunter, staymakers’ at the same address, emphasising that this is their own concern, albeit that they still required male permission for certain official transactions.

A detailed historic map of the area between two parallel streets in Glasgow - Sauchiehall Street & Renfrew Street. Two arcades run between these streets, marked as Wellington Arcade and Queen Arcade.
The Queen and Wellington Arcades, facing each other across Renfrew Street, now under Marks & Spencer and the Jury’s Hotel Ballroom. This shows the 1857 OS Town Plan.

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

EMPOWERED WOMEN

They enjoyed considerable success – in the 1851 census, Ellen’s husband, a boilermaker, may be head of the household, but it’s she who employs 6 women (including her niece, Elizabeth junior), and a domestic servant. A neighbouring booth made ‘busks’, the rigid two-part steel strips with fastenings for the front of the corset, which made getting dressed much simpler. However, the (male-owned) firm were officially ‘edge toolmakers’, producing blades and knives, a wince-inducing contrast that would make any woman cross her arms protectively!

Before Ellen died of a throat infection in 1856, the shop had expanded into a double unit. It was ‘neatly fitted up, with stock of first quality … such an opening for a beginner is seldom offered’. Jane Collins, yet another staymaker in this family of skilled female artisans. She was the daughter of a third Hunter sister, and took over her aunt’s shop at No 6, in 1858/9 – after her marriage and with a baby son. She balanced motherhood with enterprise, but was widowed within three years. She and her unmarried sister Matilda Martin, who lived with her above Queen Arcade, ran the shop and for continuity’s sake, kept the branding as ‘Mrs Peter Collins’. However, in the official rateable valuation rolls, Jane changed her title to ‘Mrs Jane Collins’, her own name rather than her husband’s being the conventional way to indicate widowhood. It showed the loss of her spouse as her legal ‘guardian’ and inadvertently, emphasises to 21st century women about her financial autonomy.

Newspaper advertisement notifying of a 'staymaking and furnishing business' to be disposed of at 6 & 8 Queen Arcade, 1856
Mrs Ellen Gordon’s shop is advertised as a ‘going concern’ after her death. From the Glasgow Herald, 30 Jan 1856, page 8

Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive.

Newspaper advertisement from 1862 notifying of the sale of the arcades. It notes that the shops attract 'a respectable class of tenants' and that they 'command a good business'
Newspaper advertisement from 1862 notifying of the sale of the arcades. It notes that the shops attract 'a respectable class of tenants' and that they 'command a good business'. Glasgow Herald, 28 April 1862, page 3.

Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive.

Newspaper advert from 1875, advertising the sale of 'fancy hosiery, smallwares, furnishings, jewellery etc' from a Mrs Barr in the Queen Arcade who is retiring from the trade.
Although the building was sold around them, women’s lives continued within it. Glasgow Herald 1875, Feb 1, page 7.

Newspaper image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved. With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive.

SISTERHOOD

These sets of sisters trained each other, promoting their joint success, and passing on their labour-intensive skill-sets of intricate stitching and shaping such elaborately-constructed foundation garments. In the late 1870s, Jane moved her workshop into the ‘posher’ Wellington Arcade between Renfrew St and Sauchiehall St, selling both drapery and corsetry. She also acted as a family matriarch, with a constantly rotating cluster of Irish-born nieces lodging with her, all trying their fortunes in the Glasgow textile trade. In 1871, three relatives appear, a dressmaker and two sewing machinists; a decade later, she heads a household of 4 working females, and her elderly aunt, Elizabeth Campbell, of the original ‘E & E Hunter, staymakers’. One niece resides for over a decade, and along with another middle aged Irishwoman, is probably one of Jane’s employees. Living ‘over the shop’, and working with your landlady, may have proved rather claustrophobic at times, but as Jane hosted at least 7 female relatives, over two decades, it must have been tolerable at least.

A grey corset from the 1840s
A red corset from the 1860s

Two plain corsets, from the 1840s (left), and 1860s (right), possibly similar to those made by the Glasgow staymakers. That on the right has a steel busk, making opening easier.

Images courtesy of Manchester Art Gallery, Acc No 1972.7; Acc No 1947.1629

A NETWORK OF ENTREPRENEURIAL CRAFTSWOMEN

Returning to 1860, Elizabeth Campbell’s (of ‘E & E Hunter) daughter, now Mrs Elizabeth Dobbin, had long experience of working in their maternal trade, so she and her sister in law formed a partnership and opened in the former buskmaker’s premises at 9 Queen Arcade. You have to wonder about the initial friendships and marriages arising out of this sprawling Scottish-north Irish network of entrepreneurial female craftswomen. Elizabeth’s Dobbin in-laws, including her husband’s mother, were all staymakers from Armagh. It seems likely she met her husband through his sister, Mary Jane Dobbin, due to mutual professional contacts. There were so many links ‘horizontally’, across the Hunter-Collins-Dobbins clans, and also ‘vertically’, between the different generations, seen just from public sources, many free to access. Finding, and publishing their tales is easier, and more accessible than ever with the advent of the internet.

The Dobbins, and other characters in the life of the Queen Arcade will be followed further in a second blog, tracing more of the lives of working women within the streets of Sulman’s amazing map. The women inhabit his Glasgow streets, just as they always have, if we only choose to look!

* Daguerrotypes are early photographs on metal plates.

Morag Cross is an independent researcher and archaeologist, specialising in histories of buildings and land ownership. Her archival research explores the unexpected links between previously unknown figures, especially women, and their social networks. She has worked on over 80 projects including business histories for the Mackintosh Architecture website, Glasgow Council’s official WW1 website, M74 industrial archaeology research, and Edinburgh’s India Buildings, Victoria St.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Book a ticket for our evening talk on 19th century retail with Sophie Maddison on Wednesday 8th December at 7.30pm.
  • Check out our Gallus Glasgow map and explore more stories of the Victorian city. Once there, why not add a few stories of your own?
  • Prints of the map are available to buy in our online shop

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.

Online Talk: Off the Map with Norry Wilson

Wednesday 26th January 2022 | 7.30pm – 9pm GMT | via Zoom

Join Lost Glasgow’s Norry Wilson as he uses Sulman’s map, and Shadow’s ‘Midnight Scenes and Social Photographs’ (1858), to explore the square mile of the city lost to the building of St Enoch Station. It’s a dark tale of Glasgow as ‘Gotham’; one of vanished wynds, dirty dens, music halls, brothels, sugar houses, and shebeens.

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

We're sorry, but all tickets sales have ended because the event is expired.

Please note: Payment is taken via PayPal but you do not need to have a PayPal account to pay online. 

We are using Zoom to broadcast our live talks. You can join these events as a participant without creating a Zoom account. You do not need to have a webcam or a microphone to join the event as a participant.

All events are subtitled. We aim to make our events as accessible as possible but if you feel that you might need some additional help, please let us know when you book your ticket or get in touch in advance. We’re open to feedback and would welcome your ideas on how we can improve in this area.

You will receive instructions on joining the event by email. If you haven’t received anything by midday on the day of the event, please check your spam folder and then contact us.

All events are recorded and everyone who has booked will be sent a link to the recording to watch again after the event. We are a small team and this can take a couple of weeks so please bear with us!

You might also be interested in…

Online Talk: 19th Century Retail and the Rise of the Department Store

Wednesday 8th December 2021 | 7.30pm GMT | via Zoom

Focusing on architecture, window displays, and internal design, this talk will examine how Glasgow department stores, like their Parisian counterparts, became spaces not just of spectacle, but also of manipulation and disorientation.

The Map

“I feel like a bird soaring over the city when I gaze upon Sulman’s map, every nook and cranny with every detail so exact.

I can see where I came from and where I’m at.”

Edward’s story

A DIFFERENT DIRECTION Another day at the warehouse done. He’s a clerk, so there’s always lots of paperwork to get through and it requires great attention to detail. He’s a conscientious and well-organised individual though, so he enjoys it and the satisfaction he gets when a job is done well. 

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

Each year, our events help over 2000 people to understand and appreciate Glasgow's irreplaceable built heritage. Can you help us to reach more people?

We are hugely grateful for the support of our Friends whose subscriptions help cover the costs of these events, thereby ensuring accessible pricing for everyone in Glasgow in these challenging times.

The easiest way to support the Trust’s work is to join our Friends scheme. Our tiered loyalty scheme means you can choose the level that’s right for you.