Vacancy: Heritage Officer- Activities (Maternity Cover)

Heritage Officer (full-time, fixed term, maternity cover)

Salary: £21,000 p/a

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.

An exciting opportunity has become available for an Activities Officer to support the implementation of the Trust’s new Historic Built Environment Activities programme for the benefit of all people living, working in and visiting Glasgow. As part of our Activities Team, this will involve the planning and co-ordination of a range of events, including talks and debates, tours, practical workshops and training opportunities for both a professional audience and the general public. You will also assist with a number of other projects designed to achieve our strategic objectives, such as community engagement workshops.

You will have an informed interest in Glasgow’s heritage and relevant experience in events management, project management, community engagement or similar, which may include a formal qualification. 

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 and excellent opportunities for training and development. 

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

Heritage Officer- Activities (Maternity Cover) Job Description

Heritage Officer- Activities (Maternity Cover) Application for Employment

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.

Deadline for applications: Friday 29th July 2022 at 12 noon. Shortlisted candidates will be informed by Friday 5th August 2022.

Interviews: Friday, 12 August 2022.

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

A Runaway Horse, Shoplifting and a ‘Peace Riot’

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 second blog by Morag Cross also shows.

Sulman's map of 1864 showing the location of Queen Arcade

A RUNAWAY HORSE

Queen Arcade was an indoors ‘safe space’ for women to meet and browse, reassured by the benign surveillance of fellow shoppers. One morning in 1866, this security was breached by a runaway horse, which collided with an unsuspecting female, and careered through both the Queen and Wellington Arcades.    

Traders in close proximity can also attract less desirable human visitors – in 1866, illiterate Ann Mills received ‘seven years’ penal servitude’ for stealing corsets and 5 yards of coarse cloth from Jane Collins’s shop. Mills had 8 previous convictions including 4 years for theft, an obvious measure of her desperation when the harsh punishments didn’t put her off. The National Records of Scotland’s online catalogue reveals Mills was a musician’s wife from Belfast, living in the congested slums of Bridgegate. The street was known for its large Irish community, and numerous used-clothing dealers, where Mills could have sold her goods for ready cash. Corset-maker Mrs Collins and her extended family featured in the previous blog. Mary Jane Dobbins, a cousin-by-marriage, was targeted in 1871 by Mary Wilson, another repeat offender. Wilson took ’32 yards of jean cloth and a crinoline’, and served 8 months in prison.  She was obviously unable to conceal so much bulky material about her person, and like Mills, probably lived a chaotic, miserable existence. 

This blue silk crinoline dress was worn by one of the Reids of Kittochside Farm, East Kilbride c 1866-7. It was supported by a hooped cage or frame, like that shown (Images courtesy Glasgow Museums, CC BY-SA 4.0).

A MARVEL OF MISDIRECTION

Crinoline frames were made in arcade workshops; seamstress Mrs Mary Ann Stirling advertised in 1861 as ‘inventress of the hand notted [sic] crinoline … keeps the shape better … also much cheaper’. Twice widowed, she concealed her true age and first marriage from her third husband – three marriages might seem embarrassingly excessive. Her death certificate, from 1900, is a marvel of misdirection – she had obviously knocked three years off her age, falsified her mother’s and second spouse’s names, and omitted ‘Mr Stirling’ altogether. She can never have expected to be found out! 

Mrs Stirling’s invention, advertised in the Glasgow Herald of February, 1861

DEATH BY CRINOLINE

Unwieldy crinolines frames were absurdly impractical and also dangerous –gruesome ‘death by crinoline’ was often reported, where the extended skirts were ignited by naked flames. Fanny Appleton, wife of the poet H W Longfellow, was one such victim. ‘Crinoline protector’ guards were even sold with cooking ranges. A wonderfully vivid account of the Glasgow public touring the warship ‘Centurion’ in 1861, relates: ‘Ladies were crushing their crinolines into gigantic sandwiches amid coils of rope, barrels and pails’. One woman descending a ladder was unable to see her feet, until a ‘gallant sailor … crushed every reef out of the floating crinoline’. 

 Queen Arcade’s female traders largely depended on meeting the demands of home dressmakers who pursued the latest elaborate styles. Those on modest budgets would normally update collars, flounces or decoration on existing clothing, as new outfits were a major investment. Dress-accessories and haberdashery provided an entire branch of retail for women workers, which vanished as braid and long hems were replaced by mass-produced clothing after World War 1. There were at least four of these miniature emporiums in the arcade over time, under specialist names like ‘furnishings’, ‘smallwares’, and ‘fancy warehouses’.  

Adverts from the various 'small wares' shops, Glasgow Herald 1870s
The disturbingly contemporary letter below appeared next to a review of the new shopping facilities in Queen Arcade (North British Daily Mail, 8 December 1875).

A BEWILDERING VARIETY OF EVERY COMMODITY

Esther Smith (born Caithness, 1805) saved enough working as a servant to open an arcade toyshop in the mid-1850s. She expanded her stock to ‘furnishings’ while hosting her teenage nephew, an apprentice plasterer. One of the Martin staymaker family lodged with her in 1871 (showing the inter-dependency of the arcade women’s household incomes), and ten years later, presumably retired, she was living with her niece, another ‘smallware dealer’ from Caithness. Something soon went tragically wrong – her 1883 death certificate calls her a ‘pauper’. 

 Mrs Stirling, discussed above, sold ‘dress furnishings’, and contemporary adverts show this might include endless varieties of hairnets, stamped and velvet ribbons (all widths), steel buckles, trimmings, silk and worsted yarns, milliner’s feathers, jet and nickel buttons, eyelets, fringes, jacket ornaments, veil nets, and ‘plated portrait brooches’. The bewildering varieties of every commodity demonstrate the minute subdivision of labour, and global import market – German sundries being especially noted.  

A ‘DECIDEDLY DINGY PASSAGE’ 

The mall (opened c1842), was a shabby, ‘decidedly dingy passage’ by the 1870s. Paint merchant Andrew Yuille bought the entire complex and invested in the necessary renovations in 1875. The floor was ‘rodent-proofed’ with asphalt, and mosaics of the city’s arms. ‘Unusually liberal use of silverised plate glass and gilding’ included huge etched mirrors over the entrances. The new roof was 12 feet higher, allowing for white and gold pillared shopfronts (with more mirrors), beneath ornamental gargoyle heads. The architects were Knox & Halley, with paint schemes by local artist T Byron Lyle and decorator James Lyle. The latter’s widow, Agnes, opened her own paint store at the wonderfully-named 265½ Buchanan St in the 1880s. 

Traces of the elaborate interior survived into the final days of the mall in the early 1960s. The empty mirror frames, carved gargoyles and ‘rat-proof’ flooring remained. Courtesy of Glasgow City Archives, Cat No D-PL 2/1/1871.

A VANITY-CENTRED MARKETING PLOY

At the celebratory dance for the tenants, the speaker praised ‘all those beautiful mirrors which so faithfully reflected ladies’ charms as they passed.’ When word of this looking-glass hall spread, ladies would flock to examine (or admire) themselves, and ‘shopkeepers could secure them as customers and … extract the needful profit’. The decoration was a vanity-centred marketing ploy, although most women were presumably canny enough to resist! The glaziers, J & G Rae, later supplied glass for the famous C R Mackintosh-designed Willow Tearooms. 

 Some women were granted the vote in school board and municipal elections in 1872, and 1881 respectively. It’s a mystery why these major feminist landmarks are never celebrated, and only 1918 is recognised for female suffrage. In 1881, under the new property qualification, three female ratepayers in Queen Arcade appear on the ‘List of Female persons entitled … to vote for town councillors’. They were corset-makers Isabella and Mary Jane Dobbin, and Janet Sommerville, who ran dairies in and around the arcade for 32 years. She was another of those unsung spinster aunts, who brought up her nephew and worked until her seventies. In turn, Janet was cared for by his family, received the newly-introduced state pension in 1908, and died at the great age of 90 in 1922.  

Adverts from the rise of Joseph Broydo’s firm, Helensburgh News 1884 and his fall, Glasgow Herald 1885

IT ENDED IN A RIOT..

The 1885 rateable valuation roll shows that ‘Elizabeth Broydo & Co’ owned a portrait studio. This was still a rare job for a woman, although one of history’s most celebrated female photographers – Clementina Elphinstone Fleeming (1822-65), later Lady Hawarden, came from nearby Cumbernauld. Joseph Broydo, an emigre Russian picture-framer, had married Elizabeth Morgan from County Down. He had four studios in Glasgow and Belfast, and even spoke at Irish home-rule meetings. When Broydo faced bankruptcy, the premises were put in Elizabeth’s name. Joseph’s fate is unknown, but Elizabeth re-emerges back in Newry in 1896. During a volatile sibling dispute, she accused her own brother of assault and withholding her wages, but settled out of court.  

We began with a bolting horse, and end with a riot. Two sisters, the Misses Ronald, had occupied the double shop at Nos 1-3 as mantle-makers (short, loose coats). The new tenant in 1899 was one James Keir Hardie, former and future MP, co-founder of the Labour Party, but at that time, editor of the ‘Labour Leader’ newspaper.  

 The Glasgow Herald described a rally against the Boer War (attended by Hardie) in March 1900 as ‘a travelling troupe of Stop-the-War propagandists’, who ‘slandered the nation’. Counter-demonstrators smashed Hardie’s plate-glass office windows in Queen Arcade, such was the depth of feeling on both sides. Hardie claimed £16 damages for repairs, which the city council refused to pay. The so-called (and self-contradictory) ‘peace riot’ ends this brief saunter past the women’s lives among one of Glasgow’s early shopping malls. Their imposing architecture has been justly celebrated, but the feminine social worlds contained therein also deserve a hearing. Meanwhile, Sulman has microscopic pedestrians traversing his streets, some of them wearing crinolines, which make them identifiable as women, although cartography was surely never envisaged as a reason to wear them! 

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? 

  • Read the first blog about Queen Arcade here
  • 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

Black Victorians and Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Glasgow

By Caroline Bressey

Uncle Tom's Cabin print, 1878, Library of Congress collection

AN UNPRECEDENTED SUCCESS

On Thursday 26 February 1880 an advert was placed to catch the attention of readers of Glasgow’s Evening Citizen.  Carried among the ads for ‘amusements’ that could be enjoyed that week was one for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, then showing at the Prince of Wales Theatre.  The show was being met with ‘thunders of applause’ every night, and consisted of a ‘magnificent dramatic company’ which included American comedians, ‘original jubilee singers’ (a choir of African American singers) and ‘freed slaves’.   It was claimed to be an unprecedented success in the history of drama in Glasgow.  The theatre promised that overflow tickets issued on a Saturday evening when some hundreds were unable to get in would be available any evening during the show’s run.  The following week, perhaps to ensure that potential audience members were aware of the authenticity of the cast, another ad carried the additional tag that the cast included ‘real negroes’.  

Harriet Beecher Stowe

‘TOO WELL KNOWN TO DEMAND COMMENT’

Readers of the Citizen would likely have known well the story of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, though it had been published almost 30 years earlier.  When an 1872 production opened in Glasgow, the story was deemed ‘too well known to demand comment.’ Published by Harriet Beecher Stowe in Boston in 1852, the book became one of the most important and best-selling novels of the nineteenth century.  When it was printed in London in 1852, it was given a slightly different title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or Negro Life in the Slave States of America, making clear its central concern with the lives of enslaved African Americans. 

The book was a sensation in Britain and was read and performed in many different settings.  In February 1857 the Glasgow Courier carried an announcement that for 3s a ticket, audiences would be able to hear Mrs Webb, ‘a coloured American Lady’, reading from Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the McLellan Rooms that Friday evening.  Given the immense popularity and success of the novel, it is not surprising theatre producers sought to capitalise on interest in the story, and versions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin remained popular on theatre programmes in Britain for the remainder of the century.  

The first stage productions opened in the United States in August 1852, but Britain was not far behind with adaptations at the Standard and Olympic Theatres in London and the Theatre Royal in Edinburgh all opening in September.  It’s likely the first stage version in Glasgow was produced not long afterwards.  Certainly by February 1853 the Theatre Royal, then on Dunlop Street, was boasting in an advert placed in the Glasgow Free Press, that a crowded house watched their version of the show every night.  Its popularity was such that Uncle Tom’s Cabin was programmed to be performed every night until further notice. 

McLellan Galleries, Sauchiehall Street, c. 1920

SPECTACULAR THEATRICAL VERSIONS

The 1870s saw one of the most spectacular theatrical versions created by the American producers Jarrett and Palmer. In 1878 they announced a new kind of staging of the novel which would involve a vast cast including over 50 Black actors.  Though the entire version of this American staging did not perform in Glasgow, a chorus of Jubilee singers joined a production which played to crowded and enthusiastic audiences at the Prince of Wales theatre.  A February 1879 review in the North British Daily Mail (Scotland’s first daily newspaper) commended all aspects of the work particularly the ‘singing and dancing of the bona fide Jubilee Singers’ who the reviewer felt, invested the play ‘with a realism totally beyond ordinary expectations.’

The reviewer’s highlighting of the Jubilee singers’ authenticity illustrates the complex relationship Black performers and hopeful actors surely had with the staging of the novel.  The play offered important roles in the careers of actresses who found strong and serious roles adapted from white characters in the novel.  With Black women also key characters in the novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin could provide stage roles for Black women, but often white actresses and actors took all the main parts.  In some productions Black actresses could find parts playing more minor roles, and in time Uncle Tom himself would be played by Black actors.  

 

OTHER ROLES FOR BLACK PERFORMERS

Enduring productions throughout the 1880s and 1890s generated ongoing advertisements for ‘Coloured people’ and ‘Jubilee singers’ to join shows across the country, but though Uncle Tom’s Cabin provided roles for Black performers they were undoubtedly being asked to perform very particular ideas of Blackness in these plays.  Yet, these weren’t the only parts available for Black people seeking to make a living upon the stage.  The African American performer Amy Height did take on parts in Uncle Tom’s Cabin in England, but she also performed at the Gaiety Theatre on Sauchiehall Street in December 1892, when she was billed as a ‘Coloured American Songstress’.  Known as a comedian and soprano, she also performed as a ‘negro ballad singer’ at the Scotia Variety Theatre on Stockwell Street.  

In September 1899, the Royal Princess Theatre in Glasgow placed an advertisement for: ‘a Coloured Lady for Comedy Part in Pantomime’.  Anyone interested was to send their terms, a photo and further particulars to Mr Waldon – presumably Rich Waldon, manager of the theatre from the 1880s.  Of course, the placing of an advertisement does not prove that a Black woman appeared in a pantomime at the Princess Theatre that year.   The advertisement does tell us that Black performers were out there, looking for and hoping for work, travelling around the country, having their photographs taken for potential employers and sometimes treading the boards of Glasgow’s theatres.  While they did so they would have become part of the city’s community of jobbing performers, entertaining audiences, and off stage sharing rooms and stories with fellow actors before moving on, or perhaps settling down.  If they did stay, which parts of Victorian Glasgow they made home is still to be recovered.

 

 

Caroline Bressey is an historical and cultural geographer at University College London.  Her research focuses upon the Black presence in Victorian Britain and how our histories are represented in heritage sites.  Her book, Empire, Race and the politics of Anti-Caste examined a radical anti-racist reading community established by Catherine Impey in 1888.  

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • Explore our Gallus Glasgow map, featuring several theatres.
  • Prints of the map are available to buy in our online shop
  • The Arthur Lloyd website has comprehensive information on Glasgow’s theatres.

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.

Exploring Jewish History in Glasgow

By Harvey Kaplan

Historic interior of Garnethill Synagogue

GARNETHILL SYNAGOGUE

Nestling in the back streets of Garnethill in Glasgow is a hidden architectural gem. Garnethill Synagogue in Hill Street is Scotland’s oldest, opening its doors in 1879. The first purpose-built synagogue in Scotland, it is listed as Category A and is judged to be one of the top ten historic synagogues in the British Isles – and the only one north of Liverpool. The interior is an extravagant mix of carved wood, plaster cornicing, marble, cast iron, tiled floors and colourful stained glass windows.

The founders of the synagogue included successful businessmen, who contributed to Glasgow’s dramatic 19th century expansion. For example, Michael Simons was a  fruit broker who went on to become a Bailie of Glasgow Corporation. He was a great patron of the arts, involved in the Glasgow Exhibitions of 1890 and 1901, and founder of the company which opened the Theatre Royal and the King’s Theatre.

Bailie Michael Simon

THE CONGREGATION

Others in this group were the brothers Samuel and Isidor Morris from Danzig, who  were agents for esparto grass, used in paper production. David Heilbron, from Breda in the Netherlands, came to Glasgow around 1870 and was a leading member of the congregation, also involved in the Hebrew Philanthropic Society. The Post Office Directory shows that in 1879 he was a ‘wine merchant and importer of cigars, manufacturer of cordials and Dutch and orange bitters’ in Elmbank Lane.  Julius Frankenburgh, from Poland, manufacturer of fancy leather bags and leggings, succeeded Samuel Morris as president of the congregation, while his wife Phoebe was at one time President of the Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Fund.  

One of the most enterprising ladies of the congregation was Rachel Levine, one of thirteen children of Reverend Isaac Levine, Reader of the congregation from 1875 to 1921, and his wife Deba. Rachel was one of the first Jewish girls to study at Glasgow University, attending classes at Queen Margaret College between 1896-1902.  She then went to work at Norwood- the Jewish orphanage and school in London- where she became proficient in the teaching of the deaf and dumb.

Returning to Glasgow, in 1908, she was examined and recognised by the Scotch Education Department as a certified teacher of the deaf. She taught at a number of special needs schools in Glasgow until she retired in 1940.  In 1944 she was brought back into teaching for the remainder of the Second World War.

Rachel was actively involved in Jewish benevolent work. A lifelong member of Garnethill Synagogue, she served on the Synagogue School Committee and assisted with the Women’s Guild and Women’s Friendship Club. 

IMMIGRATION

Still housing a small but active congregation, Garnethill synagogue has been the home since 1987 of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC), whose mission is to collect and preserve the records of the Jewish experience in Scotland over the past two centuries. The Centre is a treasure-house of documents, photographs, oral history interviews, immigrant and refugee artefacts, historic ceremonial objects, textiles, sculptures and paintings. One of the main themes discussed in the building is immigration. The Jewish community in Scotland today is descended from immigrants. The first Jews came to Scotland in the late 1600s and in the 1700s, as university teachers, medical students, or as merchants and craftsmen – all in very small numbers. The first organised community was established in Edinburgh about 1817, when a synagogue was established and soon after, a small cemetery was opened. The first synagogue in Glasgow opened in a flat in the High Street about 1821. The first Jewish cemetery in Glasgow opened in 1832 as a Jewish enclosure in the newly opened Necropolis. In the first half of the 19th century, Jewish arrivals in Glasgow were mainly from England, the Netherlands or the German lands.

Immigrant Jewish family from Latvia

A BETTER LIFE

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Jewish community in Scotland saw a major influx of Jews from eastern Europe – mostly from the Russian and Austrian Empires. As international travel opened up with the railways and steamships, they were fleeing poverty, discrimination, persecution, pogroms and military conscription. They wanted to make a better life for themselves and their families and many were aiming for the ‘goldene medina’ – the ‘golden land’ of America. One of the most popular routes was arrival on the east coast of Britain, such as Hull, Grimsby or Leith and then catching a ship from Liverpool or Glasgow. In this way, many thousands passed through Glasgow. A number of the migrants stayed in Scotland, with some moving on at a later date to the USA, Canada, South Africa and elsewhere.

Many Jewish immigrants settled in the Gorbals, where a vibrant Jewish community grew up, with synagogues, religion classes, charities and friendly societies, social centres, cultural and political organisations. There were a number of kosher grocers and butchers, where the immigrants could enjoy a taste of ‘the old country.’ There was even a kosher hotel, run by Mrs Sophie Geneen, who was also active in communal charities, providing dowries for poor brides, entertaining Jewish soldiers in wartime and giving employment to refugees.

Sophie Geneen

THE HOLOCAUST

A third wave of Jewish immigrants arrived in Britain in the 1930s and 1940s – before, during and after the Second World War. Many came as unaccompanied children on the Kindertransport. Hundreds of Jewish doctors came here to requalify. Others came on domestic service visas, businessmen who rebuilt their businesses in Scotland, artists, scientists and educationalists, or exiled Polish soldiers. After the war, a number of concentration camp survivors arrived to make a new home in Scotland. 

Included in the new Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre project is the creation of the Scottish Holocaust-era Study Centre, which provides greater access to the fast-growing refugee collections of SJAC, for the benefit of school pupils, students, researchers and other visitors. The Centre looks at the experience of Jewish refugees who came to Scotland before, during and after the Second World War and also the contribution they made to Scottish society. Austrians Rudolf Bing and Hans Gal founded the Edinburgh Festival, Hans Walter Kosterlitz from Berlin discovered endorphins. Other top scientists included Charlotte Auerbach and Regina Kapeller-Adler. Kate Hermann became Scotland’s first female consultant neurologist. Child refugee Rosa Sacharin (Goldszal) became a nurse tutor and wrote textbooks. Vienna art school graduate Hilda Goldwag worked as a textile designer in Glasgow. She designed scarves for the fledgling BOAC.

Scottish Holocaust-era Study Centre displays

All images copyright Scottish Jewish Archives Centre. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Harvey Kaplan, Glasgow University History graduate, is the Director and co-founder of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre (SJAC) and a Trustee of the new Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre. He has co-curated displays, mentored researchers and presented nationally and internationally at meetings and conferences on Scottish Jewish history and family history. He has also written widely for books, journals and magazines and researched for television programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are?

Harvey Kaplan

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • July 2021 saw the launch of the new Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre in Garnethill Synagogue, created in a partnership between SJAC and Garnethill Synagogue Preservation Trust (GSPT). The aim is to expand access to this splendid Victorian building and to showcase the displays and resources of SJAC. The Heritage Centre is the result of capital investment by a range of funders (the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Association of Jewish Refugees, the German Federal Government, the Wolfson Family Foundation, Architectural Heritage Fund, William Grant Foundation and CST). This has resulted in building repair, renovation and decoration, new equipment, furniture and fittings and in creating new resources and displays.
  • Find out more about the work of the Archives Centre and of the Heritage Centre.  There are regular guided tours and a school visit service. They look forward to welcoming you! 
  • Explore our Gallus Glasgow map
  • 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.

Glasgow Green and Sport- Part Three

By Ingrid Shearer, Ged O’Brien and Dr Fiona Skillen

ROWING ON THE CLYDE

Once upon a time, the waters of the Clyde were alive with boats. A close inspection of Sulman’s 1864 aerial view of the river at Glasgow Green shows a wide array of craft bustling up and down and crisscrossing the river. Amongst the small sailing boats, ferries, skiffs, barges and steam dredgers, you can pick out the narrow, slender hulls of racing’ shells’. These competitive rowing boats were direct descendants of naval boats, the gigs and jollyboats (a misnomer according to anyone who rowed them), once used to ferry personnel to and from ships. Carbon fibre and plastic have replaced wood as the dominant construction materials today, but the basic form of the racing shell has changed little from the mid-1800s. 

Fig 1: Extract from Sulman's Birds Eye View of 1864, with rowing related sites and detail insets. 1: 1852 Navigation lock and tidal weir. 2: John McWhirter's 'Aquatic Saloon'. McWhirter was a boat hirer, builder and oar maker and regularly let his barge to clubs for regattas. 3: Racing shells. 4: Glasgow Humane Society boathouse. 5 and 6: Clyde and Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Clubs hired sheds near the river from local mills and factories for boat storage before finding their home at the West Boathouse.

THE WEST BOATHOUSE

Today, if you wander along the river from Glasgow Green eastward along the Clyde, you can still see boats out on the water. There are currently six competitive rowing clubs based upstream of the tidal weir. The two oldest surviving clubs, Clyde Amateur Rowing Club (founded 1865) and Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club (founded 1856), have shared the West Boathouse since its construction in 1905. It is currently undergoing extensive restoration and upgrading works by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and will reopen later this year. 

Fig 2: Location of modern clubs on the Clyde and their colours.

THE FIRST ROWING REGATTA 

The first known advertised rowing regatta on the upper reaches of the Clyde dates to August 1830. A handbill held in Glasgow University Library’s Special Collections details a two-day event with five clubs competing. The sport was slow to develop in the early years and inhibited by the unsuitability of the river. The Clyde was busy with other craft, tidal, and increasingly polluted with waste from industries upstream. In 1852, a new lock and weir were constructed at a site just east of the current tidal weir, replacing the old weir downstream at Stockwell Street. This new structure artificially raised and maintained the water levels upstream and created a 6 km stretch of level, non-tidal water – perfect for rowing. The sport took off, and Glasgow Green and the Gorbals became the city’s home of competitive rowing clubs.

Fig 3: Glasgow didn't just build big ships. There were many small boatbuilders and workshops along the Clyde – James McWhirter, George Geddes (Glasgow Humane Society Officer), and the famed swimmer and lifesaver James Banks McNeill all specialised in wooden boatbuilding and repair. McNeil's workshop occupied the first purpose-built racing boathouse on the Clyde at Hutchesontown, the 'Clutha Boathouse'. Built in the 1850s, this was the first home of many of the city's rowing clubs, including Clyde Amateur Rowing Club. Glasgow Rowing Club's boathouse now occupies the site. Image copyright West Boathouse Project.

TAKING A PUNT

Betting on races was a big draw for spectators – the Glasgow Herald regularly reported crowds in excess of 30,000 lining the riverbanks to watch the action. Rowing was the spectator sport in the city up until the 1870s, when it was eclipsed in popularity by football. As well as ‘amateur’ clubs there were also ‘professional’ clubs. Amateur and professional status was a distinction that featured in many sports at the time. It was designed to enforce class structures and excluded ‘working men’ (i.e. tradesmen and manual labourers) from joining amateur clubs and leagues. The printers were especially prevalent amongst the trades and held their own regattas. The Printers Regatta of 1881 had crews representing most of the major printing houses in the city, including MacLehose, McCorquodale’s, Glasgow University Press, Blackie & Sons, Collins and Wm Hodge & Co. Eventually, these individual clubs merged to form the Glasgow Printing Trade Club, a forerunner of Glasgow Rowing Club.

By the mid-1800s, interest in all sports was growing exponentially, and Glasgow Green was the epicentre of games and recreation in the city. Many clubs shared members across several sports and would switch from rowing in the summer months to football, athletics or boxing over the winter to keep themselves fit, try out new sports and develop new skills. Glasgow Green was particularly fertile ground for sporting crossover.

There is still some dispute about whether Clyde or Clydesdale ARC were most instrumental in forming Rangers FC in 1873, though the truth likely lies in a mix of the two.  An early team photograph of Rangers FC in 1877 shows players in their original team strip, which featured a light blue, six-pointed star on the jersey – the traditional colours and badge of Clyde ARC, still in use today. This suggests a potential connection between the clubs in the early days. There are also tantalising hints that Clydesdale ARC had some hand in the clubs formation. Club minute books from this period document complaints that some members were spending too little time on the water and too much time of the Green playing football!

WOMEN’S ROWING

Ladies rowing races, usually held as part of regattas, were not uncommon in the late 1800s and are reported in newspaper coverage of the time. They were seen as an ‘amusing spectacle’ and a novelty for the onlookers. Rowing was an exclusively male sport at this time, and, with a few exceptions, women were mostly relegated to a supporting role – organising the social aspects of club life and launching new boats.

For a brief period in the early 1890s, ‘Mrs Geddes’ ran a ‘Ladies Rowing Club’ from the steps of the Glasgow Humane Society. This is presumably a reference to Mary Geddes, the wife of George Geddes, officer at Glasgow Humane Society. Mary’s new club appears to have met with some resistance from the younger members of the rowing, but Ben Bow, aquatics correspondent of The Scottish Referee, was having none of it:

 Fig 4: Scottish Referee, 10 April 1893

SHORT LIVED

Sadly, it seems Mary’s club was short-lived. On 17 June 1895, Ben Bow (Junior), reporting on the Glasgow and Daily Press Printers Regatta, noted: ‘A pleasing feature was the number of young ladies in rowing boats. From all appearance rowing has ‘caught on’ with the ‘weaker sex’. What a pity Mrs Geddes gave up her young ladies rowing club!’

Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club had a ladies section for a few years in the late 1930s, but this fell into abeyance after WWII. It was not until the early 1980s that clubs along the river began to admit women as full members. Over the intervening 40 years, the women rowers of the river have gone from strength to strength. Clyde-based club alumni include Olympians and World Champions such as Gillian Lindsay, Karen Bennett, Ali Watt, Imogen Walsh and Polly Swann. As Ben Bow would say…‘ Ladies, your health; go on and prosper’.

Fig 5: Gillian Lindsay, Olympic and World Champion rower and Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club alumni. Photo copyright David Collie Photography.

References 

C Dodd, The Story of World Rowing, (Hutchinson, 1992).

W F Gow, Swirl of the Pipes: History of Water and Sewerage in Strathclyde, (Strathclyde Regional Council, 1996). 

G O’Brien, Played in Glasgow, (Malavan Media, 2010).

Ingrid Shearer is Heritage Engagement Officer for Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charity that rescues, repairs and repurposes historic buildings for the benefit of their communities. A former archaeologist, she has worked in the heritage sector for over 25 years. Her practice is embedded in the principle that heritage matters and has the potential to change people’s lives in a positive way.

Ingrid Shearer

Ged O’Brien is the founder of the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. He is the discoverer of Andrew Watson: the world’s most influential player of colour. He is the author of ‘Played in Glasgow’ and is currently writing ‘The Scottish Game: How Scotland invented Modern World Football’.

Dr Fiona Skillen is a senior lecturer in History in the Department of Social Sciences, in the School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests concern modern history, in particular aspects of sport, gender and popular culture. She is particularly interested in women’s sport during the late 19th and 20th centuries and has published extensively in this area including her monograph Sport, Women and Modernity in Interwar Britain (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013). She is a former Chair of British Society of Sport History, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

Fiona Skillen

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Find out more about sport on the Green in the other two blogs in the series: Part One and Part Two
  • Join us for our online talk, ‘Glasgow: The Home of Modern World Football’ by Ged O’Brien on Wednesday 16th March
  • 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.

Glasgow Green and Sport- Part Two

By Ged O’Brien, Dr Fiona Skillen and Ingrid Shearer

GLASGOW GREEN: THE HOME OF FOOTBALL

99% of the world’s population think that football was invented in England. The modern international game was invented by the Scots. Its home is our Dear Green Place. Let me be specific: Glasgow Green and its surrounding areas provided many of the pitches and the people who turned the Scottish Game, into the World Game.

Long before the 20th century, it was played in the streets and on the grassed areas of a city huddled on the north bank of the Clyde. But how do we learn the story of a sport, which was played by people who did not write down their lives? Here is where we can turn for help, to Thomas Sulman.

The Sulman Map was published in 1864, just as football was about to explode. Though he did not mean it, Sulman performed a great service. He included, three areas known to the history of the game: 1) Glasgow Green; 2) Glasgow University and 3) Glasgow Barracks. 

Fig 1: Sulman's map, 1864

THE PERFECT SPOT

It might seem obvious, but the Green was ideal for football. It was flat, it had areas which were about the size of a modern football pitch and it was close to the houses of the people. Over the centuries, the Green was improved. The Camlachie Burn was culverted and marshy areas drained, until it was completely fit for modern football, by the 1850s. 

We know, from Andrew McGeorge, that Glasgow Magistrates ‘encouraged and promoted’ football. It was regard as ‘innocent recreation’. The Burgh Minutes from 1575 record the price of a football a two pence. They were made by the Cordiners (leather workers) of the City.

Between 1450 and 1792, Glaswegians had a chance to play on the Green. In 1792, Flesher’s Haugh, just to the south east of Sulman’s map, became a part of the Green. In the 1860s, clubs sprung up and disappeared again and again. It is recorded that Eastern beat Celtic 4-0 on Flesher’s Haugh 25th January 1873. Not the current Celtic, of course. There were more than a dozen attempts to create a football club for the Irish immigrants, huddled around the Calton. The ‘new’ Celtic of 1887 was the one which took hold and prospered.

A HOME FOR ALL

The Green drew in both migrants and immigrants. Two years after Sulman, we know that Orkney exiles played a game on Glasgow Green 12th January, 1866. One of the first opponents of the Queen’s Park FC of Glasgow, founded 1867, was the Drummond Club. They were Perthshire migrants, who wore Clan Drummond Tartan caps and had a connection to the Glasgow Perthshire Society. Their ‘headquarters’ were on Glasgow Green. Though they are long gone, the link remains in the Glasgow Perthshire Junior FC: founded 1890.

The author of the first book on Queen’s Park, published 1919, said that Drummond ‘played a roughish game; tripping and charging were their strong points’. Like hundreds of Glasgow clubs, the Drummond FC lasted a few years. In fact, when it played the Spiders, on Queen’s Park Rec., two pupils from the Deaf and Dumb Institution (the old Langside College) had to help them out. 

The Thistle Club Glasgow Green team are famous, because they are also recorded as playing Queen’s Park. I will bet that most towns in Scotland had a Thistle FC, at some point, in the 19th century. They challenged QPFC in July 1868 and lost 2-0. It seems that they were dead by 1873 and had merged into the Eastern Club. Just to confuse you, another Thistle appeared at the same time, on Glasgow Green. They had moved to a pitch on Dalmarnock Road, by 1875.

The Green was the place for Glasgow football. Rangers were founded in 1872. They played their first game against Callander. One of the first of the Rangers’ greats was Tom Vallance, from Cardross. He came to football via the Clyde Rowing Club. He was also in the Clydesdale Harriers. Their headquarters were on Dundas Street. His pals were the McNeil brothers. Henry played for Queen’s Park. Moses and Peter founded Rangers. The Harriers also contained the Maley brothers: Willie and Tom. They co-founded Celtic, in 1887.

Fig 2: View from College Green, looking North-East, Glasgow. Image courtesy of University of St Andrews Libraries and Museums.

THE PEOPLE’S GAME

Glasgow Green would have had scores of teams, getting in one another’s way and fighting for space. The ambitious clubs like Rangers, quickly found other places to play. Glasgow University Old College, was lucky, in this respect. It was a few hundred metres north of Glasgow Green. It had a large area for a football pitch, known as the College Green. David Murray, co-founder of McLay, Murray and Spens noted that Robert Smith Candlish, the famous Free Church leader played on that pitch, in 1822. 

In the 1860s, with football becoming more official, the University built a ‘shed’ under which fans could shelter. It can be seen in a photo of the pitch, in front of the Hunterian Museum. The spoil in the picture is from the demolition. The stand is possibly the world’s oldest known image of a football building.

The other patch of green on Sulman, which deserves a mention, is Glasgow Barracks. It is immediately to the east of the Old College and north of Glasgow Green. There are Drill Grounds, on which you can see soldiers marching. On the west gable of the Barracks, there is a Handball court. It is reasonable to assume that both cricket and football were played on these areas. In 1848 Clydesdale CC were founded by Archibald Campbell, with players from Glasgow Green teams. Clydesdale were the losing side in the first ever Scottish Cup Final, in 1874, at the First Hampden Park. Campbell became the first President of the Scottish FA.

Football was truly the people’s game and the people of Glasgow loved it. Murray said that golf and football were equally popular ‘amongst all classes – men and women, boys and girls’. We still have people who hold that football is not a sport for women. They have been playing it in Glasgow, for centuries. 

Think of the young Thomas Lipton. He studied at St. Andrew’s Parish School, on Greendyke St, between 1853 and 1863. He will have crossed the street to play football on Glasgow Green. In his adult life, as the Lipton Tea and coffee empire grew, he never missed a chance to spread football around the world. He helped found Uruguayan and Argentine football with his Copa Lipton.

As we saw in our previous blog, no rules or threats would stop Glasgow’s citizens from using Glasgow Green, as their football home.

References 

G O’Brien, Played in Glasgow, (Malavan Media, 2010).

R. McBrearty, Glasgow Before The Explosion: the role of migration and immigration in the development of football cultures in the city prior to 1873, https://tinyurl.com/29e56byh

Ged O’Brien is the founder of the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. He is the discoverer of Andrew Watson: the world’s most influential player of colour. He is the author of ‘Played in Glasgow’ and is currently writing ‘The Scottish Game: How Scotland invented Modern World Football’.

Dr Fiona Skillen is a senior lecturer in History in the Department of Social Sciences, in the School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests concern modern history, in particular aspects of sport, gender and popular culture. She is particularly interested in women’s sport during the late 19th and 20th centuries and has published extensively in this area including her monograph Sport, Women and Modernity in Interwar Britain (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013). She is a former Chair of British Society of Sport History, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

Fiona Skillen

Ingrid Shearer is Heritage Engagement Officer for Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charity that rescues, repairs and repurposes historic buildings for the benefit of their communities. A former archaeologist, she has worked in the heritage sector for over 25 years. Her practice is embedded in the principle that heritage matters and has the potential to change people’s lives in a positive way.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Part three of this series explores the use of the River for sport around the Green.
  • Join us for our online talk, ‘Glasgow: The Home of Modern World Football’ by Ged O’Brien on Wednesday 16th March
  • 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.

Glasgow Green and Sport- Part One

By Dr Fiona Skillen, Ingrid Shearer and Ged O’Brien

Fig 1: Sulman's map, 1864

THE OLDEST PARK IN THE CITY

Nestled in the bottom right of Sulman’s map of Glasgow is a vast expanse of open land, encroached on three sides by Glasgow’s urban sprawl and on its final side bounded by the River Clyde. The open land is better known as Glasgow Green, which is the oldest park in the city of Glasgow, established in 1450 when King James II granted 56 acres of Parkland to Bishop William Turnbull and the people of Glasgow. Glasgow Green is one of the most significant parks in Scotland, being one of, if not the oldest urban parkland space in continuous use. This green space, which was increased to its current size of 136 acres in 1792, has never been an ornamental park given over to formal gardens, rather it has been a place of activity, being an important site of leisure and sport for the citizens of Glasgow. As one journalist noted in 1893 when giving a history of the early Green, ‘a property which is common to all the citizens for the grazing of their cattle and for the less lucrative but not less needful purpose of washing and drying clothes it is to be expected that little interest would be taken in the ornamentation and beautifying of such a tract of landGlasgow Herald Oct 1893

In this blog, and our two subsequent blogs, we will be exploring various sporting uses of the Green and the river alongside the Green during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Over the course of its history the Green has had many practical functions, its large open air spaces provided important space in an otherwise overcrowded city, for drying fishing nets, for bleaching linen, drying washing and for public gatherings. It also provided an important space for public events.

Fig 2: Strikers on Glasgow Green 1914

A SPACE FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND EVENTS

We often think of Glasgow Green now as a space for entertainment and events but has it always been like this? The best known event held at the Green was the Glasgow Fair, yearly week-long celebrations in July when the Green would play host to traders eager to sell their wares and animals. But the Green would also be filled with many types of entertainment from circuses and curiosity shows to boxing booths and theatres, alongside stalls selling all sorts of goods, as well as food and alcohol. For that week the Green became the focus of entertainment and escapism for the city. But the space was also used for other types of events such as sports events, military parades and training and political meetings. Records of the Glasgow City Corporation show that Glasgow citizens often complained that the Green was being used for public events such as the fair days and that the use of the grounds for those purposes was to the detriment of other citizens because of the disruption or damage caused by hosting these events. This is something that we see mirrored in the contemporary use of the Green for events such as the TRNSMT music festival. 

But it is the Green’s rich sporting heritage that we will be exploring in our next few blogs. Let’s start by briefly exploring some of the popular activities that were played during the early history of the Green.

GOLF, SHINTY, AND AN OUTDOOR GYMNASIUM

Golf

Glasgow’s earliest known, and oldest surviving, golf club was formed on Glasgow Green in 1787. The game is likely to have been played on the Green for many years before this, but it was formalised with the establishment of a club in 1787. The members of this early club are likely to have been merchants and other well regarded men in the city. Research suggests that by 1800 membership included solicitors, tailors and even the City Chamberlain (Played in Glasgow p28). By 1870 the club had relocated to Queens Park (Played in Glasgow p28) beginning it’s nomadic existence moving around various open spaces in and around the city. It’s likely that the club moved away from the Green due to a number of factors such as having to compete for space against other events and recreations, whilst the increased pollution generated by rapid industrialisation within the city, would all have made the Green less appealing.

Other Sports

Open space within the city was limited so the open space of the Green provided the ideal playing area for a number of sports. Highlanders were often seen playing games such as shinty on the grass. The Glasgow Cowal Shinty Club is one of the best known shinty clubs to have played on Glasgow Green.  The Club was formed in 1876 by players originating from the Cowal peninsula in the Highlands. The club was one of the most successful in Glasgow, winning the Glasgow Celtic Society Cup four times. The club was disbanded in the mid-1920s.

Another interesting sporting feature of the Green is the outside gymnasium. The gym was presented to the city by Glaswegian D.G. Fleming at a cost of £300 in 1860. The gym was introduced to provide ‘much amusement and healthful recreation to large numbers of boys and young men’ and was only outside gym of its type in Glasgow. The opening of the gym was a magnificent affair with local dignitaries in attendance for speeches and a display of the equipment. The structures itself was complex as this description highlights.

The frame of the gymnasium can still be seen on the Green today.

Fig 3, Glasgow Herald, Sept 1860

NO BALL GAMES?

In 1814 a ranger was appointed to attempt to stop the use of the green for games and sports and 1819 because it introduced the complete ban all golf, cricket, shinty, football and any other ball games. The introduction of the Glasgow Public Parks Act in 1878 saw funding increased for the Green which in turn led to improvements in its layout and maintenance. Over the years as the space became more formalised various local regulations were introduced to try and limit how the Green was used, with varying success. In the 1890s when cycling had become hugely popular across the country Glasgow’s cyclists were so frustrated by the Glasgow Green regulations that they regularly complained in the press. 

Our city fathers seem dead set against cycling … they have decided we can only mount our machines at the Humane Society House, and ride from that to Montieth Row. Now, I consider this a great hardship on Glasgow Cyclists that are trying to get into form’ Glasgow Evening Post, Aug 1889

Of course the introduction of such bye laws were rarely successful at stopping people from playing their sports on the Green and it continues to be an important site for sport and leisure today.

Fig 4: Cycling Sculpture, Glasgow Green

References 

G O’Brien, Played in Glasgow, (Malavan Media, 2010).

MacGregor, George, The History of Glasgow from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. (Thomas D. Morison, 1881)

Hugh Dan McLennan, Shinty’s Place in the World, https://www.ed.ac.uk/files/atoms/files/maclennan_shintysplace.pdf

Dr Fiona Skillen is a senior lecturer in History in the Department of Social Sciences, in the School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University. Her research interests concern modern history, in particular aspects of sport, gender and popular culture. She is particularly interested in women’s sport during the late 19th and 20th centuries and has published extensively in this area including her monograph Sport, Women and Modernity in Interwar Britain (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2013). She is a former Chair of British Society of Sport History, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an editor of the International Journal of the History of Sport.

Ingrid Shearer is Heritage Engagement Officer for Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, a charity that rescues, repairs and repurposes historic buildings for the benefit of their communities. A former archaeologist, she has worked in the heritage sector for over 25 years. Her practice is embedded in the principle that heritage matters and has the potential to change people’s lives in a positive way.

Ingrid Shearer

Ged O’Brien is the founder of the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. He is the discoverer of Andrew Watson: the world’s most influential player of colour. He is the author of ‘Played in Glasgow’ and is currently writing ‘The Scottish Game: How Scotland invented Modern World Football’.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Part two of this series explores the important role the Green played in the development of football in Scotland.
  • Join us for our online talk, ‘Glasgow: The Home of Modern World Football’ by Ged O’Brien on Wednesday 16th March
  • 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.

The Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females

By Anna Forrest

No. 41 ROTTENROW

The building at No. 41 Rottenrow was the Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females. The name “Lock” comes from the Old English “loke” for a leper house.  The first Lock Hospital in Britain was established in London and built on the site of a former leper house.

The female inmates of the Lock Hospital were not locked in or restrained. This was Glasgow’s first and only provision for women afflicted by venereal disease, believed to be the penalty for their evil ways. Glasgow’s population had exploded in these years with Irish immigrants and those displaced from the Highland areas, fleeing famine and poverty. There were also numbers of  military preparing for and retuning from combat abroad, carrying their own injuries and diseases.  These were also the typhus and cholera years. 

TREATMENT, KNOWLEDGE, REFORMATION

The new, purpose-built Lock Hospital at No 41 opened its doors in 1845-46 and was overwhelmed by numbers of diseased females whose only other recourse was to die in the streets and slums of this squalid area.  The building had 7 wards with provision for 80 beds and medical staff mainly living in.

The legend over the entrance read “Treatment, Knowledge, Reformation”, and a most curious thing, it was built to look like a tenement, sitting with the many verminous tenements that surrounded it. Rottenrow with its many wynds and vennels, was the least salubrious part of Glasgow.  Brothels and shebeens abounded in the tenements serving the music halls, variety theatres and attractions of every kind.

THE FIRST TEN YEARS

The Lock’s Annual Report for the first 10 years of it’s services indicates thousands of women and young girls, abandoned and desperate, applying for shelter and treatment. They are listed as mill girls, domestic servants, widows, actresses or ballet girls, and sadly, schoolgirls. They were cited in their diseased state by codewords and terms such as ‘newly fallen’ or ‘hardened’. 

Many came from nearby establishments such as The Magdalene Asylum for Fallen Women and Girls and from the Police Courts via Duke Street Jail. Once arrested, they would be stripped and examined and if signs of syphilis were obvious, then manacled and marched to the Lock for treatment.  This would be a terrifying ordeal as it was common knowledge that  few survived the Lock.  These measures were designed to control the behaviour of poor and vulnerable women.

REFORMATORY CONDITIONS

Although not legally restrained, the women were kept in reformatory conditions. Admissions had their heads shaved, were deloused and disinfected with 3% carbolic solution.  They wore regulation brown drawers and smocks, and worked in the basement laundry and mortuary.  Average stay in the Lock was 29 nights. Diet was basic, porridge, milk, bread and broth, and small beer. 

The medical treatments were more experimental than effective.  Preparations such as, ointments, pills, salivations, poultices and mercury vapour baths were used.  Horrific though it appeared, regular food and shelter were often preferred to dying on filthy streets. Weathy, middle-class and respectable women were treated privately at home by their physicians.

From the earliest times finding cures for these diseases were rudimentary and superstition-ridden. Any  effective treatments would ultimately be used for the benefit of men, the unfortunate recipients of conditions caused and spread by women.  At this time fighting forces were of paramount importance. Barracks and garrisons opened their own hospitals only for the treatment of men. Ports and cities, such as Glasgow, operated police controls for the apprehension and detention of known prostitutes and women on the streets with no visible means of support. The closing and control of brothels and other draconian measures were enforced to curb a condition which was reaching epidemic proportions.

The Lock established classes given by worthy wives and mothers in Christian instruction and domestic duties to give the female inmates a glimpse of decency and cleanliness.  Social Hygiene Committees, Lady Child Savers, Street Mission work and charities abounded in these years, working to clear the Second City of the Empire of squalor and sin.

Anna Forrest has carried out extensive research on the Glasgow Lock Hospital. Her interest began whilst she was working as a Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, which features a ‘Lock Room’ containing records relating to the hospital. Over many years Anna pieced together the history of the hospital, which she had originally been told didn’t exist, with the aim of making sure the public knew the stories of  the women and girls treated there. 

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Our Gallus Glasgow animation follows a day in the life of Elizabeth and her family in 1864, the year Sulman created his ‘Bird’s Eye View’ of the city. Working as a domestic in the West End, Elizabeth has heard stories of girls sacked for minor misdemeanours who have then ended up in the Lock. Read her story here.
  • 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.

Glasgow’s Top Twelve Unmemorialised Victorian and Edwardian Women

By Sara Sheridan

Glasgow is great at claiming people as its own – so I’ve chosen women who contributed to the life of the city, who lived there but weren’t necessarily born there. That’s Glasgow.  

1 Agnes Dollan (1887–1966), became Lady Dollan in 1946. She was an activist and speaker for the Women’s Social and Political Union, the Women’s Labour League and the Independent Labour Party and was jailed for a short time in 1917 for protesting the council’s rent rises. Lady Dollan also helped to organise the infamous Glasgow rent strike alongside Mary Barbour and Helen Crawfurd. The first female Labour candidate to stand for election to Glasgow City Council, she remained in office for a decade. 

2 Catherine Carswell (1847–1946) was fired from the Glasgow Herald for an unsanctioned review of DH Lawrence’s The Rainbow (which had been banned under the Obscene Publications Act.) Carswell corresponded with Lawrence who mentored her when she was writing her autobiographical novel, Open The Door!, which won the Melrose Prize. She also received death threats for writing the first warts & all biography of Burns, refusing to gloss over Burns’s sexual misdemeanours and his heavy drinking. Carswell was also a victim of marital domestic abuse and her marriage was annulled on grounds of her husband’s insanity in a groundbreaking legal case. 

3 Glaswegian Surgeon, Katherine MacPhail (1887–1974) ran hospitals in Serbia during the First World War after being refused permission to serve on the Western Front by the War Office. She contracted typhus and nearly died but stayed on to found the country’s first children’s hospital and as a result she was interned during the Second World War and repatriated. In 1945 she returned to Belgrade with the first relief units to go into the country. 

4 Dot Allan (1886–1964) was a successful Glasgow writer during the 1920s and 30s. Her work was misidentified by the Times Literary Supplement as being by a man because she didn’t write about domestic situations, focussing instead on politics, class and gender issues. She wrote ten novels set in Glasgow and also worked as a freelance arts journalist, interviewing internationally famous actress  Sarah Bernhardt when she played the Pavilion Theatre. 

5 Agnes Hardie (1874–1951) was a stalwart of Scottish Labour. Hardie was a talented platform speaker. She was the first female member of the Glasgow Trades Council and sat on the Glasgow School Board as well as being Women’s Organiser of the Labour Party for five years at the end of the First World War. In 1937 she became an MP. A pacifist, she opposed conscription during the Second World War and was nicknamed the ‘housewife’s MP’ because she frequently spoke out at Westminster about food shortages and rationing. 

Catherine Carswell
Katherine MacPhail

6  Born in Helensburgh, portrait artist and Glasgow Girl Norah Neilson Grey (1882–1931) served as a nurse during the First World War in the Scottish Women’s Hospitals and sketched what was going on around her in her spare time. There were hardly any war correspondents during the first war so women who wrote and drew what was happening are now important historical resources. She sat on the hanging committee of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts after the war and her work won a silver medal at the Paris Salon in 1923, where she often exhibited. Today her paintings are in several national collections.

7 Marie Loftus (1857–1940) became one of Britain’s best-paid music hall performers, earning £100 a week in the 1890s. She toured the USA and South Africa. She worked with her daughter Cissie (1876 – 1943) who was a mimic, actress and music hall performer. It was said that ‘Glasgow never had a greater favourite.’

8 Born in Paisley, Jessie Newbery (1864 – 1948) was a Glasgow Girl who taught embroidery at the Glasgow School of Art, pioneering the first needlework classes at the school in 1894. She frequently used the suffragette colours in her work – a mark of her support of the cause. She also helped to make suffragette banners for marches. Her work also included the stylised rose motif which became one of the symbols of the Glasgow style. Newbery painted as well as stitching and supported women throughout her life, often providing exhibition and studio space for other female artists. 

9 Catherine Taylor (1868–1930) was a  Gorbals cinema cashier who is said to have firebombed Ayr Racecourse in 1913 in support of the campaign for women’s suffrage. Her involvement was kept secret by her family until after her death. 

10 Eunice Murray (1878–1960) was a writer, campaigner and Scottish President of the Women’s Freedom League (which operated offices and a tearoom on Sauchiehall Street). In 1913 a letter printed in the Glasgow Herald declared that if more people could hear Eunice speak, the ‘vote would be won without delay’. During the First World War she worked in a munitions factory and was involved in what she mysteriously termed ‘confidential business’. After women got the vote in 1918, Murray was the first Scottish woman to stand for Parliament that year (in Bridgeton), though she did not win the seat. Passionate about women’s history, she wrote Scottish Women of Bygone Days and headed a campaign for the creation of a Scottish folk museum, which came into being in the 1930s. 

11 Jessie Russell (1850–1881) was a poet and dressmaker whose feminist work ‘Woman’s Rights vs Woman’s Wrongs’ was published in the Glasgow Weekly. 

12 Helen Macfarlane (1818–1860) from Barrhead wrote the first English translation of the Communist Manifesto. The daughter of a wealthy mill owner, Macfarlane’s story is memorialised in the play Rare Birds by Penny Cole.

Writer and activist Sara Sheridan writes about women’s history in both fiction and non-fiction. Her 2019 book Where are the Women? remaps Scotland as if women’s achievements were memorialised in our built and rural landscape in the same way as men’s are. This alternative guidebook was chosen by the David Hume Institute for the First Minister’s Summer Reading List. She is currently writing a novel set in 1846 in Glasgow.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Book a ticket for our evening talk ‘Where are the women?’ with Sara Sheridan, Wednesday 9th February 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

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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: Glasgow: The Home of Modern World Football

Wednesday 16th March 2022 | 7.30pm BST | via Zoom

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Ged O’Brien is the founder of the Scottish Football Museum at Hampden Park. He is the discoverer of Andrew Watson: the world’s most influential player of colour. He is the author of ‘Played in Glasgow’ and is currently writing ‘The Scottish Game: How Scotland invented Modern World Football’.

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

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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.