Acid Rain and the Boar’s Head: What did the ‘father’ of acid rain make of Victorian Glasgow?

By Dr. Emily Munro

ACID RAIN

We hardly speak of it anymore but in the 1980s, acid rain was a household discussion topic. Acid rain – caused mostly by emissions of sulphur dioxide from coal-fired power plants and factories – has now largely been controlled in Europe by transitioning away from coal. In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, however, it was blamed for acidifying lakes, stripping tress of their leaves and eating away at historic buildings and metals. It felt like a modern problem but 100 years earlier, acid rain had already been described by a Scottish chemist named Robert Angus Smith.

Smith was born in Pollokshaws and went to Glasgow High School. He studied Divinity at Glasgow University (at a very young age) for a short time but left before graduating. Smith eventually became a personal tutor. When the family he was working for left Scotland for Germany, he followed the opportunity and it was there he began studying chemistry under the guidance of Professor Justus von Liebig.

CHLOROFORM, FERTILIZERS AND THE ALKALI ACT

Liebig is known as an inventor of chloroform, the news of which travelled to Scotland via another of his Scottish students, Lyon Playfair (leading to the pioneering anaesthesia work of Dr James Simpson who treated Queen Victoria with chloroform when she birthed her son Leopold). But Liebig made another significant discovery that continues to shape our world and how we produce food. He found that plants take in nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the air, as well as minerals found in soil. This understanding led to the development of chemical nitrogen-based fertilizers. Liebig also understood that plants improved the air by producing oxygen.

When Smith returned to Britain it was to assist Playfair, now Honorary Professor at the chemical laboratory at the Royal Manchester Institution. Manchester was one of the most highly industrialised parts of England and heavily polluted. Playfair served on the Health of Towns Commission and brought Smith along with him. As they gathered evidence for their report on public health, they witnessed scenes of abysmal poverty and squalor. At the time, fears of cholera epidemics abounded and there was an urgency to understand the causes of disease and educate the public on these. For several decades there had been concern over the gasses emitted by chemical manufacturing plants and finally in 1863 (perhaps mainly thanks to landowners whose woodlands were being damaged) the Alkali Act was created to combat, initially, hydrogen chloride pollution from Leblanc alkali works. To do this, an inspectorate was formed with Smith at the helm. He had a small team to monitor the country which meant that many operators could slip through the net. To counteract this, Albert Fletcher (one of Smith’s inspectors), developed an aspirator that could take air samples from chimney flues. It was sealed against tampering.

THE BRIGGAIT AND BOAR’S HEAD CLOSE

The work can’t have been easy. Manufacturers were unhappy about interference in their operations and relations with the Inspectorate inevitably strained. Smith reported to parliament annually and managed to win over industry by explaining that complying with the law was better than facing a legal challenge. Self-regulation therefore become built into pollution controls and remains crucial today.

Smith became fascinated with the composition of chemicals in the air. He undertook some short-lived experiments on carbon dioxide concentrations, shutting volunteers in a lead chamber with burning candles and measuring their breathing rate and pulse (these went up the higher the concentrations of CO2) (see Gibson & Farrar). His book Air and Rain: the beginnings of chemical climatology (1872) attempts to draw some conclusions about impurities in the air using the measurements gathered by the Alkali Inspectorate. In it he describes how he discovered sulphuric acid in rain (in 1852) as he was unable to measure the air itself. He advises “rainwater in town districts… is not a pure water for drinking” (p227) and over time will lead to the deterioration of mortar (p444).

One of the most polluted locations Smith collected data from was the Briggait: “one of the worst is from a height of 82 feet, being collected on a church-tower in Bridgegate. This does not point to any small local accumulation of mere dust, but a complete filling of the atmosphere. The place was above all the houses around”(p262). The Glasgow locations Smith monitored included Western, Gorbals and Calton Police Stations, New City Road and St Rollux. Only one place was more polluted by acids than the church steeple at Bridgegate, a place called Boar’s Head Close not far from where the Glasgow City Heritage Trust offices are based today. Both it and the Briggait were surrounded by cotton factories, dyeworks, tanneries but also public houses, churches, schools – places where many people lived and worked, in tight proximity to one another.

It was reported that Smith felt Glasgow industry was acting too slowly to combat noxious fumes: “if they have avoided law they certainly have not avoided deserving blame,” he said (The Herald July 17, 1872). The same newspaper noted that Glasgow’s high death rate had attracted speculation over the role of manufacturer’s vapours in contributing to mortality. The journalist reporting ventured: ‘When the causes of pollution either of the earth or the air are clearly and distinctly known, we are half way to a cure of the evil.” And yet, at the time, coal was not a focus of enquiries.

Bell Street from High Street, near to Boar's Head Close, by Thomas Annan (Credit National Galleries Scotland, CC BY NC)

AIR AND RAIN

Air and Rain is hard to draw conclusions from but Smith does make an appeal at the end to reduce overcrowding. Glasgow, he says, has ‘inferior air’: “Let those courts, alleys, and streets which show the greatest mortality and the worst air be destroyed or improved without foolish mercy” (p548).

Smith has been described as “a half-trained amateur” (Gibson & Farrar), not a great scientist whose work should be cited far least admired. This seems a little unfair. If nothing else, the man who is known for the term ‘acid rain’ was a principled, socially-minded person who wanted to hold polluters to account. Today he can be remembered as such.

Row Rain, Gareloch Clyde, from 'Air and Rain'

Dr. Emily Munro is a writer and curator of moving image at the National Library of Scotland. Emily’s feature-length documentary ‘Living Proof – A Climate Story’ explores Scotland’s relationship to the climate crisis and the environment using archive footage.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • 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…

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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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.”

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: The Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females

Wednesday 9th March 2022 | 7.30pm BST | via Zoom

At 41 Rottenrow, hidden in plain sight, the Glasgow Lock Hospital for Unfortunate Females once stood. Opening its doors in 1845, this new purpose built hospital was Glasgow’s only provision for women with venereal disease, and it was quickly overwhelmed. 

The Annual Report covering the Lock’s first 10 years indicates thousands of women and girls applying for treatment. They are listed as mill girls, servants, widows, actresses, ballet girls and even schoolgirls. They were cited in their diseased state by codewords and terms such as ‘newly fallen’ or ‘hardened’. They were kept in reformatory conditions and medical treatments were more experimental than effective, for example mercury vapour baths were used as a potential cure It was common knowledge that few survived their stay at the Lock.  

Join us for this evening talk by Anna Forrest to find out more about this infamous place: who were these women and how did they end up there, and what happened to them once there? 

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. 

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

[ESPRESSO_TICKET_SELECTOR event_id=18933]

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…

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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.”

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 Square Mile of Murder

By Rachel Kacir, Heritage Outreach Manager

A DARK HISTORY…

The phrase ‘Square Mile of Murder’ was first coined by journalist and author Jack House, whose 1961 book of the same name was based on the fact that four of Scotland’s most notorious murders took place within an area of one square mile between 1857 and 1908. The area stretches northwards from Blythswood Hill, in the western part of the city centre, to Sauchiehall Street and west towards Charing Cross. Turns out, the impressive architecture of the area hides a dark past…

Approximate location of murders, shown on Sulman's map of 1864

MADELEINE SMITH: DID SHE OR DIDN’T SHE?

The earliest of the cases concerns the murder of Pierre Emile L’Angelier in 1857. The defendent in the sensational case was 22 year old Madeleine Smith, who stood accused of poisoning her lover L’Angelier with arsenic when he threatened to show her father their love letters after she became engaged to a more eligible man. The trial became a huge scandal, in part because Madeleine was from an upper middle class background, with her family residing at 7 Blythswood Square, a very prestigious address. The content of the letters also made clear she had a sexual relationship with L’Angelier, which was shocking at the time given her social standing. 

Although circumstantial evidence pointed towards her guilt- she had a motive and had made purchases of arsenic in the week’s running up to L’Angelier’s death, several factors led to uncertainty: the chronology of her letters to him was unclear, both druggist’s testified that they coloured their arsenic to avoid accident (which was not found in the autopsy), L’Angelier’s Valet’s testified that he had previously considered suicide, and there was no proof that the two had met in the weeks running up to his death. The jury eventually reached a ‘Not Proven’ verdict. 

Madeleine later moved to London and married an artist called George Wardell, who was William Morris’s Business Manager. She later moved to New York and married William A Sheehy. She died aged 93 in 1928 and was buried under the name Lena Sheehy. 

6-7 Blythswood Square, home of Madeliene Smith (Credit Daniel Naczk, CC BY-SA 4.0)

THE SANDYFORD MURDER CASE

The next murder of the quartet, in 1862, saw servant Jessie McPherson meet a grim end, by way of being struck 40 times with a meat cleaver at 17 Sandyford Place. Her best friend Jessie McLachlan was found guilty of the crime, after some silverware stolen after the murder was received by a pawnbroker from a woman called Mary McDonald, a name sometimes used by McLachlan. Bloodied clothing was also recovered from her home. She always maintained her innocence, accusing McPherson’s employer’s father instead. The man in question, James Fleming, had previous history of getting a servant pregnant and it was suggested he killed McPherson in a fit of rage when she refused his amorous advances.

Before sentencing, a final statement by McLachlan gave a detailed account of what had happened on the night of the murder, but this was dismissed by the Judge, who called it a “tissue of wicked falsehoods” and sentenced her to death. However, due to a public outcry, her sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. After serving 15 years in prison, McLachlan was released and emigrated to the United States where she died in 1899. 

This case is notable for being the first Scottish police case in which forensic photography played a role, as the murderer had left a bloody footprint at the scene. Police asked McLachan to put her foot in a bucket of cow’s blood and then step onto a piece of wood. This footprint was then matched to a photograph of the one found at the scene. 

THE HUMAN CROCODILE

Next up is the tale of serial killer Dr Edward William Pritchard. In May 1863 there was a fire at his house at 11 Berkeley Terrace, which killed a servant, Elizabeth McGrain. The fire had started in her room, but she had made no attempt to escape, suggesting she may have already been dead. The case was looked into, but no charges brought. 

The family moved to 131 Sauchiehall Street (now number 249), and on February 28th 1865 Pritchard’s mother in law, Jane Taylor, who had been living with them, died. His wife, whom he had supposedly been treating for an illness, died a month later. Not long before the onset of her illness, she had discovered her husband was having an affair with a servant. She went to her family home in Edinburgh to recuperate, and recovered, but had fallen ill again on her return to Glasgow… 

An anonymous tip off to the authorities led to both bodies being exhumed and it was found that they contained the poison antimony. Pritchard was arrested soon after his wife’s funeral. His insistence at her funeral on her coffin being opened so he could kiss her goodbye, with tears streaming down his face, led to him being given the nickname ‘the human crocodile’, as legend has it that crocodiles cry whilst devouring their prey.

Dr Pritchard was the last person to be publicly executed in Glasgow. Estimates vary, but it’s known that many thousands of people descended on Glasgow Green to watch him meet his maker. 

The trial of Dr Edward William Pritchard for murder by poisoning. Wood engraving, 1865. (Credit CC BY 4.0)

SEE YOU OSCAR SLATER!

Lastly, in 1908 the death of Marion Gilchrist was pinned on Oscar Slater. Slater had been born Oskar Josef Leschziner in Germany, but later changed his name to Oscar Anderson and then Oscar Slater. By 1901 he was living in Glasgow and is believed to have earned his living as a gambler and gangster, though he was known to variously claim to be a gymnastics instructor, a dentist and a dealer in precious stones. 

Gilchrist, aged 83, had been beaten to death in a robbery at 49 West Princes Street. Despite having jewellery worth a lot of money in her home, the robber was disturbed by a neighbour and got away with only a brooch. A few days before the murder, someone had turned up at Gilchrist’s home looking for someone called ‘Anderson’. This, together with the fact Slater left for New York five days after the murder and had previously been seen trying to sell a pawn ticket for a brooch, meant he came under suspicion. Police soon realised this was a false lead, but applied for Slater’s extradition anyway and he voluntarily returned. 

At his trial defence witnesses provided Slater with an alibi and confirmed he had announced his intention to go to America long before the murder. However, in a miscarriage of justice, he was convicted anyway and sentenced to death. This was later commuted to life imprisonment after a petition organised by his lawyers was signed by 20,000 people. 

After nineteen years of hard labour in prison, Slater was freed through the efforts of a group of journalists, lawyers and writers, including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Slater’s conviction was quashed in July 1928 on the grounds that the Judge had failed to direct the jury about the irrelevance of allegations relating to Slater’s previous character. Slater later settled in Ayr, where he repaired and sold antiques. 

49 West Princes Street, home of Marion Gilchrist (Credit Daniel Naczk, CC BY-SA 4.0)

WANT TO KNOW MORE? 

  • Check out Blythswood Square, home of Madeliene Smith, on our Gallus Glasgow map
  • Once there, why not explore the map and add a few stories of your own to our ‘Your Stories’ layer?
  • Prints of the map are available to buy in our online shop

Explore the City Chambers with our new digital tour!

Explore the City Chambers with our new digital tour!

Gallus Glasgow Learning Resources for schools

Download our Gallus Glasgow Inter-Disciplinary Learning Resources for schools!

Kids Trail Toolkit

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A roomful of radicals? The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists

By Dr. Karen Mailley-Watt

‘There is no assumption that feminism looks the same in each place or time.’

– Lucy Delap, Feminisms: A Global History.

A RADICAL HISTORY

5 Blythswood Square – a blonde sandstone townhouse – now home to office workers, computers and time-consuming board meetings, contains within its walls a radical history not many Glaswegians, never mind many Scots, acknowledge. Nestled amongst other picturesque buildings, 5 Blythswood Square, just a stone’s throw away from The Glasgow School of Art (GSA), proudly stands out from the rest with its custom-commissioned doorway designed by the renowned architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). His fame reaches around the world.However, the women who commissioned the unique entrance to the townhouse in 1908 are not as celebrated, nor fully acknowledged in Glasgow’s history. But they should be. Throughout the club’s history it boasted a multitude of pioneering women including the teacher and artist Ann Macbeth (1875-1948), the architects Edith M.B Hughes (1888-1971) and Margaret Brodie (1907-1997), and the campaigner, rebel-rouser and Suffragette Janie Allan (1868-1968).

THE GLASGOW SOCIETY OF LADY ARTISTS (GSLA)

The GSLA was established in 1882 by a group of GSA students in an attempt to combat the everyday sexism and misogynistic barriers which actively prevented them from progressing and flourishing in Scotland’s art world. With the Glasgow Art Club and The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts not accepting women until the 1980s, the early members of GSLA made it their mission to create a club which would help to promote the work of female artists and designers, to provide exhibition opportunities, and a form of sisterhood not catered for by the male-controlled art clubs in  Victorian Glasgow. The formation of a women-only club was in itself an act of rebellion, more so one which physically claimed space in a city not designed, nor catering for them.

Although the club was originally designed for artists it began to cater for other women by opening up membership to ‘lay’, non-artist members in the 1890s. A lay membership allowed members access to the club house and its facilities (of which there was a fine selection) without the exhibition opportunities afforded to Artist Members. The club had two previous homes before moving permanently to 5 Blythswood Square. From the 1880s the club occupied founder member Georgina Greenlees’ (1849-1932) studio space which she shared with her father, Robert Greenlees (1820-1904), at 136 Wellington Street. He was the Headmaster of the GSA from 1863 till 1881 and is attributed by several sources as encouraging the group to form and to undertake exhibitions. Demonstrating a can-do attitude for their exhibitions, the GSLA often borrowed other rooms in the Wellington Street building from a firm of lawyers  so that they had the space to exhibit all of the work they wished to show. Moving forward the club realised that this was not an adequate state of affairs. The Wellington Street space was soon deemed to be ‘too small for purposes’ and new premises were sought for the ever-growing membership. The club moved a short distance to 22 Charing Cross Mansions where they occupied three rooms which once again quickly became too small for the membership body. The expansion of membership options (Artist, Lay, Professional and Honorary) and the occupation of 5 Blythswood Square from 1893 allowed women to continue to grow a network and socialise in a female-controlled space. A safe place.

FEMINIST FORERUNNERS

These women, who established the club, were feminist forerunners who asserted their right and claim to a place in the city. The townhouse at 5 Blythswood Square had a dining room, living room, bedrooms, studio space and a custom-designed gallery (added in 1895).  During the club’s history the spaces were often flexible with some being adapted to suit the evolving requirements of the membership body e.g. by the 1930s some of the studios had been changed to make way for the addition of another bedroom. The bedrooms throughout the club’s history allowed women to have a safe space to stay, unchaperoned, and without society questioning their reputations. In the 1920s and 1930s in particular the clubhouse also helped to facilitate a connection with other like-minded women’s clubs, nationally and internationally, and to allow women freedom of movement via travel and accommodation linked with GSLA.

Similar to many feminist spaces of the 1960s and 1970s, the clubhouse was a place segregated away from men and male-dominated structures. It protected, empowered and was aesthetically reflective of the community housed within. In the townhouse, GSLA members had full control over who could enter the house and when they could occupy the space. Other women’s groups in the city such as The Kelvin Ladies Club (est.1897) met in hotels or other rooms to discuss their business and did not own a private clubhouse. Men were banned from the GSLA clubhouse unless being deemed of a professional benefit to members, e.g. as visiting exhibitors, purchasing art or providing educational lectures.  It was also a child-free space unless under very specific circumstances, and even then children were only allowed into the dining room. Through this active control of space, GSLA were promoting a very specific segregated space distinct from societal expectations of wifely duties and the domestic sphere of the home.

FEMINIST IDEOLOGIES

This fostering of exclusivity via membership and control of the space allowed for other pro-woman groups such as The Women’s Employment Bureau, a society established to help women gain employment, to utilise the clubhouse’s meeting room. This bubbling and cross-fertilisation of feminist ideologies allowed for many women, often pioneers in their own individual fields, to congregate at the clubhouse. Renowned suffrage campaigners associated with GSLA in the early twentieth century including Ann Macbeth, Dr Winifred Ross, Dr Katherine Chapman, Janie Allan, Eve Baker and Chris Stark. Furthermore, many other members of GSLA are recorded attending the infamous St. Andrews Bazaar in Glasgow in 1910 including Jessie M. King, Helen Paxton Brown, and De Courcy Lewthwaite Dewar as well as Chapman, Baker and Macbeth. The event aimed to raise funds for the suffrage cause via a variety of means such as stalls, auctions and entertainments. All of these women either were already GSLA members, or joined the same year as the Bazaar was held. Coincidence, or did the club support the women’s movement with its private meeting rooms, pro-woman ethos, large and engaging network and entry control to the clubhouse? A room full of radicals, or simply a comfortable meeting place for respectable ladies to take tea? I’ll let you decide.

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? 

  • Check out The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists 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

Explore the City Chambers with our new digital tour!

Explore the City Chambers with our new digital tour!

Gallus Glasgow Learning Resources for schools

Download our Gallus Glasgow Inter-Disciplinary Learning Resources for schools!

Kids Trail Toolkit

Explore our new Kids Trail Toolkit!

An open call for blog contributions

Interested in writing for GCHT? We’re opening up a call for blog articles for our Gallus Glasgow project. 

WHAT THIS IS ABOUT:

The Gallus Glasgow project uses Thomas Sulman’s intricate ‘Bird’s Eye View’ 1864 map of Glasgow as a catalyst for exploring the next 50 years of Glasgow’s development in the Victorian period, as it became ‘the Second City of the Empire’. A bespoke animation has been created by SUUM design studio that tells the story of the city of that time, whilst an interactive microsite featuring a zoomable version of the map will enable viewers to explore it in great detail. The project will also feature a series of events including online evening talks and short lunchtime seminars.

Throughout the project we hope to celebrate the achievements of the Victorian period in terms of Glasgow’s built heritage, but not shy away from the more difficult aspects and perhaps even turn a few established narratives on their head. From that point of view anything that might challenge the accepted view and surprise people would be of particular interest.

WHY WRITE FOR US? 

These are paid submissions! We can offer a fee of £100 per blog post.  Plus, you’ll be writing to help support the Glasgow City Heritage Trust and the Gallus Glasgow project. 

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is an independent charity, and helping us expand and improve our educational resources is a great way to support us. Use the blog as a chance to share your knowledge with the community, or as an excuse to learn something new. You’ll get feedback from us, and end up with published writing to put on your CV.

Close, No. 118 High Street. Image: Annan Photographs Glasgow.

WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

We’re seeking articles that people will enjoy reading and that help them learn more about Glasgow’s Victorian built heritage and related topics. Here’s some of the kinds of things you could write about:

  • Stories about ordinary people’s lives – we are particularly interested in stories about women, children and the working classes. 
  • The legacy of slavery and Empire in the Victorian period. 
  • Immigration in the 19th century and its impact on the city and its communities. 
  • The impact of the industrial revolution on buildings, places and people’s lives.
  • Glasgow’s urban development in the period 1800-1900.
  • Maps and mapping.
  • Sport and leisure in Victorian Glasgow.
  • A particular building featured on Sulman’s map or built 1864-1914.
  • An architect, working in Glasgow during the period.
  • Or whatever else you’d like to write about related to Victorian Glasgow or Sulman’s Bird’s Eye View that you think our community would be interested in.

HOW THE SUBMISSION PROCESS WORKS:

  1. Write a draft of an article. Have fun with it.
  2. Submit your draft to us by email. See below! The draft should be a Word, Pages or Google Docs document (no PDFs).
  3. If we think it’s a good fit, our team will review it and suggest changes if necessary. 
  4. Approval, proofing, and publication.

We’ll try to respond to every submission, but we’re a small team, so please be patient with response times. We have a limited budget, so we might not be able to accept every submission. You will be paid only if your contribution is published.

ARTICLE GUIDELINES

  • Blogs should be 400 – 1,000 words max and in Word, Pages or Google Docs format.
  • Write in an informal tone, we find that delivers better results than an academic style
  • Content should be tailored to our target audience of women aged 25-45 years old. For us this means it might: 
    • Be thought provoking & eye-opening
    • Be well-informed but not patronising
    • Tell diverse stories
    • Be relatable to ordinary Glaswegians
    • Be uplifting & celebratory but doesn’t gloss over tough subjects – challenging at times.

Information to be submitted with your blog:

  • Title of the article, set in bold.
  • Your name directly below the title.
  • A brief writer’s profile of no more than three sentences
  • A link to your social media profile(s) (optional)
  • A high-res photograph of yourself (optional). Photos can be professional or more relaxed.
  • At least one illustrative image to accompany the blog
    • A caption for your image.
    • You’ll need to report the source (the images shouldn’t be protected by copyright). If the image is from the internet then please send a link as well.
    • Images should be at least 800px wide.
    • Images are not to be inserted into the text, but are to be sent as a separate attachment.

HOW WE’LL CREDIT YOU:

  • All authors of blog posts will be cited in the published item and a short profile can be included at the end of your piece, with links to your social media profiles, if provided.
  • All text published on GCHT’s website will be under a Creative Commons license, whereby work can be quoted or reproduced elsewhere as long as it is properly attributed and linked back to GCHT, and as long as it is not reproduced for commercial use.
  • The guest blog will be added to our website, and shared across our, and potentially our partners, social networks. We will tag you in any social posts, where possible. 

SOUND GOOD? 

If you would like to chat to us about your chosen topic, you can forward your questions or suggestions to the Outreach team by email,  outreach@glasgowheritage.org.uk. Your email should be clearly marked with the words ‘Blog entry’ in the title. Though, please note, we do not require a topic to be pre-approved and we accept submissions on a rolling basis.

Have fun, and good luck!

From ceramic graffiti to guerrilla knitting: public art in lockdown Glasgow

By Rachel Kacir, Heritage Outreach Manager

The long months of lockdown have been hard for most of us. Getting out for a walk and some fresh air each day has been one way of relieving the boredom and taking care of our mental health too. However, even the most beautiful and interesting of routes becomes a bit tedious if you’re treading it every day…

MYSTERY SCULPTURES

Whilst out on my wanders in Dennistoun a few weeks ago though I came across something that brightened up my day. It was a little pink and gold ceramic sculpture with flowers on it that had been stuck to a brick wall. I found it quite intriguing, who had put it there? And why? A bit of digging on social media led me to the work of Louise McVey, a ceramic artist and musician. Louise’s work will probably be familiar to many, as it’s been popping up across Glasgow for a while now. I met up with Louise for a socially distanced chat outside Wasps artist studios on Hanson Street, where she is based and coincidentally just across the road from the sculpture I spotted. 

Exterior of City Park building, Alexandra Parade, Glasgow

WILLS CIGARETTE FACTORY

The studios are housed in what was a tobacco factory, just along the road from the old Wills Cigarette factory building on Alexandra Parade. Constructed in the mid 1940s, at its peak Wills factory employed 3,500 people and produced 260 million cigarettes a week. It closed in 1990 and was later used as the production office for the film Trainspotting. Although set in Edinburgh, many interior scenes were shot there too. The building is now known as City Park and houses offices, call centres, a gym and a nursery.

Bright ceramic sculptures stuck to a rock
A small ceramic sculpture of a teapot, a couple of drops of tea and a disc saying 'Window'

CERAMIC GRAFFITI

Louise began producing outdoor pieces in 2015 after a stay at the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, also nearby. During her time in the hospital she was drawn to the atrium, an empty and inaccessible space. She felt a sculpture would sit well there and would give staff and patients something to look at. So she created a piece as a thank you for the care she had received. 

Just before lockdown Louise took home some finished pieces from her studio, sensing that she might need them. In the year since, she has anonymously placed many of them in public places, a practice she refers to as ‘ceramic graffiti’. Louise felt she wanted to connect with people and do something constructive at a time of such uncertainty. She explains “With a high level of social anxiety in the air, and with walking being one of the few outlets for most people, what started off as an intuitive action developed into one of my perceived social responsibilities and pleasures”. 

The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive (aside from one lady in the West End who wasn’t too keen on the work Louise was placing near her home). Louise says “the response was very unexpected, and really encouraged me to continue. I feel like the work belongs to the communities. I have received the most heartwarming messages, and feel more connected through the process” 

An old dilapidated school in the background, a railing with colourful knitting on it in the foreground
An abandoned bike that has been covered in colourful thread

GUERILLA KNITTING

Whilst Dennistoun has been getting its fair share of ceramic graffiti, nearby Haghill has been the target of some guerrilla knitting! Also known as ‘yarn bombing’, this is a type of street art that uses yarn or fibre rather than paint to create colourful knitted or crocheted displays. In this case, it has been used by a group of locals to brighten up the railings of the old Haghill Primary School. A bike left inside the railing has also been covered. Those involved hope it will encourage people to take pride in their area and provide a catalyst to reducing problems such as dog fouling and littering. 

HAGHILL PUBLIC SCHOOL

The building was originally Haghill Public School and was constructed by the School Board of Glasgow in 1904. Unlike other school boards, Glasgow brought in a range of architects to design its buildings, giving them a distinctive character. This one was designed by Andrew Lindsay Miller and is noteworthy for being set within a square of traditional tenements. The school building was closed in 1994 and despite being Category B listed its condition has badly deteriorated since. Despite some interest from commercial developers, it remains derelict and on the Buildings at Risk Register

TRANSFORMING GLASGOW

As lockdown restrictions in Glasgow start to ease, our new evening lecture series will be looking to the past for inspiration and possible solutions as the city finds its way out of the pandemic and the challenges that lie ahead. The ‘Transforming Glasgow’ series will focus on how Glasgow has changed and reinvented itself in a variety of ways from the latter half of the 20th century onwards to today. How have these changes come about and what has the impact been? What lessons can be learned? Keep an eye on our website for details.

And if you are looking for outdoor activities to do with the children, download our series of Kids Heritage Trails for free here  

Check out Louise McVey’s work on her website, and on Instagram, @louisemcveyartist or why not get out exploring and see if you can find some yourself?

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!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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 ‘Transformation’ of Glasgow in the later 20th century: Overspill, Redeployment and the Culture of Enterprise

Wednesday 21st April 2021 | 7.30pm BST | via Zoom

As lockdown restrictions in Glasgow start to ease, thoughts are inevitably turning to how the city will continue to chart its path out of the pandemic. With the COP26 climate change conference coming our way in November, how can the city best deal with the challenges ahead? 

In our new evening lecture series ‘Transforming Glasgow’, we will be looking to the past for inspiration and possible solutions. The series will focus on how Glasgow has changed and reinvented itself in a variety of ways from the latter half of the 20th century onwards to today. How have these changes come about and what has the impact been? What lessons can be learned?

For the first talk in the series we will be joined by Chik Collins and Ian Levitt, who will discuss Glasgow’s transformation to a post-industrial city. Generally, conversations about industrial decline centre around the idea that it is the result of economic circumstances, rather than something chosen by governments. This presentation will suggest that Glasgow’s experience does not fit this standard view. Evidence will be put forward that indicates Glasgow’s industrial decline was actually embraced and accelerated by Scottish policy makers from the early 1960s as part of a wider regional economic policy agenda seeking ‘development and growth’ in other parts of Scotland. They will argue this policy agenda was sustained for decades and had seriously adverse consequences for the city and its citizens.

Chik Collins is currently Rector of the University of the Faroe Islands. He spent the previous 25 years at the University of the West of Scotland and its predecessor, the University of Paisley, where he was latterly Interim Dean of the School of Media, Culture and Society. He has researched and written on language and social change, urban policy and community development. Professor Collins also worked with the Glasgow Centre for Population Health to explain excess mortality in contemporary Scotland and Glasgow. 

Ian Levitt is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Central Lancashire and has written widely on 19th and 20th-century Scottish social and economic history. Alongside Chik Collins, he continues to research the relation between late 20th-century Scottish public policy and excess mortality in Glasgow.

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

[ESPRESSO_TICKET_SELECTOR event_id=17273]

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.

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.

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!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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.

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.

Bandstands and Glasshouses: The loved and lost treasures of Glasgow parks

By Rachel Kacir, Heritage Outreach Manager

Since March, we’ve all been spending more time in our own neighbourhoods and rediscovering what’s on our doorsteps, with many of us taking to our local parks to exercise, relax and meet friends. With over 90 parks and green spaces in the city, it’s no wonder that Glasgow is known as the ‘dear green place’! 

PARKS AND RECREATION

By the late-1800s, Glasgow was one of the fastest growing cities in the world.  The  people who made up this new community needed employment and homes, but they also needed entertainments to fill their leisure time. Parks were therefore designed with recreation in mind, and often included bandstands and glasshouses for this purpose. In this blog, we’ll celebrate some of these iconic structures, the companies that made them and the groups working to save them. 

MACFARLANE’S & CO.

When it comes to Glasgow’s park architecture, one name dominates: MacFarlane’s & Co. Often known as the Saracen Foundry, after the location of their first premises in Saracen Lane, Gallowgate, Macfarlane’s was the most important manufacturer of ornamental ironwork in Scotland. The company had been founded by Walter MacFarlane (1817-85) and specialised in producing fountains, bandstands and architectural crestings and ornament. The firm mass produced patterns designed by leading Glasgow architects, such as Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, James Sellars and John Burnet. In 1880 MacFarlane’s nephew, Walter MacFarlane II, became a partner and later took over on the death of his Uncle in 1885. After the war, there was a decline in orders for Saracen’s designs. This was due to a number of factors, including the collapse of the British Empire, the move away from steam power and the introduction of new materials. The works eventually closed in 1966 and the infrastructure was demolished in 1967. However, Saracen Foundry pieces can still be found across the world, including in South Africa, Australia, Canada and Brazil.

CELEBRATED WORKS

MacFarlane’s most celebrated work is the Saracen Fountain in Alexandra Park. It was commissioned as their principal exhibit for the International Exhibition at Kelvingrove Park in 1901. They gifted the fountain to the city and it was relocated to Alexandra Park in 1914. The fountain was restored to working order to celebrate the Millennium in 2000. A blue and gold colour scheme matching its original appearance was chosen. Sadly, the fountain has now fallen into disrepair again. However, Friends of Alexandra Park are working to raise funds to restore it once more. 

The Queen’s Park bandstand was also manufactured by MacFarlane’s. It drew large crowds to listen to concerts. It was later moved to Duchess Park, Motherwell, in the 1920s. It was replaced in 1930 by a new bandstand with amphitheatre style seating. The bandstand burned down in 1996, with only the terraces remaining. Now redeveloped, the bandstand is known as Queen’s Park Arena and hosts a variety of events. It’s not the only bandstand to have been given a new lease of life. In 2014 Glasgow City Heritage Trust grant-aided £20,000 as part of a £2.1 million project to restore the Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre. Built in 1924, it is the only original one left in Glasgow and now hosts open air music events.

MacFarlane’s also produced the components of the Kibble Palace, the jewel in Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens crown. Originally built by John Kibble as a conservatory for his home on Loch Long, it was later dismantled and shipped up the Clyde and then the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Gardens. It was initially used as an exhibition and concert venue, before being used for growing plants from the 1880s. Benjamin Disraeli and William Ewart Gladstone were both installed as rectors of the University of Glasgow in the palace, in 1873 and 1879 respectively.

SIMPSON & FARMER

Whilst MacFarlane’s were best known for fountains and bandstands, Simpson & Farmer actually led the way when it came to glasshouses. Describing themselves as ‘Horticultural Builders, Heating and Ventilation Engineers of Patrick Bridge’, they were responsible for the glasshouses, or ‘Winter Gardens’, in Tollcross, Springburn and Queens Parks amongst others.

Tollcross Winter Gardens were originally built in 1870 at Adrossan. They were gifted to Glasgow Corporation in 1898 by Bailie A.G. MacDonald of Redholm, Adrossan, an ex- Convener of the Parks Committee, in commemoration of his association with the East End. They were removed from Ardrossan and re-erected in Tollcross Park by Simpson & Farmer. The Glasshouse was closed in the 1980s and much of the steel framework was lost due to vandalism. It was restored in the late 1990s-early 2000s, but storm damage during the winter of 2010-11 led to it being closed again. Sadly, the Winter Gardens are once again classed as ‘At Risk’ on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. There have been recent reports of plans to restore them once more to create an events and exhibition space and an early years centre adjacent. 

Springburn Winter Gardens were built by Glasgow Corporation as a condition for accepting a £12,000 gift from local benefactor Sir Hugh Reid to finance the construction of the nearby Springburn Public Halls. The Winter Gardens, the largest in Scotland, were much loved for their displays of exotic plants and for the concerts and exhibitions held there. Unfortunately, the Gardens have remained derelict for some time due to major structural problems. Springburn Winter Gardens Trust, a community led organisation, are working to restore them.

Queens Park glasshouse was also sadly closed in 2020 and work began to remove its dome, which was in an unsafe condition. It is hoped the dome can be restored. Friends of Queens Park are working with Glasgow City Council and others to ensure the long term sustainability of the facility. 

DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

Do you have ideas for a Building at Risk and would like some help? Our Development Grants are for finding solutions to challenges affecting Glasgow’s historic buildings or neighbourhoods. They support projects in their early stages, assisting with their development, for example through feasibility studies and options appraisals. Find out more here

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!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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.

James Miller by Fergus Sutherland: A tribute to Dr. Helen Cargill Thompson

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 adding a donation when you book your ticket
simply select the ‘Standard + Donation’ option to donate £5
.

Wednesday 16th December 2020 | 6pm BST | via Zoom

All at Glasgow City Heritage Trust were saddened to hear of the passing of longtime supporter and enthusiastic lecture attendee Dr. Helen Cargill Thompson. In tribute to Helen, Fergus Sutherland of Icosse Heritage and Media will talk about the career and practice of one of Scotland’s most successful (and least discussed) architects, the incredibly prolific and wonderfully eclectic James Miller (1860-1947). 

Miller stands out for his sheer success.  He ran one of the most productive architectural practices in Britain from the late 1890s up to the Second World War.  His output was enormous with over two hundred projects attributed to his office, predominantly in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, but with significant forays to England too.  From cutting edge modernist housing to the monumental transatlantic banks, almost all of his designs have survived and remain defining elements of our built heritage to this day.

Helen Cargill Thompson (1933-2020) led a fascinating life. Brought up in Burma, she came to Glasgow with her family just before the outbreak of war. After gaining a degree in physiology and pharmacology from St. Andrews, followed by a PhD at Edinburgh University, Helen worked for a decade as a research scientist. However, a change of career beckoned and she retrained as a librarian, later becoming Head of the Reference and Information Division at Strathclyde University. Helen went on to work at the library for over 30 years. An avid art collector, she donated over a thousand artworks to the University. 

Regular attendees at GCHT lectures will remember her fondly, she was usually stationed in the front row, glass of wine in hand, poised to interrupt the speaker and regale the audience with a fascinating anecdote, or ask a profound question. Once the lecture was over Helen would head home on her own through the streets of Glasgow via public transport, despite being well into her eighties. 

Fergus Sutherland remembers her thus: “I first met Helen over 30 years ago and was a fan (and more than a tad in awe) from that moment onwards.  She was a truly unique person and one of the pillars of the voluntary heritage sector in the city that she loved.  She always had a highly informed opinion that she never failed to share and I learned much from her before, during and after the many events that she supported, usually over a glass of wine.  I, like all her many friends and colleagues, will miss her and remember her with great fondness.”

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

[ESPRESSO_TICKET_SELECTOR event_id=16663]

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.

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.

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!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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.

Online Talk: A Tale of Two Cemeteries

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 adding a donation when you book your ticket
simply select the ‘Standard + Donation’ option to donate £5
.

Wednesday 28th October 2020 | 6pm GMT | via Zoom

Join us for a GCHT Halloween spooktacular as we explore two of our most impressive local Victorian garden cemetries, the Glasgow Necropolis and Cathcart Cemetery. The garden cemetery movement was an expression of Victorian civic pride, reflecting the tastes and aspirations of society. Not surprisingly, they became favourite places for recreation, where people could visit, take a stroll and get some fresh air. In recent months we’ve all been rediscovering our local parks and green spaces, so if you’ve been exploring the Necropolis or Cathcart Cemetery as part of your daily walks roster, why not join us to find out more about them?

Cathcart Cemetery was opened in 1878 and is named after the nearby neighbourhood of Cathcart, situated on the outskirts of Glasgow. It contains over 200 war graves and has a Jewish section. Notable burials include Scottish artist and sculptor Hannah Frank and Margaret ‘Madge’ Jefferson, actress and mother of Stan Laurel. Jonathan Tremlett, Co-Chair of the Friends of Cathcart Cemetery, will be telling us more about the fascinating history of this cemetery. He may even throw in a few ghost stories for good measure!

We’ll then head to the east of the city, to Glasgow Necropolis, for a presentation by Architect, Author and Historian Fiona Sinclair. Inspired by the Pere Lachaise in Paris, the Necropolis opened in 1833. Over fifty thousand individuals are now buried here and there are around 3,500 monuments. Fiona will talk mainly about her work on the Monteath Mausoleum, which is the subject of a restoration project by the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis. 

The Mausoleum is the final resting place of Major Archibald Douglas Monteath, who had served as an Officer in the East India Company and died in 1842, and his brother James Monteath Douglas, who died in 1850. The Mausoleum was designed by David Cousin and is said to have been inspired by the Knights Templar Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is noted for the 48 ‘Dwar Palas’ or ‘dvarapala’ adorning the entrance. These ‘door guardians’ are common in Hindu, Buddhist and Jaina cultures and feature in many temples, palaces and forts. 

Free, booking required, donations welcome. 

[ESPRESSO_TICKET_SELECTOR event_id=16230]

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.

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.

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!

Download our Kid’s Heritage Trails!

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.