Be a Building Detective!

Is there a building in your area that you’ve always been curious about? Want to find out more?

Here are some resources that may help:

To find out more about the building:

To see information on a map:

  • Explore Scotland’s Historic Environment via modern, historic, aerial and data maps using PastMap
  • The National Library of Scotland has a large collection of maps that can be searched by place name.

To find old photos of the building:

  • The Virtual Mitchell service by the Mitchell library enables the user to search for historic photos of a particular location.
  • Scran aims to provide educational access to digital materials representing our material culture and history.

Here are some things to think about when considering the significance of a building:

  • Look at the building on its own and in its context
  • What is it made of? Where did the materials come from?
  • When was it built? What else was built at the same time? Is this building similar or different?
  • Who designed it? What else did they design in Glasgow?
  • Are there details on the building eg. carved decoration?

Happy investigating!

You might also be interested in...

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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

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

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

My favourite building: The Barrowland Ballroom

By Taylor Cross-Whiter, GCHT Development Officer

The Barrowland Ballroom music venue in Glasgow lit up at night with a neon sign

WHERE GLASGOW MEETS THE WORLD

The giant neon sign flashes red, yellow, green and blue as you eagerly join the queue waiting to get inside, before climbing the stairs sticky from decades of spilt drinks, and walking into a cavernous room with stars twinkling down from the ceiling. There is the atmosphere of feverish anticipation common to so many live music events, but today there’s an extra special electricity in the air- this isn’t just any gig, this is a Barrowland gig.

 CITY OF MUSIC

The Barrowland Ballroom is a world-famous music venue, beloved by musicians, their audiences and the people of Glasgow. Shining like a beacon for the city, its giant neon sign lights up the Gallowgate and acts as a symbol of Glasgow’s music heritage, a heritage so important that in 2008 it was designated the U.K.’s first City of Music by UNESCO. Music is a huge part of Glasgow’s culture as a city, from the folk songs learnt off by heart in primary school to modern pop bands taking the world by storm.

 

 GOIN’ DANCIN’

This cultural heritage all comes together at the Barrowland, which was originally opened in 1934 by “The Barras Queen”, Maggie McIver, who was also responsible for setting up the Barras Market. The current building, with its iconic sign, was built in 1960 after the original building burned down. Initially a dance hall, many Glaswegians still fondly remembering getting dressed up on a weekend to go dancin’ there. Its legacy as a dance hall gives the building one of its most popular features- the spring-loaded wooden floor, a rarity now in music venues but which makes jumping up and down in unison with a crowd all the more enjoyable.

 

CHERISHED MEMORIES

People’s memories of the Barrowland Ballroom range from the formal tea dances of the 1960s to today’s sweaty joy of being packed together singing along to a favourite band, all of the memories a testament to the venue’s ability to build community and why it remains such a cherished place for Glasgow.

 

 BARROWLAND BALLADS

Therefore, when the artists behind Recollective approached Glasgow City Heritage Trust about celebrating the venue and its untold stories, the Trust recognised the need for a project establishing the Barrowland’s importance to the city’s heritage. GCHT gave Recollective a Heritage Grant in 2017 to help fund “Barrowland Balladsa multi-year long project which used the mediums of photography, text and graphic art to explore the building, its history and cultural legacy. Barrowland Ballads culminated in a book of the artists’ work, filled with stories from the local community, photos of the building and its people, and pencil sketches of people engaging with the space. GCHT also held artist talks and an exhibition of the work. 

 

 GRANT FUNDING AVAILABLE

For many people, Glasgow’s heritage means the gothic spires of Glasgow University, the stately Victorian West End tenements, or the imposing City Chambers. While these all play a vital role in Glasgow’s historic fabric, places like the Barrowland Ballroom, with its legacy of uniting and rallying the city around it, are just as important. GCHT aims to promote and protect all of the city’s heritage, whether it’s Mackintosh masterpieces or iconic social history. We do this through our grants programme, which is open to everyone in Glasgow. 

You might also be interested in…

City Portals: A Heritage Project for Schools

Where will your portal take you? In Glasgow, some of the most striking features of our built environment often go unnoticed due to their structural function. Entrances, including doorways, archways and gateways, are not normally recognised for their aesthetic qualities but pupils from four Glasgow secondary schools, Hyndland Secondary, loch end Community High School, St. [...]

Walking Tour 4

The Tenement Renaissance City – the New Gorbals and Laurieston

Our walking tours are taken by GCHT Building Grants Officer, Niall Murphy who is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge!

Walking Tour 3

The Gilded City – the Victorian and Edwardian city Our walking tours are taken by GCHT Building Grants Officer, Niall Murphy who is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge! From the 1830s onwards, as the population rose and the rapidly industrialising city boomed, Glasgow was transformed. This age gave rise to some of the city’s finest […]

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.

My favourite building: The Leyland Motor Company Building

By Niall Murphy, GCHT Deputy Director

A SYMBOL OF URBAN NEGLECT

The former Leyland Motor Company building, on Salkeld Street in Tradeston, caught my eye decades ago. As I still sail past it on the train every day on my commute, I have watched over recent decades as a tidemark of graffiti barnacled around its flanks. Tucked alongside the West Coast Mainline and the main approach to Central Station, this ‘B’ listed building has become a symbol of urban detritus and neglect in Glasgow. As it is so prominent, its sad decline does not reflect well on Glasgow particularly when you think of its 1930s heyday when the Art Deco tower would have attracted a fashion conscious clientele to this top-of-the-line motor car garage.

JAMES MILLER

The building, which opened in 1933, was probably designed, at the end of his career, by the great Glasgow commercial Architect, James Miller. There is something nautical about its lines, appropriate when you consider that Miller was one of the few Glasgow Architects who worked on the great Liners. Miller’s career spanned a half century with its associated waves of fashion all of which he successfully surfed. As such, he has a rich and varied oeuvre, and this is him going out on a high. Miller was a stylistic chameleon, producing a string of brilliant essays in a range of styles. However, he really admired and mastered American Classicism so inevitably he would be attracted to the siren song of its successor style: Art Deco.

 

A BEACON IN THE DARK

The building has long low horizontal ranges to Salkeld Street and Mauchline Street, the facades of which are subdivided by fluted faience pilasters separating bands of metal framed windows. The slow beat of these facades gathers pace into the bow wave of the curved corner tower the junction of which is announced by tall octagonal windows to each side. The soaring four storey tower originally had 3 tiers of curved windows. Fully illuminated, its modernity would have stood out like a beacon in the long dark streets of 1930s Glasgow.

 

ART DECO AT RISK

After it ceased to be used by the Leyland Motor Company, the building was taken over by the Strathclyde Police Mounted and Dog Branch as a stable block and kennel. Unfortunately, when work started on the completion of the M74 motorway, the police moved out. Though the garages to the rear are now occupied by mechanics and wedding businesses, sadly the offices along Mauchline Street and the tower itself remain unoccupied. Art Deco buildings in Glasgow are rare, and this one is unfortunately now on the Buildings at Risk register. 

 

FUNDING BUILDINGS AT RISK

Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s Development Grants are for finding solutions to challenges affecting Glasgow’s historic or neighbourhoods. Applications can be made for projects that increase the resilience of Glasgow’s historic built environment, for example projects aimed at encouraging the re-use of Glasgow’s vacant historic buildings. 

You might also be interested in…

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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.

My favourite building: The Forth & Clyde Canal

By Gemma Wild, GCHT Heritage Outreach Manager

A view of the Forth & Clyde Canal, with towpath in foreground and buildings in the background

STEEPED IN HISTORY

When I’m asked what my favourite building in Glasgow is, I always cheat and say the Forth & Clyde Canal. It isn’t a ‘building’ strictly, but it is a man-made structure – does that count? You can keep your City Chambers, your Rennie Mackintosh’s and your Victorian warehouses. For me, the canal’s rich history is one of Glasgow’s most significant heritage assets.

18TH CENTURY MOTORWAY

The Forth & Clyde Canal runs through Glasgow, all the way from Grangemouth in the east (the Forth) to Bowling in the West (the Clyde). It was completed in 1790 and was the motorway of its day, built to connect central Scotland, transforming travel times for those moving heavy goods between Glasgow & Edinburgh from days to hours.

A NATIONAL COLLECTION

If I asked you to think of a National Collection – you’re probably not thinking of parts of formerly industrial land in North Glasgow…But I would argue that:

  • Scotland’s five historic canals are an incredibly significant national collection & outstanding examples of Georgian engineering.
  • The canal is a living breathing outdoor industrial museum.
  • It is a scheduled ancient monument with over 250 years of history that incredibly is still being used today.

INDUSTRY & NATURE

I first became interested in the canal when I moved to Maryhill nine years ago. At first it was just great to live right next to this green ribbon I could use for walks & cycling and which would connect me to places I needed to go. Then the wildlife started to reveal itself: could that really be a deer? In Maryhill?! Of course, on my walks it was hard to miss the remaining fragments of Glasgow’s industrial past: a rusting stop lock; a milestone; a lone, brick industrial building amongst the new build housing.

CREATING BRIGHTER FUTURES FOR GLASGOW’S COMMUNITIES

But the canal is not just an important historic structure in its own right. The coming of the canal led to the development of towns and places, and in the communities the canal passes through it is an intrinsic part of the character and identity of the place and the people. The Forth & Clyde Canal links communities in some of Glasgows poorest areas. As formerly industrial sites are redeveloped, and the canal’s potential as an asset for the area is developed, so the canal continues to shape these places today. That regeneration effort has helped bring forward some creative projects which bring life and hope back to these areas, and revive the intangible heritage captured in the traditions, skills, crafts, language and events associated with the canals. These projects connect people, encourage pride in a local neighbourhood that might have suffered badly from the decline of industry in the 20th century, helping creating brighter futures for those communities.

WE CAN HELP YOU! 

If you have a great idea for a project using heritage to engage your community, we might be able to help! We have funding available for heritage outreach and community engagement projects – find out more on our website and submit your idea now!

You might also be interested in…

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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.

My favourite building: The Willow Tea Rooms

By Rachel Kacir, GCHT Heritage Outreach Manager

“A TREASURE-BOX OF SPECIALNESS’

The Room de Luxe at the Willow Tea Rooms has been described as “a kind of glittering treasure-box of specialness” by author Perilla Kinchin. But following a lack of investment, by the time the building was bought by the Willow Tea Rooms Trust in 2014 it had lost its shine. Supported by grant funding from Glasgow City Heritage Trust, a four year restoration project followed, securing the future of the only surviving example of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work for his patron, local entrepreneur Kate Cranston.

A WARM GLASGOW WELCOME

After graduating I worked at the Willow Tea Rooms for several years. We were usually run off our feet, welcoming visitors from around the world who had come to see what was left of the original interiors designed by the well known Glasgow architect. Sometimes the queue would spill down the stairs and onto the street, and servers would rush around, taking orders, delivering food, and sometimes searching for an elusive teaspoon when the cutlery supply couldn’t keep up with the demand for afternoon teas!

THE ROOM DE LUXE

Occasionally though I would take a step back and daydream about what the tea rooms must have looked like in their heyday, the Room de Luxe in particular. It had always been the jewel in the Willow crown. The decoration here was particularly plush, indeed those who chose to dine in this room had to pay an extra penny for the privilege.

“DRIPS OF GLASS’

Leaded mirrored glass panels adorned with willow motifs lined the room, culminating in a spectacular set of doors at the entrance. What fascinated me most though was the light fittings and what had become of them. When I worked there replacements in a standard Mackintosh style were in place. However, I’d seen the one surviving photo of the originals, and a quote from Mary Newbery Sturrock, daughter of Glasgow School of Art Director Frances Newbery, where she described the light as “drips of pink glass” and laments that “nobody knows what happened to that light. It was absolutely, perfectly beautiful”.

RECREATING MACKINTOSH’S UNIQUE DESIGNS

Luckily, the Willow Tea Rooms Trust were able to draw on the skills of a range of craftspeople to recreate Mackintosh’s unique designs, including these lights. In this video glass specialists Rab MacInnes and Ingrid Phillips explain how they had to depart from their usual practice to achieve the desired result for the chandeliers, such as including glass bubbles or ‘seeds’ in the glass when usually the goal is to eliminate them.

 

TRADITIONAL CRAFTS

I still hope that some day the original light fittings will be discovered in somebody’s attic, but until then I’m glad we still have traditional craft practitioners able to faithfully recreate them, enabling this part of Glasgow’s past to continue to be part of its present. If you enjoy arts and crafts activities, we run regular practical workshops. Join our mailing list to stay up-to-date! 

You might also be interested in...

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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

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

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

‘Ghost Signs Conference’ by Jan Graham

We are very excited to host an online conference on Ghost Signs!

Coordinators Jan Graham and Merryn Kerrigan have invited speakers from across Britain and Ireland to share insights and experiences of the faded historic hand painted signs and wall murals found in their cities. We’ll delve into case studies of ghost signs from Glasgow, Birmingham, Dublin and London, and attendees will have the chance to ask everything they ever wanted to know about ghost signs.

We’ll consider the enduring appeal of old commercial signage, while excavating some of the social histories surrounding their making. During the free evening, online conference, we’ll also exchange and compare perspectives around the preservation and conservation of ghost signs, during our all guest panel-discussion.

Photographer: Gordon Baird

Invited Speakers Include:

5pm-5.40pm: Silvia Scopa, Community Engagement Officer for the Glasgow City Heritage Trust and founder of the Ghost Signs of Glasgow project. Silvia is an Archaeology graduate with a post graduate Masters in Museum Studies, and a major interest in social history. After living in Italy and Spain, she moved to Glasgow eight years ago. Before working at the Glasgow City Heritage Trust she spent four years at the National Trust for Scotland.

5.45pm-6.25pm: Emma Clarke has been photographing old signs & tracking Dublin’s changing streetscapes for over a decade. She started the site dublinghostsigns.com in 2013. The site features Dublin’s traditional hand-painted signs, as well as signs for businesses which no longer operate. 

Intermission

7pm-7.40pm: Tracey Thorne, a Birmingham artist who spent six years walking, exploring and photographing the streets of Birmingham to record the city’s disappearing hand-painted advertising signs. Her work provides a document to the craft of the sign-painting that once dominant in the city, and offers an alternative way of navigating the streets to reveal the stories behind some of city’s buildings.

7.45pm-8.25pm: Sam Roberts, the Director of Ghostsigns.co.uk and Better Letters. In addition to numerous published articles on ghost signs, Sam authored and published Hand-Painted Signs of Kratie about street signs in Cambodia and is co-editor of Advertising and Public Memory: Social, Cultural and Historical Perspectives on Ghost Signs. He curated the History of Advertising Trust Ghostsigns Archive, and has led the Ghostsigns Walking Tours in London for over four years.

8.35pm-9pm: Panel Discussion. The conference will be followed by a panel discussion on ghost signs with the invited speakers from London, Dublin, Birmingham and Glasgow.

To register for this event go to:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ghost-signs-of-glasgow-conference-tickets-118288988549?ref=eios

*Ticketing for this event is free and covers the whole conference.

You might also be interested in...

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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

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

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

Glasgow Doors Open Days 2020

Tell us your Stories of the City

We’ve all been spending more time in our own neighbourhoods in recent months, so for this year’s Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival we want you to share with us what you’ve discovered in your local area!

Have you noticed an unusual old building and wondered what it was? Or is there a local building or landmark you’re particularly fond of? Take a photo and post it on social media using the hashtags #StoriesOfTheCity and #GlasgowHeritage. Or you can find us on TwitterFacebook or Instagram @GlasgowHeritage. Give us the location and anything you know about it. Who lived there? What did it used to be? Is there an unusual story about it? Tell us your memories!

Ghost signs credit Gordon Baird b&w
Garnethill Kids
DSC_0290 copy
temp

BE A BUILDING DETECTIVE

If there’s a building you would like to know more about, post your photos of it to our social media pages and we’ll see what we can discover about it!

PHOTOS MAKE PRIZES!

As well as the chance for your images to be featured on our social media, there will also be a prize for the best story about a building. There’s no need for fancy camera equipment, your phone camera will do. Whilst looking at buildings please remember to keep safe and take care. Do not trespass on private property. If you would like to find out more about a building yourself, check out our ‘Building Detective’ blog below.

INSPIRED YET?

If you’re planning to get out and about for Doors Open Days (whilst adhering to current government guidelines regarding Covid-19 of course) and are looking for some inspiration, check out the resources below for links to our Ghost Signs of Glasgow maps and Kids Heritage Trails as well as some blogs on our favourite Glasgow buildings!

You might also be interested in...

Glasgow Historic Environment: A Snapshot – 2019

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

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

Blog Post: Ghosts and Zombies

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

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

Become a Friend of Glasgow City Heritage Trust

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

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

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

Take a walk on the ghost side: download our Ghost Signs of Glasgow maps! by Lauren Campbell

Ghost Signs of Glasgow are excited to announce the digital launch of three maps with carefully selected Ghost Signs, enabling you to discover hidden stories of Glasgow. The maps are now available to download and print for free, allowing you to go on self-guided tours of Ghost Signs in Glasgow’s City Centre, East End and West End in your own time, at your own pace. Each map has a number of carefully selected Ghost Signs, complete with historical information, photographs and a carefully designed map detailing the locations of the signs.

City Centre Walk, text
City Centre Map, Front
City Centre Map, back
East End Walk, text
East End map, front
East End Map, back
West End Walk, text
West End map, front
West End map, back

For those of you who don’t already know us, Ghost Signs of Glasgow is a volunteer-based project started by Glasgow Heritage Trust. The project tracks down, researches and archives fast disappearing signs around Glasgow. This might take the form of an old shop front, a faded painted advertisement or even a hidden stained-glass window. Through crowd sourcing, architectural, social, biographical, material and oral histories, the project has unearthed some interesting stories of Glasgow, its buildings and the people who have lived here.

Beginning in 2018, through free, volunteer-led guided walks, we have been able to share our research with the public, often also gathering more historical information from walk attendees themselves along the way. Whilst we are currently unable to facilitate volunteer-led tours of the Ghost Signs tours, these maps enable self-guided tours.

Feel free to use these maps to mark any undiscovered signs and get in touch to let us know @ghostsignsgla on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram or via email ghostsigns@glasgowheritage.org.uk

 As a crowd sourced research project, we are constantly updating our archive and welcoming new signs and information! Despite lockdown measures over the past few months, we have been kept very busy with the design and production of these maps. In true Ghost Signs style, the process has been a volunteer-based effort.

Initially meeting regularly in cafes around the city, remember meeting in cafes?  We eventually turned to Zoom once the lockdown was enforced. Our resident graphic designers, writers, proof editors and illustrators were then kept busy working on cartography, design, writing, illustration and editing.

Drafts of the maps were sent through email by our graphic designers, who compiled the information, which we then discussed, proof-read and edited. All photographs, design, research, text and original drawings visible on the maps are sourced from the work of the volunteers – Research Assistants, Photography Assistants, Tour Assistants and Map Assistants; the final product a true collective piece of work.

We are happy to say how proud we are of the maps, everyone’s efforts, and hope you have as much fun with them as it has been creating them.

Free copies will be available from Glasgow City Heritage Trust office at 54 Bell Street as soon as it will be safe to open again to the public, in the meantime download your digital free copy and have fun!

Enjoy Family Fun with our Kids Trails!

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

We’ve already seen some lovely posts on social media with families out and about using our kids trails to guide them on their daily walk. So we thought we’d make the trails available online as downloads you can print out. Click on any of the images above and then you’ll be able to download and print the trails in a new easy-to-print format.

Of course it goes without saying that we hope you’ll enjoy these trails responsibly and make sure you keep your distance from other people out enjoying some fresh air – at least 2 metres away please!

We’d love to see some pictures of you enjoying the trails – you can show them to us on our Twitter, Instagram or Facebook pages – use the hashtag #glasgowkidstrails.

End of the Line: Explore Glasgow’s Industrial Past

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.

John R Hume first started documenting Glasgow’s industrial buildings in 1964. Wandering the city by bicycle, he was determined to get images of as many of the city’s decaying industrial buildings as possible before they disappeared. He was just in time.

END OF THE LINE EXHIBITION, SUMMER 2019

In the summer of 2019, GCHT created the exhibition End of the Line: Photographs of Glasgow’s Industrial Past by Professor John R Hume. People came to see the exhibition for a variety of reasons, including personal memories of the buildings photographed, an interest in industrial heritage or photography, and curiosity about the former Tax Hall as many people had never seen inside the building. Running from 25th July until 5th September, the exhibition had over 1,200 visitors in just six weeks.

This is the first time that these images, many of which were originally included in John R Hume’s book Industrial Archaeology of Glasgow (Blackie, 1974), had been exhibited together on a large scale. The powerful black and white photographs demonstrate the monumentality and ambition of Glasgow’s industrial buildings, as well as the diversity of architectural styles; they span neo-gothic, neoclassical, and Venetian to name a few. The viewer is encouraged to admire the intricate architectural details of each building and to imagine the lives of the people who may have worked there.

AUDIO TOUR & INTERACTIVE MAP

An audio tour of selected highlights of the exhibition by John R Hume is available online.

End of the Line Building Locations

GLASGOW’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE CAPTURED

The dramatic changes in Glasgow’s urban fabric since the 1960s were in large part a consequence of the decline of industry after the Second World War. Postwar government policies, such as clearances for Comprehensive Development Areas and the creation of the M8 urban motorway, virtually flattened areas of the city including the Gorbals, Hutchesontown, Anderston and Bridgeton. The photographs in End of the Line represent the enormity of the loss of Glasgow’s industrial heritage: every building depicted has subsequently been demolished. 

You might also be interested in…

City Portals: A Heritage Project for Schools

Where will your portal take you? In Glasgow, some of the most striking features of our built environment often go unnoticed due to their structural function. Entrances, including doorways, archways and gateways, are not normally recognised for their aesthetic qualities but pupils from four Glasgow secondary schools, Hyndland Secondary, loch end Community High School, St. [...]

Walking Tour 4

The Tenement Renaissance City – the New Gorbals and Laurieston

Our walking tours are taken by GCHT Building Grants Officer, Niall Murphy who is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge!

Walking Tour 3

The Gilded City – the Victorian and Edwardian city Our walking tours are taken by GCHT Building Grants Officer, Niall Murphy who is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge! From the 1830s onwards, as the population rose and the rapidly industrialising city boomed, Glasgow was transformed. This age gave rise to some of the city’s finest […]

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.