If Glasgow’s Walls Could Talk podcast

Our If Glasgow’s Walls Could Talk podcast is now available on our website! You can listen to all the episodes below, and there is also a transcript available for each one.

This podcast series was first broadcast between October and December 2021 and explores the relationships between Glasgow’s historic buildings and places and its communities.

Each episode focuses on a specific area, type of building or aspect of Glasgow’s heritage, not only from an architectural history point of view, but also from the perspective of the community. The podcast host, Niall Murphy, GCHT Deputy Director, was joined by special guests for each episode, who shared their personal experiences, thoughts, knowledge and memories. 

Click on the links below to learn about the mapping of queer heritage with Dr Jeffrey Meek from Glasgow University, to hear a discussion about heritage spaces and disabilities with Accessibility Consultant Emily Rose Yates, or to go on a virtual night out with Norry Wilson from Lost Glasgow, with stop offs at some well known historic music venues! Other topics include tenement living, murals and historic cinemas. Enjoy!

EPISODE 1

ARE YOU DANCING? YES WE ARE ASKING! with Norry Wilson from Lost Glasgow

In this episode we talk about historic music venues and ballrooms, such as the Barrowland Ballroom and the Apollo, and their role as spaces of interaction and connection within the city. Do you have special memories linked to a music venue? How important are places like this for our collective memory?

Few know more about Glasgow’s memories than Norry Wilson of Lost Glasgow, who joined us as our guest for this episode. Norry is a journalist and social historian with a lifelong fascination with his home city, Glasgow.  His Lost Glasgow Facebook page and Twitter accounts, with their mix of archive images and stories relating to Glasgow’s history, have amassed a huge following over the years.

Read the Episode 1 Transcript

EPISODE 2

DISAPPEARED GLASGOW with Reverend John Harvey, former member of Gorbals Group Ministry and Stuart Baird, Glasgow Motorway Archive

This episode features two great guests discussing the architectural, structural and social transformations that Glasgow went through in the 20th century, and what they meant for the communities who were affected by the changes. 

After the Second World War, the majority of the houses built during the Victorian period were considered a “housing problem” due to their high density, poor sanitation and structural deficiencies. In the second half of the 20th century, the most common solution to solving this “housing crisis” was to demolish the old tenements and re-house the population.

Our guests are Reverend Dr. John Harvey, who lived in the Gorbals as a member of the Gorbals Group Ministry in the early 1960s, and Stuart Baird, Founder and Chair of the Glasgow Motorway Archive, the largest private collection of road and transport records and photographs in Scotland.

Read the Episode 2 Transcript

EPISODE 3

MAPPING QUEER SCOTLAND with Dr Jeffrey Meek

In this episode we talk about Scottish LGBTQ+ history and places, and how queer stories are researched and interpreted.

Today, LGBTQ+ people in Scotland can marry, adopt children and pursue wonderful careers. Political leaders and public figures can openly identify as gay or bisexual, and Scotland recently topped two European league tables measuring legal protections offered to LGBTQ+ people. But this is all very recent, and Scotland only decriminalised gay sex between consenting men in 1980.

Queer spaces such as bars, pubs, bookshops, squares and parks therefore play a very important role in queer history. But how can we research and collect queer stories and what sort of traces did past queer people leave behind?

We explore this topic with Dr. Jeffrey Meek, Lecturer in Economic and Social History at Glasgow University and Founder and Curator of QueerScotland, a fascinating website  and research tool showcasing historical maps of queer places and spaces in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and across the wider Central Belt.

Read the Episode 3 transcript

EPISODE 4

TENEMENT LIFE with Ana De la Vega, Tenement House and Allistair Burt, Camphill Gate

This double guest episode is about the history of tenements in Glasgow and what it is like to live in a tenement now compared to living in one at the start of the 20th Century.

Living in a tenement is extremely common in Glasgow, as stone tenements have been part of the fabric of our city since the 19th century. According to recent research, around 73% of Glaswegians live in a tenement of some sort!

Tenements were first built during the industrial revolution to accommodate large numbers of people moving to the city to work. At this time, Glasgow’s population grew from a quarter of a million at the start of Queen Victoria’s reign to 760,000 at the end of it.

In this episode we will be discussing tenement living in the past with Ana Sánchez-De La Vega, Visitor Service Supervisor at the Tenement House (NTS) and tenements as communities now with Allistair Burt, who owns a flat at Camphill Gate, a B-Listed tenement on Glasgow’s Southside.

Read the Episode 4 transcript

EPISODE 5

A MULTIPLICITY OF VOICES: SLAVERY AND GLASGOW with Katie Bruce, Curator at GoMA, Glasgow Museums

From the 1700s until the UK abolished slavery in 1833, many Glasgow merchants made their fortune from trading tobacco, sugar, rum and cotton produced by enslaved people on plantations or in factories.

Historians have recorded 19 slave voyages leaving Greenock and Port Glasgow in the six decades between 1706 and 1766, carrying roughly 3000 people into slavery. Many historic buildings and areas in Glasgow are linked with these trades.

In this episode we talk to Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) Curator Katie Bruce about the different ways in which this aspect of Glasgow’s history can be researched, interpreted and highlighted, with a special focus on the GoMA building and its convoluted history.

Read the Episode 5 transcript. 

EPISODE 6

ACCESSIBILITY AND HERITAGE with Accessibility Consultant Emily Rose Yates

Glasgow is famous for its stunning historic buildings dating from the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, when the city was known as the Second City of the Empire.

Unfortunately, a lot of these heritage spaces are inaccessible to many people living, working and visiting Glasgow. Barriers are at the root of disabled people’s exclusion and are an obstacle to their enjoyment and appreciation of heritage, culture and art.

In Scotland, one in five people are disabled. Only 8% of Scottish people with disabilities are wheelchair users, and 70% have disabilities which are invisible. (Visit Scotland 2021 Survey, 2021). Access needs are as unique and individual as the person who requires them.

In this episode we talk about accessibility, representation and inclusivity in heritage spaces with Accessibility Consultant Emily Rose Yates.

Read the Episode 6 transcript. 

EPISODE 7

SPLASHES OF COLOUR AROUND THE CITY with John Foster, City Centre Mural Trail and Ali Smith, Art Pistol

During the last decade, mural painting has flourished in Glasgow, and they can be found all over the city, covering a huge range of topics from saints’ lives to flying taxis, pelicans, swimmers and poems.

The Glasgow City Council’s Mural Fund is a scheme which offers support towards the costs involved in creating and delivering new murals in the city centre.

In this episode we discuss how Glasgow’s murals enrich the urban landscape and the process behind their creation with John Foster, Project Lead for the City Centre Mural Trail and Ali Smith, Director of Art Pistol projects, the company behind some of the most iconic murals in the city.

Read the Episode 7 transcript.

EPISODE 8

THERE IS NOTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN POTENTIAL: COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP AND HISTORIC SCHOOL BUILDINGS with Martin Avila, Kinning Park Complex

Have you ever wondered why there are so many historic school buildings in our city?

The high number of old schools in Glasgow relates to the Education Scotland Act of 1872, which made elementary education compulsory and free for all children between the ages of 5 and 13. In Glasgow alone, 75 new schools were built between 1873 and 1918.

The cost, upkeep and preservation of these massive Victorian and Edwardian School Board buildings has been a constant challenge for the council, the pupils and teachers and the larger school communities.

So what can community’s do to save these buildings? Are they salvageable? Are they even worth saving?

In this episode we focus on a great example of a community taking ownership and repurposing a historic school building. The Kinning Park Complex is an independent multi use community space in the Southside of Glasgow, located in an old red sandstone building and originally built in 1916 as an annex to the Lambhill Street Primary School.

Martin Avila, former Director of Kinning Park Complex, talks about the challenges and the joys of community ownership.

Read the Episode 8 transcript. 

EPISODE 9

MUCH MORE THAN JUST FOOTBALL: HISTORIC STADIUMS AND FOOTBALL MEMORIES with Robert Harvey, Football Memories Scotland

People and social interactions are at the heart of football, just like stadiums and other venues linked to a specific sport, such as pubs and clubs.

Football Memories Scotland is a project which provides opportunities for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia to reminisce through discussion of archive football images. The Scottish football archive at the Scottish Football Museum holds thousands of images covering the history of the game in Scotland. These images are used as memory triggers for participants and can assist with short term memory recall.

This episode’s guest is Robert Harvey, Volunteer and Area Co-ordinator for Glasgow, Football Memories Scotland.

Read the Episode 9 transcript. 

EPISODE 10

ENTERTAINMENT MAKES GLASGOW with Judith Bowers, Britannia Panopticon and Gary Painter, Scottish Cinemas Project

Across the 19th and 20th centuries, Glasgow was home to a huge number of music halls, theatres, and cinemas, which served and entertained the population. These spaces occupied a significant role in the social and architectural life of the city and in people’s memories, and many still do.

Join us for a double guest episode about the entertainment industry of the past, with a focus on historic music halls, theatres, and historic cinemas with Judith Bowers, Founder and Director of the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall campaign and Gary Painter, co-founder of the Scottish Cinemas Project.

Read the Episode 10 transcript. 

If Glasgow’s Walls Could Talk is produced by Inner Ear, sponsored by National Trust for Scotland and kindly supported by Tunnock’s.

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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.

Feature: An Introduction to Traditional Sign Writing

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.

GCHT grantees Lindsay and Simone opened their store “The Bridal Courtyard” in 2021. With the help of GCHT Traditional Skills funding, they employed traditional sign writers Scott and Ross Hastie to create beautiful, hand painted signage on their shop window. Lindsay and Simone interviewed Scott and Ross to find out more about their craft! Check out the video below to see Ross in action and learn more about his craft and how his journey into his fascinating career.

Lindsay and Simone’s vision: “Our aim at the Bridal Courtyard was to remove the purple vinyl machine made logo on our main window and bring our signage back to a formal Victorian glory, in keeping with the Italiante style Tannery Building in which we are housed. Therefore, we employed Ross to create Traditional gold leaf signage.”

Window Signage Before:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Window Signage After:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The artist, Ross Hastie: Ross takes inspiration from the spectrum of traditional and contemporary design. His colour choices, lettering styles and effects are carefully chosen for each individual project. He considers styles and trends correct to the intended era, and aims to be in keeping with established themes in each individual project.

The Project Team:

To find out more about Traditional Skills grants, check out our Guidance Notes.

 

An Interview with Traditional Sign Writers Scott & Ross Hastie Recorded at “The Bridal Courtyard” in April 2021.

Visit the Bridal Courtyard: www.bridalcourtyard.com

Follow The Bridal Courtyard on Instagram: @thebridalcourtyard

Visit Ross Hastie Signs: www.rosshastiesigns.com

Follow Ross Hastie Signs on Instagram: @rosshastiesigns

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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.

Grants Workshops

Would you like to know more about how GCHT’s grants scheme works? If you are thinking of applying for a grant but don’t know where to start, then you are in the right place! 

“I can thoroughly recommend the support from GCHT - they supported us all the way!”

Between September 2020 and March 2021, GCHT ran a series of workshops which offered a step by step guide to applying for our grants. Each event featured a short presentation focused on eligibility and the application process, followed by two guest speakers who spoke about past projects. Speakers included a range of past grantees as well as GCHT Officers. Each workshop ended with a Q&A session and general discussion.

“Many thanks to GCHT and the speakers - Colin's case study was interesting and applicable to a lot of Glasgow legacy buildings.”
“It’s been a super interesting meeting, thank you very much!"

The subtitled recordings of the events are now available to watch online for free:

Workshop 1: Building Repair & Traditional Skills Grants

Recorded 10th December 2020.

Speakers:

Building Repair Grant: Colin Baillie, Baillie Baillie Architects

Traditional Skills Grant: Gemma Park, GCHT Traditional Skills Officer

Workshop 2: Heritage and Community Grants

Recorded 11th February 2021.

Speakers:

Heritage Grant: Jan Graham, Ghost Signs of Glasgow

Community Grant: Lizanne Phee, TnmntTiles

Workshop 3: Building Repair and Development Grants

Recorded 31st March 2021.

Speakers:

Building Repair Grant: Fiona Sinclair, RIAS Conservation Accredited Architect at Advanced level

Development Grant: Shireen Taylor, GAMIS (Govanhill Picture House)

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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.

Looking Up and Looking Out for Tenements – Download Link

Looking Up and Looking Out for Tenements

Traditional and historical buildings are an integral part of the environment in which we live and work, and are widely valued for their character, form and local distinctiveness. However, they are often considered expensive to run and difficult to maintain. This need not be the case. With regular maintenance and repair, the right skills and materials we can all play a role in ensuring that these older buildings continue to contribute to the fabric and amenity of Scotland’s built environment.

Glasgow City Heritage Trust in collaboration with UnderOneRoof invite you to become a “tenement detective” using our Looking Up and Looking Out for Tenements guide, which covers maintenance repairs and shared responsibilities for the tenement owners of Glasgow. The guide features detailed information on the different features of a traditional tenement, and checklists to complete your own maintenance inspections.

Download the guide by clicking the image below and tell us on social media what you find in your own tenements!

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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.

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!

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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. 

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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. [...]

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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!

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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.

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
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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.