Welcome to Bygone Bungo

Welcome to the Bygone Bungo blog. We aim to collect and summarise all that is known about the dear little place we know as Strathbungo.

Over recent years I have amassed a wealth of information, from historical accounts and swathes of records, to many timeless photographs. This blog allows me to share them with a wider audience.

Not everything is on the site yet; items will be added as time allows. Future plans include then and now photographs of the area, maps through the ages, and further articles. The database of properties and previous residents is already running – you can search through some 5000 landlords and residents from the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the Address Search page.

So if you have ever wondered about the history of the area, who built it and why, or who lived here, or you have information of your own to add, delve in.

Andrew Downie

The growth of East Pollokshields as described in 1877

From the North British Daily Mail – Tuesday 27 February 1877
POLLOKSHIELDS. BUILDING NOTES. On the east side of Shields Road, outside of the burgh boundary, the whole extensive area of ground from St Andrew’s Street to Nithsdale Road, and from Shields Road to Darnley Street has been laid out in well-formed streets, and building is going rapidly on; numerous blocks are about to be erected, the excavations for a number being made, and others approaching completion. The whole are three storeys in height. In contradistinction to the burgh, these are all named streets, but are simply continuations of the burgh roads. A large portion of the ground in the west is an integral part of Pollokshields – that to the east, including the Victoria Gardens, several saw-mills, &c., being in the city of Glasgow, the curling pond and a portion only of St Andrew’s Street, Princes Street, and Maxwell Street. in Pollokshields. Albert Street, Leslie Street, Melville Street, and Leven Street, to the south of these, and extending to the Nithsdale Road, are also in the Shields, but not in the burgh. The sites nearest the Nithsdale Road have been already largely built on, long rows of splendid houses lining the streets, each with their flower plots and railings in front, and rich in architectural beauty. At the east end of Rosslyn Terrace there is an open space, triangular in form with walks inside, and tastefully ornamented with shrubbery, flowers, &c. Intersecting streets throughout the whole are also being formed, the principal one being Kenmure Street, a wide open thoroughfare running north and south. Two spacious and handsome iron bridges over the Junction Railway have both lately completed, but only one is as yet opened, leading in a direct line from the furthest west of Pollokshields burgh by Albert Road and Albert and Princes Streets, to the Kilmarnock Road. The opening of this latter street has again doomed the splendid Victoria Gardens and Kingston Bowling Green, it going right through their centre, and they will have to migrate just when getting into beauty and order. It is expected that by one or other of the bridges the Tramway Company will in a year or so give the rapidly incensing population of the Shields the benefits of their system, a connection being easily made with the head of Eglington Street. The old and narrow stone bridge over the railway at the corner of Darnley Street and Nithsdale Road is being replaced by a wide iron one. This portion of the Shields is at present looked after by a committee of the householders, but it is more than likely that an amalgamation with the newly formed burgh may take place before long. Shops are allowed in the district, but the only places in width they have as yet been opened is St Andrew’s Street and a small adjacent part of Shields Road. They are mostly marts of household necessities, and only one wine and spirit shop was lately opened there. … Along Shields Road, from St Andrew’s Street to Nithsdale Road, a range of elegant houses two and three storeys in height, line the east side, each with its iron railings and flowers in front; those fronting Ayton Read, being flat-roofed, have a spacious promenade on top, from which a beautiful view is obtained of the surrounding country. The whole of the district … half-a-dozen years ago was in well-managed farms, with hedge-rows and trees dividing the fields and having narrow ill-kept country roads …

Image from The Glasgow Story



The birth of the Strathbungo Society

Fifty years ago, Strathbungo was under threat of demolition as part of Glasgow’s then fascination with urban motorways. At the same time the idea of conservation was gaining ground, with the Civic Amenities Act of 1967 enabling new “Conservation Areas” to protect the historic environment. The tide was begining to turn.

In Strathbungo, the area was in chronic decline but the local community was buoyed by several developments. Several buildings had been listed, including 1-10 Moray Place in 1966, and many of the other sandstone terraces in 1970. Lord Esher published his 1971 report “Conservation in Glasgow”, recommending this “gem” of a neighbourhood should be protected . There was increasing recognition of Alexander Thomson’s work, with 1-10 Moray Place being described as “with little question the finest of all nineteenth-century terraces” (Henry-Russell Hitchcock).

A group of local residents set about doing something to save Strathbungo, and proposed an “Amenity Society for Moray Park and Regent’s Park”.

Their press release and proposal are reproduced below. They placed adverts were placed in the papers, and leafleted the residents of Strathbungo from Nithsdale Road to Titwood Road, inviting to a meeting on 6th December 1971 at Camphill Queen’s Park Church (now the Baptist Church).

The first meeting

Approximately eighty people turned up, and the meeting was chaired by Bob Angus of 16 Moray Place. Mrs Jarvis, representing the Scottish Civic Trust, explained the nature of Amenity Societies and Conservation Areas, and then introduced Peter Bradford’s BAFTA nominated film “A Future for the Past” . Sadly I cannot locate a copy.

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Renovation revelations

Sometimes it’s the little details that are of interest, but easily passed over during renovations. Here’s an account of one day’s finds.

Tickets please

While repairing a floor in the house after some central heating work, I found a fragment of card in amongst the rubble between the joists. It was an old train ticket, from Maxwell Park to Glasgow Central. Issued by the British Railways Board, it looked ancient, but only carried the date of 8 November, and no year.

Old rail ticket

This was an Edmondson train ticket . It was invented by the station master at Brampton on the Newcastle to Carlisle line, and widely introduced in 1842, replacing hand written tickets. It came to be adopted all over the world, but to my surprise was only withdrawn in the late 1980s, when it was replaced by the modern orange and cream credit card sized ticket. I also found a 1979 copy of the Evening Times stuffed into a gap in the wall, so maybe the ticket wasn’t quite so ancient after all.

Time, please

However the same day a neighbour told me of a find amongst the joists in his attic. It was a Strathbungo beer bottle.

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1891 Award

Can anyone provide some background information to this medal/award? I was going through my recently deceased father’s effects and came across this award given to A.C. Murdoch in 1891, B Company 3rd LRV by Anderson Turner Esq. My great grandfather was Alexander Murdoch and we do not understand what the “C” in his name stands for as far as we know he only had one christian name and that is Alexander. Alexander Murdoch emigrated to Boksburg South Africa in 1904. My guess is that the award was won in a shooting competition, but I would like to find out more about it.

Medal-won-by-AC-Murdoch-1891a-1.jpg Medal-won-by-AC-Murdoch-1891-0.jpg


The Glasgow School of Confectionery and Sweet-making


The Glasgow School of Confectionery & Sweetmaking was based at 28 Regent Park Square (then numbered 34) from 1908, and run by the Clark sisters, Gertrude and Julia.

The school offered “practical classes in all branches of confectionery, sweet-making, and cookery” and “country classes and correspondence lessons by arrangement”.

Gertrude published a book, All about Sweet-Making, in 1909, yours for 2/6 net (12.5 pence), and I believe one lucky Strathbungo resident has discovered a second hand copy.

If you fancy a go, download her book (pdf), and try her recipes. Thanks to the Scottish Recipes website for the copy.

Image of All about Sweet-making, Gertrude Clark, 1909 – from a Turkish bookseller

28 Moray Place – Moray School

Queries on this website from Martin in 2019, and more recently Tom, whose wife had met a former pupil, suggested there was a school on Moray Place. It was not something I was aware of, but never let that be a deterent!

First a quick search of the database confirmed the existence of Moray School. There isn’t much else to go on, but this is what I found.


Theosophy is a movement based on the teachings of Madame Blavatsky, a Russian philosopher , and the Theosophical Society was founded in 1875, with the motto “There is no religion higher than truth”. I struggle to define Theosophy, so leave it the the Theospohical Society of England to do so .

The Theosophical Society is a worldwide community whose primary Object is the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity without distinction, based on the realisation that life and all its diverse forms, human and non-human, is indivisibly One.

Founded in 1875, the Society draws together those of goodwill whatever their religious affiliation (if any), social status, gender or ethnicity. The Society promotes such understanding through the study and practical application of the Ageless Wisdom of Theosophy.

The International Mission Statement of the Society is: “To serve humanity by cultivating an ever-deepening understanding and realization of the Ageless Wisdom, spiritual Self-transformation, and the Unity of all Life.

So that’s clear then. But what about Moray Place?

Moray School

The movement grew around the turn of the century, and adopted Adyar in India as its base. New ideas in education became an important aspect of its work, and schools were founded around the world and in the UK, notably in Letchworth Garden City. In 1918 two schools opened in Scotland, The King Arthur School at Musselburgh, in the rather grand Drummore House , and Moray School, in the somewhat more mundane Moray Place in Glasgow. Oddly the early Post Office Directories say the Glasgow school was at No 33 in 1918, then No 31 in 1921, before settling on No 28 Moray Place.

Few details are available, but the Golden Book of the Theosophical Society , a history of the Society’s first 50 years published in 1925, notes

The Theosophical Educational Trust with which the names of Dr. G. S. Arumlale, Mrs. B. Ensor, Mrs. J. Hansom, Mr. H. Baillie-Weaver and others are associated, began by opening two schools, the Garden City Co-Educational School at Letchworth, (afterwards known as Arundale School) with Dr. Armstrong Smith as Principal, and Brackenhill School at Bromley, Kent, for children who were homeless, or in worst; care. Various other English schools in different places came under the control of the Trust, and in 1918 King Arthur Co-Educational Boarding School near Edinburgh, and Moray School in Glasgow, the latter a day school for young children, were started.

Similarly the 47th General report of the anniversary and convention of the Theosophical Society, Adyar, India (1922) mentioned the Scottish schools, while making an interesting comparison of Scottish and English educational standards .

Schools in Scotland .—The Scottish schools—King Arthur School, Musselburgh, and the Moray School, Glasgow—have come under the direct management of the Directors of the Theosophieal Educational Trust in the United Kingdom. Both schools continue to do very good work although there has not been as much response to our efforts in Scotland as there has been in England. Probably this is due to the fact that for centuries the Scotch have fostered education to an extent wholly unknown in England and that as a result the education provided in the Scotch State Schools has been exceedingly good. Furthermore the boarding school system is not as much in vogue there as in England.

The 1921 report recorded Mrs Munro as the principal, commenting

This School also is to be congratulated upon its good work which has been steady and persevering.

The 1925 Valuation Roll records William Monteith as the owner, and Jessie R Walker or Jessie R Monteith as the tenant.

The school lasted over 20 years, being listed in the Glasgow PO Directories at least up to 1941.

The Consort Hotel

In the 1970s 27-32 Moray Place operated as the Consort Hotel.

Can anyone else shed any more light on this school?


Helena Blavatsky. In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2021 Feb 1]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Helena_Blavatsky&oldid=1003439978
Theosophical Society. General report of the anniversary and convention of the Theosophical Society 1922 [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2021 Feb 1]. Available from: http://archive.org/details/GeneralReport1922
Jinarajadasa C. The Golden Book Of The Theosophical Society (1925) [Internet]. 1925 [cited 2021 Feb 1]. Available from: http://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.237732
King Arthur School, Musselburgh [Internet]. John Gray Centre. [cited 2021 Jan 31]. Available from: http://www.johngraycentre.org/index.php?
Theosophical Society of England [Internet]. Theosophical Society in England. [cited 2021 Jan 31]. Available from: https://theosophicalsociety.org.uk/

Yehuda Lustig: international espionage & murder

Bored one evening back in 2010, I googled my own address, and found this entry in the Jewish Telegraph, dated 17/09/2010

Alistair MacDonald is trying to trace a Jewish family which arrived in Glasgow after the Second World War.
Martin Lustig married Betty Frohlich in June 1935 in what was then-Palestine and moved to Glasgow. Martin, a veterinary student, and Betty lived at 52 Marywood Square, Glasgow. Their son, Yehuda Lustig, was born February 1948.
Email alistair.macdonald@wsj.com

Mildly curious, I began a rapid descent into war, espionage, murder and intrigue, and within hours was fully expecting alarm bells to be going off in security HQs around the world, and a SWAT team to come through my window. Here’s the story.
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Rev William Rattray

The Rev William Rattray was the owner and occupier of 21 (then 33) Queen Square between 1905 and 1925. The previous occupier had been the builder of the terrace, Alexander Thomson.

Rattray was the minister at Abbotsford Chalmers Parish Church at 100 Pollokshaws Road . The church and adjacent Abbotsford School survive, the former converted to supported residential use for young adults, as Quarriers James Shields Service, the latter as Al Khalil College.

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26 Marywood Square

Here’s another few random former Strathbungo residents, plucked from the database, these ones from 26 Marywood Square.

Duncan Graham, Leather Merchant

Our records show that the house, then known as 12 Princes Square, was first occupied in 1879, by one W Simpson. By 1885 the tenant was Duncan Graham, and the owner William Weir. Weir appears to have been a relative and/or business associate of Robert Weir, the builder of the terrace; and in the 1885 valuation roll he owned most of the terrace. According to the Valuation rolls, ownership later passed to W Fairlees Trustees, and a Herald advert in 1904 records the sale of both 26 and 24 from Elizabeth Fairlie’s estate by public roup, the former apparently to Lachlan Seymour Graham, Duncan’s own son. However by 1915 Duncan was gone and the house had been sold to Andrew Nicol Campbell Smith.
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Colin Duncan – family memories

Here are some old family snaps supplied by former Strathbungo resident Colin Duncan. He corresponded after one of his pictures, that I had been unable to attribute, was used in the article about the history of Strathbungo Station. Credit has now been duly given, but he also supplied some lovely shots taken at 33 Regent Park Square, and 22 Carswell Gardens.

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