Month: October 2023 (page 1 of 2)

Moray Park, Strathbungo

There was a time (a few days ago) when I was blissfully unaware of the existence of Moray Park. It was a neighbourhood that appeared and then disappeared, and is now long forgotten like some Glaswegian Brigadoon. Even those few who knew of it weren’t sure where it was.

So it’s time to reveal the story of Moray Park.

When modern Strathbungo was first developed in the 1860s-1880s it was given the fancy name of Regents Park. This persisted into the early 20th century, but finally lost out to Strathbungo, and is largely forgotten. Like the street names, it refers to the Regent Moray (Regent Park Square, Moray Place), who fought Mary Queen of Scots (Queen Square) at the nearby battle of Langside.

Building stalled following completion of Princes (now Marywood) Square in 1884, leaving a large plot of vacant ground to the south between Marywood Square and Titwood Road. I had assumed it remained farmland or waste ground, but this was Moray Park, and it had a rather more interesting history, particularly for sports fans.

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John B Fenwick – Strathbungo Garage

First article in a series about Strathbungo’s motor garages.

Around 1915 John Booth Fenwick (1890-1958) first rented the backcourt at 724 Pollokshaws Road; a former bakery owned by the Gardner family and accessed through a pend from Pollokshaws Road. (The pend has long been blocked off and is now Otherside Records.) He set himself up as a motor car and cycle agent under the name of Strathbungo Garage. He shared the premises with a pawn shop and loan company, also owned by the Gardners.

This 1893 OS Map predates John Fenwick by 20 years. It shows the complexity of buildings in the backcourts of the Pollokshaws Road tenements, and the narrow Nithsdale Street entrance, later widened. The red outline marks the subsequent footprint of Fenwick’s. PHs = Allison Arms & Heraghty’s. Source: NLS Maps

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Strathbungo’s Commercial Motor Garages

In the days before cars were routinely kept on the road (and certainly before they were kept on double yellow lines, dropped kerbs and the pavement, but I digress…) the motorist needed somewhere to purchase, service, refuel and store their car, and so the commercial garage came to be.

Historic England has a fine history of the early days of Buildings and Infrastructure for the Motor Car.

The City & Suburban Electric Carriage Company at 6 Denman Street, central London, opened the first multi-storey car park in the UK (and probably the world) in May 1901. The garage had seven floors, 19,000 square feet, space for 100 vehicles and an electric elevator to move the vehicles between floors.

Botanic Gardens Garage in Vinicombe Street was one of the ealiest garages, and the oldest survivor in Glasgow, built between 1906 and 1911. The garage has a distinctive art deco facade, and had ramped access to the second floor. Following an attempt by Arnold Clark to have it demolished and replaced with modern flats in 2008, it has recently been restored as restaurants. Funny Arnold Clark should attempt such a thing…

View of facade taken in early 20th century, with large glass windows to the front.

Botanic Gardens Garage in Glasgow’s West End. Source: Twentieth Century Society

Strathbungo Garages

I was aware of a couple of Strathbungo motor businesses when I started this research. But I didn’t expect twenty. All those listed below were or are in modern Strathbungo, or within 150m. So how many can you pinpoint?

As I complete my research, I will add links to each. Articles cover several garages, so some links are duplicated.

In addition, the research has uncovered some covered tennis courts, an indoor bowling green, a photography laboratory, a catering business and the origins of Cartha Queens Park RFC.

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