Author: Andrew Downie (page 1 of 4)

The Victoria Infirmary 1890-2015

The Victoria Infirmary finally closed to the public on 22nd May 2015, after 125 years service to the Southside of Glasgow. The A&E department had locked its doors a week earlier at 8am on Saturday 16th May, and during the week the remaining patients, staff and equipment were moved to their new home in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

The full history of the Infirmary can be found in the account published by NHS GGC at the time:

To mark five years since the closure, the following gallery is a collection of photographs taken on that final day, showing both the sorry state of some parts of the ageing building, and the affection in which it was held by the staff who worked there.

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World War 2 Roll of Honour – Strathbungo’s fallen

In 2017 on Armistice day I wrote of Corporal Aitken, a former resident of my house who gave his life at the Battle of Loos in the Great War.

Glasgow honoured all its fallen in a Roll of Honour published in 1922, and from this I put together a Roll of Honour for Strathbungo, published on Armistice Day in 2019, 101 years after the war ended.

For World War 2, VE Day marked Victory in Europe on 8th May 1945, and so for the 75th anniversay of VE Day I have compiled the Roll of Honour for Strathbungo’s fallen of WW2. The following is a list of those linked to Strathbungo who gave their lives, sorted by their address. Click on their names or scroll down further for a more detailed biography of each.

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Where am I?

A collection of then and now photographs of Strathbungo and the surrounding area. See how many you can spot, before dragging the slider to reveal. When done, hit the Reveal button for more info. More to come. Enjoy!

Where is this street scene?

Can you name the street? Look carefully and you can see a railway footbridge at the far end.

Drag the little slider from the right to see a more recent view.


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The Great War Roll of Honour – Strathbungo’s fallen

In 2017 on Armistice day I wrote of Corporal Aitken, a former resident of my house who gave his life at the Battle of Loos in the Great War.

Glasgow honoured all its fallen in a Roll of Honour published in 1922. It is available to view at City Chambers, with a copy in the Mitchell Library, and on line. It may not be entirely accurate or complete, but it has enabled me to compile a Roll of Honour for Strathbungo. Over 60 local men gave their lives during the First World War, and they are listed below.

With research I have managed to learn a little more about some of them, and include their biographies. Many are taken in part from local projects to research church and school memorials, notably those on the Pollokshields Heritage site.

A similar Roll exists for the Second World War; I hope to reproduce it here in time for the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020.

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Hutchesontown Gardens

This is a story of Glasgow allotments, prompted by Andrew Greg’s discovery of this previously unseen old photograph of Strathbungo, on, of all things, the cover of an obscure Jazz CD.

In the first half of the nineteenth century, the idea of garden plots for city residents developed. The idea was to grow flowers and vegetables for recreation, and no traders or market gardeners were permitted.

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Rosa Sacharin

It is with sadness we report the recent death of Strathbungo resident Rosa Sacharin at the age of 93. The following is an article which appeared in the Strathbungo Society newsletter in Autumn 2016.

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Frederick Selby, Architect

Frederick Selby was an architect who lived at 48 Queen Square in the 1970s, and contributed an entry into a Strathbungo Society competition for a monument to Alexander “Greek” Thomson in 1975.

So who was he? Well, not Fred Selby, for starters.

He was a tutor at Glasgow School of Art, and they provide us with a biography of the man.

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Pollokshields West Railway Station

This Where am I? entry provoked responses split 50:50 between this being Pollokshields West or Maxwell Park. So here’s some more evidence.

Although only Maxwell Park Station building survives after a careful restoration, it wasn’t the only island station house on the line. Pollokshields West had a station house of the same design, as seen here, until the late 1980s.

Pollokshields West Station seen from the Terregles Avenue entrance, in 1987 (Ewan Crawford, Railscot), and again in 2018 .

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Strathbungo’s fountain

Recently Douglas Robertson posted a query on the Bungoblog – did anyone else remember the Victorian drinking fountain on the Nithsdale Road roundabout, opposite Salisbury Quadrant?

“I’m sure it was Victorian, as made of metal and was substantially built. I don’t know the dimensions but would estimate (from memory) that it was approx. 10-12 ft high on a circular base of slightly larger dimensions.

It was situated on a roundabout opposite the old red telephone box nr. Sammy Dows and The New Anand Restaurant. I am sure it was still there about 20 years ago when I lived in Pollokshields. Did anyone see it being dismantled? Where did it finally end up? I have searched and searched (google uk) and cant find anything relating to it. I’m sure there must be someone, perhaps a Glasgow Council dept., who could throw some light on this. Again, a photo of it from someone would be an ideal start.”

A couple of residents replied, recalling the time the council came and took it away, or destroyed it when the new roundabout was constructed, probably in the mid 1970s.

Then the Strathbungo Society’s chair flagged it up to @OssianLore on Twitter , and the following is a summary of what he discovered.

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James Briggs, Instrument maker

The cello above sold for £13,800 in Bonhams in 1996. It was made in Glasgow in 1924, and it set the record price for an instrument by its creator, James William Briggs. He was a maker of violins and cellos of some repute, and a resident of Strathbungo.

Briggs (1855-1935) was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire. At the age of 14 he was apprenticed to William Tarr. At 21 Briggs set up his own business in Wakefield, married and had 3 children. Business was slow at this time but he received a gold medal at the Leeds exhibition in 1890, followed by diplomas from Paris & Vienna. In 1893 he moved his business to Glasgow. He had a shop in town, and lived at 12 Queen Square (at that time known as 5 Queen Square) from around 1905 until his death.
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