Category: Railway

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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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!

Take the train

But from which local railway station?

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


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The Railway Boundary at Moray Place

Introduction

The line of the boundary between the railway line (Network Rail’s property) and Moray Place has been an issue of debate for some time, most notably when Network Rail began clearing vegetation from the line in 2004-05.

18-25 Moray Place 2004

18-25 Moray Place 2004

Same view, 2005 after vegetation management

Same view, 2005 after vegetation management. The one remaining tree was removed shortly after.

More recently they proposed further vegetation clearance to renew the boundary fence in January 2015. They planned to remove the metal hooped fence and replace it with a 1.8m high weldmesh fence in the same location. However residents suspected the hooped fence was not on Network Rail’s land.

Railings

Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990

Negotiations led by the Strathbungo Society centered on two points; firstly the need for a more appropriate fence design, and secondly that it needed to be on their land, further back than the existing fence. Eventually Network Rail conceded, leading to the new fence design erected in February 2017. The following is the historical research that led to their concession regarding the position of the fence. It is recorded here for posterity.

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Strathbungo Station

The Glasgow, Barrhead and Neilston Direct Railway line opened in 1848, well before any of the houses were built alongside. It ran from a terminus on the southside of Glasgow to Barrhead with the first stop at Pollokshaws West.

Strathbungo station was a later addition to the line, opening on 1 December 1877, and Crossmyloof followed even later, in 1888.

Strathbungo closed to passengers permanently on 28 May 1962.

Today little trace remains of the station at rail level, though the former booking office building on the bridge above still stands, now Susie’s Store.

Station Statues

Both the Glasgow Guide and Hidden Glasgow discussion boards describe a statue of a horse’s head, possibly of iron, now disappeared, with unanswered appeals for further information.

Meanwhile John Devitt recalled rescuing statues or busts from the embankment during a clean up and placing them in one of the Moray Place gardens, but wasn’t sure of their fate.

In July 2018 I was passed some old Strathbungo Society documents, and the minutes describe how the stone heads were removed from the embankment on 24th August 1986 with the assistance of ScotRail (lest they be damaged during the forthcoming electrification of the line, hmm). The Society Treasurer, Mrs A Allan, reported that the heads had belonged to the Strathbungo stationmaster, who had brought them with him from his previous station in Ayr. The Coat of Arms of Ayr Harbour Station was said to include Minerva, Hercules and Neptune .

The heads were moved to the garden of Robin Haddow, a founding member of the society, on Moray Place. After a tip off, I discovered they are still there today, set into a garden wall, their provenance forgotten. One looks like Minerva, but I’m not sure of the second. I didn’t find a third. Or an iron horse.

Minerva

Head

The last passenger

Britannia 70038 Robin Hood passing Strathbungo with Carlisle train on 31/7/1964

Britannia 70038 Robin Hood passing Strathbungo with Carlisle train on 31/7/1964

John Robin, as well as providing the steam-era photographs, has a claim to be the last passenger to ever alight at Strathbungo Station:

I had been on the last train to stop at Strathbungo in May 1962 and thought that that was that; but in November 1966 another medical student and I were on the train from Clarkston to sit an exam at Gilmorehill. As we were passing Strathbungo the diesel railcar dropped its gearbox, ran over it and derailed very noisily.

Not wishing to miss the exam and realising that the train was going nowhere we got off, jumped the wall and went across to Pollokshields West for a Circle train.  As it came in we saw that a large group of the less agile passengers had got off and walked along the line towards Muirhouse and then south through the short tunnel to the station causing great consternation to the driver.  We managed to sit the exam and all was well.

Post closure

After closure, the steps down to the platforms from the booking hall and the footbridge were removed, and the booking hall became a shop, Susie’s, the name it still retains to this day. It is likely the metalwork from the steps down to the platform were then used to extend the footbridge to Darnley Road for the first time. There is more on the footbridge elsewhere.

Old Strathbungo Station booking hall had become Susie's by 1968.

Old Strathbungo Station booking hall had become Susie’s by 1968.

This scene taken from Pollokshields West Station across Darnley Road includes Strathbungo Station, the footbridge, 1-10 Moray Place and Salisbury Crescent.

Moray Place and Strathbungo Station from Pollokshields West

Moray Place and Strathbungo Station from Pollokshields West

Article updated 13 Jan 2019.

References

1.
Minutes of the Strathbungo Society. 1987.

Strathbungo’s Other Footbridge

Older residents may recall there was another footbridge over the railway at one time, at the end of Marywood Square. It was erected between 1895 and 1910 (it first appears on the 1910 OS Map). The gate and foundation are still visible on the embankment. It was latterly the property of Strathclyde Regional Council, but was closed due to metal fatigue in the summer of 1993, and was taken down on Sunday 8th May 1994. (Strathbungo News, 1994)

The only known photographs of it are the one above, courtesy John Robin, and this one.

Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990

Railings after fence and concrete repair and painting, circa 1990. Courtesy John Devitt.

Below, in 2016 all that remained were the gate to the footbridge, and a short length of spiked railings, in the undergrowth at the end of Marywood Square. Some of this disappeared in 2017 when Network Rail replaced the fencing. The footings of the bridge can just about be seen the other side of the fence, as can the bricked up exit on Darnley Road.

Remains of Strathbungo Footbridge, November 2016

Remains of Strathbungo Footbridge, November 2016

 

Strathbungo’s Footbridge

The Darnley Road/Moray Place footbridge at Regents Park Square was built by the Paisley engineering firm of Hanna, Donald and Wilson in 1877.

The footbridge is an elliptically arched, cast-iron girder bridge with lattice railings which originally had steps down to the platforms of the station, which opened the same year. The steps down to the platform have been removed and the deck replaced with steel durbar plates.

Curiously, for the first 85 or so years of its life it never actually reached the other side!

Originally it only provided access from Strathbungo to the platforms of Strathbungo Station; there was no Darnley Road when the station opened, just green fields. Even the OS Map of 1951-52 shows no extension to Darnley Road at that time, and so it seems likely the extension to the other side was only built when the station closed in 1962, perhaps using materials from the dismantled steps to the platforms.

Map of Footbridge

OS Map 1951-2, showing footbridge

The bridge was C listed in 1995 after one Moray Place resident asked that it be taken down for security reasons and other residents took a different view! None the less its ownership has been recently disputed as no one wanted to be responsible for its likely future maintenance costs. In 2015 Network Rail accepted that it was responsible for the bridge, and agreed to refurbish it. Restoration commenced in October 2018, and was completed in February 2019.

Footbridge restoration

Footbridge restoration October 2018

Hanna, Donald & Wilson

The manufacturer worked from the Abbey Engineering Works, and the Abercorn Foundry and shipyard, adjacent to the White Cart between North Croft and Niddry Streets, but was wound up in the 1910s . The Abercorn works is now the site of the Wallneuk North Church (1915), while in the 1920s Glasgow Corporation Transport built a transformer on the site of the shipyard to provide power for the tram network. The transformer building survives as the Housing Department.

Hanna, Donald & Wilson built ships, including a couple of underpowered and unsuccessful naval torpedo boats, HMS Fervent & Zephyr . The ships were launched sideways into the White Cart. They also constructed gas holders, boilers, and a variety of other engineering products.

HMS Zephyr

HMS Zephyr

Abercorn Foundry Site

Abercorn Foundry Site, now Wallneuk North Church, and the site of the shipyard, now Housing Offices, with the slipway to the White Cart behind (Google Maps)

Their work on bridges included the Albert Bridge beside Glasgow Green, recently restored. They were evidently proud of their bridges, using several in one of their advertisements. And pride of place top left is Strathbungo’s very own footbridge!

Hanna, Donald & Wilson advert

Hanna, Donald & Wilson advert (University of Glasgow Archives) – click to enlarge

Footbridge

Strathbungo Footbridge (enlargement)

Strathbungo Station, engine under steam

Strathbungo Station a year after closure. The Strathbungo footbridge is visible in the distance. Clan 72006 “Clan Mackenzie” heads parcels train on 13th June 1963.

Now, where do you think the photographer was standing? That’s for another posting. Photo courtesy John Robin .

(Article updated 23 May 2019)

References

1.
Records of Hanna, Donald & Wilson, shipbuilders and engineers, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland - Archives Hub [Internet]. [cited 2019 Jan 12]. Available from: https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/data/gb248-ugd284
1.
HMS Zephyr (1895). In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2018 [cited 2019 Jan 12]. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=HMS_Zephyr_(1895)&oldid=868363523
1.
Robin J. Pictorail: John Robin’s album [Internet]. [cited 2016 Nov 30]. Available from: http://www.pictorail.net/index.php/search?album=51&q=strathbungo
1.
Darnley Road/Moray Place, Former Strathbungo Station, Footbridge [Internet]. [cited 2016 Nov 30]. Available from: http://portal.historicenvironment.scot/designation/LB33401

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