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…
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.
- Arnold Clark
- John Blair (Article 2)
- Blue Line Motor Spirit Company
- Dare & Carter
- JB Fenwick (Article 1)
- Miller & Morrison (Article 2)
- Nithsdale Motors Ltd (Article 2)
- Queen’s Garage
- Regent Park Motor Garage (Article 4)
- Ride-On Motorcycles (Article 1)
- AB Robertson & Co
- Scottish Cars
- Strathbungo Garage (Article 1)
- Southern Cylinder Grinding (Article 3)
- Southern Motors (Glasgow) Ltd
- Thomson Motor Company (Article 3)
- Titwood Garage
- Wright’s unbuilt garage, Pollokshaws Road
- Co-operative Wholesale Society (if you include servicing milk floats)
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.