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?

Note each article covers several businesses, as listed.

  1. John B Fenwick – Strathbungo Garage
    • Strathbungo Garage
    • J B Fenwick
    • Ride-On Motorcycles
  2. Miller and Morrison, Motor Hirers and Undertakers
    • Regent park Dairy
    • Nithsdale Motor Company
    • John Blair
    • Miller & Morrison
    • Ride-On Motorcycles
  3. Thomson Motor Company
    • Thomson Motor Company
    • Southern Cylinder Grinding
    • Southside Housing Association
  4. Regent Park Motor Garage Company
    • Regent Park Motor Garage Co
  5. Niven’s
    • Titwood Garage
    • AB Robertson & Co
    • H C Niven’s Motor Engineers
  6. The Queen’s Garage
    • Queen’s Garage
    • Arnold Clark
    • Blue Line Motor Spirit Company
    • Motatune
    • W & H Packham
  7. Still to come…
    • Dare & Carter
    • Henry’s
    • Scottish Cars
    • Southern Motors (Glasgow) Ltd
    • 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.