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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.
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.
On a recent trip round the Mull of Kintyre, I visited Campbeltown for the first time. Wandering around in the late evening, I came across the Picture House, Campbeltown’s cinema. It was built in the Glasgow School Art Nouveau style in 1913, and has recently undergone restoration. It is believed to be the oldest purpose built cinema in Scotland still in business.
What caught my eye was the information board outside the library next door. The cinema’s architect was one Albert Victor Gardner, a name I recognised. He built many cinemas in Scotland, especially in and around Glasgow, and continued to do so later in partnership with William Riddell Glen . He returned to refurbish the cinema in 1930.
The restaurant at 72 Nithsdale Road is, as of July 2018, currently undergoing another makeover, and will open as Niven’s by Cafe Source after refurbishment . It has previously operated as Cookie, The Salisbury Restaurant & Bar, and Kowloons in recent years. However it was not always a place for dining, and during its first such incarnation as Cookie, it still retained the original signage, H C Niven & Co, est 1929, Motor Engineers. The motor engineers tag, and its phone number, are still visible above the door, and it is good to see Cafe Source intend to revise the Niven name.
Cookie, with the original Niven sinage
So who was Bert Niven?
George Washington Wilson
This photograph of Strathbungo was taken by George Washington Wilson (1823-1893), a pioneering Scottish landscape photographer. After his studies in Edinburgh and London he returned to his native Aberdeen and began work as a painter of portrait miniatures.
George Washington Wilson, self portrait.
Residents may recall recent clashes between the needs of commercial businesses and residents in the Strathbungo area. It was ever thus. I found this newspaper clipping from the Herald, dated 18th October 1973, relating arguments over the licencing of the Consort Hotel in Moray Place.
The Consort Hotel?