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.

6 Comments

  1. Born and bred in Strathbungo from 1948 till moving away in 1966, one thing I have been trying to find out is the story behind the iron horse’s head that adorned the north embankment of Strathbungo railway station. This had been removed since. Anyone have the history of the head??

    • Stephen, you should read the article on Strathbungo Station, which mentions the horse’s head. It isn’t very illuminating however, and if you ever find out any more, let me know. Andrew. [Comments subsequently moved to this article]

      • Stephen J Butler

        November 23, 2017 at 6:14 pm

        Many thanks indeed even though as you say, ‘isn’t very illuminating’ so a bit perplexed as it mentioned several ‘busts or statues’ yet I only recall one, the horse’s head. Have posted another mention of this elsewhere in hope I get a positive response and certainly will let you know. As it mentions that the footbridge was build by Abbey Engineering Works of Paisley, would they have something to do with the head, I wonder?

  2. recollect that the head was buried more into expanding greenery after the May 1962 closure: the footbridge was altered after closure and the routes down to the platforms removed and a new link to Darnley Road created. Is it possible the horse’s head is still there? and why a horse’s head anyway………….

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