cresThird in a series about Strathbungo’s motor garages.

In 1920 The Thomson Motor Company submitted plans for a motor garage on the corner of Nithsdale Drive and March Street. The building was a composite design by FD Cowieson of St Rollox, essentially a long shed with curved corrogated iron roof over a steel frame, and concrete clad. Lovely.

Part of plans for garage, showing front and side elevations. Source: Glasgow City Archives 1920/64

The site is odd, a gap site in the ring of Salisbury Quadrant that arose because the Renfrewshire-Lanarkshire border passed through it. Consequently the Stirling-Maxwells, who owned most of the southside in Renfrew county, didn’t own the entire site and so couldn’t sell it for development. They had tried to buy it from the Corporation of Glasgow but were unsuccessful. It isn’t known how the company acquired it, or from whom.

Map shows a gap site on corner of March St & Nithsdale Drive, with the Renfrew/Lanark boundary passing through the middle of it, before turning north

The gap site on an OS map of 1893. The Renfrew/Lanark boundary passed south of Strathbungo Pariish Church, through the middle of the site, and then turned north along the line of the Kinninghouse Burn to the Clyde. Source: NLS Maps

The company was set up by John Thomson, a motor engineer who lived at 9 Frankfort Street in Shawlands, round the corner from the Brooklyn Cafe. He was in business from 1925 to at least 1938, but nothing further is known of the Thomson Motor Company.

Southern Cylinder Grinding

By 1945, the Southern Cylinder Grinding and Sleeving Company were occupying the premises, and made a further application for alterations to the structure. The only known photograph dates from 1949, taken from March Street, but it doesn’t show much.

Garage adjacent to March St tenements

Thomson Motor Company garage from March Street, Aug 1949. Probably taken after addition of the left hand doors and roof as part of minor alterations. Credit: Glasgow City Archives

Circa 2000 the ring of tenements that includes Salisbury Quadrant was finally completed when Southside Housing Association built modern flats on the site. The new building was designed by Ronnie Bryce of Russell and Bryce Architects, and his thoughts on the design appeared in the Strathbungo News at the time.

White rendered modern tenement with curved facade on corner of Nithsdale Drive and March Street.

SHA housing finally completes the Salisbury Quadrant ring of tenements, on the former Thomson Garage site. Source: Google Streetview

Additions and corrections are welcome.