Minutes of an Ordinary Meeting of the Old Glasgow Club

Held at Adelaides, 209 Bath Street

On Thursday, 11th February 2016 at 7.30pm


80 people


Mr Stuart Little (President)


Mr Little welcomed everyone along to the annual Members night of the Old Glasgow Club and thanked members for venturing out on this cold night.

Mr Little explained fire drill procedures, housekeeping rules and requested that all mobile devices be set to silent or off.


Isobel Haddow, Jim O'Kane, Ian Frame, John McKnight, Patricia Stirling, Charlie McCall.


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting, held on Thursday 14th January were approved and proposed by Margaret Thom and seconded by Stuart Little.

There were no matters arising.

President's Report

No President's report this evening.

Secretary's Report

Mrs McNae told members that all members that had given their email addresses enabling the OGC Minutes to be sent electronically should be receiving them now.

The excellent Facebook page which is manned by our past president, Petrina Cairns currently has a very healthy membership of 550 people. Petrina updates most days and posts interesting articles, photographs and information on events in Glasgow. It really is worth looking at if you are on Facebook.

If you've been watching the screen behind me you will see various dates for upcoming or current exhibitions and events like "Hello My Name is Paul Smith", currently running at The Lighthouse and "A Century of Style: Costume and Colour" which is in it's last week.

For more information on any of the exhibitions and talks shown on the slides go to peoplemakeglasgow.com and www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk.

Now over to Stuart, who is going to give us information on the OGC Summer itinerary.

Stuart told us that after asking members at the last ordinary meeting whether they preferred a day trip with full sized coach or a more local trip in a vintage bus the unanimous decision had been to go with the full day trip, full size coach.

The OGC Summer outing is on the 11th June to Culzean Castle, Ayrshire. The Castle will be a full day out and members can decide whether they want a tour of the castle and access to grounds or just to the grounds, walled garden and visitor centre.

The bus will be stopping in Ayr to allow us to have dinner or a wander around. We are still looking into dining options, whether it be High Tea or a venue of your own choice. We will update you at the March Meeting.

Since Glasgow Vintage Vehicle Trust are kindly letting us have access to one of their vintage buses, this year's J.A.S. Memorial Walk will take the form of a bus trip and a walk, the date of which still has to be confirmed.

The vintage bus will take us from George Square to Rouken Glen Park, Giffnock where we will have our walk and the bus will then return us to George Square.

Back to Members Night, 2016. An evening of "Glasgow's Got Talent" and a celebration of Trades House.

Our speaker from Trades House will give his talk, there will then be a break for tea/ coffee, scones and a quiz and an opportunity to look around the periphery of the hall where we have members displaying their talents.

There's art, jewellery making, knitting, card craft making and millinery. You may have to ask these members for some hints and help with the quiz.

Stuart introduced tonight's speaker, Late Deacon for the Incorporation of Masons of Glasgow, Mr Craig R Bryce who is going to give us a history of The Trades House of Glasgow.


Mr Bryce introduced himself as Late Deacon of the Incorporation of Masons of Glasgow : supporting Stonemasonry and allied trades, here to talk about The Trades House of Glasgow.

Legend has it that the Incorporation of Masons was first mentioned in records dating from 1057 when King

Malcolm the Third incorporated the Masons of Glasgow, under Royal Charter to protect the citizens of

Glasgow from "unskilled and insufficient workmen, that had come to work at our Cathedral and other parts of the city".

"The Trades House of Glasgow was created at the time of reform of Glasgow's local government in 1605. At that time the electorate was basically divided into two groups, the Merchants and the Craftsmen". The Merchant class of Glasgow by reason of their wealth and ability exercised a lot of influence and were in charge of local government, causing a lot of aggravation between Trades and Merchants. "The Craft Incorporations comprised the trades ran by Burgesses under the leadership of the Deacon Convener".

The Trades House is the people and the Trades Hall is the building. A building, which, apart from the mediaeval cathedral, is the oldest building in Glasgow still used for it's original purpose. The Hall was built to house the federation of Glasgow's 14 trades.

The Trades Hall, 85-91 Glassford Street was designed and built between 1791-1794 by Scottish Architect, Robert Adam and his brothers John and James. Robert was the principal architect since records show he was paid 50 guineas and his brothers were paid 30 guineas each.

Trades Hall was built in the Palladian style and consisted of shops on the ground floor with cellars bellow, and a grand, main hall on the floor above. There were another two large rooms above the hall. It is the only major remaining Adam property in the city and has undergone extensive interior renovation in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The fourteen trades are : Hammermen, Tailors, Cordiners, Maltmen, Weavers, Bakers, Skinners & Glovers, Wrights, Coopers, Fleshers, Masons, Gardenerss, Barbers and Bonnermakers & Dyers.

A full description of each of the trades can be found under the '14 Incorporated Crafts'  heading on the homepage of tradeshouse.org.uk

Craig told us that anyone can apply to join the Incorporated Trades, except for the Maltmen, they don't let women in !

Why Join ? "The types of people who join the Incorporation are wide and varied. Some join because they are associated with the trades; others because of their parents or ancestors were associated with the trades; others because they wish to support students and tradespeople; others because they are interested in becoming a Burgess and a freeperson of the City of Glasgow and again others simply to be a part of Glasgow's great history and culture".

Historically members of Incorporations had other benefits such as being able to graze your sheep on Glasgow Green, having the right to be placed in a cell with another freeman and having a vote at Council elections when very few people had the vote. Unfortunately these historic advantages no longer exist

How do you join? Via tradeshousemuseum.org,  contact page at tradeshouse.org.uk  or by letter to Trades House of Glasgow, Trades Hall, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UH. Telephone number 0141 553 1605. There is a one off fee to join any of the Incorporations.

Craig thanked everyone for listening and invited members to ask him questions.

Q. Do many big cities in the UK have a Trades House ?

A  In Scotland, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Dundee etc. In England they are usually called Guildhalls.

Q. Some of the places you spoke about earlier are riverside locations. Were the canal boat men Burgesses? A. No, they weren't wealthy enough. If you were a canal man you could be a Journeyman though. Fully     educated in a trade and completed an apprenticeship but moving about. Break and Quiz

A break for tea, coffee, scones and jams and an opportunity for each table to take part in the Quiz.

The quiz consisted of 10 questions that were relevant to The Trades House of Glasgow and the OGC members that were displaying their talents around the periphery of the hall tonight.

Vote of Thanks

Stuart thanked Craig for his very enlightening and informative glimpse into the The Trades House of Glasgow and for taking time out of a busy schedule to come and talk to us. Quiz

Each table gave the adjacent table their completed sheets and Petrina read out the 10 answers to the quiz.

Tables 9 and 10 each got 9 questions correct, a tiebreak question was to be the decider.

Q - "According to OGC Librarians 2015 report, how many books are in the Tradeshouse Library OGC Collection"?

A - 306

Table 9 were the closest to this answer and were declared the winners. Everyone at the table received a small prize.

AOCB - None

Next Directors Meeting - 3rd March, 6.15pm at Glasgow Unitarian Church, 72 Berkley Street. Next Members Meeting - 10th March, 7pm for 7.30pm at Adelaides, Bath Street.

Mr Little thanked everyone for coming along tonight and to Members and Directors that helped make the evening a success. He wished all a safe home.                                                 

                                                                                                                              Shona Crozer

                                                                                                                              Recording Secretary