Minutes of an ordinary Meeting held at Addelaide’s, 209 Bath Street  

On Thursday 10th January 2013 at 7.30pm






Ms Sannachan (President)


Ms Sannachan welcomed everybody to the January 2013 meeting of the OGC and wished everyone a Happy New Year.

Ms Sannachan mentioned that the weather so far this session has been in our favour after last years atrocious

weather.  The fire drill procedures were explained and Ms Sannachan requested that all mobile phones be silenced

or switched off.


Charlie McCall, Sharon Macys, Ruaridh Clark and Jim Allen.


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Thursday, 13th December 2012, were approved, proposed by

Margaret Thom and seconded by Sam Gordon. There were no amendments.

Matters Arising

There were no points arising.

President’s Report

Ms Sannachan reminded us that the OGC had been acting regarding objecting to the George Square Design Competition

and asked if everyone was aware that the six proposals had been in the media today.

The six shortlisted designs will be available for the public to see at The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow

(www.thelighthouse.co.uk)  from 9th Jan – 5th Feb.  The six designs can also be viewed online at


The quick turnaround is causing concerns, but your comments and objections can be left online at the council

web page or in person at The Lighthouse. This has to be done by 5pm on Friday. 18th January.

As you know the OGC has already raised concerns regarding the removal of the George Square Statues.

Ms Sannachan reminded us that we now have an OGC representative on the Glasgow Urban Design Panel who will

keep us up-to-date on developments. The Design Panel is not just about George Square. They play a role in reviewing

urban design projects and provides pre-application and application advice on development in the City.

Secretary’s Report

Mrs McNae wished everybody a Happy New Year.

Mrs McNae mentioned that the St Mungo Festival 2013 had launched today with the prestigious Molendinar Lecture

at the City Chambers tonight. It is a ticket only event and was being given by Barcelona based, international architect

David Mackay on the subject of the care and repair of European cities including Glasgow. The festival runs for ten

days. More information can be found on www.stmungomusic.org.uk/glasgow-st-mungo-festival-2013.

Mrs McNae said that on a sadder note was the death of Sheila Ogilvie who had previously spoken at the club.

Ms Ogilvie passed away on the 5th November. She was a great service to local history.

Dates for your diaries –

23rd May (Thursday) - Tappit Hen Tournament, back to Kelvingrove Park after a few years at Queens Park.

1st June (Saturday) – J.A.S Memorial Walk round Kinning Park.

8th June (Saturday) – The Club’s Summer outing is to Inveraray this year. We would like to book the castle early

because we think since it was used in the Christmas special of Downton Abbey that it will be very popular this year.

The Aye Right Festival has moved date and is now on from the 12th to 20th April this year. Programme of events can

be found at www.ayewrite.com. Art Detectives is still on at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is running until

the 28th February , this exhibition is free to visit. More information can be found at www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums

At Govan Stones the Redisplay Project is still ongoing. More information can be found at www.thegovanstones.org.uk/

Mrs McNae urged members to have a look at the OGC shop where the Calendars are reduced to £2 and Judith Bowers

book on the Necropolis is for sale.

Mrs McNae finished by reminding everyone that next months meeting would be Members night and that it had a

Valentines theme.








Ms Sannachan introduced Ms Glenda White who started her career as a teacher, then a tutor at teacher training college

and then laterally as a school HMI Inspector. Ms White became interested in David Stow after she retired.

Ms White said that she was delighted to be here, and that, one, I ‘m in love with David Stow and will talk to anyone

about him who will listen, and secondly, I will be taking notes on what you say. You probably know more than me.

David Stow started his career as a carpet manufacturer. It was him that called himself “an amateur school teacher”.

Who was David Stow – you may be aware of the David Stow building at Jordanhill College of teacher training, the

building is now for sale. Or you may remember Stow Street which ran from Cowcaddens to Wemyss Street. Or, the

first teacher training college at New City Road, where there is no plaque, nothing to say that it was the first teacher

training school in the UK.

Think of him as coming from an Anglo-Scott family that originated from Cornhill-on-Tweed, Northumberland.

They were a very well known and wealthy family who had an estate. David’s Grandfather, Fenwick borrowed £5000

which he was unable to pay back. The estate was put up for sale and when sold the family had to move. Fenwick

moved over the border to the Berwick-upon-Tweed area and William, David’s father moved to Paisley. I think he

came here to Paisley because he had friends here.

William started a company in Causewayside Street, Paisley, where he hired a warehouse. At various times he was

a silk, wool or cotton merchant. He married David’s Mum, Agnes, and had 10 children. David was a middle child and was

born on 17th May 1793.  In the same year, William became a Magistrate of the burgh. The family were not well off,

although everybody assumed that they were. The Stow family attended Church in what is now the Arts Guild in Paisley.

David attended Paisley Grammar, left school at 14, and took up weaving as an occupation.

By the age of 18 it was clear that not much was happening in Paisley and weavers were having a very tough time of it.

Stow came to Glasgow. His sister Ann had married and he came to live with her in the Gorbals. She was married to

John Wilson who had warehouses. David and John walked to work where David had become an accounting clerk. David

became a Burgess and Guild Brethren of Glasgow by purchase. He worked in silk, and then wool and cotton. When

his brother-in-law died he took over the businesses and moved them to Buchanan Street. He had a factory built in

Egglington Street, it was called The Port-Egglington Spinning Company. The factory had 600 workers and was near

to the railway depot. It burnt down in 1876.

I’m sure the Stows lived at Ashfield House, Sauchiehall Street. It was very grand , had a carriage drive and gardens.

Next to the gardens was a private school called Western Academy. It was on the north side of Sauchiehall Street,

between the Dental Hospital and Campus. When he died he gave it to his son, George. 3 of his grandchildren were

born here. He also owned property in West Bay and Dunoon. The Stows were wealthy with the money from their

business interests. It was of no interest to Stow, his interest was education.

He worshiped at St Mary’s Parish Church which is now Tron Church. The minister at this church was a radical thinker

called Thomas Chalmers. He was also a professor of theology, political economist and a leader of the Free Church of

Scotland. He has been called Scotland’s greatest ninteenth-century churchman. He had others implement these thoughts.

Chalmers persuaded his congregation that the comfortable middle classes had a responsibility to the poor of Glasgow

and that they needed to spread their wealth about. He said that the poor Glaswegians were born in poverty, lived in

poverty and died in poverty.

Stow became one of Chalmers boys and trained as one of the Sabbath School teachers. In particular, they were interested

in helping the poor people of the Saltmarket area. Chalmers had introduced the thought that if you want to help the

poor then you go to them. Stow’s first radical step was to hire a room off the Saltmarket for the children to come to him.

The school took place on a Sunday afternoon as the children worked during the week and the likes of Stow went to

church on a Sunday morning. The second step was to go to the parents and get them interested.  The parents could

see that if their child was taught to read and write and learn a bit of Geography and History that they might get jobs

that weren’t down the mines. The third radical step was to keep it small, so that you keep it in the area where the

children lived, in and around Barrack Street.  Stow was enthusiastic and taught Sabbath School for 10 years. He said

that he learnt to teach here.

David Stow embraced every opportunity of impressing on the public mind that teaching was not training, that to make

education what it should be, the child must be trained to do what was right, and not merely taught. This was his

keystone and it forms the motto of the 2 normal schools he was instrumental in founding in Glasgow. “Train up a

child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

After 10 years he realised that much more was needed. In 1827 he converted a house and garden in the Drygate

into a school. The school could accommodate 120 children, had a playground and room for the teacher to live.

This was to be the model school of The Glasgow Infant School Society, removing to Saltmarket around 1831.

James Ewing, Esq. was the President of the Society, and Rev. David Welsh and Mr. David Stow joint Secretaries.

They employed David Caughie and his wife, from Stranraer as teachers. The school was adopted as a Model Infant School

by the Glasgow Educational Society in 1834 and moved to Dundas Vale in 1837 where the first Normal School opened.

All sorts of people, including middle class ladies came to watch the children being taught, inbetween their coffees.

Stow soon put a stop to that as he only wanted people to come and look and learn. If they stayed 3 months then they

got a teacher training certificate. This was the first in the UK where it was possible.






Outside, this is what Stow became famous for. The uncovered classroom, the Playground. The children played

Tug-of-war, looked after blackcurrant bushes, building blocks.

What happened when he left the College. It was an amateur college which they in the end couldn’t afford.

Stow pleaded with James Shuttleworth for money for the college. He payed £5000 of his own money towards the

£10,666 debt if somebody would pay off the rest of the debt. David Stow and his friends paid off the debt but a

legal ruling was made that the school was part of the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland decreed that

no person could hold office in the institution who was not a member of the Established Church. Stow and most

of his colleagues belonged to the Free Church of Scotland which led to their resignations and the Deed of Commission

was signed. It broke Stow’s heart .

Stow etc had seen this coming and founded a new Free Church Teacher College in Cowcaddens Street, at first in

temporary premises but later in a handsome stone building. They had managed to raise £12,000 and the College

took two years to build. Cowcaddens to Renfrew Street was renamed Stow Street. The pupils then started

calling it Stow College and it stuck. The Free Church Teacher College flourished. In 1904 it was decided in recognition

of the increasing secularisation of  education and society that the two Glasgow Teacher Training Colleges were


Both training colleges were now under the jurisdiction of the newly formed Glasgow Provincial Committee. The

Committee decided  and aimed to provide a new building in which all the courses could be taught. So, in 1911 it bought

the Jordanhill Estate and invited tenders for the new building which is now the David Stow building. Work began

in 1913 but, because of wartime delays it was stopped during WW1. You can actually see a line on the Stow building

where the work was halted. The new building was completed in 1921 and formally opened in 1922. Jordanhill was

turned down by Glasgow University. Later, in 1993 Jordanhill College became the Faculty of Education of

the University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde University being bang in the middle of where it all started. Next week we

are going to the Lord Hope Building at the University where a bust of David Stow is being unveiled.

David Stow wrote The Training System. I have the 11th edition, which I bought on internet from Jerusalem. How

did it get to Jerusalem!!! It was very influential and called The Training System because it trained you in The

Training system. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”.

Stows system was taken to 500 schools. 442 students trained for Wesleyan Schools (Methodists). They were all sent

to Glasgow to train. The Glasgow Room at Oxford College is named for David Stow. 200 teachers trained for the

Poorhouses. Children schooled and many a wise parent put their child in at 5 and picked them up at 12 when they

could read and write. Vocational training, given seeds to grow and sow products. One of the teachers went to Chelsea

Barracks and trained the soldiers. Two of the teachers went to Parkhurst Prison and trained the inmates. Queen

Victoria was very interested and pardoned some of the prisoners because the boys were so well behaved.

14 teachers with wives went to Antigua to teach free slaves, set up schools and also train teachers. Within 2 years

an Antigua Normal College was founded. I’ve even known of a teacher from Johannesburg.  David Stows training

went global.

He was buried  at the age of  71 in Gorbals Cemetery. The gravestone has gone, I looked but couldn’t find them. The

Cemetery had been made into a park. At first I was terribly sad that it had been made into a park But I think David Stow

would be pleased, pleased that children were playing where he was buried. That would please him.

David Stow is summed up in a quote from Rev. William Fraser, “he at once placed them on a level with himself, as

members of the same great family of God. He shrank not from the rags and squalor which met his eye but recognising

in his publc.”


Q  You didn’t mention Stow College at North Hanover Street that is now Building College 52-57.

A  That must have been an annex. All these annexes became, strictly speaking, Stow College. They only share the name

      because students probably not using training system which was directed at young children.

Q  Just to mention the photograph of the building in Trongate. I think it became the Panoptican and the slide you

     showed was up above the Panoptican. Just as a  point of interest though.

A   The Warehouse, I’m not convinced that the photograph was the actual warehouse.

Q   Sorry to contradict the gentleman saying the slide is of the Panoptican. I think it is the building opposite the

      Panoptican as the Panoptican was purpose built. Judith Bowers of the Panoptican will be able to help you.

A   So I should go and see Judith Bowers  at the Panoptican shop on High Street then.

Q   On the ground floor of the Panoptican there is a traditional sweet shop and they also may be able to help you

      or give you Judith’s whereabouts.

Q   Is the term Normal School just David Stow’s term. My school in Winnipeg was called a Normal School, would

      it be the same?

A   The term Normal is a rule or system used so I’m not sure. There were teacher training schools in Prussia before

      that. It is quite difficult to say where it began. Stow developed the crit lesson for teacher training.

Q   I was the architect (Frank Ewing) that brought it back to training school after it had been brought back from

      School. I saved it from being demolished. I got them to move the planned road slightly and the road is a wee

      bit squinty because of it. At Dundasvale the other unique thing about it is that it’s got timber pillars holding up

      the roof.






A      I’m going to look. I am so enthusiastic and pleased when anything regarding Stow College is preserved. It is

         interesting re New Lanark. I have every respect but it is an accident of history that Robert Owen is more famous.

         I feel that David Stow did much more for education. I would love for part of Stow to become a museum to

         David Stow.

Q      Totally unconnected, but since the gentleman was so successful in saving that building could he please do it

         for George Square.


Vote of Thanks

Glenda, thank you very much fro bringing David Stow to us. The story, a man from weaver to a wealthy man, and

a man with social responsibility. The term “education is the ladder from poverty” is apt. It is obvious that you

and David Stow are kindred spirits. On behalf of the club, thank you for sharing with us.

Ian Frame (Director)


Q  What was the motto of Glasgow University?

A   The way, the truth, the light.

Winner – Ann Went.


Ms Sannachan added, as Ian said, thank you very much for the fabulous talk and, thank you Ann for putting us in

touch with Glenda.

Now, a question from a member. Her friend’s husband remembers seeing a Wellington Bomber in one of Glasgow’s

Parks. Possibly in the 1940s. Does anybody remember?

Also, there is an excellent exhibition on George Wyllie at Mitchell Library. It’s free.


Next Directors Meeting – 7th February 2013

Next Ordinary Meeting – 14th February 2013  Valentines Members Night.


Ms Sannachan wished everyone safe home.



                                                                                                                                                  Shona Crozer, Director