Old Glasgow Club

Minutes of ordinary meeting of Club held at Adelaide’s, 209 Bath Street on Thursday 10 September at 7.30pm






Mr Gordon (President)



Mr Gordon welcomed members to the meeting.



There were apologies from Anna Forrest, Graeme Smith, Linda Muir and Sheila Kelly.



The minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on 9 April were approved, proposed by Mrs Thom and seconded by Mrs Russell. There were no matters arising.


President’s report

Mr Gordon advised that he had had a request from Insight Radio to explain about the history of the Arches. Mr Mortimer had been able to provide the relevant information.


Secretary’s report

Mrs McNae reported that the summer events had gone well. The Tappit Hen trophy had been won by Donald Sleigh and Sam Gordon.  The JAS Wilson Memorial Walk had taken place in the Gorbals, led by Peter Mortimer. The outing on 13 June had visited Biggar, Traquair House and Peebles, and a group had visited the River City studios on 4 July.


Volunteers were required for the tea rota.


Forthcoming events included a tour of the BBC on 28 November and a visit to the panto in Eastwood Theatre on 17 December. There would be a meeting regarding new uses for church buildings on 17 September in Lansdowne church. Doors Open days in Glasgow would take place on 19/20 September, with 140 buildings open to the public.


The speaker at the October meeting would be Sally White, secretary of the Greek Thomson Society, who would speak on the Caledonia Road church.


The next directors’ meeting would be on 1 October.


King’s  Theatre

Mr Henderson advised the meeting that the King’s Theatre was undergoing a major refurbishment and that he had been part of a group that had gone backstage.  Tours for 30 people were available on Saturday mornings.



Mr Gordon introduced club member Mr Peter Mortimer, whose subject was Old Glasgow adverts.  He had always had a keen interest in the industry of Glasgow; Glasgow manufactured practically everything and it was interesting for us, who are bombarded with advertising today, to see how companies advertised their work in the past. Mr Mortimer showed on screen a wealth of advertisements by companies, which he had grouped into sectors.


Macfarlane Lang’s Victoria Biscuit factory, Tollcross; Rowat’s Pickles, Craigton Road; Beatties Bakeries, Dennistoun; Gray Dunn biscuits, Kinning Park; McCall and Stephen’s Adelphi Biscuit factory (noting that factory, houses and church were in the same street); numerous bread factories (reminding us that bread was required for 1 million people);  Paterson & Co in Greendyke Street (makers of Camp Coffee). Adverts came from posters, magazines GPO directories, and the adverts often portrayed the factories, reinforcing the claim that the manufacturers were “big players” in their markets.


Retail Market

Copying America, Glasgow boasted large department stores, such as Dallas’s, Cowcaddens; Wylie & Lochhead; Forsyth’s in Renfield Street (blazers for 42 shillings, sportswear for schools); Royal Polytechnic, Argyle Street; Martins’s (shotguns); Pettigrew and Stephens; McFarlan’s hats, Trongate; Co–op Shoe and Boot factory, Shieldhall; Bayne and Duckett; John Tomlinson Stanley Works, Partick (now the site of new flats); R&J Dick Industrial Belting, Greenhead Works; John Tullis, leather belting in Bridgeton; Howden turbines; Springfield Chair Co, Dalmarnock; Atlantic Mills, Bridgeton; John Brown Springs, French Street; William Ormond & Co, Crownpoint Street; Edmiston Brown, electrical work; Blacklock and Macarthur, Tradeston Street, paint manufacturers (supporting the shipping industry); Torpedo Washers for washing machines; Macfarlane ironmongers, making staircases and iron railings (such as those in the current marriage Registry office at 22 Park Circus); Possilpark foundry; William Stevenson & Co bathrooms; James Templeton carpet manufacturer.



Argyll Motors; Rudge Whitworth bicycles; Victoria Cycle Co, Dennistoun; Robert Mitchell, Cranstounhill; Neilson Reid, Springburn Railway locomotives; North British Locomotive Co Ltd (largely for the overseas market).



Whisky – Teachers; Red Tape Whisky; White Horse, Port Dundas;  Shipping – Burns and Laird (much traffic between Britain and Ireland); Royal Infirmary appealing for money 1931; Dental Hospital; Sick Children’s Hospital, (“funds are earnestly appealed for”);  Tate’s tower (for the 1938 Exhibition, but sadly the summer was very wet).



Comments and questions by members again emphasised the fact that Glasgow manafactured practically everything and this display of advertisements showed the huge variety of products. Today, advertising is part of our everyday life, but we should recognise that these adverts were highly innovative at the time and helped to reinforce the image of Glasgow as a strong manufacturing centre.


Photo competition winner

8 members recognised the Doulton Fountain. The winner, drawn by lot, was Jim Gibson.


Vote of thanks

Mr Graeme Smith proposed the vote of thanks. He had found Mr Mortimer’s talk absorbing and educational, and he had been particularly fascinated by the reference to Liptons’ value for money offer, where for 15 shillings the buyer could receive 20 shillings worth of ham, eggs and tea.  Truly we had had good value tonight.



Mr Gordon wished all a safe journey home.


JN Gibson, Recording Secretary