Old Glasgow Club

Minutes of ordinary meeting of Club held at Adelaide’s, 209 Bath Street on Thursday 10th December 2009 at 7.30pm


Attendance   89



Mrs McNae for Mr Gordon (President)


Mrs McNae welcomed all to the meeting.


There were apologies from Sam Gordon, Anna Forrest, Jim Gibson, Jim Robertson, Graeme Smith, Dorothy Blair, Jessie McArthur, Marion McGuigan, Esther Connolly, Jane Collie, Neil MacIntosh, Isabel Haddow, Ronnie Knox, Jim Russell, Sheila Kelly and Jennifer McTavish.


The minutes of the last ordinary meeting held on Thursday 12th November were approved, proposed by Mrs Thom and seconded by Miss Cairns. There were no amendments or matters arising.

President’s report

There was no President’s Report in the absence of Mr Gordon.

Secretary’s report

Mrs McNae pointed out that there were still some 2010 Glasgow calendars for sale on the merchandising table as well as the usual items.

There were still 2 tickets available for the Pantomime on the 17th December at the Eastwood Theatre.

An outing to the BBC Headquarters at Pacific Quay on the 28th November was reported as being highly enjoyable.

Mrs McNae reminded members that the January 14th 2010 meeting would be Members Night with a theme of “A Night at the Pictures”. This would try to recreate a 1950’s style Saturday morning cinema with usherettes, Pathe News, some short films and all the sweets of the era – well all the ones we can find.


Mrs McNae introduced Irene Birkett and her daughter Julie, owners of Glickman’s  Confectioners.

Glickman’s  was opened as a confectionary shop 106 years ago by Irene’s grandfather and has remained in the same location at 157 London Road ever since. The shop was initially known as the Black and White Sweetie Shop due to its distinctive frontage. The shop thrived throughout the years, making tablet, macaroon and candy balls. During WWII the unusual, aniseed based, cough tablet was extremely popular. It was marketed as a medicine, not a sweet, and managed to be exempt from rationing. All the traditional sweets are still sold and some are still made on the premises. Irene and Julie found themselves in possession of Mr Glickman’s diary from 1910 detailing all the sweets made in the shop but in many cases the recipe was missing. In order to carry on the family shop tradition, Julie enrolled on a two year course at Glasgow College of Food Technology specialising in chocolate and sugar confectionary. Gradually they managed to re-create the lost recipes.

One of the most popular items in the shop is Liquorice, be it liquorice allsorts or plain sweets. Sugarally was used to make sugarally water – a favourite of Glasgow children and also pregnant woman as a cure for indigestion. One old favourite which is making a comeback is a “Lucky Tattie” however now without the toy inside due to Health and Safety Laws.

Victory V’s were also made on the premises but one of its original ingredients, chloroform, is now no longer an allowable flavouring so the recipe has been altered to include something safer.

The shop is also popular for making props for TV series such as River City and Taggart. Next time you see a bag of drugs think of Glickman’s  sherbet. The shop recently produced a biodegradable “crow bar” made of sugar rock for a baddie in Taggart to throw in the Clyde. There have also been some superstar customers who make a point of ordering their sweets when they are in town. A Meg Henderson book – “Chasing Angels” -  also gives the shop a mention.

The shop is very much a Glasgow landmark. Many customers remark they used to come into the shop when they were children, many now introducing their own children and grandchildren to the shop. Many ex-pats visiting family are amazed and pleased that the shop is still there and still (almost) as they remember it. The distinctive black and white frontage has gone but there are plans to bring it back soon.

Irene and Julie have built up a good relationship with the surrounding businesses and regularly talk in the evenings to clubs such as ourselves or Rotary Clubs to keep the public aware of the shop and its place in the history of Glasgow. The business also supports many charities (e.g. Paisley’s Sma Shot Cottages) and provides catering for parties. Glickman’s  confectionary products are now sold at many of Glasgow’s tourists attractions.

Irene and Julie then showed some slides of the shop through the ages. Many of the copper bottomed pans and scales in the pictures are still used today.

Glickman’s  is definitely a Glasgow institution and is one of the few places to remain constant while Glasgow has changed around it. Whether it is the Black and White Sweetie Shop at the Barra’s or Glickman’s  Confectioners of the Merchant City the shop is in the memories of generations of Glaswegians and hopes to remain so for a long time to come.

Vote of thanks

Mrs Sannachan thanked Irene and Julie for a lovely, humorous talk and commented on what a good double act they made. She also thanked them for bringing so many of their sweets for us to enjoy. Mrs Sannachan concluded that she was sure some of the Old Glasgow Club members would be visiting the shop in the foreseeable future.

The Christmas raffle was then conducted.


Mrs McNae wished all a safe journey home and a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.


Next Directors Meeting- January 6th 2010 (Wednesday)     

Next Ordinary Meeting – January 14th 2010 Members Night


P Cairns, Recording Secretary.