I grew up in Maryhill in the 1970s and still live nearby. Every second weekend I return to see Partick Thistle play at Firhill. A current chant from the crowd there is "Oh Maryhill, is wonderful..." so I went out and about this weekend in Maryhill to try to look at it afresh.
As I go jogging in the westend of Glasgow often I usually end up going along by the canal a couple of times a week and it was the arrival of the canal in 1790 that made Maryhill. Before the canal was built the owner of the Garbraid estate, Mary Hill (1730-1809) and her husband, Robert Graham of Dawsholm, made their money from the land but the arrival of the canal brought a new source of income.
Until then a few small industries had been set up along the River Kelvin, which has mills documented on its banks from the 15th century. Many of their weirs are still apparent in the river today. Dawsholm paper mill was founded in 1783 and only closed down in the 1970s. Further downstream the V-shaped weir of Kelvindale's snuff and paper-making mill is still visible and in North Woodside the flint mill is partially preserved. It was still producing chemicals for the pottery industry into the 1950s although suffered damage during bombing in WW2. When I was younger the canal was full of shopping trolleys, washing machines and dumped cars, and we were pretty much banned from playing anywhere near it. In recent years it has been cleaned up and herons and cormorants are found fishing in it. It has re-opened to boats and makes for a pleasant walk, run or cycle route.
North Woodside flint mill on the River Kelvin
|Kelvin Dock, the dry dock|
|Kelvin Dock, the pub|
|Maryhill Road, at Celtic Street|
|Forth and Clyde Canal, the Kelvin aqueduct|
|Me in groovy 1970s dungarees walking over the Kelvin aqueduct,|
many of the houses in the background are now demolished
|Maryhill Primary School|
It eventually became part of Glasgow in 1898.
|Canal bridge on Maryhill Road just south of Sandbank Street|
Just down Maryhill Road from here is Maryhill Barracks, now the Wynford housing estate. It opened in 1872 and closed in the 1960s. It was home to the HLI (including, briefly, my grandfather during WW2) and after Rudolf Hess crash-landed in Scotland in 1941 he was briefly imprisoned here. From the original photograph here, looking up from the corner outside Tesco, really the only thing still standing is the barrack walls on the left. The Politician pub on the right hand side is about the only surviving building there. The building just after the tenement on the right was McLachlin's Castle Brewery, where the modern Police station sits now (the McLachlin brothers also owned the Castle Vaults pub which still sits down at St George's Cross.)
On Shakespeare Street here, behind the McDonald's and across from the Viking Bar, hides Ruchill Parish Church. Whilst the church itself is unremarkable, the church hall building beside it was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is less obvious than the church he designed down the road at Queen's Cross, but once you know it is by him, you can see his style stamped all over it.
The canal is right beside the church here and was lined with assorted industries for almost 200 years after the canal opened. At this spot between the church and the canal was a cooperage. Across the canal were the MacLellan's Rubber Works and nearby was the Bryant and May factory (where Bluebell matches were made until 1981). To the left and right were iron foundries - Ruchill Iron Works, the Maryhill Iron Works and closer to Firhill Stadium, the Shaw & McInnes works which operated until 2001. Adding to the smog were the factory making lead based paints and Cassel's potassium cyanide and gold extracting works.
|Ruchill Parish Church pokes up through the trees. On |
the right of the canal McLellan's Rubber Works now gone
|Forth and Clyde Canal today|
|Bridge at the top of Firhill Road|
|Looking down Firhill Road to Firhill Stadium|
From Firhill it is only 50 yards to get to Queen's Cross, home of Jaconelli's Cafe and Queen's Cross Church. This is the only church built to Charles Rennie Mackintosh's designs and is now home to the Mackintosh Society. Built in 1897, inside and out it is stunningly modern and imaginative.
|Stained glass window in Queen's Cross church|
|Looking up Maryhill Road at Queen's Cross|
Looking up Maryhill Road only the buildings on the right hand side of the road have survived, but if you turn around and look to the gushet at Queens Cross itself then none of the fabulous buildings in the picture below have survived. The long curving tenement in this picture was the work of another famed Glasgow architect, Alexander 'Greek' Thomson. Built in 1875 the building comprised the two storey shop at the corner and the four storey tenement buildings down both streets. His nearest work to here still in existence are the "Sixty Steps" at Garriochmill Road.
The photo below is from further down Maryhill Road looking back up towards the cross when the road was lined by tenements, now long gone. Queens Cross church can be seen poking up at the top.
Further down Maryhill Road looking into Raeberry Street below you can see that the tenements down the side streets have all been demolished too. Even the church halfway down on the right was knocked down and replaced by flats a few years ago.. The shop at the left hand corner here on Maryhill Road is DM Hoey, for all your menswear needs.
At the bottom of Maryhill Road is St George's Cross, where a statue of St George and the dragon now stands. This statue used to be atop the Co-op building here and was preserved when the building was flattened in 1985. Nearby the flyover at the end of Great Western Road heads into town. It is all but impossible to picture the way this junction used to be. The old photo below has Great Western Road off to the left, Maryhill Road going off up the middle and St George's Road off to the right. Maryhill Road no longer goes up in a straight line from the cross but emerges now behind the building advertising Waddells Sausages in the old photo, which is hidden behind the tree on the right of the lower picture.
|St Georges Cross|
Going back up Maryhill Road to where the fire station now is, it is surprising to look back at how well proportioned and handsome the road looked before it was decided to flatten most of this area. The block opposite in the old photo is all gone, except for the furthest away corner, another case of a pub surviving after everything else around has gone, on this occasion The Strathmore.
The next junction off to the right is Bilsland Drive, which now goes straight across into Queen Margaret Drive but at the time of the photo below you can see that the tram had to snake left to go right before the junction was re-configured.
|Canal bridge on Bilsland Drive|
|The White House pub at Lock 21 of the Forth and Clyde Canal|
"I know a lassie, a bonnie, bonnie lassie...
...Mary fae Maryhill."
NB. I can heartily recommend that you have a rummage about in one of my favourite websites if you are still feeling nostalgic "OldGlasgowPubs.co.uk"
(These old pictures were largely found on the internet or the MItchell LIbrary. Please let me know if you feel that you hold copyright of any of these pictures as none was mentioned where I found them)
Great pictures, even to a complete stranger to the area.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this. Moved into the area a year ago, really interesting (and quite sad) to see how it has changed. Such a shame all those tenements were destroyed!ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comments. Yup, agree with you on the damage done through years of demolition.Delete
Our family left Duncruin St in 1960 but continued to visit grandparents there and in the new flats built on "Morton's Field" to replace the tenements. There was a huge depression in the field created by an off target landmine dropped on the night of Clydebank Blitz. St Mary s School lost its upper storeys too.Delete
Gilshochill, Gilshie or Maryhill Primary had three playground levels when I attended from 1956-60. As the roll increased extra accommodation took up much of the space. As the area morphed, the catchment area decreased.
Also Maryhill Library entrances were right and upstairs for"Juveniles" and left for Reading Rooms and Seniors. The stairs and entrances had elegant green tiling.
Hi dose any one have any photos of ruck Hill stDelete
We stayed in viewmount drive. We didn't move until about 1965Delete
My gran stayed in ruchill st+i remember bryant+mays+the cooperage+my wee gran worked in nimbus contractors which was i think eithe part of or next to church on ruchill street,my uncle wee stan the man still stayed up in leighton st+known to many(especially from the viking bar) his mum(my gran)ellen brand(or nellie)was well known+went into bookies every day to put her wee line on,my mum+dad my sister+i stayed on garscube rd until we moved in 1965/6,i went to st columbus,many happy memories of my childhood+with my gran+uncle stanley(stan the man)ReplyDelete
New here.mryhill guy been trying to post memories. Can you see this?Delete
I as born in ruchill St 1953 left when I was 19 my sis worked in Bryant and may two brothers in mclellands rubber factory. I remember cooperage t canal bridge, Agnew's I think.ReplyDelete
I as born in ruchill St 1953 left when I was 19 my sis worked in Bryant and may two brothers in mclellands rubber factory. I remember cooperage t canal bridge, Agnew's I think.ReplyDelete
I am a Glasgow-based artist looking into the history of the rubber industry in the city, particularly the McLellan's Rubber Works. I would really love to chat with you if you have any information, as it seems to be a forgotten industry! If you could get in touch with me at email@example.com that would be great.
Thanks so much,
Elena Mary Harris
As a boy I used to cross Glasgow from Garrowhill to Maryhill on (I think) the number 64 tram, to visit my uncle Donald and aunty Betty up near the top of Duncruin Street. That was in the early sixties, before all the appalling demolition. I remember in icy winter time, holding on to the iron railing fitted along the tenement wall : very much needed to avoid slipping going up the steeply sloping hill; and handy as a brake when sliding down on the way home. I remember too that my aunt and uncle's flat was lovely inside; and there was a neighbour who flew pigeons from a loft down in the back court.ReplyDelete
Great Pictures All ,AmazingReplyDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Hi was born at hazlet St 1956 then moved to Cromer st. My brother worked at Mclellans for a few years but has since passed away. Always remembered the smell also there was a wooden bridge over Ruchill canal which was replaced. The memories that I have as a child growing up in this area have always been happy ones I can just remember the trams but loved the trolley buses. Great timesReplyDelete
What happened to Cromer Street? I presume it was redeveloped. My parents moved to number 4 in 1930 from Craigmont Drive in Maryhill. They lived up the same close as George Chisholm who would become the famous jazz trumpeter. I only found out their address in Ruchill earlier this week then found that the street had disappeared, so I can’t visit it.Delete
It's still a dump, dominated by folks signing on and auld jakey's smoking outside pubs.ReplyDelete
Away and swally yer heid ya bam potDelete
Dumpster, unfortunately youre not wrong, except for the fact that most of the residents are decent and hard working (when they can find jobs). A small percentage are as you describe.Delete
i read a lot of stuff and i found that the way of writing to clearifing that exactly want to say was very good so i am impressed and ilike to come again in future..ReplyDelete
I am a 19 year old who lives in Summerston and enjoy reading Glasgows history. Maryhill i know very well. Where i live theres not much history to it as it was farmland before houses were built but we will make history ! I cannot believe how beautiful Maryhill looked with tenents...now its a shame to see some land has been abandoned..demolished (eg.the fire station)..or replaced by ugly flats (Queens cross/Raeberry Street) :(ReplyDelete
Hello, great information here, as a local do you know how long the Tesco in Maryhill has been there for, like was it there in the 80s or 90s?ReplyDelete
The Tesco superstore is on the site of an old train station, Maryhill Central, which closed in 1966. In about 1979 a large Co-op superstore and shopping centre was built here (I remember going to see Captain Birdseye from the TV adverts open it - I got his autograph that day). At that time the superstore was built on stilts to allow the train line to potentially re-open in the future. In 2010 the shopping centre was replaced by the current huge Tesco store. Some people were unhappy with the way it was built, which finally ended the possibility of ever running trains under here again.Delete
I would so love a photograph of 1694 maryhill road the originale building as was brought up there we left in 1960Delete
Your blog has been one of my favorites for quite a while. I'm from Maryhill too, and moved back to Glasgow a month ago, after 22 years in the US. I posted this shortly after getting back: http://www.barrygraham.xyz/blog/glasgow-the-low-roadReplyDelete
Let me first congratulate you on this excellently written blog, and kudos to the in-depth research on the subject matter.
I was born in 1951, if you say it quickly it doesn’t seem that long ago. Went to Maryhill primary, as you did, and remember vivid flash backs of “jumping the dykes" as you described.
Travelled daily through butney on the way to school, this area was still basically intact in the 50’s, but not the place to be at night. The old picture you have is exactly how I remember it.
The Kelvin aqueduct where you had your “groovy 70’s” picture taken, I remember well, as it hadn’t change during the 50’s and 60’s. Again designed and build by Whitworth, a brilliant engineer.
In the 50’s, I remember travelling on the trams from Maryhill cross to attended Queens Cross Church (Mackintosh designed), which is on my visit list when I return for a visit.
I lived in the Canal house at the bottom of Cleveland road and Skaethorn road for my formative years, then East Kilbrde, working throughout the UK before moving to Southern Ontario Canada. I have worked and lived in Canada and US for the last 35 years and now retired, intend to return to Glasgow for an extended visit in the spring of 2018.
Again, thank you very much for informative read…
Hi loved your photos I was born on Garscube road 1954 dad was Harry McLachlan worked as a barman in the Roberts pub then became The Planet bar he went on to work for Findlays Removal company then bought the van and its know the West End removal dad was born on Simpson Street and mum lived on Henderson Street granted lived in Kirkland street and now mum and dad stay on Wilton street I married 73 and lived at 499 Maryhill road for a time loved looking out the window watching everybody walking passed shame on them who thought pulling it all down would make for better living should have left it alone glad to say but the friendship has not been bull dozed to the ground it's still the same as it always wasReplyDelete
Interesting info..l was born in Balfour street just along from gardbraid avenue...the valley..and yes it s sad to see the changes..we did nt appreciate it then but maryhill was a great place with lots of historyReplyDelete
My name is Jim Cooper and I used to live at 45 Duncruin Street from 1957 - 1966. Does anyone have pictures of Duncruin Street in the sixties.
I went to garrioch sec. School .1965 to 68 did anybody else go thereReplyDelete
Yes I also attended said school. Happy days but I hated school as with 49 in the class we were hard pushed to gain an education.Delete
My great grandparents lived in Maryhill and my gran grew up there (not sure til what age). I've been recording conversations with her and was excited to find these pics to show her!!ReplyDelete
I lived at 139 firhill road adjacent to firhill , can anyone remember their was a cafe after the shop(Aulds) over the canal bridge up to the top of the hill just outside the gates of ruchill park , can anyone remember it ? have any photos to share of it?ReplyDelete
I was born in 56 and I remember the cafe at the top of the hill the ice cream was always lumpy can't remember what it was called I stayed in 179 fir hill Rd at the post box do you ŕemember the sweet shop called Duncan and Marshall ďaìryDelete
My aunt ran a shop in Garscube Road near Queens Cross called Cameron's Dairy - it was in the family for over 50 years until the tenement was subject to compulsory purchase and knocked down - probably right thing since all toilets were shared on the half landings - i remember helping to serve the pies on match days at Firhill as the fans made their way to the groundReplyDelete
I knew a lot of people from Maryhill who came down to Nottingham for work, they all missed the place, I went to a friends wedding there Bank Holiday August 1966 and was intrigued by the place, stayed for 2 weeks, enjoyed every minute....Lots of these old Street names and pubs still ring a bell....ReplyDelete
What a brilliant blog. Came across by accident.ReplyDelete
I lived in Amisfield street which is off Shakespeare street from 1953 to 1962. I went to Shakespeare primary school then North Kelvinside school. I attended Ruchill church as a boy, and remember the cooperage next door. We had friends who lived in Gilochshill and I remember walking along the canal to visit them. The sides of the canal were lined with small works and factories. We used to play in the park at Garrioch road. The river kelvin there used to change colour depending on what the dye works was doing upstream.
And we used to walk along the walls and jump onto the wash houses in the back court, and climb the railings with spikes......there was always stories about someone getting a spike through the leg. The council eventually cut all the spikes off. And we “ dreeped “ off the high “dykes “.
A happy memories.
So lovely to find your blog. I was born in Stobhill Hospital in 1965 and lived in a tenement on Garriochmill Road until 1970. I went to St Charles Primary and my Gran, Betty Crawley, also worked there. She lived in Ruchill. My dad used to sing at the Bath Hotel on the weekends. I've tried to find information about the hotel, but no luck.ReplyDelete
So happy to find your blog. I was born in Stobhill Hospital in 1965 and lived in a tenement on Garriochmill Road until 1970 when we moved to Kilmarnock, then Cambuslang, then Canada, and finally to Los Angeles. I attended St Charles Primary and my gran, Betty Crawley, worked there. She was from Ruchill. My dad sang professionally on the weekends at the Bath Hotel and I've been trying to find info about the hotel, but no luck.ReplyDelete
I was also born in stobhill hospital 1955Delete
Was born down the butney,Lochgilp st but I can never find photographs of that streetwe lost all our photos years ago, so if anyone has some to show i would love to look at them . Jimmy StillReplyDelete
Would you be the James Still who slid down a Telegraph Pole, and got a huge Skelf through your hand ?Delete
My Da was the neighbour who removed it. If I remember correctly, that was the day your Mother discovered you smoked.
I was born in maryhill, my first home was 22 lochgilp street(old lochgilp st). I left there in 1958 to live in Drumchapel. I've been trying to find pictures of the old St.Marys chapel which was on maryhill road. It was demolished and the immaculate conception was built further along maryhill road opposite maryhill park, which has also been demolished. Glad to say the park is still there.ReplyDelete
my father and mother were born in maryhill my grandfather used to drive the hearse in they days it was 6 black horses and carriage out of the yard at the top of sandbank st it was a haulage yard in later years owned by a relative of mine my father's sister stayed up the pen opposite the white house pub she had a small holding with pig's and chickens it's lon5 gone now it a block of flats my grandfather was a steam engine driver at dawsholm sheds it's long gone now my grandmother worked in maclellins rubber works and my mother worked in Bryant & Mays at ruchillReplyDelete
My Nick name growing up in Maryhill was smiddy I was friends with Frank Wilson his father was known as tug Wilson also James and Ted cuddhy sisters Frances and Maggie also James Gallagher Johnny Williams Davie Williams we all lived around Willock st Arden st Roland St Vernon St I went to garrioch school then onto northkelvinside my first girlfriend was Jackie Doherty from Roland St her good friend was called Sylvia mills also from Roland St I lived in Maryhill until 1988 I moved to Australia with my family just wondering if anyone back home sees this and remembers me cheers Dave Smith (smiddy)ReplyDelete
I was born in Redlands hospital in 1969. First lived up 24 Campbell Street before moving to Cadder. Anyone remember Nancy's shop? The allotments were at the back of our close and the lane took you down to the wee bridge where you risked your life every time you walked under it. Maryhill Football club at the end of the road before entering Maryhill road at Gairbraid avenue. The wee 24 bus that went up and down Sandbank street. My granny lived up 9 Craigmount drive. The scrap yard on the opposite corner. Who went to NK school. I was there 1980-86, only the top building remaining and now flats! Along with the wee lane that ran through the schools 4 buildings linking Oban drive to Maryhill road. I loved my Maryhill childhood and my heart remains in Glasgow til this day...even though I bide south of the borderReplyDelete
I was brought up in Campbell Street but on the opposite side, I was there from 1957 to 1974 ish when they were knocked down and we went to Summerston.I went to Maryhill Primary 1962 to 1969 and both my grandmothers lived in 52 Viewmount Drive. One was heavikly involved in the allotments where she ran the social side.Lots of memories of the 60's in Gilshie.Delete
I also went to Maryhill Primary from 1962 to 1969 and have many memories of the pupils and teachers. I lived on Maryhill Road from 1957 to 1969.Delete
I was born in the tenements on Oarn Street in 1952. We moved to the USA in 1957. I would really like to see pictures of the old place when we lived there. We were right across from the old bomb shelters as I remember. Great job on your blog! Bill PattersonReplyDelete
Does anyone remember a Fishing Tackle shop,on Maryhill Road,in the 1960's.ReplyDelete
It was owned by Jimmy Mcgill.
Here's hoping,Alan Smith
Thank-you Glasgow Punter. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this I was born In the Wyndford in 1968, moved away in 1990ReplyDelete
Thank you very much ✨ReplyDelete
Lived in Duncruin St, closest to Maryhill Rd, from (birth) 1952 - 1960, remember punters being chased from the bookies ( illegal then) on Maryhill road, through our back courts by the polis and watching them flung into the back of police vans. Attended Gilshochill primary from 1957 - 1960 then move with the overspill to Haddington.ReplyDelete
I grew up in the Valley Guthrie St to be exactReplyDelete