Strathbungo Village

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Blythe, blythe could I be wi’ her,
Happy baith at morn and e’en.

To my breast I’d warmly press her.
Charming maid, Strathbungo Jean.

The Glasgow lasses dress fu’ braw.
And country girls gang neat and clean,
But nane o’ them’s a match ava
To my sweet maid, Strathbungo Jean.

Though they be dress’d in rich attire.
In silk brocade and mus-de-laine,
Wi’ busk and pad and satin stays.
They’ll never ding Strathbungo Jean.

Bedeck’d in striped gown and cait,
And handkerchief and apron clean.
Cheerfully tripping to her work,
Ilk day I meet Strathbungo Jean.

Ye gods who rule men’s destinies,
I humbly pray you’ll me befrieu’.
And aid me in my dearest wish
To gain my sweet Strathbungo Jean.

Gi’e to the ambitious priest a kirk,
Gi’e riches to the miser mean,
let the coquette new conquests make.
But, O! gi’e me Strathbungo Jean :

No happiness a’ day have I,
My senses are bewulder’d clean.
In bed all night on her I cry.
My heaven on earth, Strathbungo Jean.

Should fortune kindly make her mine,
I would not change for Britain’s queen;
But fondly in my arms I’d clasp
My charming maid, Strathbungo Jean.

Thosias Lyle circa 1820

When I bought my Nursery Street flat it was advertised as being in Strathbungo but a number of people have suggested that it is actually in Govanhill or Pollokshields. The Strathbungo Conservation area is further along Pollokshaws Road but the Strathbungo Parish Church is much closer to my home. I’ve been looking into the history of the area recently and it has been very interesting indeed.

Strathbungo is a Celtic word indicating a stream running swiftly in a confined channel. Whilst there are no streams in the area at the moment, there was a burn from near Haggs Castle which is known to have ran past Strathbungo and through Pollokshields before reaching the Clyde In 1849 the burn, known at various points as the Shaw Burn, Shiels Burn and Kinning House Burn, was ordered to be enclosed and it was piped into a culvert, and built over, it is thought that the burn still flows underground and enters the Clyde somewhere around the Frankie & Co; Benny’s restaurant at The Quay. This burn also acted as part of the country boundary between Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. A tributary, the Crosshill or Howbank Burn, flowed just south of Strathbungo.

The Maxwells of Nether Pollok who owned the land, for whatever reason weren’t taken with the name Strathbungo, and legally the area was called Marchtown. March or Mark means border and this would, therefore support the theory that the ‘Strathbungo’ area was beside the burn which formed the border between the two counties.

Their are a number of other theories regarding the name, including the belief that it derived from the term ‘bungos’ for bog-lands or marshes, which surrounded the area, and ‘strata’ a road, which seems feasible.

Another theory is that Strathbungo is a derivation of “Srath Mhunga”, Norse for the Strath of Mungo, with the belief that the area had some link with St Mungo, who is credited with founding Glasgow.

We do know that locals have often abbreviated the name to Stra’bungo.

Since the 17th century there had been an accumulation of cottages on the crossroads where the ancient road from Glasgow to Irvine via Stewarton (Pollokshaws Road) is crossed by the road from Paisley to Hamilton (now Allison Street/Nithsdale Street/Road).

Some sources indicate that there may have been a hospital, for the poor or Lepers,in the village, between the Crosshill Burn (now gone) and, what is now, Allison Street. On the same street we know that a small school existed, although it had probably been converted from a cottage and had a leaking thatched roof and cold clay floor, the school was run by the village dominie under the auspices of the Govan Parish.

By the end of the 18th century the village was home to some 35 families, mainly crofters and miners. The village continued to grow and the crofters and miners were joined by various artisans. The Govan Parish Map of 1795 shows Strathbungo and a local burn flowing from the village to the Clyde.

In 1820 Austin & Co; McAslan’s Nursery at Coplaw Hill, also known as Little Govan, opened and for the next forty two years, the 40 acre site, which occupied the area now bounded by Victoria Road, Butterbiggins Road, Langside Road and Allison Street, would produce fruit, vegetables and flowers. Austin & Co; McAslan had been established originally in 1717 by John McAslan . He was succeeded by his son Alexander and Robert Austin, who traded as Austin & Co; McAslan. The firm remained in the hands of their descendants until 1860 when James Hunter acquired the business. He was succeeded by his son Alexander N Hunter.

In 1833 Hackney coaches or Noddies would transport passengers from Glasgow to Stra’bungo for 2/6. (12.5p).

Church services may well have taken place in the school building too, prior to 1839/40 when Charles Wilson built the first Marchtown or Strathbungo Church, on Pollokshaws Road. The land was obtained from the patrons of Hutchesons’ Hospital and cost £1,300. Around the same time a new school, the Govan Sessional School, was built on the corner of Nithsdale Street and March Street.

In 1847, Neale Thomson of Camphill House and financial supporter of the Strathbungo church, established a large bakery in the neighbouring village of Crossmyloof, much of which is still standing at what is now 1006a Pollokshaws Road.

Railway was on the rise at this time, the Glasgow, Barrhead and Kilmarnock railway line opened in 1848 and travelled through the village on its route from the Southside Station, in the Gorbals, to Neilston.

On 1st December 1847 a petition, superintended by the school master, Mr Keneth McKenzie and signed by some 161 congregation members, called for the induction of missionary, Alex Sutherland and the 54 year old Rev Sutherland became the church’s first minister on 6th July 1848. In the same year the village and its church were damaged by a storm.

In 1849, the local burn was covered over as new houses or ‘lands’ were built to house the weavers, cartwrights, cabinetmakers, grocers, gardeners and Blacksmiths who were moving into the village, which was still surrounded by fields and nurseries.

In 1853 Hugh MacDonald’s Rambles round Glasgow describes Strathbungo:

There is nothing particularly attractive or worthy of attention about this tiny little congregation of houses. With the exception of the church, a small and neat but plain specimen of ecclesiastical architecture, the houses are for the most part humble one or two-storeyed buildings……. There are, of course, several public-houses in the village and those who have an eye to the fine arts, as manifested on sign-boards, will be amused, if not delighted, with a unique head of Burns, which is suspended over the entrance to one of them, with a barefaced quotation in praise of whisky attached to it by way of pendant. There is no mistaken the double-breasted waistcoat of the poet: it at once stamps the man.

This would have been Granny McDougall’s inn, which was also known as the Robert Burn Tavern and stood on the north west corner of Strathbungo Cross. Other Strathbungo inns of the time were: the Cross Keys Inn, opposite the church; the Curlers’ Inn, in the south west of the cross; and the Hunters’ Inn, on the south east corner. Whilst to the north west of the village lay the Muirhouses, a row of one-storeyed and thatched edifices.

In 1856 the village was hit by another storm, which extensively damaged the church including its bell and belfry.

Post Office records, show that in 1857 the village included among its ranks:

Austin & Co; McAslan, nursery and seedsmen, Copelawhill Nurseries, Pollokshaws Road; Campbell, Archibald, cabinetmaker, 22 Surrey St. House, Strathbungo. Campbell, A. grocer; Fogo, Wm. brick and tile maker; Gorman, W. engraver, Howbank.; M’Dougall, Mrs. P. spirit dealer; M’Kenzie, Kenneth, teacher; M’Millan, William, spirit dealer; M’Nichol, Walter, boot and shoe maker, and spirit dealer; Matheson, Walter, grocer; Upray, Archibald, ropemaker; Smith, James, spirit dealer; Jas. Snodgrass, house manager; and Sutherland, Rev. A.

In 1859 the Titwood Brick and Tile factory was demolished and a gated residential suburb to the south west of Strathbungo began, when Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson together with the builder John McIntyre built 1-10 Moray Place.

The identity of the architect(s) who built the rest of Regent Park, consisting of Moray Place, Regent Park Square, Queen Square and Princes Square (later renamed Marywood Square), is unknown. The street names reflecting the areas proximity to the Battle of Langside. This suburb was aimed at affluent businessmen and Alexander Thomson himself lived here until his death in 1875. (It should be noted that in Alexander Thomson’s death notice published in the Glasgow Herald of 23 March 1875, his place of death is described as “1, Moray Place, Regent Park” with no reference to Strathbungo).

Between 1860 and1861 A and G Thompson are believed to have built the Renfrew County Constabulary Police Station at 28 March Street and a block of tenements with shops on 26-44 Nithsdale Street.

In 1857 Glasgow Corporation had aquired the lands of Pathhead from Neale Thomson of Campshill House and, following the plans of Sir Joseph Paxton, Queen’s (South Side) Park opened to the public in September 1862, with a pond being built on top of the marshland which is believed to have been the burial ground for those losing their lives in the Battle of Langside (1568).

In 1863 the Sunday School teachers expressed their concern about the behaviour of local youths and called for a library and Sunday morning classes.

The failure of Strathbungo church’s minister, the ageing Rev Sutherland, to reflect the needs of his congregation led to a fall in attendance and in December 1866 some of the local church members were to join with their neighbours in Crosshill to form the Queen’s Park Free Church congregation. A temporary building housed the new congregation from 1868, at what is now the junction of Niddrie Road and Torrisdale Street. Niddrie Road had previously been called Cromwell Road, whilst Torrisdale Street had been known as Prince Albert Street.

Stone Masons Wylie & Co; Black established their stone masons business at 176 Pollokhaws Road in 1870. Granny McDougall’s inn closed around this time and in 1872 the first tramline was laid in Glasgow, terminating at Eglinton Toll.

The Gothic Queen’s Park Free Church was built in 1873-75, on the corner of Queen’s Drive (previously known as Royal Crescent) and Albert Avenue. At the time of its opening in March 1875, Regent Park had been assigned to Queen’s Park Parish.

Another Gothic Church was opened in 1875, to the north of the village. St Ninian’s Scottish Episcopal Church was built on the west side of the Turnpike Road, on what is now the corner of Pollokshaws Road and Albert Drive, to cater for the large number of Irish and English settling in the expanding Gorbals. As can be seen from the notice below, the land had been owned by Glasgow corporation and sold in 1872.

Strathbungo’s first minister, the Rev Sutherland, died on 3rd November 1875, aged 81. The Rev Alexander Clark MA, originally from Sorn in Ayrshire, officially took over the church on 20th January 1876. However, within a week, he declared that he would be leaving to accept the call to the Parish of Wick. Another Ayrshire man, the 30 year old, Rev Robert McMillan of Ayr, became the third Strahbungo minister, being ordained on 6th July 1876. At this point the congregation had fallen to between 30 and 60 but 18 days later it was agreed to modernise the church and increase seating by some 300. The church used the temporary premises established by their previous fellow congregation members, whilst their new church was built.

In 1876 Govan Kirk Session sold Govan Sessional School in Nithsdale Street, about the same time Hutchesontown Gardens, which had initially been relocated from Hutchesontown, to Langside Road in 1866, were brought to the village and sited between Allison Street and Prince Edward Street.

Govanhill, to the east of the village, was formed in 1877. The area was previously known as ‘no man’s land’ and it’s history is linked to the Dixon family. A prominent ironmaster, William Dixon opened blast furnaces to the North of Govanhill which became known as ‘Dixons Blazes’. The main avenue that runs the length of Govanhill is called Dixon Avenue and the road to Hamilton via Rutherglen, that passed through Strathbungo, was renamed Allison Street after the daughter of William Dixon Jnr. Daisy Street and Annette Street in Govanhill were named after his other daughters.

Neighbouring, Pollokshields also grew quickly at the time and in 1876 was granted Burgh status in recognition of this. On the edge of the new Burgh and adjacent to Regent Park, Strathbungo Railway Station was opened, in Nithsdale Road, on 1st December 1877. By this time the line had been extended from Neilston to Kilmarnock. Strathbungo station helped to transform the Regent Park development into one of the first railway suburbs in Scotland. The station’s name helped to reinforce the belief that the area should be regarded as part of Strathbungo.

Strathbungo was never to gain Burgh status and this and other aspects of village life were referred to in Archiebald Macmillan’s comic writings in the Baillie under the nom de plume of Jeems Kaye, whose sketches appeared in the Glasgow weekly periodical The Baillie during the 1870s and 1880s.

By now, the face of old Strathbungo had changed considerably, with the extension of tramlines through the village to Shawlands and later onto Pollokshaws, the old road had to be raised and widened. The one and two story buildings were replaced with tenement buildings with provision for pubs and shops at street level. Greek Thomson was involved, designing the block at the corner of 734-750 Pollokshaws Road and 2-8 Nithsdale Road, above what is now the New Regent Bar.

The Glasgow Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Southern Section ,was established in November 1876.

By 1877 Austin and McAslan had transferred all their nursery growing to the Titwood Nursery, which lay in the Glencairn Drive area of Pollokshields. The Coplaw Hill site then became the brick works to meet the demand of the construction activity taking place in the area. The brick works were known as Coplaw Hill Brick Works; Strathbungo Brick Works and also Nursery Brick Works.

In 1878 Strathbungo Church, now renovated, reopened. However its role as a quoad sacra or Parish Church was delayed over the question of Regent Park, which had been assigned to Queen’s Park. Eventually the Court of Tiends on 13th January 1879 ruled that the area was in the Parish of Strathbungo.

The Parish now officially extended from Eglinton Toll southwards to Crossmyloof Station, comprising on the west side of Pollokshaws Road the whole area to the Barrhead railway (with its branch line to the Terminus Quay), from Maxwell Road on the north to the old Haggs Road (behind the present Titwood Road) on the south. East of Pollokshaws Road the parish had a triangle bounded on the east by Victoria Road and on the south by a rough line along the present Prince Edward Street to Pollokshaws Road. Records indicate that at this time the Parish of Strathbungo had a population of about 2,500.

In 1879, four years after the death of Greek Thomson, Salisbury Quardrant was built by Thompson and Turnbull and forms the impressive corner of Nithsdale Street and Drive.

Greek is also believed to have designed Titwood Place (now part of Nithsdale Road) and in particular the circular turret on the street corner.

On 14th April 1883 Strathbungo Parish Church resolved to erect a new Church and halls for the parish and to use the Drill Hall in Coplaw Street for services in the intervening period.

By 1884 the village was a mixture of the old and the new, with the original one and two story buildings being joined with tenements, as can be seen by the painting by H H Urquhart, which looks South towards Strathbungo Cross.

Tenements were erected in the NE of the village towards Eglinton Tolll in 1884 and added to four years later, by the same architect. These form 345-349, 353, 357, 359, 363 Pollokshaws Road and 7 Butterfield Place.

Tenements were also built in the SW of the village and the Allison Arms was opened, at street level at 720 Pollokshaws Road, by Charles Smith Gall, a famous auctioneer and valuator, in 1884. In the same year the Third Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers opened their new Head Quarters and Drill Hall in Coplaw Street. The Regiment’s Football Team, later renamed Third Lanark, played on the field just south of the drill hall.

The area gained two more railway stations on 1st March 1886, when Caledonian Railway opened Pollokshields East and Queen’s Park stations as part of the Cathcart District Railway. Indeed the road from Pollokshaws Road to Queen’s Park railway station was called Station Road, until being renamed Barbreck Road.

The tenements between Strathbungo Parish Church and Strathbungo Cross were built in 1887 as was the Mission Hall for Queen’s Park United Presbyterian Church on Nithsdale Drive.

The area’s railway connections increased more when Crossmyloof station opened on 1st June 1888.

On 7th October 1888 the new, expanded and much grander, Strathbungo Parish Church, which could accommodate over 1,000 and was designed by John McKissack, himself a member of the congregation. Some of the stones, windows, the bell and iron railings from the original church were used in the new build, which was based on the medieval examples of King’s College, Aberdeen and the High Kirk of St Giles in Edinburgh. The Church hall, to the rear of the building, had opened in October 1887, the Jubilee Year of Queen Victoria. Along the road from the Church, past some trees was the village blacksmith.

By the end of 1888 tenements had replaced the ancient thatched cottages around Strathbungo Cross and many of the village’s neighbours, including Govanhill and Crosshill had achieved Burgh status.

In 1890 Dugald McLachlan opened the Golden Star public house at 708 Pollokshaws Road.

By this time Glasgow had spread along Pollokshaws Road and Strathbungo, along with the neighbouring Burghs, were annexed into Glasgow in 1891, the village population had grown to 2,951.

In 1892 Glasgow Corporation took control of the trams.

In 1894 the imposing, four story, building on the corner of 320 Pollokshaws Road and Maxwell Road, designed by Robert Miller for the YMCA opened.

Glasgow Corporation selected Strathbungo as its site for the great Coplawhill Depot for the housing, construction and repair of the tram running stock, displacing the nurseries of Messrs. Austin & Co; M’Aslan. Designed by William Clark, Coplawhill Depot was built between 1895 and 1899. The original building measured some 28,000 square yards and some 4,000 horses were used to pull the 400 trams. In 1901 the electrification of the trams led to a rapid expansion of activities at Copawhill and some 1,000 workers were employed, building 1,200 new trams and repairing and maintaining 1,207 trams.

In order to house the workers and others moving into the area, the village was to experience further growth with more red sandstone tenements being built to house the increasing population.

Titwood Bar
The Titwood Bar opened on 58 Nithsdale Road in 1893, the name of the public house reflecting the original name of the street, Titwood Place. The Titwood was owned by Mrs Janet McIntyre of 40 Nithsdale Road and run by Andrew Small.

Shortly after becoming part of Glasgow, the Police Station on March Street, was closed and a replacement Police Station, an adjoining Fire Station and Lighting Departments, were opened in 1893 on the site of Hutchesontown Gardens, which were relocated to Crossmyloof.

Another section of Hutchesontown Gardens was to become the site of the new school, Strathbungo Higher Grade School, later known as Strathbungo Public School, which opened in 1894, with a swimming pool in the basement.

All of these new buildings were built on the site of Hutchesontown Gardens, which were removed and relocated in Crossmyloof.

By 1897 Granny McDougall’s inn had became derelict and was demolshed and replaced with tenement buildings. Various shops and what was to become the Elcho Bar and later Kelly’s were established here at street level.

In 1900 the congregation of Strathbungo Church had increased from around 60 to some 828. By this time, Bell, Horsnsby and Co. had taken over the Stone Masons’ business at 176 Pollokshaws Road and another Mason, J & Co; W Aitken had been established at 225 Pollokshaws Road and John Adam and Co had relocated to 404 Pollokshaws Road.

In 1903 the 3rd LRVs name was changed to Third Lanark AC, the official links with the military were severed and the club moved to New Cathkin Park and won the Scottish League for their first and only time.

During the period 1900 and 1908 the area between Pollokshaws Road and Victoria Road, north of Allison Street was extensively developed, including a substantial tenement block on Strathbungo Cross in 1903.

In 1906 the Sir John Neilson Cuthbertson School was erected between Coplaw Street and Cuthbertson Street. In the same year Govanhill and Crosshill Library was opened on Calder Street.

On the 1st October 1907, the first indoor ice rink in Scotland was opened just outside of Strathbungo at Crossmyloof (now the site of Morrison’s Supermarket).

An American Roller Rink already existed in the Parish, on the corner of Cuthbertson Street and Victoria Road.

Around this time, following the trade depressions of 1905 and 1908 a number of villagers emigrated to the the Colonies. However Macdonald’s Scottish directory and gazetteer of 1909 indicated that the village still had a wide variety of businesses and trades, including:

Clerical Directory

Frazer, J. M’Neil, B.D., 4 Moray place; Goold, J., 13 Queen sq.; Muir, John, 24 Regent Park square; Nicholson, James B., M.A., 37 Queen square; Shaw, Adam, M.A., 32 Regent Park square.

Medical Directory

Paton, John, 21 Moray pl.

Bakers

Charters, John, 84 South Cromwell rd; Hubbard, Walter of Hillhead branch, also rusk manufacturer, confectioner, and purveyor had a Branch at Strathbungo.

Book Sellers and Stationers

Wood & Co.also wholesale stationers, 13 Nithsdale road.

Boot and Shoe Makers

M’Culloch, Robert, 56 Nithsdale road.

Boot and Shoe Manufacturers

Crossley, John L., & Co., 7 Nithsdale road.

Brick Builder

M’lntyre, A., & Co; Son 65 Nithsdale st.

Cabinet Makers

Cunningham, R., & Co., 617 Pollokshaws road.

Dairy Keeper

Cook, J., 82 South Cromwell road.

Dentist and Dental Surgeons

Stromier, J. H, L.D.S., 3 Queen sq.

Fleshers

Anderson, Wm., 727 Pollokshaws rd;

Bennie, Wm., k Co., 72 Nithsdale rd;

Muir, Eobert, 680 Pollokshaws rd.

Grocer and Tea Dealer

Finlay. Wm. B., 639 Pollokshaws road;

Lawson, J., 724 Pollokshaws road;

Reid, James, 76 and 80 Nithsdale road;

Vernal, Frank, 782 Pollokshaws road.

Ironmongers

Crawford, J. & Co; R., 66 Nithsdale rd;

M’llwain, T., & Co., 737 Pollokshaws road;

Wiseman, Mrs A., 4 4 Nithsdale road.

Masons and Builders

Emery, John, & Co; Sons, Nursery lane.

Merchants (Wine and Spirit, Retail)

Small, Andrew, 52 Nithsdale road;

Smith, Mrs, 1097 Pollokshaws road;

Stevenson, A. B. & W.. 69 Nithsdale road.

Milliners and Dressmakers

Graham, Mrs, 731 Pollokshaws road;

Slessor, Miss A., 2 6 Nithsdale road.

Oil and Colours Men

Wallace, Arthur, 712 Pollokshaws road.

Painter and Paper Hanger

M’Lachlan, Wm., 42 Nithsdale road.

Plumbers and Gasfitters

Crawford, J. & R., 66 Nithsdale road;

Greenhorn. James, 778 Pollokshaws road.

Removal Contractors

Cunningham, R., & Co., 617 Pollokshaws road;

Smiths Forrest, Alex., 711 Pollokshaws road.

Stationers

Nicol, M. & J., 707 Pollokshaws road;

Reid, John, 725 Pollokshaws road.

Upholsterers

Cunningham, R., & Co.(also removal contractors), 617 Pollokshaws road.

Watch and Clock Makers

M’Lachlan, John, 58 Nithsdale road.

Wrights and Joiners

Crawford, H. W., & Co., 5 March St.

John Emery & Sons operated from Nursery Lane/Street from around 1901 to around 1911. When the tenements were built on the north side of Nithsdale Drive, they contained special stained glass windows reflecting the area’s former use as a nursery, rather than a brick works. Another Stone Mason, Alexander Muir and Sons, relocated to 134 Nithsdale Drive, on what is now part of the Arnold Clark car dealership, in 1910 and remained at the address until 1921.

A. B. & W. Stevenson, who owned the public bar at 69 Nithsdale Road, now known as Sammy Dow, also took over the pub at 688 Pollokshaws Road, now Kelly’s.

In 1911 the village got its own cinema when the BB (Big and Bright) Cinerama opened on the site of the former American Roller Rink.

Hutchesons’ Grammar School
In 1912 Hutchesons’ Girls’ Grammar School re-located between to Kingarth Street, from its previous site on Elgin Street (now Turriff Street).

Between 1914-19 Some 300 men and women of the Strathabungo parish church congregation answered the call of duty, sadly 49 of them were to lose their lives in the Great War.

On 29th November, 1916 the Rev McMillan, than aged 70, resigned his charge of the parish church, he was replaced on 21st June, 1917 by the Rev Charles Guthrie Cooper who hailed from Broughty Ferry. At this time the congregation was reported as being somewhat less than 1,000 members.

On 1st July 1920, the Rev Robert McMillan past away, aged 74.

Bell, Horsnsby and Co. Stone Masons, at 176 Pollokshaws Road, ceased trading in 1921.

The Plaza opened just outside the north east of the Parish, at St Andrew’s Cross in 1922, with its stylish, multi-coloured, lighting system and steel sprung floor the ballroom provided a modern and exciting place for the villagers to dance without having to worry about having to get transport home from the city centre. In the same year Strathbungo’s cinema was replaced with a new larger one. With seating for 2,750, the New Cinerama was built on the corner of Victoria Road and Butterbiggins Road, just outside of the Parish.

In the 1920s a red sandstone development was built between Regents Park and Titwood Road.

In 1924 Hugh Bradford with his sons, William and Hugh, established Bradford’s Bakers, with a small shop in Niddrie Road. In the same year, the firm of A B & W Stevenson was dissolved by mutual consent. Alexander Boyd Stevenson continued to run what i now Kelly’s, under his own name. Whilst William Stevenson continued ownership of what is now Sammy Dow, under his own name.

Having significantly renovating the church and increasing the congregation to some 1,500, the Rev C. Guthrie Cooper left Strathbungo in May 1926, to take charge of Wilton Parish, Hawick. He was replaced on 16th November by the Rev John M. Munro, a native of Oban.

An Egyptian-style Picture House opened just off of Allison Street in Bankhall Street, Govanhill in 1926, seating some 1200. The cinema was purchased by ABC in 1929. In the same year a new larger ice rink, on the same Crossmyloof site, opened with seating for 2000 spectators.

1927 witnessed the opening of Langside Synagogue in Niddrie Road.

H C Niven & Co motor engineers were established in 1929 and set up premises at 72 Nithsdale Road.

In 1929 Larkfield Bus Garage opened on Victoria Road, with capacity for some 140 buses. The Depot public house would later be opened in Strathbungo at 78 Victoria Road, to serve the drinkers that worked at the bus station.

In the 1930s Bardford’s Bakers moved from Niddrie Road to larger premises on Pollokshaws Road.

In 1933 Strathbungo Church celebrated its centenary and an increasing congregation which had grown to some 1,700. However, only about twelve names remained from the communion rolls of the original church.

In 1937 Hampden Park recorded the largest attendance at a British sporting event when 149,415 spectators watched Scotland play England.

The two last cottages in the village, which sat to the south of Coplaw Street, were demolished in the mid 1930s and, in 1938, the Glasgow Pollok Automatic Telephone Exchange was built on the site.

Stone Mason William S Penman established his business at 172 Pollokshaws Road in 1940 and

John Adam and Co., Ltd.relocated to 584 Pollokshaws Road, albeit briefly as the company ceased trading in 1941.

World War II
Some 22 Strathbungo parish church members were to lose their lives in World War II (1939-45). Many locals were encouraged to sign up at the army recruitment office set up in the Coplawhall Depot during the war.

Pollkshields East Double Murder
Another two people lost their lives on 10 December 1945, when Charles Templeman Brown, a 21 year old railway fireman, broke into the Stationmaster’s office at Pollokshields East railway station and shot Annie Withers, the 36 year old booking clerk, Robert Gough, a 15 year old porter, and Bill Wright, a 42 year old porter-clerk. Annie and Robert both died of their wounds. After a long investigation Brown was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. After an appeal, this was reduced to life imprisonment and Brown was released after serving 10 years. Precisely 15 years after the double murder, Brown was killed when his car crashed into a wall on 10th December 1960.

In 1950 another stone mason relocated to the area, when Daniel McCallum, Ltd moved their business from 400 Eglinton Street to 101 Pollokshaws Road but their Strathbungo time was to be short lived as the company, founded in 1840, is believed to have ceased trading by 1952 as did William S Penman. By which time, James Allan and Sons had spent their final trading year located in premises at 653 Pollokshaws Road (1950-51).

In 1951 the Inglis Report recommended the closure of the tramway network and their replacement by buses. A decision was made to slowly run down the tramway system.

Around this time Bill Angus opened the Angus Cafe at the corner of Pollokshaws Road and Calder Street.

In October 1953, shortly after BBC Scotland launched its television service, Crossmyloof Ice Rink hosted one of the first live outside television broadcasts in Scotland – a curling international between Scotland and Canada for the Strathcona Cup.

On 27th February 1954 Third Lanark attracted a record crowd of 45,455 to Cathkin Park for their Scottish Cup match against Rangers.

In the same year the Titwood Bar added a cocktail lounge called the “The Elbow Room”.

In June 1955 the tram works at Coplaw Hill started servicing Glasgow Corporation buses.

Strathbungo Railway Station closed on 28 May 1962 but part of the former main line from Strathbungo towards Gorbals Junction and St Enoch has been retained for freight and occasional passenger traffic. The station’s former ticket office has been converted into a convenience store.

Glasgow’s tramway system also closed in 1962 as did it’s Coplaw Hill tram depot and the permanent way yard in Barrlands Road. The depot site was converted into the Glasgow Museum of Transport in 1964.

1964 also saw the New Cinerama being bought by Odeon, rebuilt and renamed.

The Fotheringay public bar, with seating for 120, was opened in 1965 on Nithsdale Road by east end publican William M Johnston.

Third Lanark were relegated in 1965 and became the first Scottish Club to go bankrupt in 1967.

In the same year the area lost it’s main school, as Strathbungo Secondary School merged with Sir John Maxwell Secondary School and moved to the new Hillhead Secondary School in Cairngorm Road. Although Hillpark did adopt the Strathbungo school badge and motto. The old school building became St Bride’s RC Primary School.

In December 1969 Bradford’s Bakers sold their Pollokshaws Road premises and the third generation grandson of the founder, Hugh Robert Bradford and his wife Helen, started afresh by opening a small shop at 10 Torrisdale Street.

In 1973 the Golden Star was taking over by their 7th licence holder, Annie Heraghty, and renamed M J Heraghty. In the same year, Regent Park and Salisbury Quadrant were designated as the Strathbungo Conservation Area. The next year, the tenements with shops on 26-44 Nithsdale Street, which stood just outside of the Conservation area were demolished. The boundaries were altered slightly in 1978 but remain controversial in that it excludes most of the buildings contained within the original Strathbungo, such as the Strathbungo Cross, Church, School and Police Station. This has continued to cause upset with people being confused with the Strathbungo Conservation Area and the larger Strathbungo.

In 1976 Hutchesons’ Girls’ and Hutchesons’ Boys’ Grammar Schools amalgamated to form Hutchesons’ Grammar School, with all the senior pupils now attending, what had been the boys’ school, in Beaton Road, Crossmyloof. The girls’ site in Kingarth Street became the mixed junior school.

In 1979 Strathbungo Parish Church closed and the congregation united with Queen’s Park West to form Strathbungo Queen’s Park on Queen’s Drive.

On 6th October 1981 the Odeon cinema closed its doors for the last time and was demolished to make way for a filling station.

In 1984, Bradfords opened its first city centre shop in Cambridge Street, Glasgow, incorporating chocolates and a tearoom service alongside its traditionally bakery shop.

Around the same time, an Indian Restaurant called The Manzi opened up at 777 Pollokshaws Road near the entrance to Queens Park.

The Crossmyloof ice rink was closed in February 1986 and later in the same year the Odeon building was demolished.

After some 90 years of service, the Police and Fire Station on 52 Allison Street closed in 1987, these were converted to flats in the summer of 1994.

Glasgow Museum of Transport was relocated to the city’s Kelvin Hall in 1987 and Walker Woodstock obtained their timber and building site on part of the tram works at 16 Albert Drive. After 25 years in Strathbungo, the yard remains an insight into the past, having changed little, retaining its red brick buildings and cobbled stone ground.

When Hutcheson’s Grammer School sold off their playing fields, the old grounds on Third Lanark became the home of McDonald’s and KFC and changed the look of Strathbungo for the worse as did the later building of flats between Nursery Street and the Tramway.

In the early 1990s Strathbungo got its first Greek Restaurant when the Taverna opened at 778 Pollokshaws Road. The restaurant would later re-open as the Anthena Taverna.

In 1995 the Plaza Ballroom closed and the year later the Odeon cinema building was demolished and replaced with a petrol station.

Nursery Street itself was extended into a new housing development on the old Strathbungo Brick Works site around the year 2000, when the Elcho Bar at 688 Pollokshaw’s Road became Kelly’s Bar.

In 2001 Glasgow City Council announced their intention to close Govanhill Pool and the local community responded by protesting including occupying the premises.

The Fotheringay, which had changed hands and renamed as the Horse Shoe, the same name as the owner’s other pub in Drury Street, was closed in 2005.

After laying derelict for years Strathbungo Parish Church was converted into modern flats in 2006, retaining the Church frontage and tower.

However in the same year Nithsdale Hall, the former Mission Hall for Queen’s Park United Presbyterian Church and used by the Plymouth Brethren in the 1960s was damaged by fire and has remained derelict ever since. The Plaza Ballroom was demolished in 2006. In the same year planning permission was applied for to build new flats on the empty garage business at the corner of March Street and Nithsdale Street.

In September of 2006 Strathbuong the old Anthena Taverna was reopened as Mulbery St bistro/bar, split 50/50 between a bar and dining area.

Artist Elaine Dearie opened up a small eatery at 38 Nithsdale Road in 2007, Grianach -the Gaelic word for sunny. The cafe gallery’s specialised in wholesome soups and sandwiches but its unique selling point was the provision of SAD lightboxes on the tables.

Langside Hebrew Congregation was sold for housing in 2008, as the Niddrie Road congregation had fallen from 600 in its heyday down to 120 members.

The former Fotheringay re-opened albeit briefly as the Fother in 2008 and the Indian restaurant at 777 Pollokshaws Road, which had changed hands a few times became Shimla Pinks, serving classic Indian cuisine.

The village is served by two Indian restaurants: Shimla Pinks which originally opened as The Manzi in the 1980s, changed its name to Shimla Pinks.

Whilst the New Anand located in the iconic 76 Nithsdale Street has been under the management of Mr Gurdip Singh since 1989. Famed for its buffet, the New Anand replaced an Italian restaurant which had operated on the same corner site. 76 Nithsdale Street had also been the home to an antique shop, a motor garage and a grocery.

A new addition to the area in 2008 was Tapa coffee house, at 721 Pollokshaws Road. Tapa is an organic cafe and is vegetarian and vegan friendly, they roast their own coffee and bake their own bread and cakes. Around the same time and only a few steps away from Tapa is Gutso & Relish at 729-731 Pollokshaws Road.

This family run cafe-deli make their own sausages, blackpuddings and tattie scones and cure their own bacon. The cafe is occasionally open in the evening for special theme dinners.

Strathbungo received a huge cultural boost when Scotland’s national dance company, Scottish Ballet, which employs 36 full-time dancers, moved to new purpose-built national headquarters at the Tramway international arts centre in June 2009.

In late 2009 Mel McCalum and Dominico Del Priore brought a piece of Umbria to Strathbungo by opening a small restaurant and shop based on a fusion of some of the best Scottish and Italian food traditions. Cookie took over H C Niven’s garage at 72 Nithsdale Road and maintained the former owner’s frontage.

Grianich Coffee Shop
The Grianich Cafe on the same road closed but was reopened as a family business a few months later. The new owners adopted the same format of wholesome soups and decent sandwiches,salads and homemade cakes but it eseems that the cafe’s second term was short lived and it closed in early 2013.

The Bungo
After more name changes, including the 1901 and the Bay Horse, and periods of closure, the former Fotheringay opened as The Bungo Bar and Kitchen in 2012. Whilst it was hoped that the name of the pub would help promote the area of Strathbungo, unfortunately the owners have a large map of the Strathbungo Conservation Area rather than the village on display.

In the same year, another Strathbungo pub of long standing, Strathies on 659 Pollokshaws Road, reverted to its previous name The Kind Man.

Strathbungo has remained a welcoming district on the southside of Glasgow, with a rich heritage and cultural diversity the area is once again on the up and is home to a wide variety of restaurants, bars and places of worship.

Strathbungo boasts one of the best Chinese restaurants and takeaways in Glasgow. Panda House has been a family run establishment for over ten years and is situated at 655 Pollokshaws Road. There are also a few non sit-in Chinese takeaways including:the Golden Phoenix at 631 Pollokshaws Road and the Kam Wa at 746 Pollokshaws Road, which specialises in Cantonese and Malaysian cuisine. At the end of April 2013 the Afghan Cafe opened in the premises of the New Pakistani Cafe at 607 Pollokshaws Road.

Sammy Dow or Sammy’s at 69 Nithsdale Road has been home to live Blues in Strathbungo since the 1970s.

In January 2013 Strathbungo returned to the fictional world of small print, being the setting of Stewart Maccallum’s novel The Strathbungo Cellist.

Strathbungo’s Gurdwara
April 2013 witnessed Scotland’s first purpose-built Gurdwara opening in Strathbungo and accessed from Albert Drive. It is anticipated that 2000 Sikhs will use the new £4m premises every week, with an additional 3000 people expected for religious festivals like Diwali. Tucked in behind the Tramway Theatre the Gurdwara will be situated close to Pollokshields, home of many of Scotland’s 10,000 Sikhs.

Sources:
http://www.bradfordsbakers.com/about-bradfords-bakers
http://crawlir.archive.org/stream/macdonaldsscot190910edin/macdonaldsscot190910edin_djvu.txt
http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/scotlit/asls/Laverock-Glasgow_Short_Story.html
http://www.bungoblog.com/
http://www.oldglasgowpubs.co.uk/
http://www.scotcities.com/cathcart/strathbungo_crossmyloof.htm
http://www.hiddenglasgow.com/

0 thoughts on “Strathbungo Village

  1. Ian,
    Trying to track you down after failing to leave a comment on your “other” blog, the red one. I liked your musings on the location of Strathbungo and its history; I’m currently working on an update for bungoblog using similar sources. I have inherited the history/ architecture walk at Bungo in the Back Lanes this year, 12.30 at Sammy Dows. You should come along & say hello, and we can compare notes sometime.
    Cheers
    Andrew

  2. Ian,
    I would like to thank you for you article on Strathbungo. I found it of particular personal interest because in it you mention Burn’s Tavern and Granny McDougall. I have have been doing family history for a number of years and I have recently discovered that I have a family connection with the Dougall’s and so I have been looking for the location of the tavern. Which is how I found you blog.
    Regards
    Kareena

  3. Hi, I wonder if you know what sort of school the Sir John Neilson Cuthbertson Public School was. Do you know if it was a day school or a boarding school in the 30’s? Hope you can help. Thanks.

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