About Parkhead History

This site is about the history of the Parkhead area of Glasgow. If you have photos of Parkhead old or new and would like to have them included in this site please use the contact menu where one of the following will be in touch:

Thomas McCann
Peter Mortimer
Irene Hartshorn
Robert Winning
Donna Robertson

Parkhead, a village in the Barony parish of Glasgow, situated about 2 miles to the east of the city. It is principally inhabited by the humbler orders of society, consisting of handloom weavers, carters, and labourers.—The population, in 1841, amounted to 1,150. Houses 260. The Glasgow water-works, erected in 1806, and situated upon the Clyde, are in the immediate vicinity of the village.

Taken from a story in the Eastern Standard 1926 a Description of Parkhead Cross

Great Eastern Road

A visitor to Lanarkshire cannot fail to be impressed that the many towns round the coal and iron field seem to be merging into one vast city, at which state, sooner or later, they are fated to arrive. Too often it is forgotten that this is exactly how Glasgow happens to be the Glasgow that we know.  Streets like Great Eastern Road serve as a reminder of historic growth. It might be termed the missing link (as a humorous Sandyhills golfer remarked of his club when three consecutive players duffed their tee-shots).

It joins Camlachie to the old world village of Parkhead, bearing the disjointed: just growed: appearance that shows traces of Glasgow’s evolutionary movement eastwards and if the Boundaries Bill can make any impression on Sassenach statesmen who know naught of the problems involved. That movement is not yet finished.

Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In its Alpha stages Great Eastern Roads existence is of the Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde variety due to the foresight that made it an imposing main thorough fare and raised the level above the old, or Laigh road.

The old road however, as if to make up for the loss of Vinegar Hill and immortality, houses the soul satisfying liquid that the D.C.L. combine in their charity dispense for species. Bulloch, Lade and Company had these premises for many years before. When liberals used to tell fairy stories of Free Competition; to the electorate. Days and beliefs have changed hereabouts.

Camlachie Institute, which , belieing its almost 40 years in its handsome appearance, ministers to the local political and social needs, is next in the eastward scheme of the Great Eastern road. And just over the street is the well-known oil firm of Marks and Johnston, whose chief, Mr Marks passed away quite recently.

Camlachie School

Camlachie Public School smartened up by having stone defects rectified recently, is under the genial Mr Goldie; the dominies here caused jealous flutters in religious dovecots by creating a record in Jumble Sale proceeds some time ago; the janitor, Mr Woods, is secretary of the Glasgow and West of Scotland Ex Naval Association, and a prime mover in their Widows and Children’s Christmas Treat, now an established event. A real hard worker, Mr Woods.

A little further east to the right stands the Old Toll House finely preserved and still habitable. There used to be iron posts on the pavement here to mark the limits; the horse-cars made this their terminus, in Dalrymple days when a journey to Coatbridge was regarded as we do a trip to London.

Jeanfield Cemetery, (not Janefield as is supposed and as the street in Parkhead is named) was established in 1845 and opened in August 1847. Here the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep (this is the aptest quotation in my volume, although not too apposite) Mr James Moore, the popular Calton registrar at 90 Great Hamilton Street, has been Secretary and treasurer for many years.

Victim of Disruption

To the left is Parkhead Parish Church founded in 1838 as Camlachie  Church a mission station under the Rev. Mr.Easson who died in 1842;  The Rev.James Findlay the successor ;came out; in the stirring Disruption days of 1843; the church suffered in the turmoil and closed till 1852., when still as a preaching station, it was reopened under the Rev. Alex Rattray,M A.in 1864 it was endowed as Parkhead Quoad Sacra parish Church. Mr Rattray passed away in 1904 and was succeeded in June 1905 by the Rev,D,Hunter Brodie,M.A ;B.D, the present popular minister.

Passing Van Street where Mr J,H,Kelly, a well known unionist politician, makes the articles in question, one sees to the right the counterblast to the D.C.L..Barrs Lemonade Works. This is built on the site of the Belvedere Bowling Clubs first green of which more anon. At the corner of Parkhead Cross the imposing building takes the place of a two storey one, where Gibbie Watson had a bakery .and the old  post-office was. Davie Willox to whom no one who writes of Parkhead can fail to be indebted, tells of a pawn shop ,too, at the corner of Burgher Street , kept by an irrepressible Irishman, Charlie Gallagher, and which no doubt ,had a plenitude of customers.

BROWNS LAND

At the corner of Helenvale Street , where the Library now stands, was a celebrated land mark, Browns Land where in 1850, a widely known Tollcross Primitive Methodist worker, Mr Robert Kerr ,still happily with us, was born of parents engaged in the staple industry , handloom weaving. Mr Kerr who on the 10th of this month preached in Tollcross P,M Church used to work with the old Parkhead and Westmuir Economical Society. Opposite at Montgomery’s Opening ,is the site of the Old Bog Hole, where Parkhead Bowling Club, one of the first Kitty Kissing clubs in Glasgow, had their green. Belvedere, previously referred to, was an offshoot thereof. Montgomery’s Public House was the direct forerunner of the premises of Mr, Samuel Hay Gardner. The curious  whitewashed row of cottages to the right is none other than the celebrated landmark ,dear to all the old Parkhead people, The Shinty Ha. The exigencies of the road problem require its removal for very necessary road widening and removing of the built up promenade and the Shinty Ha, even as i write, is being steadily demolished.

The Tramway Department has transformed the outlook hereabouts. Helenvale Football Park, the best junior pitch in the Kingdom, and the depot premises, with all amenities, have blotted out many of the old landmarks. Parkhead Juniors of whom no words need be said in explanation ,have the site of  Hamiltons Park (so called after the farmer) for their present Helenslea Park.

Murder Most Foul

Nearby was the White Horse Inn , a hostelry that lives chiefly as the scene of a terrible drunken murder, the landlord, named Anderson ,murdering his wife in a drinking fit.

67 thoughts on “About Parkhead History

  1. Jonathan cox

    Love to hear from anybody who lived in frazer street I was born at number 13 in 1951 had some great pals and great memories

    Reply
  2. Joe.c

    Lived in Methven St ah remember Toni’s Chip shop,,,his father also had the newsagents on the corner,,,,,,my wee Ma (god rest her) worked at Belvedere hospital,,,,,a remember Joe the ragman,,,,,the guy’s singing round the back,,,,money wrapped in newspaper thrown out the window,,,,,Oh aye and the Salvation Army given it big licks on a Sunday morning with all the people with Hannover’s,,,,, hahahaha

    Reply
  3. betty irvine nee laurie

    enjoyed my day on saturday was good to see a few faces i knew and also all about where i grew up,looking forward to some more info as things progress as so much work was put into everything and so many people involved well done to all.

    Reply
  4. Jane Anderson

    I have been looking for information about my grandfather and gran Thomas and Helen Russell they emigrated to Peru around about 1900s and returned to Scotland 1916 because gran was pregnant with my mum Isabella Mcgregor Russell they lived around Parkhead area I think my grandad bought shops laundry. fruit shops sadly my Gran passed away when my mum was 10years old my grans maiden name was Mcgregor

    Reply
  5. a Paterson

    Loved reading Thomas Bell’s memory of Parkhead. I attended ST Michael’s Primary 1948-1953 Then on to St Mark’s Jr secondary 1953-1956.reading Thomas’s memories took me right back to my childhood. Thank You.

    Reply
  6. Andrew Irving Knox

    Hi, Does anyone know perhaps know what was located at 3 Thomson’s Lane Calton in 1842?
    My great grandfather Thomas Irvine was born there in 1842, whereas his brother and sisters were all born in Girvan, where my great great grandmother Sarah Irvine, nee Straiton’s family all lived. What was she doing in Glasgow? By 1851 she was back living in Girvan. Was 3, Thomson’s Lane perhaps some kind of hospital or infirmary? She appears to to have been staying in Glasgow without her husband, Samuel Irvine.

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hi Andrew,

      Glasgow PO Directories show 3 Thomson’s Lane was most likely housing with Alex Campbel, a Sherriff Officer residing there and also a Robert McGregor, a wine and spirit merchant also residing there. There was also a shuttle making business at number 18.

      Thomson’s Lane was later renamed Crownpoint Road.

      Reply
      1. James McGibbon

        Hello Bob, my uncle lived in Crownpoint Road. I have a postcard sent to him around 1907. It is addressed to Mile End which was a wee parish near Camlachie. Best Wishes Jimmy.

        Reply
  7. Colin Seivwright

    Hi there was a church on the Gallowgate called St Thomas Methodist Church,i am told there was a ww1 memorial in the Church when it closed around 1972 ,but nobody knows where it was moved to ,would you have any ideas. Thanks in advance.
    Colin.

    Reply
  8. jim cairney

    Hi I was born at 1296 juke St parhead not far from the cross, 1952. I remember the forge steel workes, and the white gates we used to swing on when they closed off the road to send the trains from one end to the other, my dad worked at haghill cleansing dot. He also worked week ends in the old granada picture house

    Reply
  9. Neil McLean

    Hi
    So interesting to read about Parkhead, I was born at 896 Springfield Rd behind a small shop. My dad Alex McLean grew up in the area and My Grandparents Wullie and Margaret McLean née Harris both lived at 16 Society St.

    I remember as a child waiting outside The Forge for my Pop who was a crane driver there, we moved to Australia in 1960 when I was 7 but I have been back a few times. The site has brought back all those conversations amongst my family of streets and people they all knew.
    Thank You

    Reply
  10. ChristineKnox

    GG Grandparents Joseph Green and Mary Green nee Gore lived at 541 Great Eastern Road both potters Anyone have a link?

    Reply
  11. Maria Lees

    Hi, just a long shot but looking to find a bit of information about a Robert Cross lived in Parkhead Area about 1933 would have been about 30 years old in 1933 he was married with a family at the time hoping someone can help me would be very Grateful for any info.Maria.

    Reply
  12. Rose Churchill

    It looks like my grandmother Agnes Docherty Doherty McDade lived at Parkhaed Glasgow. according to her son’s military records. Father James McDade no address given for him. They were living in Maryhill, Lanarkshire. Would there be anymore info about them . Charles, James’s father came from Ireland with his father John McDade. Is there any passenger list for coming over from Ireland to Scotland? Charles was 6m old when they came to Scotland in 1841. They went to live in the Rutherglen Civil Parish, Lanarkshire. lived on Muirkirk rd at that time. Would be grateful for any info. Rose

    Reply
  13. Gary farquhar

    Hi my name is Gary Farquhar and I stayed at 413 Janefield Street in 1966 it was the very first close in the street above the cafe on Springfield road and as you came into the close there was the remains of an old bakers shop on one side and the kitchen area to the right as you came out the close and looked across the road there was the electricity sub station still there. We were also sitting right above the railway tunnel looking down onto the old station and rail lines. We stayed there from 1965 to 1975.

    Reply
  14. Christine Boyce

    Thanks Bob. That’s great! My Dad was a blacksmith there and I’ m trying to
    Trace his pension for my mother.
    I appreciate your help.

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hi Christine,

      In the 1943-1944 Glasgow Post Office Directory the entry for the Croft was thus,
      Croft Bodybuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd,
      Motor Bodybuilders and Painters,
      1009 Gallowgate E1;
      Tel add; “Croftauto” Tel No. Bridgeton 3777

      My cousin was a spraypainter there and my uncle was a sign writer there also.

      Reply
  15. Kath Gibson nee McDermott

    I was born in 1955 the eldest of six children,parents Jim and Tess McDermott,we lived at 1282 London Road and left in 1964, still have fond memories of Glasgow,would love to hear from anyone who remembers the family

    Reply
  16. Fraser

    We are looking to open a local small cafe takeaway in the forge . We are looking for a theme for the cafe must be local history or relevance to area . Any ideas ?

    Reply
  17. Anne Callan

    A great big thank you to Bob Winning for all his help in finding the grave I was looking for and for sending me pictures. I think it is truly wonderful that people are so dedicated to do this work by giving up their time to help others. This is a great site! I now have it bookmarked.

    Thank you again.

    Anne Callan

    Reply
  18. Jean Chadwick

    Hi, This a long shot but he we go I was born in the Rottenrow in Glasgow 1953 and lived with my mother and father Annie & Archie MacLean in Macauslin Street, Glasgow my mother grew up never knowing her father and she would like to contact any of his family maybe someone knew he had a daughter by someone else she believes her father lived facing her in Macauslin Street and that he worked for British Rail in Glasgow Central he had a family who used to come across and look at me in the pram because my mothers father was married it was frowned apon in those days my mother was told to go along to central station and he would meet her but he never came out of the office, we don’t know his name only that he had a couple of kids who must be in their late 70’s early 80’s, they must have children of their own and grandchildren. My Grannies name was Margaret Sweeney my mother was know as Annie Sweeney. I would be grateful for any information no matter how small my mother is 85 this year and talks constantly about her biological father and I am conscious that time is going quick. Please help

    Reply
  19. tam

    love this site by the way,but makes me sad as well.my boyhood was spent in tollcross park and the streets of Parkheid.

    Reply
  20. Billy Kerr

    RE Stephen Reilly…I was born and bred in mc duff st…stayed there 1956/1976….I loved it there…connettas chippy was the best ever….there’s nothing left there now apart from the few shops on London road

    Reply
  21. Eddy McGeachie

    I was a wee bit surprised that there were not more references to Wm Beardmores, Parkhead Steelworks, where a lot of the Parkhead people were employed and the area prospered. I worked in their research department from 1953-63 and would like to hear from any of the people who knew me. I moved from Shettleston to the midlands in 1963 and then down south in 1965 where I did some hands on metal bashing for MOD.I really enjoyed the contributions about old Parkhead, some of which were before my time!

    Reply
    1. Thomas McCann Post author

      Hi Eddy, Beardmores was such a big steelworks we decided it should have its own page , we have been researching Beardmores and have still to get round to editing all the info we have to date, but with Christmas almost here i think it will be awile yet before we have the page up and running, Eddy if you have any info that you think will help please let us know , and we will be happy to include it

      Reply
  22. michael martin

    my grandmother stayed in the first houses to be built in quarryknowe street.her mother had got the house just as it was built at my grandmother (mary ann steel)known as molly lived there her full life in 86 quarryknowe street.my grans mum died whilst my gran was 15 years old.she had three younger brothers whom my gran went on to raise them.my gran then worked in the forge in parkhead(now a famous shopping mall)was where bombs and bullets and other ammunition was made.the sound of the beardmore hammer echoed throughout glasgow day & night during those bleak days of war.my gran got married to my grandad mr charles steel who worked in hillington rolls royce plant making aeroplane engines which was his job until retirement.my gran and grandad had three children.my aunt ann,my uncle charlie and my mum patricia.my gran & grandad went on to raise there family in 86 quarryknowe street.we (me my mum my dad michael’mick’martin my sister mandy and me also michael’mick’martin)lived in easterhouse.though in 1983 we moved to quarryknowe street as my gran was of ill health and my mum wanted to be near to take care of her.we lived in 156 quarryknowe street and that was were i spent my childhood.it was a great housing scheme with very friendly neighbours.sadly my gran & grandad are in heaven as is my dad.when quarryknowe street and surrounding streets(dalton street,edenwood street,caroline street and muiryfauld drive)were demolished.the new houses built in the area are a lot better for the people.my mum lives in one of the new houses in muiryfauld drive,surrounded by neighbours she grew up with.to this day 10/10/2013 quarryknowe street is just bare land.waiting on some sort of development(probably housing).i have really enjoyed sharing this and really enjoy reading the articles and others messages.thank you for your great work.michael martin

    Reply
  23. Jacqueline Wallace

    I was delighted to see the graves of gg grandfather John Wallace who were Agricultural Implement Makers. Could you please tell me where the grave is located and any other information you might have, I would be soo grateful . Kinds regards Jackie

    Reply
  24. kevin kearney

    your web site is terrififc tam I will be A frequent user I can spend hours on these sites I thought your site on the cemetry was brilliant old cemetrys facinate me

    Reply
  25. edna ovens nee lawson

    my mother lived at 255 westmuir street when i was born . i am looking for anyone who knew her or has heard of her from parents or grandparents. her name was agnes (nan) lawson.we came to australia in 1950. any info at all would be great.

    Reply
  26. Stephen Reilly Post author

    The Pancake
    I grew up in the four in a blocks opposite Belvedere Hospital in Newbank, I lived there in the 60sand 70s, I seem to remember that the land where the Helenvale flats are built was known as The Pancake, Does anyone know why?

    Reply
  27. Tricia

    Hi One of my relatives is the Annie Mc Killen mentioned as head teacher at st michaels infant school in the 40s. Is there any chance anyone has some stories they could share about her.

    Many thanks

    Reply
  28. Scott Anderson

    Hi folk, great site and well done and laid out.

    Would anyone on here by any chance of heard of a Jimmy Anderson who resided in Parkhead in the late 60’s early 70’s, he was my dad’s cousin and would have been in his 40’s at the time.

    Many Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Charles reilly

      I know a jimmy Anderson who stayed in the gallowgate across from the black bull he had four daughters.and married to nellie

      Reply
    2. Alex reynolds

      Jimmy and nellie passed away a long time ago the two oldest daughters passed away in the last five years.the second youngest alice was a nurse in belvidiere hospital their youngest daughter catherine i do not know what happened to her.they stayed in 1305 gallowgate i stayed above them

      Reply
  29. Christina

    My grat aunt lived at 146 westmuir st parkhead sometime in the early 20’s I believe. She then emigrated to USA around 1925 and married Robert Climie in Canada. She was a nurse and part time real estate agent. Just trying to find all my macGregor relatives since there is a sister of my grandfathers whom no one remembers her name. I’m trying to find out her name she died at 10 during the 17-19 flu epidemic.

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hi Christina,
      Since we have not heard fom you then we take it that the name we emailed you was not what you were looking for. Was it?

      Reply
  30. Maureen Cairncross Post author

    Janefield Cemetery
    Message I was delighted to see the grave of my Great Grandfather James Fyfe amongst the photographs of the Janefield Merchants. The business was sold 1902/03 as his Daughter Agnes Fyfe married Joe Muir another well known publican in Bridgeton.

    Reply
    1. Site

      Hi, just a long shot but looking to find a bit of information about a Robert Cross lived in Parkhead Area about 1933 would have been about 30 years old in 1933 he was married with a family at the time hoping someone can help me would be very Grateful for any info.Maria.

      Reply
  31. Maria Brown

    My fathers family were all brought up in Holywell Street,Camlackie. They were the McAuley family, Catherine,Margaret,John,James & Joseph, sadly only my dad James and his sister Margaret are still with us. He attended St Michael’s Primary and then St Marks. His sisters went to St Anne’s and St Marys schools. Often he tells us stories about playing in Jeanfield (eastern necroplis) cemetary, going down to the banks of the clyde, Camlackie Primary school, which i too remember, my dad can still tell you everyone who lived up his close no.9 and the amount of people who lived nearby in the surrounding area. When he is with you on a journey through the area he gives you a history lesson of the area, must admit enjoy it. His oldest sister Catherine lived in Cuthleton Street, in Lilleybank, her family name was Keegans, i remember the area well as we were often there as children in the early sixties and spent a lot of our lives in this area.

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hi Maria,
      Thanks very much for your comment. Have a look at the menu section under Reminiscences of Parkhead where you will see some memories of Parkhead from a few people. We would absolutely love to hear your dad’s (and family) memories of Parkhead which we no doubt would let us all share the history lesson as well as jogging other peoples memories and perhaps get them to contribute also. We want as many people as possible to give us their memories of the area. So please start noting down and send us your dads memories and we will publish them.
      Thanks again.

      Reply
  32. Billy Kerr

    My name is billy Kerr born mc duff st newbank,1956 .went to newlands then rivvy.married to Ann mc namee born and bred oh quarryknowe stbin 1955 .went to quarrybrae then wellshot.we would love to hear from any old freinds who remember us

    Reply
  33. Cathrine Brown

    Hi, Would anyone know where McCauslin Street is or was. I may have mis-spelt it, but my family lived there, they were in the tenements, a pawn shop was opposite and public baths were at the end of the street. Any help in locating this street would be appreciated.

    Thankyou.

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hi Catherine,
      It may be McCaslin Street you are thinking of. It still exists in Townhead, Glasgow. If you type St. Mungos Church into Google Maps it will take you to McCaslin Street and you can go to street view to see it as it is today.

      Also if you go to the Virtual Mitchell site and do a street search for McCaslin Street there are 10 photos of it from the 1960’s

      Try this link;
      http://www.mitchelllibrary.org/virtualmitchell/index.php?a=street&s=gallery&key=rYToxOntpOjA7czoxMDoiTWNBc2xpbiBTdCI7fQ==

      Reply
      1. pwm437

        Hi Catherine, McAslin Street ran from 19 Martyr Street to 307 Parliamentary Road and was named after John McAslin, a partner in the firm of Austin & McAslan. Parts of the street were previously known as Albert Street and Catherine Street. The street was a mixture of tenements and small works, and at number 340 stood the Catholic Apostolic Church, built in 1852 to a design by Augustus Welby Pugin.

        Like much of Townhead McAslin Street no longer exists.

        Reply
  34. Mary Ann

    Great to see a site about Parkhead. My mum was born at 412 Westmuir in 1913. Except for a period between 1923 and 1927 her Bradley family had always lived on Westmuir. They lived at 448 from 1927 to about 1992.

    Reply
    1. Ann Marie

      Hi Mary Ann

      My mum lived at 448 westmuir st next door to Phil Bradley. mum and Phil worked for the same company I remember Phil sister too but can,t remember her name.

      Reply
      1. Mary Ann

        Sorry Ann Marie I didn’t get notice of your message. I was here today looking at old pictures. My aunt was called Mary. Her married name was Gemmell. If I remember correctly she ran a tobacconist store at one point but I’m not sure on what street. Philip Bradley died in 1992. Mary moved to the Hull area about 1980ish and died in 2010.

        Reply
  35. john fegan

    I really enjoyed the site but I think you should include the presence of the Catholic schools and churches in the area for the benefit of us who attended them.

    Reply
    1. pwm437

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your post. We have been in touch with St Michael’s and await a reply. It is our intention to include as many aspects of life in Parkhead as possible.

      Peter

      Reply
  36. Mary Lou McRae

    I think the Gibbie Watson bakery in Parkhead was my Great Grandfather Gilbert Watson who lived from Jan.4,1837 to August 4, 1894.
    Any more information and pictures you have would be great. I am attempting to write a children’s book about the stories that were past down to me from my mother and grandmother Margaret Gardner Gilbert’s daughter.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Bob Winning

      Hello Mary Lou,

      The Gilbert Watson we refer to was born in 1799 and died in 1866. The Gilbert Watson you refer to was his son and therefore our Gilbert was your Great Great Grandfather.

      Reply
  37. Charlie McDpnald

    Tam

    I am convinced that the White Horse Inn mentioned in the murder most foul story was actually the Tollcross Tavern building as we know it today. Seems Mr.Anderson was spared the galllows and sentence to 15 years transportation.

    Reply

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