Dalmarnock Street

Dalmarnock Street

Where Old Folks Sigh For Things That Were

In many respects  streets are very much akin to human beings , Like human beings they ofton in age lose the promise and virility of there youth, experiencing, like humans the bitterness of physical and spiritual decline . Like a woman their past is often more interesting than there present. Like a man they ofton outlive their days of usefulness and service and persist in staying in harness; long after they should have been removed, however honourably , in favour of more youthful, more progressive types.

Dalmarnock Street is scarcely in such plight, its defects are neither accentuated nor aggravated by extreme age , they are little or nothing more than the transparent faults of all city streets where space is at a premium and human health and comfort secondary, considerations to owner architect and builder .


But , withal one cannot suppress a sneaking regret for the Dalmarnock Street that industrialism killed. Even yet old people with the heterodoxy of age, think of the Dalmarnock Street of cottages and gardens with a glimpse of green here and there, contrast it with the new order, and doubt if this is progress.Are they wrong?

It is curious that the pungent, descriptive, often more brutal faculty of stamping men and things with the indelible brand of a “nickname”, possessed in so high a degree by the working class, particularly the weavers of last century, should have disappeared almost entirely.

Dry Thrapple –a wealth of meaning, a dictionary of descriptive adjectives, a vists of conjecture is contained in this sapient old nickname, of Dalmarnock Street Dry Thrapple—was it descriptive of the faculty for absorption in the inhabitants?. Or a reminder that a fine well made it a venue of all so afflicted? Or one of a thousand obscure bur equally likely origins? I bank on the inhabitant theory!


The old Dalmarnock Street was largely composed of little one storey houses, chiefly inhabited by the handloom weaver class, a fearless independent, advanced type whose traces still remain in the East End community, Each house had a plot in front and an area of ground at the rear which afforded to the personality of each owner a source of expression and outlet in cultivation, an opportunity now gone forever to the city dwellers of Dalmarnock Street.

On the site of the spacious Newlands School built some thirty odd years ago, was the famous Carrick Well, a source of particulary good quality of water. Ex Bailie Willox, in his Reminiscences of Parkhead, opines that a small payment was exacted for supply, as the well was privately owned,and an informant, whom i approached, confirmed the belief. Being a natural water source the well gave great trouble at the building of the school, difficulty being experienced in stopping it.



On the same side    , near to McDougall Street, were several of a better type of cottage, the occupiers of which were regarded locally as the toffs, of the community. One of the residents of the Parkheads West End was Mr Robertson, then supervisor of Janefield Cemetery, whose garden as befitted his position, was one of the sights of the district.

Nearby was a large park on which Ex Bailie Willox, as a boy herded Kye, The site of the present Black Cat Picture House was occupied by cottages and on the same side was a large corn field. As to the modern Dalmarnock Street little need be said.

At the top the Co-operative Insurance societies local premises front those of two well known local gentlemen who combine the duel amusements of rent collectors and emigration agents the former, the more exiting i should think. Nearby lived, until his death recently, Mr Walker, the well known and highly popular –G.O.M. of Parkhead Primitive Methodism. A son is in business in the street.


No.63 is the birthplace of a well known minister,the Rev. William Rock, M.A, formerly assistant of Bluevale Parish Church, and now of St James, Kirkcaldy. His parents, life long Parkheadians, reside further down Dalmarnock Street. Newlands School is particularly proud of Mr Rock, probably their most brilliant pupil.

Mr Pickard, whose addition to the gaiety of nations and the brighter Glasgow, movement scarcely needs recapitulation, turned his attention to Dalmarnock Street some three years ago. The Black Cat is the result. Like all Pickard features it is original—tip-up chairs and what not and most popular with the proletariat.

Celtic Park lends the lustre of a distant view—together with a wee shot of one or two brake clubs weekly, to Dalmarnock Street for which it is duly grateful.

Our subject ends on a spiritual note ,two pubs both doing well, thank you.

Eastern Standard 1925