Growing up in Parkhead

Growing up in Parkhead

T McCann

Well I suppose we should all start at our school days.  I went to Newlands  Primary then Riverside Secondary School.  I remember being happy at Primary, but I’m afraid I can’t say the same for Secondary school.  The only happy memory I have of Riverside was going on the SS Uganda to Russia.  My pal Charles Clark also went on the trip.  His family ran the bakers in Springfield Road  (Sampson’s) whose Jock’s Loaves were a thing of legend.

We lived at 77 Whitby Street  and had a great view of the Pancake Works that  later became the high flats.  My parents worked on Saturdays  and the job of ‘going the messages’ was passed down from my older brother to me.  No more long lye ins!

The first shop on the list was always Curley’s on Springfield Road where I would stand red faced as the woman would come away with sayings like if “I was 20 years younger I would be your girlfriend”.  I think they meant 30 years by the look of some of them!  I remember the big block of butter that sat on the counter that would be cut with a piece of wire, then knocked into shape with wooden  paddles.  Next on the list would be Sampson’s Bakers for a Jock’s Loaf, up past Frank Cross Butchers who, when he saw me, would always wave out or ask how my dad was doing.  We didn’t buy anything from Frank’s as my dad owned a Butchers on Tollcross Road called ‘George’s’.  Next was my favourite stop and that was Cook’s on Springfield Road for my Commando comic and a look at the airfix models in the window.  You could also swap your Marvel comics there for a small fee – I remember the inside covers were stamped.

Across the road was Maxwell’s Leather shop.  I still think of that shop when I smell leather – even on holiday.  The woman that served, I remember, was always nice.

Now the heavy message bags!  Yes – the fruit and veg from Mary McCaulay’s, where everyone wanted Mary McCauley herself to serve them.  Mary would have to please everybody while polishing the apples for her display.

Woolworths in Westmuir Street was always a favourite shop to visit with its pick ‘n’ mix as soon as you walked through the door, and at that time being into music Woolworths always displayed who was Number One that week.  There was another music shop in Parkhead next to the toilets in Burgher Street.

I would then make my way home, sometimes stopping at Jim Morgan’s Newsagents in Dechmont Street for a Lucky Totty or an MB bar.

Tam McCann

16 thoughts on “Growing up in Parkhead

  1. John Frew

    Lived at 98 westmuir Street opposite Prince Charlie my first job was in the co-op Scotch my mum Marion and her sisters isa and Sarah had the news agents next to woolies,auld Mary and her son in the fruit shop may more characters about parkhead Ellen fruit shop next to the charlie Alfie Allan ,s caravan ham eggs ham hocks he also had a shabeen ,barney mcshanes,the daft shop salamanca Street with most of my pals Ian mcintrye,John fox,John rice his brother Frank,James Hamilton to name a few great memories of parkhead

  2. Karen Armenti

    My Great Aunt Annie had a little shop on London Road opposite Celtic Park in the 1950’s. It sold fruit and veg and lots of different things I believe. I’m told my mum worked there and that’s how they managed to buy their first TV. Would anyone have any memories of this shop?

  3. Jean Quigley

    Hi my own name was Jean Usher lived in McEwan St also went to Newlands School ,then Riverside remember going to Co-OP ,Frank Cross the Butcher Macauley’s for the fruit and vegetables if you were lucky you got a chipped apple, also the bakers across from the school where sometimes you got broken cakes happy days ,loved going to Cooks the book shop for comics ,loved Parkhead

    1. Gerry Watters

      I knew a Jim Usher from McEwan St, he used to have fish tanks in the hall as you walked in the front door, same close as the Eddie and Stevie Brown. I lived in Helenvale St #62. Happy days

  4. Alan Milligan

    I lived at No.9 Malcolm Street from 1942 -1949 (0-7years old). We lived one stair up in a single end (one room) my mum, dad younger brother and sister. My grandparents lived in the next tenement no. 11 three stairs up (a room and kitchen). Our name was Milligan. My grandfather’s brother lived around the corner near Celtic Park. I attended Newlands Primary School until we left to live in Pollok one of the first post war housing estates. Some memories are of the A.G.Barr horses and carts leaving the factory once per week to make their deliveries. Horses being horses Malcolm Street became a little smelly on these occasions. We would visit the Black Cat cinema on Springfield Road on a Saturday. On one occasion when I was six I was whisked off to the Belvedere Infirmary with scarlet fever and spent three weeks there in an isolated children’s ward with only an occasional wave to my parents. I recall on the odd occasion being asked to meet my father on a Friday at lunchtime to to collect his salary somewhere between Malcom St. and Beardmore’s where he worked and to get it to my mother ASAP as she was so hard-up. Some errand for a six year old! I have a photo taken in our back court by a street photographer showing me with my brother and other friends. Maybe you will recognise yourself .

  5. Sam

    Has any one any memories or know the O’Neil family
    Robert O’Neil father
    Christina O’Neil Mother

    They had 10 children
    Christina Steel O’Neil born 1933

    And sorry I cannot remember them all of the top of my head.

    I really would appreciate any information you may have please

  6. John Smith

    Hi Irene, sorry I don’t have any photos of the old days, wish I had.
    The guy who had cancer was my grandad, Marys husband…..Jimmy, he had cancer of the voice box and lost his voice.
    My dad died very young a few years after (his mother) Mary.
    The shop was then sold as the forge had been built and there was no future in it.

  7. Helen Nell Ross

    Hi Tam, loved yir wee tale aboot Parkheid. Ah used tae go tae Cooks anaw fur Little Dot, Little Lotta, Richie Rich and the Classic Illustrated Comics, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Jane Eyre etc. Great Stuff enjoyed reading it, only wan complaint, it wiz too short xxx

  8. linda barr


    I remember Westmuir St well being brought up in Parkhead. I remember going to Mary McAulays fruit shop and queing up to buy fruit and vegetables it always fasinated me Mary polishing the fruit and taking out any that were bad I also remember her son working their aswell everyone new Mary and the staff well and their was always plenty banter. I attended Newlands School then Riverside my maiden name was Brown and I lived in the wee low down building next to Adams scrapyard. Ann Aitken and myself grew up together going to the Granada on a Saturday afternoon which was a treat. I also remember Irvines dairy springfield rd and remember going to Cooks for my comic. The sweet shop was also there and I would go in and ask for the penny tray which was also a treat, you could have a caramel, lucky potato, swizzles etc. Really good memories.

    Linda Barr(Brown)

    1. Irenehart

      Hi Linda….thanks for that. I remember you well as I lived in the same street as Ann. If you have any old photos or other memories we would be glad to have them.

  9. Marina Mathieson

    My gran ŵalked from Silverburn street in Carntyne. She had a lovely flat in westmuir street first. Her name was Robinson and they stayed at 24 Westmuir Street. Margaret, Josie, and Mary too!! My gran and her brother had a dairy too in Parkhead.

  10. Marina Mathieson

    My gran shopped there on a daily basis. I remember a son who has no voice because of cancer who worked there all time!!!

  11. John Smith

    Mary Macaulay was my granny, great memories of being in the shop and giving my dad a hand in with the fruit n veg, shop was always queued out to the door, she was always in from the back of six till closing time, 6 days a week, that was her life.

  12. Catherine Murray

    Hi Tam

    Enjoyed your wee walk down memory lane above. Didn’t know anything about your site until Peter told me yesterday when I went on his Bridgeton tour. Have just had a quick glance at the site and my goodness it’s going to take me quite a while to get through it, but from first glance it looks amazing. Am looking forward to immersing myself in Parkhead and its history! Thank you all. Hope you’re keeping well.



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