Old Parkhead – Local History
Pensioners Action Group East
An Extract From PAGE Xmas 1985 Issue
Parkhead was part of a mining area extending eastwards through Tollcross, Uddingston and into Lanarkshire in general.
The local pit, known as “The Balloon” stretched from the “Pump Rigs” (now Sorby Street) to just past Caroline Street.
The appellation “Pump Rigs” was derived from two foot bridges which crossed over wet ground to the pit head. Bogeys conveyed the slag to a bing on which the tenement at Southbank Street, Sorby Street and Westmuir Street now stands, and as the foundation was being laid it was found to be sinking. As a counter measure to rectify this, bags of cement and railway sleepers were deposited to achieve a firmer more substantial foundation.
During recent times, on the course of repair work a large pool of water was discovered under the shops in Westmuir Street and minor ground collapses recurred in Southbank Street.
The ground near Caroline Street, which is now a children’s playground, was formerly a tenement known as “The Balloon” because of its nearness to the pit of the same name.
Some of the buildings now demolished, located in Westmuir Street, included Roy’s a veterinarian, and Hart’s Mansion house and Stables located in Ravel Row. Further down Westmuir Street at Winning Row, there was a thatched cottage occupied by an old woman known as “Granny Much” because of the head-dress she habitually wore. Up to its demolition the cottage was the oldest building in Parkhead.
Parkhead, in the early years of this century also contained many hand loom weavers cottages, most prominent of these were the row of cottages with the attics on the upper part. This row began at the end of the wash-house where the corporation houses are and ended at “The Tavern” pub. The houses were fronted by a series of walls containing a series of steps which led to the upper part of the “Dykes”, later iron railings were erected at the edge of the “Dykes” above the street.
At the junction of Westmuir Street and Great Eastern Road, (now Tollcross Road) was Wilson, the bakers shop, which had an outside stair leading to the house upstairs.
A few yards from the front of the shop were situated an underground public lavatory and a marble drinking fountain/trough. The bakers shop is now a bank.
Helenvale Street, formerly known as the “Coach Road” as it led to a mansion house, and also to London Road.
Behind the library there was a farmhouse with cows grazing and a bridge over the railway line heading to other pastures and wheat fields which covered the ground from Helenvale Street to Maukinfauld Road. On the opposite side of the road from Belvidere Hospital to Clyde Iron Works was McGregor’s Farm.
Where the TSB is at Burgher Street was a Doctor Young’s house. Burgher Street was then a series of one and two storied houses.
From the now derelict “Kent’s Grain Store” to a lane at Barrs Works was a ground floor level of small shops. The lane was designated “Elba Lane” after the battle of Elba, and had a row of whitewashed cottages down its length.
Parkhead Juniors, a famous club had a ground called “Helenslea” where Beatock Street and Powfoot Street are now.
On the left side of Canmore Street, there was a row of whitewashed cottages called “The Ree”. Where Canmore Street spans the railway line there was abridge where the more adventurous climbed the projecting stones that jutted out from both sides of the bridge.
Newbank, Lilybank and Parkhead bus depot were at that time farmland.
Across from the cemetery stood a building containing a pen close, which had the cognomen of the “Winnart (Wandered) Lawn” and the “Puddin Pop” respectively