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Dennistoun: No Mean Streets

by Ian R. Mitchell

Photo: building slide. The district of Dennistoun is an island. Not only is it physically situated on rising ground above Townhead, Brigton and Parkhead, but it was, and remains, socially an island of unfliniching respectability in the surrounding East End of Glasgow. For many working class folk in that part of the town, Dennistoun was the summit of their social ambitions. While socialist activists on Glasgow Green hoped to lead the working classes to the promised land, most of them would just have settled for Dennistoun.

The Glasgow singer Lulu moved to Dennistoun as a girl from Brigton, and said: ( I Don't Want to Fight),

'When we moved from Soho Street across the railway bridge to Garfield Street, it was only a couple of hundred yards, but mentally it was a lot further. We had edged slightly up in the world because we now lived closer to Duke Street and further away from the Gallowgate. There weren't so many poorly dressed kids or runny noses.'

Andrew Stewart dedicated a book of photographs of the area, Old Dennistoun, to his parents whom, of whom he says that they, "had one of their hopes fulfilled when we moved house from Townhead to Dennistoun." Like Lulu, he had moved a very short distance, but into an area that signified an important step up the social ladder. A mark of its social status and respectability is that until the 1960s, in a city renowned for its alcohol abuse, the Dennistoun area was "dry".

But had things developed differently, Dennistoun would not be a by-word for working class respectability, but instead a residential area for the upper and middle classes to rival Glasgow's West End. Alexander Dennistoun was from a Glasgow banking family, and in 1856 he engaged the renowned Victorian architect James Salmon to plan and lay out a residential suburb called after him. Only a few streets were built in the 1860s and 1870s, before the spread of the heavy industries roundabout caused the plan to be aborted. Tucked away between Duke Street and Alexandra Parade, the villas and terraces which remain from Salmon's grand design are one of the little known treasures of Glasgow.

In 1872 John Tweed's Guide to Glasgow and the Clyde had this area very definitely on the tourist itinerary, recommending a walk to "the pleasant suburb of Dennistoun. It is well laid out and contains many fine villas and lodges. The approach by Alexandra Parade is very fine."

Photo: building slide. The area was subsequently feued for the building of tenements from the 1880s, although of a quality generally much higher than the rest of the East End. At first these were expected to attract middle class tenants, but by 1914 Dennistoun had instead become the residential location of the aristocracy of the working class.

And Dennistoun had had another false start before finding its identity, being a location of one of the birthplaces of the industrial revolution. In the 1770's George Macintosh, in partnership with David Dale of New Lanark, established a factory in Dennistoun, to the east of the present Necropolis. This was set up to produce cudbear, a dye for the textile industry. As well as the factory built a model village for his workers, with housing and educational facilities. The roll call at the Dunchattan works every morning was in Gaelic, for Macintosh employed only Gaelic speakers. The reason for this was not that the Highlanders had a good reputation as hard workers (on the contrary) but that being Gaelic speakers, and being discouraged from communicating with people from outwith the settlement (he even surrounded the factory with a high wall), Macintosh hoped to be able to protect his industrial secrets from competitors.

George's son Charles continued the business and experimented in industrial chemistry, having taken classes with Joseph Black at Glasgow University. He discovered that ammonia, in the form of naptha, a by-product to the making of his cudbear, would dissolve rubber. This gave birth to the waterproofing of textiles, and the dubbing of such garments as "mackintoshes". Shortly before his death in 1843, Macintosh moved the works to Manchester and Dennistoun's contribution to industrial progress ceased, for it never gain became a centre of industry. This period is however commemorated in the naming of the 1970's and 80's housing at Dunchattan Street and Macintosh Court, on the site of the former works.

Photo: building slide. After this experiment ended, people tended to live in Dennistoun, but not to work in it. For, unlike many of the other areas of Glasgow where housing and manufacturing were in close proximity, industry was located at the edges of Dennistoun. To the east lay the chemical works, to the south the slaughterhouse, and to the north the steelworks and gasworks separated from Dennistoun by the Monklands Canal. All firmly outwith the residential streets of the area. Later, Alexandra Parade became the centre of Glasgow's cigarette industry and was awarded the name Tobacco Road. But even there, you were past the factories before you arrived at the tenement buildings. With its lack of industry and its good housing, it is easy to understand why so many in Calton or Camlachie looked enviously uphill at the denizens of Dennistoun.

Dennistoun's position as the area's jewel in the crown was recognised when it was chosen to stage both the East End Industrial Exhibitions, that of 1890-91 and the subsequent one in 1903-4; 750,000 attended the first and over a million the second. The first raised £3000 for the building of the People's Palace, which many expected would be in Dennistoun's Alexandra Park, but was instead placed on Glasgow Green The educational exhibits drew crowds, but the main event was the "Buffalo Bill" Wild West Show, starring Colonel Cody himself. Dennistoun was later to produce many characters in the world of entertainment to rival Buffalo Bill. A statue commemorates Buffalo Bill's visit in a new block of flats just off Whitehill Street.

Which brings us back to Lulu. Let us start, as she did, with a railway crossing. The train today deposits the traveller at Bellgrove Station and on exiting, to the left is Brigton , literally on the wrong side of the tracks. To the right across the railway bridge which Lulu saw a social marker, is Dennistoun. On crossing Duke Street, and heading up Westercraigs, you are in the heart of what was actually executed of Salmon's plans for a grand suburb. Salmon himself originally lived here, and so too did Sir William Arrol, who opened his Dalmarnock Iron Works in Brigton in 1868, and who is best remembered for the construction of the Forth Bridge in 1890. It should be remembered that in the 1860s the University was still in the nearby High Street, less than a mile away; its move westwards was a fatal blow to Salmon's great plans.

At the bottom of Westercraigs is Annfield Place, terraced houses formerly occupied by lawyers, doctors and engineers- and now the location of the offices of the same professions, since these people don't live in Dennistoun, respectable though it is. But once off Duke Street such terraces replicate themselves and are still quality housing, with the larger villas on the left. At the top of the hill is the delightful Broompark Circus. Hereabouts it is really hard to believe that you are in Glasgow's East End. Just north of this area were the tobacco factories, and some of the land abandoned is being developed for modern quality housing. Gentrification is nibbling at the edges of Dennistoun.

Photo: Fountain. Glasgow's connection with tobacco goes back to the eighteenth century and the Tobacco Lords, who make their wealth from the trade in the weed with the American colonies. The cigarette industry was a much later development, making the fortunes of such as Stephen Mitchell, whose legacy endowed the Mitchell Library in the city. One of his factories was located at Alexandra Parade, and is now refurbished as a collection of studios, the Wasp Factory, for arts workers. Next to it stands the Players' factory, an imposing, though rather late example of Art Deco completed in the early 1950s. This too has ceased cigarette production and was refurbished as a business centre for high tech and advertising firms. Today Glasgow's only connection with tobacco lies sadly in its continued high consumption by its citizens of cigarettes, and the consequent high mortality rates.

Alexandra Parade is a pleasant street of solid tenements, with neat gardens on the north side and neat shops on the south, which leads to Alexandra Park. Outside is found a good example of Glasgow iron work, a fountain beside the park gates. But if this impresses, you are in for a greater delight. Inside the park can be found possibly the finest example of the work of the Saracen Iron Foundry still to be seen in Glasgow. Walter Macfarlane built this at Possil, and exhibited it at the 1901 International Exhibition; thereafter it was relocated to the park, and it has recently been restored. The classical figures represent Art, Literature, Science and Commerce.

I was taking some photographs, and got into conversation, as is often unavoidable in Glasgow. A local, obviously proud of the fountain, told me that there used to be fish in it, and that as a kid he would come and catch them.

"It's disgraceful," he added "There should still be fish in it."

"Maybe if you hadn't kept catching them, there still would be?" I suggested.

Alexandra Park was opened in 1870, supposed to be an East End equivalent of the West End's Kelvingrove, a polite watering place. The westward flight of the middle classes has left the folk of Dennistoun with a huge area for recreation, and a very fine park.

Formerly the inhabitants, and especially the weans, had more exciting attractions. Before the motorway the Monklands canal separated Dennistoun from the city to the north, and the canal banks were a favourite recreational spot, especially the waterfall at Riddrie Locks, which flowed once the locks became derelict. Further on at Riddrie Knowes were the Sugerolly Mountains, multi coloured chemical deposits where the kids would go sledging in winter, doubtless at great but unknown threats to their health.

Just after the park gates lies the former United Free Church built in 1904, and whose hall was designed by James Salmon 11, grandson of the original Dennistoun planner. Salmon didn't get the contract for the Church, to his chagrin, but history has turned his hall into the modern church, while the Church itself has been converted into flats. A fine Faith, Hope and Love motif crowns the building. Just further on Kennyhill Square, with its prim bowling green, is the heart of Dennistoun respectability, with trim tenements and wally closes. Jack House was brought up here, and describes his boyhood in Pavement in the Sun.

Photo: Criminal law image. At the far end of the Parade, where the park ends, you come to Haghill, an area built later than the Parade and of poorer tenemented housing; here you feel you are struggling to keep your feet above the waters of the east end. This feeling is confirmed as you walk south down Cumbernauld Road towards Duke Street and overlook the lands towards Parkhead, once occupied by the chemical works, but now occupied by a bakery. A pub unashamedly proclaiming its sectarian alliegance and a Criminal Lawyer's office announces that even douce Dennistoun has its underbelly. I stooped to take a photo of the quaint mural in the lawyer's window. Out of the aforementioned pub staggered a punter, watching me curiously, then stating,

"He'll no get ye aff"

I asked for an explanation and found out that my new friend thought I was in need of legal aid, in relation to some unspecified offence, and recommended another pratictioner to me.

"He gets ivverybody aff," I was assured, and noted the fact for future use.

From Duke Street station Duke Street, the longest in Britain, stretches away east. Staying on the Dennistoun side of the railway is one world, but a few yards in the opposite, it is another. There are no waste plots in Dennistoun but as you head towards Parkhead you enter the third world of abandoned rubbish, waste ground occupied by dookits, and boarded-up and even burnt out housing. You can understand the desperation with which the respectable working classes sought to differentiate themselves from the underclass. To this day the sternest critics of the lumpenproletariat are the better-off working class.

Heading back along Duke Street this underworld is left behind , and we are passing again through well maintained shops and tenements. To the north of Duke Street at Whitehill Street was the home of another famous Glasgow entertainer, Dorothy Paul, whose Revelations of a Rejected Soprano tells of her upbringing in Dennistoun in the 1940s and 50s. This warm and amusing book tells of a mid 20th century working class upbringing and life, with sympathy and a lack of the sentimentalism so often an aspect of Glasgow sterrheed writing.

Dorothy went to Whitehill School in Dennistoun, which, before comprehensive education, was the senior secondary for a large part of Glasgow's east end. It is therefore unsurprising that it was the nursery of much popular talent, especially in the fields of entertainment and culture. Dorothy admits in her autobiography that she was not a model pupil, and her irreverent attitude to her teachers probably didn't help,

'We were waiting for the teacher to arrive when who should walk in the door but Tojo the Japanese war criminal. I thought he had been hanged, but no he was a maths teacher in Whitehill Senior Secondary.'
'Our (history) teacher was a ringer for John Christie the mass murderer. He drooled over blood and gore, and later "found God". He ended going around the streets of Glasgow making a cult of himself.'

Dorothy's career has had its ups and downs, and when after a difficult period, she had re-established herself, she returned to Whitehill to pioneer her first one woman show for the staff and pupils. I had been fortunate enough to teach Dorothy history when she was an outstanding mature student at Clydebank College and was also fortunate to be invited to this performance. And triply fortunate in that the comments on my teaching abilities in her book are thankfully less critical than those on her Whitehill history teacher. Aside from Dorothy, the school produced Lulu, Ricki Fulton the entertainer, Jack House the writer on Glasgow's history, as well as Adam Macnaughtan, composer of modern-day street songs, and Alisdair Gray, author of Lanark, and considered by many to be Scotland's greatest living writer, and the actor Bill Patterson. Quite a crop.

Dennistoun denizens have produced many autobiographies, and I have referred to some. (In fact they have produced more than any other area of the city, far ahead of Brigton and Gorbals, poor seconds.) Common themes emerge from perusing these. Most Dennistounians were the offspring of skilled or white collar workers. Dorothy's dad was an electrician, Jack house's a steelworks clerk, Rikki Fulton's was a locksmith (he first worked in Singers in Clydebank but later opened his own shop). Most also appear to have had "kirkie" upbringings; the Boys Brigade, the Church Choir etc. Apart from the inevitable involvement in the Co-Operative Society, few in Dennistoun appear to have had serious political leanings in an otherwise political city. Their lives were a far cry from the standard visions of Glasgow working class life - or mostly they were.

Photo: building slide. Once the Carnegie Library, built in the 1890s, appears on your right just off Duke Street you are back near your starting place, with Salmon's villas and terraces on that right side, and the tenements on your left. Here in Garfield Street was where Lulu lived, but her experience of Dennistoun was not happy - or typical. A little further on lie the ruins of the corporation abbatoir where her father worked; symbolically it straddles the railway line between Dennistoun and Brigton. For Lulu's dad was a drunkard and a wife-beater, as she makes clear in her autobiography. Further he was a part of the East End semi-criminal underworld, regularly stealing quantities of meat from the abbatoir and selling it to local butchers.

Adam Macnaughtan's song Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice describes an unsavoury character at the Dennistoun Palais; he gets unseemingly drunk and then behaves badly to a young lady. The song emphasises that he was not from Dennistoun,

Oot o the east there came a hard man
Oh, ho aa the wye fae Brigton.
Went intae a pub, came oot paralytic
Oh, ho V.P. and cider, a heeluva mixture

I feel sure that the inhabitants of Dennistoun would have looked disapprovingly at Lulu's dad, and ascribed his bad behaviour to his origins. And ascribed their own avoidance of such a fate to their good fortune in being raised in an area which, above all, valued and epitomised working class respectability.

For the vast majority of working people, even in "political" Glasgow, life was the pursuit of the calculus of differential advantage. The search was for a better job, for a better house in a better area, or betterment abroad. Apart from a minority who were politically engaged and committed, the mass of working people sought improvement - or escape, escape in entertainment, in sport as a career or as a supporter, in taking to the hills and mountains - or in engaging in a political career. Unions, the Labour Party and for a while the Co-ops offered social solidarity for working people, but also importantly career outlets for a minority of them as well. These political activities, or even joining the masons or the Kirk were forms of this incremental advantage. (In the slums and ghettoes, these aspirations were replaced by crime.) Dennistoun epitomises this search for improvement. No Mean Streets rather than No Mean City, that's Dennistoun.

This City Now

In recent years Ian has become very interested in urban walking, especially that on offer in his native Glasgow. Many articles in the website have come from this interest - Walks around Glasgow.

These were brought together in 2005 , with other pieces, in his highly-received work, This City Now: Glasgow and its Working Class Past (Luath Press).ISBN 1-84282-082-6 @ £12.99.
Available at all major book shops or Purchase at Amazon



Comments

I found the article fascinating as it brought back memories of summer holidays spent with my gran on Viewpark Ave. She lived in the Milnbanks Scheme and it always struck me as a friendly place where people took care of each other, no matter what religion. I remember running to the dairy many times for the "messages" and marvelling at the exotic sweets we never saw in Dublin. Also vivid, are trips to the park to go fishing with one of the lads off the street and trips into Glasgow with my dad on the "Blue Train". Simpler times eh? I think the M8 spelled the end of the peace and quiet my gran enjoyed, I recently visited and thought the area looked a little down at heel, but my memories will always be happy ones.

Leslie Anderson | Thu Jun 12 2014

I lived in Garthland Drive in the 70s & 80s Great memories of the area. Fantastic shops in Duke Street, "Curlies, Templetons, Galls etc. Living in France now and after a recent visit found it has sadly changed dramatically. Only decent place left is Coia's Cafe.

Tommy J | Mon Jun 09 2014

my dad was born at 70 cardross street, home of my gran's parents the duncans in may 1913. my gran left glasgow for south africa about 1910 for health reasons. Her name was margeret stewart duncan. she met and married my grandad william pickering soon after. she brought her first son william(aged 18 months) to meet the family and then stayed on till my dad was born. she went back to visit about 1956. her sister jean came out to south africa later. her brother john was killed in first world war. there was a grand nephew that gran met, he would be about 70years now. we know nothing about my grans family but discovered a lot about my grandfather's family from england. regards from benoni south africa

cynthia alter nee pickering | Tue May 27 2014

In the early 60's I was born in 40 mcintosh st .my mums family all came from there too .I remember her talking of mrs Hillhouse and mrs Drennan.i have memories of the long walk to golfhill school all uphill .I only went there for a few months before moving to caslemilk but have lots of memories of getting ice-cream from the cafe on Duke street and the playhouse in miss riddles' infant class. My mum's family were the Owens.

Helen | Sun May 25 2014

I was brought up in eveline street in dennistoun jus off dunchatten st I remember the big swing park and the clay hill the shop called esther reillys I went to golfhill primary then onslow sec school I have very vivid memories of there I loved it we stayed at no 92 does anyone remember the denholm bakery on duke street

ainslie douglas | Sun Apr 13 2014

just read your comments frances stewart ..takes me back to my childhood .iwas born in duntroon st ;1954 midgy rakin loved it geggy i thought was your mouth .shut your geggy.i also worked when i was 6 delivering coal briquets around dennistoun with horse and cart for mr gallagher from blackhill.great days

hugh rice | Fri Apr 11 2014

anyone remember chin, the cop who used to chase us all over he place

Ian Dickson | Thu Mar 27 2014

I was born in ross street in the calton in 1920 and my family moved to bluevale street on or about 1922 went to dennistoun school and enjoyed a happy childhood running in the streets with my pals and playing all the games in vogue at the time fitba with a tanner ba; cricket with a lamppost for wickets raking the midgies up the drives fleeing the doos from the stable roof expeditions to Alexandra park the sugarolly mountains out on the new Edinburgh road dancing at the dennistoun Palais in my teens then the second world war changed our life.Istill have a nephew who lives in bluevale street.I really Enjoyed all the comments but must take issue with the remark in the writeup about dennistoun being dry I remember there were three pubs just round the from bluevale street one as you turned left called the Alexander Bar, one called Bairds and one at the corner of meadowpark street Iknow this for a fact as I took empyy beer bottlea back to them all,I live in Florida and haven't been back hame since 1968 but still cherish memories of THE AULD TOON cheerio the noo Tony Moretti.

Tony Moretti | Wed Mar 12 2014

Brought up in bellfield st went to thomson st school 1953 onwards any school photos please would love to hear from anyone who remembers me loved dennistoun midgy rakin playing on a geggy made of two skate halves playing balls against the wall and the chippy for pickled onions a reall treat .tommy smith the coal man and his horse I ran up the closes to collect his money he let me lead the horse great days

Frances stewart nee gibson | Tue Mar 04 2014

Sorry I put the wrong answer I am HUMAN . Looking for my relatives of Great Grandfather ALEXANDER BANNERMAN , died about 1911 in Dennistoun , my Grandfather Thomas Russell Bannerman moved down to Manchester after he was on the 1911 Cencus in Dennistoun , If you are a relative , and can confirm your fathers name , and it links with the Bannaerman Clan of the Dennistoun branch , I would be most grateful . Regards . Graham Bannerman .

Graham Bannerman | Sun Feb 23 2014

I won't even give any dtail about who I am and where I come from. And of course NOT because I'm afraid of anything, it's just that IT SIMPLY IS USELESS IN FRONT OF SECTARIANISM, once again, eveh here where memories are shared. I can only tell you I'm a die-hard Gers fan. No way I'm ever going to take sectarian stuff from both sides of that coin named "Auld Firm". A working-class, Labour dominated city like Glasgow, whose history is a hymn to any war between the poor, has to STOP IT HERE. Right now. I'm constantly blaming the lads on the Copland Stand, but it's not them I'm concerned with: it's the ordinary people coming to Ibrox simply coming down from their flats's stairs. We're a whole family, I made loads of true friends there, and we all share the same thoughts about sectarianism. I'm sorry, but I still think that if the Catholic Church abandoned its main plan to keep schooling separate things would definitely get better. Proddies too can't lean on the simple fact they're an easy majority and get along with it as if any sectarian remark were just 'humour'... Mr. McIvor, I also found that quote a bit, let's say, too far from reality, perfectly in line with the now common trend to 'blame it all on the Prod'... I'm tired of listening to (few, luckily) people calling me a fascist just because I'm a Gers fan and can't stand Celtic. It's too easy to do, but proven oh so wrong, just take a look at the polls... anyone I meet at Ibrox is a Labour Party voter, most of all, we all have working-class roots, and I'm getting more and more tired of such accusations. Please, don't follow that horrendous trend, I'm so sorry many Celtic fans keep doing it, leading them to think they're the 'good ones' rebelling against some evil force. That's what I call sectarianism. Things must change sooner or later. Proud to be Glaswegian, no matter which side we all are on. Cheerio. :-)

Just myself | Wed Feb 12 2014

I lived at 95 Drygate in the 50's just down from the men's Model my ma and da's names were Jimmy and Annie O'Hara my da's da also lived below us his name was Joseph O'Hara. Before that we lived at 137 Barrack St with my granny Bridget Thomas ahe later moved to a single end in MacIntosh St. Just wandering if anybody can remember them, we moved to Australia in 1970. I remember a wee lassie I used to play with who lived up the stairs from us he name was Letty O'Hare.

Delia O'Hara | Sat Nov 30 2013

great memorys reading your e mails i was born in duntroon st in 1954 my favourate place was alexandra park during the summer

hugh rice | Fri Oct 25 2013

OOPS// When I said through the close at the Dunchattan Arms, into Duke Street, I said turn RIGHT///SORRY, I meant LEFT.

Ian Dickson | Thu Oct 03 2013

I was brought up in Dennistoun, 76 Mcintosh Sreet, right behind the Dunchattan arms, climb over the wall, through the close at the Dunchattan, and into Duke Street, turn right, and up to the hospital. as for the Spezia Café, Mr Rossi, run it, I was Friends with his Son, Ricky, Friends in McIntosh Street, were the Houstons, Murrays, Bennetts, and the cop who used to chase us, was CHIN. He was usually found at the police box, across Duke Street, from the Spezia, even stole his baton one day, from the police box, and threw it over the wall into the meat market, where I worked, and sometimes boxed there. Those were the days, for sure.

Ian Dickson | Thu Oct 03 2013

I was born in 1943 and lived in Alexandra Parade opposite the Park. I went to Haghill school when I was 5, did not do too well with the Qually and went to Whitehill Junior - then Whitehill Senior after the Junior. I left Dennistoun when I was 19 to joint the Royal Air Force (retired from flying when I was 55). The fellow who wrote: "Aside from Dorothy, the school produced Lulu......" Lulu did NOT go to Whitehill (Junior or Senior)- she went to "Denny' ! Ask her. I go back to Dennistoun now and then and retrace my steps with very fond memories. I'm very proud to have been a part of that era and area. "Wha's like us?"

Bryn Wayt | Wed Aug 21 2013

I lived in number 13 McIntosh street from the age of 4 which was in 1956 till I was 19 they were the best days of my life, I still remember most of my friends who stayed around me I would love to get in touch, here is the list, Anne Weightman, Peter Weightman, Dorothy Henderson, Donald Henderson, Irene & Diana Henderson, Linda Ross, John Ross, Billy Hillhouse, Valerie Propter, If anyone knows where any of these people are, get in touch with me, Thanks Tommy

Thomas Scott | Mon Aug 12 2013

when I was born in april 1960 I lived at 9 Coventry drive, dennistoun does anyone remember the oneills that lived there. we immigrated to Australia in 1967 and lost touch with my relatives so if anyone knew any oneills from thsat area id be glad to here from you.

ann pettigrew(nee oneill) | Tue Jul 02 2013

I lived in Duke Street just down from Haghill near Parkhead. Went to Bluevale School and Whitehill Sen. Sec. School. I had a lovely childhood and wouldn,t have changed it for the world. I lived in Duke Street from 1945 until 1968 when I got married and went to stay in Largs where I still live. I have lived here nearly 45 years but I still belong to Glasgow - Duke Street and am very proud of it.

Irene Mustoo nee Flynn | Fri Jun 21 2013

My mum was born in 1930 and grew up at 26 Garfield Street, Dennistoun with her older brother Thomas and their parents. Mum is Rachael. The family name is Pirrie. Anyone's parents/grandparents also grow up in the area?

Gill Wade | Sun Jun 09 2013

To the guy that wrote this article you should brush up on your knowledge of the east end. Brigton or Parkhead doesn't border Dennistoun. To the left of Bellgrove station is the Calton and along to the right at millerston st takes you to Camlachie. Neither did lulu come fae Brigton, soho st was in the mile end/calton.

Patrick Martin | Sun Mar 10 2013

To the guy that wrote this article you should brush up on your knowledge of the east end. Brigton or Parkhead doesn't border Dennistoun. To the left of Bellgrove station is the Calton and along to the right at millerston st takes you to Camlachie. Neither did lulu come fae Brigton, soho st was in the mile end/calton.

Patrick Martin | Sun Mar 10 2013

My Grans family all hailed from Glenpark Street in Dennistoun. They were a family of ten Children and called Cosgrove. My Gran was born in 1914 she was called Ina. her sisters were Lizzy, Iza, Jean and Annie and her brothers were, John, Bobby, Willy (who married a lady called Louis) Alec and I'm not sure of the other brothers name. Later on other family members lived on Helen Vale Street and Bluevale street and London Road. Does anyone remember the family at all? Suzanne

Suzanne Tomlinson | Sun Jan 20 2013

Does anyone remember my mum and dad who had a chip shop at 160 Duke Street. It was called Frank s

Marie | Sat Dec 29 2012

I was born at 80 Cardross St. during the storm of the century, Mar 17 1947 & later went to Golfhill & Whitehill Schools. I knew Lulu & her brother Billy quite well, I think Lulu was the first girl to wear black stockings to Whitehill. My father Willie Failes was a postman who later became Secretary of the UPW which meant we all moved to London in 1968. Dennistoun was not all hunky dory, McIntosh St & lower Fisher St were like the Gorbals, pretty awful. Quite a lot of Catholics lived there & while Cardross St was 95% Protestant, both religions got on well, I cannot ever remember a fight because of religious differences although there were fights for other reasons, kicking somebody at football or something. There was a big chunk of waste ground, the Clayhill where we had our bonfires. I lived at Cardross St for 17 years when we move out to the hen hooses at Greenfield which was a huge mistake. I was glad 3 years later to move to London. I have lived in upstate New York for 32 years but will always be a Glaswegian.

Andrew Failes | Sun Nov 18 2012

I am looking for any Information on my family who lived in the Dennistoun Area of Glasgow 1n the 1930s. Charlie Cooper Married Mary Helen Cooper Nee McPadden and they lived in Gateside St, Both the Cooper side and the McPadden side of my family lived in the area at the time. My Grandparent Moved to Tynecastle Cres in Sprinboig around 1948/49 and they lived there till they died. My Mother Is Janet Cooper born 1943, she had loads of Siblings. If anyone out there remembers the Coopers or the McPaddens from Denistoun in Glasgow in the 1930s I know my Grandads Brother William also lived in the Area till he Emigrated to Canada I think around about the 1950s

Lorraine McBride | Tue Nov 13 2012

Hello i am trying to contact a John Lindsay who lived on Brandon St in the early 1960s and who will be around 70 years of age now,thank you.

John Millward | Thu Jun 07 2012

F.A.O. Joseph McIvor, B.E.M. I withdraw not one word of my comments. The author of the article, Ian R. Mitchell, has invented a lie as he claims, "At the far end of the Parade, where the park ends, you come to Haghill, an area built later than the Parade and of poorer tenemented housing; here you feel you are struggling to keep your feet above the waters of the east end. This feeling is confirmed as you walk south down Cumbernauld Road towards Duke Street and overlook the lands towards Parkhead, once occupied by the chemical works, but now occupied by a bakery. A pub unashamedly proclaiming its sectarian alliegance and a Criminal Lawyer's office announces that even douce Dennistoun has its underbelly." The only two pubs in the area are The Bristol Bar and The Louden Tavern - both are staunch Rangers-friendly pubs, bedecked in red, white and blue - neither is "proclaiming its sectarian allegance" for if they did, the full force of the Law would descend on them and criminal proceedings would ensue. Maybe Mr Mitchell doesn't like Rangers-friendly pubs? Given Joseph's rant, I'm pretty sure he doesn't like Rangers-friendly pubs. The poor, downtrodden, taunted wee soul.

Beaver McGee | Mon Dec 12 2011

I will start by replying to Beaver McGee. I lived in Coventry Drive Dennistoun from my birth in 1939 until 1954. As a Catholic I had to travel to St Thomass in Riddrie to Primary School and Saint Annes Chapel in Whitevale Street to Mass. In my portion of Dennistoun Catholics were rare on the ground. As a child I was taunted mercilesly by my playmates and accused of "praying to graven images" The Orange persuasion in the street bedecked their window sills in orange lillies during July and proclaimed their loyalty in Music and song for all to hear. Looking back I now understand how a black man must have felt in a white neighbourhood. I despise bigatory and sectarianism. I deplore predjudice in all its many forms. I amm the offspring of a mixed marriage. Before I was old enough to be told this by my parents, Windae Sill women from the street were quick to inform me. So Mr McGee dont be so quick to brand anyone who has a story to tell a Catholic or a bigot. If people are not allowed to relate their personal account of life in Dennistoun a comprehensive picture of life there will never be made.

Joseph McIvor, B.E.M. | Wed Sep 07 2011

I will start by replying to Beaver McGee. I lived in Coventry Drive Dennistoun from my birth in 1939 until 1954. As a Catholic I had to travel to St Thomass in Riddrie to Primary School and Saint Annes Chapel in Whitevale Street to Mass. In my portion of Dennistoun Catholics were rare on the ground. As a child I was taunted mercilesly by my playmates and accused of "praying to graven images" The Orange persuasion in the street bedecked their window sills in orange lillies during July and proclaimed their loyalty in Music and song for all to hear. Looking back I now understand how a black man must have felt in a white neighbourhood. I despise bigatory and sectarianism. I deplore predjudice in all its many forms. I amm the offspring of a mixed marriage. Before I was old enough to be told this by my parents, Windae Sill women from the street were quick to inform me. So Mr McGee dont be so quick to brand anyone who has a story to tell a Catholic or a bigot. If people are not allowed to relate their personal account of life in Dennistoun a comprehensive picture of life there will never be made.

Joseph McIvor, B.E.M. | Wed Sep 07 2011

Lived in fisher st 79 had a good childhood mother worked in eastons cafe on dunchaton st father andrew currie drank in the dunchaton arms pub

Andrew currie | Thu Aug 25 2011

hi there, my gran left dennistoun as an evacuee at the start of ww2. Her name was Jessie Fotheringham, daughter of Lauchlan and Lillias Fotheringham (maiden name;Fraser).Jessie spoke lovingly of her preteens living in Dunchatten st. Lauchlan had a brother john who lived in gardener st/rd at some point. Lauchlan was a lorry driver and Lillias a restaraunt worker. lauchlan died aged 56 in 1956, Lilias died 1943 aged 43. This is a major stab in the dark, but does anybody remember these people. I'm just looking to complete the jigsaw. thanks, john.

john brown | Mon Dec 27 2010

My Great grandparents lived at 265 Duke Street,David and Wiliiamina Mcewen they had a son William I have attatched a link to his photograph does anyone have any information on these people, eg photographs of the local schools etc. I would love to hear from you. I am currently doing my family history and have come up against a brick wall.. thanks Helen

Helen Morrison | Sun Sep 26 2010

I moved to Dennistoun from the Lanarkshire countryside - some 26 years ago for " six month`s". I guess what is classified, the more mature part. Whilst I have sought out re-locating to other areas of the city, I find few (if any) match up to the handiness, friendliness and quiet locale of a nice neighbourhood - with some amazing local characters. There has been some changes to the Dennistoun landscape in recent years, but most of the new building construction has been done with a contemporary but gentle look on the eye. Yes this really is a magicial little jewel,which has given me many contented years of happy living. I hope like many of it's ageing residents, the gem will shine for many years to come.

Mikey B | Wed Jul 28 2010

"A pub unashamedly proclaiming its sectarian alliegance and a Criminal Lawyer's office announces that even douce Dennistoun has its underbelly." What a load of anti-Rangers nonsense. My guess - the author of the above lie (and it is) is a Celtic-minded Roman Catholic and a narrow-minded bigot of the worst kind.

Beaver McGee | Tue Jul 27 2010

My mother was a Macaulay, brought up in Dennistoun in the thirties. This article helps my understanding of the culture. She used to tell me of playing in the streets, and yet, hers were a 'churchy' family. She went to a skating rink as a youngster, too, and played 'shoppies' on the 'clayhills'. What were those?? Does anyone out there know?

galazio | Wed Jun 16 2010

Hi.. I lived at 151 Sword Street between the year 1969 (born) to circa 1977. Our family name was Ryan. Both myself and my older brother went briefly to Thomson Street Primary School. I have great memories of living in Dennistoun and the freedom we had to wander the streets as small kids and the streets were FULL of kids. I believe that all kids from aged 4 became street wise beyond their years. I remember.... Playing kick the can in the backie. Dancing and singing on top of the midgie bin housing to entertain all the mums & housewives who were hangin ooot the back windaes watchin.. rolleyes.gif Shock horror, wandering along the railway line searching for crab apples and having to lie back in the bush when a train passed, OMG.. eating!!! the crab apples which were most probably poisonous with toxic fumes.. haha. I remember calling everybody Auntie and Uncle in the tenement we lived. The Bower family that lived downstairs. My first "boyfriend" Mark Scott who lived on the ground floor. My best friend Jacqueline Connor who lived across the street. - Where are they now, I wonder. Playing hide and seek in the condemned tenements in a neighboring street... condemned because they were falling down.. hmmm. .. but yet a wonderful playground at the time. Hearing the sound of the drums as the Orange Walk paraded down Duke Street and all the kids running for streets to find it, as young at 4! The best italian ice cream parlor on the corner of Sword St and Duke St. Beautiful classic cafe. I remember it vividly, as I do the owner...a small chubby Italian man with a hint of a Glasgow accent. Total eccentric. Wonderful. Hearing church bells and running like to wind to catch the scramble (pennies thrown at a wedding for kids to "fight" for..), you and 50 other kids!! Collecting glass bottles and receiving some pennies for them at the shop, then buying a "poke" of 3 for a half penny sports gums... bliss. A bull escaping from the slaughterhouse on Duke St and trapping my mum and I in a phone box...Oh.. haha I have an endless list of events and memories that would shock parents of today to the core, I myself now being a parent. But we survived and I have but great memories of having a carefree, playful, adventurous and fearless childhood. If there is anyone here who remembers us living there or lived in this neighbourhood around this time, i would love to hear from you. Jill

Jill | Mon Jun 14 2010

we were born and bred in brandon street round the corner from annfield street my sister had a single end and we thought we were toffs because we stayed in brandon street even though we had an outside toilet it was cleaner than where i am today

maureen lindsay | Tue Jul 08 2008

my mother was brought up in dennistoun and my grandparents owned a chip shop on I think it was sword street at the turn of the last century. My family the Maule's lived in Annfield street for years. does any one know of them

mary botto | Tue Jul 01 2008

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