SERVICES

Any community requires a variety of services to be provided, and as that community grows, so too does the extent of such services. For example, churches provide for the spiritual needs, and the schools for the mind. It would not be possible to include everything that was available to the residents of Bridgeton and Dalmarnock, but the last section of this book deals with a selection of those other services provided by both the public and private sectors.

 

105) Greenhead Baths and Wash-House. Greenhead Baths and Wash-House. It became increasingly obvious to the municipal authorities that it was in the best interests of the entire population's health and welfare that provision be made for the maintenance of elementary hygiene. Very few houses had bathing facilities in the late 19th century. In January, 1876, a Special Committee on Baths and Wash-Houses leased the site of the old washing house on the Green and eventually had built Greenhead Baths. The building was opened in 1878 by the Lord Provost and amongst its facilities were included a swimming pool for men and boys, a smaller pool for ladies, private baths for 27 men and 7 ladies. (One wonders at this disparity - were men really more in need of baths?) There were also 40 wash-house stalls, which made it Glasgow's very first "steamie".

The ponds were damaged during the Second World War and closed for repair. Curiously, they were opened again in 1945 as open air pools. Another example of our hardier ancestry, or were the summers truly warmer then? The establishment was finally closed down in 1960. It was demolished and the site used for an extension to Templeton's factory, which was completed in 1965. This extension is currently in use as a leisure and recreation centre.

 

 

106) The surgery of Dr Burns at 102, Main St photographed c. 1906 and taken down in 1910. The date inscribed on this building is 1826. The site is in the vicinity of John St Secondary's janitor's house. Another doctor, and namesake, John Burns had his surgery in John St (Tullis St) and practised in Bridgeton for over 60 years. He recounted his experiences in a "Weekly News" article of 2nd December, 1905. This included an incident during the Bread Riots of 1848 when a man standing beside Dr Burns on the surgery doorstep was killed after soldiers fired on a crowd. Cases of typhus and cholera were relatively common - in those early days a family could be infected with smallpox with the father still attending work!

 

 

107) Acorn St Hospital was opened in 1914 as a Tuberculosis Dispensary, an illness which plagued the masses until relatively recent times. After the Second World War it became a school clinic and now functions as a psychiatric day hospital.

 

Increasing concern for the health and welfare of infants, especially during the years of the Depression, led to the provision of district centres where a variety of facilities were made available. The first of these, Bridgeton, was built in 1924 and opened by the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, the following year. It still functions as a nursery today.

108) Bridgeton Child Welfare Centre and Day Nursery, Orr St.

109) Some of the children to benefit from the newly opened Centre.

 

An enabling Act of 1899 allowed the Corporation to provide libraries throughout the city, aided by a donation from millionaire Andrew Carnegie. One of 14 libraries to be planned, Bridgeton was opened in 1906. Its facilities included a Lending Department, a General News and Reading Room, and Reading Rooms for both ladies and children. For a time in the 1970s, the Reading Room was converted into a Post Office, replacing that in James St, until the new office in the Cross shopping centre opened.

 

110) In 1865 local manufacturers and employers subscribed to institute a club for Bridgeton's working men. The first club was built in Canning St but had to be taken down when the North British Railway Company purchased the land for their new Bridgeton station. A new Bridgeton Working Men's Club to replace the old was built in Landressy St in 1898.

 

111) Headquarters & drill hall of the 7th (The Blythswood) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in Main St. On the Dassy Green is a Celtic Cross dedicated to the officers and men of the Battalion who died in the First World War.

 

112) East Fire Station at 27, Soho St. The station was built 1886-87 and provided service for most of the Bridgeton area. At the turn of the century local children would gather at the Station every Saturday morning for their weekly "wash-down" from the firemen with their hoses. The Station was among those to lose men in the Graham Square fire.

 

 

113) Bridgeton Public Library, Landressy St in 1907.

 

 

114) Bridgeton Library's Lending Department, 1907.

 

 

115) The Employment Exchange in Acorn St. This was built in the 1920s as part of the Government of the day's approach to dealing with the mass unemployment of the Depression. Gordon Brown in his book on Maxton describes Bridgeton in the 1920s as having three main centres, "the Cross where the unemployed congregated, the Employment Exchange where) they registered, and the Tuberculosis Dispensary." The Exchange was converted into flats in 1986.

 

 

116) The location of Bridgeton's Public Halls has varied through the years, with previous halls being built at Laird St and Canning St. The Halls shown in this photograph were situated at the junction of Summer St and London Rd. They were built in 1928 and used until 1960.

Their future remained uncertain for many years until finally taken down during redevelopment. The site is now landscaped.

 

 

117)Tullis St graveyard is one of two in the area the other being Calton Burying Ground in Abercromby St. From 1811-1869 the Tullis St cemetery was known as Bridgeton Burying Ground. It) fell into a very sad and derelict condition by the 1970s until restored during GEAR. It now forms part of a very pleasant landscaped area. This view looks towards) the old Singer Sewing Machine Company factory facing into James St.