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Devil's Plantation - Elemental Films

trip three: inner circle

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  • Sandie - 29 August 18 - Reply

    What wonderful memories this brought back. I also went to Lambhill St Primary, from1962. I lived in Portman St. Thanks for the memories!
    Sandie

    • May Miles Thomas - 30 August 18 - Reply

      Thanks for reading the blog, Sandie – glad you enjoyed it!

      All the best,
      May

  • William Hogg - 19 December 16 - Reply

    I read your text with great interest. I was born in 1960 and lived the first eleven and a half years of my life at 162 MacLean Street, yards from the Grapes Bar. It was a very working-class area, great community spirit but you were glad to get away to a more decent style of living (we left for Pollokshields). The News International building in Portman Street was where my late father worked when it was Convoys’ warehouse.

    • May Miles Thomas - 30 December 16 - Reply

      Thanks William – I know McLean Street very well – my uncle worked at the Grapes. I know what you mean about the community spirit of the area. When our family moved to Pollok in 1966 it was something of a miracle to finally have a bathroom and a decent kitchen. The community spirit took a long time to arrive when so many families had moved there from other places, away from what they were familiar with.

      I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog,
      All the best,
      May

    • Thomas miller - 2 July 18 - Reply

      Went to Rutland cres school1947/then lambhill st 1954/57.lived in. 13 Mair st.remember a boy called Hogg. During this period ,,,my uncle Robert miller lived in Maclean st,I moved to London in 1960,started going back to Glasgow to trace family.ie August coming,alas most of kinging Park/plantation is gone.stayed at hotel where my home once stood,

      • May Miles Thomas - 2 July 18 - Reply

        Thanks for the comment. Yes, Plantation and Kinning Park are unrecognisable these days to anyone who grew up there. My late uncle lived in McLean Square in a house that replaced the original tenements. I hope you manage to trace your family.

        All the best,
        May

  • Susan McMillan - 4 November 16 - Reply

    I lived at number 7 Plantation street, I was born
    In 1961, my mum and sister both went to
    Lambhill school, ironically my mum is in the old school (Lambhill) care home

  • Wilson - 8 February 16 - Reply

    My family all still live in plantation square. Probably know your family

    • May Miles Thomas - 9 February 16 - Reply

      Thanks Jackie,

      You could be right. My uncle lives in McLean Square but the rest have scattered, as most families did.

      All the best,
      May

  • Michael McAree - 24 May 13 - Reply

    Lovely reading, I don’t think good people left these shores for anything better than a new way of life.

    • May Miles Thomas - 25 May 13 - Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for your comments. As you can see from the others, there’s a lot of interest in the old KP. Can I point you to a forum? If you go to this link then you’ll see comments posted by others with a KP connection. You might even know some of them.

      https://discuss.glasgowguide.co.uk/lofiversion/index.php/t7904.html

      Thanks for looking at my blog. Glad if you enjoy it.

      May

  • Michael McAree - 24 May 13 - Reply

    I was born in kp. Seaward still in 1944 could tell lots. Just learning computer. Love to get in touch with similar. Went to Our Lady and St Margarets until 1956. Great time in life. Hope this communicates with someone. Michael McAree.

  • May Miles Thomas - 16 April 12 - Reply

    Thanks for that Julia – I’ll have to check out the book at Ibrox Library,

    cheers,
    May

  • Julia Johnson - 14 April 12 - Reply

    Hi

    I was up in Glasgow last week and I visited the Ibrox Library, there is a book in there, kept under the counter, you cannot rent it out but you can view it, it is called Kinning Park Revisted, it has loads of pictures in it and history of Kinning Park there was even a picture of my nephew in it which I was happy to see, pictures of inside of the old our lady and st, margarets church, the school too even the same school that was before the one we know, which I never knew about from 1875 also kinning park subway the way it used to be when it was being built, and many more stuff.

    Julia

  • James Holland - 4 May 11 - Reply

    May,
    Thanks for the site. Its strange when you start thinking about a place and one memory starts another, we lived in the “Dunny” close, the corner closes had the washhouses in the basement and the stairs went up past the landings in a spiral (like a lighthouse) the railings were about an inch wide and when we left the house we would slide down the bannister from landing to landing (4 story’s high) frightening when you think of it. Couldn’t pay me to do it now!!(probably couldn’t even look over the side now!)at the other corner at Scotland street there was a church and next to it the Sailmakers factory. Above the sailmakers there was what was called the “high Back” the people who lived above the sailmakers had no access to the back green so they had a concrete back yard surrounded by a metal fence on the roof. My brother david fell through the roof windows whilst jumping from edge to edge on the roof with Ian Locke. Another thing which disgusts my daughters is when I tell them when I was with my pals if you found a piece of chewing gum on the pavement, you would say “the devil licked it and god blessed it, dont make me die” you would then chew it till it softened, spit out any grit then split it between your pals…. must have boosted the old immune system with that blessing, cause we’re still here!

  • May Miles Thomas - 29 April 11 - Reply

    Thanks James,

    Your last sentence says it all – something is missing when you lose your childhood home. I also remember the men who sang in the back courts – there was one guy who even played the dulcimer. I was quite the wee expert at extorting broken biscuits from the Gray Dunn factory!

    For photos I suggest you check out

    https://www.mitchelllibrary.org/virtualmitchell/

    or a good one is this –

    https://urbanglasgow.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=1597

    Good luck!
    May

  • James Holland - 29 April 11 - Reply

    I’ve been looking through various sites as I get older picking up memories of Kinning Park when I came across this one. I was born in the front room, top floor of 129 Sheilds Rd(corner of Ardgowan St) in 1947. I went to Our Lady & St Margarets (Primary) in Admiral St. (my brother was married in St Margarets chapel) I remember we used to go up to Gray Dunns where if you were lucky the women would give you a chunk of broken chocolate. We had great times there, Even though we moved to Pollok when I was 9 I can still feel the pull back to those happy times spent “jumping over the middens” in the back court. I can also remember the men who used to go round the backs singing for pennies. I know people think of the song, but my children look at me with strange stares when I tell them how we used to shout up for a “Piece” (in my case because my parents were both at work, I had to shout up to the next door neighbors – Mrs finlayson / Mrs Watson)(whose daughter Margaret was my first love.XX) then you would have to be a good catcher as the begged item came sailing down wrapped in newspaper… I would be grateful if anyone has any photographs of Sheilds Rd (the stretch between Scotland St & Paisley Rd West) and of St Margarets Primary. I would love to show my Grandchildren where I came from. I always think theres something missing when you can’t go back to your birthplace, especially when its been knocked down to build a motorway.

  • May Miles Thomas - 9 December 10 - Reply

    Thanks Laurence,

    Sorry it’s taken me a wee while to reply. Your memories of Kinning Park and Plantation are obviously very vivid to you. And I know how hard it is to try and describe life in a single end or room and kitchen. The weird thing is, we didn’t know we were deprived in any way – we just accepted our lot and were happy. Poverty is relative. Most families were maybe classed as the working poor but we usually had our grannies, aunties and uncles and cousins living round the corner and they gave us more than any amount of money is worth… They gave us their care and love.

    What I find very sad is the loss of St Margaret’s chapel from its original site on Stanley Street. I always remember the beautiful carvings and angels. When I went back to the site in 2007-09, it was so sad to see the chapel being demolished bit by bit at the same time as they closed down the temporary chapel in Portman Street – an inevitable consequence of very few folks living in the area.

    What’s weird is you describe my very own upbringing in Sleads Street off Scotland Street. Hard to believe that it’s only one or two generations down the line from the ‘worst slums in Europe’, as Glasgow was once described. I take great solace from the fact that Glasgow’s still the place I want to live in. I love the spirit of the people, which more than makes up for its faceless architecture…

    Happy days,
    May

  • laurence buchanan - 23 November 10 - Reply

    The memories of Kinning Park are still vivid in my memory even 43 years down the line.
    We lived at 6 Plantation street very close to the South Rotunda.
    Our home was a typical one bedroom and kitchen living area.
    My mum, dad and a family of 5 lived in this wee small flat 2/1 would be the position.
    I’ve often drawn a plan of the house for my kids to show them what we had to live in.
    I along with my older brother and sister attended Our Lady & St Margarets.
    I remember first attending the Small school then moving up to the BIG school further up the road.
    I made my first communion and confirmation in the attached Church, where my mum and dad had been married some 11 years earlier.
    In 1967 when I was 7 my dad died at a very young age, 41 years old, and my mum was left a widow my oldest sister was 10 my wee brother only six weeks old.
    January ’68 and the gale took care of our gable end then in February we were dumped in Forest Hall hospital by the City council.
    The tenement had become a target for copper , lead thieves and we were the last ones in the ‘close’.
    My poor mum had no compensation either from the Insurance as the Gales were considered ‘an act of God’.
    March 13th we got the keys to our new house in the Circus in Toryglen it was like a palace compared to what we had been living in.
    Glad to say my mum got out of the Circus 12 years ago.
    I often head up the PRW and get a pint in a couple of the pubs , just for my dads memory.
    Needless to say The Grapes isn’t one of them. :-)

  • May Miles Thomas - 31 March 10 - Reply

    I’ve sent a few emails since you last got in touch with me Tommy – still waiting to hear from you – if I can help I will.

    All the best,
    May

  • mr thomas mcgowan - 5 March 10 - Reply

    please get back urgent tommy mcgowanthis is the best site ive been on

  • May Miles Thomas - 20 February 10 - Reply

    Thanks for your comment, Annette. It strikes me that we’re the last generation to know the old (pre-M8) Kinning Park. One of my first memories as a baby was Jeannie feeding me mashed potatoes and milk through the bars of my cot in our kitchen at no 13. She used to babysit me quite often, since my sister was in Mearnskirk with TB at the time. After we left KP, I used to visit Jeannie to pay the menage my mammy kept up. I also recall for a while Robert lived on the first floor of the close and that Jimmy Dunnachie was our MP in Pollok. I also remember their sister Teresa as well. What a small world.

    Good luck with the family tree – my sister has done ours, rattling all the old skeletons in the closet!

    cheers, May

  • Annette Hennessy - 19 February 10 - Reply

    May, it was amazing to read your comment. My maternal grandmother Annie Carlin lived at and was married from 13 Sleads Street. She lived with her aunt, Margaret Dunnachie, because her own mother died when she was a baby. Margaret Dunnachie’s oldest child Jane, known as Jeannie, was still living there till her death in 1971 aged 91. I visited her often and remember the close very well. Do you or any of your family remember her? I have many memories of Kinning Park. I lived in Milnpark Street for a while but my family on both sides lived in West Scotland Street and Seaward Street (previously St Jame street.) Many of them worked in Gray Dunns and they all attended Our Lady and St Margaret’s Primary. I have been gdoing my family tree this past year and the memories have all come flooding back.

  • May Miles Thomas - 30 January 10 - Reply

    Thanks Audrey, for sharing your memories of Sleads Street. We lived on the top floor of number 13 – a room and kitchen, no toilet, apart from the one on the landing we shared with the Dunnachies next door.

    I remember the baths too – in Scotland Street, where one time I got sent for a bath and recall a fearsome woman handing me a cake of carbolic soap. I never liked the swimming baths much – a guy threw me in the deep end – I must have been about 4 or 5 and to this day I still can’t swim. In many ways it felt like you were living in the 1930s, yet it was the 60s. I also remember the wee swing park at the corner of Milnpark and Stanley Streets. And Slater and Rogers whisky bond – I used to play in there – there was a railway line that carried crates of bottles direct to the building. I was always tempted to steal a bottle or two to give to my Dad, but never did.

    We moved to Pollok in 1966 – November 17th. I was seven years old. By then Keyden Street had pretty much been demolished so it was only a matter of time before the rest came down too.

    all the best,
    May

  • Audrey - 29 January 10 - Reply

    Hi, I read with interest you little trip down memory lane and the streets of Kinning Park. For some reason i’ve been feeling very nostalgic about growing up in Kinning Park – although my memories aren’t as good as yours as we left in ’72 when I was 4!
    We lived at 11. Slead Street. I remember Jebb Bros paper merchart was at the end of our street, my gran lived through the backs and over the fences on Cowie Street and we went to the baths on Scotland St where the guy who watched you swim was called Peter and he had a limp.
    When I went into town with my mum, we went to Shields Rd station and I was mesmerised by the doorway on the whisky bond across the road from it. It had 2 big lions either side and a pelican like bird with a snake in it’s mouth above the door.
    There was a wee playpark – I think at the corner of Milnpark St where we often went to play.
    Me being the youngest – I didn’t go to school in Kinning Park but my 2 older brothers and older sister went to the newer St Margarets on Admiral Street.
    My mum and dad were married in St Margaret’s and my memories of the church are very vague.
    My dad’s name is John O’Donnell and he was born in 1941 and grew up with his gradparents in Cowie Street. He went to St Margaret’s primary. He’s still in contact with his old school chum Veronica Fitspartick as she was best friends with my mum who came over from ireland in 1956.

    Thanks for the memories Ax

  • May Miles Thomas - 28 January 10 - Reply

    Hello Thomas,

    Let me have a look through the files to see what photos I’ve got – please bear with me though – I’ve got almost 5000 shots of Glasgow, but quite a few of them are of various streets in Kinning Park. I should add that all my shots were taken in the last couple of years. Having lived there in the 1960s, it’s strange to see the area now. The M8 pretty much destroyed everything south of Scotland Street, but some traces are still there.

    I don’t know where you are, Thomas, but if you’re in Glasgow, you can always try the Glasgow Room at the Mitchell Library for old photographs of the area. They also keep all the newspapers going back decades so maybe there’s a shot of the 1954 church fire you described.

    all the best,
    May

  • mr thomas mcgowan - 28 January 10 - Reply

    yes this is great about kinningpark newals @cape imyself worked in 1960 to 1968in this company have you got enymore like this in photos sussex st. tower st.please get back urgent tommy mc gowan late of 20 sussex st the pen kinningpak glasgow imyself was born in this address 15/8/1945please help remember the big church fire corner of paisley rd west @sussexst in 1954loking for photos of the above streets can eny one help thanking you please get back urgent

  • angela broadley - 6 November 09 - Reply

    betty’s brood

    i remember when i was about 5 or 6 i was in the unemployed centre i had to walk intp a toilet and see a drug addict slumped over and i had to run back out. at this tender age i felt really uncomforable doing this but after life experiences i could play a really good part in this film now i wish i done it back then i remember it like it was yesterdy

    i would love to see it

    does anyone know if you can?

  • May Miles Thomas - 20 August 09 - Reply

    Hi Geraldine,

    Sorry to hear you’ve had no luck in finding a phone number for Our Lady and St Margaret’s in Portman Street. I tried to find the number myself with the same result, though I’m sure they must have a contact number. I’d have thought the Archdiocese would be able to help. I also found some photos of both churches and the school, so if you email me direct –

    may@elementalfilms.co.uk

    – I’ll pass them on.

    As regards the Stanley Street St Margaret’s chapel, there was indeed a school next door, also St Margaret’s (or St Margaret Mary’s, I seem to recall) which now operates as offices for refugees to Glasgow.

    Hope that helps.
    Best wishes,
    May

  • Geraldine McNealey - 20 August 09 - Reply

    HI

    Thanks for the info. I cant find a tele number for the church. Do you know if there was a catholic school next to St Margaret’s Church. I have tried the Mitchell Library and the Archdiocese of Glasgow. Thanks for your help

    Regards
    Geraldine

  • May Miles Thomas - 6 July 09 - Reply

    Hi Geraldine,

    Thanks for writing.

    I was in Stanley Street only last week and can confirm that St Margaret’s is fenced off and about to be demolished. Very sad to see. The other St Margaret’s is still round the corner in Portman Street. They might be able to help you with records for your family tree. If you can bear with me, I can search through my photographs to see if I can find a picture for you.

    all the best,
    May

  • Geraldine McNealey - 5 July 09 - Reply

    Hi

    Does the old St Margarets Church no longer exist. My great uncle James Gallacher made a model of the church, unfortunately it was destroyed during a house move by his son. I am currently compiling a family tree and was hoping to get a picture of the church and also to ask if there was any records salvaged. Any help you can offer would be appreciated. Thanks

    Regards
    Geraldine McNealey

    • Eileen Mclaughlin nee Gillespie - 11 January 13 - Reply

      My Grandparents and all the family weddings from1899 onwards took place in St.Margarets . I know it no longer exists. Such a shame. E. McLaughlin. We lived in Scotland Street and went to St Margarets school.

  • May Miles Thomas - 8 June 09 - Reply

    Thanks for the answer, Tom, although I confess I’ve never seen Betty’s Brood. At the time, knowing how hard it is to get any film off the ground, I was just pleased to see someone make one in Glasgow. I recall talking to Diane Allison about it so I knew it had been sold on to C4, hence the question. What I didn’t know was how the council sought to profit from it or that the filmmakers had to threaten to sue. Not that I’m surprised.

    cheers, May

  • Tom McEnroe - 7 June 09 - Reply

    Hi, interested in your comments about “Betty’s Brood” and your question, “Wonder if anybody saw any money?” It took the local kids about 6 months to make the film on a budget of around £300 from Glasgow city council, (the staff spent 3 times that amount trying to feed themselves over those 6 months whilst filming!) in fact one of the film’s credits reads, “Transport by Sommerfields trolley!) which is absolutely true – we pushed our equipment all around the Gorbals and outlying districts in the trolley. The film itself went on to win a score of awards, including the James Gray special award at the Edinburgh International film Festival, presented by Sean Connery, and various other Scandanavian film awards, though God knows they must have used sub-titles for that!
    Anyway, the city council accepted £20,000 from Channel 4 for the film, on the grounds they had put up the £300, and with that kissed the cast and production crew goodbye. However, as the writer of the film, I threatened to sue, and in the end they handed over around £2000 to myself and the
    cast for our efforts. Which, we all agreed, was “very big of them!
    Hope that answers your question.
    Tom.

  • May Miles Thomas - 7 January 09 - Reply

    Thanks Trish,

    Glad somebody else remembers. It’s just a shame there’s very few photographs of the area during the 60s, because it was pretty grim before we left in 1966 to live in Pollok. Keyden Street had already been pulled down. I remember the shops in Scotland Street – the old Galbraiths supermarket at the corner of Stanley Street and the Beaton’s off-sales opposite where I used to take back empty Pale Ale bottles I found in the middens for the deposit! I also remember the woman who sold the penny drinks – she used empty sauce bottles and filled them with raspberry Cremola foam. Happy days…

  • trish paton - 7 January 09 - Reply

    hello
    it was good to see someone else from the little known sleads street! i was brought up in this street from 1956 till 1964. we lived at number 21 four closes down from you right opposite the factory your mum worked in. we were top floor room and kitchen family of 6. my younger brother andy, elder brother peter, sister priscilla and eldest alexander all lived here. do you remember the gallacher family from keyden street? or the frazers from sleads street? i always remember getting sent up to the butcher shop for an ashet pie on the tic till friday! ha ha.

    and there was the wee corner shop across from the factory which never seemed to be open, and if you cut through the backs to keyden street, you could get a bundle of sticks for 3p for the fire and five woodbine. there was also a shop in this street where the couple who owened it, the wife always made a sucking sound with her mouth, my mum used to say it was because she like wine!

    but what about across the road, where the chippy was my mum worked in there as well as gray dunns, there was a wee women behind the chippy who sold bags of whelks that you ate with a pin. my school was the our lady and st magarets in stanley street primary. there was a women there who would sell you liquorice and penny drinks from her bottom flat window, we used to all queue up and be late for school and the belt. !! that was a trip down memory lane.!!
    trisha

    • lynn mitchell - 27 February 15 - Reply

      Hi do u remember my mum her name was helen crawford she luved at 54 lambhill st top flat she was friends with a kathleen mcwatt

      • May Miles Thomas - 28 February 15 - Reply

        Hi Lynn

        You don’t mention when your mum lived in Lambhill Street. Our family left KP in November 1966 when I was only 6. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

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