Monday, 26 April 2010


Govanhill is on the south side and is a mixed area in terms of class and of ethnic groups; most of the latest group to come to Scotland, the Roma, who arrived from eastern Europe in the early 21st century, settled here. See
The park sign says do not feed the pigeons, as they are vermin. Thankfully most old and new Scots, several of whom have had the term 'vermin' applied to themselves, tend to ignore this instruction. This wee group of doos are waiting for their regular feeder

Govanhill Park is clean and well maintained

Colourised railings
Jim's Barber Shop, Calder St, beside the Baths

Kingarth Lane
Kingarth Lane on opposite side of Calder Rd
Govanhill Public Baths

This is what visitors expect to see in Govanhill, dumped furniture. Seems no worse than Hillhead to me in that respect

Beside the Cobbler is the Govanhill Community Baths Trust, a local community initiative to save the much-loved Baths from closure. See

Mixed communities such as Govanhill are often described (rather hopefully) as 'vibrant', but the adjective is fitting here - within the gates beside Mod Girl is a dance studio
Govanhill Health Centre

Homeopathic Clinic
Govanhill Public Library

All human life is here, including the kitchen sink

Note refurbishment; lot of it going on in April 2010
Southside Studios
UK Learning Academy

Westmoreland Gardens

Now into Victoria Rd - to get to Queens Park you go past Happy Days
One of Glasgow's fine old cafes

We are in Crosshill now, on the other side of Victoria Rd,where you could sit in this chair and watch the world go by

Queens Park station on right

Cheap licence plates

Crosshill Post Office - voted Scotland's best PO in 2009

Nail grooming and criminal defence
Sunbed salon; note untraditional sort of orangeman approacing
Narrow entrance to big snooker tables
Hair salon and another sunbed salon: note chair being held down by owner to prevent its escape
View up Victoria Rd to Queens park
Another view up
View down Victoria Rd from Queens Park entrance

We're on the other side of Crosshill now (Crosshill Station on left),  in Cathcart Rd, heading down from Hampden Park on the afternoon  of  Scottish Cup Final day, 15 May 2010; see

Maison Ronnie; Glasgow's  hairdressers are worth a photoblog of their own

A Beauty shop

looking down Dixon Rd

At an angle on the corner of Dixon Avenue and Cathcart Rd, we find The Dixon Halls, built 1878.  Scots Baronial (along with the neolithic brochs) is one of the few architectural styles native to Scotland, and this building is  a splendid example of the form

Just off Cathcart Rd is this odd little building

For this rather forbidding Govanhill RC church, see Churches

Coplaw St, looking towards Govanhill Park, where we began this section. Forsyth House on right, one of many Community Health Partnership schemes in Glasgow 

Looking back up Cathcart rd

Larkfield Community Centre. See

Something to do with the Millenium

Patient pigeons. Like their pals in Govanhill Park across the road (see top of post), they know they will be fed

Cathcart Rd on the right now leads you to the Gorbals - see


  1. Brilliant photos!!! I was born in Govanhill and baptised in the Forsyth Memorial church (now Forsyth House). My grandparents lived in Govanhill St in the very early 1900's. Thank you!! Ruth

    1. Ruth,
      I too was born in Govanhill. Went to Victoria School. My Sunday school, BB was in the Forsyth Memorial Church and my uncle and aunt were married there. There was a boy in my class called Ian Thomson and I wonder if he was your brother. I lived at 124 Govanhill Street ( now demolished)

  2. Thank you Ruth! Will add to the Govanhill section at some future point - fascinating area

  3. hi,i came from carfin st 1937-1957,emigrated to castlemilk,worked in the coblers in calder st in 1949 it was called"silver shoe repairs" owned by mr silver from giffnock,happy happy days. phil mack

    1. Just wondered if you knew my maternal grandparents Tom and Isa Gorrie who lived in Govanhill Street?

    2. My husband John o donnell worked in silvers1953 as a delivery boy with billy Morrison and Jonny mc knight who were cobblers

  4. Hi Phil - some of my Townhead pals went to Castlemilk in late 50s and they loved it.

    Govanhill/Crosshil is great area.

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  6. I'm a Chilean guy who lived for a whole year in Glasgow, and came to love Govanhill, Victoria Road, and Queen's Park. Such good memories. That green door right beside Queens Cafe, that was the entrance to my flat. Man, these pictures almost made me cry, I miss it so much. Thank you for posting, and I hope to be back soon :) Greetings from Santiago :)

  7. Greetings from Canada,

    I am researching about my grandmother Margaret Brown. Her family lived at 562 Calder Street. She was born in 1904. Parents were mary and Robert Brown and siblings Elizabeth (1908) and Robert or James (1910). If you know anything about her family I would love to hear from you.
    Regards from Canada, Valerie

    1. Hi vallygirl - am a Townhead boy myself I would suggest asking some of the community local representatives for good local sources - see list at wiki

      Nice Scotsman piece here

  8. had to ruin the nice pictures, with snide comment about
    forbidden catholic churches, I see things never change in
    scotland, thankgod im in Canada bigots.

  9. somethings never change was enjoying pics, then read snide
    comment about forbidden catholic churches, for christ sake its
    the 21st century, put away ur sash hen and grow up, thank god
    i live in Canada and my kids don't know what a protestant is.

    1. Hi weehen. You misintrepret me. Our Lady of Consolation is a classic example of eccesiatical modernsim and as such is a widely admired building - myself, however, well, like many people I find the style 'forbidding' whether RC or Church of Scotland or whatever. Nothing to do with 'forbidden'!!

      It may well come to be seen as a modernist. masterpiece, like St Peters seminary,_Cardross

      I can't love St Peters but that a building of world significance has been so badly neglected shames Scotland.

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  11. Great photos - brings back some good childhood memories. Only picture missing for me is the Bluebird Cafe in Cathcart Road. I left Glasgow for London 28 years ago and don't get back too often. However, I've just returned from my wee gran's funeral and took my kids on a quick tour of Govanhill. I was delighted to see the Bluebird Cafe still there and with the same owner behind the counter. He's been there 40 years and seems to be the last remaining icon. My kids got to taste macaroon and soor plooms for the very first time!

  12. I grew up in Govanhill, it's so nice to see so much of it still intact :)

    Just leaving a comment about this "Just off Cathcart Rd is this odd little building". This was actually a cinema, I believe. During the building of Our Lady of Consolation, the slight grim church with the brutalist architecture, it was designated for use as a Catholic church to take the overflow from Holy Cross. This would have been in the late 60s. The reason I know this is that I was baptised in it :)

    1. Many thanks Marie I did wonder! Am running way behind with posts, will be doing one on Govanhill Baths Open Day in a few weeks.

      I also need to update my comments about Govanhill Park above - it is not so safe these days alas.

  13. "Odd little building" was the Govanhill Cinema. It actually stood back-to-back with the Calder Cinema which fronted Calder St. Happy days!

    1. Many thanks Anon (see Marie's post above)

  14. Does anyone know how old the tenements and shops on the block where the cobblers was in Calder street is? I think think that Our Lady of Consolation chapel has been demolished. I was Brought up as a catholic in the area, that particular building would have to be without s doubt the ugliest one I have ever seen Holycross on Dixon avenue is lovely

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    1. Note: this was duplicate of Duke's 29 May post I mistakenly put up twice!

  16. My dad working in Sime the Butchers in Cathcart Road from the 30s to 1970. There was an Italian cafe next door the the guys name was Ernie.

  17. Loved looking at the photographs, many happy memories of growing up in Govanhill in the late 50's and early 60's. Born in Jamieson St, went to Victoria Primary and then Queens Park.The Bluebird Cafe was great when I was flush ;-) Thanks.Harry Hughes

  18. Hiya.

    Can anybody please tell me if they remember any scout groups in Govanhill during the period 1960-80s.