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East of the Cross - Discussion Thread
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streapadair
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 8:27 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote Report this post to Mods



The happy kid on the Chopper has messaged me - he's Harry Mcgovern from Whitby St, the Chopper was purple, and he tells me it was the best Christmas present ever. In fact he still has it.
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

streapadair wrote:


The happy kid on the Chopper has messaged me - he's Harry Mcgovern from Whitby St, the Chopper was purple, and he tells me it was the best Christmas present ever. In fact he still has it.


Isn't it wonderful a pic like that can create so many memories for people....
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sputnik
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

great wee story that,well done.i would love to own an original chopper or restore one.
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Gina
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

How about Harry doing a before and after pic on the chopper?  
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streapadair
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2016 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

Gina, that's exactly what Harry proposed himself -
http://www.streapadair.com/History/Glasgow-east/i-kXgNjVf

Yes, it's great to find one of these crappy old photos meaning so much to someone.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

cybers wrote:
iangr wrote:
Here is a picture taken by myself in 1975 of a sign factory situated on the corner of Gallowgate and Abercromby Street. I think the address was 470 Gallowgate. This building has now been demolished and new housing built in it's place. I worked here off and on from about 1961 until the end of 1971 in a drawing office situated on the second floor. After I had changed my job I still kept in touch with workmates who were still there and that was when I took this colour slide. I was told it used to be a convent but I have never been able to find out it's history. It was a very old building and my recollections of the interior were that the staircases were on their last legs. You could see gaps between the stone steps. Also you could feel the heads of the floor nails dig into the soles of your shoes, as they stood so proud of the floor boarding. The ground floor held the metal bashing shop, the first floor the plastics shop, the second floor was offices and the third top floor was the glass bending shop.

It was a cold place to work in the winter as the heating was grossly inadequate, partly due to spaces in the window frames and the feeble storage heating. Some of the staff used to play football in the old cemetery (opposite) during the lunch break. To myself it was a rather bleak building but the operatives who worked there were a good lot to work with. The entrance was through a cobbled pend from the Gallowgate. The only cheering aspect here was the sight of a pub on the left of the pend as you went in. The area in the foreground was once the space where 'Paterson's Cleansel Works' stood and it would not have been possible to shoot the above picture from this angle before these premises were demolished.

Laird Signs factory 1975
Photo: I Russell


Great piece of relevant info to go with the photo Ian ... Can almost feel the cauld and those nails maself now  

This was the place were i first worked when leaving school good job at £3.00 per week with half a crown off for a stamp .
I worked with a bloke called Jimmy Donaldson he was a spark can remember the folk in the sheet metal bit on the ground floor old harry and another bloke called  Jimmy  Cranston and a rather weird apprentice called Frank old John Hunter and Tommy Grubb , Jimmy Scullion in the glass department and the spray painter who lived at Ruby street auld wullie gault and his wee hilman imp his pride and joy .
oh happy days .
head office was in bath streetoh and the drawing room with the bearded wonder i think he was called ken
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iangr
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: East of the Cross Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

Here is another picture I found of the Laird Neon Signs Factory situated at 570 Gallowgate. This one was taken from Abercromby Street, I think about 1977 before it was demolished. In my previous colour picture taken from the other side of the building, the tenements were still standing and that was in 1975. Maybe someone can identify the cars parked in the space where the tenements stood and date the shot more accurately.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

were the Laird premises then on the same side (and up from) St Mary's church? Cheers Gerry
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: East of the Cross discussion thread Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

Yes, that's correct. St Mary's church sits at the junction with Forbes Street and Abercromby Street which is directly south of the Laird Neon Signs factory.

The Laird Neon Signs firm was owned by a Mr Solly Gold at the time I was employed there in the early 1960's. The Laird Neon Signs company came from an amalgamation with an earlier firm owned by a John Dickson called 'Neon Products'. This firm specialized in glass tube neon signs whereas Solly's company was into acrylic sheet backlit signs. The combination gave a wider choice to customers and a bigger base. The earlier firm occupied the Gallowgate premises before 1960. Solly's firm had basement premises in 117 Bath Street which became the head office, sales, sign design and finance offices. The Gallowgate premises became the manufacturing workshops and garaged the signwork installation vans. Laird Signs was wound up in the late 1970's.

'Harry Watson' was the foreman of the metal shop on the ground floor. 'Willie Gault' worked in the time and materials office adjacent but I think he was a sign installer previously. He had a tremendous sense of humour being able to describe everyone's nuances to a tee. Arthur Cravagan was the acrylic shop foreman on the first floor. Pat Slowey did acrylic ink screen printing on a large silk frame with a squeegee. He was a kind of soothsayer to younger staff like myself, giving his thoughts on what we should be doing to further our careers outside of sign making. Outside staff: I remember that 'Stevie Hare' was an electrician (a real character) under the wing of the foreman electrician Thomas Grubb. Tommy Grubb was a very able and knowledgeable installation manager. He was a real gent. The electrician Jimmy Donaldson also worked under him. There was also a handyman/labourer who wore a bunnet all the time and was called Matt McCombe. He fixed just about everything in the premises that needed attention and it needed a lot of attention. 'John Hunter' originally came from the glass shop on the top floor and became the factory manager about 1961 as a young man. John Currie, also a young man at that time was the active director and overall company manager. Solly Gold, the managing director/proprietor, gradually disengaged himself from everyday running from around 1966 to retire in sunny Bournemouth except for a few business visits up to Glasgow to check all was well with his firm. It must have seemed to him quite a contrast of environments. Factory manager John Hunter became a director at this time no doubt to balance things up a bit on the day to day running and accountability.

I was always intrigued by the maintenance office adjoining the drawing office on the second floor on the north side. This was occupied by a balding humorous middle aged man called Jimmy Edwards who was in charge of the admin for contract restoration of neon glass repairs.  When a sign needed a new glass section, the drawing office got a blue card which gave details of the address, neon sign and damage. You then had to find the sign work original drawings which were filed between large sheets of brown paper and stuffed in between rough piles of unstable sliding folders on dusty, rickety shelves, often stored up to seven feet high. This was a hellish dusty job as the identification was scribbled somewhere on the edge of the brown paper. You couldn't get a more crude and basic filing system. Very often you couldn't locate the drawings and you then needed to trace outlines from the broken glass remnants supplied by the outside staff. We traced on to asbestos paper! I recall Jimmy's big black GPO bakelite phone never stopped ringing all day. I also remember a disgusting brown stained sink at the office window that sat at a severe angle due to the state of the building. Evidence of a crack at this location can be discerned on my black and white photo above. See left hand side, last window, second floor. This was a dark 'Dickensian' place of work. It could have been quite depressing, except for relief provided by the humour and tolerant attitude exhibited by the workers.
Staff who worked in the Gallowgate drawing office on the second floor in 1961 were Roddy Cochran, James Gaffney, David Cameron and myself. A young drawing apprentice called Bobby Elliot worked there before I was sent for a couple of years in 1961. I recall my weekly pay then was £3 per week as an apprentice designer.
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Last edited by iangr on Tue Sep 20, 2016 9:09 pm; edited 12 times in total
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Marblez
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2016 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Report this post to Mods

The car on the right is an Audi 80 ... that particular model was first introduced in 1978 so the photo cannot be earlier than that ... your initial guess of 1977 was not far off the mark


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