Templeton's Carpet Factory
This old Templeton Carpet factory building is the favourite of many Glaswegians. James Templeton & Sons began making carpets on this site
in 1857. Construction of the brick facade, inspired by the Doge's
Palace in Venice, began in 1888 designed by William Leiper.
What is less
well known is that on 1st November 1889 a fault in the design led to the collapse of the facade
killing 29 woman in adjacent weaving sheds. I know of no plaque commemorating the deaths of these unfortunate women .....again the
working masses taken for granted and dismissed....
|Extract from email April 2005,
Kate Arnott Hawkins, California, USA, Age 79
I have an old bible that was presented to my Gran, Catherine
Dunsmore in around 188?.
It states that it was presented to her because of the calamity that
occurred in Greenhead, Glasgow in 188?. Couldn't find any old records of
an incident around that time ............
I found out about the Templeton Building through your website. I
had been looking for an answer to a message in my Gran's bible which gave
her sympathy for the Greenhead Incident in 1889. She was only 13 and
must have been a survivor.
Thank you for solving a mystery for me.
|Extract from guestbook May 2003,
May Sutherland, Hamilton, Canada. Age:
I was looking through the pictures of Glasgow Green especially
Templeton's building. My Mother often told us the story of that particular
wall. My Grandmother was a weaver at the time of the other disaster in the
year 1900. The girls
were getting ready for a dance (at that time they had to work 'till 6
o'clock every night except Sunday, day of rest, anyway, she was in the
ladies' room getting her dress on (she sang with the band), when fire
The girls naturally went frantic and as the only window without bars was
in the ladies room, they all made a dash for it as the doors were all
locked, waiting for their boss to let them out (he had been good enough to
let them stay late, rather than go home to get themselves ready &
waste time). The doors had been locked to keep the girls from bringing in
their boyfriends to wait for them.
My Grandmother was one of the
"lucky ones" to get out through the window. after almost choking
to death with the smoke. She died 4 weeks later as a result of that
smoke, aged 32, leaving 3 children with my Grandfather. Just after she got
out of the building the inside collapsed with the weight of the looms
& most of the girls were killed.
The wall is a memoriam to the girls. If you look at the top, on the roof,
you'll see a statue of a girl, wearing a dance dress and carrying a bunch
of flowers in one arm and her right arm at her side holding her dance
shoes. Unfortunately, not too many people know about this and I've often
thought of writing to tell you. I'm sure a lot of people will be
interested in this story.
When I applied for a job in Templeton's in Templeton St. in 1951 I was
asked if I had a relative who worked there. When I told them about my
Grandmother they checked the records & I got started without a
problem. I worked in the Laboratory, way up in the attic. I couldn't have
been nearer her memoriam if I had planned it I love this website, thanks
for giving me the opportunity to tell my tale. A wee bit of Glasgow
Glasgow Green - Greenhead Street
.Large additions were made in the 1920's and 30's. The last wing facing the Green
was designed in 1936.
Carpet production ceased in the 1970's and the 'A' listed building was adapted
for use as a business centre
and been converted into offices and smaller workspaces..
Templeton workers from 1948