| Bridgeton Working Mens Club ... 'The Workies'
Landressy Street, Bridgeton
1865 motto "learn from the past, use well the future"
1865 some local employers and business men namely James Dick (drive
belts), James Templeton (carpets), James T Tullis (leather) to name a
few, subscribed money to set up a club for Bridgeton's working
men. Its first Chairman was James Templeton of the famous carpet
The club originally occupied a
building near Bridgeton Cross in *Canning Street (*latterly renamed
London Road) and it was the intention that the working men should
manage the club.
The sponsors put up one thousand shares at 5 shillings a share to the
men and initially 925 of these shares were taken up, the money being
used to furnish the club with good material and equipment. The
running and management of the club proved to be very successful.
Thirty-two years later in 1897 the North British Railway Company wanted
the building and adjacent land and it was agreed to sell to them for
£9,500 and to use the money to build new premises.
Land was secured and new premises were built in No.9 Landressy Street
at a cost of £11,000 and the building was officially opened by the Lord
Provost of Glasgow Sir David Richmond, on Tuesday 21st March
1899. The club provided a library and a variety of
games and entertainments as well as food and drink, although no alcohol
was served in the premises.
70,000 members and visitors converged each year to the clubs' new
premises to partake of leisure pursuits ranging from a library reading
room, carpet bowls, cards, dominoes, a chess room, snooker, billiards.
As you can see from this
photo taken c1978, it was a magnificent building
This wonderful sketch
also shows the magnificence
of the building.
( artist unknown )
from Tam McCann
from Tam McCann
Local workers and bosses rubbed shoulders
at the club, which organised
fund-raising activities and held outings for old folk.
constitution reflected the mood of the moment,
strictly no drink or
gambling allowed on the premises,
and while games were allowed for six
days a week
the club only opened on a Sunday if it was for an
related to religion.
'The Workies' motto
“Learn from the
use well the future”
This motto always
stuck in my mind
and indeed in 2002
when I started
GlescaPals I gave the
the same motto!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
GlescaPals: I remember using the club as a teenager,
locally it was called‘The Workies'
it had a floor full of full size snooker tables and a
special‘tournament’snooker room with two tables.
I also remember that they sold wonderful pies with beans or marrowfat
peas and delicious bovril with crackers for dookin' in.
Ex Bernard Street School. GlescaPal: Ma
wee Maw worked as a cleaner in the Cafeteria, she wid hae had loads o'
stories aboot the auld yins who had come tae play chess, dominoes,
snooker and cards. A wee fuight wid often break oot and my wee
Maw and the other staff wid hae tae step in tae stop world war three!!
Everyone over seventy years old remembers where they were when they
heard aboot the assassination of JFK.... I along wi a pal Dave Allan
were in The Workies playing snooker, I was sixteen then.
Ex Bernard Street School. GlescaPal: Memories of
the Brigton Workies:
My brother Alex remembers the great pies covered with bovril from the
wee cafe Mmmmm.
So many memories Oor Alex was in the workies most Saturday mornings he
had his own personal snooker cue in the club and knew lots of the local
worthies. He recalls one Saturday going into the snooker room down
stairs and meeting Johnny Hubbard the famous Glasgow Rangers
player Known as the "penalty king" he asked Alex if he
fancied a game. So Alex was playing when Johnny asked Alex about the
group at the next table, who had bottles of whisky out and were having
a drink and betting, my brother said that's ok they won't bother you.
The group consisted of cheeky Charlie, john Craig, Scadger Bain, if you
lived in Brigton back then you would know those names. John Craig asked
Alex if he could stand in for him as he had to go a message, when he
came back Charlie said to John Craig "do you think you are a fly man
this guy is some player." Alex said he had never seen so much
money passing hands, John Craig gave Alex £20 probably a weeks wages
back then around 1957-58.
Westburn, Glasgow, GlescaPal: When
I went to the (workies) Snooker most of the time it was quiet . until
somebody started whistling, then someone else on the far side started
whistling the same tune.
And ye canny no' mention a Pie an Pea`s or with Gravy, or should i say
hot OXO, such memories and being in there when your supposed to be at
school ... (doggin it)
know this might sound funny to some of you but the Workies was the
place I learned to play bowls. Also on the ground floor you had all the
card tables, and down stairs in the basement there was more snooker
McGregor, Spain, GlescaPal: my memory is learning to
play snooker and the pies, now I want a pie!
Sadly as the area changed and with membership
latterly was only being used on a regular basis by
the local old folk.
With failing attendances and lack of
interest the officials had no
option but to close the doors
on one of the oldest unlicensed working
mens club in the
Chairman, for the last decade, William Jackson
the club in September 1979. He stated "We had to close
the club, no one is prepared nowadays to
lend a hand.
People today are only interested in playing bingo,
and gambling. We ended with about 20 members who felt
pointless carrying on. I'm
aged 74 and have been
member for the last 54 years. The club
premises, is a listed
building and has been handed over to Glasgow
Sadly the building was demolished in the early 1980s
Bridgeton Working Mens Club
in Landressy Street
Bridgeton Working Mens Club, Landressy Street taken in 1978 from entrance at
photo taken from London Rd
photo D.McCallum 27 Jan 1974
building at the end of the street is the Bridgeton Methodist Church
(called the Ebenezer Hall )
Behind the lorry to the right is the Masonic Hall which was
owned by Lodge Union & Crown No.103.
They sold the hall in c1984. The lorry is parked outside a shop and
close entrance to the church hall. This building became the Apprentice
Boys Hall before finally turning into a pub called the Keystane.
The church is Bridgeton West & Barrowfield Church of Scotland which
closed in the 1960s the congregation having moved round the corner to
Greenhead Barrowfield Church in London Road.
Left side of the photo is the Bridgeton Working Mans Club which opened
in these premises in 1899
GlescaPals tribute tae 'The Workies'