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 Dalmarnock Congregational Church, jcn of Fairbairn Street, Bridgeton Page 1 Page 2
Page 3  

( Page 2 - inside church )  
( Page 3 - old church mags )

Fairbairn Street has been renamed Fairbairn Path,
the church has also changed names,
and is now an evangelical church.
 
Church 
231 Dalmarnock Rd.
jcn of Fairbairn
 Street
in Bridgeton

(Photo taken Feb 2002 )

I have many fond memories
of this church.           
            

 

The Dalmarnock Church Congregation was founded in 1858 and like many others had to find accommodation where it could. The Church opened in 1902 and eventually became the largest congregation in the Union. The congregations of the 3 local churches dwindled over the years until in 1969 it was decided that they should amalgamate. They then formed Bridgeton Congregational Church, using the Dalmarnock Road building in Bridgeton and continued until1980.

After negotiations the building was taken over by Pastor Hayton of the Assemblies of God (part of the Pentecostal Church) in 1980, after his enforced move from Zion Hall in the Calton. By this time the building was in exceedingly poor condition and required extensive renovations. It was also one of the few structures left standing in the immediate area.
Pastor Hayton and his congregation restored the church in traditional style most successfully. Strange to say, he is the second of that name to minister in the church. The first was Rev Hayton of the Congregational Church who served from 1905-25. In fact the church had been nicknamed "Hayton's Church" at that time. It is now known as Bridgeton Free Evangelical Church.
(source A History of Bridgeton and Dalmarnock by G.Adams)

PO directory 1912 :  Hayton, Rev. Geo., Dalmarnock Congregational  Church ;  house. 6 Hillfoot street, Dennistoun.

        ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
List description revised as part of the Glasgow East End listing review, 2010:-
                
John Campbell MacKellar (1859-1941) was a Glasgow based architect whose practice worked on a variety of tenements, commercial, domestic and ecclesiastical buildings. This is one of a number of church buildings he designed. The partnership of MacKellar, Davis & Gunn was formed around 1911
.
CHURCH DESCRIPTION:
J C MacKellar, 1901, with Mackellar, Davies & Dunn, 1911-1912 hall to E. 5-bay, symmetrical, nave and aisles, gabled church with Art Nouveau detailing and with 2-storey and attic, 4-bay gabled hall to E. Coursed and snecked stone with ashlar dressings. Swept roof over aisles. Tall, round-arched windows to church.
ENTRANCE ELEVATION TO West: Central Art Nouveau doorpiece with entrance with engaged columns and distinctive swept pediment above. Timber panelled entrance doors. 3-light Gothic tracery arched window above. Flanking buttresses surmounted by empty niches. Parapetted stair towers to outer bays.
HALL TO East: (Fairbairn Street): near symmetrical, 2-storey and attic, hall with mullioned windows. Tripartite mullioned and transomed windows to ground. Entrance door to far right with 2-light fanlight above. Pair of central gables.
Predominantly leaded glass windows. Grey slates.
Polygonal base of former belfry behind front gable. Raised skews to hall.
Statement of Special Interest.  Place of Worship in use as such.
     An important part of Glasgow's architectural history, this church is distinguished by its fine Art Nouveau doorpiece and swept roof. Prominently positioned on a corner site, it adds significantly to the streetscape of the area. The detailing reflects the influence of highly regarded Glasgow architect J J Burnet who moved from Beaux-Arts to Baroque and Free Style designs adopted by many of his contemporaries.
     It was built originally for an Evangelical Union congregation as their previous building had been declared unsafe. The Evangelical Union Church united with the Congregational Union in 1896. Gradually the population declined in the area around the church and the congregation subsequently reduced in membership and it closed in 1980. It re-opened later as an Assembly of God Church, who still occupies the building. (2023)
 


Below is a picture of Fairbairn Path taken from Dalmarnock Road.
The trees on the right are adjacent to the church. ( trees in Fairbairn Street !!! )
Unrecognisable to anyone who lived in the tenements of Fairbairn Street.
 
Fairbairn Path at Dalmarnock Road.

.

 

The church hall is called the 'George Gladstone Memorial Hall'  
I spent many a happy hour in there as a member of the 175th BB

Photo taken September 2002, Webmaister

The main building in Fairbairn Street was Dalmarnock Congregational Church on the south corner of Fairbairn Street at 231 Dalmarnock Road. It opened in 1902 and was a congregational church until 1980. It is one of the few original structures left in the area and certainly the only building left from old Fairbairn Street. It is a Cat.B listed building, designed by architect John C. MacKellar whose practice worked on a variety of tenements, commercial, domestic and ecclesiastical buildings. This church building, which was listed in Dec.1970, is distinguished by its fine Art Nouveau doorpiece and swept roof. Prominently positioned on the corner site, it adds significantly to the streetscape of the area.
Band of HopeFeb.2003 GlescaPal Peter Scott, Canada  
Every Monday evening an orderly queue of boys and girls would form outside the Gladstone Memorial Hall adjacent to Dalmarnock Congregational Church in Fairbairn Street.
It was "Bandyhope" night, and, when the doors were open, there would be a frantic rush to get the best seats - boys to the left aisle - girls to the centre. But first an introduction:
The Band of Hope, to give it its proper name, was a body of volunteers dedicated to instilling in the minds of its young members a set of high moral values to take with them through life, based, as a first principle, on a total abstinence from strong drink.
The meeting began by the boys and girls reciting the Pledge in unison, led by Mr. Whiteside.
I promise here by Grace divine
to drink no spirits, ale, or wine
nor will I buy or sell or give
strong drink to others while I live
for my own good this Pledge I take
but also for my neighbours' sake
and this my strong resolve shall be
No drink, no drink, no drink for me

There followed an evening of entertainment provided by singers and dancers from various local church groups. Our Band of Hope had its own harmonica band led by Mr.Hastie. It was really very good, and gave concerts at many social functions in the East End.
The meeting closed with the Benediction and the members joining to sing songs extolling the virtues of temperance. One that I recall went something like this:
You'll never find me there, in a public house
in a public house, in a public house.
You'll never find me there, in a public house.
Oh, no! No! No!

(Hardly Rogers & Hammerstein - but what d'ye expect for a penny - the Orpheus Choir?)
On alternate Mondays, the lights were dimmed for a Lantern Lecture. The story was more or less the same for every show. For the sake of brevity the following is a synopsis:
Working man on way home from work with his wages is persuaded, reluctantly, by his mates to join them for a drink in a public house. In time the poor soul becomes a complete slave to the demon drink, in the process depriving his wife and family of the bare necessities of life. In one slide he is seen stealing pennies from the wee bairn's piggy bank. All ends happily however, when he is met outside the pub one night by an officer of the Salvation Army who leads him back to the path of righteousness and restores him, sober and re-invigorated, to the bosom of his family.

                                                                  ----- THE END -----
The story was told in a series of slides flashed on the screen with a running commentary by a gentleman on stage, while the lantern was operated by his assistant at the rear.
The commentator, in telling the story, used a "clicker" to signal to his assistant when to change slides. Invariably, some "wise guy" in the audience would have a "clicker" of his own, which he would click at random, seeking thereby to confound the whole operation and hoping, no doubt, to throw the audience into fits of laughter. It never worked. Both operators had been telling the same story at Band of Hope meetings for years, and were not fooled by the ruse. A warning by Mr. Whiteside to the miscreant to cease and desist was generally sufficient.
I don't think the Band of Hope survived the war, but after almost 70 years, I still remember the Pledge. Remembering the words is one thing, but fulfilling its premise - Well that, as they say, is another story.

I attended Dalmarnock Primary School, Bridgeton in the 1930's----

Nov.2023 Donnie McLaren from 'Brigton Pals' Facebook.

Thank you for your information of the Church, it did lay empty for a number of years when I became a member of the Church the minister was the Rev Ron Hayton.
Then around 18 years ago the Church became the Bridgeton Life Church under the Assemblies Of God the leading Pastor Paul Euliano at the time and it was called Champion Life Church. Paul returned to America and seven years ago.  Pastor Andrew Smith became the leading Pastor.

The Church is now called the Gateway Church.
The Church congregation is both religions and we welcome everybody.
The Church works for the community with different functions.
On a Monday, it has the 'Junction' this is for children around 8 years old upwards.
On a Wednesday is the community open day for people to come for a tea, coffee, soup, sandwich or hamburger roll and a get together for a chat and everybody is welcome young and elderly: between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm there is a good team of people who are at your service.
On Thursday is "Noah's Ark" for toddlers.
It is a good working Church with the congregation that welcomes everyone.
The Church is a Baptist Church


 

See more Band of Hope memories from GlescaPals

 

 Dalmarnock Congregational Church, jcn of Fairbairn Street, Bridgeton Page 1 Page 2
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