William Neilly... 'glesca artist'

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glesca artistSAD NEWS 25th Feb 2021 : after a long fight with illness our dear William aka 'glesca artist' passed away peacefully at home, his wife Sandra and daughter Vivienne were with him.

Through GlescaPals I got to know 'glesca artist' as a pal, he was a very sincere and talented man.                                                  Webmaister

William Neilly was born on 3 December 1947 at Forbes Street, Camlachie, the home of his maternal grandparents, although the family lived in Newhall St, Bridgeton.  Just after World War II (1939-1945) the Corporation built new houses in Dalmarnock and in 1949 his Ma and Da must have felt they’d won the fitba’ pools when they were allocated a three apartment with kitchen & inside bathroom at No.17 Woddrop Street, Dalmarnock. The Neilly family continued to live at number 17, from 1949 until 1981 when their Ma was re-housed in the Calton. 
Purchase his book:   "520 Gallowgate: Family Life in Glasgow's East End"

The Neilly Family Hogmanay 1958.

This photo was taken by eldest brother John Neilly as the family brought in the “Bells” of New Year 1959.  L to R round the table is:

William, Edward, Joey the budgie, Thomas, our Da, Mary & our Ma.


attended Springfield PrimaryRiverside Secondary and Whitehill Secondary Schools. He also attended David Dale College, Stow College and eventually graduated BSc Civil Engineering from Strathclyde University. His wife Sandra was also born and bred in the East End.  They met at the Highlander’s Institute and were married on 2 September 1971. They initially set up home in Riddrie Knowes, Glasgow where their daughter Vivienne was born in 1973.  His work with the former Strathclyde Regional Council prompted a move to Hamilton, South Lanarkshire.   They’ve lived in Hamilton since 1981. 
Their daughter graduated from Central College of Commerce as a Beauty Therapist and she 

established the first Guinot appointed beauty salon in Hamilton and traded in 1997 till 2013.



With early retirement GlescaPal William ('glesca artist') turned his hand to painting Glesca Street scenes
Purchase his book: "Glimpses of Times Past"

woddrop st
'Woddrop Street, Dalmarnock, 1950's'
Woddrop Street runs parallel to Dalmarnock Road between Allan Street and the River Clyde at Dalmarnock Bridge.  Dunclutha Street on the left leads to Dalmarnock Recreation Ground which had football pitches, bowling greens and tennis courts.  Birkwood Street on the right leads to Dalmarnock Road, at the junction of which is located The Boundary Bar, opposite Dalmarnock Power Station.  Looking south from Allan Street towards Rutherglen my painting shows the three types of housing available to residents at the end of World War II (1939 - 1945) and weans playing in the street around the 1950's. 

My painting is an original composition using acrylic on canvas board measuring 508 x 406mm (20" x 16") and it is protected with two coats of gloss varnish.  It was signed and dated by me in May 2011.


oot tae play
GlescaPals 'Walk Doon Memory Lane' – Games – inspired this painting, “Oot Tae Play”  
You could imagine this as looking northwards up Dunn Street towards Fielden Street on the other side o’ London Road, wi’ the number 9 caur headin’ oot tae Auchenshuggle.  The “young firm” playing fitba’ at the junction wi’ Bernard Street and the ragman opposite Walkinshaw Street.   But it’s a’ in the mind. How many games and how many glescapals can you spot in the painting, no’ counting the folk on the tram or the two cats and dug?   There are forty-eight GlescaPals and at least seventeen games being played by the weans.
By the way, me an’ m’ pals are climbin’ up the back o’ the billboards and m’ Da and his pals are havin’ a hauf ‘n’ a hauf in The Fly Yin – named after wan o’ m’ cats, Fred, who thinks he’s a fly yin. The wee boy in the yellow jumper is pointing tae Fred havin’ a drink from the puddle ootside the pub.
This painting of weans playing in the streets of Glasgow around the 1950s was painted in January 2009
using acrylics on canvas board measuring 610 x 455 mm (24" x 18").

dalm stn
My painting shows the frontage of Dalmarnock Railway Station as it was from its opening in November 1895 until its closure in October 1964. Coronation Mark I tramcar, service number 26, en route from Rutherglen to Scotstoun, passes beneath the iron bridge carrying goods traffic. A new Dalmarnock Station, with its entrance in Swanston Street, was opened in November 1979 to provide commuter services from Hamilton and Motherwell on the new Argyle line into Glasgow Central Station and beyond to the western suburbs.
The iron railway bridge over Dalmarnock Road was removed in June 2009 and Dalmarnock Station was temporarily closed in June 2012 to enable complete reconstruction of the station as it will play an important role when Glasgow hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Painted using acrylics on canvas board measuring 406 x 305 mm (16” x 12”) in February 2013.
Dalmarnock Railway Station
dal stn painting glesca artist

bri x old
This black and white photo inspired this original composition. 
Looking north, London Road is to the left and right and behind the number 26 tramcar en route to Burnside from Dalmuir.  To the left of the umbrella is the number 106 trolley bus en route to Govan from Riddrie.  The number 9 tramcar, en route to Auchenshuggle, can be seen emerging from the corner of the tenement building on the left of the painting.  “His Majesty O’Keefe”, starring Burt Lancaster and co-starring Joan Rice and Andre Morell is showing in glorious Technicolor at the Olympia ABC picture house in the background.
(This film was actually showing in the Olympia on 21st October 1954 - at the time Bridgeton Cross was inundated with floodwaters after torrential rain).
It was painted in January 2009 using acrylics on canvas board measuring 508 x 406 mm (20" x 16")
“Snowing at Bridgeton Cross – 1950’s”
snowing at bri x



William's works are in the traditional style and he gained two highly commended awards for exhibits in the 1990 National Exhibition of the Marquetry Society of Great Britain. He has recently taken up acrylic painting and enjoys drawing and painting cityscapes/ landscapes; buildings; animals and portraits. He works from photographs of his subjects and did all of his work in his studio at home.


(see more examples of his paintings on pages 2-5)

for further examples of paintings by 'glesca artist'
GlescaPals messageboard


The Author's books

'Glimpses of Times Past'
'S P A M'
'Family life in Glasgow's East End'
'Memoirs of a Camlachian'
Page10 'As Above, So Below'

William Neilly... 'glesca artist'

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Webmaister, many thanks for designing and maintaining this excellent and informative website. 
Your time, effort and dedication are very much appreciated by me, and I’m sure, by many others at home and abroad who visit GlescaPals a job well done, keep up the good work. Regards, William Neilly .... "glesca artist"

    Welcome tae GlescaPals Oct.2008


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