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 Bridgeton Working Mens Club ... 'The Workies'          Landressy Street, Bridgeton   

Founded in 1865         motto "learn from the past, use well the future"

In 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 firm. 

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.  
grand opening

Over 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
Bridgeton Working Mens Club



                        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 the usual
  fund-raising activities and held outings for old folk.

    The 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
  activity related to religion.

                      'The Workies'  motto

             “Learn from the past,
             use well the future”

         This motto always stuck in my mind
         and indeed in 2002 when I started
         GlescaPals I gave the website
         the same motto!


Webmaister 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.

Willie Gibson,  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.

George Kane,  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.

Jimmy Murphy, 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)

Jack O'Hara, GlescaPal: I 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 tables.

 Peter McGregor,  Spain, GlescaPal: my memory is learning to play snooker and the pies, now I want a pie!
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Landressy Street

     Sadly as the area changed and with membership falling, 
 the club 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
for the last decade, William Jackson closed
 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, boozing,
 and gambling. We ended with about 20 members who felt
 it was pointless carrying on.
I'm aged 74 and have been a
 member for the last 54 years. The club premises, is a listed
 building and has been handed over to Glasgow District   
 Council."                                          Source Glasgow Museums

               Sadly the building was demolished in the early 1980s

Old photo of the
       Bridgeton Working Mens Club
       in Landressy Street

Landressy Street
Bridgeton Working Mens Club, Landressy Street taken in 1978 from entrance at London Road

Landressy Street
Landressy Street photo taken from London Rd                        photo D.McCallum 27 Jan 1974

The domed 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'



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