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Tobago Street                                                                                                   page1  page2

Tobago Street old Police station  

                                                                                            Tobago St Polis Station taken in the 1990s by GlesgaPal CaltonCuddy



The Old Police Station in Tobago Street when this was taken is refurbished commercial units.
In my childhood I only managed a visit to this place once..........for playing fitba in the street. 
My Da had to take me up for a 'telling off' from the Police Inspector, considering the gang
mayhem that was going on around this time, my old man wisnae to happy wi the polis!


                                                                                                                                                         Tobago St Polis Station taken in 2006 by GlesgaPal glasgowken
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Tobago Street Police Station. by GlescaPal Irene Robertson 2021
Almost one of the last buildings left standing in the area and of course, now empty and derelict, is the former police station and court still (at the time of writing at least) standing in Tobago Street.
In 1869, this was the new police station for the Eastern Division, and contained a court room, mortuary, muster hall, and other offices, together with some 30 cells to the rear. Single-storey wings (according to records, but see pics below) to either side were occupied by the fire brigade, cleansing, and lighting departments.
It was in use until 1981, when new headquarters were opened on London Road.
As of the time of writing, there seem to be no plans for the site, the building is decaying, and considered ‘At Risk’.

~ ~ ~


Tobago Street Police Station. by GlescaPal Irene Robertson 2021


   More Old Tobago Street Photos               


Tobago Street & POLIS TALES 

Extract from messageboard 2nd Jan 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England  
Dae ye remember when the coppers used tae walk frae Brigton Cross tae Springy Road testing the shop padlock were aw secured? Of coorse this was the days when bein a polis wis a serious profession an' no like these days when aw they day is drive roon smiling in a panda car that looks like a jeely piece.
A' kin jist amagine the polis training school in they days:- "Constable Macdonald, how dae ye test a door padloke?" "Please sur... ye grasp it in yur right gloved hon an' shoogle it up an doon." " Correct constable, yer noo a fully fledged polis first class." "When the padlokes have been checked, look oot fur weans playin fitba in the street."
"Yes sur!"

Extract from messageboard 3rd Jan 2003, Frank Sheridan   (email : tba )
I lived in 696 Dalmarnock road, ground floor. Our bedroom looked onto the main road, so my brother Derek and I used to put dogs keech on the shop padlocks and crack up laughing when 'big nose' the local polis man checked the shops at 10 pm.......

Extract from messageboard 3rd Jan 2003, Charlie McDonald, Glasgow    (email : tba )
....... half of the East-end was slashing each other every night during the summer school holidays. 
What did Glesga's finest do...lift me and my pals for playing fitba' in the street.....the Untouchables..remember them and their two tone blue transit...lifted us for playing fitba' on the grass next to the Sauny pond on the Green. 
Result.....fined a £1 and warned as to our future behaviour.....we were 13!

Extract from messageboard 3rd Jan 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England
"As a fourteen/fifteen year old boy I used to work for a firewood merchant (all now dead and gone) who cronied up to the constabulary with the sole purpose of enabling his 'wheeling and dealing'
It was commonly known that the gentleman in question purchased 'excess' diesel/petrol from passing lorry drivers which he sold on again to other punters for a healthy profit.
I remember quite clearly that it was not uncommon to have a black maria visit the premises with the sole purpose of purchasing up to sixty gallons of petrol/ diesel, and at one time (I promise this is true) there was on tow a senior officer of inspector rank, present with his nose firmly in the trough of illegality.
Of course as a child none of this had an effect upon me as my only purpose was to bunch sticks and an honest wage.
(I was tempted to say earn an honest copper but this would seem bad grammar)
So whilst crime was rife throughout Glesga during this period, these same officers, who were up to no good themselves, would on back shift (and on good overtime) drive roon as the 'untouchables' picking up weans for playing fitba, and youths, (with nowhere to go) for 'loitering'.
Aye, that wis the day's when the 'Bizzys' wur professionals, and ye could leave yer snek key on the latch, safe in the knowledge that you had the protection of the constabulary around you.
Whits that I heard ye say 'some bliddy hopes'!

Extract from messageboard 4th Jan 2003, Charlie McDonald, Glasgow    (email : tba )
Ronnie as you know I also worked for the same firewood merchant when I was younger. I witnessed many of the tricks that Glasgow's Finest got up to as well. It wasn't uncommon for them to visit the scene of a crime during the night...usually a shop or a pub that had been broken in to... and take their own haul and take it to the firewood merchants and stash it in one of the lock ups....they had their own keys. When the merchant died you could not get near the chapel of rest at Daldowie for police...and I am talking anes wi' brading on their caps.!"

Extract from messageboard 4th Jan 2003, Jimmy Reid, Canada   
"I've got a hunnert stories aboot the polis being as how ma Da' had been wan for a wee while? I wis about 9 or 10 and had got lifted by a Big Cheuchter Polisman fae' Skye??? Well! we got to court and the Judge asked about the
'charges' "I caught this hooligan stealing carrots My Lord!" "Stealing Cats?" says The Judge. "NO! stealing carrots!!!" "Oh! why did you steal a cat son??" "I didn't! I stole some carrots" "Were you hungry son?" "No, your honour, but my rabbits were!" "Officer!!" cried the Judge, "If you have nothing better to do with YOUR TIME! I certainly do! Why don't you go and catch some REAL CRIMINALS!!! Oh' I wiz chuffed! until I goat ootside' I still got a doing aff ma Da' even although I got off?? Life's no ferr sometimes, intitno?"

Extract from messageboard 4th Jan 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England 
Although, the polis sometime have a difficult job especially when dealing with 'domestics'.
I remember one night at the polis box at Kinloch Street (jist beside Celtic Park) this drunk guy wis gein his wife a real meltin, wae her face awe cut and screaming, he kept beltin intae her.
Then oot o' the polis box comes pc 49 Murdoch wae his sidekick and began to grapple with the assailant, pulling him away from his loved one, at which she began to skelp away at the two coppers shouting 'you leave my fn man alane', which led to her also being arrested.

Extract from messageboard 5th Jan 2003, Charlie McDonald, Glasgow    (email : tba )
"Ronnie same thing happened to me and my mates one night when we were hanging about the Helenvale Flats. There is this guy battering lumps out of his wife on the London Road. Not wanting to get involved we stood back and watched from a distance one of the boys remarked " I wouldn't like to think it was my Ma getting a doing fae ma Da and nobody stepped in ". We walked over and started to tell the guy to stop thing he lunges at us and we had to fend him thing the wumman starts screaming about us trying to kill her man...before you know it people are shouting out their windows shouting at us for taking cannot win in a situation like that....can you?

Extract from messageboard 5th Jan 2003, Charlie McDonald, Glasgow    (email : tba )
In all fairness Ronnie they weren't all bad. One night when I was about 16 about six us were walking by Capaldi's cafe in Springfield Road...the owner Big Tony was talking to two polis. I waved over to Tony as we made our way down to the Springfield lights...after about five minutes we made our way back up Springy Road. Next thing I know I am huckled up a close by two burly polis. My crime...I had gave them the Vicky...according to them I had when I had waved over to big Tony. The radioed for a van to lift me... next thing the van screeches up at the front of the close and out jumps a big Tuetcher Sergeant and my two law officers gave him a rundown of what I was suppossed to have done....meanwhile I am protesting my innocence. The big Tuechter asks me my name and where I lived to which I replied in my best voice " Charles McDonald Constable and I live in MacBeth Street". The big Sergeant then asks my father's name and where my family originally came from " I told him that my grandfather was a highlander but I was unaware where the family originally came from". He then spoke to the other two and they just walked away. The sergeant then turned around to me and said " Charles you have a fine highland name don't ever do anything to disgrace it so away you go and stop walking about the streets in a gang....get yerself a young woman if you want to stay out of trouble".

Extract from messageboard 7th Jan 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England
"Charlie on the guest page mentions if anyone remembers 'Rubberlips' the polis, well I certainly do, and he wisnae wan o' yer wishy washy 'screws' who were never happier that when helping ye wae yer kerry oot oan tae the bus late on a Seturday night. Naw naw naw, Rubberlips wiz fur 'law an order' and pity any poor soul who crossed him by drinking frae a screwtap oan the bus efter time oan any night o' the week. It must be said that rubberlips (the scourge o' Barrowfield) wiz slightly psycho, bit fair wae it.
If the polis on the beat in Brigton today were just hoff as dedicated tae law and order as rubberlips wiz, the neighbourhood would definitly be a better place tae live, and free of neds, nerdaewells, drugged up haulfwits crackpots, baw stoaters and balloons of every criminal persuasion. Come back Rubberlips, all is forgiven.

Extract from messageboard 8th Jan 2003, Charlie Parks, Glasgow (email : tba )
"Ronnie,we are definatly talking about the same person and you described him brilliantly, I was only about seven year old in 1953 and I can remember my ma saying "if ye dont behave I,ll send for rubberlips"this had the desired effect and I was a good wee boy let me tell you.he was a b****** with a capital b. but at the same time two or three like him wouldnt go wrong today instead of these dikheads who spend their time hiding up back streets sleeping I' ve seen them when on nightshift and are never there when they are wanted.."

Extract from messageboard 10th Jan 2003, Hugh Morrow, Glasgow (email : tba )
I remember talking to my father at the gate of Martin`s Leather Works in Heron St.where he was working at the time,when I saw a disturbance at the top end of the street at it`s junction with Dalmarnock Rd. I just had to investigate being a nosey wee sod, imagine my surprise when I saw my wee brother in a line of about a dozen 5-6 year-olds being marched out the big gate at the Bully (railway grounds) in single file wi` a bobby at either end along Dalmarnock Rd. thru`Brigton Cross along London Rd. to Tobago St. to be charged with Trespass on Railway Property!!! you can imagine the dog`s abuse these upholders of Law & Order took in carrying out their duty that day, my wee bro` was suitably chastised by my mother, but I always wondered if these boys in blue made it to the top of their chosen career
Extract from messageboard 11th Jan 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England  
Well hing oan there a minute Hugh, whilst I know exactly where yer coming from, the fact is that railways were a very dangerous place for youngsters, as is the same today.
I remember 'trespassing' on the same grounds as yer wee brother wiz picked up but I wiz up tae serious and dangerous mischief. Wit we wid dae wiz tae go intae the tunnel (aboot a quarter of a mile in) and unhook the detonators frae the tracks, so that we could explode them later frae the washoose roof. This wiz obviously a dangerous dangerous business which someone needed tae put a stop tae before wan a' us weans wiz killed
So it might be the case that the polis (god bless them, lol) might have diverted your wee brother from a situation which could have put his life in danger. As previously mentioned, A polismans lot is not an 'appy one.
Extract from messageboard 05th Oct 2003, Ronnie McPhee, London, England  
I remember as a twelve year old being taken tae Tobago Street Polis Station by my daddy fur a matter o' stealing apples and oranges, while in the company of others, frae the fruit store which wis in the London Road Jist opposite Stamford Street Lane, and spittin distance frae The Wee Ship. (anywan remember?)
Anywie's I was ge'in a caution and the inspector who gave me the formal lecture said to me that if I "Flew wae craws I wid be shot wae the craws", profound words which have stayed waw me ever since.
Extract from messageboard 05th Oct 2003, Blondie, Scotland  (email : tba )
..we got caught loiterin wan night at the corner of mill st and greenhead st there were about a dozen of us all aged about 14 and then pc plod appears and takes all the names and addresses fur loiterin well u all know wit the maw is like a real strict disciplinarian so i went up and comfessed and wat a sherickin ah got she went on and on and on and on how i was gonny end up in a jail somewhere for gods sake all we were doin was standin at a corner but i was grounded for about a fortnight and the best part wis the polis never took it further we never heard fae them again but i never got inty bother again either
can u imagine noo if the polis tried to lift u for standin at a corner dont think so wanes today widny allow it
Extract from messageboard 05th Oct 2003, Marlene, England  (email : tba )
I remember when I was about 13years old. Me and a few friends had been to the Kelvin Hall, the shows I think.
Anyway there was a traffic policeman, stopping the traffic to let people cross the road.
We crossed over and I threw an ice lolly paper on the ground, and to my horror, he blew his whistle, stopped the traffic and made me walk back into the middle of the road and pick it up.
It taught me a lesson, and to this day, I've never dropped litter in the street.
That's probably why my pockets are always full of rubbish. But I don't think it was a bad lesson to learn.
Extract from messageboard 05th Oct 2003, May Croly, Puerto Rico  
Well..I hate to bring this up..but I, also, was taken to the Polis Station..but was allowed to leave and my two "pals" had to stay.. I wis just told to chose my friends, carefully..
I had gone to a big Department Store out the wasn`t Lewis` another at the top of a hill..always busy..sorry can`t remember the name.
Just received my pay poke that Friday and had gone shopping on the Saturday with two friends (sisters) they left me and I bought, never forget, a lovely blouse, so I thought back then, and a nice wee pair o` black velvet flat shoes with the little bow in front..they left me in the store I bought my stuff met up with them , left the store and then we were surrounded..they had stolen clothes, as I was with them they thought that I wis also snatching merchandise..they found the slip that I bought mine...never went out with them again..a wis so embarrassed and scared oot o ma wits.

Aug. 2010, Tracey Hill, Queensland, Australia
Great site - I loved the photos from Tobago Street.  My 3 x great grandfather James Martin Hill was a Police Constable there in the 1860's.  I am trying to get some sort of record, but hard work from Australia



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