M&S, Mann Byars & Three Historic Glasgow Streets.

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M&S, Mann Byars & Three Historic Glasgow Streets.

Postby HollowHorn » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:39 pm

ARGYLE STREET
Was without the West Port, and was at first known as Dumbarton Road, then it changed to Wester Gate, and previous to assuming the patronymic of Archibald, Duke of Argyle, it was called Anderston Walk. In May, 1761, the corpse of Argyle, who had met his death in England, lay in state, while en route to the ducal burying-place at Kilmun, in the Black Bull Hotel, then known as the Highland Society's House, in this street, which but a short time previously had been named in his honour. The old hotel still standing between Glassford Street and Virginia Street, is now engrossed in the premises of Mann, Byars, & Co.
Origin & History of Glasgow Streets


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The above building, lying between Virginia & Glassford streets inhabits a very important frontage in the expanding city, at one time it formed the western boundry of the Trongate in particular & the city in general:
There were some thirty public, and, perhaps, as many private wells. Some were considered very unsafe, being impregnated with sewage or other deleterious matter, others were held in special repute by connoisseurs. The West Port Well, originally opposite the Anchor Close in Argyle Street, thence removed to the opposite side of the street, beside the Black Bull Hotel, and then to foot of Glassford Street, was one of the most famous of the public wells, and for several hours in the morning the servant-girls were in the habit of waiting their turns till the earlier comers were served.
Glimpses of Old Glasgow

Coaches would also leave from here, heading to Edinburgh, Greenock, Dumbarton and the like. The coachyard at the rear was said to be used by the local urchins to settle disputes by means of fisticuffs.

Robert Burns was a frequent visitor to Glasgow and stayed at the Black Bull Hotel in Argyle Street, and it was from here that he wrote love letters to Wilhelmina Alexander, whom he wooed as Clarinda to his Sylvander, and who lived in a house on the east side of George Square.
A plaque was later mounted on the façade of the Black Bull Hotel to commemorate Burns' visits and was replaced by a new plaque after Marks & Spencer's store was built on the site (the plaque is on the Virginia Street wall)
City of Sculpture


On the west side of the building lies:
VIRGINIA STREET
This street got its name in 1753 by Provost Andrew Buchanan of Drumpellier and his son, George, who built the Virginia Mansion which stood at the head of the street, and upon which now stands the Union Bank of Scotland. Most of the Virginian tobacco lords had their offices in Virginia Street. The first house actually built in the street was the Thistle Bank, the City of Glasgow Bank afterwards occupying its site till its failure on 2nd October, 1878. Now it is occupied by Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co., warehousemen.
Glimpses of Old Glasgow


The business of Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co was founded in Glasgow in 1847, and located to its headquarters in Glassford Street around 1850. Overtime the property was the subject of numerous extensions and developments, until it covered a very large area of ground, extending from Glassford Street to Virginia Street, and also butting onto Argyle Street with frontages on all of them.
Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co held very large stocks of every line in which they dealt, and were known as both merchants and manufacturers with a hand in almost everything imaginable! The departments included wholesale flannels, hosiery, cottons, tweeds, linens, umbrellas and boots and shoes to name but a few.


The classic frontage of Mann Byars & Co's warehouse at 21 Glassford Street with its six Cortinthian pillars.
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In addittion to the warehouses on Glassford Street, The business of Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co. also controlled an extensive factory, opposite the headquarters with the entrance onto Virginia Street. Here, they produced a massive range of goods, manufactured by the 400 strong workforce.
The entire business of Messrs. Mann, Byars & Co. helped provide much of the city's wealth, and employed a total of 1300 staff. The work done there was considered to be of the highest quality with nothing allowed to leave the factory for the warehouse without first passing a full examination at the hands of a trained inspector.
The business was wound up in 1938, with the stock and goodwill being acquired by Campbells and Stewart & Macdonald.

Stewart & Macdonald of course can be seen holding up the stone canopy on the building of the same name next to Frasers further along Argyle St.

On it's east side lies:
Glassford Street
Opened 1793, is formed on the site of Henry Glassford of Dougalston's garden. The Shawfield Mansion was its southern boundary, the eastern wing of which is still there, though considerably altered; and the writer remembers seeing, previous to the last alteration, the hooks in the wall whereon had hung the old garden gate. Since the foregoing was written, the remaining remnant of the old mansion has been swept away, the site having been acquired for a bank.
Origin & History of Glasgow Streets


The Shawfield Mansion was built by Daniel Campbell of Shawfield in 1711 and stood at the foot of Glassford Street. A central staircase served the four apartments on the first floor and the front was decorated with a doric cornice and balustrade.
In 1725 the mansion was the scene of an infamous riot. Many Glaswegians blamed Campbell (the MP for the Clyde Burghs, 1715-1734) for the passing of an Act of Parliament imposing a 2d (less than 1p) tax on Scottish malt. Fearing the worst, Campbell packed up his valuables and fled the city with his family. On the night of 24 June, the day after the passing of the Act, rioting Glaswegians sacked the mansion. On 25 June, in further rioting, several people were killed and wounded by soldiers who had been sent to the city to help preserve law and order.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart stayed in the mansion between December 1745 and January 1746. The prince is said to have met his mistress Clementina Walkinshaw (1726?-1802) there.
See here also:
Hidden Glasgow

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Stockwell Street, 1914, looking south from Glassford Street across Argyle Street. Mann Byers' department store is on the right of the picture and Granite House is on the other side of Argyle Street, on the left. The photo is one of a series taken by Glasgow Corporation Tramways.

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Postby HollowHorn » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:40 pm

Back over on the Virginia St. side, Marks & Spencer's premisies can be seen developing over the years: (dates, where possible have been taken from the front or rear of the photographs & unless stated otherwise, all photos are from a collection belonging to the present Argyle St. store)

This undated photo from the Virtual Mitchell shows the site, lying between Virginia St & what was until recently 'The Argyle Market', that became Marks & Spencer until the construction of the new building that replaced Mann Byars.
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1919
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The title states only 'Glasgow Argyle' Probably the shop that replaced the one above. Note the little girl in the doorway.

Probably the same location:
1925:
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Viewing a cropped version, the photographer & his equipment can be seen reflected in the glass of the door:
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On firmer ground here:
Virtual Mitchell..Undated:
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RCAHMS, 1930
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1930
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Virtual Mitchell 1938
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1961
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1963
Note the Mann Byars building has been demolished to make way for the construction of the new Marks & Spencer.
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The next part will look at the construction of the M&S building that replaced Mann Byars (some cracking photos to come)
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Postby Fossil » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:01 pm

Nice work HH 8)
Bum tit tit bum tit tit play yer hairy banjo
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Postby Socceroo » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:51 am

Excellent bit of research there HH. Well done. Interesting read. Thanks. :D
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Re: M&S, Mann Byars & Three Historic Glasgow Streets.

Postby HollowHorn » Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:14 pm

This photo, from 1958 shows the Glasford St. facade of the Mann Byars Building as demolition began on the Argyle St. side:
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Here are some views from Argyle St.
1958
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February 1958
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Here are a couple of close-up's of the above photo:
Bystander peering in:
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Workman with sledgehammer: (spotted by PGCC)
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This photo is dated 1960 but I can't reconcile this with the above two photos showing the buildings well into their demolition. The first one (Virginia St./ Argyle St) I could accept but the second clearly shows Glassford St. intact.
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Here is an aerial view from 1961 Showing the now nearly cleared site
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Note the Virginia Galleries & the platforms of St. Enoch Station.

When I showed this photo to Nodrog, he zoomed in on this section:
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& added this observation:
The building being demolished in the foreground appears to be the auditorium of the Argyle Electric cinema, which closed in 1960 (and exactly where the (Argyle St.) station is now). The white rectangular bit facing Argyle St was its entrance facade.


Here is a pic from Nodrog showing the same area a little later, the demolition site is now being used as a car park. Note the train leaving St. Enochs.
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Re: M&S, Mann Byars & Three Historic Glasgow Streets.

Postby HollowHorn » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:44 pm

From Argyle St. 7th Feb 1965:
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From Argyle St. April 1965:
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Towards Glassford St 4th April 1965:
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Virginia St. / Argyle St. 27th July 1965:
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Argyle St. / Glassford St. 26th June 1965:
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From Glassford St. 3rd August 1965
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Argyle St. 8th June 1966:
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Virginia St. / Argyle St. 1966:
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Virginia St. / Argyle St. May 1966:
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