Shawlands

Shawlands Cross (Crossmyloof Mansions) – c1900

A view looking south west to Shawlands Cross. The distinctive wedge shape of Crossmyloof Mansions at the junction of Kilmarnock and Pollokshaws Roads is a familiar sight to most South Siders, not least because on its bottom floor you’ll find The Granary. Home to a couple of generations of Shawlands drinkers since it opened in 1983, it was previously the southern outpost of Glasgow firm Samuel Dow Ltd. The company was started in 1807 by Lochaber native Samuel McCalman (Dow being an anglicised form of the surname). Originally a wine merchant and whisky bonder, the company had several pubs across the city by 1899.

The building itself is a white ashler tenement of around 1890, topped by a ballustraded parapet. The triangular footprint means it’s one of several “gushet” buildings in the city, other prominent examples being Eglinton and Paisley Road Tolls. Crossmyloof Mansions is a category B listed building and forms part of the Shawlands Consevration Area.

On the right is the former Glasgow Savings Bank which is now Linen bar and restaurant. It was designed by Neil Campbell Duff and opened its doors in 1906. Through the lights on the right hand side are two handsome churches. Furthest away is the Shawlands Old Parish Church designed by John A. Campbell and opened in 1889. It’s now home to the modern Destiny church. Just visible through the trees on the corner is the former Shawlands United Free Church, designed by Miller & Black and built between 1900 and 1903 at a cost of £15,000.

Langside Avenue – 1890s

Photo (C287): Sourced from Virtual Mitchell and reproduced with the kind permission of Glasgow City Archives.

A view of Langside Avenue looking west towards Minard Road. On the left you’ll see the pub that, 20 years or so after this photo was taken, would become James O’Malley’s magnificent Corona bar. Some things never change and you can clearly see the distinctive “T” of J & R. Tennent on the wall. On the traffic island next to what is now a taxi rank there once stood an ornate drinking fountain by Walter MacFarlane’s world famous Saracen Foundry. It’s often said that this was the Bailie James Martin memorial fountain, now situated at Glasgow Green. This now appears to be untrue. Photographs show the Martin fountain in place at Glasgow Green in the early 1900s, while later images show the Crossmyloof fountain. So unless it was regularly commuting between Shawlands and the green, we have a lost fountain to find.

White Elephant Cinema, 42 Kilmarnock Rd – c1950

 

Photo: The Herald

The White Elephant cinema was designed by architect Harry Barnes and opened its doors in 1927. It was commissioned by renowned showman and eccentric A.E. Pickard, father of the Britannia Panopticon music hall. More than just a picture house, this building also housed a ballroom and restaurant, while the main auditorium could comfortably seat 1900 people.

The cinema was named as the result of a competition but was shortened to simply “Elephant” after it was sold to cinema mogul Alexander King in 1934. In the 1950s a CinemaScope screen was installed.

It closed in 1960 after which the street level was converted to shops. The main frontage was resurfaced and cut down in a crude attempt at modernisation. The original finish was more like the left hand side of the complex. This portion of the building has, over the years, been home to a series of night clubs, from Mr D’s and Rosco’s to its most recent incarnation as G1 Group’s The Cell. It now lies empty despite periodic rumours that it might return to its former use as a cinema.

Corona Bar – 1970s

The ornate exterior of the Corona bar will be familiar to most South Siders. It was built in 1912-13 by Clarke & Bell & J.H. Craigie for well known Glasgow publican James O’Malley at a cost of £1,724. The new bar replaced an earlier establishment that had been on the site since 1817. Above each entrance you’ll find decorative plasterwork depicting the local legend of how this area came to be known as Crossmyloof. The story goes that Mary Queen of Scots, en route to the Battle of Langside, stopped here and declared that by the cross in her loof (hand) she would prevail over her enemies. The truth is a little more mundane: it probably derives from the Gaelic Crois MoLiubha, or St Malieu’s Cross.