There is plenty of action in this 1920′s downtown scene at the intersection of Argyle Street with the junction of Jamaica Street and Union Street. Tramcars are clattering across the intersection in both directions and a woman is racing across the path of approaching car 571. The passengers seated in the open balconies of these tramcars would have a grandstand view of the action. Near the corner of Union Street with Argyle Street is a branch of R.S. McColl’s, the newsagency and confectioners founded in 1901 by the legendary Scotland centre forward Bobby McColl and his brother Tom. Above McColl’s are the City Hairdressing Rooms and the Argyle Hotel.
This photo was taken a few years earlier than the one above and is a little further down Jamaica Street. The Drooko sign on the left is indicative of “Royal Drooko” umbrellas which were made in Glasgow. The word Drooko is probably derived from drookit, the auld Scots word for drenched. ( This postcard has an E. A. Schwerdtfeger code but does not carry the name so it was probably reissued after 1914. The printing on the back is in blue. )
This 1923 scene photographed from the intersection with Argyle Street shows the full extent of Union Street up to the Gordon Street crossing with Renfield Street beyond. In the foreground on the right are the City Hairdressing Rooms and the Argyle Hotel while at street level is R. S. McColl’s. A short distance up on the opposite side of the street is J. & A. Ferguson, renowned as a purveyor of cured meats, baked goods, rich desserts, chocolates, and fine coffees and teas. It was apparently described as the Fortnum’s of Scotland and occupied this location until early 1980′s. There was a restaurant in the store where we would stop for coffee during our Saturday morning shopping outings. My parents were particularly fond of the signature caramel walnuts. I preferred the solid milk chocolate frogs. The taller building further up Union Street is part of Glasgow Central Station, the principal Caledonian Railway terminus, which became part of the newly formed London Midland & Scottish Railway at the beginning of 1923. ( Valentine’s X. L. Series )