Nitshill Memories “Community”

The History

Nitshill Memories


When Janette was growing up in the area, people knew all of their neighbours and it was a close-knit community. Her parents socialised with some of the neighbours but mainly with their extended family. They had accordions and drums and would have a good singsong at parties. Everyone would have their own ‘party piece’ to sing. One of the favourite songs for the younger ones to sing was Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. One of Janette’s most favourite memories was of their neighbours, Boyd Greer and his wife, playing records and dancing to Revolution by The Beatles. They were teenagers at the time, and the younger family members thought that they were amazing. That is Janette’s first memory of anyone dancing to pop music.

Janette Armour, East Renfrewshire

Kathleen recalled that, on Hogmanay, a neighbour took his radiogram to the foot of the close so that everyone could enjoy the music. She has no bad memories of living in Nitshill.

You knew everybody in the whole village. We called it a wee village then, which it was really; there was only these couple of streets in it, but we knew everybody.”

Kathleen Cassidy, Glasgow

Lillian said that the best thing about living in Nitshill was having great pals. A treat on a Friday night was dinner from the chippy. Lillian loved living in Nitshill and felt part of a community, as everyone knew everyone else. She could not remember the names of her neighbours but said that they were good neighbours.

Lillian Gaughan, Glasgow

It was territorial, but in our own wee bit everybody knew everybody, and I would say there was more community spirit when I was growing up than what there is compared to now.   People looked out for each other and you had family everywhere.   My Da’s cousin lived right across the road and people just went in and out of people’s houses. People didn’t chap doors back then either, they just walked in. Back then they just shouted, “Right, it’s me”, and walked in.”

Kathleen Larkins, Glasgow

Danny Brady & Friend - 1967
309 Househillwood Road

Submitted by Martin Brady

We had a community. I’ll give you an example: the night when Anne-Marie and Brian were born, the whole lane waited up to find out what was happening with my Mum, and then when the word got out that Lila had a boy, the whole lane were out cheering, “Oh, she’s had a boy. Lila and Billy have had a boy.”

Theresa McLaughlin, Glasgow
The community, the friendship, the freedom that we had. Every neighbour knew who you were, if you were bad you always knew that it would be reported back to your Mammy and Daddy.”

Caroline Reid, Glasgow

Carol remembers that there was a close-knit community in South Nitshill then, and she would go to the shops for older neighbours. The neighbours would keep each other’s key to let in the meter man and such like. Carol’s mum was the first to get a telephone and colour television, so everybody came to them to use these.

Carol Stewart, Glasgow

The camaraderie, the friendship, neighbours. A lot of nice people. A lot of nice people have moved out, and a lot of nice people have moved in.”

John Williamson, Glasgow

Ann remembers Mr Cameron, the policeman, who would clip the children around the head, and a man that they called Teddy, who helped the children to cross the road to school.   Teddy was a former Polish POW who remained in Nitshill after the war. Teddy would also give the children a clip on the ear also if they misbehaved. The respondents also mentioned the bookmaker’s runner; he had red hair. It was illegal to bet outside, but he would go into Clark’s field, where the men would meet to place their bets, and he gave kids a coin to look out for the police coming. The policemen took off their hats and would start crawling along the field, and the men would all scatter. 

Ann Martin, Marjorie Taylor & Anne Orr, Glasgow

 Karen remembers the fairground coming to the meadows in Nitshill when she was around 9 years old. This was between Hartstone Road and Barrhead Road. There was a good park there, with swings and monkey bars. Her mum took her to the fairground and let her go on the big swings but nothing else. When Karen was older, the fairground was at Bellahouston Park; she loved this and found it really exciting. She loved the Waltzers and the Motorbikes but did not like anything that went high into the air. In the meadows there are petrified trees. And Karen also recalls that there was a gypsy camp along Nitshill Road, but all of the men there got into trouble for stealing. When Karen went to the discos at Christmas time, gifts were given out. One of these was giant beads and another was a little glittery handbag. She did not get much in the way of gifts at home and did not have anything that was really fashionable, as her mum did not have much money. Karen said she loved getting these gifts. She also loved the Community Centre at the Congregational Church, and her daughter’s Christening was held there. It has now been demolished. Karen also went to bingo with her neighbour in St Robert’s in Haughburn Road, where she won a wall clock. St Ignatius Church had a majorette club where Karen went when she was around 9 years old. She also went to the Girls Brigade at the Congregational Church, but that has also since been demolished. She remembers an annexe across from them, in Haughburn Road, which was deliberately burned down. Karen loved going to her friend’s house, the Fitzpatrick family, as there was a mattress that they used to jump down the stairs onto. She had a lot of fun outdoors with her friends.

Karen Stewart, Glasgow

Both Sylvia and John recalled the miners’ strike, where the electricity went off and people were put on a three-day working week. They also remembered the Army’s ‘Green Goddesses’ covering for the Fire Service during the strike.

Sylvia & John Williamson, Glasgow