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Second City of The Empire: 1830s to 1914



By Bill Spalding

Partick Burgh Hall With the establishment in the 1840s of Tod & MacGregor's Meadowside Shipyard at the mouth of the River Kelvin, Partick was transformed from a weaving village of 1,000 to an industrial community of 5,000 by 1850. People poured in looking for work from all over Scotland and from Ireland. Houses, streets, lighting, medical services and many other amenities, especially a sewage system, were required. To raise the necessary finances the village was declared a burgh in 1852.

Gardner Street With the establishment of more shipyards and engineering works, the burgh expanded westwards to the Scotstoun boundary. North of Dumbarton Road a few Glasgow merchants built mansions with avenues leading up from the main road. When the mansions were later replaced with villas and tenements, these avenues were converted to streets, e.g. Dowanhill Street and Stewartville Street.

Tennis Courts After years of wrangling, Glasgow annexed the burgh in 1912, at which time the population was over 50,000. But by then Partick Commissioners had thoroughly modernised the burgh with new streets, houses, fine churches and schools. For sport there were bowling clubs, tennis clubs, model yachting in Whiteinch Park, Partick Thistle Football Club, and the West of Scotland Cricket Ground where the first ever international match was held in 1872 – Scotland v England. Also provided were public transport systems by road, water and rail, hospital, fire and cleansing services as well as electricity and gas supplies. These were all incorporated into the Glasgow system and by 1914 Partick had become, and still is today, a thriving, developing community.

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