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Lost Glasgow: Central Station

The Christmas tree in Central Station in Glasgow, December 1965.

The Christmas tree in Central Station in Glasgow, December 1965.

  • by SEAMUS MACLEOD
 

Glasgow Central Station is the UK’s largest and busiest station outside of London with 38 million passengers passing through on an annual basis.

The station was built in 1879 and has been expanded and adapted throughout its history.

Between 1901 and 1905 it was extended over Argyle Street with the addition of the Hielanman’s Umbrella, so named by locals because of the shelter that it provided from the rain.

The Grand Central Hotel was also built during this period.

The hotel, which was refurbished two years ago, has hosted big names in the political and entertainment world throughout its history.

Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and the Queen have all checked in.

It was also the site of the transmission of the first ever television signal by Scots inventor John Logie Baird in 1927.

The station itself is no stranger to illustrious guests.

A young JFK is thought to have given his first public address in the station, at the age of 19, to 150 surviving American seamen whose vessel had been torpedoed by a German submarine.

After his famed flight to Scotland, Hitler’s Lieutenant Rudolph Hess was released from his handcuffs and allowed a final cigarette on one of its platforms before being returned to Germany for trial.

 

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