Scottish Flashback: The Barras market

The Barras market, in April 1960. Picture: TSPL
The Barras market, in April 1960. Picture: TSPL
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IN THE early 1900s, 12-year-old Margaret Russell looked after a fruit barrow belonging to her mother’s friend, in a Parkhead street.

This experience gave her a taste for business, and she saved her money to open a small fruit shop in Bridgeton. It was during one of her many visits to the fruit market that she met James McIver, whom she later married.

The couple set up a business at a yard in the Calton district of Glasgow’s East End, where they rented out horses and carts to traders who visited the wealthier streets of the city.

They built up the business, acquiring more property in Moncur Street, where they rented out barrows to traders for Saturday morning. This was in the street behind the Barrowland Ballroom - now used as a concert venue - and earned the affectionate name of ‘The Barras.’

Our flashback photo shows a typical scene from the Barras in 1960, just under 30 years after the original Barrowland building opened, and in the same year it was rebuilt following a major fire in 1958.

Our photo dates from April 27th, just under eight months until the grand reopening.