79 thoughts on “ALL OUR YESTERDAYS”

    1. Albion Motors were built in Scotstoun in Glasgow. Part of the site has been taken over by a community group who have set up an excellent community centre called Heart of Scotstoun. In addition a group of volunteers have been creating a community garden on the site, which, in the summer just past produced its first crop of fruit and vegetables, which were used in the flourishing cafe at the community centre. There is still work to be done. There is the opening of a ‘peace garden’ on Friday, 9, November to mark the centenary of the post WW1 armistice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a good use of the former site, Alasdair.

        I love to see this sort of thing. It’s a shame it was sullied by the idiot Cameron wanting to adopt decency for himself. The Big Society.


  1. No1 looks like a couple of Deltics at high street or thereabouts .
    Charlie Chaplin of course.
    And Singer. Had a couple of uncles who worked there, another worked in the Hover factory in Cambuslang, so many jobs around in those days. No idea who the group are, need to ask my big sister ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s only recently that I did some Googling to find out how a sewing machine works in a conventional lock stitch version with a bobbin.

      So a Singer chain stitch machine having no bobbin warranted further investigation. I found this information:

      The Singer Model 24 chain stitch machine was manufactured and marketed in domestic, industrial, and child’s toy versions in about 80 numbered variants from the 1880’s to the 1940’s. All the Model 24 Singers were apparently manufactured in America at the Elizabeth, New Jersey factory, although for a brief period before WWI, a virtually identical machine (apparently marketed as a Model 30) was manufactured at the Kilbowie factory in Scotland.

      One source says: “Before Singer switched from using descriptive names to Class Numbers during 1891, the 24 was called the ‘Automatic Chain Stitcher’.” That might date this particular “Singer Automatic” machine to before 1891. An apparently identical machine to this was featured in a “Cosmopolitan” ad in 1898.

      Not sure if the first link will open in WordPress, but the sewalot dot com slash singer webpage has some interesting history and pictures of the Model 24 Singer.



      Liked by 1 person

      1. Danny, I remember Singer’s Kilbowie factory, in Clydebank, very well. For some years I worked in an office just across the railway tracks from it. It was a huge complex and was the largest sewing machine factory in the world. At its peak it had a workforce of 16,000. Its most iconic feature was its 200 foot tall clock tower which dominated the townscape. During WW2 the factory continued to produce sewing machines for military use – uniforms, but also made munitions. Along with the nearby John Brown’s shipyard that made it a target for the Luftwaffe and Clydebank was heavily bombed over two nights in what’s known as the Clydebank Blitz. Many civilians died and numerous homes were destroyed but although both Brown’s and Singer were damaged production was not really affected. Clydebank has a section on Singer in its Town Hall museum. Older “Bankies” remember Singer with a degree of affection: many of them and/or their relatives worked there. The factory eventually closed in 1980 and was subsequently demolished – clock tower and all.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. The Singer factory in Clydebank made virtually everything for the machines from the cast iron frames to the needles. From memory the only things bought in were the oil,wood, paper and coal. They even had their own power station for heating and electricity. Near the Kilbowie Rd gate was their printing department, across the road was the power station. The wood yard was virtually destroyed during the Clydebank Blitz. All the cabinets were made next to the wood yard on the west side of the works.
          In the late 60’s they still manufactured hand and treadle driven machines for the Africa market even although they had a factory in South Africa.
          The plastics department was next to the printing area and was still producing bakelite parts as well as carbon piles for the motor controllers, that was on machines bought in from the Aspro works.
          I worked in the toolroom and we made machinery for the manufacture of the machines, last ones I worked on were the Apollo Wheel mods for the new models being built in the new low level building which replaced the clock tower building.
          I still think IF it existed and I was taken into the complex blindfolded I could tell you where I was, every department had a different smell. From the Jappaning to the motor building area.
          The apprentices hated being sent to the motor shop as it was almost totally staffed by women and they made you very embarrassed with the wolf whistles, no problem with gender abuse then.
          Memories, a good place to work with all the society addons from the company who supported golf, football, cricket, ladies section, all types of clubs, the apprentices ran the Folk Club and had the Humble Bums on regularly.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. Cairnallochy, you’re dead right: it’s in the story “Para Handy’s Pup”, which features in “In Highland Harbours with Para Handy”. The engineer, Macphail, is lamenting the theft of his cheap alarm clock, the ship’s only “chronometer”. He says, “Set it to the time fornenst yon nock o’ Singerses at Kilbowie, and it would tick as nate as onything to the Cloch”. Singer’s clock, or nock, was easily visible from the Clyde and I’m sure many a puffer skipper and others used it to check the time as they passed Clydebank. I realise that not only do I remember Singer as a going concern but I can also recall the puffers going up and down river – gulp! And before anyone asks, No – I don’t remember the Cutty Sark (well, as long as you don’t mean the pub that was in Dumbarton High Street.

              Liked by 3 people

              1. Ha ha..

                Was nock a usual name for clock.

                I recall when i was little a rhyme my granny used to recite.

                6 o’clock upon the nock
                And 12 upon the steeple
                (Then a line I can’t recall)
                Get down ye durty deevil.

                Anyone else?

                Liked by 1 person

          1. Dave…….What a great description of the Clydebank factory! I posted a YouTube upload of a film….”Birth of a Sewing Machine”…..that was produced there in 1934. It has no narration, but does show the myriad operations that were carried out there.

            Too bad that manufacturing operations on that scale have been outsourced. Here in America, we have the “rust belt” states where giant industrial concerns once flourished…..such as Pennsylvania, where Andrew Carnegie built his steel mills in Pittsburgh, and the old industrial states of Michigan and Wisconsin that Donald Trump carried by narrow margins. He told the now low paid blue collar workers that he would bring big industry back, as he promised the coal miners in West Virginia that he would bring the coal industry back and reopen the mines.

            Ironically, as I understand it, one of the reasons that Singer built the Clydebank factory……apart from the fact that the Singer General Manager at the time was George McKenzie, a Scot who had come to the states in the 1840’s……….was to take advantage of more favorable labor rates in Scotland.


            The biggest Singer factory in the US was in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Sewing machines were manufactured there for 109 years. It closed in 1982. The New jersey factory had been in operation about 10 years when the Clydebank factory opened.


            An article in the New York Times about the closing of the New Jersey factory. It must have been much the same when Singer closed the Clydebank factory.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Andi………I had no idea of the history of Singer in Scotland, about the biggest factory in the world, or about the Clydebank Blitz of 13 and 14 March, 1941.

          Singer made sewing machines in Scotland beginning in 1867, and the building of the Kilbowie factory, renamed the Clydebank factory in 1900, started on 8 May 1882 and was completed in 1885.

          The huge Singer Clydebank factory about 1910:


          There’s some great old film footage (without narration) in “Birth of a Sewing Machine” that was produced in the Clydebank factory in 1934.

          Thanks Andi.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. If you want to see a very wide range of Singer products visit the excellent Clydebank Town Hall and Museum, which has a permanent display of all the models produced at the huge Singer plant which used to dominate the north part of the town.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Thanks Alasdair………for the information. Very interesting! I found this video of the museum and a website where it is embedded with a slide show of images about Singer at Clydebank. (Pictures can be brought up to full size individually.)

          Elizabeth and Phil are seen touring the factory in 1965. They presented Her Majesty a sewing machine. I suppose she uses it to sew frocks and shirts and what not for herself and the royal family. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Hi Dave……..OMG……I’m blown away! Wonderful! What a coincidence!

              I noticed the lad, and at first thought you might be a young royal on the tour with Lizzie. But not Prince Charles, who I would have recognized, so I didn’t recognize you as anyone I know. Then I noticed that you appear to be attired in what might be some sort of coverall, but maybe also wearing a tie for the royal visit.

              I hope you’ve stayed in touch with the Windsors through the years……LOL.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. hi Danny

                The world is a small place and even smaller with the net.
                It was a surprise for me to look through the slide show and see my picture. I was indeed attired in a boilersuit, a coverall, it was a made to measure one as the normal sized ones were a bit baggy. They say auld lizzie thinks the world smells of paint thinners and you don’t see the green paint on my back from the newly painted partition to keep the plebs in place.
                Only royalty was allowed inside.
                Auld phil the greek lives in a world of his own.
                I’m looking forward to the disclosures in the press when he passes on.
                Great to think that we can pass messages over the net even after.

                Liked by 2 people

                1. Hi Dave….

                  I guess the internet has made the world even smaller than I would have imagined. Really amazing!

                  I’ve heard that Phil has a history of saying or doing something embarrassing as the Queen goes about her duties…..LOL.

                  I know what you mean about the smell of fresh paint. I remember the last time she and Phil were here for a state visit. The White House was completely repainted for the occasion, and even the flower beds on the White House grounds were replanted. Then, for the state dinner, the dress was full formal….white tie and tails. It was the only full dress affair of the Bush presidency. All the other Heads of State had less formal black tie/dinner jacket affairs.

                  I would say you were well turned out for Liz and Phil. Your boilersuit looked well tailored and freshly ironed. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                  Thanks for the reply.
                  Take care!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Danny: A friend of mine’s wife was manager of a new sheltered residence for old folk. The Queen was coming to open it and say a few words. The day before gardeners came and l;aid turd and brought in potted trees and beautified the place at enormous expense.

                    When the Queen left, everything was lifted and taken away, including the turf.

                    The Queen couldn’t be allowed to see anything that wasn’t perfect.

                    I wish Munguin would invite her to Munguin Towers. We might get palace decorators in.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Tris……That’s unbelievable. The palace giveth and the palace taketh away…..LOL.

                      Maybe for a few pounds, arrangements could be made with the palace decorators to let Munguin Towers KEEP the improvements. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                      Liked by 2 people

            1. I thought I’d singled out that pic of Dave, so you could all see what a fine looking young man he is!

              But the link just leads to the page.

              Great discoveries there. Thanks to Munguinites for the research.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Tris……Yes, that was an amazing coincidence, and too bad that Dave’s picture can’t be singled out. When that picture came up, I immediately noticed his fine looking appearance. My first thought was that the lad might be a royal along for the tour. But not Prince Charles, so I decided not, and then noticed his coveralls. But trim and neat and ironed for the Queen…..LOL.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Tris……could it be that he was even worse than we thought? That there were even more inappropriate gaffes than the press reported? ๐Ÿ™‚

                    Liked by 1 person

    2. Ha ha… they are scruffy looking old things… But the real point of the picture was the Mothers’ Pride bread lorry on the bridge!

      With respect to Singer and those other factories, the most important question is, what do all the people now do, who would have depended on jobs in these factories do after they closed?

      Tesco? Call Centres?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tris, anent the factories and jobs, Clydebank where Singer was situated, is a case in point. Singer, at its height employed 16,000 workers. Also in the town was John Brown’s shipyard and the allied firm of John Brown Engineering, both, particularly the yard, huge employers. The Albion Motors factory was just the other side of the town boundary and was again a large employer. There were also many other smaller but significant engineering and ancillary businesses in and around the town. I worked in Clydebank for some years and watched as one firm after another closed and unemployment rocketed and Clydebank became a very depressed and depressing place. Where do folks work now? You’ve about got it right, Tris – supermarkets, call-centres, van delivery. All low-grade, ill-paid jobs. Sad.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I suppose that what they have done is return us to an us and them situation.

          They got rid of the jobs that could pay reasonable money and replaced them with minimum wage, or zero hours jobs that pretty much no one likes, and towards the top of the organisations that provide these “jobs” (that give us the “nearly full employment” they bang on about, have the kind of money 19th century factory owners had.

          The toffs and the rest.

          And not that far away you have Scandinavia.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, they all seemed to back then… And for more important, posh tv they wore bow ties with evening dress. What was that about?

      Lyric question…

      Woah, it’s in the ****? The hippy hippy shake.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. No 1 locos are Class 25โ€™s or 26โ€™s – the Inverness trains were almost were almost the only double headed passenger trains in diesel days,so this must have been a particularly heavy goods train. Look like the big hopper wagons used on coal trains.

    Jo Grimond was a benign figure in the days when one regarded the Liberals as a benign force in politics – but that was before they, or at least their successors, got a sniff of power.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s sad – the Liberals, I mean – there was a time when they were deeply associated with human rights movements, e.g. Charter 88, support for Vรกclav Havel and other Czech dissidents, resistance within Russia to the Soviet regime – but when Clegg sold out to the Tories, their principles simply went oot the windae.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hard to believe the likes of Clegg, Farron and Swinson belong to the same party as Grimond. But we could say the same about the other British Nationalist parties. I’m sure even Conservative Labour had leaders who weren’t only in it for money and career. Well, not sure…

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My immense erudition and peerless googling skills tell me that no. 3 is an Albion26 33hp belonging to Sir Archibald McInnes Shaw outside Glasgow City Chambers… Sir Archibald was the Lord Provost Of Glasgow from 1908 to 1911 and this was his official car (he was a member of the Unionist Party, apparently). Albion Motors Ltd.was based in Scotstoun, Glasgow, as I am sure many Munguinites know already. I think the toff in the topper on the right is the man himself – you decide – here’s another photie of the chap trying out for a Brylcreem ad: https://is.gd/YBvH7W.

    How do I know all this? See https://is.gd/CuL5gm.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The limo is outside the the city chambers in glasgow.
    In all probability the Provost’s car, around about pre first war.
    They were big cheeses then and could afford tall hats as well.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Who else could have afforded a car like that?

      You have to wonder why people wore what my granny called “lum hats”.

      Did they keep you warmer? They must have been inconvenient in the wind. Or were they just a display of wealth?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s a wonderful story about the origin of the lum hat. It credits John Hetherington, a haberdasher in London, with the invention. In 1797, he emerged from his shop in the Strand wearing the prototype and took a stroll along the street. He was quickly surrounded by a large crowd and the ensuing stramash (broken limbs, women fainting) landed him in court. But it was good publicity and the hat soon became popular.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Tris…….Never heard the term “lum” hat. Some online dictionaries say it’s a Scottish term.

            There seems to be some controversy in the states about the difference, if any, between a stovepipe hat and a traditional top hat. Some say the terms are interchangeable, while others say that the stovepipe hat is somewhat taller. The term “Stovepipe Hat” apparently became popular in Abraham Lincoln’s time. Although 6 ft-4 inches tall, he was partial to the tall hats. In pictures. some of them look especially tall, although on two occasions I have seen the hat he wore to Ford’s theater the night of the assassination, and it doesn’t seem any taller than a standard top hat. It does looks really worn and scruffy. Some contemporary accounts say that the hats he wore were often battered and worn in appearance, but maybe the Ford’s Theater hat has just suffered some deterioration and general wear and tear in the 150+ years that have passed.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Tris…..the last “formal” presidential inauguration in morning coat tails and top hat was JFK in 1961. I believe that he was also in full dress white tie and tails at the inaugural balls. It was all downhill from JFK…….in more ways than attire.

                There had been a big snow in Washington and it was bitterly cold on January 20, 1961. JFK and Eisenhower wore overcoats with their top hats, but JFK took off his overcoat for the presidential oath and his “Ask Not what your country can do for you” inaugural address. I think there was a small electric heater under the podium. (Kennedy’s top hat can just be seen in the empty chair next to Eisenhower.)

                Liked by 1 person

            1. Danny, in Scots “lum” = stovepipe or chimney. A traditional Scottish greeting is, “Lang may yir lum reek” (Long may your chimney smoke). I think it’s a metaphor for Long may you live/prosper.

              Liked by 2 people

  5. Albion eight-wheeler in the eighth picture. Galbraith’s Stores, another Scottish name long-gone from our streets. Almost every town in Scotland had a branch. Their head office was at 53 Back Sneddon Street, Paisley, presumably where this picture was taken. The lorry carries the Paisley local “XS” registration mark. I remember the paper pokes the shops used which carried the legend – “Every bite a pure delight – it’s Galbraith’s bread and jam!”. They had a range of own-brand goods named “Silver Strand”. Disappeared in 1987 along with Coopers Fine Fare, Templeton’s, Lipton’s etc. into what became Safeway, now Morrison’s.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Morego, you beat me to it with the Galbraith’s Albion 8-wheeler. I remember Galbraith’s well, one of my aunt’s worked in a couple of their shops. I’m sure they were part of Allied Suppliers then. I particularly remember, as a kid, seeing the butter barrels being opened and the guy behind the counter cutting off pieces from the solid mass and shaping them into blocks with wooden pats. I also recall the huge blocks of Scottish Cheddar being cut with a cheese wire and then weighed out for customers. The counter staff seemed to be able to gauge just by eye what a pound/half-pound/quarter of cheese or butter would be – experience, I guess, but then I thought it more like magic. And of course sugar was weighed into blue paper bags and I was fascinated to watch the machines being set to slice different thicknesses of bacon or ham to suit the customers’ preferences. Modern supermarkets are doubtless convenient but the old stores were much more interesting, at least to a kid. And who remembers the prices of individual items being written down, in pencil, on a paper bag, as you went from one counter to another and the had it all totted up at the till for payment?
      The first Albion lorry at G & C Moore’s (pic 2) is clearly well loaded with crates of Moore’s “ginger” (aerated water, to the polite). They were based in Bridgeton (Brigton) in Glasgow (Glesca). I think they amalgamated/were taken over by local rivals, Dunn, Becoming for a while Dunn & Moore’s. Back in the “olden days” (my childhood), most areas/cities seemed to have their local aerated waters suppliers. I remember in Dumbarton you had a choice of Garvie’s (Helensburgh & Milngavie) and MacDougall’s “Ladyton Springs” (Bonhill, Alexandria). Of course the big company, Barr’s, stuff was also available but never in the quantities supplied by the local firms.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tesco took over Lows and promptly shut down the distribution centre in Dundee. Next step was drastic scaling back of Scottish products because the shops were sticked from England. They had to change their practices to some extent after complaints. They tried the same trick in Ireland but it backfired on them there too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yeah… I forgot it was Tesco that took over Low’s.

          Talking of Tewsco and Ireland, Remember that they (the Brits) said that if Scotland were independent prices in shops would go up?

          Well, when I was in Ireland the Tesco prices were by and large lower.

          Just for an example, Meal Deal (Sandwiches, drink and fruit) in Scotland ยฃ3.50, Meal deal in Ireland (exactly the same) โ‚ฌ3.50.

          Ho hum.


          1. I’ve noticed the same for the past 3 or 4 years. Some things in Ireland are dearer – alcohol, but often there is a direct pound to euro price or the Irish price is cheaper. I remember people saying the opposite only a few years before. Scotland is an high cost country minus the high wages.

            Liked by 1 person

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