Spiers Wharf has greatly changed in the 100 years since this painting was made, showing the Whaf at the height of Glasgow’s prosperty.. The ex-distillery building survives and is now converted into flats. Port Dundas in 1859 had chemical works, granaries, distilleries, glass works, iron foundaries, power stations and engineering shops. but it all declined by the 1960s. The brick chimney at 454 ft was the tallest in the world at the time.
The initials MR on the railway truck – which looks like a high-sided coal truck – stand for Midland Railway, which ran all the way from London to Carlisle via the East Midlands, Sheffield and Leeds – and also from Bristol to Derby. So it could be somewhere on that system : Bristol or Leeds, say. But railway trucks often strayed a long way from their owner’s system
Spiers Wharf on the Forth and Clyde Canal, photographed by Bill Tait in 1955.
The canal was completed to Hamiltonhill in 1777, and extended to a new terminal basin, named Port Dundas, in 1790. In 1955 Partick Camera Club set out to create a photographic survey of Glasgow. As the project progressed, other camera clubs joined and each was allocated a district of the city to photograph. Glasgow Museums exhibited the photographs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and at the People’s Place, and in 1956 the exhibition was shown at the Palace of Art in Bellahouston Park. The photographs are now part of Glasgow Museums’ collections. Reference: 1005.97.256 / OG.1955.121. Reproduced with the permission of Partick Camera Club
We are grateful to Michael Barker and Ian Jack for assistance.