2 October 2017
The Welcome Room
Introducing the stories behind Glasgow’s social history: from housing and leisure activities to events and exhibitions in the city and the infamous ‘Steamie’. You can also enjoy the long-lost oil painting, Glasgow Fair (c.1819-22) by John Knox showing the Glasgow Fair on the Green. The Welcome Room also plays host to a wealth of workshops and learning activities for everyone to enjoy.
Single End 1930s
The Single End can be found in a special gallery that tells the story of housing in Glasgow, and how it has changed from the 18th to the 20th century.
Our reconstruction shows a typical single-roomed house that a 1930s working class family would have lived in: Just one room where everyone cooked, ate, slept and washed in.
Visitors can experience the cramped conditions, hear an account of what it was like to live in a single end, and even smell some scents associated with life there, including carbolic soap and gas.
Dancing at the Barrowlands
The dancing’ has long been a favourite pastime in Glasgow, and the Glasgow Barrowlands Ballroom – now a much-loved venue for rock concerts – was once the leading dance hall in Scotland.
Our display pays homage to a place that generations of Glaswegians flocked to. Here you can try out your dance moves, or see some objects linked to the Barrowlands by opening a Take Your Pick box. You can see outfits that would have been worn by a young fashionable couple in the 1950s – a swell suit and a beautiful hot pink dress; styles and colours very much in vogue at the time.
Public Baths and Wash Houses opened across the city in the early 20th Century. They were set up with stalls, where women would bring the weekly washing to clean by hand. It was also a place where women could catch up with friends and gossip, giving rise to the phrase “you’ll be the talk of the steamie!”
Our display shows the small stall space, and gives you an idea of the equipment used to get clothes clean before electrical gadgets made it easier.
Glassford Family Portrait
John Glassford was a wealthy tobacco merchant. When this large portrait was painted, the family were living in Shawfield Mansion on what is now Glassford Street in Glasgow City Centre.
Billy Connolly's Banana Boots
These famous boots were designed and made for Glasgow comedian Billy Connolly in 1975 by the Glasgow pop artist Edmund Smith. The boots made their first appearance on stage in August of that year, at the Music Hall in Aberdeen.
Gaun the Messages: Shops and Shopping in Glasgow
Whilst browsing in our museum shop enjoy our display which focuses on Glasgow’s shopping and retail history. Glasgow had, and still has, a wide range of shops and markets. Do you remember queuing for butter pats in the local grocers or eyeing up the colourful jars of sweets as the shopkeeper weighed them out for one lucky person?
On the Green
Discover the history of Glasgow Green as the park evolved from Glasgow’s common land, the story of the Doulton Fountain and the renowned Templeton carpet factory. This display also extends the time period covered by the museum by including objects from the Iron Age and medieval period.