A RICH INDUSTRIAL PAST
The map below reveals that Shettleston has a very rich and diverse industrial heritage. The map shows two Rope Works, two Iron Works, a Saw Mill and Acme Machine Works. Earlier maps show that mining was part of the industrial landscape. However, that landscape around Shettleston has changed markedly. The large industrial sites which had formed the basis of the massive growth of the East End have vanished. Light industry and the retail sector have replaced them. Few people today would have any concept of how the area looked when the church was built in Shettleston in 1904.
The following photographs show several of the industries around the Shettleston area in 1967. They are reproduced here with permission of the eminent
Professor John Hume who has been instrumental in setting up many heritage organisations as well as writing reference books on Glasgow’s Industrial Heritage.
United Glass was originally known as North British Bottle Works,
built in 1904. United Glass closed in 1983.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
I worked in the United Glass and Bottle work in 1958. We worked continental shifts. These were spread over a 13 week period and you had to ballot for holidays. I started as part of a team who manually unloaded the trains coming into the siding at the Shettleston Juniors football pitch. They brought different types of sand and crushed glass and returned wooden crates.
There were two big furnaces which fed auto machines that blew the molten glass into moulds that dropped on to a conveyer belt. The bottle sorters checked for defects. The packers placed them into the wooden boxes onto pallets where the ransom fork trucks stack them in the warehouse. They were then loaded onto trucks to be shipped to America, South America, Canada, China and Australia.
I left for a day shift a job in a cotton mill. I was out of the place over a month when, one Sunday, a men came to my door to ask if I wanted an extra shift. There were four shift crews, A, B, C and D, three on one off over 13 weeks, so they didn’t know that I had left to get married!