Author: adownie (page 2 of 3)

Bygone Bungo

Ever wondered about the history of the area where you live, or who lived in your house before you?

Well now you can, at our sister website, Bygone Bungo.

We aim to collect together all those interested in local history, and compile a more complete record of the history and development of Strathbungo and the surrounding area.

As the site expands, we will add documents about various aspects of local history, original sources, and photographs.

We are also compiling a database of local properties, who built them, when, and who lived there subsequently. We already know of Greek Thomson and Rennie Mackintosh, but there were also other architects, military men & footballers (and one who was all three!), ministers, doctors, and a secret service agent. We would be particularly interested in those who still have the deeds for their properties, who know of notable former residents, or have any old photos of the area. The database is live – you can now see who lived in your house before you! Just select Address Search or People Search, and start exploring. There are currently some 5000 individuals listed, mostly from 1865 to 1925.

If you are interested in contributing, please get in touch. We are looking for those with suggestions for research, or wanting help with their own projects, those with stories to tell, with old deeds to local properties, or those willing to help transcribe old records.

To keep track of developments, you can also follow us on Facebook.


Network Rail Drop In Tuesday 6th December

Network Rail will be holding a public drop-in event tomorrow, Tuesday 6th December 2016 in Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, Glasgow, G42 8QD from 3.30pm to 6.45pm. In attendance will be representatives from Network Rail and the Strathbungo Society, as well as their contractors, QTS, all of whom will be on hand to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about this work.

This is an opportunity to discuss

  • what will happen to vegetation outside your house on Moray Place when work starts in February
  • what replanting scheme, if any, you would like to see afterwards

We would really value your input. If you are a Moray Place resident, consider bringing a photo if you have particular concerns over vegetation opposite your house.

Queens Park Baptist Church Hall, 180 Queens Drive, 3.30pm to 6.45pm

Queens Park Baptist Church

Queens Park Baptist Church

Network Rail’s New Fence – Coming Soon!

Many will recall Network Rail’s intention to erect a high security fence along the edge of Moray Place, back in January 2015. Well after a lot of protest, historical research, and more latterly civilised discussion, with the assistance of the Strathbungo Society, Network Rail have a new proposal which appears much more sympathetic to affected residents. Attached below are a communication from the society, and a formal notification from Network Rail, delivered to Moray Place residents in the last week, setting out the plans, which are likely to go ahead in February.

One major change is that the new fence will now be set back approx 5 feet from the road edge (in line with the wall at one end, and the post & wire fence at the other end, of Moray Place), but that there will be considerable loss of vegetation installing the fence, including the majority of trees. This will leave a strip of land that is part Network Rail, and part residents’ property, but which Network Rail are happy for us to cultivate, within reason.

If you are a resident, the choice is yours – it’s your land – but there are some obvious choices

  • Retain what’s there, where practical – for instance the laurel planting at the Gardens end
  • Rip it up and start again – and do your own thing
  • Rip it up and start again – as part of a community planting scheme

There seems to be a lot of interest in the latter, which the Society would be glad to facilitate, and we are already looking into possible options, and funding sources. However we need your help and suggestions, especially if you would like to get involved yourself. Suggestions so far include a continuous scheme the length of Moray Place, anything but a continuous scheme (!), beech hedging, small trees such as Rowan, various shrubs, a seating area at the end of Marywood Square, and lovers’ seats; so one can watch the trains while their partner turns their back on them!

February isn’t far away, so please get in touch. See the documents for contact details, or comment here.

Andrew Downie, Fiona MacKinnon, Heather Alexander, Kevin Kane

for The Strathbungo Society

Society Communication to Moray Place Residents Nov 2016

Network Rail Communication to Moray Place Residents Nov 2016

Brighter Bungo this Sunday, Sep 25th

bb-september-2016Brighter Bungo

Your next chance to make Strathbungo that little bit brighter.

Join Alan and his team for a couple of hours tidying up. All necessary equipment supplied.

Meet at corner of Nithsdale Road & Moray Place, from 11am to 1pm.

Sunday 25th September 2016.

Strathbungo Society AGM

Note for your diaries; the Society AGM will be on Tuesday 25th October. More details to follow at

Brighter Bungo @ Moray Place this Sunday!

The next Brighter Bungo will be the weekend before Bungo in the Back Lanes, so everything looks spick and span.

However this coming Sunday, 5th June, we will be out trimming the vegetation on the railway side of Moray Place for a third time. This time we will concentrate between Queen Square & Regent Park Square, although we may do more if we have the volunteers. The council will deliver a cage in Moray Place in advance to aid clearing up; please don’t obstruct it. Bring loppers, spades, wheelbarrows, etc between 11 and 1 and give us a hand!

Hope to see you there.

Andrew & Stephen at Marywood Square

Two hours of hard work, and it took a council bulldozer to remove it.

Mar 13th: Three hours of hard work, and it took a council bulldozer to remove it!

Now Pay Attention 007

The latest Strathbungo newsletter includes the curious discovery that Q, James Bond’s favourite quartermaster, was actually a former Strathbungo resident. The story comes courtesy of the Herald, and the sharp eyes of local resident David Cook.

Imagine the curtains twitching back in 1956 when the CID called at 17 Regent Park Square. They wanted to question the licence-holder of a revolver matching the gun used by one of Scotland’s most notorious serial killers. Geoffrey Boothroyd, a young technical rep at ICI, told them that his gun was actually down south being illustrated for the cover of Ian Fleming’s next James Bond novel, From Russia with Love.

That old excuse…

And it was true. Boothroyd, a gun collector, had written to Fleming earlier that year to say that Bond’s .25 Beretta was “really a lady’s gun”. He suggested instead a manly Smith & Wesson .38. Little did he know that it was also the weapon of choice for one Peter Manuel, then on a murderous spree that would claim seven lives, the last three in Burnside.

The detectives eventually got their man and Manuel got justice at the end of a rope. Boothroyd and Fleming continued their friendly correspondence. At the end of From Russia with Love, Rosa Klebb managed to stab Bond with her famous boot, partly because his Beretta got caught in his holster.

In his next novel, Dr No, Fleming included a whole chapter in which Bond was introduced by M to the armourer, Major Boothroyd. He confiscated Bond’s Beretta – “Ladies’ gun, sir” – for a Walther PPK, with the Smith & Wesson Centennial Airweight .38 revolver as back up. A new holster was also recommended, and all was based closely on Geoffrey Boothroyd’s advice. Daniel Craig still uses the Walther PPK to this day.

Oddly the character Q never appeared in Fleming’s novels; he only referred to Q Branch, suppliers of gadgets. Major Boothroyd appeared just the once, and it wasn’t clear he was from Q Branch either.

Boothroyd himself became firearms consultant for Dr No, the first Bond movie, and also advised on such matters as how to set an ocean on fire – no doubt his work at ICI came in handy. Peter Dawson played Major Boothroyd in the movie version of the above scene from Dr No.

It was only in the second movie, From Russia with Love, that Major Boothroyd also became known as Q, and was played famously by Desmond Llewellyn, in that movie and for the subsequent 36 years.

Geoffrey Boothroyd was quite an eccentric who once told Fleming: “I cherish a dream that one day a large tiger or lion will escape from the zoo or a travelling circus and I can bag it in Argyll Street.” That never happened, but he went on to become one of the world’s leading authorities on shotguns and handguns.

The Herald, October 2015: The article that prompted this story

Letters of Note: Fleming’s reply to Boothroyd’s original letter, addressed to 17 Regent Park Square

The Guns of James Bond – BBC Archive: Mr Boothroyd himself, in a 1964 short presented by Sean Connery, explaining his reasoning behind his choice of weapons. The film appears to have been shot inside his Strathbungo home; although by this time he had moved from 17 to 11 Regent Park Square, where he lived from 1956 to 1971. A recent resident of No 11 recalls his parents purchasing  the house from the Boothroyds, and remembers the house being full of weapons, including a Gatling gun in the living room. Does the current resident recognise it?

I am slowly amassing a history of Strathbungo, including stories of former residents of note such as this. If you have any stories to tell, or wish to know more about your own home, please get in touch. One day I hope it will all make it onto the blog.

(Updated 14/3/2016)

Brighter Bungo – This Sunday 10th Jan, 11am

Alan Dobson is organising the latest Strathbungo Volunteer Clean Up this Sunday. Your support would be greatly appreciated, as always. Please meet at the corner of Nithsdale Road and Moray Place (Sammy Dows) at 11.00am. Equipment and training will be provided, as will tea, coffee & shortbread, with any luck!

To add to the fun, a small gang (Andrew & Stephen) intend to have a go at clearing some of the overgrowth through the Moray Place fence. Anyone willing to help out with this would be most welcome. If you have tools (loppers, rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows) or are a dab hand with a petrol hedge trimmer, even better.

BB Poster Jan 2016

Network Rail Update

A quick update on what is happening. Kevin Kane, Chair of The Strathbungo Society, wrote to Network Rail with a number of queries, and a request for a meeting.

Strathbungo Society letter to NR 021215

NR Questions 2 Dec 2015

The following reply was received on 7 December. A date has not yet been set, but hopefully soon. We’ll keep you informed.

Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your email – yes I can confirm receipt of your previous correspondence. I have discussed this with colleagues on Friday and I will develop a response to the points raised.

It would be most helpful if you could confirm if you are my main point of contact? I have received correspondence from a number of different residents on this matter and to progress discussions I think it would be beneficial if there was one central point of contact for the Strathbungo Society. We will of course respond to all queries raised however one point of contact representing the Strathbungo Society would be most helpful.

In relation to the proposed meeting – which we are of course happy to attend –we feel that this should be focused on Moray Place and ensure a resolution on this matter before reviewing Darnley Road.

If you would like to discuss any of these points further please let me know – happy to chat on the phone or over email. As you will appreciate we are very keen to find an appropriate solution to this fencing.

Kind regards,


Niamh Hegarty | Senior Public Affairs Manager Scotland (acting) | 07739 786754

Network Rail Fencing Update

Green powder coated fencing, as proposed by Network Rail for Moray Place

Green powder coated fencing, as proposed by Network Rail for Moray Place

The saga of Network Rail’s attempt to erect a prison style weldmesh security fence along the length of Moray Place continues. In September the Society wrote to Niamh Hegarty, Senior Public Affairs Manager at Network Rail Scotland, expressing two main concerns, firstly that security fencing was wholly inappropriate, being in a conservation area, and directly in front of residents’ homes, and secondly that Network Rail insisted the fence would be on their boundary, but that they didn’t know where that was. Their assumption that it is the bow topped metal fence on the kerb is, in our view, incorrect. We provided historical evidence to support this in our letter. The letter is included here for your information.

15 09 09 Network Rail Letter.

Network Rail have finally replied, suggesting concessions on the design of the fence would be costly, and that they still intend to place the fence on the road edge. They claim to provide evidence to back this up, and are mildly threatening about residents’ counter claims, suggesting the residents’ official land registry entries are trumped by their in-house map. We, on the other hand, note the land registry entries are representative only, and the true boundary is set further back from the road in a single straight line.

15 11 06 Letter to Strathbungo Society. Click to read Network Rail’s reply. Their supporting evidence appears below.

Strathbungo Disposition 1858. This 1858 Disposition describes the land they own, but contains little detail.

This is an extract from the map in the disposition detailing their boundary in Strathbungo. Accurate, isn’t it? Compare with the maps in our letter above, which they have ignored.

Map on which they base their claim to knowing the exact location of their boundary

Map on which they base their claim to knowing the exact location of their boundary

Network Rail Modern Map. This document was submitted to us earlier in the year showing Network Rail’s operational map shaded blue. The red boxes are land registry entries for the houses on Moray Place. They now submit it as their land claim, but note that it is their map, and not an official land registry excerpt.

Network Rail have not specified the fencing they intend to use, not set a date for a future meeting. The Society will be meeting shortly to consider how we respond, and we will keep you informed.

Happy reading. If you want to send private comment back to the Society, and / or want us to keep in touch, complete the form here. More general comments for the blog can go in the comments box further down.


Bungo at the Bells

Bungo at the Bells 2014

Bungo at the Bells 2014

Thanks to everyone who came along for Bungo at the Bells to welcome in 2014. The weather was kind, it seems a good time was had by all, and some even lasted well beyond 2am, to hear a lovely vocal rendition of Rose Royce’s Wishing on a Star after the music had finished.

Thanks in particular to the Strathbungo Society for supporting the event, Teresa Mooney for doing most of the preparation, the Suttons, Dimmocks and Stephen Lamb for helping dish out the mulled wine and other freebies, the mystery piper of Strathbungo for making another appearance, the second mystery piper for joining in, those who made donations to the Society’s funds, and for those who helped tidy up. One lost mobile has been returned to its owner, but anyone seen a lost earring?

Thanks also to those who said thank you to us – it makes it all the more worthwhile putting the effort in.

Let’s hope 2014 continues in such good form.


More pictures here:

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