IT IS DAY three of our search for the greatest Glaswegian of all time – who do you think should make it to the top?

Over the next few weeks, we will be revealing the top 50 men and women who have put our city on the map through politics, the arts, business, science and more.

Once all 50 have been revealed, it’s over to you – we will be launching a public vote to find out who you think is number one.

Today, meet one of Scotland’s first female entrepreneurs and (probably) the greatest footballing manager in the world.


Forward-thinking businesswoman Kate Cranston, who ran tearooms across the city, was one of Scotland’s earliest female entrepreneurs.

Her tea rooms were the first places women socialised outside of the home, without male company, and in that respect, she changed attitudes and laid the groundwork for a cultural shift.

Kate was born in Glasgow in 1849. Her father, George, ran the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Hotel, which became Cranston’s Hotel and Dining Rooms.

Her older brother Stuart became a tea dealer when Glasgow’s temperance movement was in full swing and tea – which until the 1830s had been a luxury only for the rich – was being seen as a desirable alternative to alcohol for the working classes.

Kate’s first tearoom, the Crown Luncheon Room on Argyle Street, took the idea to another level, placing great emphasis on elegant surroundings, cleanliness and quality of food. Ingram Street, Buchanan Street and the Willow Tea Rooms in Sauchiehall Street followed, and they became much-loved hubs of Glasgow society, where the fashionable and avant-garde came to dine and relax.

Kate also had a good eye for design and was keen to support local talent such as designer Margaret Macdonald and her husband, the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. When she commissioned Mackintosh to create the interiors and exteriors of some of her tearooms, she helped him become one of the most famous and well-loved designers of all time.

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Kate was progressive in many of her ideas – particularly when it came to workers’ wellbeing. In the workplace, she was a stickler for training and strict about high standards of cleanliness and service in her establishments but she was also a compassionate employer who visited the waitresses - many of whom came from poor, large families – at home to ensure they ate three meals a day.

After the death of her husband in 1917, Kate sold her tea rooms and withdrew from public life. She had no children and after her death in 1934, it emerged she had left almost all of her estate to the poor of Glasgow.

Kate’s influence is still rightly celebrated - the original Willow Tea Rooms have recently been restored in a £10m project and the Oak Room interior from her Ingram Street tearoom has been restored and put on display at the new V&A in Dundee. Last year, RBS announced hers would be the face of the new polymer £20 note.


The most successful British football manager of all time was born in Glasgow.

Sir Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies including 13 league titles, two Champions League crowns, five FA Cups and four League Cups during his 26 years in charge of Manchester United.

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When he took over, the club had not won a title for more than two decades. He helped to turn it into one of the biggest in the world.

In 1999, he famously guided the team to victory in the English Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League.

When he retired in 2013, tributes poured in from fans, players and pundits alike, all paying tribute to his determination to succeed and dedication to the club.

Sir Alex grew up in a tenement across the road from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Govan. He spent his time playing on the streets with his friends. He once said in a newspaper interview: “It was a great upbringing…. You didn’t have a lot but I never call it poverty because I don’t think it was poverty. You always had your meals, you never missed school, you were always clean and tidy.”

Sir Alex began his playing career at Queen’s Park as a 16-year-old striker whilst working as an apprentice tool-worker at Clyde Shipyards and he spent two years at Rangers from 1967 to 1969. He retired as a player in 1974 when he was on Ayr United’s books.

He began his managerial career as a 32-year-old at East Stirlingshire before moving to St Mirren, where he won his first trophy by taking the Scottish first division title in 1977.

His talent at building winning teams became apparent at Aberdeen, when he transformed then into a force to be reckoned with in a league previously dominated by Rangers and Celtic.

Under his management, Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983 by beating Real Madrid 2-1, three Scottish titles, four Scottish FA Cups and one League Cup.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s Evening Times, as we announce another two contenders for the title of greatest Glaswegian. You can catch up on everyone revealed so far at