WHEN a group of Barmulloch mums set up a single parents’ group in the 1970s, they summed up what community spirit is all about.

“There was a lot of change at the time, not much to do, and a bunch of us found ourselves on our own with kids and wondering – what happens next?” explains Pearl Francis, one of the founder members of the 1970s club.

“We took over a whole close on Ryehill Road, opened a community shop so that local people could get things a bit cheaper, and ran a community tearoom. The shop was one of the first of its kind in Glasgow – it was ahead of its time.”

She laughs: “And my soup was quite famous. The men building the Red Road flats at the time used to rave about it….”

Pearl was one of many residents who popped in to Barmulloch Library recently for our latest Thanks for the Memories drop-in event.

Through our regular library sessions, which have now taken place all over the city, and our letters page and email banks, we are compiling a fantastic archive of stories and pictures, all dedicated to the city we love.

Email ann.fotheringham@heraldandtimes.co.uk or write to Ann Fotheringham, Evening Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB and share your photos and stories. Don’t forget to include a contact telephone number or email address.

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Pearl moved to Barmulloch in 1966, just after the birth of her third son. She has been a hard-working member of the community ever since, helping to set up the local folk group and the long-running Chest Heart and Stroke club which meets in the library and community centre building.

Pearl grew up in Springburn.

“I lived with my gran and granda because my dad was badly burned in an accident on the shipyards,” she says.

“He’d been fixing one of the steam jets under the guns on a ship and it opened on him. He nearly died.”

Pearl’s father, Oliver Connor, survived but was badly scarred and she and her sister Eleanor went to live with their grandparents, Margaret and John Kedda.

“My gran was a seamstress so she made all of our clothes,” recalls Pearl. “Everyone knew the Connor sisters in Springburn because we were always dressed the same!”

She adds, smiling: “She’d even make us the same hats and coats.”

Living with Granny Kedda was a treat, Pearl recalls fondly.

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“You wanted for nothing, even though there wasn’t much about,” she says. “There was always butter on the table at granny’s.”

Alison McLaughlin, nee Davey, and her husband Jim, both have fond memories of growing up in Barmulloch.

“I was born in Rockfield Road in 1952, the youngest of eight kids – I had four brothers and three sisters,” smiles Alison. “It was all fields back then, there were no buildings around where we lived, and you could see all the way across to Robroyston Hospital.

“Kids would be out playing, all the time, having fun with their pals.”

Alison met Jim at a local disco. “Going to discos, or the youth club, or up the road to the cinema in Springburn was what you did – no-one had a lot of money.”

Jim was the Calderwood Dairy milk boy in 1967.

“I delivered the milk to all the houses round Barmulloch and Balornock,” he recalls. “I’d get up at 5am, do the rounds, then go to school.”

He adds: “Barmulloch is a changed place. There’s much more integration here now and it’s all the better for it.”

Pearl, who has 18 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, agrees the place has changed – but the people at its heart have not.

“Barmulloch people are family-minded, strong people who work together,” she says, firmly. “They know what’s needed, so they get on and do it, and that’s still the same after all these years.”