GORGEOUS GIs, great gigs and glamorous department stores shine brightly in Glasgow’s past.

Our recent features on the shops and restaurants fondly remembered by residents and visitors alike prompted many to get in touch.

Jessie Sanders, 82, of Jordanhill, wrote to share her marvellous memories of working in one of Glasgow’s most famous department stores, Copeland and Lye, on Sauchiehall Street.

Adverts for the glamorous shop were a common sight in the Evening Times – one in 1936 proclaimed that “real leopard skin gloves, lined with lamb, for a mere 79/6 [£3.98] for the pair” were on sale, alongside “real onyx ashtrays, Morny Gardenia perfume, a sparkling Doughboy tank for the children, monogrammed handkerchiefs, men’s leather Grecian slippers and a bridge set.

Jessie worked in the toy department in the basement although at Christmas, she moved to the third floor to open Santa’s grotto.

“Every morning I had to go to the restaurant and collect a tray with Santa’s lunch,” she says. “After Christmas, the grotto was dismantled and I was back in the basement…”

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When the Queen’s Coronation took place in June 1953, Jessie and her colleagues were transferred to the ground floor to sell flags and bunting.

“I have never worked so hard in my life,” she recalls. “You would have thought we were giving them away for nothing – the customers were almost grabbing them out of our hands.

“The company sent us all on a bus trip and a sail to thank us, and gave us a £5 piece in a little case. I still have mine.”

Jessie adds: “The American boats used to come to Dunoon and Copeland & Lye was always full of Yanks chatting up the good-looking girls in the perfumery department. When we came out at 6pm, they would all be lining up on the pavement, waiting for the one they had made a date with….”

Glasgow Times:

Edward McLeod sent us his fantastic memories of growing up in Cardonald - and the American GIs stationed in Glasgow played a part in those too.

“My older sister Mary was going out with a GI from the American base near Crookston Road,” he says. “My two younger sisters, Jenny and Cissie, were encouraging her as he wanted to take her back with him to America..They just wanted more room at home.”

He smiles: “I think Mary was the envy of many girls in Cardonald at that time.”

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Jean McDade, of Barlanark, has fond memories of working in RS McColl’s Classic Cafeteria on Renfield Street in the late 50s.

“We were in the basement of the building, with the cartoon cinema above on the ground floor and I loved every minute of it,” she smiles.

“Miss Elizabeth Laird was the manager and I believe the Classic was the first place in Glasgow to sell hamburgers…”

Jean also recalls some great gigs at the Barrowland.

Glasgow Times:

“The Billy McGregor band with Helen Thompson, or Lena Martell,” she says. “The Clyde Valley Stompers, playing the Old Rugged Cross and Open Up Them Pearly Gates – you just had to hear it to believe it.”

What are your memories of old Glasgow? Email ann.fotheringham@glasgowtimes.co.uk or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street G2 3QB.