OUR recent feature on the cinemas of Townhead sparked a few fantastic (and dramatic) recollections – and Thomas Gallagher has a question for fellow Thanks for the Memories readers.

“I was brought up in Townhead – I lived at 44 Glebe Street – and in your article, you mentioned the Casino, the Carlton and the Grafton cinemas,” he says.

“But what about the St James’s Picture house on Stirling Road?”

He adds: “There must have been at least 30 steps up to it, and it had wooden seats. It was the first time I remember smelling Pasha cigarettes.”

Thomas started work at the age of 15 in the Central Signal Box, as a ‘bookmarker’, noting all the trains coming in and out of the station, and he recalls one particularly alarming day in his life.

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“One day, I got home to our top flat and the door was lying open,” he says. “There was no one in the house and all the furniture had gon.

“The tenant next door tells me that my mum and dad have moved to Possilpark - a place I had never heard of.”

Thomas laughs: “So she tells me how to get there and after what felt like hours, I found my new house, with my mum in the kitchen.

“I asked her what happened, and she said – ‘oh, did I no’ tell you? The building was bulging at the front and the Corpy put us all out…..”

Arthur MacVean got in touch to tell us he had laughed out loud to read our recent story about Philip Kelly scaring the lady in the Grafton cinema by throwing his coat over her by mistake in the dark.

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“I was brought up in St James’s Rd, not far from the Grafton, which was sometimes referred to as the ‘Buggy’,” he recalls.

“I had some really funny and great times there, where we kids all cheered the cowboys and cavalry during the westerns and loudly booed whenever the ‘injuns’ appeared whooping and galloping on the screen.”

He adds: “I remember the showing of Rock around the Clock, starring Bill Haley and the Comets, in the Fifties, the start of the ‘rock n’ roll’ era, when all the guys and gals started twisting and dancing in the passageways to this new exciting music…”

Arthur also recalls Gizzi’s café on Castle Street.

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“It was frequented by a much older crowd than my friends and I,” he says. “It was beside the Casino and the Carlton cinemas which were okay but nothing could compare with the Grafton. It was a place of fun and laughter, filled with great characters.”

Ian Whiteford remembers his happy childhood growing up on Maryhill Road in the 1950s.

“Your article on the old closes brought back many fond memories from a long time past,” he says.

“I lived on Maryhill Road only until I was about seven years old, when my parents emigrated to Australia in on what was then called the £10 assisted fare – the Aussies labelled us ‘the ten-pound poms’.

“I remember playing along the canal, which ran along the back of our tenement, and the camaraderie that existed between everybody in our close – we all looked out for each other.”

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He laughs: “Woe betide you if you were caught playing up and down the stairs, though….”

Ian also recalls his mother's hard work on wash days. "I remember doing the family washing in the wash house, putting the clothes through a huge hand wringer before hanging them out on the clothes line in the back court.

“People and families didn’t have much in those days, but things seemed so much simpler then..”