IT was built in 1900 to provide power to Glasgow’s trams and when its cooling tower was added in 1954, it was the tallest in Europe.

For Rita Henderson, Pinkston Power Station was a local landmark, inextricably linked to the social history of Port Dundas and her own family’s past.

“We have a long connection with the station,” explains Rita. “My father, Robert Kennedy, was a tram driver after the war and eventually worked at Pinkston where he met his future wife, my mum Margaret Luke.

“She worked in the canteen. Her father, my grandfather Henry Luke worked there for many years as a labourer – in this photograph of all the male workers at Pinkston, taken some time in the 1930s, you can see him, seated second right in the second row.

“It is a stern-faced assemblage. Note also, the well-dressed, superior-looking chap at front centre, the foreman, wearing his badge of authority, a bowler hat.”

Glasgow Times:

Rita adds: “The station was built at the beginning of the last century to provide electricity for tram cars and later, trolley buses.

“As a wee girl, I used to see it every day when visiting my gran and grandpa at their house on Pinkston Road. I now live in Craigend but still have many happy memories of the area where I grew up.”

Rita has a fantastic collection of photographs of her family – her grandparents, Henry and Margaret pictured in the mid-20s, just after they married; her parents, Robert and Margaret Kennedy, on their wedding day in June 1948; and a great shot of Rita herself with one of her brothers, Bobby, in the back court at Townhead.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow Times:

“I am about nine or ten years old in that photo,” she explains. “Incidentally, it was around that time I met my husband Billy, and we are still together more than 50 years on...”

Read more: The mystery of Glasgow oldest pubs revealed

The Glasgow Times archives include a fantastic photograph, taken by former picture editor Jim Hamilton in August 1964, of the last working tram in Glasgow at Pinkston Power Station, with ‘Mr Charles Swinton, electrical maintenance engineer at the door,” states the caption on the back.

Glasgow Times:

Coal for the power station, whose cooling tower was given a coat of camouflage paint during the war to prevent it from becoming a target in bombing raids, was brought by barges on the Forth and Clyde canal.

Eventually it was transferred to the South of Scotland Electricity Board to provide power for the national grid and it was decommissioned in the Sixties.

Glasgow Times:

The cooling tower leaked warm water into the canal, with claims at the time that fish in the canal grew to an enormous size as a result. (Almost certainly false, but it did not stop crowds of local children from searching hard...)

Glasgow Times:

The first of the chimneys, estimated to contain 4200 tons of bricks, was taken down in a controlled explosion in April 1978 which temporarily stopped the traffic.

Read more: "I was proud to survive National Service - I'd be a poorer person without it" - memories of conscription 60 years on

Rita adds: “We lived at several addresses in Springburn and Townhead during my childhood, and the power station was ever-present,” she explains. “Its colossus of a tower was visible from many locations....”

Glasgow Times:

Do you remember the old Pinkston Power Station? Send your stories and photos to or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, Print Centre, 125 Fullarton Drive, Cambuslang G32 8FG.