SALLY Conway can close her eyes and conjure up every corner and every character of the Cowcaddens Street she called home in the 40s and 50s.

“I’m 83, but I can still remember it all – our wee lane was home to everything and everyone,” she smiles.

“I wonder if any other Times Past readers remember Milton Place? We called it the lane, and all life was there.

“It’s all gone now, demolished to make way for new homes and buildings. But I will never forget it….”

Sally, who now lives in Knightswood, recalls Buchanan’s Confectionery Works, which stood opposite. Founded in 1858 by John Buchanan and his brothers Andrew and Alexander, it became a huge concern and by 1869, it moved into its large premises on Stewart Street in Cowcaddens.

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Here, more than 1000 men and women were employed as the company added jams and sweets to its growing list of products which were exported worldwide. (The Buchanan’s brand remains today, part of the Golden Casket Group.)

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“My sister Mary worked there – once she sneaked a bar of chocolate home by stuffing it down her front,” she recalls, with a laugh.

“It melted all over her front, so she never did that again.

“Whenever I had a school trip, she’d get me a bag of the broken biscuits and sweets to take with me. I was always very popular with my pals.”

The ‘lane’ was also home to a church, a builders’ merchant and a pub christened ‘The Jungle’ by the locals (“that should give you an idea what it was like,” says Sally.)

“I can’t remember the name of it, but we used to see the men fighting outside it when they got drunk and things got out of hand,” she says.

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“We’d be quite excited when the police would arrive in their black Mariahs to break up the fights and take the men away.”

Sally recalls ‘big Annie’, who ran the rag store. “She had huge scales outside, big enough to weigh an elephant,” she adds. “There was a snooker hall up a flight of very steep stairs but we were never allowed up there.

“We used to dare each other to run up to the top and one day, a man came out and threw a big basin of cold water all over us…”

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She adds: “I remember a plumber and a joiner, who made coffins – very handy to have that on your doorstep – and the stables, where I loved watching the horses and carts.

“My mother loved animals – she instilled that in all of us, and she used to hang out our window and yell at the stable boy if she saw him mistreating one of the horses.”

Sally shakes her head. “It was amazing, living in the middle of all of this…”

The area was also home to a ballroom, Sally says, although she can’t remember its name.

“It’s where my sister learned to dance,” she smiles. “She stuck at it, too – she loved to dance.”

Sally was born Sally Sloan in 1937.

“My mother, Mary Reavey, was Irish and came to Glasgow with all her family from County Down,” she explains. “She was widowed twice and I had three brothers and a sister.”

Sally has survived all four of her siblings - Mary, Joseph, Gerard and Johnny. Sally left her home in Milton Place when she got married.

“We used to ride our bikes up the street, and play in Phoenix Park on Ann Street,” she says. “A treat was to go to Dallas’s the big department store near by.

“When you gave your money to the cashier, she sent it up a chute, whoosh! We’d have high teas there on special occasions.”

The nearby Grand Picture House backed on to the lane, Sally remembers.

“We used to try to sneak in the back door when no-one was watching,” she laughs.

“There was a great ice cream shop next door too, I think it was called Gizzo’s – so many happy memories.

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“I’d love to hear if other readers remember Cowcaddens, and our wee lane, like I do.”

Did you go to Gizzo’s or The Grand, like Sally? Can you remember the stables, the snooker hall, the ballroom and the park?

We’d love to hear your memories – get in touch with your stories and photos by emailing or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow G32 8FG.