WHENEVER she talks about her life in Glasgow, Jane Davies lights up at the mention of Sauchiehall Street.

In the 50s and 60s, this was the grandest street of all, full of elegant department stores, stylish tearooms and beautiful boutiques.

The 97-year-old can remember the old shops, and loves to tell her daughter Carol all about them.

One particularly intrigued Carol, however, who is helping her mum compile memories of her life in Scotland and England.

“My mum mentioned Smith’s, which had a spinning wheel on its shopfront, and said it was situated next to Daly’s department store,” says Carol.

“She had worked in the Clydesdale Bank on Sauchiehall Street, then moved to Smith’s and speaks about doing a fire watch on the roof during the Blitz.

“But I could not find any mention of a Smith’s department store at all.”

Jane and Carol.

Jane and Carol.

Carol got in touch with Times Past and after a bit of digging, we found reference to a John Smith & Co wool shop, which seemed to be in the right place.

Carol tracked down a book called My Dear Old Glasgow Years by Walter Bernardini, who designed the adverts for the store, and, she says: “Lo and behold, there was a photo of the shop with a spinning wheel on the front.

“I showed my mum and she was so pleased.”

John Smith & Co had seven shops across Scotland, selling high quality wools, and knitting and embroidery patterns.

The Glasgow advert points knitting fans in the direction of 219 Sauchiehall Street ‘at the sign of the golden spinning wheel’.

Carol with her mum, Jane and the treasured reminder of her life in Glasgow.

Carol with her mum, Jane and the treasured reminder of her life in Glasgow.

Carol adds: “My mum is an avid knitter, and now I know she worked in a wool shop, that was probably where it all began.

“She told me how every Thursday she had to help dress the windows, which she loved. She was so pleased to see the picture.”

Jane was born in Canterbury in January, 1924, she had two brothers, Stanley and Tim and a sister who sadly died as a baby.

“Her father was a market gardener, and he passed on his gift and love of gardening to his daughter,” says Carol. “He died at the age of 33.

“She fondly remembers all the families coming down from London each year for hop-picking season.”

Jane and William were married at Maryhill Barracks in 1943.

Jane and William were married at Maryhill Barracks in 1943.

Jane moved to Glasgow, where she met William Davies, who was in the Highland Light Infantry. The couple married at Maryhill Barracks in June 1943.

William joined the Royal Signals band, and Carol has a letter which says he was ‘the most versatile and best musician in the whole of the British Army.’

She adds: “He was an excellent musician. My parents moved to Catterick Camp in the north of England, which must have been a bit of a shock to my mum after the hustle and bustle of Sauchiehall Street.

Jane with her brothers, Stanley and Tim.

Jane with her brothers, Stanley and Tim.

“I was born there in 1947, and my brother Stuart arrived in 1950. When I was eight years old we moved down to the outskirts of Portsmouth, to a house overlooking fields which reminded my mum of her early life in Canterbury.

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“My sister Jill was born in 1958, by which time my father had left the army – but he still kept up with his music, playing at weddings and the local theatre, and doing some private teaching.”

Jane Davies, c 1950

Jane Davies, c 1950

William died in 2001.

“My mum carried on, but she really missed him,” says Carol. “She is now well cared for in a local home.”

“It has been great finding out more about the old shops she used to work in when she lived in Glasgow. It has brought back so many happy memories for her.”

Do you remember the wool shop? Which other long-forgotten stores on Sauchiehall Street were your favourites? Get in touch with Times Past to share your stories and photographs.