OUR pictures of Cowcaddens in days gone by show a busy community packed with city life, warts and all.

At its heart was Milton Place, a once-thriving street which was home to tenements and an intriguing assortment of businesses – the famous Buchanan’s jam factory, for example, a joiner which made coffins, the popular stables, a ballroom and much more.

Close by was Grove Street, the Grand cinema and Phoenix Park while just up the road stood the grand department stores of Sauchiehall Street.

Glasgow Times: Grove Street in Cowcaddens Pic: Newsquest

Cowcaddens was one of the first places in the country to get a Milk Bar in the 1930s, which caused great excitement amongst the area’s children.

Part of a nationwide effort to improve the health of young people, and to encourage to buy a healthier alternative to fizzy pop, the Maitland Street Milk Bar pictured here was one of several in areas around the city, including Anderston, Bridgeton, the Gorbals and Govan.

Glasgow Times: The Milk Bar on Maitland Street, 1930s Pic: Newsquest

With the slogan ‘Milk makes children grow strong’, and a bottle costing just a ha’penny, kids were forever pestering their parents for money to get their own.

One Times Past reader recalls Milton Place and the surrounding streets very well.

His grandfather Robert Bain ran RB Bain, a well-known glass and sheet metal business which stood in ‘the lane’, as it was known, until the area was demolished in the 60s as part of regeneration works.

“My grandfather’s business was there from the 1920s,” he explains.

“He was well known in the city for stained glass windows and cinema and theatre lighting, examples of which are still in the King’s Theatre.

“Stained glass was all the rage in those days - I have a photo of me with my grandparents taken at our house in Cathcart.

Glasgow Times: Ian with his grandparents and great-aunts.

“The stained glass window above the door is one of my grandfather’s as was the fashion.”

Ian has many happy memories of his grandfather’s workshop from his childhood.

“It was a two-storey building, with double doors downstairs to provide access for the big sheets of glass,” he explains.

“There was an office, and a large cutting table.

“Upstairs, there were two areas, one for preparing stained glass windows and for acid etching of glass for mirrors.

“My mum and dad – James and Nancy – had a wedding mirror which is an example of this.”

Glasgow Times: The Morrisons' wedding mirror, made by RB Bain.

He adds: “The other part was where the sheet metal was prepared.

“There were large cutting machines and welding equipment, none of which I was allowed to touch.”

The business was a family affair, explains Ian.

“The office originally had a clerk who wrote up the ledger and my mother typed the invoices and delivered them around the city,” he says.

“I spent a lot of time in the workshop and during the holidays was allowed to deliver the invoices to places like Green’s Playhouse and the various theatres and cinemas either walking or cycling around Glasgow.”

Eventually Milton Place was demolished in the late 1960s to make way for the new police station.

READ MORE: 'Our Glasgow lane was full of life until it was torn down' - Cowcaddens memories

Ian’s grandfather found new premises in the Gorbals.

He adds: “He was in one of the railway arch buildings there, until aged 77, he retired and sold the business to a company which was starting to make double glazed windows in 1968.”

Ian’s grandfather was well known in the city – he also ran the Southside Amateur Swimming club at the Calder Street Baths in Govanhill - and examples of his stained glass work are still in evidence around the city today.

*Do you remember the long-lost streets and businesses of Cowcaddens? Get in touch with Times Past to share your stories.