WHO remembers Paterson’s, and Manfield Shoes, and – joy of joys – the Imperial Typewriters shop?

All fine Buchanan Street emporiums, now long gone.

Our main shot, taken in 1952, looks north and just on the horizon you can see the scaffolding behind which Glasgow’s new NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institute) building, on the corner of Parliamentary Road, is being erected.

Below, the opposite view has been captured by our photographers as workmen put the finishing touches to the NAAFI roof.

Glasgow Times:


Fast forward to November 1953, and the lavish seven-storey building, of which the NAAFI occupied the first three, is complete.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow NAAFI club. Pic: Newsquest

Lieutenant-General Sir Colin Barber, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Scottish Command, and the city’s Lord Provost, Thomas A Kerr, were impressed. Mr Kerr declared the club, built at a cost of £160,000, was “an ornament to the city architecturally and in every other way”.

Glasgow Times: Glasgow NAAFI club. Pic: Newsquest

The club’s tavern resembled an old Scottish baronial hall, with dressed-stone walls, a 25ft-long stone bar and a large open fireplace. The chairs were made of natural oak and laced leather, and the restaurant was panelled in Jacobean-type dark wood. The lounge looked like the first-class lounge of an ocean liner., and there was a ballroom, a games room, complete with two full-sized billiards tables, and a music room.

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It catered for 15,000 navy, army and air force personnel but closed in June 1960, The building was demolished in the late 80s to make way for the Royal Concert Hall and Buchanan Galleries shopping centre.