A great wee glimpse of wartime Glasgow - note the white-painted brick baffle wall around the Police Box outside what was then the city's Royal Exchange.
Housed in what had been Tobacco Lord William Cuninghame of Lainshaw's city mansion, the Exchange served as a meeting place where merchants and other businessmen gathered to deal in commodities such as coal, iron and sugar and in services such as shipping and insurance.
The city's first telephone exchange was located here in1880. Ironically, the need for a business exchange building declined once telephones came into common use. The Corporation acquired the Royal Exchange in 1949 and five years later Stirling's Library was relocated there from Miller Street. In 1996 the building was converted to house the Gallery of Modern Art.
I can also spy one of my childhood loitering spots - the big, golden, wooded shotgun that used to hang outside gunsmith AlexanderMartin'sever fascinating Royal Exchange Square shop. Its window was always packed with high-end shotguns, gruesome looking crossbows, and truly terrifying hunting knives. All the sort of stuff wee (and big) boys like.
Alexander Martin had been established in the 1820s and had branches in Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Stirling. The firm had a shooting school at "grounds convenient to Glasgow" where customers were fitted with a gun to match their build and natural action.
The sign on the building along from the shotgun reads 'Overseas Forces Club'; a place where our French, Polish, Canadian, American, Australian, New Zealand and South African comrades in arms, all so far from home and family, could grab a cuppa, or something stronger.
The big beauty in the background, on the corner of Queen and Ingram Streets, is the former Glasgow HQ of the British Linen Bank. Sadly, it was demolished in 1970, by the Bank of Scotland, to make way for a new concrete office building. That too has now gone, to be replaced a curvy-walled glass and steel creation.
And what's that wee guy doing, left, seated on a bucket?; do we think he's offering to shine shoes?
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