It was a beautiful sunny autumn afternoon here in Glasgow on Saturday and I decided to take a break from studies and go for a walk around the City. I just started to wander around the older part of the City near to my student halls from last term. I had walked down these streets so many times last year, usually in hurry, and never really stopped to look around.
I noticed a sign on one of the buildings exclaiming, “Craft Open Day”. I thought great, I might be able to buy some craft odds and ends to start making some Christmas cards ;). The building was very grand with an inviting entrance so I walked in…..
I discovered that the building was Glasgow’s Trade Hall and the home of “the Trades House of Glasgow” and they were inviting people to come in and explore the work they did in the local community. So much more interesting than I ever imagined. The Trades House of Glasgow was created at the time of reform of Glasgow’s local government in 1605. At that time the electorate was basically divided into two groups, the Merchants and the Craftsmen. I found after reading through their literature that “The Trades House still meets in the Trades Hall in Glassford Street, which, apart from the medieval cathedral, is the oldest building in Glasgow still used for its original purpose.
Guilds and Craft Incorporations are the Scottish equivalent of the craft guilds or livery companies, which developed in most of the great cities of Europe in the Middle Ages. Over the years many of the House’s political and legal duties have been transferred to other bodies, but the charitable functions and concern for the future of Glasgow very much remain. The assistance of the needy, the encouragement of youth and support for education, particularly the Schools and the Further Education Colleges in developing craft standards, are now its chief objectives.
On the 6th of February 2005 the 8,000 members of the Trades House and the 14 Incorporated Trades celebrated their 400th year of service in Glasgow, which was shared with the Merchants House and the City Council who have the same anniversary.
I had the honour of meeting Deacon Dr Idris Jones, pictured with me above, who was the Deacon of the Trade House of Glasgow in 2007, he went on to explain to me all about the significance of the coat of arms which you can read all about here and I would recommend it if you have the time ( Link ).
The Trade Houses of Glasgow raise a significant amount of money each year for local and regional charities and I was pleased to discover about their history and the work that they do.
It was a lovely place to stumble across on a Saturday afternoon with very generous people particularly Jan and Graeham who I have not yet mentioned 🙂
By the way Mum, Dad get saving this is a fabulous venue for my 21st next year!