Glasgow’s Hidden Gem

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!


68 thoughts on “Glasgow’s Hidden Gem

    1. Do you belong to a trade or craft guild? I wasn’t aware such a group existed 🙂
      Love your wooden reindeer, I hope you made Rudolph.
      Glasgow is well worth a visit, the shopping here is a bit too fabulous, lots of history.
      Best wishes

      1. I thought it was French for best wishes :). Kim suggested I could use that or miellure veoux (or words like that I can’t remember how to spell it.). I should just use Google translate 😉

      2. OK, so best wishes is : “meilleurs voeux”, but its use for : new year,, christmas, birthday, weadding” or you have to complete “meilleurs voeux de réussite pour vos projets…..”…… It’ the same pour “Bonne chance” you have to say “for ….”. And in the artist’s world, you nether said “good luck”, or , if you say, the personn may not answer you. And the good word for an artist before he perform is “M.E.R.D.E ” (shit)…

        Best regards

    1. Lovely people, very friendly and informative. I didn’t spot the halo until you said 🙂 .
      I LOVE my red coat too, just before Christmas last year I saw it and as I was calling my Mum to ask if she would buy it for me for Christmas as it was on offer a lady with ten other items over her arm picked it up in my size and disappeared into the changing room. I sat outside pretending to try on shoes for what seemed like a lifetime and fortunately she left it on the rack in the changing room, I charged in whipped it up and got it, yay.

  1. Our youngest son spent his senior year of University in Scotland and loved the people and the land. My wife and I plan to spend a long, long vacation there in three years. Thank you for sharing you afternoon adventure. It simply wets the appetite. George

    1. There is some fantastic architecture in Glasgow, some of the new can clash with the old and I hope they keep the older buildings like the one near to forever 21 and do up the old facia rather than bulldoze it.
      Charlotte 🙂

    1. Thanks Elizabeth I’m glad you enjoyed it enough to reblog it. Thanks for your help with twitter too, I appreciate it I’m not quite sure of the etiquette yet and keeping the comments down is challenging 🙂
      Warmest wishes

      1. Charlotte,

        You’re most welcome! Is there anything specific I can do to help you with twitter? It took me a while to become accustomed to it when I started two years ago! xx


  2. What a lovely discovery! I often drive through my home town (on the seacoast of New Hampshire) and try to look around me with tourist’s eyes. It’s a great way to appreciate the beauty I am exposed to every day!

    1. Hello Tricia. I took an Amercian friend, Danielle home to Chester earlier in the year, it was lovely showing her around the old historic city walls and upper shopping rows in the traditional buildings 😉 . I’d love to see New Hampshire one day. Charlotte

  3. I really like the architecture of the building and it’s nice to learn more about Scottish history! My uncle’s late mother was an immigrant from Scottland and I have a double shot of Scotch (among other nationalities) in my blood. I’m a direct decendent of one of the three original Bell families who immigrated to America during the 17th century. I don’t know a great deal about my heritage, so it’s really great to read articles such as this! 🙂

    1. Hi Ryan, my IPhone camera didn’t do them justice really 😉 . They have a tv program in the UK called ‘Who do you think you are’ about the heritage of celebrities explaining how to find out more for yourself, it’s very good.
      All the best

      1. We have the same tv program over here in the U.S. and I think it has the same title. I don’t watch much television but when I do… I watch Top Gear!! 😉

  4. Charlotte, it looks like you had a great afternoon,its true when you walk around the town where you live you hardly notice the beautiful buildings around you.
    very interesting blog.

    1. Did you see Tom’s blog? He took photos of Knutsford, there were buildings I hadn’t noticed before and I went to school there and walked through the town each day 🙂
      Thank you

  5. Charlotte – your studies are far more important than figuring out WordPress but if it works the same across the pond as it does here, all you have to do is highlight Dr. Idris Jones’ name, hit the Link button, and a box will pop up where you fill in the link. Then you won’t need the word ‘Link’ in a sentence.

    1. Thank you Barbara I did. I went to a yoga class today to have a break from learning new lyrics and to get some exercise. It was an intense class with head stands and strength control I’m still recovering 😉
      Best wishes

  6. Charlotte: Wasn’t sure where to post this, but thanks for letting me know of your blog (by default) by following my blog ( I was very interested in your post on the Glasgow Trade House because, in spite of living in California now, I was born in Scotland (Broughty Ferry) and my mother was born and raised in Glasgow. I hope to visit again in the next year or two in order to spend some research time for my new novel. If you’re in town and you’re performing, I shall definitely come and listen. I am also a singer, although an amateur, singing in local choirs. I was privileged to be able to sing in a performance tour this summer in central Europe. Maybe the UK and/or Scotland will be next. I enjoyed exploring your audio and video performances. You’re spectacular!

    1. Hello Aline, thank you for your lovely comment, if you ever come to Glasgow let me know. Writing a novel seems very exciting, my Great Aunt, my Grandpa’s cousin, writes romance novels, her first novel was about my Great Grandma and her own mother. Sadly we’ve lost touch now and I didn’t inherit her writing skills.
      Best wishes

  7. Dr. Jones is sportin’ the swag! And your jacket: totally stylin’! I’m digging the cuffs!

    Seriously: Great post. I’m certain that Dr. Jones was delighted to speak with someone who is both intelligent and genuine.

    1. Hello Dan, I love that my coat matches Dr Jones’ tie and ribbon 😉 . My friend has a Russian Ushanka hat that would be perfect with my coat just like the cuffs.

      It was genuinely interesting, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      All the best

  8. It’s so strange that we can sometimes pass by the most interesting of places on a daily basis! So glad you took the adventuresome spirit and explored. Sometimes a tourist state of mind can reveal the most charming sides of things we can think mundane.

    1. Oh definitely, it does take a bit of courage I guess just to wander in and make the visit into something special, I used to go shopping in a Roman City called Chester which is on the border with Wales and England, there are loads of nooks and crannies to explore and my parents were always keen for us to explore.
      All the best,

  9. Thanks so much for following my blog, Charlotte! I loved coming to yours and reading about all of your adventures!!

    All the best to you!!


    1. Thanks Hope, I’ve been busy trying to sort out a timetable clash, two of the modules I wanted to do are on at the same time, so I’ve got to decide a new topic quickly. Perhaps I should put my top 3 in a hat and let fate decide.
      Best wishes

    1. Hello Michael, I love it that you agree 🙂

      I’ll have to start working out my persuasive strategy with only 14 months to go 😉 I could sing O my beloved father… I don’t think Dad would take any threats to jump off a bridge seriously lol.

      Best wishes

  10. What a great description of a beautiful day! Thank you for following me, otherwise I’d have missed this lovely smile I have on my face.
    You also have such a beautiful voice, truly special… You’ve confirmed my love for Scots, the two times I’ve visited were so great, going to have to figure out a way to get back one of these days…
    All the best in all your future endeavours Charlotte!

    1. Thanks Ted, I’m learning to love Scotland too, I’m from the North West of England near Manchester. Glasgow is hosting the Commonwealth Games next year so they have lots of events in the planning stages 😉
      Best wishes

  11. I used to study in Glasgow (I lived at the Murano Street Student Halls) so this was a nice look back at a lovely time in my life. Thanks for reminding me of it 🙂

  12. People walk by gems like this every day. Derry being the UK City of Culture for 2013, I’ve had the opportunity to realise this more than ever. It’s good to remind people to take a gander at what is around them in their own town as well as on Costa Fortune.

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