Today, I joined an interesting walking tour led by Ged O’Brien, author of  ‘Played in Glasgow: Charting the Heritage of a City at Play’.

It appears that Glasgow was at the forefront of the development of such sports as Water Polo ( formerly called aquatic football), Lawn Bowls and Football (soccer).  Glasgow’s rapid expansion during the latter half of the 19th century had a dual effect on sporting activity: existing pitches and facilities were moved to accommodate railways and housing developments whilst sporting facilities expanded to keep up with growing population. Football (soccer) was the sport of the working classes. This was relatively cheap to arrange and organise and built on a long tradition which suggests that the current style passing game of football was invented in Scotland. Today, Scotland has two leading clubs on the international stage, namely Celtic and Rangers, both of which are based in Glasgow. In addition to football, Lawn Bowls was and remains popular. This sport was often run in conjunctionwith curling as the two share similar rules.

The tour commenced at the Lighthouse, a famous Glaswegian architectural landmark and architectural exhibition centre, the entrance to which is located in a side street ad bypassed by the great mass of shoppers just a few metres away in Buchanan St.

Lighthouse, Glasgow Architecture


Buchanan Street with its many shops.

Buchanan St, Glasgow

Shopping at Glasgow's Buchanan St

We travelled by train out to Pollockshields where we viewed the Titwood Tennis and Bowls Club built on land donated by Sir John Stirling Maxwell. Pollockshields is an upscale area.

Tennis and Bowls Club, Titwood, Glasgow

Titwood Tennis and Bowls Club

This is Clydesdale Cricket Club. Field hockey is one of the major sports played here.

Clydesdale Cricket Club, Glasgow

Clydesdale Cricket Club

 Tour group proceeding through Queen’s Park.

Tour Group

City Walk in Queen's Park, Glasgow

Wellcroft (Lawn) Bowling Club is one of the world’s oldest.It’s members were responsible for codifying the rules of Bowls in 1835.

Wellcroft Bowling Club, Glasgow

Wellcroft Bowling Club, Queen's Park

Tennis gradually faded in the 20th century. Here is a defunct court.

Defunct Tennis Court, Queen's Park

Defunct Tennis Court, Queen's Park, Glasgow

This site of Hampden Bowling Club could be very significant in the history of football. May be worth having an archaeological investigation.

Hampden Bowling Club, Glasgow

Hampden Bowling Club

This clubhouse may have been one of the very early football buildings and subsequently transported to current site.

Clubhouse at Hampden Bowling Club

Hampden Bowling Club

This seemingly moribund football ground may qualify as the oldest international football pitch in the world. Note extended oval which is typical of Scottish pitches. The now defunct Third Lanark team played here from 1903 to 1967. The ground is still used by youth leagues.

Second Hampden Park

New Cathkin Football Ground, Glasgow

This is Lesser Hampden. White building in middle distance is Clincart Farmhouse and may be the oldest football building in the world.

Lesser Hampden and Clinacrt Farm

Lesser Hampden, Glasgow

This is Hampden Park, Scotland’s national football stadium.

Hampden, Glasgow

Hampden Park

Overall, this was in illuminating tour with special focus on the 19th century expansion of Glasgow coupled with Scotland’s major contribution to the game of football.

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