Author Topic: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?  (Read 245 times)

Offline Mhairi28

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Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« on: Wednesday 07 April 21 20:22 BST (UK) »
My mother was born in Glasgow in 1922. One of her many 'stories' was about the Jamaica Bridge. She said it was known locally as the 'Highland' bridge as it was where many Gaelic highlanders would meet up to speak in their native tongue. i have no idea whether this was in her own time or that of her grandparents who both spoke Gaelic.
I have found that the Jamaica Bridge was known by several names, but not this legend. I would be interested to know if anyone has heard the same.

Offline ITBookworm

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 07 April 21 20:50 BST (UK) »
I would guess your Mum is merging stories about two different bridges which are relatively close together without realising it. The "highland" bridge is likely to be what is known locally as the Hielanman's Umbrella on Argyle Street which intersects with Jamaica Street which is then the Jamaica bridge when it crosses the Clyde. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hielanman%27s_Umbrella - This Wikipedia article mentions Gaelic speakers meeting as your Mum suggests.
Dempster, Harvie, Comrie, Adams
O'Neill, Curry, Dunbar, Crichton

Offline Mhairi28

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 07 April 21 21:21 BST (UK) »
Thank you so much for your reply and setting the story straight. I read the article with interest.
It was much appreciated.


Offline Skoosh

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 08 April 21 12:37 BST (UK) »
The Gaels met under the bridge on their day off, where exactly depended on their home district/island.
  The Jamaica Street or Broomielaw Bridge was constructed by Thomas Telford over the Clyde, replaced by a bigger bridge about 1900 it incorporated much of Telford's stonework.

Skoosh. 

Offline Mhairi28

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 08 April 21 14:41 BST (UK) »
Thank you for sending the information. It is much appreciated.

Offline MonicaL

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 08 April 21 15:56 BST (UK) »
A photo of it here www.gieitlaldy.com/products/hielanmans-umbrella-glasgow-central-a4-scottish-print

I think you need the Highlanders gathering to make it come alive really.... ;)

Added: I think this is a more realistic photo of what it was like in those times here www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/18509226.dark-smelly-tourists-think-glasgows-hielanmans-umbrella/

Monica
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Offline Mhairi28

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 08 April 21 16:22 BST (UK) »
Goodness, not very inviting then! Thanks for the pictures.
It was a lovely way to keep the Gaelic language alive. I rarely hear it now, even when visiting the islands.

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 08 April 21 17:20 BST (UK) »
Mhairi, it's just a bridge, not a tourist attraction, it carries all the trains which cross the Clyde into the Central Station which is a tourist attraction. The tour of the Central Station is excellent but unfortunately halted at the moment for the Covid epidemic.
There was a Gaelic church north of the original bridge which the attraction on a Sunday, this was demolished to widen the station for more platforms & construction of the Central Hotel, now Grand Central.

 Every city has folk begging sadly, but there is an excellent chippy under the bridge. ;D

  https://www.glasgowcentraltours.co.uk

Bests,
Skoosh.

Offline Mhairi28

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Re: Jamaica Bridge, fact or fiction?
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 08 April 21 17:42 BST (UK) »
I would love to take the tour one day. It evokes memories of coming up on holiday to see my grandparents. Then we would catch the train to Wemyss Bay to take the paddle steamer across to Rothesay. Happy days!