Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Any aspect related to the structures and equipment on the Caledonian Railway Company.
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John Paton
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by John Paton »

I happened to be browsing through one of these books of old Glasgow photos, and saw that in the attached 1916 photo taken at Glasgow Cross, there is a Caledonian Railway parcels office in a shop unit just past the pub at the top of Saltmarket. The odd thing is that the photo was taken almost from the front door of Glasgow Cross station. I have come across references to the CR having 'town offices' (for advertising and ticket sales) where the station was not located centrally in a town, but in this case surely the parcels work could have been carried out in the station. Does anyone know anything about the CR (or other railways) having premises such as these?

John
Attachments
CR Parcels Office Saltmarket.jpg
CR Parcels Office Saltmarket.jpg (123.57 KiB) Viewed 459 times
Jim Summers
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Re: Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by Jim Summers »

I love the picture, John, quite apart from the Caledonian premises.

Town offices might well receive parcels, as it might be more convenient for customers and the railway, but I doubt if it was very common. In an area like this, with potentially much parcels traffic for despatch, and with the confined booking office space at street level, it might be desirable to keep parcels away from the passenger flow.

In Dundee, the Town Office was not very far at all from Tay Bridge station, though I don't think it handled parcels.

JimS
Violets49
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:34 am

Re: Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by Violets49 »

In my large collection of photograpic albums of towns and villages all over the UK, I have seen several examples of 'Parcel Recieving offices.' How common they were I can't say but they seem to have been always in large urban areas. Obviously in rural areas the station would be the 'parcel recieving office'. There certainly wasn't anything like it in Greenock during my lifetime and I have never seen any photographs of similar establishments in the town. It always seemed to me that before the first war, the railways were operating a parcels service to Rival the GPO.I have also heard of cases of a railway company having a 'Parcels Recieving Office' in the area of a rival company. There were, of course railway owned operations like Pickfords and Carter Paterson which also offered similar parcels services. That must have been an interesting place to work, that public house used to have a reputation as a bit of a sporting club. I gather the City of Glasgow Police used to send new recruits down there to learn how to fight!
John Paton
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Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 3:50 pm

Re: Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by John Paton »

I had forgotten that I have a floor plan of Glasgow Cross station (see attachment), drawn just before the station was rebuilt to make way for the City Improvement Trust's widening of High Street / Trongate, and rebuilding the Cross. The drawing sheet is titled Caledonian Railway but the front elevation of the building is shown with the letters "L. M. & S. Railway". Maybe work started on the drawing before July 1923 but it was after July when the draftsman got to the elevation drawings (the drawing is undated).

Anyway the drawing shows that the new building only contained a ticket office with no obvious parcels-handling space. This corroborates Jim's point about confined booking office space at street level. The photo dates from 1916 at which time it would have been the original station building. Nevertheless the original building was not sufficiently bigger than the replacement so I suspect that it too had no parcels facilities.

John
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Glasgow Cross 1920s rebuilding floorplan.jpg
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Violets49
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Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:34 am

Re: Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by Violets49 »

A little poking about on the interweb last evening produced some interesting results. 'Railway Parcels Recieving offices' appear to be more common than first thought. The Midland Railway would seem to have had a few, some of them in shops which were obviously acting as agents. Including a shoe shop in Mexborough. I also found some photographs of an office in Derby which was at one time shared by the Midland and L&NWR. Might I suggest that this office had no connection to Glasgow Cross station and would have been a satelite of Glasgow Central? I know people don't like me bri9nging this up, but most large bus companies (Including London Transport) operated a parcels service with similar recieving offices.
jimwatt2mm
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: Caledonian Railway parcels office, Saltmarket, Glasgow

Post by jimwatt2mm »

When I started practice in Coatbridge in the 1970's we used to send impressions etc into the dental lab in Glasgow by SMT bus and receive the returned items the same way. We handed them into and collected them from a small newsagents opposite the bus stance in Canal Street.

Jim W
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