Taste of a Glasgow tenement

7th February 1997 at 00:00
Thank goodness for Agnes Toward. Thanks to this obscure, unremarkable woman we have one of the most complete and vivid slices of Glasgwegian social history, spanning six decades.

Her former home has been transformed into The Tenement House, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and a Full Sandford Award winner for its contribution to heritage education. Situated on the first floor of a still inhabited red sandstone tenement building just around the corner from the famous Glasgow School of Art, and unaltered for most of this century except for newly restored gas lighting.it offers an outstanding insight into tenement life.

Miss Toward and her widowed mother moved into 145 Buccleuch in 1911. They were not well to do, but neither were they poor. "Comfortable" perhaps sums it up. Even so, when her mother died in 1939, Agnes took in lodgers to supplement her income as an office clerk, a job she held with the same company for 45 years.

Her home gives us a glimpse into her own idiosyncrasies as well as into the times in which she lived. She was a terrific hoarder, hanging on to old Victorian furniture, jars and bottles of cosmetics and medicines, wartime paraphernalia, old household bills and letters.

Primary school groups visiting the Tenement House are given an introductory talk by staff in an adjoining education room before being shown around the house and then taking part in hands-on activities such as using a washboard, clothes-wringer and pulley, using flat irons and weighing scales and putting together an old-fashioned brass doorbell. It's like stepping back into a former time, a compelling experience.

The Tenement House, weekday mornings only between March 1 and October 31. Bookings, at least two weeks in advance, on 0141 333 0183.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now