Memories of Glasgow: the day the city’s chimney sweep made a mistake
Regular Times Former reader Dan Harris got in touch after we published an article about the lost but not forgotten jobs that were once a hallmark of our streets, such as chaper-uppers, ragpickers and lamp-lighters .
“The photo of the chimney sweep reminded me of a catastrophic incident in the building where I lived when I was younger, we were on the top floor,” Dan smiles.
“In his left arm, the sweeper in the photo holds a soot collection sheet, which had a dual purpose.
“First, it was draped from the fireplace over the fireplace, to prevent the loosened soot from spilling onto the floor of the room.
Chimney sweep from Glasgow. Photo: Glasgow City Archives
“Then, once the soot was removed from the chimney, the chimney sweep skillfully picked it up in the sheet.
“However, I remember that one day the chimney sweep came to our apartment to clean our chimney.”
Dan adds: “Everything was fine and he did everything he was supposed to do – until we heard the residents of the rooms below screaming at us in horror and we realized that he was. was wrong chimney …
“These poor people and their kitchens were covered in soot …”
READ MORE: Chapper-uppers and leeries – memories of long-lost jobs in Glasgow
Dan says the subject of fireplaces brings back another memory to him, when he and his group of buddies who, as boys, were supporting Patrick Thistle.
“We blame the infamous Firhill Lum for our lack of height,” he jokes.
“We started going to Firhill when we were in elementary school.
“We were so young and small, we were lifted for free on the turns and sat on our dad’s shoulders to watch the game.
“Unfortunately, we were at the end that faced the climb to the buildings where this infamous Firhill Lum was located.
“A lot of times when Thistle lost a match, someone would turn on his light and the smoke would come down towards us, first covering the faces of those of us up high on the shoulders. ”
He laughs: “The gas central heating saved future generations from the fate suffered by mine…. ”
This fantastic Glasgow City Archives photograph captures a city chimney sweep ready for action, and the photo from our own archives is a reminder of how difficult a chimney sweep can be.
Alexander Matheson, 65, was pictured saving Tiger the kitten from the fireplace in September 1955.
Regarding long-lost jobs, Mike Lewis made contact a few weeks ago in an attempt to locate a Glasgow brush-making company in Dennistoun, as part of his research into his family tree.
One reader, who only gave her name Sheila, says she remembers a brush business at 221 Caledonia Road in the 1940s and 1950s.
It’s a bit far from Dennistoun, but we’ve passed the details on to Mike.
“It was close, we called it the High Backs court,” she says. “Three men seated at a table, with buckets of tar, were making the brushes.
“The windows opened inward, but we stood in front of the iron bars outside to watch until a neighbor on the first floor chased us. I’m over 80 now, but I remember it so well.
Can other readers help Mike trace his brush-making ancestors?
Anyone else remember the Firhill Lum, or did your dad or grandfather work as a chimney sweep?
What long-lost occupations do you remember from the past? We would love to hear from them.
Share your memories and photos with Times Past by contacting us.
You can email [email protected] or write to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 125 Fullarton Drive, Glasgow East Investment Park, Glasgow G32 8FG.