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Barras 100: Glasgow Music Walking Tours Blog

We love sharing our memories of Barrowland and Barrowland Park on our Merchant City Past and Present tour and we’re really looking forward to the second part of Barras100 exhibition this weekend. A programme of events marks the 100th anniversary of the Barras Market with exhibitions and opportunities to share Barras stories. A photography exhibition with work from Peter Degnan and Stuart Edwards is a must and a heritage exhibition is designed to get the memories flowing with a film crew on hand to capture the moment. The team behind the project is making a film to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the market, which will be released online, later in the year.

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Stephen Sheriff, the Director at Friends of the Pipe Factory told us:

“The Barras is a Glasgow institution and holds a place in the hearts of many around the city, and indeed, the world. 100 years is an incredible milestone, and testament to the traders, who are known for their heritage of enterprise and endeavour.

Like all events over the last year, Barras100 has been delayed due to the pandemic, so we can’t wait to get into the market this weekend and chat to folks about their memories. The market has been busier of late than it was pre-pandemic, and I think this is due to the atmosphere and the amazing people. There’s life at the Barras! If folks can’t make it to the market to share their stories, we’d love to hear from them on social media or by email. As we look to the future of the market, it’s vital that we celebrate and preserve the rich history and culture of the Barras, for generations to come”.

a group of people standing in front of a store

Photograph by Peter Degnan

In 1921, the story goes, an astute businesswoman by the name of Margaret ‘Maggie’ McIver created a safe place for people to trade from their barrows in Calton, in the East End of Glasgow. What started off as a minimal outdoor trading post for a few locals would become the world-famous Barras market. More than a shopping centre, the market was a thriving entertainment hub, a meeting place, the beating and banter-filled heart of the Glaswegian community.

Photograph by Peter Degnan

The June heritage exhibition lays the foundations for a permanent exhibition, being installed later in the year, which will incorporate local stories collected during activities this month. Song writing, illustration, street art, filmmaking and drama workshops for local young people, will start in late summer and finish at the end of the year in a winter showcase.

“The Barras Market was pioneered by James and Margaret McIver in 1921. To this day ‘Margaret McIver Limited’ is the main Market Operator in the area and is still a family run business.

Covid-19 and Lockdown have not been kind to the area. We envisage Barras100 to be the bounce back needed to promote the area to the Country and leave a lasting legacy for the City.”

– Tom Joyes, Manager, Margaret McIver Ltd

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