My grandparents owned the Silvergrove Dairy in Silvergrove Street, Bridgeton. The street was like a little village where everyone knew each other. At the end of the street was the “East Kilbride Dairy Farmers” where milk was pasteurised and bottled. Many of the street residents worked there. At break time the dairy was queued out with customers ordering rolls filled with bacon, eggs or cold meat.

There was also Bars factory, where they produced the famous Irn Bru at the bottom of the street. There was a dental lab across from the dairy owned by a Mr Johnson. That was where the dentures known as “falsers” were made as ordered by local dentist for their clients. There was no health and safety then and I can still recall the smell of melting wax as the employees shaped the dentures, once they came out of the moulds, with an open flame.  

The High Walk shop was on the corner on the London Road and directly opposite was Sellyns, the clothes shop. There was a little shop along from the High Walk owned by a Jew called Harry Brown. That was where we got our leather school bags which lasted us for most of our time in primary school. Harry's wife was called Lena and she used to come in to the dairy for a bacon roll and always said “don’t tell Harry”. Silvergrove street was a hub of activity ... children playing “kick the can” “peeve” and girls playing ”balls” against the close wall only to be chased by the irate resident who would be annoyed by the continual “thump, thump, thump”. Happy days, little money, but a community that was close. Gone are the factories, shops and characters of that little street now replaced by the modern homes of the 21st century.

Margaret Esplan. July 2014.

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Margaret
Silvergrove St.