Alex Drysdale's grocery shop had stood at 87 Gallowgate since the 1760s. It was typical of an 18th century Glasgow shop, with two shuttered bow windows comprised of small squares of glass.
Until the 1830s the shop was owned by Colonel Charles Walker. A journalist writing in the in 1862 remembered that its windows had a selection of drinking glasses and bottles on display. Inside, there were vases containing the favourite sweets of the day - miscalmonds, curlyanders, buttons and others, along with sticks of sugar-auley (sweet liquorice). Supplies of sugar were delivered in barrels to the front door, dug out with a spade and carried inside.
The Herald journalist remembered a singing canary that entertained customers at the shop counter, until it fell victim to a hungry cat. He claimed that trout from the Molendinar Burn could be caught with a fishing rod from the back window of the shop.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 GOR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
bow windows, confectionery, fishing, grocers, grocery shops, shuttered windows, sweets, tenements