Crowds of holiday-makers in Central Station at the beginning of the Glasgow Fair, 1925.
The Glasgow Fair was originally held for a week each July. Originally an opportunity for merchants and dealers to sell their wares and livestock under the King's protection and without paying tolls, the Fair evolved to become an annual festival of circuses, fairground rides, shows and other amusements. From the late 18th century, Glasgow's industrialists gave their workers their annual holiday during the week of the Fair. In time, Glaswegians began to spend their holidays in the countryside or in the towns and villages on the Firth of Clyde and on the Ayrshire coast, travelling "doon the watter" on paddle steamers and overland on trains.
The traditional "Fair Week" holiday became a "Fair Fortnight" for many workers after the First World War. With so many people travelling at the same time, on the second weekend of July, railway stations and steamer terminals often became busy, chaotic places. The scene was repeated in Largs, Helensburgh, Rothesay and other resorts two weeks later, when families set off for home.
Reference: 540.89.77 / PP.1988.95
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
annual holidays, crowds, doon the watter, Fair Fortnight, Fair Week, Glasgow Central Station, Glasgow Fair, holidaymakers, railway stations, suitcases, women