Govan Cross looking west, c 1890. Govan Road continues to the right and Morrison Street (now Burleigh Street) branches off to the left.
The row of cottages at the gushet was known locally as Oakum Bay, reputedly because the houses were occupied by families who earned their living by picking oakum. Oakum is the loose fibre derived from unpicking old rope. It was tarred and used to caulk the joints of timber ships and the deck planking of iron and steel ships. Unpicking old rope is a particularly tedious and unpleasant job and was commonly carried out in prisons and work-houses.
Oakum Row was demolished in the 1890s and the Pearce Memorial and the Cardell Hall (incorporating the famous Brechin's Bar on the ground floor) were erected on the site.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
Brechin's Bar, cottages, drinking, Govan Cross, oakum, Oakum Bay, oakum manufacturers, oakum picking, pubs, ropes, shops, tenements, YMCA, Young Men's Christian Association