Glasgow Maryhill & Springburn is a Scottish Parliament constituency, whose name recognises the historic burgh of Maryhill and parish of Springburn which together make up the majority of the new constituency.
Maryhill is a residential area situated in the north west of the city of Glasgow. The name is derived from Mary Hill, who was the owner of the Gairbraid Estate who feud the land to the Forth and Clyde Canal Company on condition that her name be given to the town which she hoped would result from the development of this enterprise.
Springburn lies to the north of Glasgow and is built on seven hills – Balgrayhill; Petershill; Keppochhill; Springburnhill; Stobhill; Barnhill and Sighthill. The area boasts the highest point in the City in Springburn Park, 364 feet above sea level. It is an area with strong historical links to heavy industry, particularly railways. In the past Springburn’s locomotive industry had a 25% global market share.
The communities within the constituency are Acre; Ashfield; Balgrayhill; Balornock; Cadder; Carron; Colston; Cowlairs; Germiston; Gilshochill; Hamiltonhill; Kelvindale; Keppochhill; Kirklee; Lambhill; Maryhill; Maryhill Park; Milton; Parkhouse; Petershill; Port Dundas; Possilpark; Royston; Ruchill; Sighthill; Springburn; Summerston; Westercommon and Wyndford.
The Forth & Clyde Canal runs through the centre of Maryhill. The Canal was re-opened as part of the millennium project, and the stretch through Maryhill includes Old Basin, the original terminus of the Glasgow Branch until the canal was extended to Port Dundas; Stockingfield Junction, or ‘Three Ways’, where the Glasgow Branch meets the main line; and, Maryhill Locks, a series of five locks joined by oval basins.
The River Kelvin also runs through the southern part of the constituency.
The Maryhill Burgh Halls recall the period when Maryhill was an independent burgh before it became part of Glasgow in 1891. The £9.2m restoration of the Halls was completed in 2011 to provide a modern public hall and various facilities and offices. There were twenty stained glass panels in the halls depicting the trades and industries of Maryhill in the late 19th century. The Stephen Adam designed panels were held in storage by Glasgow Museums and a number returned to the Halls on completion of the restoration project.
Unfortunately, the Springburn Public Halls, constructed in 1902, lay derelict from the mid '80s until they became unsafe and had to be demolished in December 2012. On the façade of the Halls were two Greek goddesses, representing Art and Industry – the latter of which cradles a locomotive in recognition of the area’s industrial heritage. The statues were removed for safekeeping prior to the demolition of the Halls.
The former offices of the North British Locomotive Company have been retained in good condition and are in current use as a business centre. The building boasts sculptures representing Science and Speed, and over the front door is the carved elevation of a locomotive. The building also boasts a magnificent wood and marble staircase and boardroom and stained glass First World War memorials.
The constituency is home to two Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings with the Ruchill Church Hall and a semi-detached villa on Balgrayhill Road. It also has library buildings in Springburn, Possilpark and Maryhill which were built by the Glasgow Corporation following a gift of £100,000 from Andrew Carnegie for the provision of fourteen district libraries. Whilst Maryhill and Possilpark Libraries still function from the buildings, the Springburn library building now operates as the Glasgow Regeneration Agency Conference Centre following a £2m. refurbishment.
Maryhill Barracks, the former home of the Scots Greys and Highland Light Infantry, was demolished in 1961 and became the Wyndford Housing Estate. The Barracks famously held Adolf Hitler’s second in command, Rudolf Hess, during World War II. The guardroom has been retained and is in use as the estate office. The barrack walls are also still standing and form the perimeter of the estate.
There is a bird sanctuary at Possil Loch and several farms within the Summerston area of the constituency. The course of the Antonine Wall also runs through the Summerston area where there is the site of a Roman Camp and a Roman Fort adjoining the wall.
The constituency has a rich football history. Maryhill FC, whose most famous professionals were David Meiklejohn of Rangers, and Danny McGrain and Tommy Burns of Celtic, has its home in Lochburn Park near the centre of Maryhill. Ashfield FC and Glasgow Perthshire are both Possilpark based clubs, playing at Saracen Park and Keppoch Park respectively.
St Roch’s FC is based at Provanmill Park on the eastern perimeter of the constituency. It was the first club of James “Jimmy” McGrory the British record goalscorer with 550 goals. McGrory began playing for St. Roch's Juniors aged just 16. The following year, in 1922, he joined Celtic F.C.
Petershill FC, established in 1897, is now based at the new Petershill Park complex. Over the years Petershill have had a number of players capped for Scotland.