Blaze left famous store in ashes

THE clear-up was just getting started when this picture was taken in February 1951, in the aftermath a huge blaze which completely destroyed the Arnott & Simpson department store.

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Many of the neighbouring properties were also caught up in the fire, at the corner of Argyle Street and Jamaica Street, including the Queen Anne Restaurant next door on the Argyle Street side. Arnott & Simpson had been a landmark on the site for almost a century before the fire, and had been acquired by House of Fraser in the 1930s.

The premises were completely rebuilt in the early 1960s, re-opening for business in April 1963.

Much has changed at the spot since then, including the demolition of the vast St Enoch Hotel, visible on the skyline, to be replaced by the modern St Enoch shopping centre.


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