BELLA Cumberland was a well-kent face in Partick in the 50s and 60s.

“My mother never turned anyone away, she would always have a sandwich and a friendly word for every poor soul who appeared on her doorstep,” recalls Bella’s daughter, Jan Miller.

“Coming here today and looking at all the old photos I have of her just reminds me how kind she was.”

Jan was one of dozens of Partick residents, past and present, who came along to our most recent Thanks for the Memories event at Partick Library.

Throughout the year, the Evening Times is visiting libraries around the city to capture stories and photographs of old Glasgow – and to meet some of the characters who lived and worked there.

Jan has a mystery to solve, too.

“I discovered this old photograph of my mother Bella and her sisters Frances and Annie, and their children,” she explains.

“But I don’t know where it was taken. We were brought up on Crawford Street, but it doesn’t look like it. The shop in the background isn’t familiar to me – it could be a fishmonger, or an ironmonger? I’d love to know if any old Partick residents can tell me the location?”

Jan and her husband Alec, who have now been marred 54 years, used to enjoy nights out at F&F’s, the local dance hall.

“We were rubbish at dancing,” laughs Jan. “But we always had a good night out there, and at the Locarno.

“There was always lots going on in Partick.”

Rena Lynch, nee Cain, agrees.

“We were big fans of the cinemas – the Tivoli, the Standard, the Western, the Rosevale and the Partick,” she rhymes off.

“Some were grander than others – some were just fleapits. You used to say about those ones you’d go in wearing a jersey and come out with a jumper, because of the fleas!”

She smiles: “The Western always showed cowboy movies, of course. And if you weren’t going to the cinema, you’d go to F&F’s or the Partick Burgh Halls for the dancing.”

“But most of all, I remember the steamie, where our mothers would work and gossip and we would put a penny in the mangle, and watch and listen.”

Cathie Gallacher remembers some of the local landmarks.

“I remember being fascinated by the Quakers’ Lawn,” she says. “It’s a wee graveyard, still there, where some Quakers are buried – although there are no headstones.”

The little site, tucked in behind the houses, was created by John Purdon whose wife was the first to be interred there. The family, a well-known one in the area, is commemorated in neighbouring Purdon Street.

Jean Mackie’s father Tam Aird was the Partick coalman. She brought along albums of photographs to share, including one of her father and his faithful horse.

“It was taken at the Tandragee, an old tenement that got its name because so many Irish people lived there,” Jean says. “Everyone knew my dad.”

Jean came along to the event with her friend Isobel Mclean and her aunt Betty, who has just returned to Glasgow after more than 50 years living in Canada.

“It was time to come home, I missed it,” she smiled.

Ian Work, who is now 79 and living in Anniesland, has special memories of working in Partick – he was in charge of the control room of the Clyde Tunnel.

“I was in charge of the breakdowns for 34 years,” he smiles. “If you got stuck in the tunnel, chances are it would be me who came to help you out.”

Ian grew up on Crawford Street, a family of six in a one-roomed flat with no inside toilet.

“It was a great upbringing, very happy, but it’s only looking back at it now that I realise what a struggle it must have been for my mother,” he said. “No electricity, no hot running water – it must have been hard, and yet we thought it was great.

“We played outside all the time, we were never fed up.”

Ian met his wife Margaret, a machinist from Yoker, in 1967 and the couple settled in Partick.

“Working at the tunnel was great – I was there when the Queen opened it in 1963,” he said. “It was a marvellous thing, really exciting at the time.”

He grinned: “Although the taxi drivers really hated it. A journey from Whiteinch to the southside, which once took ages, could now be done in half the time – and the taxis wouldn’t make as much money!”

Read more Thanks for the Memories stories on the Evening Times website and look out for more library drop-in sessions soon. Share your memories and photos of old Glasgow by emailing