SWINGS, cinemas and sweeties and the fires of Dixon’s Blazes which lit up the night sky are etched into the hearts and memories of Evening Times readers.

Our recent Thanks for the Memories features have prompted a flurry of letters and emails from readers keen to share their recollections of growing up in Glasgow.

After a popular drop-in event at Govanhill Library, Gordon McInally got in touch to share his memories of a happy childhood in the area.

“I was born in 1941 and lived on Govanhill Street – third up on the right with an inside toilet, we were very posh,” he smiles.

“I went to Victoria Primary from 1946 until 1952 and I still have my primary class photograph.”

He adds: “I joined the local cub pack in Hollybrook Street and got to the rank of Senior Sixer – my main memory of that time is selling raffle tickets to Jimmy Logan!”

Gordon recalls happy days playing in the swing parks of Govanhill – “the swings were all chained up on a Saturday night so they couldn’t be used on a Sunday,” he says – and remembers Bennan Square when it was just a big, empty green space.

“In Inglefield Street there was a transport company, I think it was called Hemphill, who had a stable,” he adds. “One day there was a fire and I remember the horses being led to safety.

“Nearby Queen’s Park was magic. There was a bandstand with shows in the summer, a boating pond and pony rides and there were many football pitches at the recreation grounds.”

Treats were “a penny toffee lollipop at the corner dairy and a penny fizzy pop in the shop on Aikenhead Road” and Gordon and his friends spent many happy times playing cowboys on the way home from watching matinees at the local cinemas – the Cinerama on Victoria Road, the Govanhill and the Calder.

He also recalls a brush with the law.

“When I was about 10 years old, we went outside the school gates to play football on the street– just some boys with a tanner ball,” he recalls. “When the bell rang, we were on our way back to the playground when two policemen stopped us and made us stand against the wall.

“They took our names and addresses and sent us back to class. Later that night, there was a knock on our door and two big polis were standing there . They presented mum and dad with a summons for me to appear at Craigie Street Police Station Sheriff Court.”

Gordon adds: “When we duly turned up we found all the boys there, all our names were read out and we were severely cautioned by the Sheriff about playing football in the street and annoying the neighbours.”

He laughs, shaking his head. “We were only 10 years old!”

Many of our readers remember Dixon’s Blazes ironworks, a local landmark for many years on the south side of the city.

Gordon says: “A really magic event was when the ‘Wee Puggie’, a small locomotive, came from Dixon’s Blazes Iron Works and dumped the white hot slag into the Molls Mire and it lit up the night sky…..”

Gordon, who is now married with two children and seven grandchildren, says the family moved to Torylen after he sat his ‘qually’, the qualifying exam for high school.

“I still like to visit Govanhill when I can, though, it’s full of happy memories,” he says.

Pat Gallagher also got in touch with Thanks for the Memories.

“It is interesting looking at the old photos and seeing some of the old schemes around Glasgow,” he says. “I have a photo of my family – six boys and three girls, and I’m the one in the Argyle jumper and dicky bow! – taken outside our mother’s house in Bangorshill Street in Carnwadric.

“She is 90 now, and still lives there – she has been in the same house for 60 years!”

The photo is extra-special for Pat, who is now 60, as sadly, all three of his sisters and his oldest brother have died.

It was taken around 1963, he thinks

“Seven of us Gallagher children and our parents, who were originally from Donegal, moved to Carnwadric in May 1959 from Cumberland Street in the Gorbals,” he says. “Two more were born in Carnwadric.

“It must have been palatial, moving from a one bedroom house with an outside toilet to this three bedroomed, family bathroom home.

“How did our parents manage to raise seven kids in a one bedroomed flat?”

We would love to hear more of your Glasgow memories – where did you grow up? Where did you work? What are your favourite memories of your old neighbourhood? Can you remember the old theatres, dance halls and shops? Which ones stick in your mind?

Through our regular library drop-in events, which have now taken place all over the city, and our letters page and email banks, we are compiling a fantastic archive of stories and pictures, all dedicated to the city we love.

Please write to Ann Fotheringham, Evening Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email ann.fotheringham@heraldandtimes.co.uk with your stories and photos. Don’t forget to include a contact email address or telephone number.