THE horseshoe which hangs on the wall of Margaret Howie’s home is a reminder of her family’s link to a great Glasgow institution.

“It belonged to one of the great Clydesdale horses my great-grandfather shod at Tennent’s brewery in the latter part of the nineteenth century,” says Margaret.

“He was a blacksmith there – I have a photograph of him, taken in 1894, alongside all of the trades working in the brewery at the time.”

Margaret smiles: “I also have the hammer he is holding in the photo – it still gets used, but only for much more mundane things such as knocking in a plant stake or fence pole!”

Margaret and her cousin, Margaret Miller, got in touch with Thanks for the Memories after our feature on the new visitor centre at Tennent’s, which celebrates the history of the brewery in Glasgow.

“We loved reading about the heritage and wanted to come and visit a place which had such a strong connection with our family,” says Margaret Howie.

“It’s lovely to see the area again, and the new visitor centre is so impressive – nothing like the brewery I remember when I grew up here in the east end.”

Donald McCrae was a blacksmith on the island of Islay, who came to Glasgow with his wife and young family in the hope of a better life, with more prospects.

“The family stayed in Barrack Street, and then Sydney Place, both on the doorstep of the Wellpark brewery,” says Margaret.

“This was where he saw out his working life, shoeing the great Clydesdale horses.”

As far back as the 1550s, before Tennent’s officially opened for business, brewing was taking place at Wellpark on the banks of the Molendiner Burn. Wellpark is named after the Ladywell, which Margaret Howie remembers from her childhood.

“I stayed with my granny, also called Margaret, when I was little and went to school in Dennistoun – at Alexandra Parade Primary and then Whitehill Secondary,” she recalls. “I remember she took me to see the well, this important local landmark, and the Molendinar Burn, which Glasgow grew up around.

“My granny was a real character, who liked a wee dram and a biscuit before bed. She came to live with us in the winter because she suffered badly from bronchitis, but quite often my parents would find her missing when they came home from work.

“She would go and visit neighbours, saying she didn’t like the peace and quiet when she was on her own. On one occasion, we hunted everywhere for her, and she had simply gone home, as she felt better! She was like nobody else in the world.”

Margaret adds: “My granny talked a lot about her parents, who were quite well-known in the area.”

She laughs: “They had a main door flat and used to hold ceilidhs and all the neighbours would go to dance and sing. They spoke Gaelic, of course, so I’m sure the locals must have wondered who on earth these strange people were, speaking a different language and having a hootenanny!”

Duncan and Margaret McCrae had seven children, two of whom died as babies, and a son, Alexander, who was killed in Ypres in the First World War.

Margaret Miller recalls: “I visited his grave in Ypres, which was very moving. It felt important to go and honour his legacy.”

Margaret Howie said it had been a delight to visit the brewery visitor centre.

She added: “It’s been great to see this part of Glasgow again, after all these years. It has brought back many happy memories.”

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

Through our regular library drop-in events and our letters page, 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 with your stories and photos. Don’t forget to include a contact email address or telephone number.