In the early 1950s, my gran and papa volunteered to leave their Victorian tenement in White Street, Partick to move to a new council estate on the outskirts of the city of Glasgow in an area called Nitshill. The estate was called Craigbank and they moved to 35 Newfield Square which overlooked a bowling green. They moved in in May 1951 when my mum had just turned seventeen. The flat had three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom. It had central heating and hot water. It was so much better than the two roomed (plus kitchen) cold water flat they had lived in even if that had had an indoor toilet. This isn’t 35 but it is very close by.

Site of 35 Newfield Square

Bowling green


Of course, White Street is now utterly desirable, the sandstone has been scrubbed clean of its blackness and is now a gorgeous red, and it is still standing. Whereas, Newfield Square and the rest of Craigbank has been demolished and seemingly abandoned. I don’t know how it happened but the area stopped being a nice place and by the time my gran was widowed she was happy to move to Shettleston. It deteriorated further and it appears that demolition was the best thing for it.

I lived with my mum, gran and papa for six months or so while my dad was on exercises and I attended Levern Primary School on Drumbeg Drive/Prestwick Street. That too has been demolished and since 1998 has been left to itself. Saplings are now well over six feet and if nothing is done there will soon be a wood where there was a playground.

Levern Primary School

Levern Primary School

Levern Primary School

11 thoughts on “Craigbank

  1. I too lived in Newfield Square. Number 31 just in the corner. I think you lived in the close where the Downeys were on the ground floor. I also attended Levern Primary School. My parents moved to the Square when I was 10 months old in 1954. We moved to East Kilbride when I was sixteen. Newfield Square until that point was still ok but it had gradually started to go down hill.
    I can only remember good things about Craigbank. I loved my childhood there. Very happy memories.

    • Thank you for your comment Alice. I’m glad you had happy memories. It’s such a shame that Craigbank been obliterated now. One of my memories includes going to get Polo or Trebor mints from the shops (which are still there) for my Papa so that he could sook them while checking the pools.

    • I was born in Drumbeg Drive 1955 And attended Levern Primary school . Wonderful memories of sunny days having enough money to use the courts in Newfield square buying the weekly Judy or penny carmels from the H&M paper shop spent hours looking at there window. Devastating to see how it got so run down my mum finally moved out in 2003 she had lived in the house since it was built in the early 50,s can’t believe it’s all gone.
      Thank you for sharing your photo’s and memories.

  2. my family moved to no. 2 new field sq. when I was 7 yrs old and stayed there till I got married in1966. It was a lovely place with the bowling green and tennis courts in the sq. we lived facing the chapel house and used to climb the wall to get apples from their garden. Happy days, sorry it’s such a sad sight now.

  3. This is really interesting. I lived at no 21 Newfield Square until 1975 when I was 18. It was a lovely place to be a child and then it changed. I have very good memories and one sad one when I returned and drove around to have a look- what I saw was shameful how a community was ‘engineered down’ until it became awful. When I was a child Newfield Square was an oasis for cycling, football, tennis, putting as well as a beautiful bowling green. It used to be so well kept full of friendly people.

    • That’s it – “engineered down” – that sort of degeneration doesn’t happen without help. It’s surely not just natural decline. The tragedy is they were nice flats – spacious, warm, well laid out. When I see how attractive renovated modernist accommodation (and, of course, former tenements in Partick) can be, it is heartbreaking.

  4. I lived at 33 newfield square up to 1973 and was still a respectable area,Our neighbours were (top to bottom) the bonnelies/murphy/macpherson/reid/littlejohn, and was a very pleasant place to live then with bowling green still active,my dad was a TV engineer and went round fixing folks tellys after work in the evenings,i have very fond memories of living there,my friend was Ronnie jack,and we went about on our scooters….I now live in east lothian

  5. We moved to Houehillwood rd from Partick 52/53. Then moved to Prestwick Street for a top floor flat at number 40. All four of us went to Levern Primary. Happy memories of sledding down the wee hill, playing in the “long” grass and trying to cross the burn in the same fields opposite. Does anyone remember the great bonfires? Happy days in a great community it’s sad to see it all run down .

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