Hielanman’s Umbrella
Hielanman’s Umbrella
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, Comments Off on Hielanman’s Umbrella





When the Central Station Railway Bridge was built it created a tunnel where it crossed Argyle Street and unwittingly brought into being one of the most famous meeting places in Glasgow. It became a rendezvous for the Highlanders who had flooded into the city looking for work and would shelter here from the inclement climate, so like their own homeland – and it became known by the highly evocative nickname of the ‘Hielanman’s [Highland man’s] Umbrella’, a derogatory term that stuck.


Highlanders would also meet at the Umbrella between church services, for example walking down from St. Columba’s Gaelic Church of Scotland to the Hielanman’s, and there swopping gossip and news from the homelands and of urban events. As well as its Sabbath function, the Umbrella was also used as a weekend evening meeting place between the sexes, and doubtless many a troth was plighted beneath its girders, as couples ‘walked out’ together – the old phrase showing the traditional link between courtship and walking.


This is a marvellous piece of Victorian engineering, in riveted cast iron and glass – and it’s not that long ago that it was fully refurbished. And from street level, it highlights the station’s historic “ridge and furrow” design glass roof, the world’s largest, with 48,000 panes making up 2.2 square miles of glass.


Leica M3 & 4/21mm Super-Angulon
B+W Yellow Filter
Sekonic L-308S
Ilford Delta 100
HC-110 (Dil. B – 6 min)
Plustek 7600i & Vuescan