The Mall Model
The Mall Model
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 3 comments


Situated in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping metropolis on Buchanan Street, the Argyll Arcade was built in 1828 by the architect John Baird Snr. for John Reid Robertson. By the 1840s there were sixty-three shops ranged along the glass-roofed L-shaped thoroughfare, selling a wide variety of luxury goods.


Today the arcade is predominantly occupied by high-end jewellers’ shops, offering the largest and finest selection of diamond rings, diamond jewellery, wedding rings and luxury watches in the one single location in Scotland; and the largest diamond repository outside of London’s recently ill-fated Hatton Gardens.


But for those of a certain age, before the jewellery takeover, this was the location where generations of small boys would immediately run towards – and especially at Christmas time! – to press their well-snotted noses’ up to one certain window, in the shop at the corner of the “L”, underneath the glass roof supported with ornate hammer-beam roof trusses.


It could only be the fabled ‘Boys’ Own’ Glasgow toy and model shop, Clyde Model Dockyard! Initially established in 1789 as a producer of models for the Admiralty, then shipping models, parts and accessories, it went on to be located at 22-23 Argyll Arcade from the mid-1950s through to the late 1970s, and dealt with a veritable Aladdin’s cave full of model railway products, steam engines, model aeroplanes, racing yachts, steamboats, motors and Meccano.


Leica M6 Classic & 2/35mm Summicron pre-asph (King of Bokeh)

Ilford FP4+ (200)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 12 min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



  • Surely it was the bungling burglars of Hatton Gdns that were “ill fated”. Or am I thinking of something else?

    • Both, actually. Hatton Gardens lost a lot of standing and business after the robbery.

  • It reminds me of my father taking me to Gamages dept. store (Oxford St. I think) to see the model railway layout. What a great display. Pity that my own layout never came close to matching it although it did have a mail coach that picked up a miniature mailbag from a hook and deposited it at another point on the journey. Inevitably that mailbag was lost; I suspect it landed somewhere out of sight and mom vacuumed it.
    Oh well, thanks for the reminder and a short trip down lost times.