October 1921: Death of Mr Stuart Cranston – Tearoom Pioneer, Businessman, and Author

Stuart Cranston’s obituary is on page six of The Glasgow Herald, on Wednesday the 19th of October, 1921, and reads:




The death of Mr Stuart Cranston, pioneer of tearoom enterprise in this country and founder of the firm of tearoom

proprietors which bears his name, took place suddenly at his residence, 28 Bank Street, Hillhead, Glasgow, on

Monday night. He was at business throughout the day, and while proceeding home in a tramway car was seized with

illness, which proved fatal. Mr Cranston was born in Glasgow on January 3, 1848. His father, George Cranston, was

proprietor of a hostelry famous in its time, the Crown, in George Square. His first business venture was in the retail tea

trade in 1871, when he opened a shop at 44 St Enoch Square. Four years later Mr Cranston removed to 76 Argyle Street,

small but conspicuous premises at the foot of Queen Street, from which has developed the extensive enterprise

carried on at present by Cranston’s Tea Rooms (Limited). Soon afterwards, with the view of drawing custom for his

dry teas, he offered the public a sample cup at a cost of 2d with bread or cakes at 1d. The sample room at 2 Queen

Street, in which the tea was served, provided accommodation for only a dozen customers. The little shop soon became

popular, and expansions of this side of the business quickly followed. A branch was opened at 46 Queen Street; in 1889

Buchanan Street was invaded; in 1894 the entire block from Buchanan Street through the Argyle Arcade to Argyle

Street was acquired, and a large portion converted for use as tearooms. Two years later Cranston’s Tea Rooms (Limited)

was successfully floated, and in 1898 rooms in Renfield Street were opened. Some years later the Wellesley Tearooms in

Sauchiehall Street were transferred to the management of the Cranston company. Meantime Mr Cranston had acquired

the property at the foot of Queen Street, and extended his original tearoom to meet the growing requirements of the

trade. In 1905 all his properties were combined, and the present company Cranston’s Tea Rooms (1905) (Limited) was

formed. Mr Cranston was elected chairman of the company, and acted in that capacity at a meeting of the directors held

last week. Mr Cranston took no active part in public affairs. He was a strong advocate of temperance principles. He

joined the Glasgow Yeomanry early in life, and, on his retirement after nearly 40 years’ service, he had reached the rank

of Quartermaster. Mr Cranston took a keen interest in musical matters.”



The notice of Stuart Cranston’s death is on the front page of the Herald, on Wednesday the 19th of October. The service

was held at St Vincent Street U. P. Church, and the burial at Cathcart Cemetery, on Thursday the 20th. Cranston was

in his 74th year.




George Fairfull-Smith, February 2021.