Promenade and Recreation in the College Grounds, Glasgow, 1850

Music was just one of the attractions advertised in the press in April 1850, when the College Grounds were scheduled to open to the public on the 1st of June.


On page two of The Glasgow Herald, on Monday the 29th of April, is a large advertisement which is headed “INSTITUTION OF PUBLIC PROMENADE AND RECREATION GROUNDS, ON NEW PRINCIPLES.” The organisers had approached the Principal and Professors “of our venerable College” for the use of the College Grounds as a place of healthy recreation for the public. The whole Faculty of the College approved the proposal and permitted the land to be used from May to October. The advert lists the range of entertainments and activities which would be available. They include: a Band of Vocal Music, Military and other Bands of Instrumental Music; a Display of Skill in Archery; Athletic Orthography; May Pole Climbing for Prizes, and a Display of Fireworks, among other activities.


An apartment in the “Ancient Observatory” was to be fitted up as a Reading Room, and “Tea, Coffee, and other strictly Temperance Refreshments” would be available on the grounds. The whole advertisement provides a fascinating insight into what was planned for the public in June.


On the same page is the following notice:


Promenade and Recreation in the College Grounds. – We have only space in our present number to call attention to the opening of the College Garden for the innocent recreation and amusement of the citizens. The opening night, it will be observed, is on Saturday the 1st June, and from the varied attractions offered, we have no doubt it will be entirely successful. Here is a fine undulating field of 14 acres of ground in the very centre of the city, to which admission by the month may be obtained at the cost of less than a halfpenny per day, and various pleasureable amusements given into the bargain. If the citizens do not most extensively patronise these new recreation grounds, we should say that they have little taste for the most innocent and healthful of all physical enjoyments.”