Posted in A to Z

Q is for Queenslie

Queenslie Industrial EstateAs I mentioned in E is for Easterhouse, I grew up in the greater area of Easterhouse, but my particular wee part of hell was called Queenslie.

Queenslie was a small scheme of only four streets built primarily to house the workers at the adjoining industrial estate. I lived on the top floor of a gable end close, opposite the primary school. We had a verandah and fabulous views over the east of Glasgow. Dad bought binoculars and used to spend hours out there at night, gazing at the stars. Luckily, we had no neighbours opposite.

Queenslie Primary SchoolSometime in the 1970s a nursery was built on the waste ground next to the primary school. When I was wee my friends and I used to play among the hillocks left there when the scheme was built in the 1950s. Hundreds of kids had worn paths between the huge chunks of masonry and compacted piles of dirt. We’d go flower picking – pee-the-beds and clover – and if we kept on walking over to the back we could roll down a hill and get to the industrial estate, right beside the Alpine factory.

In the late 1960s a playground was built not far from school. There was a roundabout and swings and we all wore the cuts and grazes we won there with pride.

Where the M8 motorway now runs between Queenslie and Garthamlock used to be the Monklands canal. I don’t remember it ever being used: by the time I came around the canal was stagnant and home to rats and rubbish.

The Olivetti typewriter factory was part of the industrial estate and and for a time, my mum worked at the Canda, a factory making clothes for C&A. She attached labels to clothes and made loops for belts.

We had a regular ice cream van which visited us every evening, summer and winter. It was driven and manned by Jimmy, a Scottish-Italian in a white coat with black, brylcreamed hair. He was eventually forced out by a more modern van, driven by neds who would sell kids a ‘single’ cigarette and drugs.

All the houses have been demolished now. There is no school, no shops, no playground. Instead there are more industrial units. There is a Facebook group devoted to how great life was in Queenslie: I think they’re wrong.


Writer, photographer, creative fantasist.

20 thoughts on “Q is for Queenslie

  1. Nettie – Maybe life wasn’t so perfect there, but you’ve evoked it absolutely brilliantly. At least you had the binoculars and the ice cream truck!

  2. I moved from Shettleston to Barlanark (across the Edinburgh road from you) when I was 14yrs.My mum worked in the industrial estate in the garment factory she worked as a canteen assistant. Thanks for this trip down memory lane Nettie.
    Is Anyone There

  3. Maybe it wasn’t the best, but I loved it, I have great childhood memories and I was sad when we moved and when I went to high school. I attended the nursery and went to queenslie primary from 87-94.

    1. Hi Sandra, and thanks for dropping by.
      I am honestly pleased you had such good experiences of Queenslie. I just wish I could share them.
      Best wishes, Nx

  4. Queenslie was the best place in the world as a child in the 70s early 80s i do agree at the end it was bad but ive only got good memories of it and that’s all that counts

    1. Hi, Billy. I can appreciate that your experiences of Queenslie were very different to mine. That does not, however, make my experiences any less valid or accurate. I’m glad you had a better time than I did and thank you for taking the time to comment.

  5. Lived on Horndeen Crescent from 64-68 and have great memories from being there. Moved to Canada in late 68, returning for a visit in 88. What a shock!!!

  6. I was born in queenslie in 1957 when the scheme was built, my mum worked in the Canda as a Hoffman presser, i worked as an apprentice spray painter at Mc Dermots next to the lsd truck yard. The man who drove the ice cream van was named Bill not jim he was a good friend of my family and used to give us penny caramels. The neds who you say took over were indeed a bad lot 2 brothers who i will not name but used to baby sit me a couple of times,years later i read about the ice cream wars in Ruchazie and those two were involved..

    1. Jimmy did have the ice cream van when I was young. Open back van. Then the Reids took over, then the Moffats.

  7. My name was Margaret Beattie I lived at 33 penston road with dad Alex mum Rena sisters may, Alexis & elaine, Jim & Andy my brothers we were one of the first to move in when just built it was a great wee housing scheme everyone was so friendly I had such a brilliant childhood my memories live on my wee mum was one of the last to move out she now lives in sandyhills

    1. Hiya, Margaret. I remember your family well. I hope you are all well and I’m sending love and happiness to you x

  8. Hi Bettie
    My name is Kieran Livingstone. I moved to queenslie from cranhill I lived at 8 horndean cres for many years then moved to 20 horndean cres.I left in 1978
    I recognise a few names in the comments. I remember it was a great place to grow up
    I’m now 62 years old and would love to see more comments and pictures of queenslie and it’s people.

What's your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s