Callendar Riggs Shopping Centre

Illus: The Arcade in 2021

The bus station at Falkirk belonging to Walter Alexander had already been in operation for two years when the shops at the corner of Callendar Riggs and Callendar Road were built.  A wide arcade connected Callendar Riggs to the centre of the bus station, providing additional shops on what one contemporary source described as an “out of town shopping centre.”  They were completed in December 1934 and are typical of JG Callander’s work at this period in a light Art Deco or “semi-modernistic” 1930s style with a canted corner.  They are of two storeys with facades of polished stone.  The lower part of the building, embracing sign and pilasters, is finished in Roman stone of a light texture, having a base of dark Emerald granite.  The shop fronts were of the usual bronze construction with long display windows and leaded glass in the upper panels.

Illus : The 1934 Callendar Riggs Shops

As well as the shops the new complex included a large waiting hall with lavatory for bus passengers, an inquiry and a left luggage department.  These were heated throughout by low pressure hot water system using an oil-burning automatic plant with thermostatic control.  A glass-covered canopy ran the full length of the building on the bus station side.  Two dwelling houses on the first floor were for the bus company’s employees.

The lightness of the ground floor was continued into the first floor – contrasting with the more conventional designs of the co-operative stores whose decoration it echoes.  This is achieved by the use of a steel frame.  The upper windows are separated by pillars with light fluting set back from a broad sill course with its zigzag decoration.  The surrounding frame with its ovolo beading also recedes the pillars.  The parapet is set back and heavily denticulated, interspersed with geometric pediments.

Contractors – Mason and Brick works – D Ramsay & Son, Laurieston; Joiner work – Kellock & Kilgour, Falkirk; Slater work – Drummond & Crowe, Falkirk; Plaster and Cement works – David MacNair & Sons Ltd, Falkirk; Plumber work – John T Borland, Falkirk; Glazier work – Daniel O’May Ltd, Falkirk; Electrical work – T Laurie & Co Ltd, Falkirk; Steelwork – Redpath Brown & Co Ltd, Edinburgh; Heating work – Mackenzie & Moncur Ltd, Edinburgh; Granite, Tile and Terrazzo works – Galbraith & Winton Ltd, Glasgow; Painter work – James Hamilton, Denny; Asphalt work – Vale de Travers Asphalte paving Co Ltd, Glasgow; Shopfitting work – Heggie & Aitchison, Edinburgh; Steel Casement Windows – MacLean & Co, Glasgow; Grates – Callendar Abbots Foundry Cos Ltd, Falkirk; Fireproof Floors – Slegwart Fireproof Floor Co Ltd, Glasgow.

Illus: 2021 Callendar Riggs shops.

Callendar Riggs (east side)                               SMR 1476       NS 8906 7984

G.B. Bailey, 2021