for James Grant & Co Ltd, Cow Wynd
James Grant & Co Ltd had a chain of furniture stores at Glasgow, Kirkcaldy, Hamilton, Edinburgh, Dundee, Dunfermline, Perth, Stirling, Ayr and Falkirk. The Falkirk premises at 3-7 Cow Wynd stood adjacent to the Falkirk and Counties Savings Bank and Falkirk Council was eager to have it replaced so that the street could be widened and regularised. It was an old building and so the progressive furniture company decided to replace it with a three-storey open-plan structure more suited to its needs.
Illus: Grant’s Store at the time of opening (Falkirk Herald 15 October 1938, 9). Advert from the same newspaper. Photo by Falkirk Planning Department in the 1980s.
Demolition of the old buildings began in the first week of December 1937 and just 17 weeks later, on 1 October 1938, the new building opened to the public. During those weeks James Grant & Co Ltd had used temporary premises at 32-34 Newmarket Street.
Illus: 307 Cow Wynd in 2021.
The new building was light and modern and made good use of the space available. The façade was modern and unfussy with little unnecessary elaboration – just a wavy line in the spandrels between the windows.
It is a steel-framed structure allowing it to have huge windows at the front and the back, as well as open floors. There were three large furniture salons – one on each floor. Each had an area of 2,000 square feet; the total area of floor space, including offices, being about 7,000 square feet. The upper salons were reached by a wide shallow-stepped staircase, the steps fitted with non-skid treads. It was heated throughout with a modern central-heating plant – then becoming standard. On the ground floor the new front was covered in faience with the name “Grant’s” outlined in Neon lights. The central doorway was flanked by large display windows for the exhibition of furniture, illuminated at night by concealed reflectors sunk in the ceiling.
Contractors – Brick work – D Ramsay & Sons, builders, Laurieston; Joiner work – Henry Bain, Larbert; Plumber work – R Brown, Falkirk; plaster and cement work – D McNair & Sons ltd, Falkirk; Glazier work – D O’May Ltd, Falkirk; Steel work – Redpath Brown & Co Ltd, Edinburgh; Asphalt work Val de Travers Asphalt Co, Glasgow; Steel Windows – Haywords Ltd, London; Electrical work – T J Irvine, Falkirk; Painter work – T Irvine, Edinburgh; Heating work – Mckenzie & Moncur Ltd, Edinburgh; Faience work – The Southhook Potteries Ltd, Kilmarnock.