Grahamston and Bainsford Co-operative Society central premises, Cow Wynd, Falkirk
Falkirk Council received an offer in May 1917 from J G Callander, acting for a client, for an old property at the corner of High Station Road and St Crispin’s Place. The Council had acquired the buildings in 1914 in order to demolish them and widen the road and was therefore reluctant to sell. However, in October 1917 the offer was increased to £300 and it was stated that the buildings proposed to be erected would consist of shops and dwelling-houses and that they would be built on a new line which would reflect the increased width of the roadway. That December it was announced that the Town Council was to sell the property at St Crispin’s Place to the Grahamston and Bainsford Co-operative Society Ltd. Development was delayed until the end of the First World War.
Illus: The St Crispin’s Place Co-operative building looking east along St Crispin’s Place.
In April 1920 the Grahamston and Bainsford Co-operative Society, the Bainsford and Grahamston Co-operative Baking Society, Camelon Co-operative Society, Larbert Co-operative Society and the; Stenhousemuir Co-operative Society amalgamated to form the Falkirk and District United Co-operative Society. As Falkirk had initially refused to join this union the project at St Crispin’s Place was still allowed to go ahead.
The new building was pretty conventional with three main components. That component facing High Station Road, adjacent to the Drill Hall, was of two tall storeys rendered in pea grit with red sandstone margins to the windows and chamfered south-west corner. This corner possessed a mock turret with a corner window. The central component occupied the corner of the two streets and was faced with red sandstone. The lower floor consisted of large shop fronts with plate glass windows. The first floor windows had hood-moulds and fine mouldings. An octagonal turret stood sentinel at the corner with its spire topped by a glover. At either end of this component was a gablet with a small round window, key crosswise, in the pediment. The third component stretched along the St Crispin’s Place frontage and also had shop fronts on the ground floor interspersed with round-arched key-stoned doorways giving access to the flats above. Like the other wing it was rendered with pea grit and the window margins were of red sandstone. To the rear were balconies.
The construction of the far grander and larger co-operative superstore in Kirk Wynd which opened in 1938 relegated the St Crispin’s Place premises to a period of decline and the shops were subsequently let out before being sold. In the 1970s the property was purchased by Falkirk Council for yet another road realignment. On this occasion it was determined to route through-traffic along Hodge Street and Cochrane Street to St Crispin’s Place and on over the site of the demolished Glasgow Buildings to Arnot Street and Corporation Street.
Contractor – builder – W D Gardner.