SINCE 1921

1880 – Maggie Russell was born at Galston in Ayrshire, later moving to Glasgow with her mother who worked as a French polisher. As a young girl Maggie looked after the fruit barrow of a woman named Nellie Bell at Parkhead Cross. She would go on to get her own barrow selling fruit and fish.

1902 – Maggie met and married a young fruit hawker called James McIver and together they began to build their business selling fruit wholesale and retail later diversifying into making and hiring out hand barrows. 

1921 – The McIvers bought land at Kent Street and Moncur Street and opened a market for traders who would pay for a pitch with many also hiring barrows from Maggie and James.

1926 – For six weekends in a row heavy rain over Glasgow seriously affected business, traders couldn’t earn a living, and neither could Maggie and James, something had to be done. The McIver solution was to build an open shed over the market area keeping traders and customers dry.

1928 – The shed was now enclosed on all sides making the market wind and waterproof which saw stalls being built as permanent fixtures, hired to traders.

1930 – The decade began with a real blow to the business, James died aged 49 which left Maggie to run the business and continue to raise her family, with grit and determination she kept the market going often uttering her favourite phrase ‘Work hard and keep the heid’.

1958 – Maggie died peacefully at home in Burnside and the mantle was passed on to her children to continue running the business.

1983 – As part of an upgrade the Barras Arches two were installed around the market at Stevenson Street and Moncur Street fronting on to Bain Street and one at each end of Kent Street.

2021 – This was the year of the Barras centenary making it the oldest street market in Scotland. A programme of events marked the celebration with traders ‘Barras Patter’ set into kerb stones around the market.