Skip to content

Glasgow Eurotour South Side

Point F - Bellahouston Park – Empire Exhibition & Famous Industrialist

The 1938 Empire Exhibition has an interesting link with a Glasgow Industrialist at the centre of Post War European regeneration.

The 1938 Empire exhibition attracted over 12 million visitors to Bellahouston Park.  

The Scottish Development Council and in particular two of its members Sir James Lithgow, the industrialist and Britain`s foremost shipbuilder and the industrialist Sir Cecil Weir (see below), were the driving force behind this exhibition.

With regards to European connections, a fascinating character is Sir Cecil McAlpine Weir, the Glasgow industrialist Cecil McAlpine Weir (1890 – 1960), who had been involved in restarting industries in France and Germany at the end of WW2 and was best known for his work as head of the United Kingdom Delegation to the High Authority of the European Coal and Steel Community from 1952 to 1955, and earlier as a prominent figure in the Control Commission for Germany. More about Cecil M Weir in the links below:

Palace of Art – Photo thanks to B. Porr

You can still see where the Palace of Arts was as it is now converted into a sports centre, off Paisley Road West. Architects – http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/building_full.php?id=219186

A German sculptor, Benno Elkan (1877 – 1960) who produced a sculpture featured here but now at Edinburgh zoo:

http://www.glasgowsculpture.com/pg_biography.php?sub=elkan_b#

Digital recreation of the buildings from Glasgow School of Art: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJgYWcmCd6U

Location of the Glasgow Exhibition in 1938 – there was the Peace Pavilion – very timely in 1938…  also an interesting article about Scotland’s place in Empire and Europe etc at the time and subsequently … https://olh.openlibhums.org/articles/10.16995/olh.498/ You can still see the Palace of Art but it is now a sports centre. A very zoomable map is on this link: – https://universityofglasgowlibrary.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/the-empire-exhibition-80-years-on/   

Attendances were affected by the weather that summer and also by the Munich Crisis: