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Around the Town Centre

Point D - The Anchor Line

Walking Route Instructions : The Anchor Line Restaurant is at 12-16 St Vincent Place G1 2DH, not far from George Square.

Anchor Line – Photos J. Wilson August 2021
Photo J. Wilson
Anchor Line Advertisement – Photo J. Wilson

Designed in 1905-07 by James Millar, the grand interior reflected the great success of the company. This is a Grade A1 listed building and was re-opened as a bar/restaurant in 2014. Some of the fabulous historic posters and documents have been reproduced from the University of Glasgow archives and can be seen on the walls in the restaurant – some are also on the website here. There is mention there of the ships stopping in Gibraltar.

Nicol Handyside, who along with his brother Robert, originally set up the company, was the Russian consul in Glasgow and the business traded with Russia and the Baltic! In the early 1850s, Nicol and Robert Handyside & Co had begun managing the ships of the Glasgow & Lisbon Steam Packet Co., and when that company went out of business in 1863, the trade was taken over by the Anchor Line of Peninsular & Mediterranean Steam Packets. The Anchor Line Ltd – University of Glasgow Library Blog (

Some interesting history of the Scandinavian “feeder” services into the Anchor Line transatlantic crossings etc: The Anchor Line – Passenger lists and Emigrant ships from Norway-Heritage (

With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, there was now a direct route to India from the Mediterranean as can be seen from this 1922 Anchor Line poster: TheGlasgowStory: Anchor Line

Glasgow’s Anchor Line steamers used to sail around the Mediterranean during the early years of the company, 1860s to 1880s, including a stop at Portugal. There’s an Anchor Line display at the Riverside Museum. Their departure sheds were east of Riverside but destroyed by fire some years ago – label outside Riverside points out the site. Thanks to Emily Malcolm, maritime curator for this information!

Walking Route Instructions : Walk back along St Vincent Place to George Square and turn left. Walk along the square to West George Street where you will turn left. You will see the façade of the new Queen Street Station building and to the left of that on the corner of West George Street and Dundas Street is our next stop, the Connal Building.