Arlington Architect: Andrew Myles 1893, making the club Myles better

Andrew Myles was born on 27th June 1841 in Glasgow. His parents were Andrew Myles (born 1807 in Monemal, Fife) and Helen Malcolm (born 1812 in Falkirk). The family lived at 315 Argyle Street in 1851.

In the 1861 census Andrew, aged 18, is described as an architect’s draughtsman. His father appears to have died and the family has moved to 77 North Woodside Road and taken in a lodger called Neil Mclean. By 1891 he lived at 45 Great Western Road with his mother, and Margaret Boyd, a domestic servant.

In the 1870s Myles had become a partner of the industrial architect and civil engineer Angus Kennedy, and his son James, as Angus Kennedy, Son & Myles with an office at 99 Bath Street. Myles departed to commence independent practice at 121 Wellington Street in about 1873. Shortly thereafter he moved to 143 West Regent Street where the Bath’s first upstairs extension was designed.

An architectural drawing of the front facade of the Arlington Baths showing the first floor extension
Detail of Andrew Myles extension 1893. Reproduced by permission of Glasgow City Archives (1/2577 sheet 5)

The club first expressed a desire for billiard rooms in August 1890 and requested that the Glasgow Swimming Company investigate extending the Baths. The company agreed to a share issue hoping to raise £1500. By October only 27 shares had been applied for and the company agreed to the issuing of preference shares with a 4% dividend to try and raise further funds. In April 1891 only 81 shares amounting to £405 pounds had been raised and the project was shelved.

The Club tried again in January 1893, requesting the company look at extending the premises.

“At the request of the Chairman, Mr Thomson, as representing the Committee of the Club, explained the necessity which in the opinion of the Committee has arisen for the extension of the premises so as to provide accommodation for a Billiard Room etc, all the other Clubs having such accommodation and the membership of the Arlington being now composed of who take much more use of the premises than formerly, the accommodation which at one time was ample is now proving inadequate.”

Photograph of a debenture certificate issued by the Glasgow Swimming Baths Company Limited
Debenture certificate for the Myles extension. Glasgow City Archives TD965/1

In April 1893 a joint committee of the company and the club agreed to raise the £1500 by issuing  debentures and named Andrew Myles as one of the trustees along with Dr James Alexander Adams and Paul Rottenburg.

By June 1893 the £1 debentures had raised £1581 and works could commence.

The Myles extension added the grand staircase, large billiard room, small billiard room and card room (now the reading room, sauna, and office).

An architectural drawing showing a floor plan with the new rooms outlined in red
Detail of floor plan. Reproduced by permission of Glasgow City Archives  (1/2577 sheet 4)

The addition of a first floor also covered up the 4 skylights in the shoe hall and some works were performed on the heating system.

The billiard rooms opened on 11th December 1893 and were furnished at a cost of £285 5s 6d. When the 1902 extension was added the large billiard room was turned into a reading room.

Myles specialised in industrial buildings around the city including:

  • St Andrews Electrical Works
  • Brass Foundry, 80 Eastvale Street
  • City of Glasgow Sauce and Pickle Works
  • Howe Sewing Machine Factory, Bridgeton
  • Port Dundas Electricity Generating Station

Andrew Myles was also interested in music and was President of the Glasgow Choral Union (now the RSNO Chorus) in 1883.

Myles died of dementia and pneumonia at Wester Kames, Bute, on 19th December 1905.

Sources used:

  • Arlington Baths Club archive in the Glasgow City Archives
  • Glasgow City Archives GCA – Dean of Guild
  • Membership List 1890-91. City Archives TD965/64
  • The 1893 life members list in Glasgow City Archives TD965/64
  • 1851, 1861 & 1891 Census
  • Dictionary of Scottish Architects

Researchers: Will Jess, Lucy Janes

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