Canal Boatmen's Society of Scotland


The Canal Boatmen's Friend Society of Scotland existed to 'promote the social, moral and religious welfare of canal boatmen and their families' by means of preaching, scripture study, Sabbath schools and groups such as mothers' meetings, penny banks and temperance societies'. Choirs, dancing classes, concerts and other social activities were also organised for all age groups. This Presbyterian organisation was especially keen to prevent alcohol consumption and its consequences: there were over 20 public houses close to the Canal Boatmen's Institute, where it was estimated that betweeen £25,000 and £30,000 of local working men's earnings were spent annually. Although nominally serving canal workers and their families, the Canal Boatmen's Society envisaged their Institute as a focus for the improvement of the wider community in the Port Dundas district. 1


1: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1893–4, Religious and Moral Institutions, p. 102. 'Canal Boatmen's Institute Laying of Memorial Stone', Glasgow Herald, 12 October 1892, p. 4.