Watch Lost Glasgow's Norry Wilson recall the Christmas tradition of visiting Santa at Lewis's

“My earliest memory is climbing the stairs in Lewis’s department store on Argyle Street, waiting in an interminable long queue, holding my mum and dad’s hand to meet Santa Claus”
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Norry Wilson is renowned across the city for sharing the tales and photographs of old Glasgow. The Facebook page he runs, Lost Glasgow, has collected over 180,000 followers and receives consistent engagement from people who wish to connect to the past. 

With Christmas coming up, we spoke to Norry about the traditions that shaped the memories of this period for both the Glaswegians who still live here, and those who have moved across the world. Here, he speaks about visiting the Santa Claus at Lewis's on Argyle Street:

“I think my earliest memory which I know I share with tens of thousands of other Glaswegians is climbing the stairs in Lewis’s department store on Argyle Street, waiting in an interminable long queue, holding my mum and dad’s hand to meet Santa Claus. It wasn’t just going up to this wonderful grotto, by that point you’d already had the magic of the shop’s Christmas windows which were an absolute draw for everyone. 

“Growing up in the late 60s, early 70s with a black and white TV set, the world seemed pretty black and white. Glasgow particularly before the stone cleanings seemed very black. And then all of a sudden, once a year, the whole city centre seemed to just spring into magical technicolour. The Lewis’s Christmas windows were always just something out of this world because there were all these animated figures and toys - it was just magic. 

“That’s something that had been going on pretty much since Lewis’s was built in Glasgow in the 1930s, it was a great tradition that virtually half of the city would turn out to welcome Santa Claus.”