Maggie McIver

Maggie  Mciver
The Barras Queen

This blog was a combined effort by Linda Chadha and  Carol Clark

Believe it or not the creator of the Barras was actually a woman called Maggie McIver. Known as  the Barra Queen she prospered at a time when very few women could.

Maggie McIver was a remarkable woman, she not only founded the Barras market, she also built the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. She was known locally as the Barras Queen.

Maggies  is a classic rag to riches story. She was born in 1880 the daughter of a Policeman and by the age of 48 she had opened the Barras indoor market, showing her to be a canny business woman at time when very few women ran their own businesses. Many of her stalls were rented out to women.  She was a considerate woman who built the Barrowland ballroom so that her Hawkers (stall holders)  could hold their Christmas dance.

barrowland 2
The Barrowlands ballroom today
Barras Market in 1928

As a widow by age of 49, with 9 children and a business to run life would not have been easy, at a time where there was no child care and women would have relied on each other.

In my view Maggie must have been a strong and determined woman to not only survive but to thrive in a male dominated environment.


If you would like to find out more about Maggie McIver please download our East End Walk audio tour. Maggie will also be featured in the March of Women pageant in March 2015.  To find out more click here.

One Comment

  • Posted 2nd May, 2021 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
    Isobel Campbell

    Maggie McIver was also a member of the Ladies Orange Association of Scotland and her lodge Daughters of Dalmarnock LLOL 66 based in Tullis Street Bridgeton. Lulu was her relative.

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