At half past six o'clock on January 22, it was announced to a distraught nation that Her Majesty Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland and Empress of India had passed away painlessly in her sleep surrounded by her children.

The Queen's funeral was held 100 years ago today on February 2, 1901, in London, while a service was held at the same hour in Glasgow Cathedral and attended by many of the great and good of the city.

There can be no doubt about the deep sense of shock experienced throughout the country and the outbreak of public

emotion that was expressed and recorded over many days in The Herald. The Queen herself symbolised the nation, and much of daily life both here and overseas was carried out in her name.

While many would decry the imperialistic tendencies of Victorian Britain described by the then prime minister, Lord Salisbury, as an era that brought with it ''wealth, empire, and civil order'', we should remember that much of the infrastructure we enjoy today was also brought about by those same Victorian values. Industrial development had transformed Britain, and in Glasgow we still live and work in their buildings, borrow from their libraries, cross their bridges, drink from their reservoirs, and flush into their sewers.

It is an ill-wind that blows

no-one any good and an advert was placed in The Herald the following day in the name of G S Nicol, 186 Bath Street. ''Mr Nicol, during the next 10 days, will make up all mourning gowns at his off-season prices. He holds a unique selection of black materials.'' Some people thought this rather poor form and a number of Letters to the Editor duly appeared expressing dismay and outrage as his lack of taste.

The Herald itself was revamped during the year. Commercial interests remained at its heart and the first and second pages were comprised exclusively of adverts. The subsequent pages detailed stock market prices and financial data, and sporting details came next. Thereafter came the news. Even on the day following the death of Queen Victoria, the first mention of the fact does not appear until page six.

Telephony was gaining ground and it was becoming fashionable to have your own private telephone at home. Competition between the providers was intense.

The National Telegraphic Company reported 180,000 subscribers and connection was now available at two pennies

per day but with no line-rental charge. A discount of a shilling per month for business users was possible if they agreed to use a party line. The parallels with mobile communication today are clear, and complicated charging structures are obviously nothing new.

The Caledonian Railway Company announced planned improvements to its service in June, including a proposal to resume trains in the summer months. A new daily service would be run from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street with a reduced journey time of just 40 minutes.

In November the government published its annual railway performance statistics. These contained details of the numbers of passengers killed and injured compared to previous years and they showed a continuing trend of improvement. No record is provided as to the punctuality of the trains.

The dominant news story of the year was the Boer War, as it had been in the two years that had gone before. The level of reporting of the war seemed without limit and every edition of the newspaper carried extensive accounts of the events in South Africa.

The Boer War has retreated from the consciousness of Britain such that it is rarely referred to these days. Yet it

was the first war that brought with it the excesses of modern conflicts and a casualty list that contained more civilian losses than military ones.

The country had been knocked by the Boer War and the death of Queen Victoria and was in need of an event that could set about transcending a background of lurking insecurity. Fortunately, plans had begun some years before, and the dazzling highlight of 1901 was the International Exhibition, when the world came to Glasgow.

It was opened on a day of brilliant May sunshine. The exhibition was also designed to portray Glasgow as being ''all that is intelligent, industrious, and energetic in our national life''. Naturally, in Glasgow, this means staging an Old Firm game, the New Year's Day

fixture having been held over. As usual, the match was played with passion and the final score was 1-0. The Herald reported that the losing team ''were a

trifle unlucky in failing to win the match but the goal and the glory went to the Celtic''.

Kelvingrove Park was the setting for the exhibition and there were four principal halls, or zones, surrounded by a large number of smaller structures and attractions. The centrepiece was the industrial zone that celebrated Glasgow's manufacturing dominance in the world. It contained a central dome of white and gold that was built at a cost wildly over budget at a quarter-of-a-million pounds. The education zone was centred on schools of cookery and domestic science as there was a view that the

servant age was ending. All that remains today is what is now the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, and even this fabulous building was just one of the

side structures eclipsed by the grandeur of the industrial zone. And what did they do with them? Convert them to a theme park? A business park? Sell them to a Japanese financial consortium? No. They knocked them down.

We often hear the anecdote that the art galleries were built the wrong way round. Having studied a little of the exhibition from archives it is clear that the attention to detail, so faithfully recorded, makes it seem inconceivable that such an error could be made. However, the layout to the exhibition as a whole gives a clue and I would like to add a piece of conjecture to the debate. The art galleries were built at the perimeter of the exhibition and the other structures were constructed down into Kelvingrove Park, across the river, and up to the university. From the exhibition's point of view, its heart

was the River Kelvin, and the grander entrance is therefore pointed to the centre of the exhibition. All that may have happened is that the city has moved on in the past 100 years and the main thoroughfare is along Argyle Street rather than along a path to the industrial zone.

In total, the exhibition attracted 13 million visitors in its six-month tenure. The average daily attendance was four times as many as those who visited the Millennium Dome. When one considers the relative accessibility and ease of transport nowadays, combined with a much larger local population, this probably says even more about events in 1901 than it does about events today.

l Kerr Luscombe is chairman of Glasgow Junior Chamber of Commerce