A FAMILIAR Glasgow landmark was suddenly no more, after a blaze that occurred in March 1970. The twin towers at the old Botanic Gardens railway station disappeared after fire tore through the building, which in recent years had been a beat club.

The blaze broke out only two hours after a pop concert at the Sgt Pepper’s Club in aid of the Police Dependants’ Fund.

Once the fire had been extinguished it was found that the two decorative towers were in such a dangerous condition that they had to be pulled down.

The Silver Slipper cafe and a plumber’s premises, at either end of Sgt Pepper’s, were also badly damaged. An Alsatian watchdog was found dead.

The railway station at the Botanic Gardens had been opened in August 1896 and was closed on February 6, 1939, a few months before the outbreak of war.

It was part of the old Central low-level line to Kirklee through Maryhill, and was built at a time when branch lines were being laid down all over Glasgow.

The Silver Slipper itself, says the Lost Glasgow website, was popular among Glaswegians “who would call in for a pie and beans or hot orange or ice cream before or after a walk around the park”.

The Sgt Pepper’s club was a popular venue in its time, attracting acts of the calibre of White Trash, Tear Gas, the Stoics, and the Poets.

One band that played the venue was a young band named Axis. Writing on the RockingScots website, Ian Wilkes, one of its members, recalls the manager of the venue “coming in to the changing room to switch on more heaters so the punters would sweat more and buy more drink!”

Axis’s main claim to fame, incidentally, was supporting the Bay City Rollers.

“We thought we were the business as the crowd danced to our covers and heavy stuff,” notes Iain, “whereas they stood looking at the young guys with lurid bright suits.”

Read more: Herald Diary