IT was a glittering dream for as long as it lasted.

In 1975 it was proposed that Glasgow put in a bid to stage the 1984 Olympic Games. The plan caused a stir and some excitement, but when a detailed Scottish Olympic Feasibility Study, published in March 1976, put the cost at between £400 million and £450 million, few expected the dream to survive.

The Glasgow Olympics would have been built around the river Clyde. The stadium and athletes' village "would revitalise much of Glasgow's crumbling dockland - and into the bargain would provide Scotland with a new football stadium", reported the Evening Times.

The Herald: Queen's Dock, in around 1960Queen's Dock, in around 1960 (Image: Newsquest)

Queen's Dock, then almost derelict, would house the main stadium, which would host the athletics events and the football finals. The site would also be equipped with a velodrome. Princes Dock would accommodate the athletes' village, while an Olympic pool was earmarked for the Gorbals.

The Herald: A Gorbals scene in November 1976 - the junction of Crown Street and Caledonia RoadA Gorbals scene in November 1976 - the junction of Crown Street and Caledonia Road (Image: Newsquest)Existing Glasgow venues, from the Kelvin Hall to the City Hall, would stage weightlifting and fencing. The shooting competition was planned for the Dechmont ranges at Cambuslang. The Greenock-Edinburgh road - the M8 - was pencilled as first choice for the long-distance cycling events.

The Evening Times declared: "From Irvine on the Firth of Clyde to the Strathclyde Regional Park near Motherwell, Clydeside would be the Olympic centre".

According to the study report, the Olympics would have a rejuvenating impact on Clydeside, which at that time had more than its fair share of deprivation.

"Above all", the report said, "a successful Olympic Games would revive that spirit of confidence which is so necessary for economic prosperity.

"In this way Strathclyde would complement the confidence in the future which characterises the rest of Scotland".

The report forecast a "staggering" deficit of between £129m and £204m and suggested that the London government - then controlled by Labour - would have to contribute between £120m and £150m if the idea were to get off the ground.

And even if the government stumped up those funds, some £34.5m and £72m would have to be met by local government.

Olympics for Glasgow?

A decision was thereafter taken by the local authorities involved - Strathclyde Region, Glasgow District, Central Region, Lothian Region and Edinburgh District, who had supplied members for the working party that made the feasibility study. (The 1984 Olympics were staged in Los Angeles).

After the report had been published, Glasgow bailie Constance Methven urged them all to think high.

The Herald: Bailie Constance MethvenBailie Constance Methven (Image: Newsquest)

When it was pointed out that the money could be better put to completing Glasgow's 29 development areas, she responded that the Olympics would be just as highly desirable and would provide much-needed recreational facilities after the Games.

In a spirited article in the Glasgow Herald on the eve of the publication of the feasibility study, Mrs Methven, who was also chairman of the Glasgow Sports Promotion Council, spoke of her ambition to bring the Games to her city, and how it would be of lasting benefit to the city.

Constance Methven obituary, 1997

She made the point that as well as the high-profile sports events, the Games' cultural side would find an ideal host in Scotland, with the Edinburgh Festival, Scottish Opera, the Scottish National Orchestra, and Glasgow's art galleries and museums.

The Glasgow Herald, acknowledging the rocketing costs of staging the Games, said in a leading article that "the scheme should not be dismissed forever. It may this time have been a dream but if a nation cannot sometimes translate dreams into reality it is more than materially impoverished".

In a letter to the Herald in May 1990 Mrs Methven, by then Hon. Life Vice President of Glasgow Sports Promotion Council, reflected on that failed dream of 1976 but added: "I still feel very strongly that this great city of Glasgow should host a Commonwealth Games or Olympic Games. 

"We are now an internationally recognised city, having hosted a number of major world sporting events, culminating in a very successful garden festival 1988. Now is the time for the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics".

When Mrs Methven died in May 1997, an obituary in the Herald observed: "Her plan to invite the Olympics to Glasgow was not supported and was widely ridiculed at the time but, with hindsight, this can be seen as an idea ahead of its time by a visionary supporter of Glasgow".

Donald Dewar, the Secretary of State for Scotland, said: "She was a great Glasgow patriot, proud of her city, and in a sense invented the 'big project' approach to the selling of the city. She was fun and full of character.''

In a letter to the Herald in July 2014, the year in which Glasgow staged the Commonwealth Games, her daughter Constance Simpson recorded: "Some of your readers may remember that in 1975 my mother, Bailie Constance Methven, proposed that Glasgow should bid to host the Olympic Games.

"She described it as a Lodestar project that could inspire Glaswegians to believe again in the future of the city in the midst of industrial decline. Sadly the vision was not pursued then - perhaps an idea before its time".