Kelvinside Literary Association (Kelvinside United Free Church) (later becomes The Young People’s At Home)


Members of this association were most likely part of the congregation of the Kelvinside United Free Church (earlier known as the Kelvinside Free Church) which was located at the corner of Byres Road and Great Western Road in the West End of the city (now ÒranMór, an arts and entertainment venue). (For more information on this church, see ‘Glasgow — Kelvinside‘ on the Ecclegen website.) The group met in the Session House of the church.

In D. S. Riddoch’s Kelvinside United Free Church Glasgow: A Record of Fifty Years, 1859-1909, there is a brief history of this association from its founding until its jubilee in 1909. The group had two breaks in its history, but Riddoch nonetheless counted its 44 years of more-or-less continued existence as a marker of the long-standing, established nature of this association in the city. According to Riddoch, the group provided companionship and guidance for young men in regards to citizenship. While ladies were admitted to the meetings as early as the 1873-1874 session, it was only in 1890 that membership was opened up to them. (Interestingly, if ladies did attend, their names are not recorded in the minutes.) In 1907, the fortnightly meetings were changed to monthly ones. The group changed its name in the same year to ‘The Young People’s At Home’.

In 1873, a proposal was put forward to start a society magazine, and the topic was discussed at two subsequent meetings. It is currently unknown if the magazine was ever started (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).

Date of Existence

1865-(at least 1909)

Source of Information

1. Glasgow, Kelvinside, Free Church, U.F., Congregational committee minutes, 1867-8 (GCA, CH3/1012/9);

2. (Handwritten copy of syllabus for 1870-71, author unknown) (MLSC, Glasgow Scrapbooks, No. 21, p. 159);

3. Glasgow, Kelvinside, Free Church, U.F., Literary association minutes, 1871-84 (GCA, CH3/1012/11);

4. Kelvinside United Free Church Year Book 1904; Report and Financial Statement 1903; Lists of Office-Bearers and Agencies, Lists of Members and Adherents (Glasgow: Printed at the University Press by Robert MacLehose and Co. Ltd., 1904), p. 12; pp. 28-9 (ML, Mitchell (GC) 285.241443 KEL 272765);

5. Kelvinside United Free Church Glasgow: A Record of Fifty Years, 1859-1909, ed. by D. S. Riddoch (Glasgow: Printed at the University Press, 1909), pp. 58-60 (MLSC, Mitchell (GC), 285.241443 KEL 499011)


Mitchell Library (ML)

Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)

Glasgow City Archives (GCA)

Reference Number

(See Source of Information)

Additional Notes

This society is not to be confused with Kelvinside Parish Church Literary Society, which is a Church of Scotland society.

See also Glasgow Western Literary Union.

See also entry for Kelvinside Literary Association magazine (currently unknown if ever produced) on our sister website, Literary Bonds.