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Old 13 February 2019, 02:31   #1
The Blastmaster
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The Barras - Glasgow

Anyone from Scotland who had an Amiga would have no doubt went to `The Barras` market in Glasgow to buy games.


I`m interested to hear anybodys memories who ventured down there back in the day. I was down last week and couldn`t believe how quiet the place is now, literally nobody about at all. Compare that to the days of the C64/Amiga and the place was jumping. I took a few pics, hopefully linked.



From my own point of view, I started off going down probably around 1988 for C64 games. Usually I`d go to brothers Andy & Frank stall or Mick`s stall, which was directly across from it at the time. This was in the main Barrowland building (where the neon sign is).



Where Andy & Frank and Micks stall was- https://ibb.co/SB7Gv7v



On occasion I`d go to Skadies stall (I think thats how you pronounce his name. I`m sure his real name was Jason and used to work with a guy Eddie). He had a couple of C64`s and an action replay cartridge.



Roughly where Skadies stall was- https://ibb.co/jMYyvG9



I got my Amiga A500 in 1989 and continued going to Andy & Franks stall as they catered for Amiga too. I think Mick had moved location by this point but was also doing Amiga. In all honesty I always thought Andy & Frank were more friendly than Mick. Not sure if they all got on given they had stalls directlly opposite each other and competeting for the same buisness. Although back then there was plenty to go around. There would be crowds of people waiting to get in at the front of the stall to flick through the games in the briefcases.



I then discovered Joe`s stall and started going there. The first stall I remember of his was in a building directly across from Pearsons. You sort of went down a slope into the building and took a sharp right. Joe`s stall seemed to have more clued-up guys than Andy & Franks. People I think went to Andy & Franks and bought the games and left. Whereas at Joe`s you would get chatting to more knowledgable guys like Bob, who worked for Joe (the PC man) for hours. Joe had a different setup to the likes of Andy & Frank, as well as having games in boxes for you to flick through he had `Azzy` in the back working x-copy for any other orders.


Joe`s stall moved to a market off the lane here - https://ibb.co/0FYkxp1


There was various other guys selling Amiga "warez" down there. Guys like Alex (A guy with oriental looking features, although wasn`t. I think he came from East Kilbride), another guy Stuart ( came across as very camp ), his prices were £1 cheaper than the rest. All these guys were based in the building where Roger Price was.



I used to buy the cheapest and nastiest 3.5 blank discs from Rodger Price. Unbranded and most didn`t work. I soon realised this was a false economy and other stalls like Joe`s started selling reliable discs for slighlty more.


Would be interested in hearing if anyone knew any of the guys mentioned and if they are still alive or what they are up to now.


On that note I was on a Cisco course with a guy about 10 years ago who used to work for Stuart and he told me Mick was a property developer in the West End of Glasgow.
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Old 13 February 2019, 13:53   #2
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Hi! I'm only living in Glasgow for a bit over 5 years at this stage, but from the various other Amiga users and fans I meet in Glasgow I regularly hear stories of the Barras, with the sound of X-Copy running all day, every day. Seems to have been a popular spot for Amiga games I don't know any of the names, but I'm sure they'll be familiar to the old regulars!
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Old 13 February 2019, 21:00   #3
mfletcher
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My memories of the Barras are a little bit after the Amiga era, somewhere between 1998 and 2003. There was a guy who ran a stall there that chipped PS1 and PS2 consoles and I took my consoles there to be modded. I cant remember who he was however.

But I remember there was an alley where there were guys standing around with folders, and in the folders were lists of pc software. You'd pick items off the list and then a runner would go off somewhere to get the cd's and bring them back.

I remember buying a cd full of software like Monkey Island 3 and Rogue Squadron, and there were three or four guys standing in the alley with their folders hawking their wares, when suddenly this police van pulled up across one end of the alley. Four PC's stepped out and just started slowly walking up the alley. I was killing myself laughing watching the sellers just melt out of the alley, going down side alleys or around stalls.

Living in West Lothian, I got all of my software at Ingliston Market, next to Edinburgh Airport. There was a guy that run a stall there, with an A2000 sitting under the stall just churning out copied disks. You'd go to this little space between the rear of his stall and another stall that was tarpaulined off, maybe wide enough for two people. You'd stand in line and then get handed a folder and you'd check off the games that you wanted and he'd duplicate them there and then.

That was maybe somewhere between 1991 and 1993. I lost count of the time he got busted and his stuff got confiscated, but he was always up and running a month or two later.
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Old 14 February 2019, 02:17   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfletcher View Post
My memories of the Barras are a little bit after the Amiga era, somewhere between 1998 and 2003. There was a guy who ran a stall there that chipped PS1 and PS2 consoles and I took my consoles there to be modded. I cant remember who he was however.

But I remember there was an alley where there were guys standing around with folders, and in the folders were lists of pc software. You'd pick items off the list and then a runner would go off somewhere to get the cd's and bring them back.

I remember buying a cd full of software like Monkey Island 3 and Rogue Squadron, and there were three or four guys standing in the alley with their folders hawking their wares, when suddenly this police van pulled up across one end of the alley. Four PC's stepped out and just started slowly walking up the alley. I was killing myself laughing watching the sellers just melt out of the alley, going down side alleys or around stalls.
Most of all the old Amiga / Atari ST guys had gone by this point. I imagine this would have been Ian Sweeney. Late 90`s, early 00`s he was the main man down there, doing console chipping, games and DVD`s.


https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/s...-kings-1056539


Actually a nice guy I think his mum might have been involved in the Barras management (might be wrong).


At this point there were others guys from Easterhouse I think (Big Sammy) who used to work in the lane outside Pearsons, selling the same.


The police actually had a mobile surveillance unit positioned in the lane at Pearsons. This consisted of a van, with a large lamp post style pole coming out the roof and had a camera attached. It didn`t stop the guys as they were still there every week.


The only time I ever seen the guys disappear was when there was a raid and the police appeared in numbers. Again they`d be back the following week so made no difference really.


Here`s a BBC documentary from 1996 about stolen SIMs. The Joe and Bob I mention appear @ 18:10 buying the sims



https://www.dropbox.com/s/rni93lejho...96%29.mp4?dl=0



I`m sure there was another documentary about software piracy in the early 90`s featuring the Barras and presented Dominic Diamond of Gamesmaster fame.
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Old 15 February 2019, 11:07   #5
RunsilenT
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Barras

I regularly made trips from Helensburgh through to the Barras Saturday or Sundays. I owned an A500 in 1990 and the Barras was my Mecca. I remember going upstairs to some tables with polly pockets listing all the games, nothing was on show, radios were used and small urchin kids as couriers would appear with a carrier bag of your ordered swag.
512MB memory upgrades and external drives, blank discs etc, everything was on sale here at a good price. I remember standing at a table awaiting my order when two pair of shiney black shoes caught my eye, stood right beside me were constables no less. There was no panic, no scramble for exits as they were buying for themselves, no word of a lie!
In its day The Barras reminded me of Bartertown in Mad Max, with a strong whiff of burgers and healthy flow of cash, I found it impossible to come home empty handed from there. Powertools, handtools, car parts, Amiga , PC,
Music, not much couldn`t be bought or sold. Just glad I was there and even saw Deacon Blue play there, great times!
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Old 15 February 2019, 11:34   #6
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I remember the Barras well, I have a good friend who lives up in the East End and we'd go down there on a weekend. I was quite young at the time so my memories are a bit hazy but it was a very vibrant place! I still visit Glasgow 2 or 3 times a year (I live right on the South Coast of England in West Sussex so it's not around the corner) and find myself wandering the Barras from time to time, it can be eerily quiet at times as the OP noted these days.

I now want to get back up to Glasgow Absolutely love it up there!
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Old 17 February 2019, 02:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunsilenT View Post
I remember standing at a table awaiting my order when two pair of shiney black shoes caught my eye, stood right beside me were constables no less. There was no panic, no scramble for exits as they were buying for themselves, no word of a lie!
In its day!

Witnessed this many a time, some PC`s in uniform buying copied games
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Old 17 February 2019, 02:56   #8
The Blastmaster
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Originally Posted by Marle View Post
I remember the Barras well, I have a good friend who lives up in the East End and we'd go down there on a weekend. I was quite young at the time so my memories are a bit hazy but it was a very vibrant place! I still visit Glasgow 2 or 3 times a year (I live right on the South Coast of England in West Sussex so it's not around the corner) and find myself wandering the Barras from time to time, it can be eerily quiet at times as the OP noted these days.

I now want to get back up to Glasgow Absolutely love it up there!

I hadn`t been down in years and to see it like a ghost town with hardly any stalls or people about was actually quite sad.


It looks like they have tried to gentrify the area with the aim of reviving it`s fortunes with the like of



BAAD - https://baadglasgow.com/ and also St Lukes


It`s a wierd mix as you have the West End types in BAAD and then the few people you see out around the stalls look as though they are straight off a methadone programme.


I really can`t see how it can remain open. I imagine Blochairn car boot sale will have taken away a lot of the customers too.
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Old 03 March 2019, 00:04   #9
ath786
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wow thanks for posting this , I remember buying games from the 1st stall they had everything then. And also the guys selling PS2 copies they must've made a serious amount of cash
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