Walter Freer

1846-1930. Freer was the curator of Glasgow Corporation's public halls for 35 years. Growing up in a Chartist family in the East End of Glasgow, he worked as a paper-ruler and power-loom tenter from an early age. He was an enthusiastic Temperance campaigner and a founding member of the Independent Order of Good Templars. He thus became involved in organising concerts and sometimes performed as an elocutionist, until he started managing the Wellington Palace in Glasgow, as president of the Good Templars' Harmonic Association. He then managed the Waterloo Rooms and from 1890 started working for the Corporation as curator of the St Andrews and City Halls as well. Due to his success, the Corporation Recitals were placed in his charge in 1891. As curator of the Corporation Halls, Freer was friendly with many pioneer cinema exhibitors who leased the halls for travelling shows, and he also hired bioscope (cinematograph) turns to be included in the Corporation recitals. From 1910 Freer ran the Sunday evening entertainments. He retired in 1921 and wrote his memoirs.

Source: Who's who in Glasgow in 1909,
Freer, Walter, My Life and Memories. (Glasgow: Civic Press Limited, 1929).

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