R. S. McColl Factory

R.S. McColl  

R. S. McColl , footballer, aka 'Toffee' Bob"
R. S. McColl , footballer, aka ‘Toffee’ Bob”

Robert Smyth McColl (Toffee Bob), was considered by some to have been one of Scotland’s best ever footballers.  Capped 13 times for Scotland he scored hat tricks against Wales, Ireland and England in the space of a year. Played for Queens Park except for a short spell when he turned professional and moved to Newcastle United. On returning to Scotland he rejoined  his original club and ended his playing career as an amateur.

In 1901 he opened a sweet shop in Albert Drive with his brother Tom, the business being named after Bob to gain best advantage from his footballing fame and his recent hat trick of goals in the 4-1 victory over England at Celtic Park the previous year. Initially, working from the back shop,  they moved to a small factory in Langside Rd.and then opened a larger factory at North Woodside Road.

R S McColl factory in North Woodside Road
R S McColl factory in North Woodside Road

The factory produced a variety of quality confectionery, including toffee, boilings and chocolate. A chain of restaurants was also owned by the brothers,  including 3 in Glasgow – Lyric in Sauchiehall  Street, one in Renfield St and one in St Enoch Square.

The company had 201 shops across UK, many strategically situated at the entrance to cinemas – these were all supplied from the North Woodside Road factory.  In the 1930’s a controlling interest in the business was sold to Cadbury. The brothers remained on Board of Directors, but neither took an active part in running the business.

Toffee Bob died in 1959 and is buried in Cathcart Cemetery. The McColl group continues to thrive, trading under the name of either Martin McColl or R. S. McColl from over 150 locations in Scotland alone