The Chookie Hen Stairs are a key part of Broomhill running completely up and down the hill through the area.
These pictures were shared by Karen Orr on our Facebook Group, ‘The Broomhill Project’ during an artists walk around the area and show just how steep they are!
Karen is hoping to use these stairs and their unique history as inspiration for an arts project. Apparently, the Chookie Hen Stairs are so called because people used to keep chicken on them! Jane Jones reminisces over a photo taken from the Chookie Hen Stairs looking into someone back garden:
My Grandparents lived @ 57 Duncan street! When my dad was with us, sometimes e would walk home to Drumfrochar road, right up Duncan street and up the stairs to Dempster street! Don’t think mother was too keen on going up there without him!… I walk down these stairs often as its the most direct way from my present domicile to the town centre! Alas, I am too long in the teeth to walk UP from the town now!… No ‘chookey hens’ now! Only mucky pigeons! In the 80s I hadn’t used these steps for years! Came up one day for old times sake! As I passed where the hens used to be, a loud HONK almost stopped my heart! They were keeping GEESE there! Alas, even te geese are gone now!
-Jone Jones, November 2015.
Eric Webster: The orginal chookie hen stairs from Dempster St and Wellington St were replaced with a new set of stairs about 10 years ago. The orginal chookie hen stairs had wee cobble stone walls built closing off one set of the double stair case off not sure if it was done after some one rolled a giant J.C.B digger tyre which was lying waiting to be picked up for repair just inside the waterboard board yard broomill st gate next to the set of stairs leading down to Dempster St the tyre went down the 2 stair cases down Duncan St then right through the big bill boards at the corner of Roxburgh St –Duncan St and on to the main railway from Gourock to Glasgow and by sheer luck it never hit any cars or people on the way down.Paul Bristow I remember a really blustery day once when me and my wee mum almost got blown all the way down these stairs on the way home from school.
Very interesting, especially the info that they were replaced a few years ago, as in the photo they are not as I remember them. I believe the handrail was in the middle of the stair. As a child it was fun to swing under the handrail, and as a tall teenager, the challenge became to straddle it without injury. It was almost a direct route on a Saturday from Prospect Hill Street, to the LA SCALA at Inverkip Street to see Flash Gordon. There was also a Police Box at the Dempster Street level. Thank you for providing a few minutes nostalgia,