Who We Are
What's in a name?
We took our name from Thenue (later known as St Enoch) who was the mother of St Mungo patron Saint of Glasgow. She had a hard upbringing as the princess of a pagan king. As a young, pregnant and unmarried woman her father ordered her to be hurled from a hill near Edinburgh. When she survived the fall she was put in a small boat and cast adrift in the Firth of Forth to perish. The boat, however, drifted over to Culross in Fife where she was given sanctuary by St Serf, and gave birth to Mungo who later came to Glasgow and founded the Cathedral. In 2000 we were presented with a carving of a mask of Thenew by a local sculptor, made from stone acquired from the demolished St Enoch Hotel. The carving now occupies a place in our registered office.
The video shows how we got our name.
In 2011, to coincide with our move to new offices and the launch of our new website, we decided to change our name to the more traditional spelling of Thenue.
Statue of Thenue (or Thenew, and later St Enoch)
We began life in October 1979, starting in a small basement office in Anderston with one member of staff. Founded to provide development and management services to associations that were too small to employ their own staff, Thenue has grown into an organisation of nearly 80 members of staff, owning and managing some 3500 properties across Glasgow, with a Board of Management made up of 15 volunteers.
The move to the East End in 1995 meant that we became the landlord to some 1450 tenants and since then have acquired further properties through both our new build programme and transfers of stock.
In 2012 we moved from our base in Green Street Calton to new purpose built offices within our new build housing development on London Road.
The world has changed enormously over the last 40 years and so has Thenue. We face challenging times in the years ahead. Spanning the past and future is the unshakable belief that rebuilding communities means the right to a decent home at a cost people can afford, that community means more than bricks and mortar, that support should be available to those who need it and that decisions should be taken by those most affected by them.
We will continue to work with our communities and to improve the services we deliver in order ensure that the next 40 years will be as successful.
Thenue Housing Association is a registered society under the Cooperative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 and we are also registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator. We are recognised as a Scottish Charity and we obtained charitable status on 7th January 2002. We are an Investor in People Gold accredited organisation.
A True Work Of Art
The stunning and colourful mural by artist Mark Worst shows the mother of Glasgow’s patron saint St Mungo. Located on the gable of 374 Abercromby Street, Calton, it was commissioned by Thenue to mark our 40th anniversary in 2019. It is a striking reminder of who the housing association is named after and the perfect way to mark four decades of service to the community.
The mural of St Thenue, who was also known as St Enoch, is painted on a tenement gable wall and shows her surrounded by fish. Legend has it that St Thenue had a traumatic upbringing as the princess of a pagan king. As a young, pregnant and unmarried woman in the 6th or 7th century her father ordered her to be hurled from a hill in East Lothian known as “Traprain Law.” When she survived the fall she was put in a small boat and cast adrift in the Firth of Forth to perish. The boat, however, drifted over to Culross in Fife where she was given sanctuary and gave birth to Mungo who later came to Glasgow and founded the Cathedral. The fish connection stems from the fact that fish were believed to have guided the coracle to the shore.
There are also strong east end connections to the artwork. The shawl which St Thenue is wearing features 29 motifs in the fabric – a recognition of the 1889 Templetons carpet factory disaster nearby in which 29 young women and girls died after a wall collapsed onto a weaving shed. The district of Calton and the east end in general were Glasgow communities synonymous with weaving in the 19th century. Today those same 29 names are inscribed on paving stones near our offices. Mark undertook considerable research into the life of St Thenue before starting work on the mural.
It follows his previous murals in Paisley – one of which was for Paisley Housing Association - but this represents his first major Glasgow commission. Mark said: “The strong historical link between Thenue Housing and St Thenue is a fascinating one. Much is known about her son St Mungo given his role as Glasgow’s patron saint. “But Glaswegians know less about this mother whose story focuses on overcoming adversity and finding a new beginning which ultimately led to the founding of a great city like Glasgow. “This portrait seeks to illustrate the woman who was St Thenue and the fish which played a key role in delivering her to the safety of the shore in Fife. “It would be wonderful to think this will become a much loved east end landmark and I hope local people like it.” Charles Turner, our Chief Executive said: “This is an important artwork which reinforces the strong historical bond Thenue has with the city of Glasgow It also transforms a gable end wall into a new east end landmark which we are sure will be welcomed by many local people and others passing by.”
The video above shows the progress of the creation of the mural.
…and a message from one of our local residents…
“It's against that ghastly background that I'm taking the liberty of sending you my congratulations and admiration on the commissioning and unveiling of the mural of St Thenue. I drove out to Abercromby Street last week to see her and was, literally, open-mouthed by the artwork. It is exquisitely rendered, Thenue herself is simply beautiful - wistful, contemporary but with ancient eyes and so compelling. The artist has created such a brilliant "world" for the figure by including reference to the Templeton's tragedy and by choosing such rich and evocative colours. Even the fish are a wonder.
Thenue Housing Association and the artist have given an amazing and important gift to the city in the shape of this truly lovely piece of public art. Thank you very much indeed for making Glasgow so much brighter during these dark days.”