The Glasgow Herald of April 27th, 1878 has a wonderful description of the opening ceremony for the Maryhill Burgh Halls, which mentions that:
"the company assembled in front of the entrance to the Public Hall, where Bailie Murray presented Provost Robertson with a silver key, with which the Provost opened the hall door and invited the company to enter. [...]The silver keys presented to Provost Robertson and ex-Provost Shaw were formed so as to be suitable for fish-slicers, and were supplied by Mr Sorley, jeweller, Argyll Street."
We have therefore been trying to track down more information about quite how a silver key could double as a fish-slice (!)…
In the Glasgow Post Office Annual - 1877 - 1878 p.432 (digitised as part of the excellent Addressing History project), there are entries for both a William and Robert Sorley, Watchmaker & Jewellers, of 178 Argyle Street.
The same directory listing for 178 Argyle Street, just at the junction with Union Street, has a William Jeffray, jeweller also at that address.
[As an aside, 178 Argyle Street is now the site of KFC, and before that was the famous Glasgow landmark of Boots Corner. The actual buildings that the Sorleys operated from would have been demolished some time before that was constructed in 1926]
Elsewhere in the same volume are details that William lived in Hamilton Place in Partick, while Robert Sorely lived at 1 Kersland St., Hillhead.
Oddly enough, living at 2 Kersland Street, Hillhead at the time was one Mr Duncan McNaughtan - the architect of the Maryhill Burgh Halls.
Did he mention to his neighbour that a silverware commission was coming on the cards?
Meanwhile, on the stained glass front, the same PO directory has 'Adam & Small, glaziers, glass-stainers, and decorative artists' at 201 St. Vincent street. (Adam was living at 4 Cathkin terrace, Mount Florida at the time).
Stephen Adam famously got the commission to design and build the twenty stained glass panels representing the trades and industries of Maryhill, which were such a prominent feature of the Burgh Halls.
Sadly, the any paperwork relating to the commissioning of the stained glass panels, and how this particular artist was chosen has been lost over the years.
But by another odd coincidence, Duncan McNaughtan's offices were just down the road at 178 St. Vincent Street…
You can see which street directories have been digitised so far by visiting the Internet Archive site here.