This series of photographs are from my own family’s collection. They’re actually of my grandmother Mary Duncan (nee Danskin) and her own family. Up until the mid 1930’s my grandmother lived with her family at the family business premises which was divided into a draper’s shop and their home on the newly established Stonefield Crescent. The shop sits on the crossroads at Larkfield, linking Broompark Road, to Stonefield Crescent and Stonefield Road.
The shop was known as Danskin’s and this photo was taken in the mid 1930’s. Standing in the doorway is Mary. I recall her telling us tales of how difficult the stone step was to keep clean. In the windows are selection of silks and cloth. The scene is relatively unchanged today, although the fence and steps are no longer there. After Mary got married in the mid 1930’s the business was sold and she moved to nearby Stonefield Crescent with her husband, John Duncan.
One of my favourite family photos is the one above with gran standing in the Danskin’s back garden with her cat. Not only for it’s family value, i love the scene. The old 1930’s car is parked in the driveway and in the background the old tenement is there, where now the DoonInn stands. You can also make out the start of the houses in Stonefield Crescent. The back window of the shop is now obscured by a modern extension.
My mother’s cousin, Alec Danskin is pictured in 1938 in his plush and proper pram. In the background in Broompark Road is a dark and ruined tenement called “Warnock’s Laun”. This tenement stood on the right side between Springfield Crescent and Stonefield Crescent, access off Broompark Road. The tenement is no longer there and now features a 1960’s/1970’s style bungalow. The postcard’s vantage point was the middle of the crossroads, looking up Broompark Road. The houses on the right remain largely the same, still with the same slate roofs although the fences, doors and windows have long since been replaced! The houses on the left remain today. I see the old gas lights in the background and kids, enjoying the summer months playing, wearing shorts and carrying shawls. What i was surprised at is the lack of wires, telegraph, tram or electricity poles which always dominated similar pictures of the era. High Blantyre must have looked quite modern in those days compared to the overhead wires of Glasgow Road.
Mary had several sisters and brothers. The girls are pictured wearing some nice dresses, which must have been available through the family business with fashion very much, the order of the day. Mary would have been in her late 20’s in these photos. She went on to have 6 children at Stonefield Crescent. Nancy, John, Margaret, Archive, David and Janet (my mother) her youngest.