A great photo sent in by Gordon Dunsmuir. Several of the late 1890 buildings were tenement style houses and the gas lamp standards are visible in this post ww2 photo. This scene is approximately halfway along Watson street, part of Larkfield. Unfortunately, several people recently have commented to me that Watson Street used to be commonly and locally known as “Sh**ty Row”, not particularly something i want to dwell on having grown up in the area! This is also confirmed in writing on the back of Gordon’s photo which he received from a cousin. It must have been surely a reference to the poor living conditions before the nice, spacious and modern bungalows were built in the 60s and 70s. Since then, Watson Street is a very nice place to stay.
A discussion arose on Facebook where Carole Mackie commented the house numbers started at strange numbers. Looking back at the map, this was most likely due to the fact that in 1898 Watson Street crossed over Broompark Road and continued down where John Carrigans Carpark is today. A discussion arose about the naming of Watson Street, initially thought of being after Matthew Watson , a 22 year old soldier who died young. However, Watson Street existed in 1898 maps, but not on 1864 maps. Therefore the street was named and formed between then. A plausible theory is the street was named after Mr Watson the colliery manager who was instrumental in organising the rescue effort in the 1877 pit explosion. The proximity to Larkfield Colliery, also lends itself nicely to a mining link.