Mr John P Jackson was the representative of a long line of Jacksons who have held lands and position in Blantyre for the 400 hundred years previous to this articles source. His ancestor also John Jackson first entered into position at Bardykes in 1502, making the land at Bardykes one of the oldest occupied premises in Blantyre’s history.
The John Jackson of this article (pictured) was born on 29th July 1852 and received his elementary education at Low Blantyre School (Village) under Major Ness, a gentleman who fondly cherished everything pertaining to Blantyre. Mr Jackson also had the advantage of early training under Mr John Adams of St. Johns Grammar School and Mr James Blacklock the much respected and revered Rector of Hamilton Academy.
At the age of 21 Mr Jackson, who in addition to Bardykes Estate had large interests in the Parish of Cambusland, namely the mineral resources at Hallside and Spittalhill. He also enjoyed a vibrant commercial life as a tea wholesaler in Messrs Jackson, Buchanan & Co one of the largest tea wholesellers in Scotland. A step, which combined with his knowledge of estate management , qualified himself for the position of County Councillor.
Mr Jackson was a candidate for the High Blantyre Division of the Blantyre District at the first County Council Elections. He had characteristics of utmost friendliness and generosity and added humour of a very effective and memorable effect. It was said that one could not forget a meeting he addressed whilst pursuing his candidature in 1890. One such meeting was a cold and frosty night which was all the more felt by a number of electors who had been engaged in the heat of curling during the day. One of them attended the meeting and when the heckling time came, he rose to ask Mr Jackson a question. The neck of a bottle peeped out the top of the electors pocket, no doubt from the match earlier in the day. “Would you Mr Jackson”, asked the elector, “be in favour of granting special licenses at curling matches?”. “Well Mr,” replied Mr Jackson, “I don’t think such is necessary, for as far as i can see at this distance, you already carry a special license in the inside pocket of your coat!”.
During the period from 1890 to 1904, a relatively short time Mr Jackson was known to have done the Parish of Blantyre a great service. Formerly the roads were in such a condition, especially in Winter, that nobody would care to venture to such a muddy place, if they could help it. The throughfare we know as Station Road, from Glasgow Road down to the Station and beyond to The Village works, was described as nothing more than a quagmire. A person related that whilst running for a train on the ‘road”, his foot stuck in the mud and whilst trying to release it, his other foot stuck until the “stick was so complete” that the train went away without him. At the time of the article,(1904) after his intervention it was described as “the present road is so hard that one can bound along it like a golfball.”
Source: Glasgow and Lanarkshire Illustrated 1904