A nice email this week from the previous owner of my home at Croftfoot, High Blantyre. John Whyte, who lived there in the 1950s and 1960s emailed me this which contained enough nice references for me to post his email here, “I’ve sent a photograph again (of Croftfoot 1957) with arrow pointing to the door to our side of the house, it was to the right just past the stone arch that joined the two buildings. The door led straight into the kitchen. Outside at the end of this part of the house was another greenhouse with a pathway leading to the back garden. Opposite this greenhouse in the wall that ran up the side of the property was a metal door. Through this door was the road up to my primary school, to the left was some waste land and a gravel path that led up to the main street, to the right was the park gates, and next to the park was a farm with horses in the field. I think the farmer was called Rockhead or Ruckhead.
I have been looking at the pictures you’ve put on online. I think you’re doing a terrific renovation job. Must be nearly sixty years since I saw Croftfoot House. Your pictures were fascinating. So sorry to see Matt Boyle’s house being demolished.
Just started to read your book last night, you’ve really brought back some memories to me, and I’ve only read a few pages!
Here is a few stories that I’m sure will interest you.
OLD PARISH HALL
I was in the boy scouts. Meetings were held upstairs in the hall, as scouts we also helped out with jumble sales. The primary school held concerts at the hall, and I can verify there was a stage. Myself and two other kids from school dressed up to look like worms and on the stage in front of lots of kids parents, we sang a song called Wiggely-Woo.
GOOD OLD GAS LAMPS
Halfway between the metal door and the park gates was a gas lamp. I had quite a few pals who lived in the houses that led up to the school. In the summer holidays we often used to go swimming in the Calder River. We walked up the ‘Brikie’ road between the church and the railway station. It was at least a mile walk before we reached the river. We went up there because the water was clear and clean. Sometimes we would meet a chap called David Zachary, a keen fisherman who caught many a trout in the river. When I was about eight years old David gave me a mongrel pup. I had the dog for fourteen years. David Zachary looked after the gas lamps.
At Croftfoot House the building we knew then as the coalhouse had a small window in it. The window was stiff and I tried to open it by hitting the frame, unfortunately my hand went through the glass causing a very deep cut through my wrist. My older brother had the good sense to wrap some towels round the cut and told me to keep my arm raised. We then had to run down through the park and I ended up at Broompark House where the lady Doctor Jope stitched my wrist. She told me that my brothers actions probably saved my life because the cut was so severe.
Its amazing that the first few pages of your book contain information that was so much part of my childhood. I know I’m going to enjoy reading the rest of your book. Best wishes, John”