This photo was given to me in the mid 1990’s by the late historian Neil Gordon. (Neil used to live 3 doors up from my parents and knew of my growing interest in local history). Actually, its a newspaper photo and wasn’t scanned in particularly high resolution. The scribble I made on that day, told of the photo being around 1920 and pictured in the doorway of the Smiddy on Broompark Road was John Templeton, the blacksmith, dressed in black, upon the death of his wife.
I think I’d like to make a few small corrections to Neil’s comments and to my own previous notes. Having looked at the smiddy a few times, this newspaper photo was more likely taken in 1925, upon the death of Mrs Templeton, who had reached 100 years of age. The person in the doorway, couldn’t have been John, her husband as he died 23 years earlier in 1903. It is however likely that this newspaper article was correctly described by Neil as being taken upon the death of Mrs Templeton. (why else would the smiddy be pictured? Reaching 100 is a miletone to be reported even in today’s media!) If so, the date is 1925, not 1920. Who knows whom the person is, perhaps a younger Templeton family member, perhaps even the son of Mrs Templeton? The story serves to show that combining local knowledge of various individuals, rather than just one, will always lead to the best possible accurate picture. A practice in keeping very much with the Blantyre Project.
The last blacksmith to own a blacksmith business and work there was a Mr Templeton who inherited it from his father.
This little cottage looked well kept in this era, and obviously had an upstairs. Dirt from carts and early motor cars stain the bottom foot of the whitewash. The smiddy is the little building on the left of the cottage which was actually L shaped. In the background is the tenement at the end of Watson Street, the field in between, empty known as Larkfield. The Templetons had a blacksmith business which started there in 1850.
Mr William Morrison later converted the property into a motor vehicle engineering business and owned it right up until a time beyond the Millennium. The Smiddy was known to have been very old, perhaps even as old as early 17th Century and it was demolished in recent years, the land currently at time of writing sitting vacant.
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