On 9th March 2015, I had an interesting and enjoyable conversation with somebody who used to teach me Physics at School, some 30 years ago! I listened, but this time absolutely with interest and intent on being educated. The call was from Mrs. Glen, who lives currently at Blantyre Cottage Hospital on Bardykes Road and once taught Science and Physics at Blantyre High School. Now retired, Mrs Glen was calling to give me some additional information on a nearby property called “Greencroft”, now, no longer there on Bardykes Road. Pictured here in 2014 is Mrs Glen’s home, Blantyre Cottage Hospital, photographed in recent years by her daughter, Alison.
Mrs Glen told me with some enthusiasm, “I was reading your 2nd book and on Page 98 saw your article about Greencroft during the 1940’s. I have some more information on that property, which used to be just a couple of doors down from me. I moved to the Cottage Hospital in 1953 and at that time, there were 4 families living at Greencroft. Amongst them was Tom Robertson, now a member of Blantyre Old Parish Church. Also there were the Straitons and notably, the Bowies. A man we referred to as “Auld Bowie” lived there with his wife Winnie. Auld George had an association with the Bowie’s florists of Glasgow Road and the family worked hard at Greencroft amongst 5.5 acres of market gardens, producing flowers, produce and wreaths for cemeteries. Interestingly, they used to go to Douglas Moor to get the moss to make the cemetery wreaths. George would deliver in our Glasgow Herald upon passing the house.” (something I also did for Mrs Glen, when i was a paperboy in the early 1980s!)
The Bowie connection of Greencroft, got me thinking of a conversation I had with Alex Bowie of Strathaven, about a Bowie connection with Greencroft. Alex had showed me a photo of soldiers at Greencroft, at the front of the house, but like myself, was a little unsure why the photo was taken, or indeed if it definitely was 100% Greencroft. I’d say though with some certainty that the Bowie’s that lived there must have been relations in some way to Alex.
Mrs Glen told me there was a connection to the army, but was unable to say what. Army pyjamas were found in abundance stored up the loft, suggesting some kind of store in between it’s many sales. My book told of squatters temporally being evicted in 1945 from Greencroft and also a connection to Collieries, when the colliery wanted to house their manager there. If you have more information about the period of history of Greencroft during the 1940’s and 1950’s, I’d love to add it to this article, to complete the picture. Thanks to Mrs Glen for her interest and for the excellent first hand information.