In 1948, an American couple returned home to Blantyre for a holiday. Mr and Mrs James Orr arrived in mid July, 1948 from their home in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA with the intention of spending a six week holiday in Blantyre. They holiday residence was with Mrs Orr’s sister Mrs George Preston, at 5 Muir Street, High Blantyre.
Mr Orr was an elder brother of “Wull” Orr, former Blantyre Vics centre-half. He was originally a native of Blantyre and after 25 years of employment in Blantyre coal mines, including Auchenraith Colliery had decided in 1922 to try his luck in the United States.
Jimmy Orr gave up his home at Merry’s Rows and with his wife and eight children, five sons and three daughters, and accompanied by his brother and his wife and family, had set out for the USA. Now with himself and sons all in good USA jobs, and with immediate family happily married, he had no reason to regret the day he left Blantyre. Mr Orr himself was employed as a ring groover with the Pawtucket Spinning Ring Company.
Asked whilst on holiday by a Blantyre Gazette reporter if he had made a name for himself in football like his brother Bill, Mr Orr jocularly replied that he had considered he was just too light for the game and his only achievements were with a “tanner baw”. But if he didn’t hit the headlines in football he had certainly had some very notable success on the bowling greens. He was attached to the Smithfield Avenue bowling club and in 1934 was included in the rink which won the New England Championship. This was one of the largest bowling competitions in the US, with over sixty clubs taking part.
In 1939 when the Scotland International Football team were touring Canada and the United States, Mr and Mrs Orr brought Blantyre lad Jimmy Carabine, a member of the team, to their US home and entertained him in very hospitable fashion. He was reared beside the Orr family in Merry’s Rows and as Mr Orr put it, “he was only a wee laddie kicking a rubber ball around when I left Blantyre.” Mr and Mrs Orr enjoyed their Blantyre holiday visiting many friends.
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