Orr family visit to Blantyre

5 Muir Street, home of the Orr Family

5 Muir Street, 1948 home of the Orr Family

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.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,

Danny Devlin Ma mam an orr fae halfway

Elizabeth O’Brien My sisters family r Orrs also from Halfway.

Tom Orr Wow 😳

Saaraa Oh Who is that? Wull’s brother?

Margaret Neil Mckeown I don’t know though your dad would know x

Robert McLeod-Wolohan i have relations in blantyre called orr, they were my uncle tommy and aunty may, who had 2 sons tom and john, john was killed in tragic road accident while serving in the R.A.F. my aunty lizzie whose surname was also orr lived in springwells and i lived in burnside cresent.

Saaraa Oh Johnny O Orr is my dad, tommy and mays son

Robert McLeod-Wolohan i think we may b talking different orrs saaraa, my uncle tommy and aunty may lived down the village.

Saaraa Oh Maybe. My Uncle Tom was killed in a road traffic accident while in the RAF is it just a coincidence?
Robert McLeod-Wolohan oh maybe im getting the names mixed up saaraa, it might have been tom, if it was then i remember john getting married and he had a great job as well. so im.guessing u r right about the names. i havnt see my uncle tommy or aunty may for many many years, i dont even know if they r still alive. xx

Robert McLeod-Wolohan and in which case then we r related lol xx

Saaraa Oh They’re not my gran died in 2013 and grandpa was in 2001. Both had lots of great years with 7 grandkids and even met some of their great gran kids. Yeah my dad worked with tyre company as a managing director for years he’s Johnny O Orr x

Johnny O Orr It was tom that was killed

Alice Orr Thomas Orr senior mother was Elizabeth McLeod, her parents were Duncan mcleod and Mary (haggarty) McLeod.?

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