At a time just 8 months after the Cuban Missile Crisis and just 5 months before President Kennedy was assassinated, Blantyre was attending to its own important matters. Perhaps not with the worldwide implications of the aforementioned, the District council now found themselves with their own dilemma, owning Greenhall Estate and finding out for the first time, just what a maintenance liability it would become. A Gardener was needed!
The following is an extract from the Fifth District Council Minutes of Meeting 25th June 1963.
“The superintendent referred to the engagement of a gardener for Greenhall Estate whose appointment had already been approved by the Council and intimated that he knew of a local gardener who was suitable in every way and most capable. The question of housing accommodation did not arise and he suggested that consideration should be given to the appointment of this man. After consideration, it was agreed, that in view of the difficulties in obtaining a house and the necessity of having a gardener, the general practice of advertising this post be disregarded, and that Mr. Richard O’Brien of Fernslea Avenue, Blantyre be appointed to the post of Gardener at Greenhall at a weekly wage of £13 and 3 shillings.” (about £250/week in today’s money)
In addition, a seasonal gardener/labourer would be required for 7 months of the year.
A budget was set aside for 1963/1964 for the initial requirements of the Greenhall gardener and included reference to other nearby immediate actions required by the council. Namely,
Timber for repairs to Greenhouses £50
Rhododendrons £60 (which can still be seen today)
Repair to Boiler £50
Roses £42 (of which there is no sight of today)
In addition the entry included £100 for grass seed, fertiliser and shrubs to Calderwood Drive and £80 to clear the stone foundation slab at Milheugh Estate, confirming indeed that by Summer 1963, Milheugh House had been demolished.