Calderview & Captain George S Barr

1915 Calderview, Hunthill Road

1915 Calderview, Hunthill Road

“Calderview”, was a building which once stood on Hunthill Road at the corner of Stonefield Crescent. It had the address of 55, 56, 58, 60 and 62 Hunthill Road. There are no entries for Calderview on the 1905 Valuation roll, but the building is on the 1898 map, indicating that it may have been called by a different name prior to 1905. On the 1898 map, the building is shown as 2 large semi detached properties with 2 homes upstairs, 2 downstairs, but by 1910, the homes are shown as 4 downstairs and 4 upstairs, but with the same footprint, confirming like many buildings in Blantyre, they were subdivided to accommodate more people. It was aptly named looking across to the Calder fields, long before any housing estates were built.

Calderview sat on the eastern side of Hunthill Road. It was there well before Stonefield Crescent was built and was immediately next to the busy railway junction at High Blantyre with a small signal box overlooking the houses.

The likely constructors of this stone tenement building were the Aitkenhead builders of High Blantyre in the 1890’s, for prior to WW1, several members of their family lived there. Alexander Aitkenhead owned a house and shop there during 1915 but it was let out to spirit dealer Patrick Conway at a rent of £16/year. On 30th November 1915, Joan Paterson, 2nd daughter of Paton Aitkenhead passed away at Calderview. A stable was also noted at the end of the building. The building was clearly home to several families, so I decided to look into that a little more.

How astonished I was to find that my own grandmother Mary Danskin was born there at number 56! The Danskin family lived there for many years and I have loads of photos of them as children, playing in the back garden at Calderview.


In 1915, the occupiers were Patrick Conway, James Brownlie (a roadsman), Hugh Daly (a miner), Archibald Hamilton (a miner), James Brownlie Junior (who would go on to be the famous footballer), widows Jane Button and Mary Douglas, Jessie Aitkenhead and Donald McLean. I’m sure these people would all have been well known neighbours to my family.

During the 1920’s, a Captain Barr lived in one of the homes in this small tenement.

Captain Barr was at the time, a county councillor for the district and well known within the local area. He served on duty during the First World War and became a prominent citizen in all local affairs. He was a member of the High Blantyre Ratepayers Association and also stood for election on the Parish County Council. By 1929, he was a noted architect.

It is unknown to me when exactly Calderview was demolished, but the building existed post WW2. In the 1970’s a new detached large home was built, causing a stir in Blantyre at the time when rumours circulated that Sydney Devine was building it (which proved untrue). It is said it was built by either Felix McLaughlin or his son Brian. At this time they had sold the undertakers business and were into haulage.

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