Final Years of Greenhall


 1967 Greenhall House wmPictured here in 1967, just a few weeks before its demolition is Greenhall House, High Blantyre, which once stood on what is now the carpark in Greenhall Park. I’ve previously told the history of Greenhall House, but left the demolition date vague unable to determine when exactly it was, so I was really pleased when Gordon Cook was able to provide me with some more details about Greenhall’s final years relating to the Duff family and demolition date.

In 1953 when Mr Peter Laurence Duff and his family lived there. Mr Duff had business interests in the old meat market in Glasgow, and under his tenure both electricity and central heating was installed.

When the Duffs left in 1960 the property, which according to Mrs Duff was in good order throughout. It was then occupied by the Nicholson family, who had formerly lived at Torrence House and Philipshill House in East Kilbride. Mrs Nicholson moved out in July 1961 and the story of this family is coming here soon. The Nicholson family were the last family to live at Greenhall. Shortly after, the house was bought by the ‘English Electric’ company, whose technicians were working at the newly built Colville’s Ravenscraig. The company installed hot and cold water in every room and generally spent quite a large sum doing it up.

Mrs Findlay from Stonefield Road was the Manageress and did the cooking also for the engineers. English Electric moved out in May 1963 and the then Fifth District Council bought it with the house said to be still in a very good condition, council chairman, James Anderson said they were trying to “make the valley of the Calder a public right-of-way.” It was around this time in 1963 and in 1964 that plans came to fruition for a public park at Greenhall.

The Fifth District Council was later known as the Eighth District Council who would take the decision in 1967 to demolish the house, as it appears the council weren’t interested in the house from the first day, and no repairs or maintenance of any kind had been done . Slowly but surely vandals were making the house beyond repair. The council thought it quite enough that there was “a pitch and putt, children’s playground and the natural beauty of the spot has been preserved.”

   After the aforementioned Mrs Findlay suggested the house should be used as a holiday home for poorer children of Glasgow (she had eight years experience as a matron in a similar type home in Helensburgh), and even volunteered her services free of charge should the council take up this suggestion. Councillor Walter Cameron responded by saying that a children’s home had been opened the year before at Farm Road, and he also stated that an architect had visited Greenhall House with a view to the council accommodating homeless families there, but the architect’s report was such that the venture would have cost many thousands of pounds.

   Perhaps if the council had learned the lesson of Millheugh House years earlier, they could have saved this 18th century mansion from going the way of so many of our grander landmarks.

   The demolition of Greenhall House was tendered out to local contractor W. Smith for £200, and work was due to start at the end of May, 1967. Only the stables were given a reprieve as they were used by the council’s gardeners and pitch and putt staff.

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