Springpark and John Patrick

Norma Marr in Canada emailed me these wonderful photos of Springpark, taken in the 1950’s in Auchentibber, High Blantyre. She told me, “I am attaching two images of Springpark — my auntie Gina (Georgina Patrick) was born in this house.

I also have the same image of the Auchentibber Inn that you have, it is a great photo but yours is superior in clarity. My grandfather John Patrick was a barman there. He worked for J.B. Struthers and was a trusted employee, often left in charge. I have an audio recording of my Auntie Gina talking about it and remembering him taking her to work.

Apparently she got up to a little mischief while there and turned on of the taps on leaving the beer to run all over. I don’t think she was allowed there after that!!”

I was able to reply with:

“Hi Norma, Just had time to digest all this. How amazing to think of John Patrick taking little Gina to work at the Inn (on occasion). I can well picture him walking along the country lane from nearby Calderside Row, stopping in at Springpark and then walking the short distance on again to the Inn. How beautiful it would be if more of these buildings still existed.

I loved seeing your photos of Springpark. It created a puzzle as to why the middle upstairs window appears boarded up, but it was real nice to see the outbuildings, (now ruins) still in use and perhaps still lived in then. I had no idea Springpark was once whitewashed. Its now back to the original stone and very well kept, thankfully. The same cant be said for the adjacent building though, as you’ll see from my photo!
It took me to write about the people who lived in Springpark to actually sit up and notice this lovely building. It has so much charm, and clearly did in the 1950s too from the photos you sent.
I can imagine John Patrick in the Inn , working hard to serve all those miners and the Quoiting players. Another barman was Bob Souter, more like a manager for Struthers and it sounds like they both had the same job, perhaps one replacing the other, as you mentioned John moved away and of course ended up in Cambuslang. I just noticed how young he was when he died, 41? I wanted to check that. I’m sure also i have a photo somewhere of Francis, his sibling.
John Patrick actually died on 21st October 1926, so that’s exactly 90 years ago today! As a little nod and memorial to him, I find it fitting to post this today on behalf of us both.
Rest in peace John. Blantyre remembers you today.
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On social media:
Janet Cochrane I stayed in the house on the left side no 11 after I got married. We stayed there from 1963 till 1970.
Norma Lawrence Marr Although John Patrick died at a relatively young age, my mother and aunt always remembered him as being a kind and loving father. He rests in Westburn Cemetery and I am so glad that I was able to visit his grave in 2007. Within a couple of months of his death, my grandmother, mom and aunt moved to Canada. My mom and aunt have passed away but today four generations of family survive him. I think he would be proud.
Betty McLean I think the blocked concrete window was from a time when people were taxed on how many windows they had. I notice there are quite a few buildings in Scotland with blocked windows.
The Blantyre Project I never knew that Betty. Thanks.

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  1. I do not think the boarded up window relates to the era of window tax. The upstairs window is not original to the house. I presume this was inserted when the upper floor was converted to a single flat.

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