1917 Somewhere in High Blantyre


1917 High Blantyre family wm.jpgThis photo postcard is one hundred years old. It’s certainly dated from 1917 for on the back it simply says “Somewhere in High Blantyre”. Very faintly at the top right is the pencil word, “Scot” which may or may not be relevant.


Shared by Gordon Cook, the picture presented several mysteries in both who is in the photo and where it was taken. There are buildings in the background which offer clues as does the line of trees.

the-backgroundAlthough I cannot be 100% certain, I have two suggestions as to where this is.

As an opening gambit, the cottages in the background look very like these former homes. Swiss Cottages, Priestfield Street? If so, the picture may have been taken near or at Priestfield/Douglas Street? If i recall the SCOTT family lived at Douglas Street and had many children prior to WW1. Long, long shot!! I’m sure Scott’s were also at Priestfield itself in that era.


My preferred option, however, is that it is pictured much closer to home. Could it be taken in the grounds of Parkhurst (Matt Boyles Home), looking west with Croftfoot out the picture to the left? If you imagine the family standing in the gardens of a relatively new Parkhurst, with Main Street on the right out the picture. In the background, the profile of JB Struthers Hall (Masonic Lodge), in the middle background the back of the whitewashed McLean Aerated Water Works and the tall 2 storey profile of Todds Building? The line of tall trees, the ones still there today lining up my driveway? Topography and buildings fit, although it would mean the sheds on the right were near Main Street, which may be odd. Access to Parkhurst back then was off School Lane, not Main Street, so again that fits. The age of the trees fit too as does the spacing.

The people? Well postmaster James Brown was living there, renting from William Adam Jnr , who was actually in Canada in 1917, so I wonder if these children could be the Brown family?
Of course, these is merely supposition. I cannot be certain without reference to the family name or more accurate way of knowing the location. It is my best estimate of both family and location. One thing is for sure, it’s a great photo. Just look at those faint smiles, scowls and sorrowful faces in closer detail!

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