Ulva Place, Blantyre


Pictured in 1903 looking down Station Road is the Village, Blantyre.

Beyond the circular former gatehouse to Blantyre works, is the Village Bar and behind that the three storey tenements of Ulva Place.

Ulva Place was a former street in theVillage. It was more of a cul de sac. Leading eastwards off of Station Road, to the north of Rosebank Avenue, this small street had large tenements on its north side, which housed many people following the slum clearances of nearby Blantyre works. Built in 1903, the likely constructor of the properties is Mr Angus McQuarrie, who certainly owned the buildings, leasing them out right into the 1920s. The houses were numbered 1 to 4, but subdivided into 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d etc with 6 properties to each of the 4 homes plus 2 others above the shops.

The name Ulva Place appears to be attached to the properties from as soon as they were built. The reference is perhaps related to David Livingstone’s descendants who came from the island of Ulva, over to Blantyre over hundred years earlier.

Amongst the first families to rent from Mr. McQuarrie are noted in 1905 as being the Bensons, Burns, Carmichaels, Gillies, Hendry, Lee, MacClimens, MacDonald, MacGlinchey, MacKay, Maxwell, Muir, Ogilvie, Paterson, Russell, Stewart and Thomsons.


By 1910, the Post Office was situated at the corner of Ulva Place with Station Road, a letter box existing at that location for many decades after. The tenements were not far from the old Blantyre Workd Burial Ground.

According to the valuation roll of 1930, Mrs. Mary McQuarrie then owned Ulva House, a house at 9 Rosebank Avenue, Low Blantyre. She also through inheritance, owned Ulva Place houses at 1, 2, 3, and 4 and also the 2 shops at its corner with 94 Station Road.

These houses provided homes for many, many families. In almost every valuation roll between 1905 and 1930, the family surnames are for the best part different to the previous roll, suggesting people came and went at these homes, most likely as employment opportunities did too around the Blantyre Works area and collieries.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c)

On social media:

rene Dickman My dad Harry McDade was born in Ulva place. The window facing up Station Road was the room he was born in. Nice to see this Paul.
Catherine Murphy I lived in 9 Rosebank Avenue in 1971 for a year Terry Conelly own it then he also own another house at the far end my dad Bill Mc Laughlin lived there before moving to the timber town houses
Catherine Murphy Forgot to mention it was when they were just built
Carole Mackie Rickard My paternal Grandfather was born at 1 Ulva Place. I’m told his mother owned a cake/sweet shop in Station Road
Moyra Lindsay My husband was born in Ulva as were both his brothers. I lived there too when I was 6 until I was 12. Everybody seemed to be related to each other.
John Lynaghan Spent many a day playing round the closes of Ulva place had cousins who lived there . Most of the houses in the village and Ulva place the families were related I had loads of cousins living there the Rouses
John Lynaghan Terry Connelly owned 2 houses in Rosebank place that he let out rooms in many a couple started there married life in those houses
John Paterson OMG brought back memories for me as I also stayed in ulva place no 5 I think as I about 3/4 year old
Gord Fotheringham This was a fantastic place to grow up……lovely people ……I was also related to the rouses and many others in this wonderful wee place called the village……
Marie Mc Millan My mum a rouse jean x
Marie Mc Millan My brother lived in terry Connelly house had great time playing in the village xx
Paul Burns My mother was born in Ulva Place.
Archie Peat Army, Corps 800m and 1500m Champion 1971, 1972 and Liverpool Marathon 1980 in 2 hrs 48 mins , my secret ? I walked up the Station Road brae from the prefabs, past Ulva place, to the Railway bridge at least 5 times a day !!
Shirley Lally My mother worked in the corner shop Ethel sullivan
Ann Millar My brother his late wife n weans lived at 1 Ulva Place. Thanx Paul gonna send this photo to ma bro.
Elaine Petriat My first home. Mum ,Dad, big brother Thomas and me. My mum went into hospital in jan. 1968 to have younger sister , while dad moved up to grannys on Stonefield Road for some help with the kids. I believe they never moved back in to Ulva Place because apparently there was a huge storm (jan 1968) that damaged the building. They didnt get to collect any of their belongings. Quite a few of our neighbours(as well as our parents) from Ulva Place were given houses in Winton Crescent and Etterick Wynd (newly built in 1968)!
Ann Clarkin My step father was Terry Connolly and we lived at 41 Rosebank Ave, 9 Rosebank Ave was let out to couples starting there married life after my granny Connolly died we moved into no 9 the village was a great place to grow up
Cathy Dunn I was born in 4 Ulva place and grew up there till I was 10 happy days playing all over the Village
Margaret Chalmers My Mum stayed in 2 Ulva Place consisting of my Gran Grampa and 13 of a family. Paterson is their name. Happy memories
Marjory Warren Me and my family lived in Farm Road


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  1. Hello Wrights.
    Sandy Wright here. I attended Low Blantyre Primary School then David Livingstone Primary.
    My grandfather was Alexander Wright of Andrew Wright and Sons Builders based at the end of Rosebank Avenue.
    He lived with my gran at 13 Station Road in a house called Glen Dava and we lived in 49 Station Road, Jack’n’ Villa.
    I was told that Dowd and Wright, the builders who preceded the firm converted the Livingstone Memorial and there is a film somewhere of the opening.

    1. Hi thank you for your message. My Gran was Christina Finlay Wright (1903-1981), her father was William Finlay Wright and he had a brother Alexander (would this be your grandfather) I think they lived at Arden Cottage as children. My grans Grandfather was Andrew Wright. My mum did say the builders had something to do with the Livingstone Memorial (do you know where the film of the opening is?) Jill

    2. Linda Mackie-Marieskind

      Hello Sandy, I wonder if you remember me, Linda Mackie? We bet each other a penny for the election outcome one year at David Livingstone primary school (after we left Nessie’s school) and we both went to the Academy in Hamilton?
      I hope you have done well and are in good health nowadays. It doesn’t seem that long ago we were in primary…

  2. Marion I no you as you no me my name Robert family name Robin your dad and my dad and me played bowling on Saturday morning at welfare at number 24 finlay and his mum&dad stayed they went to Aberdeen hope this helps with quest. Stay aafe

    1. Thank you for that, yes my mum thought that Finlay and his mum and dad went to Aberdeen, she doesn’t know anymore about them though. Finlay was my mums cousin. Take care

      1. His mum and dad had B&B in aberdeen then small hotel we visited they sold and bought antique shop

        1. Yes mum can remember them having a small hotel she thinks it was Union Street in Aberdeen and then she does remember something about an antique shop, she didn’t know where that was. Did you keep in contact with Finlay?

  3. Wow how lovely Jill, you and Robert are first cousins? His father was your Uncle (nephew to your gran)?

    1. Hi thank you for replying, that is nice to hear we are related. Do you have any information on Andrew Wright & Sons Builders, where they were located in Blantyre or any other information about my grans siblings? Starting a family tree. Thank you Jill

      1. Hi Jill, there was a builder’s yard I recall, right behind my Grannie’s house at Knightswood Terrace, but iI didn’t think it was accessible from knightswood terrace. I puzzled as a child as to how the employees or indeed owners got into that building as the railway line was behind that again?? May be sending you on a wild goose chase, but just my childhood memory. Minnie and Jean of course would have been married so names would have changed but I recall playing with some of the Wright children, Robert Wright, (not Robert of Rosebank Ave) a favourite of mine, lived on our street, a new housing scheme in the mid fifties, at Hillview Drive, Blantyre. He was my age as we were in the same class at school. A robust wee boy, with a ready smile and kind. I’m sorry I don’t recall more, Alexander Wright was also in my class, his father a bank manager or clerk? Enjoy the season,

        1. Hi thank you for replying and for the information I will ask my mum if she remembers any of these streets and names. Stay safe x

      2. My granddad and father owned Andrew wright & sons who it finished in1960 I stayed at number 22 rosebank avenue

        1. Hi thank you for your reply, I take it your Grandad would have been one of my Grans brothers (Andrew, Tom & Willie) my Grans name was Christina (she also had 2 sisters Minnie & Jean) and they stayed at Rosebank Cottage. My Gran had a daughter (my mum) and she s called Christine and I am her daughter (Jill). So would that make you and my mum cousins? My mum is keen to find out about my grans family and when we can we are going to go through to Blantyre and the Livingstone Project as my mum thinks Andrew Wright Builders had something to do with the rebuilding of the project and there is a plaque there? Thank you Jill

          1. My granddad name was Robert known as bob my father his son robert known as bob the business finished in 1960 asi said grandad was at 16 we were at 22 idont no the name you say inew most of people in street except ones in connelly house towards station

          2. Thank you for your reply much appreciated. Your grandad Robert was my Grans dads (he was William) brother, so he would be my Grans Uncle. My mum has often wondered what brothers were in the business, so I will let her know. Was Andrew in the business as well?

          3. Hi my Gran was born and brought up (parents William and Marion Wright and siblings Andrew, Willie, Tom, Jean and Minnie) at Arden Cottage, 2 Rosebank Avenue.

  4. Hello Robert I wonder if you are any relation to Sandy Wright who was in my class at school? I was fond of him, he was kind and intelligent, and “out of my league”, i think his father a professional person while mine was just a soldier returned from war and semi skilled labourer. When I think of these differentiations now, I’m amazed at the narrowness and arogance of the class system, we all bought into.

  5. Linda Mackie-Marieskind

    Hello, Carol, my paternal grand father also lived at 1 Ulva Place in 1919 after being in the Cameron Highlanders during WW1. Our story is that he abandoned my grandmother whom he married in 1919 who then abandoned their son, my father, leaving him with a neighbour in 1927, and fled to Canada never to be seen again. I have always tried to find any trace of our family but only now beginning the search through Internet. I wonder if we are related? Linda m Mackie Marieskind (NZ)

  6. I stayed at 22rose bank avenue my father was robert wright my grand father stayed at no.16 theyhad andrew wright@ sons builders ltd blantyre

    1. Hi Robert my name is Jill my Gran (Christina Finlay Wright) was born July 1908 in Blantyre and stayed at Rosebank Cottage, her siblings were Minnie, Jean, Andrew, Tom and Willie. Andrew had Andrew Wright & Sons Builders in Blantyre. Andrew would be my mums Uncle. Not sure what family they had but we might be related somewhere down the line?

    2. Hi my grans dad was William Wright and their family had Andrew Wright Builders in Blantyre, what was the name of your grandfather?, as he would be my grans uncle. My gran stayed at Rosebank Cottage/

      1. There was my GP robert his son Robert Andrew at station road, William stayed h/blantyre Tom at timber houses my GP brother Alex station road I worked some time and left my name is another robert hope this helps all have passed away

        1. Hi Thank you very much for the information I will pass it on, much appreciated. Take care.

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