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)
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