DLC: The Beginnings


Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 19.04.39The whole concept of the David Livingstone Memorial Centre came about when a meeting was held in the Religious Institution rooms, Glasgow on Friday 22nd January 1926, when it was agreed to purchase Livingstone’s early home and grounds at Blantyre for conversion into a Scots National Memorial.

The Right Rev Dr John White, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland presided.

The intention was to renovate the building at Shuttle Row, which at that time was described as a deplorable slum and to provide a place for relics from the Livingstone era. No decision was come to at that meeting to purchase the adjacent estate and lodge although the buildings were discussed. The Lodge house was of interest, for it was there, if they acquired it, they first proposed to show the relics, forming a sort of external museum.

President of the Congregational Union, Mr James McNair who initiated the movement noted that unless something was done, the tenement would likely be demolished. William Baird Coalmasters had graciously elected to give Shuttle Row, which they owned, over outright at no cost.

However, the meeting was divided as some attending felt that Livingstone was not born in Shuttle Row, although there was no question that he did live there as a child. Some noted that Livingstone was actually born in a little house further down the River Clyde, nearby to Shuttle Row. However, this was contested and an irrelvenace for the house in question no longer there.

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