John Street Gable Collapse – rehousing


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1946 Mrs Nesbit and her daughter Betty

In the early hours of 2nd December 1946, the gable of 4 John Street collapsed in a fierce storm that Sunday night/ Monday morning. It rendered six families homeless. Although the authorities rehoused three families, three families remained defiant about not moving until they were satisfied that alternative accommodation would be up to standard.

Luckily nobody was injured. Three out of the 6 families made homeless ended up living temporarily in shops, and one part of the school. Mrs O Neil living in the former Blantyre WVS shop, found her new “home” quite comfortable and cosy but of course was anxious to find a house, rather than live in a room with a shop counter!

The Nesbit family moved temporarily into the housewifery building attached to Calder Street School. Mrs Nesbit is pictured here with her daughter, Betty that year. The little building felt quite like a cottage but again, the family wanted a proper home to move to.

Another family lived in another shop. Mr John Finnie had the problem of trying to rehouse the other remaining three families. He was the County Sanitary Inspector and sent them a letter informing them that the ruined John Street building was dangerous to occupiers and they were advised to leave at once.

One of the remaining tenants, Mr John Gough a member of the local tenants’ association and also a former District Councillor visited the inspector on behalf of the 3 families. He asked that given the exceptional circumstances, that the families should be rehoused in new homes.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka © 2017

On Blantyre Project social media, with granted permission. Strictly not for use on any other website or publication:

Tom Loggie Jon Gough’s son Joe,was one of my pals and I remember the family getting one of the new ones in Park Lane,it was the second prefab on the right.
Pauline Brooks Omg Thomas where did you get this never seen this xxx
Helen Wheatley Knew that was my granny as soon as I seen it. X
Pauline Brooks Helen have you and Yvonne heard this story cos we never have xxx Kevin in America our cousin is looking into a family tree he has done loads he is auntie Ellen’s son we are all in touch on Facebook and patty Donna and Nancy xxxx
Pauline Brooks He has a Nesbit family page andrena has him on Facebook to xxxx
Kevin M Best I will get this to the Nesbit family page as soon as I can. Wow gram looks so much like my mother
Helen Wheatley No Pauline never heard it before. I have tagged Yvonne in it to see if she knows. X
Kevin M Best I have shared this to the Nesbit Family Page. Helen how are you related to us?
Pauline Brooks Kevin M Best that’s what patty said Kevin did you mum tell you about this as us lot over here have not heard anything about this apart from our Anita xxx
Helen Wheatley I’m your cousin. My mum was Patsy. X
Kevin M Best Hello Cousin gald to meet you!!
Kevin M Best I was telliing Patty that this rings a bell for some reason but I am not sure why
Helen Wheatley Pleased to meet you too Kevin. X
Kevin M Best You to xx
Kevin M Best My Mom would have just recently turned 10 and Gram would have been about 30
Pauline Brooks Wow and none of us new any of this xxx
Helen Wheatley Knew it was her straight away. X
Pauline Brooks Helen Wheatley so did I Helen Thomas sent it to me then I sent it to the cousins across the pond so nice that we can all keep in touch on here xxxx
Helen Wheatley She never changed. Just aged. X
Pauline Brooks Helen Wheatley I know I wish they were all still here miss them all xxx
Anita Watson I knew they lived in the school housewifery house my gran and my mum told me xx
Kevin M Best It makes sense that the house was by a railroad. Mom always told us that she had to walk the rail line and pick up coal to heat with
Anita Watson Aye the railway is still there we get on the train there if we go into Glasgow xx
Lorraine Wright Wow fancy finding that out after all these years xx
Pauline Brooks I know Lorraine I bet me mum doesn’t remember she has never said anything to us I will be ringing her tomorrow xxx she looks like our Edward xxx

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