Orwell, (Larchmont), 351 Glasgow Rd

351 Orwell Larchmont

351 Orwell, the last villa on Glasgow Road South, now renamed ‘Larchmont’

Constructed: >1907<1909 Other Names: Larchmont
Constructor: Gavin Semple Original Address: 323 Glasgow Rd
House Type: Semi detached Current Address: 351 Glasgow Rd

   Brief Summary: The final most western villa is ‘Orwell’ at 351 Glasgow Road, which is the other semi-detached side adjoining ‘Dunedin’ to the east. A large house, extended at the back, it was built by Auchinraith builder, Gavin Semple sometime around 1910, who immediately sold this side to Grace McCallum, a widowed spirit merchant. By 1920, Grace had remarried to David Livingstone Harley, an oil blender and along with her new husband, she continued to live at ‘Orwell’ right into the 1940’s.

   At some time in the mid-20th Century, the house changed name to “Larchmont”, a name still above the door today.

   There’s an interesting story about the Harley family that took place in 1937. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, David Harley was the proprietor of the Clydesdale Oil Company, based at 170-174 Station Road. Initially enjoying some success, his family home had been at ‘Bythorne’ an impressive, grand house not far from Farm Road. His elderly mother still living there in the 1930s. When she became widowed, she found she had no means to support continuing to live at Bythorne and called upon David, her son to support her. The sharp, 85-year-old lady however, had been estranged from her son and when that financial support did not come as readily as she hoped, she decided to legally sue her son through courts with assistance of lawyers.

   So, it came to be in 1937, eighty-five-year-old Isabella Thomason Harley stood up in court, stating she was about to be made destitute and asking for David Harley to support her with a weekly allowance of £2. By this time, David and his oil company were struggling financially and operating at a loss. However, the court, discovering entitlement of some sort, awarded his mother the sum of 15 shillings per week, to come directly from the ailing company. It was the ‘nail in the coffin’ with the Clydesdale Oil Company closing for good several years later.

From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018


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