Dale, Rev. M. George – Rev George Marshall Dale held his ministry at High Blantyre Old Parish Church in 1957 where he stayed for 14 years until 1971. A graduate of Glasgow University, he preached at Kincardine in Menteith Parish Church, before coming to Blantyre. He married Elsie Kinghorn and they had 5 children, Liz, Marshall, John, Helen and David. It is known he spent a lot of time at Calderside and Basket Farms and indeed other surrounding farms, befriending the farmers.
He was really a farmer at heart by all accords and even kept cattle and bees in the glebe at Main Street adjacent to the Church. He made his own honey, which was sold for the church at garden fetes. He acquired cattle from Peter Wilkie, which were left to graze in the graveyard. A story goes that one inebriated gentleman upon passing the graveyard one evening saw a sheep, mistaking the ram for the devil and took to his heels fast!
George Dale was also the minister for High Blantyre Primary School and heavily involved with the Sunday school. He was the first High Blantyre minister to have a car and built a small brick garage on to the little detached Manse Byre or Stable building, which now faces out on to Main Street. Children were often dismayed though in church as George’s sermons were amongst the longest ever noted in Blantyre. He split them into three parts, the third part always being the longest. Despite this, he is fondly remembered as a kind man and was sorely missed when he became minister at Dull and Weem, in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, eventually retiring there.
He succeeded Rev James O’Welsh and was succeeded by Rev. John Notman.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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