Mr. John Hall Nicol was a well-known Lanarkshire builder and Architect of the early 20th Century.
Born in 1874, the son of John Nicol a grocer, he was also Justice of the Peace taking up residence in Hamilton and later in Motherwell and Harrowgate. He was primarily a builder but also a sandstone quarry master with easy access to stone materials.
He started building houses in Motherwell from about 1905 and built homes in Blantyre including owning The Dales, in High Blantyre Main Street. He died in 1953.
This newspaper article from 1911, provides a little more information on John Hall Nicol:
“MEN WHO MAKE OUR HOUSES.
During the last six years Mr Hall Nicol has erected for clients 303 tenement houses and 124 villas, the most of which are situated in Lanarkshire, and, in addition, has built several public buildings in various parts of Scotland. Mr Nicol was born in the city of Dunfermline in the year 1874.
He received his early education at the Commercial School there, and, later on, added to his practical knowledge in the mining offices of Messrs. John Nimmo & Sons, Shotts Iron Company, Wm. Dixon, Ltd., and Messrs. Young’s Oil Works, Addiewell. To complete his training for a general contracting business he also attended science classes at both Hamilton and Wishaw Academies.
He early conceived the idea that the uncertainty as to the ultimate cost of a house was a barrier to those desirous of having a house of their own; but he solved that difficulty by undertaking to provide buildings for a lump sum at an inclusive cost of ground, title, plans, legal expenses, and every part of the structural work, thus relieving his clients of every anxiety, worry, uncertainty, or doubt. The work already done by Mr Nicol, and the large number of contracts in hand at present, speak well for the system. We understand that he has recently been approached by a large Canadian syndicate with views as to estate development there. Mr Nicol holds that it is impossible to solve the housing problem in Scotland so long as the buildings regulations remain as at present, and, to a lesser degree, the restrictions on the ground. If these were remedied, houses could be built at a cost of 40 per cent. less, and that without any fear as to their stability.
Mr Nicol is a typical hard-working Scot, albeit of a most genial and kindly disposition, and is highly respected by all sections of the community.”