Eddie McBride asks, “I’m trying to find some facts about my grandad. His name was Edward McBride and he lived in McAlpine’s building on Glasgow Rd. He had 3 sons and a daughter they later moved to Fernslea Ave. He was a steelworker in Cambuslang and died on 6/8/55. We were always told his death was a heart attack and he was found in a stream near his work. My last surviving uncle passed away 2 yrs ago. On his deathbed he told me it wasn’t heart attack that killed him, he was found drowned in the River Clyde. I have never seen a picture of him as after the funeral my granny burned all the photos even her wedding album. Regards Eddie McBride, Blantyre.”
My search didn’t get off to the best start, unable to find an Edward McBride in Blantyre, although when I started looking for spelling “MacBride”, I found him! Coming to Blantyre between 1920 and 1925, Edward lived at 6 Alpine Street, in McAlpines Buildings at the junction with Glasgow Road. Unlike the census, the valuation rolls have his name correct as “McBride”.
Born in 1898, Edward was a miner and in 1925 was renting a modest sized apartment in McAlpine’s buildings for the princely sum of £8 and 8 shillings. His landlord was Mrs Jeannie Crow, widow who lived in Hamilton and the then owner of McAlpine’s Buildings.
By 1930, things had changed somewhat. Edward became a machineman working with steel following the closure of Auchinraith Pit. He moved home to a larger apartment at 180 Glasgow Road further eastwards. This was a former 2 storey tenement building directly above Peter Valerio’s Ice Cream Parlour and McWilliams Butchers on the north side of Glasgow Road, roughly today where Devlin Grove is not far from the junction of Forrest Street.
Unable to find a photo or newspaper story, I retrieved Edward’s Death Certificate to see if more light could be shed on the mystery. The certificate was most helpful and detailed. The date is corrected to 1st August 1955 and he was found dead at 8.45am approx 200 yards east of Dalmarnock Bridge, in the River Clyde in Rutherglen. His home was at 22 Fernslea Avenue.
Aged only 57 when he died, his parents never lived to see this event. The doctor’s verdict was “drowning”. That is not to say it is unknown why he was in the Clyde. With no witnesses, it is easy to see why the family thought he may have had a heart attack and fallen in.
With thanks also to Robert Stewart for sending through the following picture of the McBride gravestone:
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said: