Elizabeth Knowles sent me a message saying, “Elizabeth Dick Fraser, born 1940 Morris Crescent. Mother Tina Hill, died when I was 10, her father Jock Hill and mother Elizabeth Dick. My father Jim Fraser remarried but my grandmother Maggie Fraser, nee McPhail, brought me up with Grandad John James (JJ) Fraser, very much involved with the Labour Party (councillor in ‘40s and Blantyre Co-op Chair. I attended Auchinraith school and then went onto St Johns for a year or so. Would love to hear/see anything from these years.”
I replied with:
I have some notes. I think John (Jock) Finly Hill married Elizabeth in 1908 in Glasgow. Both Jock and Elizabeth were born in Blantyre and chose this town to settle. In 1910 they had a son also called John Finly Hill. I have a Christina (Tina) Hill being born in Blantyre a hundred years ago in 1918 to the same couple which seems a good match. Jock was a coal hewer in 1911 living in Auchinraith Road with his expanding family. His home was right next to the Auchinraith pit, a good indicator that he was employed by Merry & Cuningham Coalmasters. Their tenement home (which no longer exists) was shared with 7 other families and would have been very ‘lively’.
In 1923, the family moved to the new Housing Estate to 22 Hardie Street. The house still exists today, as pictured. This would have been an exciting move! The houses would have seemed like a palace by comparison to the cramped conditions they were in previously. Separate bedrooms for children, an indoor toilet, kitchen and garden. Splendid accommodation close by to the school and shops.
The Hill family would continue to stay in the “Crescents” with family beside them nearby. (Morris Crescent being close to Hardie Street).
James McPhail Fraser married Christina Hill in 1939. They must have started their married life wondering intensely what the future held for them, as war broke out in Europe and men headed off to a terrible war again. John JJ Fraser was indeed very much connected to the Labour Party and miners unions. He was instrumental in making local council decisions throughout wartime years and if i recall beyond.. (I will try to write a bit more about that in due course).
Thats about it for now! Hope some of this fits or is of interest.