Norma Marr in Canada has shared this excellent WW2 photo of Calderside Row, taken around 1944. She told me, “This is May MacFarlane, my mother Margaret Downie Patrick Lawrence, and her/their Aunt Fanny and Uncle Frank, according to mom’s writing on the back.
My father was English and in the RAF and came to Calgary to train in WW11. They were married here and then he was posted back to England. Mom was a reverse war bride, she travelled across the Atlantic during the war and lived in England during the Blitz with my dad’s parents just outside of London. Until I saw the photo, I was unaware that she had also gone to Scotland to visit family during that time. So that photo is probably 1944, 1945ish and is the Calderside row housing.
We have a letter from May MacFarlane dated 1987. In it she talks about who lived where in Calderside Row. I transcribed the letter and here is the part on Calderside (Bob and Jamie are Robert Downie, James Downie, my great uncles — and my grandmother Margaret (Maggie) Downie Patrick). Here’s part of a letter from May to my mother — It was difficult to read and transcribe but have since been able to fill in some of the blanks.
‘The Downies stayed at No. 1 Calderside. Your mother, Jamie & Bob. Your mother worked down at Calderwood Castle in the gardens, fruit picking and in the greenhouses, such as tomato growing, hours 7 a.m. till 5 p.m., hard work for very little pay. Bob was a joiner, and Jamie a gamekeeper in the glen but before that Jamie worked at Udston colliery, above ground, not down the pit and after the explosion at the pit, some men were killed and the pit was closed. Jamie turned to gamekeeper. Our Aunt Agnes’s first husband was killed in . . . they were not long married, later on she married Dale (??) McDougal. Jamie moved around a bit, he worked in the Stirling area, and also up north of Scotland, a place called Glen XXXX (looks like danuel — we have documentation that he worked at Glen Orchard) the place near Stirling was Balfron.
Now Uncle John (your father) stayed at No. 3 Calderside with his mother (Grannie Patrick) and worked in Auchentibber Inn, a small pub as a bar man. J.B. Struthers, owner of the inn, trusted your father and always left him in charge. I don’t know where the Downies lived before they came here, it might have been Auchentibber.’
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